Friday, September 24, 2010

News From The Past: Religion was key to slain Lessard family, relatives say

Armstrongism like many cults, always has had people pushed over the edge.  When your entire belief system continually makes you out to be a worthless, sinful and doomed human being; what hope is there?

Just take a look at a typical COG 'Passover' service.  You are made to feel like human excrement because you dared walk in the room.  You are unworthy to even be there.  They read those scriptures over and over.
And then the ministry rise up in all their pompous glory and pull the microphone down low over the tray of matzo's.  Then they start breaking the matzo's.  Making sure to go as slow and deliberate as possible.  They want to make sure you re-crucify Jesus over and over , year after year, decade after decade.  When you walk out of the room that evening you don't know Jesus any more than you did when you walked in the room. 

When you have no hope all joy has been taken from you because you are exhausted trying to measure up. You try to attend all services, Bible Study's, choir practices, spokesmen clubs, helping people move, painting the minsters home and cleaning his house then what fun is left? You don't have time to do anything away from church members.  And if you do, you feel guilty.

Here is story about a man in the WCG who killed his family and himself.  The relatives blame Armstrongism

 Religion was key to slain Lessard family, relatives say

(Original publication: February 24, 2007)

Steven and Kathy Lessard of Lake Peekskill were quiet people who met at a church event as young adults and deepened their devotion to God as they traveled to religious festivals around the country.

Polite. Generous. Personable.

These are the qualities people who knew them -whether intimately or just in passing -attributed to the couple and their only child, Linda.

"If you're standing in line and somebody looks in your basket and sees you've got fewer things and lets you go by -that's the kind of kindness I'm talking about," said the Rev. Jeffrey Broadnax of the Worldwide Church of God, an evangelical Christian denomination. "They were always just really pleasant people, and you just enjoyed being around them."

But the family's final chapter ended in tragedy last week, authorities said, when Steven Lessard strangled his wife and 14-year-old daughter before thrusting a steak knife into his groin to kill himself.

The gruesome event has since taken a toll on family and friends, who say they are struggling to make sense of a fate they never imagined would befall what had seemed to be a lovely family.

Autopsies have led police to think that 51-year-old Steven Lessard strangled his 48-year-old wife with his bare hands the night of Feb. 15 or early Feb. 16. He then used a ligature to strangle his daughter when she returned from school the afternoon of Feb. 16, police told the wife's family.

He tucked them both into their beds once they were dead.

Lessard took his own life by cutting the femoral artery on the right side of his groin sometime after 3 p.m. Saturday, police said.

He had been receiving psychiatric treatment for emotional problems and was worried about losing his job at the Indian Point nuclear power station in Buchanan, where he had been put on leave this month for overreacting to a flat tire on his car.

In conversations, one aspect of the Lessards' lifestyle that has emerged as a sore spot with relatives was their involvement with the Worldwide Church of God.

The church was founded in Oregon in 1933 by Herbert W. Armstrong, who viewed himself as an apostle chosen by God.

Under his leadership, the church followed a strict interpretation of the Old Covenant. As such, members were forbidden to celebrate such traditional Christian holidays as Christmas and Easter.

Armstrong's death in 1986, however, was the beginning of the end for the church's restrictive philosophy.

His successor initiated a series of doctrinal changes and set forth a new proclamation in 1995 that transformed the movement into a mainstream evangelical denomination. The National Association of Evangelicals voted to accept the Worldwide Church of God into its membership in May 1997.

Steven and Kathy Lessard apparently met at a Church of God event in the Baltimore area, according to Kathy's family.

They had belonged to the Mount Kisco branch since at least 1993, according to Broadnax, who became pastor that year.

He described the family as active participants, frequently attending services and church events throughout the country.

But the family left the church about the same time it joined the evangelical association.

It was also around the time the Mount Kisco church relocated to Armonk and the family bought a home in Lake Peekskill after moving from Cortlandt.

Helen Beach, Steven Lessards' mother, said the family was upset about the church's new direction.

"I know they were very unhappy. I don't remember the specifics," Beach, 78, said by telephone from her Florida home.

After leaving, the family members apparently did not belong to any formal religious organization, but nevertheless continued to follow the same customs they had been living by, Beach said.

They read the Bible. They loved God. And they still shunned traditional Christian holidays.

That infuriated Lessard's mother, who had raised her son Methodist and said his family must have been brainwashed. She said her son had returned to a Methodist church within the past few months.

Kathy Lessard's family also was troubled by the couple's approach to the holidays. Kathy was raised in a Catholic tradition, attending church in South Baltimore, her family said.

"We were told very clearly that we could never send a Christmas gift or even a card at Easter time. They did not have a Christmas tree or house ornaments," said her nephew, Michael Aro, 38, of Glen Burnie, Md.

It particularly bothered Rosella Aro, who was married to Kathy Lessard's brother.

"I'd see something in a store and think of Linda, the same age as my granddaughter, and would want to get it for her, but then I remembered that they would not want me to," she said this week.

"I did send a holiday card for the New Year and was told that was all right. We never got one back."

Since the local church turned more mainstream, it has seen membership drop to about 70 families from about 250, mirroring declines and splits in the Worldwide Church. The church overall says it has 67,000 members in more than 100 countries.

Seeing Steven Lessard labeled as a "killer" and "family annihilator" in the newspapers has hurt Broadnax, who said he doesn't view him that way and trusts God will deal judgment appropriately.

"We do believe that in the afterlife all people will stand before God and will have to give account for themselves," said Broadnax, who lives in Peekskill. "We believe that God is a merciful God who judges what we can't see as human beings. He judges the heart, not always just the actions."

Staff writer Barbara Livingston Nackman contributed to this report.
Reach Diana Costello at or 845-228-2278.
Religion Key To Murder

Family of murder victims shocked at the brutality of their deaths

Related Articles:
Tragedy divides relatives of slain family
Mother of man who killed wife, daughter, self: Psychiatrist 'could have stopped it'

Powered by
(Original publication: February 23, 2007)

PUTNAM VALLEY - After Steven Lessard, a nuclear engineer battling emotional problems, strangled his wife and daughter, he tucked them neatly back into their beds. Much later -after shoveling snow off the end of his driveway - Lessard took a steak knife and killed himself, leaving behind two inches of blood in the bathtub.

The grim details and grisly remains of the drawn-out murder-suicide at the house on Maple Road are what the family of Kathy Aro Lessard has had to confront over the last several days as they prepare to take her and 14-year-old Linda back to Baltimore, Md. for burial.

The horror of what happened to the Lessards seemed beyond comprehension as Kathy Lessard's side of the family sat yesterday in her pink-and-beige living room surrounded by her needlecrafts. Above the front door a plaque read: "Home Sweet Home."

"Seeing the house tells you he provided for them and she took care of things," said Edward Aro, 69, a 30-year veteran of the Baltimore city police department who's seen more than his share of gruesome crime scenes. "It makes you think what was wrong that this happened?"

Although there was nothing to hint at the violence Steven Lessard visited on his own wife and child, there were other signs, family members said, that the marriage was unhappy.

"He controlled everything that went on in the house and to them," said Michael Aro, Kathy's 38-year-old nephew. "I did not really think about it, but looking back, it was bad. She smiled, but you can see in these photos it was a sort of plastic, fake smile."

The family described Steven Lessard, a 1977 Naval Academy graduate, as a manipulative man who kept Kathy and Linda Lessard away from the Aros. The Lessards visited Baltimore many summers, but always stayed in a hotel rather than relatives' homes.

Kathy never was in a room without Steven present, her nephew recalled. His mother, Rosella Aro, said when she called her niece, Kathy often gave clipped answers and it was clear that Steven was in the room too.

"I just can't believe, can't imagine, my husband or kids getting that mad to do something like this. Why didn't he pack up and get out, or tell her to get out?" Rosella Aro said.

The bodies of the Lessard family were discovered Monday after police received a call from Steven Lessard's mother concerned that she was unable to reach them.

Lessard was placed on leave Feb. 8 from his job at the Indian Point nuclear power plants in Buchanan for bizarre behavior. He had been seeing Sleepy Hollow psychiatrist Mark Russakoff and, according to his mother, had an appointment with Russakoff Thursday but the doctor was not there.

Sometime that night or the next morning, autopsies led police to conclude that Lessard strangled his wife with his bare hands. The next day, after his daughter came home from school, he strangled her with some kind of rope, police told the Aro family. Lessard did not take his own life until sometime after 3 p.m. Saturday. A neighbor said she nearly ran over Lessard with her car as he shoveled snow from the end of his driveway late that afternoon. He later bled to death on the staircase after stabbing himself in the groin.

The Aros arrived Tuesday night, finding what otherwise appeared to be an orderly house where the bills were paid on time and Kathy Lessard had recently redone the kitchen. It was their first visit to the house in Lake Peekskill although the Lessards had lived there for 10 years.

The Aros said there were more than 100 messages of support and condolence left on the answering machine. They unplugged the machine and said they would listen to every message and return the ones with phone numbers when they got back to Baltimore.

It was there at Martin's West, a popular Baltimore caterer, that Kathy Aro married Steven Lessard 18 years ago. Their wedding photo shows Kathy in a sweeping white dress embraced in the arms of her blond-haired, dark-suited groom.

Raised a Catholic, the youngest of five, Kathy grew up in South Baltimore's Federal Hill neighborhood and later worked as a clerk for the state of Maryland. She became involved in the Worldwide Church of God, an evangelical denomination with 67,000 members in more than 100 countries. She met Steven Lessard at a church event for young adults.

Family members said the Lessards often traveled on what they thought were church-sponsored trips. They did not celebrate holidays and while they could receive cards, as far as the Aros knew, there was never a Christmas tree in their house.

There will be a funeral Mass for Kathy and Linda Lessard on Tuesday and a wake sometime before that.

Yesterday, some 50 of Linda Lessard's classmates at Putnam Valley Middle School gathered for two counseling sessions.

"If only one person showed up it would have been worth all of our planning," said Principal Edward Hallisey, who opened the school during the winter break to help the community cope with the tragedy.

Linda Lessard was a talented artist, her cousin Michael recalled, sharing two sketches she drew in January showing emotionless faces of a boy and girl with careful details of spikey hair and proportional features. Linda often sang the 1970s tunes of Barry Manilow and the BeeGees that her mother loved.

The Aros said they did not want to pry when they heard less frequently from Kathy - the Lessards did not make the trip to Baltimore last summer - but figured that she knew her family was there if she needed them.

They had no inkling that she and her daughter were in danger from Steven Lessard.

"He wasn't a favorite character in the family," said Edward Aro, his clear blue eyes growing wet with tears. "Now we are just sad, very sad."

Staff writer Diana Costello contributed to this report.
Reach Barbara Livingston Nackman at or 845-228-2272.
Murder Article

We Found Our Way Out (1964, 1975)

We Found Our Way Out
Edited by James R. Adair and Ted Miller
Baker Book House
1975 printing

First hand stories of people escaping from various cults in the United States - includes Armstrongism

The People and Their Stories

You already have an idea what you may find between the covers of this book.  The jacket design and the title, We Found Our Way Out, suggests that the writers – all living, flesh-and-blood people – were once ensnared in a web of dark beliefs and philosophies that failed to provide them peace of heart.  They were sincere-but sincerely wrong, they now confess.  Each believed something different from the other, and each eventually abandoned former beliefs to acknowledge Jesus Christ to be, as Himself said, “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”  Independently of each other, they came to recognize the Bible as the supreme authority concerning God and His plan for mankind.  Each person received Jesus Christ as Personal Savior, according to John 1:12 truly became a member of God’s family.

The stories are from the pages of Power for Living, adult Sunday School take-home paper published by Scripture Press Publications, Inc. Wheaton, Illinois, and are used by permission….

Some readers may feel that this book is not in accord with the spirit of religious tolerance of our day.  Perhaps not.  While we respect the right of any individual to believe and worship as he wishes, we maintain our duty and right to challenge doctrines and systems that we believe lead people away from the true God. Each of the ‘isms’ presented in this book in some manner denies the Biblical way of salvation – faith in Christ alone for complete forgiveness of sin and full acceptance into God’s family.  Some of the philosophies represented here are radically contrary to the Bible.

The Bible has much to say about false religions and philosophies, and indicates that they will flourish when the end of man’s era is near: “…in the latter times…seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (I Timothy 4:1); “…the time will come when [people]…shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned into fables” (II Timothy 4:3, 4); “…there shall arise false Christ’s, and false prophets” (Matthew 24:24). The apostle Paul, in Galatians 1, speaks out intolerantly toward any that “would pervert the gospel of Christ.” He says, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” 

These stories touch a few of the false philosophies deceiving men and women in our day. If you belong to one of these groups described, or if you know someone who does, you may profit from the experiences and spiritual insights of these true stories.  Paul’s admonition in II Corinthians 13:5 is applicable to everyone who genuinely desires to know God:

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith.”

The book then includes the following stories (chapters).

I Was a Mormon
I Was Brainwashed by the Jehovah’s Witnesses
I Was a Rosicrucian
I Am a Hebrew Christian
I Was a Christian Scientist
I Tried Communism
I Was a Humanist
Modernism Betrayed Me
I was a Seventh-day Adventists
I was a Hippie
We Escaped from Armstrongism
I Was a Theosophist
I Worshiped Satan
I Was an Agnostic Scientist

James R. Adair   Editor, Power of Living
Ted Miller            Managing Editor

Chapter 11
We Escaped from Armstrongism
By Wayne Leyendecker
(as told to Roger Campbell)

(pg 91)

Should we worship on Saturday instead of Sunday?  Are Americans really Israelites?  Is it sinful to celebrate Christmas?  Should we change our eating habits?  Are all churches preaching lies except Herbert W. Armstrong’s Radio Church of God?

These were a few of the questions that raced through my mind and demanded answers when I became interested in the dynamic radio preaching of Armstrong.

I first became interested in Herbert W. Armstrong in 1961 when some friends left their church and began to follow his teachings.  I became a regular listener to “The World Tomorrow,” as he titles his broadcast, and I awaited eagerly each issue of The Plain Truth magazine.

Religion had not held much interest for me in the past.  Most of the religious matters of ( pg 92) our family had been left to Ruth, my wife. She had attended church since she was a child and was not taking our three children Rosalyn, Gary, and Michele tot eh River Bend Bible Church, a mission style church which meets in a schoolhouse in the vicinity of our home near Grad Rapids, Michigan.

As the weeks passed and y interest in Armstrongism increased, I began to see that there were serious conflicts between the teaching my family was receiving at the church, and that which was persuasively presented on Armstrong’s broadcast and in his literature.

The church taught the doctrine of the Trinity, while Armstrong insisted this teaching was pagan in origin.  Songs about heaven were a regular part of the worship services at the church, but The Plain Truth publications declared that heaven was not the destination of the saved.  The church gathered for worship on Sunday, but the evidence presented by Herbert Armstrong seemed conclusive that Saturday was the proper day.

I pointed out these things to Ruth and the children.  I called Ruth’s attention to the authority with which Armstrong spoke, and we noted together the many Bible verses he presented as proof for his teaching.  And there was an impressive number of unfolding in world events that Armstrong neatly fitted into his prophetic teaching. Ruth was not fully convinced, but we (pg 93) decided to follow the teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong.

We began to keep Saturday as our day of rest and worship.  We dropped all pork from our diet. We even considered driving weekly from our home to South Bend, Indiana, a distance of one hundred miles, to attend a gathering of followers of the Radio Church of God.

Our decision to follow this new way of life was made near Christmas season 1961, as we decided there would be no recognition of Christmas, except for gifts to those who would expect them, since, according to Armstrong, all Christmas festivities were rooted in paganism. We sent no greeting cards to friends or relatives. We had no Christmas tree.

We must have been expecting a great blessing from that ‘no Christmas” experience, but instead it seemed so barren and empty.  We truly missed remembering Christ’s birth that year.

Somehow, following the “Armstrong way of life” was not nearly as satisfying as I had anticipated. The conflicts grew rather than subsided. Unanswered questions pressed upon my mind every waking hour.  My work required me to be alert, but my inward struggles demanded attention.  Every part of my life was affected by the awful uncertainty as to my relationship with God.

While I had little instruction in the Bible, I (pg 94) had always held a great respect for the Scriptures.  The thought struck me that God must have the answer to my spiritual struggle, and that His answer must be contained in the Bible. I determined I would seek out the truth in the Bible, and I would not rest until I had found peace with God.

It was about five o’clock in the evening when I opened my Bible to begin my search. I read with an urgency and interest greater than I had ever experienced.  I read carefully and yet swiftly. It was as if I were trying to devour the whole Bible in an evening, and yet to sift from its pages some single truth that would be the key to this crisis in my life.

The hours passed quickly. That night I read for eleven hours, and when I closed my Bible at four o’clock in the morning it was only because my eyes were too weary to continue.  At seven o’clock I was awake and back to the Bible again.  All the next day I continued my study.  It would have been useless for me to attempt to carry on the usual business of the day.

My Bible reading did not end until evening.  When I finally closed the Bible that evening, I still did not have the answer.

A few days alter a business trip took me away from the city. I had pulled myself together enough to carry on my work, but the struggle continued.  On the return trip the battle within (pg 95) became more intense, and I brought my car to a stop beside the road and once again opened the Bible.

Nearly all of my Bible searching had been in the Old Testament.  Much of what I had read had seemed to substantiate Armstrong’s doctrines.  God had indeed given instructions to the Israelites concerning the eating of meats, the keeping of feast days such as Passover, the Feast of Tabernacles, and the Sabbath days, all of which Armstrong insists are to be kept today.

That cold winter day as I sat in my car, however, the story of Christ and His love in the Book of Matthew made a new impression upon my heart.  As I finished reading the twenty-eight chapters and resumed my journey home, I felt sure the end of my search was near.

The following Sunday our family attended the River Bend Bible Church.  I listened with interest to everything the pastor had to say that day.  Many of his comments from the Bible called to my mind the picture of Christ’s death that had been portrayed so clearly in my reading of Matthews’s gospel. Before we left the church, I invited the pastor to visit our home.  I thought perhaps his knowledge of the Bible might enable him to help me.

A few years earlier, I might have been careful to avoid a meeting with the minister, but I awaited this visit of Pastor Wright Van Plew (pg 96) with real anticipation. I wondered if he would really have the answers.

When Pastor Van Plew arrived, I found that he had not come to debate on Herbert Armstrong, but rather for my decision to trust Jesus Christ.  Repeatedly he maneuvered the conversation from “questions” to “Christ.”

I was brought to see that my real need was to receive Jesus Christ by faith. That night in my home, I was able to see myself as a lost sinner in need of the living Savior. I saw that my real need was not laws, but faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.  I told Christ of my sin and I trusted Him as my personal Savior.

After the pastor had given me verses of assurance from the Bible, he turned to my wife and asked how things were with her soul.

Ruth says now that at that moment she was angry and offended.  After all, she had been brought up in church and had been trained in the teachings of the Bible since she was a child. She had taken the children to Sunday school and church services.  Why should anyone question her salvation, even if she had yielded to some of her husband’s wishes to follow the teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong?

Before the next Sunday arrived, however, Ruth also had realized her personal need of Christ. She is thankful now for that question which shocked her into the realization that (pg 97) even religious training does not guarantee salvation.  She rejoices now in faith in her living Savior.

Since Christ has come into our lives, our daily experience is truly much richer. There are ways in which we still need to grow in Christ, but with His help we are determined to do that. We want to do so yielded to Christ that He will be able to use us in our local church to carry the message of salvation to others of our community.

We are grateful to God that He guided us out of the errors of Armstrongism into the truth of Christ and His salvation. It was such a relief to find that all the demands of God’s law were fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and our heart’s demands for peace and assurance are also fulfilled in Him.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Another Religious Book Burner: This Time Any Bible That is NOT King James Version

Why are Baptist so incredibly weird?  Armstrongism almost appears sane next to some of these numbnut's.  This moron sounds just as incredibly stupid as Fred Phelps, another so called Baptist.  It's because of idiots like this that people are so disgusted with Christians!

Not only are they burning any Bible other than the KJV, they are burning the books of countless Christian writers.  Reading his press release on this silliness he comes across as not the brightest light bulb in Baptistdom.

The official church information is after the post below.

Another Book Burner Lusts for Attention
Post by Candace Chellew-Hodge

When Terry Jones, the cartoon-mustached pastor in Florida, threatened to burn a Qur'an on September 11, I read many complaints about how nobody ever paid that much attention or showed that much outrage when people burned Bibles. Well, here’s their chance to get their rage pants on.

    The Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, N.C. will celebrate Halloween by burning Bibles that aren't the King James Version, as well as music and books and anything else Pastor Marc Grizzard says is a satanic influence.

The church is burning other Bible translations that are not based on the “Textus Receptus,” and are, therefore, according to Grizzard, not the true word of God. Yes, the burning will include the Qur’an, along with books by “heretics” like Brian McLaren, Shane Claiborne, and Bishop John Shelby Spong. Those are the heretics you might expect Grizzard and his kind to burn.

Also on his list, however, the materials of other “heretics” like Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Billy Graham, Rick Warren, Bob Jones, Charles Stanley, Joel Osteen, Joyce Myers, T.D. Jakes, and even the newly beleaguered Eddie Long. Even Mother Teresa makes his list of heretics. Apparently, feeding the poor and clothing the naked makes one a “heretic” in Grizzard’s book (don't tell Jesus!). Fred Phelps didn’t make the list, so that should be a hint of just who Grizzard’s fellow believers might look like.

On their website (NB: mute your computer unless your idea of a good time is Amazing Grace on an infinite loop), they encourage other churches to hold similar book burnings, or book “tearings” if local laws prohibit open fires. If all else fails, you can send your blasphemous material to Grizzard who will do the deed for you at their annual event.

The church apparently burned books and other materials last year on Halloween. Grizzard does not give a specific date for this year’s burning—and just to differentiate himself from Jones (whom he denounced as a “coward” for backing down from his plans to burn the Qur’an), Grizzard makes it clear that the public is not invited:

    We are inviting others to come but only by special invitation by me and me alone. I must know you personally, or your pastor, or if you wrote me last year in agreement with what we are doing. I may ask for your church’s name, phone number, and Web site to verify your stand.

What I see as the sin at the heart of Grizzard and Jones’ actions—as well as at the heart of anyone who seeks to violently control the free will or belief of others—is lust. These men lust for control; and in their lust they objectify others, people they call “heretics” or “sinners.”

Lust, in and of itself, is not a bad thing—not something sinful. As Matthew Fox writes, “Without lust, none of us would be here.” It was the lust of our parents that created us, the lust of the animals that provide us with their companionship, their meat, and their wonder.
It’s the lust of flowers and grains and insects that make this earth flourish. It is when “lust becomes a vehicle for objectifying,” Fox writes, “it is no longer an intimate expression or a generative one, it is a power that needs checking, a stallion that needs bridling, a force that needs tempering.”

Grizzard, Jones, and others like them are the products of lust gone wrong—and that turns them into sadists who need to control others. As psychologist Erich Fromm has observed, “The sadistic character is afraid of everything that is not certain and predictable, that offers surprises which would force him to spontaneous and original reactions.
For this reason, he is afraid of life. Life frightens him precisely because it is by its very nature unpredictable and uncertain. It is structured but it is not orderly.”

These men want order, and they will do whatever they can to quash the uncertainty of life. The King James is the only true Bible, Grizzard asserts, and in his assertion he makes his life certain—he’s right and others are wrong.

But, perhaps we can have more sympathy for Grizzard and those who believe as he does when we see them for what they are—people who are afraid of the messiness of life—people who cannot control their lust.
These are people who need to be shown that there can be a healthy lust for life that affirms not just their lives, but the lives of the very different, yet Holy, people all around them.

Instead of condemning people like Grizzard and Jones, perhaps we need to look deeper at our own reactions to their actions. If we react by wanting to stop them, or denounce them,  or to control them, then we are just as much a slave to our own lust for control as they are.

May we all, then, seek to find the Amazing Grace this church has named itself after.

2010 Annual Book Burning

The annual Book Burning for 201 will be upon us very soon. This year is going to be much bigger and better. We already have collected more perversions of God’s Holy Word than we had last year, as well as many books by heretics and movies.
Many churches and individual Christians last year contacted us in support of what we were doing. Many comments about how they could help or participate in 2010. So we believe that God is using us to help encourage other believers to do what God’s Word says in Acts 19 about burning satanic books. We are not starting a movement, association, denomination, brotherhood, or anything else for that matter. We are not in charge of anything or over anything except our local church. We are just a “voice crying in the wilderness” trying to encourage others to “earnestly contend for the faith.”

We are burning Satan's bibles like the NIV, RSV, NLT, HCSB, CEV, NCV, NIRV, TNIV, NKJV, TLB, NASB, ESV, NEV, NRSV, ASV, NWT (Jehovah Witness Bible), Amplified Bible, God's Word Translation, 21st Century King James, Young's Literal Translation, Reina-Valera 1960, Darby, Good News for Modern Man, The Evidence Bible, Book of Mormons, The Message Bible, The Green Bible, Quran (Koran), Bible in Rhyme, Boomer Bible, and ect. As well as Greek New Testaments by Westcott & Hort, Metzger, Scrivener, Berry, Ginsburg, and Green. Also Herbrew-English Dictionaries by Brown, Driver, and Briggs. Also Greek-English Lexicons by Moulton, Thayer, 
Danker, and Liddell. 

We will also be burning Satan's music such as country , rap , rock , pop, heavy metal, western, soft and easy, southern gospel , contemporary Christian , jazz, soul, oldies but goldies, etc.

We will also be burning Satan's popular books written by heretics like Westcott & Hort , Bruce Metzger, Billy Graham , Rick Warren , Bill Hybels , James White, Kay Arthur, Charles Stanley, Pat Roberson, RC Sproul, Mary Baker Edddy, Josh McDowell, Sean McDowell, Britt Merrick, Max Lucado, Randy Alcorn, John Ortberg, Michael W. Smith, John David Clark Sr., Eckhart Tolle, Joni Eareckson Tada, Sarah Young, Stormie Omartian, Joseph Maxwell, John McArthur, James Dobson , Charles Swindoll , John Piper , Chuck Colson , Tony Evans, Oral Roberts, Jimmy Swagart , Mark Driskol, Franklin Graham , Bill Bright, Tim Lahaye, Paula White , T.D. Jakes, Benny Hinn , Joyce Myers , Brian McLaren , James White, Dave Ramsey, Alister McGrath, Ron Hill, Denver Moore, Mary Beth Chapman, Steven Curtis Cahpman, E Stanley Jones, Robert Schuller, Mother Teresa , The Pope , Rob Bell, Erwin McManus , Donald Miller, Shane Claiborne, Brennan Manning, William Young, Will Graham , and many more.

We are not burning Bibles written in other languages that are based on the original TR. We are not burning the Tyndale, Geneva or other translations that are based on the original TR or the KJB.
With that said we are asking for others to get involved this year in the 2010 Annual Book Burning. You or your church can do this in one or more ways. 

1. Plan at your church or home to have a book burning this year. 

2. If you are not willing to have a book burning then have a book tearing as we did last year due to state laws.

3. If you are not willing to do either a book burning or a book tearing, then begin to collect perversions, books by heretics, music, movies, magazines, idols (Buddha, Allah, Rosary Beads, crosses with Jesus on it, etc.), posters, etc. and send them to our church address (6865 Cruso Rd; Canton, NC 28716). 

4. Pray! This is the most important step you can do is to pray for God’s Word to be glorified and grow.

I would like to make a few comments about the request above.

First of all, we are not encouraging any church or individual to break their state laws and act stupid and be put in jail. If your state fire marshal says that it is against the law to have an open air burning or burning paper is against the law then abide by that law. Don’t do it. Just have a book tearing as we did last year. It actually gets the people more involved to have a book tearing. 

Secondly, I would video tape the service and the entire event to show that you didn’t break any laws and to encourage others to do the same.

Thirdly, don’t buy this stuff new. It just helps sales if you do. Last year we didn’t buy anything new. In fact, most of it was given to us free. If we did buy anything it was never over a dollar each, but most a quarter or fifty cents. We get these items at yard sales, consignment shops, second hand stores, flea markets, books stores, libraries, etc. Lots of places have a free area and that is what we keep an eye on all the time. One has to be committed to checking these areas each week. We always leave the KJB and good materials for people to choose from. Some people wrote last year making fun of us for buying all of this stuff new, and telling us how dumb we were. These “scholars” and Bible correctors are to smart to have common sense. 

Last of all, we would ask that whatever way you decide to get involved to please let us know. Simply by telling us who you are and which of the four ways you are going to participate. If you don’t want your name mention, the date of your event, then please let us know when you write. We would like to list all that are involved for the very fact the media, Bible perverts, the world and others think that we are the only people that believe that the KJB is the only Bible for the English speaking people. We would like to show the world that we are not the only church that stands for God’s Word. Even in our own county we didn’t have one person (outside our church members) or church to stand for God’s Word. The reason for this is because they just tote a KJB and use it, but they don’t believe it or willing to stand for it for the world to see. Paul tells us not to be ashamed of the Gospel. Neither should we be ashamed of the KJB that contains within its pages the Blessed Gospel. Are the preachers in this area ashamed that they carry a KJB? If one is not going to stand for the Bible what good does it do to carry one? The Bible tells us in these last days that there will be a turning from God’s Word which is Truth. The Bible calls these people Apostates that turn from the Truth, that deny His Word, and deny His name.
Next I would like to make a few comments concerning our 2010 Book Burning this year.
First of all, we are planning one sometime this year, but we are not sharing the date with no one this year. We are not doing this to get publicity as others have said but to obey God’s Word in Acts 19. We are inviting others to come but only by special invitation by me and me alone. I must know you personally, or your pastor, or if you wrote me last year in agreement with what we are doing. I may ask for your church’s name, phone number, and web site to verify your stand. We are doing no advertising in any way before the event. You may ask are you ashamed of what we are doing. NO! That should be obvious from last year when the whole world heard about it. The fact is, we rent a building, and we don’t own our own land, so we have to respect our other tenants in the building as well as the landlord. When we do have our own land and building one day, we will do things different, but that’s in the future.
Secondly, Yes! This year we will burn everything. Yes, you heard me right. We will BURN everything. We will tear up and destroy everything at our church as we did last year, but carry it at a later date to another state that allows open air burning. We are donating it to another church that is going to burn it with us. Both the tearing and the burning will be video taped to prove everything. Are we going to share the details before we do this? NO!
Last of all, we will abide by all state laws as we did last year.
We look forward to having a great time in the Lord this coming year. You can contact me through my email at

Bumming with the Furies

Peter Leschak is an award winning prolific writer who writes books that capture your attention. One of his books is titled: Bumming With the Furies: Out on the Trial of Experience. Its a collection of stories of his life experiences. Some of it includes his journey into the cult of Armstrongism and into its so called college in Big Sandy. Following are some of his comments.

While many of my generation were training in combat in the paddies, jungles, and hills of Southeastern Asia, I was training for the Battle of Armageddon, for spiritual combat with Satan and his minions. Some of our teachers believed we would engage in actual fighting-an ethereal, supernatural war against evil spirits. I always pictured it in terms of science-fiction fantasies with flaming swords, thunderbolts, and Gods own lasers. Years later, upon seeing Star Wars, I was struck with a vivid sense of deja vu. Actually, it sounded like a hell of a good time a phantasmagoric, cosmic shootout with what we were anticipating was Jihad, a holy war in which we would slay the infidel and the rule the world as princes and priests of the Almighty God (Rev. 3:21, 5:10). Years later, I had no trouble understanding the Ayatollah Komeinis Revolutionary Guards. Fundamentalists, no matter what the particular religion, are more alike than different.

As in any army, our paramount lesson was respect for authority unquestioning obedience to superiors. God was our commander-in-chief, but he had divinely appointed the Armstrongs as His all-powerful lieutenants, and they in turn had designated other men as theirs. The church hierarchy was formal and rigid, with actual ranks within the ministry and a clear pecking order for the rest.

I entered WCG and AC flush with hope and idealism. We were preparing the way for the return of Jesus Christ to end all pain and suffering in the world. It was heady wine, sometimes the source of an actual physical rush. I was ready to obey and conform, and I did. This was good for me, and I was good for the world. Doubt crept in slowly, nearly always squelched by the overwhelming presence of too many people doing, saying, and thinking the same things. Toeing the line was supposed to make us happy, and when people know they are supposed to be happy that unhappiness is the result of sins against God then they act happy, even if they are not. Who was I to doubt the word of God (and the Armstrongs) as exemplified by the all-smiling faces of four hundred fellow students and seekers after righteousness? Could smiles be pernicious? Who was I to criticize the lieutenants and representatives of the Creator?

But early in 1972,a minister named Howard Clark was transferred to Texas from the headquarters campus in Pasadena, California. He was something of a legend in the WCG. While serving with the Maine Corps in Korea, he was severely wounded and subsequently paralyzed. He received one hundred percent disability from the Veterans Administration and was confined to a wheelchair. But then God called him into the Work, as we liked to say, and after being anointed with oil and prayed over by a WCG minister, he was healed he was able to walk. He attended AC and rose through the ranks, demonstrating a remarkable talent for preaching and public speaking.

He was loud and irreverent, articulate and keenly intelligent. One had to wonder why he was allowed to stay; he did little obeisance to sacred cows.

The presence of such a renegade was a revelation, but Clark offered us more than his own puzzling existence. That summer when life on campus slowed and many students and faculty were gone, he initiated what he called waffle shops. These were informal evening gatherings advertised by word of mouth, There might be poetry readings (of all things!), a film, Bible study, and of course listening to Clark as he waffled extemporaneously expounding on just about everything. To cadets in the army of God, regimented in body and spirit, this could be shocking.

During one waffle shop, Clark quipped: If Jesus Christ was a student at AC today, wed kick him out. We had strayed too far from the original precepts to be tolerated by the original teacher. It was that heretical thought, and a thinly veiled reference to some WCG ministers as con artists that spurred the gestapo into action. A senior who had attended the gathering, a leading upper-classman, went to the Dean of Students (Ron) Kelly the next day and reported what distressing things he had heard. The waffle shops were officially banned.

Unlike most of the faculty, Clark lived off campus, away from the bosom of the institution. Students began filtering out there, alone or in small groups, to sit in his office and listen. Rumors of a heretical underground, a free thought movement, began to circulate. People felt threatened. But Clark was not attempting to undermine AC. His main point was that we were all individuals before God and that we must truly cultivate independent minds. But that was not necessarily good for the cohesiveness of the army.
In the meantime, we were buying books-under the counter. Clark recommended The Faith of a Heretic by Walter Kaufman, and one of the students who worked at the college commissary ordered a few copies and kept them discreetly out of sight, far from the Louis Lamour westerns. If someone specially requested a copy, he would slip it into a bag and quietly had it over. The eyes of the true believers were everywhere; this was not an acceptable book for Gods students.

On page twenty-two, Kaufman had written: The aim of a liberal arts education is not to turn out ideal dinner guests who can talk with assurance about practically everything, but people who will not be taken in by men who speak about all things with an air of finality. The goal is not to train future authorities, but men who are not cowed by those who claim to be authorities".
These were not words that Chapman would have us memorize, especially since one of the conceits of AC was that it was providing us with a liberal arts education. My friend Gerry, who was on the staff of the college newspaper, once neglected to perform some small task that the faculty advisor expected him to have done.

I thought (so and so) was going to do it, Gerry told the man. That's your problem, replied the journalism instructor/ordained minister, you don't think! He then told Gerry that he wanted him to be robot, and, to demonstrate; he walked stiffly and jerkily around the room. It was a sincere performance, devoid of irony.

Leschak also tells a story about Ben Chapman (as so-called evangelist in WCG). Chapman married Richard Armstrong's wife sometime after Richard was died because of  Herbert's refusal to allow proper medical care. Chapman was not a well liked person in Pasadena. He rode around on the coattails of GTA. He was an arrogant ass, cruel, mean spirited and spiritually violent. Leschak has this to say about the idiot:

But my mind soon took a decisive turn, and it began in a classroom. Bill stood up to ask a question in Theological Research, the third-year Bible class. He was genuinely puzzled, and politely (I thought) disputed the conclusion we were supposed to have reached as the result of completing a homework assignment concerning the canonization
of the Bible. The instructor, a minister named (Benjamin) Chapman, immediately bristled. I could actually see him stiffen, tensing up as if for a physical battle. If he had been a dog, his hackles wouldve risen. An argument ensued, with Chapman not addressing Bills question, but rather accusing him of arrogance and insubordination. Bill stated repeatedly that he wasnt challenging Chapmans authority (though the question by its very nature of course had) nor showing disrespect, but the irate professor ridiculed him, demanding to know if he even believed in the Bible. A few students told me later that they had grown increasingly bewildered, amazed at what they considered to be a serious overreaction by Chapman. They said that if Bill had walked out, theyd have followed. (Thered been many complaints about the class among students.)

But finally Bill decided to just shut up and sit down. He was shocked, genuinely perplexed by what vehemence and contempt of Chapmans reaction to what Bill considered a legitimate question. This public attack by a superior, an ordained minister of God, was so distressing that Bill felt the whole thing mustve been his fault. That evening he went to Chapmans home and apologized. This humbling, magnanimous effort received a cold, Well, you should apologize response. There was no sense of warmth or conciliation, and absolutely no admission of at least partial wrong. Bill left angry and humiliated, violated once again. He believed that at Gods college there should be some recourse, so he made an official appointment with Chapman through his secretary, and asked if I could tag along. We discussed the mission at length and decided our purpose would be to respectfully inform Chapman that the majority of his students were dissatisfied with the way his course was run, and to propose some changes we felt would be beneficial. We believed the attitude of the class, especially after Bills excoriation, was ugly and that Chapman should be aware of it.

Unfortunately we were not granted an audience for three long weeks.

On a Friday evening in December, we finally entered Chapmans office, nervous and intimidated. . We spent two hours discussing these matters, and all was serene and friendly, at least on the surface. We shook hands as we left, and Bill and I were satisfied that all had gone well. We congratulated each other, convinced we had accomplished some good. Silly boys.

Next morning at Sabbath services, Chapman delivered the sermon. The standard length of a sermon in the WCG was one to two hours (though I sat through some as long as three, and heard about a few legendary five-hour marathons). Chapman all but personally attacked Bill and me for nearly an hour and half. I was stunned. Bill had opted for the afternoon services and thus missed another public thrashing, In a vicious assault upon those who question and doubt, Chapman referred to several points we had discussed only several hours before in the apparently benign atmosphere of his office. I expected to hear our names spewed out at any moment, held up as pariahs or perhaps insidious dupes of Satan. He set up straw men and violently knocked them down, quoting excessively from an outside theological work, which was obviously sloppy and in error as far as his audience was concerned. He used the book as an intelligent scapegoat, a means to ridicule contemporary scholarship in general (and hence thinking in general). He lambasted and belittled those who critically examined what he billed as the Truth. He laid it right out, asserting clearly, without equivocation: ITS NOT YOUR PLACE TO QUESTION WHAT YOUR TEACHERS TELL YOU! So there it was-the true face of AC and the WCG. The hierarchy was not after truth, but power. They had all truth; there was no need to seek more and there was especially no need to take any gruff from mere students-lowly sheep of the flock.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

There's A New COG Splinter Group!

Hat's off to
for this great picture!

Oh The Humanity! Chiropractor Bob UPSET That COG7 Says It's OK To Work on Sabbath

LCG's and COGdom's apologist extraordinaire is having a royal hissy-fit that Church of God 7th Day is saying that it might be necessary to work on the 'Sabbath.'

He writes:

CG7-Denver has just published something in its Sep-Oct 2010 Bible Advocate magazine allowing people to work on the Sabbath:
Q Please reiterate our position on the Sabbath.  If, due to the economy, a member who is a deacon takes a job requiring him to work late on Friday, but he still attends Sabbath day services, does God’s mercy allow him to continue as deacon? How would you handle this?…

A We’re no longer under old covenant law but under the new covenant of God’s grace (Rom. 6:15; Heb. 8:13)…Every believer must strive, out of love, to dedicate the glorious Sabbath to the Lord. When forced to work, he does not violate the law of love. He continues to love his Lord and His day, regretting that he cannot keep it as he wished. That’s completely different from one who mocks the commandment by working on Sabbath, even though he could keep it, and smugly says we are under grace. One who cannot attend Sabbath services obviously cannot hold an important church office, since he’s not aware of what goes on there. The deacon who is required to work in the dark hours of Sabbath to provide for his household is not wrong. He may continue to serve because he attends worship during the day when church activities take place and he knows what’s happening.
This is an outrage. (emphasis mine) No one is being forced to violate the Sabbath, simply pressured.  We are all pressured to sin in many ways, but that does not make sin right.  It is still sin.

To try to reduce dissent from this outrageous response, CG7 had the following weasel words attached to the article (emphasis mine):
Editor’s note: Not official policy, here is a respected pastor’s answer to a not uncommon problem in CoG7.
This is still an outrage.
People either have the faith that God will provide or they do not.
This has to be his most offensive statement:
"Those who knowingly violate the Sabbath simply do not have the faith."

Chiropractor  Bob fails to forget that WCG (pre-1986) had score's of people who worked from Friday night sundown to Saturday sundown.  95% never got paid. They worked security, checked the computer systems and were generally on call 24 hours a day.  They were dubbed 'volunteers' in order to make it look OK to work.  Armstrongism has always had a way to get around everything that might contradict it's teachings.

All ministers in the church received pay for work on Saturdays.  As much as many want to deny it, those paychecks covered 'Sabbath'. work.  When you are salary, you are PAID for any work 24 hours a day seven days a week.

But on to 'meatier' things.  How quickly chiropractor Bob forgets the Scriptures Matthew 12:11, 12
What man shall there be among you, who shall have one sheep, and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it, and lift it out?  Of how much more value then is a man than sheep!  So then it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.

In the book of Mark, he elaborates more on the same example:

And after looking around them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand."  Mark 3:5
Dale Ratzlaff (former SDA) writes in his book, "Sabbath in Crisis":

"This story deals specifically with Sabbath behavior.  The Jewish rabbis had interpreted healing, caring for the sick, as work, therefore a violation of Sabbath law.  However, they modified this so that one could care for those who were in life-threatening situations.  However, it was obvious that the man with a withered hand was NOT in a life-threatening condition.  This incident appears to be a direct confrontation by Jesus upon the commonly accepted interpretation of Sabbath law though not a violation of the Old Testament Sabbath law itself.

"Jesus showed His attitude by "looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart."  Then he demonstrated his authority to interpret the Sabbath law by openly calling the man to the front and healing him.
John 5:9-18 Tells the story about the Jews persecuting Jesus because he had broke the Sabbath law by telling the man he had just healed to take up his bed and walk away.  The Jewish authorities were OUTRAGED (Just like chiropractor Bob).

Ratlzlaff wites:

"This passage says that the Jews were persecuting Jesus because He was destroying, or invalidating, the Sabbath.  We should not be too hasty to denounce the Jews.  Old covenant Sabbath law clearly required that a person who openly broke the Sabbath was to be put to death (Ex 31:14, 15; 35:2). (One has to wonder if chiropractor Bob had his way that he would do this too!) The Pharisees had the old covenant record of the man who was caught gathering sticks on the Sabbath and was stoned to death at the express command of God for his violation (Numbers15:32-36)  They also had the later scriptural interpretations of Sabbath law to prohibit carrying a load on the Sabbath (Jer. 17:27

Next we should note Christ's defense of His Sabbath activities.  "But he answered them, My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working."

One has to really wonder if chiropractor Bob and his  idol Spanky Merrydeath would be eager to do such a thing too. One of Herb's main teachings was that when we became "god's" we would have the power to whip rebellious people into line.  There have been many Armstrongites though our history that have looked with almost orgasmic anticipation on ruling their world's with a 'rod of iron'.  That is also one of Spanky's favorite utterances too.

Living Church of God, just like the old WCG found ways of getting around Sabbath commands and various laws it did not want to keep.  It was OK to drive hundreds of miles on the Sabbath, it was OK to cook light meals, it was OK to spend hours setting up and taking down church halls, etc.  When Spanky wants to eat on the Sabbath he has absolutely no problem making cooks and waiters (as long as they are not gay) do his bidding.

If chiropractor Bob really knew his Bible he would plainly see that Paul states in detail that Sabbath observance undermines the gospel.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Herbert W Armstrong: Mr. Confusion

Mr Confusion
Herbert W Armstrong
by Roger Campbell

Back  to the Bible

Pg 4

My first observation in readings his publications was that almost nothing he had to say was original, or new, but that it was certainly reorganized.  In fact, I began to see that I had found one of the most interesting and to borrow Mr. Armstrong’s own words, “shocking, incredible,” case of organized confusion, that I had ever run across.

So it is that today, some years after my study of Herbert Armstrong began, and with my file bulging with his publications, I have set down to write an article showing the “Plain Truth” about his teaching. As I begin, I can think of no more fitting title than one that appears at the heading of this analysis: “Herbert W. (pg5) Armstrong-Mr. Confusion” Let me tell you why.

I.   Herbert Armstrong’s confused about salvation.

Much can be endured in differences over Bible interpretation if a man is right in his understanding of the simple plan of salvation. Men may not agree on events of prophecy, systems of church government, to some of the so called non-essentials of the faith, but in this one important area a man must either be right to wrong.  There is no middle ground or room to debate.  There is but one way of salvation.

Armstrong’s contempt for the promise of salvation by receiving Christ as personal Savior is expressed by Roderick C Meredith, one of his writers, in the March, 1957 issue of the Plain Truth. He scorns the work of present-day evangelists in the following words:

“Many people contend that there are many evangelists stomping up and down the land telling their audiences about the reality of Jesus Christ and His shed blood and calling upon them to accept Christ and be saved.

(pg 6) “Come up and give your heart to the Lord tonight,’ they plead. ‘Won’t you come? Come now while the Spirit is moving you. Come up and say, Tonight I accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior from sin.’

“The truth is that the inspired apostles and evangelists of the New Testament NEVER relied on this kind of empty preaching to save people from sin.  That sounds SHOCKING but it is true.”

If preaching of Christ’s blood is “empty preaching,” then certainly all the apostles are guilty of “empty preaching.”

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians that they were “made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Eph. 2:13).  In his Epistle to the Colossians. He wrote of the “redemption we have through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Col 1:14)

The Book of Hebrews abounds with references to the importance of Christ’s shed blood.  And John wrote: “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (I John 1:7).

Although Herbert Armstrong denies it, his way of salvation is a way of grace and law homogenized.  In his article “Just What Do You Mean (pg 7) –Salvation” (Plain Truth – July 1961),he sets out to prove to the world once and for all that the “persecutors” are wrong when they accuse him of teaching salvation by works.

His method in the article is to make you (the reader) the lost person he is leading to salvation. (We dare not say salvation-for Mr. Armstrong doesn’t really believe you have that until the resurrection.), He points our that you are a sinner and guilty before God, which of course, is correct.

From this he leads you to forsake your sin and to begin to keep the law but points out that although you have done this you are still lost.  He does this to prove that he does not teach salvation by keeping the law. He then leads you to what he calls “contact with God,” This state is achieved thorough Christ but must be maintained by keeping the law. He writes: “Your works-your Law keeping while certainly required…” and further, “So where are you?  Even with your Commandment-keeping which-make no mistake-God requires you.”

Anyone with a knowledge of Seventh-Day Adventism will (pg 8) immediately suspect Herbert Armstrong’s source for this part of his theology.  But let us not give Ellen G White undue credit for originality either, for she borrowed her pattern of teaching from certain teachers who “troubled” the church at Galatia (Gal 1:7).

How wisely Paul deals with his problem in Galatians 3:1-3: “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?  This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?  Are ye foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now made perfect in the flesh?”

Salvation was not probation to the great Apostle.  He wrote, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (I Cor. 1:18).  Paul was so sure of heaven that he assured the Philippians that to die would be ‘gain,’ and that to “depart and to be with Christ” was far better.

Mr. Armstrong’s confusion about salvation is evident then, as he considers it “empty preaching” to urge (pg 9) others to “receive Christ as Savior.”  This confusion is further evidenced by Mr. Armstrong’s belief that conversion is maintained by commandment-keepings’ mixture of law and grace.

II. Herbert Armstrong is confused about the Trinity.

Following the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Herbert Armstrong goes to great trouble to prove his belief in the Trinity is pagan.  He is a bit ‘unlike’ the Witnesses in his views concerning the Father and he Son, but seems identical with them in his teachings about the Holy Spirit.

To Armstrong the Holy Spirit is not a person but simply a ‘force.’  To support this unscriptural teaching, one of Armstrong’s writes, Dr. C Paul Meredith, blasts all who do not agree with him on this point by declaring: “Note now that the pagans termed the Holy Spirit a “Being” such as the Father and Son. They wrongly made a Trinity. Satan was confusing mankind. (Plain Truth, Feb 1969, pg 26)

If everyone who speaks of the Holy Spirit as a person is pagan, them, of course, Jesus must also be labeled as “pagan,” for he referred to the Holy Spirit as “He” time and again. As (pg 10) Christ revealed the great truth of the coming Comforter to the disciples, He said: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.  And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment…Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth, for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you” (John 16:7-14). Notice the teaching of Jesus about this personal member of the Trinity who can hear, speak, show and guide. Certainly this can never be said of a ‘force’ as Armstrong defines the Holy Spirit.

Once the spiritual identification of the Holy Spirit is seen, the wonderful truth of the Trinity becomes evident. Let the reader turn to Matthew 28: 18-20, John 1:1-34, and other Scriptures and just believe the Bible, and he will have no problem in seeing that this plain spiritual teaching (pg 11) concerning the Holy Spirit is not pagan, but proper.

Therefore, we see Mr. Armstrong is no t only confused about himself and salvation but also the Trinity, because he believes the Holy Spirit to be a “force” rather than a “person.”

III Herbert Armstrong is confused about the nations.

Someone once said, “Show me a man who is right about Israel and I’ll show you man who is right about the rest of the Bible.”  That statement may not always be correct to the letter, but one thing is always sure: “Show me a man who is wrong about Israel, and I’ll show you a man who is wrong about God’s prophetic plan.”

Herbert Armstrong is wrong about Israel, and this becomes a source of error to him in a multitude of other things.

Perhaps most exciting of Armstrong’s writings is his booklet, The United States and the British Commonwealth in Prophecy.  In this he unveils his acceptance of the outworn and unscriptural British Israelism.  That is, he teaches that Britain and the United States are the lost ten tribes of Israel.

(pg 12) Prefacing this booklet, he writes, “No story of fiction was ever so strange, so absorbing, so packed with suspense as this griping story of the Bible.  After this interest-capturing beginning, he then presents in “Armstrong” style the usual fact-ignoring pattern of British-Israelism: “Ephraim is Great Britain, Manasseh is the United States.  The throne of England is the throne of David.”

There is not space here to deal with every aspect of this teaching, but it will suffice to show the false foundation upon which it is built.  Anglo-Israelism holds that at the return of Palestine after the captivity, only the House of Judah returned, leaving the rest of Israel to  wander on to Great Britain and the United States in the centuries to follow, making these two nations “Israel’s New Land” (US&BC in Prophecy, p. 15).

In the above-named booklet, Armstrong writes: “Only those of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi, who constituted the House of Judah, returned at that time.  Consequently, those in Jerusalem in the time of Christ were only these three tribes, not the House of Israel.”

(pg 13) Now what saith the Scriptures? “And there went up some of the children of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, unto Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the King” (Ezra 7:7).  “So the priests, and the Levites, and some of the porters, and the singers, and some of the people, and the Nethinims, and all Israel, dwelt in their cities” (Neh. 7:73).

“And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers” (Neh. 9:2).

As to those in Palestine at the time of Christ, we quote the words of Peter on the Day of Pentecost: “therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36).

Because he takes specific judgments pronounced against Israel and wrongly applies them to the Untied States, Garner Ted Armstrong, son and associate of Herbert Armstrong, writes the following: By the time (pg 14) slow moving Russia is finally ready to strike, your Bible says America will have ceased to be a nation, her citizens removed into horrible captivity, and another, totally different power will have risen – Germany” (Plain Truth – July, 1959, pg 16).

Herbert Armstrong’s confusion about the nations, then, is the result of his belief that Britain and the Untied States are the lost ten tribes of Israel.

IV. Herbert Armstrong is confused about heaven.

By teaching in the unscriptural doctrine that there is a second chance after death, Herbert Armstrong strives to give hope to those who have had loved ones die without Christ.  But at the same time he tries to rob the believers of the hope that loved ones who die in Christ are immediately in heaven with the Lord.

Adding his voice to the Jehovah’s Witnesses on this false doctrines, he declares: “to continue with the question, ‘Who knoweth (whether) the spirit of man’ that is, the breath of man, ‘goeth upward, and the spirit of he beast, that is, the breath of the beast ‘goeth downward to the earth?’ Well, does any one know of it?  It’s a (pg 15) question.  Who knows it? The answer is. No body does” (Plain Truth, March 1957, pg 8).

To see the true teaching of this verse as the view of the natural man, the man “under the sun”, one needs but to read it in its context. (See Ecclesiastes 3:18-22).  Surely God has not given his entire revelation, the Bible, only to leave us in uncertainty on such a vital matter.  No, there is no doubt about it; the Bible teaches that we can be sure of heaven after death – if we are saved.  Multiplied portions of the Word of God guarantee it.  Do not let anyone steal from you this wonderful hope so surely promised to God’s children on the Bible.

Jesus said: “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you: (John 14:2).

Paul wrote with assurance: “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle is dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made of hands, eternal in the heavens.  For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to clothed upon with our house which is from heaven…Therefore we are always confident, knowing that whilst we are at home (pg 16) in the body, we are absent form the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (II Cor. 5:1, 2, 6-8).  The constant desire of the Apostle was to “depart and to be with Christ: which is far better” (Phil 1:23).

Peter looked forward to an “inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not way, reserved in heaven…” (I Pet. 1:4).

John was privileged to get a view of many of the scenes of heaven while he was on the Isle of Patmos, and he wrote of them in the Book of Revelation.  There saw those who had been saved while on earth and those who had gone through the great tribulation. He previewed the marriage supper of the Lamb where all the saved will one day sit with their savior. The Book abounds with the wonders of the blessed place where all the saints have their inheritance.

Therefore, when Herbert Armstrong says that no one can know what happened to the Christian at death, he reveals the he is confused about heaven, because the Scriptures are very clear on the subject.

(pg 17)

V. Herbert Armstrong is confused about himself.

Perhaps the most thorough job of deception that Satan has done with Herbert Armstrong is the deception, that he is sure that no one on earth is preaching the true gospel of the kingdom of God except him and his co-workers.  An article in the Plain Truth of February, 1958, has this to say:

“There is only one work that is preaching the true gospel of the Kingdom of God-the rule and the reign of God-to the nations. This is that work.  Then those who have their part in this work and are converted must constitute the Church of God!...

“every other work rejects the message of Jesus Christ or else rejects His rule through His laws. There is no exception.

“Yes, this work is the true church of God. All others are satanic counterfeits! It is time we come out from among them and become separate.”

Do you believe that every faithful pastor or missionary in the world today is a counterfeit?  Probably not, but Herbert Armstrong does.

(pg 18)
If you pastor and church are true to the Bible, and people are saved by their ministry, are you to label them as ‘counterfeit’ and leave your church, and send Herbert Armstrong your tithe?  Of course not!  But Mr. Armstrong teaches that you should.

Not only does Herbert Armstrong think that he and his associates are the only preachers of truth today, but his error seems to be that of the Mormons in his teaching that the true gospel message was lost to the world from approximately the days of the apostles until he began his radio broadcast in 1934. Let him speak for himself:

“On the first Sunday in 1934, God’s time had come.  God opened a Door! Jesus Christ himself had foretold this event!  Millions have read his prophecy.

“Yet on the first Sunday in 1934, probably no on-certainly not I myself-recognized what a momentous event actually was taking place.

“…It was the fulfilling of a definite cornerstone prophecy of Jesus.  More than that, it was the initial, start-off event of the fulfilling of some 90% of all the prophecies in the Bible! And approximately a third of (pg 19) the whole Bible in prophecy!” (Plain Truth, Jan. 1959, pg 3).

Now follow this closely. Mr. Armstrong teaches that although he did not even know himself, 90 percent of all the prophecies in the Bible hinged upon the beginning of his radio and literature ministry which began in 1934.

The article goes on to say that in about A.D. 69 the roman’s successfully stamped out any effective organized preaching of the gospel, and that the professing Christians turned away from Christ’s truth and embraced pagan fables.  Soon the true gospel message was lost, according to Mr. Armstrong. Now notice this further quotation from the same article:

“From that time, the world has heard the name of Christ! The world has heard the Gospel of MEN ABOUT Christ.  The world has called it ‘The Gospel of Christ’-but it is very far form Christ’s gospel-it is a paganized gospel of men about Christ. It is a counterfeit!”

Thus, we see Mr. Armstrong is confused about himself as he thinks he and his co-workers are the only ones (pg 20) preaching the true gospel.  He is also confused about himself as the thinks that he thinks the gospel message was lost from the time of the apostles until he began his broadcast in 1934.

VI. Conclusions.

In conclusion we remind the reader of a few basic facts which will assist him in guarding himself and others against this system of error.

First, let us be reminded that almost none of Mr. Armstrong’s teachings are original. While the style of his writing and speaking seems to try to convey the idea that most of his doctrine is new, startling and sensational, it is in reality a rehashing of teaching that has been rejected through the years by those who are true to the Bible.

Secondly, Mr. Armstrong’s teachings are largely a mixture of the doctrines of Seventh-Day Adventism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and British-Israelism. While occasionally moving in some other direction, nearly all of Armstrongism falls into these three areas.
Thirdly, Mr. Armstrong regards all other Bible teachers, pastors, churches, Bible schools as satanic counterfeits.  This even includes those (pg 21) groups whose teachings he has borrowed.

It is quite amusing to read from his article “Persecution” (Plain Truth Oct. 1960 pg 13), Mr. Armstrong’s defense against one who has written an article accusing him of satanic deceptions. He writes, “There is an axiom, One who accuses another is always guilty himself of the very thing of which he accuses another.”  This, of course, carried through in Armstrong’s case would make him a satanic counterfeit for calling others the same.  Confusing, isn’t it?  But then that is the way of confusion.  It multiplies.