Thursday, 29 March 2007
In Step with Herb
The following comments are adapted from a recent posting by "Ripley"
In 1974 dozens of WCG ministers left over a number of points of disagreement. Sweeping excommunications followed, after which they formed the Associated Churches of God. It was the clear position of HWA, GTA and the WCG that the Associated Churches were not part of the "true church."
Ironically, four years later Garner Ted was disfellowshipped and subsequently founded the Church of God, International. He was marked. Members were to have no fellowship with him. It was clearly the position of his father and the WCG that he was not part of the "true church." Those ministers who chose to affiliate with GTA at that time or in the intervening years were not true ministers.
But today, ministers from those organizations would be viewed by most in the various COG organizations as brothers and fellow Sabbath-keeping Christians.
Why? What changed? How did they go from anathema to approved?
The fact is, the basis for no longer being part of the true church was no longer being in step with Herbert W. Armstrong. That's it. Nothing else.
Clearly, there were people who came to a knowledge of the Sabbath and other doctrines through the Associated Churches, and the Church of God, International; were baptized; and began worshipping entirely through those churches, having had nothing to do with the WCG. Presumably, the same thing occurred in various other of the "heretical" offshoots of that era.
But it didn't matter. They were not in step with HWA, so they were heretics. "Proofs" were trotted out to show how this was true. They were not part of the "true church."
Yet today they are! Sure, Flurry doesn't think so, and neither do Pack and a few others. But, by and large, they're considered part of the fold. Look at Ron Dart. He went with GTA, then on his own. But he's OK today, even downright popular.
It's all indicative of an ever-shifting set of principles, changed as needed to "prove" whatever is most convenient at the time. "Nothing has changed," we hear, while in fact just about everything has. And then, the ever-present beaut: "It doesn't matter what HWA did...."
It's exhausting. It's sad. It's unpredictable. It's inconsistent. And yet, adherents insist it's somehow "right," while never being able to pin the tail on the Correctness donkey.
Which means that those who disagree, including many AW readers, can only be viewed as wrong. Case closed. Ha, ha. "You lose." Bible says so.
It gets so ridiculous. "Nyah-nyah-nyah" is not an adequate substitute for genuine credibility or consistency.