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(For the record, AW regards British Israelism in any form as irredeemably fallacious, totally discredited, and intellectually indefensible.)
Temper, Temper!

Make no friendship with an angry man... Lest thou learn his ways!
But wait! It may have an evolutionary advantage!

Getting your own way!

Proverbs has a lot of "worldly wisdom" which is difficult to ignore: Among the many gems found there is in Proverbs 22:24-25, "24Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: 25Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.".

It's a shame that most of us ignored that Proverb and followed the leadership of the Worldwide Church  of God with its legendary tempers anyway.

We have learned the ways of the angry man and it has certainly been a snare to us. By observing the Proverb, most of us would have avoided the Worldwide Church of God and particularly Herbert Armstrong, Joseph Tkach Senior and Joseph Tkach Junior entirely and saved ourselves a heap of trouble.

Temper, Temper!

And there's one thing about anger: If anything, people who have tempers are usually narcissistic, arrogant and are often meddlesome because they think that their way is the only way, and by using their tempers, they get their own way.

Natural Selection and the Irrational Angry Maniac

In the article, The Human Genome Project--Pointing the Way to Artificial Life, in the March 2002 Analog Science Fiction and Fact, Dr. Steven Bratman, MD, uses the book, How the Mind Works by Stephen Pinker as a springboard to discuss natural selection and anger:

In How the Mind Works, Stephen Pinker makes a compelling case that emotions such as anger evolve because of their utility in interactions. Like bat skulls and spider spinnerets, they are simply useful adaptations to the challenges of survival.

Pinker's complex and often hilarious discussion of the origin of anger embraces nuclear weapons strategy, negotiation on the car sales lot, and the teenage game of chicken. The central feature of his argument consists of the point that anger offers a great tactical advantage in certain common social situations.

Normally, when animals size each other up, they make a rather accurate appraisal of which is stronger. Instead of actually starting a fight, the weaker one will ultimately retreat from confrontation.  This "rational" behavior is energy efficient. It forestalls useless mutual damage.

However, an enraged animal (or human) does not follow the usual rules. Instead of making a rational calculation, a hothead simply explodes.  The very fact of this nonrationality gives the infuriated one significantly enhanced bargaining power under certain conditions.

For example, consider a bear facing a solitary wolf. Bears are far more massive than wolves, and in a fight, the wolf is guaranteed to lose. Given this inevitability, most wolves will simply back down when facing a bear, perhaps after tossing off a few desultory lunges and growls.

Suppose, however a particular wolf has offspring to defend. It may be a mother wolf, or an adolescent assigned the task of guarding pups. In either case, this wolf will not behave "rationally". It might attack as if it expects to win; or, more precisely, as if it doesn't care whether it lives or dies.  As soon as the bear detects this "irrational" behavior, the balance of power shifts. A rational bear might not find it worthwhile to risk getting a painful bite from an irrational wolf even though the ultimate outcome is clear.

Irrational anger is thus ultimately rational; it's a successful method for a weaker individual to win out against a stronger one, or for a strong individual to face down a crowd. No one wants to face an out-of-control maniac unless it's absolutely necessary.

-- The Human Genome Project--Pointing the Way to Artificial Life [Analog Science Fiction and Fact], by Dr. Steven Bratman, MD. Montreal: Dell Magazines, March 2002, Vol. CXXII No. 3. Pages 38-46.

This should explain quite a lot about how Herbert Armstrong won against the odds. Even though he didn't have an impressive athletic prowess and was about as big around as he was tall, he had the evolutionary advantage of what David Robinson calls his "Legendary Temper" in Armstrong's Tangled Web.  His anger and temper kept him at the top just as Stephen Spinker shows how irrational behavior has an advantage in natural selection.  And for those who admire Occam's Razor, the simplest explanation that he impressed [terrified?] everyone is probably the best.

This may also explain why Dr. Herman Hoeh kept the Feast of Pentecost for years on Sunday, quietly, by himself, later claiming he kept Monday Pentecost also (even though he knew it wasn't the right day) out of "respect for Herbert Armstrong". He claimed he was waiting, as it were, for an opportune time to broach the subject (so's not to lose his head or career to the axe).

Not Alone

Herbert Armstrong wasn't the only one with the legendary temper: Abundant reports of the temper of his successors have also surfaced.

Gerald Waterhouse was one who showed great admiration of the anger invoked in Joseph Tkach, Senior; we know that JTS was quite able to yell for five hours at a time at the hapless minion who happened to have been perceived to be among the rebellious

The report of the angry outbursts of Joseph Tkach, Junior toward his first wife, Jill are recounted in an Ambassador Report within the MD pages; Roderick Meredith was noted for his anger.

Most of the ministers of the Sixties were known to use the authority of their anger toward members both during services and in private counseling.

Some of the ministers had a lot of repressed unresolved anger toward their boss, Garner Ted Armstrong because they knew that he had date raped their wives during their Ambassador Experience but knew that they could never express it in any way which could get back to GTA.

In fact, with all the anger among the ministers, there also seemed to be a lot of repressed unresolved anger among many of the members--an anger which has erupted today in the freedom from the out-of-control maniacs they have found to have no more power over them.

With all the anger, "Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath", seems like a lost cause.

But one wonders...

Anger is related to that part of the brain called the amygdala which is thought to be the "reptile" or "primitive" part of the brain; it is the animal part of the brain which gives us "fight or flight" and helps us to respond to threatening situations.

One wonders though, about the hippocampus being the controlling factor of a leader in "God's Government", rather than the higher cortex which supplies rational thought.

Anger often feels good and the amygdala likes to repeat the pleasure as often as possible and anger can be quite addictive to some people; and it should because there is an evolutionary advantage nicely aligned with natural selection.

In Scripture, there are two standards given in Galations 5:19-23 and it may be useful to examine them in light of the fact that we are speaking of Spiritual Leaders:

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

So to be spiritual, it might be OK to be angry and sin not and not let the sun go down on your wrath. But if one continually lets the animal part of your brain let fly with the works of the flesh--if I understand the Bible correctly--you simply won't be in the Kingdom Come.

And let's face it.

How much of the fruit of the Spirit have we been seeing from the leadership in the various Churches of God?

All of us may exhibit the works of the flesh, so it's not surprising that the leadership in the various Churches of God exhibit them--but can anyone say that we've seen more or even any of the fruit of the Spirit in those same leaders?

Fire your board of directors, stomp off and disfellowship them, and then leave them stranded in bankruptcy?

That's the fruit of the Spirit?

Where's the love, joy, peace... or even temperance in that?

It's one thing to admit that everyone has outbursts of temper at time, even those who MOST of the time are "joyful, longsuffering, gentle, good, meek, temperate" and so on. IF they can avoid letting the sun go down on it, and avoid letting it become part of their "nature," it's quite understandable.

It's quite another to focus on men who let it become such a part of their very persona that even their "supporters" had to admit it about them.

We could use lots of examples, but let's not.

So ask yourself

Life is too short to be around agitated angry people all the time; if it were me, I'd like to be with mellow people who exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, wouldn't you?

Then there's that other nagging thing... that Proverb... I not only don't want to be around them, I don't particularly want to learn their ways any more, do you? Even if it does give you an animal kind of evolutionary advantage with natural selection while, at the same time, threatening your cardio-vascular system?

The Missing Dimension

The mission of the Missing Dimension is "Covering developments and advocating accountability in the Worldwide Church of God and related groups".

In advocating accountability in the Worldwide Church of God and related groups, one aspect of the advocacy for those representing "The Government of God on this earth" is to hold them accountable for their example to, and treatment of, others; certainly anger with flaring tempers does nothing positive in either regard.

Also visit

Up Jeopardy Narcissism Analogies Temper, Temper! Law and Order Silence of the Lambs Mental Disorders Divine Dr. M Practice

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Last Updated: Monday, January 17, 2005