What a powerful and very sad testimony. Sadly, after the break-up of the WCG, her grandfather went with Gerald Flurry’s PCG splinter group – one of the more extremist of the Armstrong groups. Flurry’s group is grossly misnamed as there is no brotherly love as Sientspirit testifies about Flurry’s conduct at her grandfather’s funeral.Again, for outsiders who may be reading this board, the stated position preached from WCG pulpits was captured in my Sabbath Services notes from a 1969 sermon. I will not name the minister because he apologized to me and to God for his 1969 sermon several years ago. The direct quote is: “If you die in the hands of doctors, you will go into the Lake of Fire”.More personally, I have lost both my parents to cancer. Both parents were baptized members of the WCG. In my mind, it just doesn’t speak well of a loving Father who does nothing while his beloved children are dying from the excruciating pain of a cancer death – especially when you have seen how faithful your parents were to the teachings of the Church even unto death, and especially when you have been told all about God’s healing. It just doesn’t speak well of God!The only explanation I can give is our ways are not God’s ways. Run; do not walk, to the nearest exit when you hear the self proclaimed apostles of God and the self touting “one true church”. Don’t confuse religion and those who come in Christ’s name deceiving many with spirituality and the deity. Richard
Once again words fail in the face of this young woman's tragedy. Would God that such things should never happen. Then again, humanity might have done better not to have subjected all of us to death in the first place.Herbert Armstrong gave his followers a dangerously incomplete understanding of the healing art. He knew it. I remember him shaking his head in the AC college gym, Pasadena, CA -- at a Passover service, no less -- and saying "something is wrong, something is wrong," referring to Divine healing. Indeed! Yet his fallibility wasn't so readily absorbed by some of his leutenants, who were not above insisting, in their profound ignorance, that their congregants "trust God alone" for healing.If memory serves, in those days RCM allowed "minor repair surgery," a category that apparently did not include removing a small lump from his first wife's breast, long before she died of breast cancer. Such was life then, "in the name of and by the authority of Jesus Christ." Such deaths were rarely the fault of ministers, but of congregants who "lacked faith for healing." Those were the days, my friends.But that being said, "King Asa was reluctant to accept that his affliction was divine chastisement. 'He did not seek out God, but he turned to the doctors'" (Chronicles II, 16:13). He saw [his affliction] as a natural phenomenon and sought to have it cured by physicians -- and died."Asa was criticized because a man on his level was expected to understand that if he becomes sick it is not a chance occurrence but a providential visitation. ... Yet wherever there is a possibility of danger to life one may [even] violate the Sabbath, seeking whatever medical attention is needed (Paraphrased from, "Wings of the Sun" by Abraham Greenbaum).This book is 455 pages long and is only one among several listed on this subject for further reading. My point is that Mr. Armstrong's booklet and autobiography mentioned important Biblical and personal precedents, but hardly scratched the surface of comprehensive understanding, which sorely needs digging deep, whenever subjects involve the august matters of life and death. James' advice about anointing the sick must be taken in context, which by no means excludes the practice of medicine, if for no other reason than that not every elder is always capable of a prayer of faith. Nor is every congregant -- but the onus here is quite obviously on the elder.Hezekiah fought a good fight and managed to reverse a death sentence. Yet Job, of whom it is said there was "none like him on earth, a pure and upright man, who fears God and shuns evil," lost everything, including his health, and only Divine intervention saved him.Herbert Armstrong sought the best medical help for his son, and it failed. He honored the request of his wife that she be allowed to "trust God" when an operation might have saved her life. Her knowledge, and that of her husband, were woefully inadequate (or so it would seem) to meet the physical needs of her intestinal blockage. Yet one hesitates to judge...I've said all of this in hope that this cruelly tortured young woman not be discouraged to the point of completely overruling the potential role of God in matters of healing.Herbert Armstrong drew from Holy Writ and personal experience -- but he made the almost inexcusable mistake of believing himself the final arbiter of spiritual knowledge. People died as a result. Families were shattered as a result. Does no one believe we should "call no man master?"Would God that these horrendous tragedies, ostensibly in the name of God, no less, stop now and forever. God isn't like this. God is the Compassionate Father of us all, the Giver of life, our Healer -- and the infinitely kind Inspiration behind our modern medical miracles.
Seeking help from medicine isn't wrong. The bible has many cures listed within it.As for elders with faith,its hard and harder to find them. So, I began to call upon Jesus Christ the chief apostle and his father who is the highest elder there is. Call on the elders of the church. What greater elders do we have?
The problem is not Mr Armstrong,s teaching but with people,s understanding or misundstanding of his doctrines. Didn't these people read the bible for themselves? God used Mr A to call people to His truth but it was up to the individual to seek God to know His will. If everyone had sought God and submitted to Him things would have been very different.
Man has always been subject to death, not because any god declared it but because everything on the planet is subject to death and always has been. I think fossils should testify, loudly, to that fact.My mother died because of this same foolishness that is still continuing in Armstrongism today.Even her funeral was not about her but just an opportunity for an Armstrong pastor to preach Armstrongism.God's pastor though, was too busy to make the 120 mile trip to be at the graveside service. I had to take care of that myself. Yes, my mother had friends in a different part of the state, mostly poor black people, who couldn't make it to the funeral.Anyway, it's a day that I'll never forget. I never knew my mother had so many friends until that day. It was sad though, that I only saw one couple from the WCG at either service.
The pain that this young woman displays in this video is the elephant sitting in the room that nobody wants to talk about. I have not found a discussion of this in the Grace Communion International domain and certainly not in the derivative armstrongist sects. GCI, no doubt, would punt this to the armstrongists and the armstrongists, of course, would deny any culpability and seek to blame the victim. The various groups that derive from armstrongism, including the GCI, have always felt that their strong hand was in the use of media. Recently,this has especially been the internet. Yet the media have never been effectively used by the large group of people who have been damaged by armstrongism. These people have been without avoice. (There is a small crowd on the web, mostly bloggers, whose forte seems to be either intellectual analysis or coarse humor.) Perhaps, this is thebeginning of more effective media use by the significant group of people who have been devastated by Armstrongism but have suffered quietly for years and, perhaps, the derivative groups will receive a taste of their own medicine. A good exercise is to listen to the Part 3 sientspirit video and then access the AC Reunion webpage. The contrast between the painful and the upbeat could not be more startling. You would think sientspirit came from a different planet from the AC folks, yet sientspirit's experience is a genuine fruit of Armstrongism. The AC Reunion site contains lots of spin. GCI appears to want to believe that the past doesn't exist anymore and that they do not own any of its consequences. The armstrongists believe that there was nothing wrong with the past, there is just something wrong with sientspirit. So sientspirit's experience does not fit in either model. Yet it is true and powerful. She has put a personal face on the agony that is difficult to ignore. The elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about. On the other hand, I anticipate that after the preface materialabout armstrongism, we will begin to see missionary statementsfor atheism. At that point, I will drop out.-- Neo
Anonymous Anonymous said... "The problem is not Mr Armstrong,s teaching but with people,s understanding or misundstanding of his doctrines. Didn't these people read the bible for themselves? God used Mr A to call people to His truth but it was up to the individual to seek God to know His will. If everyone had sought God and submitted to Him things would have been very different." BULLSHIT!
Anon said...."God is the Compassionate Father of us all, the Giver of life, our Healer -- and the infinitely kind Inspiration behind our modern medical miracles."God inspired modern medicine. Wow, someone who is not a lunatic! How refreshing. Reminds me of a saying I heard when young. "God helps those who help themselves." Now that is true faith in action!Thanks for some balance here. By the way, are you an Armstrongite?
Another Anon wrote: "If everyone had sought God and submitted to Him things would have been very different."Now that is a load of crap! There is a lot of testimonies about people such as myself that broke their backs trying to worship and please while conducted our lives in a holy manner. What you are saying that we were not good enough for God? Get behind me Satan!All the promises of that "good book" and all the crap that Herbert taught us, caused more death and destruction to innocent people than those in the general population that never heard of Armstrongism! You are the author of lies and deception, and a self righteous sob! Want some more, e-mail me!
I'd rather base a belief system on Lord of the Rings or even Star Wars than on the Bible.At least the good people act good and the evil people act evil.If some god told me that the king that had my son killed and stole my daughter-in-law was, "a man after his own heart" I'd kick that god square in the testicles.
The problem is not Mr Armstrong,s teaching but with people,s understanding or misundstanding of his doctrines. Didn't these people read the bible for themselves? ***No, the problem was precisely with Herbert Armstrong's teaching. People were forgoing life-saving medical treatment for themselves, their spouses, and their children because Herbert Armstrong taught that it was a sin to seek medical help for all but minor, non-life-threatening injuries or illnesses. Many needless deaths were caused because people understood and tried to live by his false doctrines. Some people, however, came to see that his teachings were false by reading the Bible for themselves. (If only Sirach had been in Herbert Armstrong's Bible, he and his followers might not have endured decades of avoidable suffering and death.)In my mind, it just doesn’t speak well of a loving Father who does nothing while his beloved children are dying from the excruciating pain of a cancer death – especially when you have seen how faithful your parents were to the teachings of the Church even unto death, and especially when you have been told all about God’s healing. ***That shows one of the ways Armstrongism misrepresents God. The Christian Gospel proclaims that God did nothing while He Himself was dying from the excruciating pain of a scourging and crucifixion death. We were wrong to crucify Him, and we are wrong when we do not come to the aid of those suffering from cancer and other illnesses and attempt to cure them.
Have to agree, a very sad story and powerful testimony.In all my time in church, or in my life, I have never, ever, seen one case of miraculous healing that could be proven to be true. I mean beyond shadow of doubt, such as , terminal cancer, where the person has a month to live, and they show it. And then, after someone, an "elder" for example, prays for them, and the cancer is gone, immediately. Nope. Never seen anything like that.The only thing I've ever seen, was when the minister would give a "prayer request" for someone, who was ill, or who was going in for an operation, or something like that.And if the illness went away, or the operation was successful, the minister would say "God has healed them". But if they died, the minister would say, "God chose to take him, or her". They had an answer, either way.The truth is, it happens to church members just like it happens to anybody else.So do your part, and seek professional medical help in times of serious illness.And yes, people SHOULD have read the Bible for themselves.Then they would have realized that Herbert Armstrong was a false prophet and a fraud. And I'm not saying it was intentional, necessarily.It was the blind leading the blind.God gave us our thinking and reasoning abilities, along with the many warnings that are in His Word, to watch out for the kind of person that Herbert Armstrong was, as well as the kind of people his present day clones are.
her grandparents listened to a man, instead of God. that way of thinking was rampant in the old WCG. it's sad. people were following a man, just as people follow benny hinn today. had they only listened to God instead.(the fact that they went to PCG only reinforces the appearance of following a man)
Anon writes: "her grandparents listened to a man, instead of God."Herb's 'god' was a non entity. Herb's 'god' does not exist. So how could they have folowed the real God when Herb never taught about the real mercy, grace filled God. Herb's 'god' was the bogeyman just itching to smash us to bits or burn us in the lake of fire for not keeping sabbath, kosher or Herb's silly version of Israelite 'holydays'
Anonymous Anonymous said... "her grandparents listened to a man, instead of God. that way of thinking was rampant in the old WCG."MORE BS! Her parents listened toHWA because he had convinced themand a few hundred thousand others of us that he was the Spokesman for 'God'. What were they supposed to do get on the non existent hot line to 'God' for clarification?Get Real!
>>>God used Mr A to call people to His truth but it was up to the individual to seek God to know His willWhat are you saying then because you contradict yourself? HWA could not have had truth if we had to seek God's will to know what it was? Make your mind up, either it was true that the individual was forbidden medical help or it wasn't and if it wasn't true, then, HWA told a lie. Just admit the fact. HWA made a mistake. Is that so hard?
>>GCI appears to want to believe that the past doesn't exist The WCG has never owned up to its past nor evaluated the consequences of some of HWA's policies. To their credit, they realised the "system" had to change but in what direction and how much reform was needed or would be acceptable to the membership?HWA had no long term vision for the work after his death. He had benefited from the "system"; once it ended, there was no longer a need for the WCG. The work of the WCG ended when HWA died. It was on borrowed time, only a matter of time before the memory of its founder was forgotten or replaced.We also forget the pressures that the outside world had on the WCG, particularly the Ambassador Review which lost the WCG thousands of members throughout the years. Cult watching organisations wrote extensive articles attacking the WCG. The WCG leadership caved in to the pressure. The advent of the internet played an important role, the WCG skeletons couldn't be covered up anymore -- it was laid open for all of us. The internet, I would argue has been the most widely used weapon that has challenged all of us.
People wouldn't try to fix their ailing computer with the Bible. Why do people try to fix something vastly more complex - ailing human beings - with the Bible?
Mr. Scribe, I'm not an Armstrongite, although I did put significant time and treasure into his work in years gone by. I thought there was much to admire, but also held to my own counsel and kept as low a profile as possible. My kids were vaccinated against polio and made full use of the best surgeons when the need arose. And they were anointed for healing. We weren't too willing to take chances on the miraculous faith of men without miraculous track records. But there were some men of great faith, and I personally did experience more than one completely miraculous healing.Today, longtime friends thank me for urging them to question everything. I think we're all more or less grateful and wiser for much of the experience, for both positive and negative reasons. But we were young and idealistic then, and because of our youth weren't yet subject to ministerial coersion into divorce -- or premature death -- in Christ's name. That would have been much harder to live with.The broken homes and untimely deaths in the name of God and Christ should haunt everyone who had, or still has, a part in poisonous cultic authoritarianism. There's not an ounce of Godliness in what someone earlier so aptly called "BULLSHIT!"On the other hand, there was more than an ounce of Godliness in Armstrongism; one just had to sort through the presentation, absorb the good and quietly reject the bad -- some of which still survives, apparently, in groups led by much smaller men. From what I've seen, they're sad imitations of what was already a foreboding mix in sore need of an upgrade, particularly in matters of life, death, marriage -- and individual responsibility to learn and to act without irrational and unwarranted fear of unqualified men.
Anonymous said..."The problem is not Mr Armstrong,s teaching but with people,s understanding or misunderstanding of his doctrines. Didn't these people read the bible for themselves? God used Mr A to call people to His truth but it was up to the individual to seek God to know His will. If everyone had sought God and submitted to Him things would have been very different."Hey! as long as we're in Fantasy Land, can we go on the Peter Pan ride?
"MORE BS! Her parents listened toHWA because he had convinced themand a few hundred thousand others of us that he was the Spokesman for 'God'." as I said, her grandparents listened to a man...thank you for supporting my position.
Robert said, “HWA had no long term vision for the work after his death. He had benefited from the "system"; once it ended, there was no longer a need for the WCG. The work of the WCG ended when HWA died. It was on borrowed time, only a matter of time before the memory of its founder was forgotten or replaced.”MY COMMENT – Robert, I am finding HWA was full of contradictions. Here are just a few examples:• He labeled the parent Church organization The Church of God (Seventh Day) as Sardis, the dead church. I am a reader of COG7 flagship magazine, The Bible Advocate, where Herbert Armstrong began receiving influence as a contributing writer. The Church of God (Seventh Day) doesn’t look like a “dead church” to me. In fact, The Church of God (Seventh Day) is now more than 150 years old, and the WCG now looks like the dead church to me. • HWA taught many shall come in Christ’s name and deceived many. HWA came in Christ’s name, signed co-worker letters in Christ’s name, and deceived many.• HWA was said to have been the Elijah who turned the hearts of the father’s to their son’s, yet HWA’s personal family life was a mess. I believe there is a preponderance of evidence that HWA did in fact commit incest with daughter Dorothy despite the loyalist who claim otherwise. HWA refused to have any personal reconciliation with his son GTA after the 1978 ouster. • HWA taught against divorce, made families with divorced members break-up, yet HWA went through a messy and expensive divorce himself later in life. • HWA taught against the use of the medical profession in his early ministry, yet used the medical profession himself later in life.• HWA was against top down authoritarian type church government in a 1939 article, yet later as he developed “the system” as you call it, he proclaimed it as God’s form of government.• HWA built a successful mega million dollar “fear religion business” but had no succession plan for the business. My understanding is that Joseph Tkach, Sr. was a dark horse successor chosen by HWA a couple of weeks before his death. We were taught the principle from the Bible that a “double minded man” cannot stand. Notwithstanding the self touting church marketing of “the Apostle of God”, Herbert Armstrong in many ways was a double minded man full of contradictions. You are correct Robert: HWA had no long term vision for the work after his death. He had benefited from the "system"; once it ended, there was no longer a need for the WCG. The work of the WCG ended when HWA died. It was on borrowed time, only a matter of time before the memory of its founder was forgotten or replaced.The WCG was built on a faulty and bad foundation. It could not stand. Richard
I keep hearing reference to people being "made" to believe something by a man. How does that happen?I don't believe that can happen anymore than someone can "make" us angry.We "allow" ourselves to "become" angry, as a result of our response to someone else's action. So I reckon one can "allow" (not be "made")themselves to believe just about anything they want to.My custom has been to follow a suggestion I heard a very wise gentleman say about 35 years ago; "Don't believe me unless you can prove in your own Bible".Works for me
Blogger ichoosetritiblse said... 'My custom has been to follow a suggestion I heard a very wise gentleman say about 35 years ago; "Don't believe me unless you can prove in your own Bible". Works for me'Its interesting that this self same"very wise gentleman" made the following statement in the letter he sent out denouncing the STP project:"God speaks with a decisive and certain voice through the one HEhas chosen, and used these many years as HIS instrument.I do not ask your permission --ITELL YOU, as Christ leads me."Not much room here for one to thinkfor one's self I fear.Here we have on the one hand, healthy revisions being made tothe onerous WCG doctrines pertaining to Tithing, Divorce andRemarriage and not least of all --Healing. Members now were ableseek competent medical assistance without threat of being cast intothe Lake of Fire. So what does this "wise old gentleman" do, who urges you not to believe him unless you can find it in your own Bible?He make the following proclamation:"Brethren, BY AUTHORITY OF THE LIVING CHRIST I HEREBY OFFICIALLY MAKE THIS ENTIRE "STP" NULL AND VOID." From PASTORS REPORT, Vol.2No.25, July 10, 1978. Perhaps this "Wise old gentleman's"utterances 'Worked for You' but they certainly worked a little lessfor the thousands of his loyal brainwashed followers who enduredpoverty, broken homes and yes even death as a result of his "GOD GIVEN" doctrines.DoctrinesToo bad there isn't a literal Hellin which he could spend some quality time.ConnedNoMore
ichoosetritiblse said...My custom has been to follow a suggestion I heard a very wise gentleman say about 35 years ago; "Don't believe me unless you can prove in your own Bible".Works for me.----------------------------It must not have worked very well, look where you have been and where you are.
“People wouldn't try to fix their ailing computer with the Bible. Why do people try to fix something vastly more complex - ailing human beings - with the Bible?”Obviously because the Bible has a lot to say about ailing human beings and how to fix them, whereas the Bible has nothing to say about ailing computers, which is why no one uses a Bible to try to fix a computer. Duh. “Complexity” has got nothing to do with it. It’s “applicability” that counts, not “complexity.”
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