A reader sent a link to Herbert Armstrong's 1982 article on interracial marriage. Here are several excerpts:
Satan's Next Attack:
Today I want to speak on what may possibly be the very next attack that Satan will use against this church. I was studying at lunch before the meeting last Sabbath, with our minister there and he said "I think that very likely, the next attack of Satan" — now there was the attack of the State of California against us. There's been another attack that most of you don't even know anything about. It only hit a few of us at the top. But there has been trouble and don't you think there hasn't. Satan is on the job. But Christ is on the job and Christ is winning. And always will win! It's like my executive assistant, Bob Fahey said, he's looked at the book to see how it comes out in the end, and he says we win. Yes we do. That's the way it's going to turn out. At least Christ is going to win and we'll only win if we're on Christ's side. We don't need to worry about getting Christ over on our side. But he said, the thing that's going to hit this church next, that Satan's going to use, is interracial marriage.
Oh the pity. People can sometimes get their feelings all stirred up to a red hot pitch on something of that kind. Their prejudices, their emotions, their feelings. God almighty created us all. He put us here for a purpose. And we don't have much longer. And we need to look into this. Now that was in New York City last Sabbath. On the plane, coming back, Mr. Fahey showed me a letter that had been handed to him from a member. I believe this member is in, yes, just across in New Jersey, just across from New York but had attended the service. And she had been talking to another member who lives in Philadelphia. And there'd been quite a heated conversation on the telephone. And I want to read you just one slight little bit of what was in that message and what is coming up in the church now. And you're going to have to — IF GOD BE GOD GET ON HIS SIDE. AND IF YOU WANT TO GO WITH THIS WORLD AND THE WAY IT'S GOING, GET OVER ON THAT SIDE, and go into the lake of fire with it. That's all I have to say.
Herbert, being the Herbert he was, now has to use the proverbial threat of the "lake of fire" for anyone that dare questions him.
I just want to read a few, this is about a 3 or 4 page letter, so, I'll just read a part of it. She says,
"During the conversation, [that's the telephone conversation, that's the telephone conversation she had with this woman in Philadelphia] it was stated that the blacks in God's church are dissatisfied with such doctrines that are not keeping with the current social trend in the world, which they feel are in keeping with the premises of international relationships that are a part of this nation's background"
So we should go along with our nation and the social trends of the world. And this letter also says that they are trying to line up a group of blacks, TO GIVE ME AN ULTIMATUM! THAT I GET ON THE SIDE OF THE TRENDS, THE SOCIAL TREND OF THIS WORLD. OR ELSE! I'll tell you what I'll give them. I'll give them OR ELSE. I won't compromise one millionth of an inch. And if you will, you can go into the lake of fire if you want to. Now, I've never started a fight in my life but let me tell you, I've won every fight I've ever been in. But someone else always started it. I don't want to start a fight. I'm the servant of the Most High God. And I'm as much a servant of blacks or of yellows or of any other color, pinks, polka dots, anything you want to mention - and the like. But I know what God has said. And that's what I'm teaching you and that's the way this church is going to go. We're getting this church back on God's track. That's where it's going to be and that's where it's going to stay.
Next, Herbert is not happy that the college was attempting to not discriminate on race and sought to increase its racial balance. Racial equity is a thing of Satan!
Also, I understand that some are saying, we've got to have racial balance at Ambassador College. Well, what does God say about that? WE'RE NOT GOING TO GO WITH THESE TRENDS OF THE WORLD!! THE POLITICAL FOOTBALLS, THE SOCIAL TRENDS, THE THINGS OF SATAN. Those are all the ways of Satan and now God is going to use us because there are laws in the supreme courts of the United States. They passed a law here a few years ago and they're taking advantage of it. Now, they may try to get laws, use the laws for the sake of the nation, against us if we don't approve interracial marriage. But I say, as for me and my house, we shall serve the Eternal God. What are you going to say?
Then he goes on to say this, which doesn't t compute with the above comments:
Now let me tell you something. This isn't anything to get all emotional about at all. I happened to be born white. I don't know why? I'm not white. They just call it that. I'm anything but white. So are any the rest of you that think you are. You're not. But what difference does it make? If we make it into the Kingdom of God, what color skin are we going to have? You ever think of that? We're not going to have any skin at all. But our eyes are going to be like flames of fire and our faces are going to be like the sun full strength. What color is that? It's so bright it'll blind you if you look without a smoked glass. And that's the way it's going to be.
Then Herbert takes a rapid descent down eh rabbit hole:
Matthew 24:37-38 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (38) For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark,
What's wrong with eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage? How did these things bring an end to that world? Those are the things he mentioned that brought an end to that world. And those same things are bringing an end to this world now. Alright, let's go back to that world and see what the history of it is.
Wives they chose:
Genesis 6:1-2 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, (2) That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
Which THEY chose. That's what they want to do today. A black man wants to take a white woman for a wife. That's what HE chooses. A white woman wants to become the wife of a black man. Now I don't know of any cases where a white man wants to marry a black woman. Why is that? Answer that for me! I'd like to have someone give me an answer to that. Why is it our white women want to marry black men? Why is it our black men want to marry white women? Black women don't seem to want to marry white men and white men don't seem to want to marry black women. Why? It's time we begin to think about these things and quit boiling up with our emotions.
Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
So God just ended that world. Did you ever think about, why did God absolutely kill or murder if you want to call it that every human being that except Noah and his family, eight people? They were bringing us even unhappiness and misery on themselves. Sure they were getting a kick out of life. They were doing things they thought would be pleasurable. That they thought would be exciting. They had violence and oh how exciting that was. The earth was filled with violence. Something caused it. Jesus told the cause. He said they were eating and drinking; they were marrying and giving in marriage. That's the only thing that you can find in the Bible that will give you a cause for the end of that world then.
Eating and drinking is a bigger sin than racial bias, apparently. Eat that extra cupcake when you know you shouldn't have? Lake of fire for you! No kingdom of God for you!
Now what's wrong about eating and drinking? Nothing at all if you eat and drink the right kind of — water or the right kind of, well orange juice is fine, and even wine in the small amounts, with temperance. But drunkenness is not right. No drunkard is ever going to enter into the Kingdom of God. And eating the wrong kind of food and eating too much is a sin. Now a little bit of it can be a very mild sin and I guess every one of us is guilty of that. We don't seem to realize that, that's important. What we eat is important. More than we realize. We just go along with what pleases us. What appeals to our appetite, our desire of wanting to get, wanting to have, wanting to enjoy. And we're in a very small wisp of a lifetime and judgment is on us as to whether we're going to have joy and happiness and peace and everything wonderful FOREVER. And we're just letting this time go by, most of us, without taking it very seriously.
The cause of our troubles:
Now I want to go into some of that with you. Let's get a little bit about the Way of God. Turn to Deuteronomy.
Deuteronomy 32:8 When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam,
Oh today they say that the cause of our troubles and racial troubles is segregation. So the Supreme Court of the United States, in human wisdom, without any wisdom from God, says we're going to have integration. Man wants to go — you see, man chooses him the way that seems right in his own eyes. He takes to himself the knowledge of what is good and evil. That's what our Supreme Court did. But…
Deuteronomy 32:8 When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, [notice, segregation not integration] he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.
Different people, different families or different races, had their own land, their own plot of the earth. And God's way is GEOGRAPHICAL SEGREGATION. AND INTEGRATION IS NOT THE WAY OF THE ETERNAL GOD (pounds on desk). It's the way of deceiving man. It's the way of Satan. And look what its doing in this country. Look what is going on in the 1960's in this nation and the violence that came here and there and all over the nation. I'll be going over this in other sermons that are coming on, like I did fifteen or twenty years ago. It's time to get back to a lot of that again. Because man always thinks he knows better than God. It's all what man thinks is the right way to go.
Genesis 5:3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:
Herbert's god has decreed segregation!
Adam begat a son in his likeness. A black man married to a black woman begets a son after his likeness or a daughter maybe and they will be black. A white man and a white woman begat a son or a daughter after their likeness, and the son or the daughter will be white. And if you mix it, they won't be either one. They'll be part one and part the other, a blend of the two. Now I want to go a little further. But man, going the way HE chose, marrying the ones HE chose, instead of the way God said it should be, wanted to amalgamate, wanted to integrate. God had decreed segregation. Man wanted integration.
Genesis 11:1-8 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. (2) And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; [And this is after the flood now, shortly after the flood] and they dwelt there. (3) And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. (4) And they said, Go to, [that is, "let's get going here"] let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; [skyscrapers, we call them] and let us make us a name, [WHY?] lest we be scattered [or segregated. We want integration WE don't want segregation. Lest we be segregated, scattered.] abroad upon the face of the whole earth. (5) And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. (6) And the Eternal said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. (7) Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. (8) So the Eternal scattered them [or segregated them — He didn't integrate them, He segregated them and scattered them] abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
Genesis 10:5 By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families…
Or their races. The Bible uses the word family instead of race. A family is what you generate, as I say, two Japanese married will produce a Japanese child which we might call the Yellow and not the Caucasian race. Two Caucasians or whites will produce a white. Two blacks will produce a black. But it was after their families, after their races, in their nations. Now the sons of Ham and he begins to give them and I won't go into those genealogies now. But there were a good many there.
Now, at the time of the flood, now let's see. Man going the way He chose, wanted to amalgamate and integrate the races. Now, at the time of the flood, again. Noah was righteous in his generationS, plural. Not his generation. Meaning in his ancestry. Noah, in Genesis 6, in a minute I'll have it here. Let's read this again.
Genesis 6:9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations…
He wasn't perfect in himself or spiritually or anything of that kind. He was only perfect in generations or in his ancestry. He was the same strain that he had been. And if you want to check it all the way through, and his ancestry on down, you'll find Noah was white. Noah's wife was white. Now apparently, he was the only man left that was pure white. He had not mixed the strain. The family had remained intact, as God had decreed that it should.
But the others were not. They had intermarried and interracial, brought racial trouble they had racial violence and other violence in those days and we're back to the same things today. As it was in the days of Noah, so it is today and that's exactly where we are today.
Alright. Abraham was of the family of Noah. And Abraham was white. God called Abraham and told him to leave the family where he was and people of all of his race, his family, or his color or whatever you want to call it and go to a land where he would show him. In that land were people poaching there that didn't belong there and God had never given it to them and God intended to give him that land, because it is the geographical center of the Earth, and it's marvelous for climate. And once again, when God restores it like it used to be, it'll be a land of milk and honey, which it is not exactly today. But it's marvelous what has happened to it since the Israelis went back there. And the part that they have is rich in agriculture already. Whereas other parts that are occupied by Arabs are not. But Abraham went to a land that God showed him and it was a Promised Land that God was going to promise to him. Now God said to Abraham in that land, that he would give it to his children forever. That is the Promised Land but at that time, there were the Canaanites there. And they were black not white. Alright. Abraham finally had a son of his own through Sarah and the time came to select a wife for Abraham's son. So he sent this older servant, which was really, the manager of all of his properties and over all his other servants, of which he had many, he sent him to his own family, where his family lived, to select a wife for Isaac. "Isaac must not," he said.
Because Of the wrong religion?
Now some people will say that when Ezra and Nehemiah cause people, who had intermarried with another race, to send their wives and even the children born back away from them, and divorce them, and put them away, they said, yeah but that was because of their wrong religion. Oh no, it wasn't. Abraham sent over to his kindred, to his color, but they were of a different religion. So a little later, you will find, Abraham's grandson, Jacob, who had worked for Laban for a long time you know, and when he left Laban, his wife Rachel stole the idols from her father Laban and carried those little idols with her. And Laban came out to find them. They were his gods. So they were worshipping a different god over there. But Abraham sent to get someone of that race, of that color, of that family, for a wife for Isaac, even though they were of a different religion. But I think they got God's religion, once Rebecca came over. She got God's religion through Abraham and through Isaac. So you can say that the only reason for not marrying another race is because it means that you'll be going into a different religion. That's not the reason. Rachel was of a different religion than knowing God and she stole those gods when they fled.
Now the ancient nation Israel is called the family of Israel. There were a family and they were of that race. I have traced it down and I find that God kept that family pretty well intact all the way down through Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and down into the Children of Israel. And they didn't mix with the Egyptians. They were in a country of their own, geographically segregated in the land of Goshen and not with the rest of Israel. And they were making bricks and things that were carried over to the Egyptian part of the land and not the same at all.
Herb then discusses the millennium where everyone will be segregated according to skin color, though be assured that God does NOT discriminate!
Now, that's what it will be like in the millennium when God is ruling. Now what of us in the Church? In the church, God said that in Abraham would all the families, all the races of the Earth will be blessed in Christ. One race has just as much chance and just as much blessing in Christ as any other. Race is only a matter of generation, of begetting children. And that's why the marriage is so important. God is not the author of discrimination. We should love one another and in God's Church, we've been trying to do that. But we find this racial prejudice, which gets down to hatred if you don't squelch it before it gets that far. It keeps cropping up every once in a while. I'm sorry. I don't want to have to get back to it like I did about fifteen years ago or twenty. But I see that it's coming out again and we're going to have to get back to it.
The millennium will be a place where skin color will not matter nor will sex. Sex was that thing that the unconverted masses did before the kingdom of God hit the earth. It was your duty then to raise children of the same skin color because God wanted the races kept separate.
Now in the resurrection and in the World Tomorrow, how many of us will be black and how many of us will be white, brethren? And how many will be yellow? If we're in the Kingdom of God, not one of us will be any one of those. Our faces will shine as bright as the sun. What's the color of the sun? That'll be the color of your faces and your skin. Well maybe not your whole body, but there isn't going to be any matter of color at all. You know why?
What about sex in the millennium? There won't be any. There won't be men, there won't be women. We won't have sex. We'll be as the angels in heaven, so said Jesus Christ. Sex is a matter now of generations but it has nothing to do with coming to God through Christ and gaining Eternal life and getting into the Kingdom of God. It has to do with the raising of children and God wanted the races kept separate.
If we want to keep our stock "pure breed" then we cannot have sex with inferior breeds.
Now we have different color of roses. We have different variety in a lot of things. We have different variety of horses, different varieties of cows, different varieties of dogs. And different varieties can interbreed. But if you're a stock raiser and you're raising stock for display, to win a prize, at a stock show, you're not going to mix the breeds. It'll be a thoroughbred or a pure blood or whatever you want to call it. And that's the way it ought to be with us.
Herbert then claims that when you integrate, you get dangerously close to interracial marriage.
Race is only something that has nothing to do with your salvation. It has only to do with reproduction. Now that's why when you integrate, you get in danger of interracial marriage. We have integration at Ambassador College here. And this college was going so far over into Satan's way, that we had an interracial marriage here. I don't know was it, one year ago or three years ago? Something like that. Now one man who was one of our leading ministers, endorsed it and was going to perform that wedding. I understand he backed out at the last minute. And the couple, of course it was a black man and a white woman, they went over to Las Vegas and got married over there.
Herbert wants you to know that he always thought about the black man. It has always done everything it could for blacks in the church. We accept you as members but don't DARE to intermarry any of the white folk, because that is your inclination!
God is not in favor of interracial marriage. God is not in favor of discrimination either. But marriage and the reproduction of children is another thing altogether. Now this church has done everything it could for the black people. We've tried to have no discrimination of any kind. You know how the college in Bricketwood actually got started? I went over there in 1969. We'd outgrown the office. We had to get a bigger office in London. And at the time, I had the idea, because we had not gone to integration in the college. But we wanted to do what we could for our black people. Because they were in the church but we were not accepting them in the college just because we were afraid it would lead to interracial marriage. But they were accepted in the church. And one thing I wanted was an office that would be on the kind of a property where we could also have a school for black men since we could not accept them at Ambassador College. Because I thought a lot about them. And I didn't want to discriminate and I wanted to give them every opportunity that the white man had, and that is as ministers. And we were only thinking of men only at that time because we were only thinking of a school for ministers. Actually what we found, we ran across the place that we did, and when we saw that, we said, "well God wants a whole, liberal arts college over here. He led us to a property for an entire big college. Not just a little small place. We found a little place that would have taken of the kind of the little school. I thought about only having thirty five students. And we found a small place that would have taken care of that. The office and 35 students and a school. It led to an entire college. But that's what we had in mind at the time.
Now in the millennium, there's going to be one pure language so that all nations can worship God but they are going to be segregated geographically in their own different places. Now if you turn to Nehemiah 13:
In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab: (24) And their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews' language, but according to the language of each people. (25) And I contended with them, [and God had divided them and divided their language in order to divide the nations, geographically] and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves. (26) Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? Yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin.
Those wicked wily women! They are always at fault, even though the men couldn't keep their robes closed. Just like Adam standing next to Eve when she had him the apple and he takes it, but it's her fault.
Well anyway, Ezra and Nehemiah just simply caused them to divorce those wives and to send them away. And they were the ministers of God and that is the way of God. Now there is a great deal more to this. I only wanted to give you just sort of a foundation and the background today. But we're going to have to go into this. This church still has a little leaven to clean up and get out of our house. But we've been getting it out and we're going to continue getting it out. And we're going to continue right along to now. So that's as much as I'm going to take time for today. But I'm going to write some more on this God willing.
Many COG leaders today want to make excuses for this kind of crap and claim it was just Herbert speaking with the understanding he grew up with and he did not really mean it like we perceive it today.
If that were true then why over the last several decades have so many African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and other people of color in the church spoken up about what they endured in the church? Why have books been written about it if it never happened?
The Church of God movement is broken and has always been broken. There were no "glory days" of the past but the wreckage of hurt and injured people by a church that claimed it was exemplifying 1st-century Christianity.