This is a follow-up post to my original post "Slandering HWA? I Think Not!"
The minister responded! I am shocked, to say the least. Here is the correspondence, as promised.
Original message from me to minister:
I recently listened to your message about Slander. I find that in general, your advice was good.
However, I would point out that you have preached it to be true that the Catholic Church is a harlot and the Protestant churches are the daughters of harlots - often calling them all "so called Christians" or some similar thing, insinuating that they do not follow Christ but the deceptions of Satan - and all of this based largely upon unprovable prophetic speculation and the teachings of a proven false prophet. Your accusations are virtually baseless!
You say it is NEVER good to say anything other than what is positive, it is NEVER allowable. You who participate in the accusation and slander of BILLIONS, shall one not be accurate to call you a hypocrite?
Original response from minister to me:
Slander is making untrue charges about others. I don't know where you are coming from with your insinuation that I am a hypocrite or that "my accusations are virtually baseless". I am not making accusations--only teaching the accusations made by God. God throughout the OT indicts Israel as well as all nations for harlotry when they pursue false gods and idolatry. If you have ever studied any history of the Catholic church and all of the groups that came out of the RCC, then you cannot deny that they all practice idolaty. The entire Xmas season is considered harlotry by God. Easter, Lent, etc. are all the continuation of idolatrous practices founded in ancient religious rites. The indictments against the mother of harlots in Revelation are made by the same God from the OT. Jesus' example was the same: He indicted the Pharisees by calling them serpents and a generation of vipers; that was not slander, it was the truth. It is the duty of Christ's ministry to teach what God says; if you don't like that, consult God and tell Him you aren't in agreement with His charge to the ministry to preach the Word. While you're at it ask Him to help you examine your condemnatory, self-righteous attitude because the tenor of your correspondence to me is not a humble one. In fact, I will never again respond to anything you send if the attitude is not different than what you exhibited in this email.
Final reply from me to minister:
I am sorry you were so easily offended by my letter to you. I did not insinuate that you are a hypocrite. I merely pointed out that what I heard you say doesn't match with what I know you say in other places. Is that an invalid topic? I know in the past no minister would have allowed such a question. I thought you were different. I was wrong.
I have studied the history of Catholicism, as well as the history of Armstrongism. I have studied the accusations of Alexander Hislop and found him to be utterly false. Indeed the Catholics are in error, but not any more than you are - only in different ways. You say "the law! the law!" You seem to believe it all is made better by a confession that you have flaws. But it still remains that you fail to keep the whole law. Tell me, when is the last time you made a booth at Tabernacles, as you are commanded to do? I'll wager not once. Or when was the last time you traveled three times in the year to the place where God puts His name, as Deuteronomy 16 commands? No, you only travel once. And these are minor examples! The parts of the law you do teach are twisted and cherry picked in favor of making lords of men who rob homes and lead away captive the hearts of God's children into the yoke of bondage. You have failed in more than one portion of the law, yet you disregard your own teachings of the law that only a keeper of it is justified. You charge the entirety of the earth with idolatry, but you overlook your own flawed teachings. You yourself have made a false god of Herbert Armstrong and his cherry picked version of the law as well as his failed prophecies. Name two that have come to pass? Certainly you will not include his prediction of Christ's return in 1936. The very name of Christ is disparaged around the world because of the horrendous damage the "ministry of God" as you call it has caused. And this is not slander, but the horrible truth.
I think I would be wise to cease corresponding with a person whose best answer to a valid question is to vomit more accusation. And then you attempt to place some burden of humility upon me as if you bear none of your own. It is a right proper indicator of the true contents of your heart. I can see plainly that you do not grasp the very New Covenant which you claim to be a minister of. I deeply believe the ministry of God is charged to preach and warn. What I fail to see from you is proof that you are a minister of God. But merely a minister of error, false prophecy, accusation, and hypocrisy. I see a Pharisee.
Well, I suppose it was a bit much hoping I could ask an Armstrong minister about hypocrisy. What did I expect? Was he going to think it over? No. He did the typical holier-than-thou maneuver and claimed I wasn't being humble. I've gottent that treatment somewhere before. I once received this gem from the false prophet du jour, Ron Weinland:
"This will be my last attempt to respond, as it is quite evident your mind has been made up on many matters for some time. You are seeking to find fault with me. ... It has been obvious to me that you did not recognize me as your minister. If I am not your minister, I am certainly not your brother. You can't have one -- in this case -- without the other. You don't seem to recognize your true relationship with God. A minister is to teach and instruct God's people in His ways, but when those whom He has called are in judgment of His ministers, then instruction is obviously being rejected. You are in a spirit of bitterness and can't even see it because of your self justification.
"You have placed yourself in the position of the minister -- of the teacher -- you have elevated yourself above what God gave you. Read your letter again. You are now the teacher. Do you really believe that is how God works?
"You even signed your name as a minister of Jesus Christ -- in His service. You have never been ordained to that responsibility. You have truly taken too much on yourself and I do fear for you if you do not repent speedily for such presumptuousness. Do you think you can do this lightly before God and He not correct you mightily for it? ... you have really gone way too far. In addition, it is quite evident from such a response that you are far from having any love for me as a brother, but instead you are in a gall of bitterness and it will eat away at you and consume you if you fail to repent.
"Please don't delude yourself by speaking about Jesus Christ, God and love, and do so in a railing manner with such sarcasm and anger." -end
Notice any glaring similarities? It almost seems as if both letters were written by the same hand. Well, it seems that the whole lot of Armstrong ministers are indeed cut from the same cloth. I am without words to express my grief that so many people are under the sway of these men.
I once held this particular minister in very high esteem. I thought of him as a friend. I defended him often when others attacked him. My heart is torn for him. I will pray for this minister that he doesn't end up like Ron Weinland. He could use your prayers as well.
**A very brief follow-up to this post can be found here: A Funny Little Story. If you're interested.