I would like to talk frankly about the pedestal some people have placed Herbert Armstrong on.
Have you ever picked a person to be on your team simply because they were your friend? Have you ever avoided someone simply because they look a certain way? Have you ever taken sides on an issue you aren't quite familiar with simply because someone else you respect also holds that opinion? Of course you have! We all do those silly things at least once in our lives. We're human and humans do those things. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, just a fact of nature.
Now, have you ever seen someone doing something and spoken out against it (in public or private)? Perhaps you've spoken out against the wealthy taking a ride on the backs of the poor. Perhaps you've spoken against sexual abuse and child molestation. Perhaps you've spoken against some televangelist for asking for money all the time. Perhaps you've spoken against the poor quality of education children get these days.
Or... on the flip side... perhaps you've glossed over someone's indiscretions because you like them. Ever lambaste a corrupt politician from the other side of the aisle but let your own corrupt politician go free? Ever give special attention to someone because they are related to you? For example, turning a qualified stranger down for a job in order to give it to your relative?
(MATT. 7: 2) For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
(LEV. 19: 15) Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.
(ROM. 2: 11) For there is no respect of persons with God.
God desires us to use the same measuring stick across the board. Not that we are to be without mercy, but without partiality. James says, in the second chapter of his epistle, "if you show partiality, you commit sin" as well as "Mercy triumphs over judgment." Now, these are all things you well know. Let me now ask you some more pointed questions.
Have you ever called Hal Lindsey, Benny Hinn, or Marshall Applewhite & Bonnie Nettles, for example, false prophets? Or how about William Miller, Ellen G. White, or David Koresh; ever call them false prophets? Or Ron Weinland, Geral Flurry, Rod Merideth, Dave Pack, et al? Perhaps you glossed over one or more of that last bunch, eh? Are you prepared to use the identical measuring stick across the board? If one makes predictions that fail, and you apply the label "false prophet" to that one, then you should be impartial to do the same for the rest - or excuse them all. Why then do so many excuse Herbert Armstrong, who has a long history of false prophecy stretching from the very beginning of his ministry? Either Herbert W. Armstrong is a false prophet, or none of those people are.
Have you ever seen a minister or an elder or perhaps an evangelist who wasn't living up to the office to which they attained? Perhaps you were less than satisfied with Gerald Waterhouse, or Joe Tkatch Sr., or a minister who followed along with Joseph Tkatch? Have you ever said "Hey! That person doesn't meet the qualifications of I Timothy 3: 2-7 and Titus 1: 8-9?" How does politics weasel its way into church like it does? But if we label one person unqualified, we must label them all unqualified, or forgive them all. Are you prepared to use the identical measuring stick across the board? Why then do so many excuse Herbert Armstrong, who fails the qualifications of I Timothy in some 11 points? Either Herbert W. Armstrong is not qualified, or all of those people are.
(I TIM. 3: 2-7)
2 A bishop then must be blameless [FAIL!], the husband of one wife, temperate [FAIL! His temper was well known.], sober-minded [FAIL! He was not very well self-controlled. John Keisz all but called him paranoid.], of good behavior [FAIL! He flew his jet to Romania for "sex therapy". He lived as a king while others starved and went bankrupt. His wife died of an intestinal blockage while he often went to the hospital.], hospitable, able to teach; 3 not given to wine [FAIL! He was infamous as a drunk. Garner Ted said they had to "pour him into bed"], not violent, not greedy for money [FAIL! He was indeed greedy, and the church was a cash cow. He wasted the money, constantly demanded more, ruined lives, bought influence, etc, etc], but gentle, not quarrelsome [FAIL! He was removed from the ministry of the COG7 for being impossible to work with.], not covetous; 4 one who rules his own house well [FAIL! This goes without saying.], having his children in submission with all reverence [FAIL! Incestuous rape isn't the submission Paul had in mind. Need I also mention Garner Ted?] 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); 6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil [FAIL! "God's Apostle" "Elijah" "Third Angel's Messenger" "Witness" "Spiritual and temporal leader of God's Church on earth" "Zerubbabel" compared himself to King David, Paul and Peter... need I say more?]. 7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside [FAIL! One British newspaper called him "the Kinky Apostle". If it wasn't for the lavish gifts he gave to dignitaries, would he have been so well received?], lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Have you ever spoken against Bill Clinton, John F. Kennedy, Mark Foley, Barney Frank, David Vitter, or the any of the rest of the immeasurably long list of government figures who were caught up in sexual scandal? What about Jim Baker, Jimmy Swaggart, Paul Crouch, Ted Haggard, certain Catholic Priests, and all of the disgusting misrepresentatives of everything that is called good - ever speak out against them? Or maybe even Garner Ted Armstrong? Why on earth do these people betray our trust like that? They are supposed to be the ones we can trust! But if we label one, then we must label all, or let all go free. Are you prepared to use the identical measuring stick across the board? Why then do so many excuse Herbert Armstrong, whose sexual exploits are so well known and so well documented ...and so disgusting that I shudder to mention them...? Either Herbert W. Armstrong is not up to snuff, or all of those people have hit the mark.
He was dishonest. He made claims that he was the first person in 1,800 years to teach "the truth"; however, the majority of what he taught came to him from A. N. Dugger and G. G. Rupert of the COG7 or from books he read (eg. "Judah's Scepter and Joseph's Birthright" by J. H. Allen). He claimed he was never a part of any other organization; however, he was a paid minister for the COG7 and one of the preaching 70 (until he was let go). He often made fiery public announcements about not ever knowing this, that, or the other thing when the mouth of two or three witnesses verifies he most certainly did know.
He falsified history. He said the first century church practiced as he taught, when it most certainly did not. He said the move from Passover to Easter was pagan, when it most certainly was not (it was affected by paganism later). His claims about the horns (Vandals, Visigoths, and Ostrogoths) in his publication "The Beasts of Revelation Thirteen" were incorrect and even self-contradictory. He said the church had an unbroken line of history back to the Apostles. However, that is entirely false. I can personally trace his history to 1844 - there it stops with William Miller. Most of the people Hoeh named in his plagiarized history were Catholic.
Then there's the plagiary. He plagiarized all or large parts of "The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy", "The History of God's True Church", "The Proof of the Bible" booklet, "Has Time Been Lost?", several articles he allegedly authored for the magazines, and who knows what else.
The list of cherry-picked beliefs is too long to get in to. Either keep the whole law, or don't. This is what Paul says. There is no cherry-picking! I often hear "We are not justified by the law, but we have to keep it." Then why don't you keep all of it? There are 613 laws in the Torah, of which the COGs keep a small fraction. Not to mention the MANY teachings of Armstrong that are simply flat-out wrong - like tithing, for example. You know as well as I what the law says! (Tithes are for Levites.) You know as well as I what the holy day offerings were really about. (They were burnt offerings - fulfilled by Christ.) You know the holy days are not kept right! (Where is your Tabernacles booth?) You remember the rule against medicine (that killed many people, but HWA often exempted himself from). You remember (divorce and remarriage, aka. "D&R"). You remember the Pentecost controversy. People say to me "Mr. Armstrong changed the law out of necessity." Is that some small thing? He called himself Elijah, is he God now too? NO MAN CAN CHANGE THE LAW!!
Is this article angry? Is it bitter? Is there a root of bitterness in me? This is not about me. These things I report are true as testified by the mouths of many witnesses. Rather than deal with the facts, people castigate the messengers as "bitter". It's a cheap slight of hand to get your attention away from the facts. And if "bitter" isn't used, then "slander" will be, or some other phrase. And that word, slander, is tossed around by ministers who judge and condemn billions of people based on little more than prophetic speculation. When people toss around phrases like 'slander' against people, it is the equivalent of calling them liars. But we have a law, "Do not bare false witness against your neighbor." (EXO. 20: 16) We had better be sure we don't dismiss God for the sake of pride.
All of this judgment and condemnation has gotten out of hand.
(JOB 40: 8) Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified?
I do not say these things in bitterness, but in warning and love to you!! I am not angry, but joyful to help those who are in bondage to a severe cult. I am not a novice or unfamiliar with the subject, but 30 years I spent following and teaching Herbert Armstrong. I am not deceived, as the information I share with you is readily available and is proven fact!
Nor either do I say this to condemn Herbert Armstrong. I try my hardest not to condemn anyone. God will judge. I merely find it necessary to make you aware of these things that are hidden from you in order to wake you up to the truth and to shake you out of the spell Armstrongism has you under. These are bitter pills to swallow for sure, but should you accept the quality of the fountain, then perhaps you can accept the quality of the water -- and stop drinking it!
I say to you "come out of her"! Jesus gave up all that exists for you - I implore you to consider what great price was paid for the New Covenant. I implore you deeply to consider what Herbert Armstrong leads people away from. Consider how you are called to be attached to the Vine, directly to Jesus Christ the Head over all things, and not to any man. Consider the price and consequences of glossing over the real HWA - for whatever reason. Don't fall for clever little sayings like, "if any man today was found to be guilty of what David did that they would be rejected as a servant of God as well." This is a diversion. David had real prophets. David was accompanied by real miracles. Most importantly, David repented. Herbert Armstrong's many "sure" prophecies have not come to pass, miracles are non-existent, and there was no repentance.
Apply evenly the measurement which you apply to others and open your eyes to what you are doing, lest you find you call God wrong to justify HWA. Remember how Waterhouse said if God doesn't return during HWA's life, then the Bible is wrong?