Over at his COGwriter blog, LCG cheerleader Bob Thiel notes that Herb Armstrong would have been 117 today (July 31). Quickly Bob assures us that "we in the COGs" do not celebrate birthdays. I'm not quite sure exactly how Bob got himself appointed as spokesperson for "we in the COGs" - how would that work? I know of COG members who do celebrate birthdays (in an understated way admittedly, but especially with reference to their children) - but no matter.
Bob concludes his preachments - after a typical rant about founders of other churches like Luther and Calvin - with a quotation from his idol.
Don’t believe me – BELIEVE YOUR BIBLE – BELIEVE GOD! I always say…check up! Listen without prejudice, with open mind, then check up–go to your BIBLE, and BELIEVE what you read there.
Bob then delivers his final homiletic stroke:
This is what I encourage readers of this website to do.
Oh, duh! The problem, Bob, is that people have read their Bibles, and discovered that the literalist, fundamentalist approach taken by Herb (and his sycophants) is just plain wrong. The Bible is many things, but it isn't a collection of proof-texts that can be cherry-picked to "prove" half-baked doctrines. It isn't some kind of 1000 piece jigsaw where you have to place the pieces just-so.
If you do believe your Bible - read sensibly and appropriately - you'll find yourself laughing at the doctrinal pratfalls of Herb Armstrong such as British Israelism. And if you do want to engage with the Bible intelligently, you'll have to adapt another piece of cheap advice that dropped from Herb's gracious lips: first forget what you think you know; especially, you'd have to say, from Armstrong's own literature.
Happy birthday Herb.