What the Armstrongs Say About Other Churches
"I began to see that the real message of the Bible is not known or understood... by the churches that call themselves Christian. I began to see that... the blood of Christ is not the trunk of the tree. That is not the main point" (Herbert Armstrong, Ministerial Conference, May 1976).
For the entire length of their ministry, Herbert and Garner Ted Armstrong have insisted that they absolutely do not believe in proselyting. Yet they have built the Worldwide Church of God by spending a huge portion of their time attacking other Christian churches, attempting to discredit them, and cleverly influencing their members to defect to the Armstrong brand of Christianity. For instance, in a sermon before over a thousand people on July 24, 1976, Herbert Armstrong declared:
"The gospel had not been preached until God raised me up to preach it. People say, 'Who does that Armstrong think he is?' Am I bragging? Am I boasting? No, I'm just saying a fact. That gospel you never heard from any preacher except one from this church. You never heard it from Billy Graham. You never heard it from any Protestant preacher. You never heard it from any Catholic priest."
A month later, on August 28, 1976, he self-righteously asserted in another sermon:
"I had to learn that the churches do not get their religion out of the Bible. They get it out of their own mind. They get it by twisting the Bible."
In a co-worker letter dated November 19, 1976, Herbert Armstrong made an incredibly vain and preposterous statement:
"It is true that Baptists, fundamental Methodists, and other Protestant denominations, do teach some things as we do-but they have the branches and twigs of the tree-not one of them has the real trunk of the tree-with its main branches. In other words, not one of them knows what spiritual salvation really is, what the kingdom of God (Christ's whole Gospel) really is, why God put humanity here on earth: what is our real ultimate human potential, or how we shall reach it."
On another occasion, Herbert blasted the Lutherans for preaching Christ to the world (as did the apostles):
"One of the floats in the Rose Festival Parade was 'the Lutheran Hour preaching Christ to the world,' not preaching the gospel of the kingdom, [but] preaching Christ! Deceiving the world! That's what they do. It's not the gospel! It's the person. They believe on him. They say, 'Believe on Christ and you shall be saved.' Those who believed on him in the 8th chapter of John were crying out for his blood. They wanted to see him killed. That's the way it's been today and that's been what's been preached. That's not the gospel... .No one is preaching the gospel to the world or has done it in 18½ centuries but this Work" (Jan. 3, 1974).
Herbert Armstrong has long viewed himself as God's special representative to warn the world of its sins and impending doom unless it repents. He feels he is directing the "greatest Work in 1900 years on earth!" (Co-worker letter, Aug. 19, 1976, p. 5.) He feels no one else alive but him is proclaiming the "true gospel to the world today-or has done so since the first century" (co-worker letter, Jan. 27, 1974, p. 6).
His controversial son, Garner Ted, also parrots the same self-righteous message:
"There is only ONE Church on the face of this earth that has been consistently... preaching the ONE true gospel of the Kingdom of God, telling you exactly what these times mean! There is only ONE Church that has dared to tell you in definite, specific, point-by-point, detailed order the events that are yet to occur.... Where is that ONE Church Jesus built? It is where the work of that Church is being done! And THIS WORK that you are reading of right now-that you hear over The World Tomorrow-this work is the only genuine work that is carrying out Jesus' very commission just as He said it would be doing!... God forbids you ever to join in with the worship of counterfeit church bodies..." ("Should You Join a Church?", reprint article No. 570, pp. 3-4).
Herbert Armstrong believes he heads the one true church of God (The Worldwide Church of God) on earth today and that all other churches are, according to his own words, "the Devil's churches":
"Satan is the god of this world. Now his chief church we know as the Roman Catholic church. And we know how she's represented in the 17th chapter, the book of Revelation-[as] Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots. Who are the harlots? All the Protestant churches" (May 7, 1974).
Herbert Armstrong's letter answering department echoed the same biased thought in letter No. 937:
"The tribe of Dan settled primarily in Southern Ireland (as proven in Mr. Armstrong's booklet, 'The United States and the British Commonwealth in Prophecy').... Today, the tribe of Dan is still given to idolatry following the traditions of their ancestors. They are, as a nation, an integral part of the false mystery system God labels as 'MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT' in Revelation 17:5. This is a great false church, a worldly church.... Notice in Revelation 2:20 this same false church is likened to that wicked 'woman Jezebel.'... God says He will smite her children with death because they have known the 'depths of Satan' (Verses 23-24). Jezebel's children, then, are those who have been taught at an early age her abominable idolatries and filthinesses (Rev. 2:20) and are deep in her doctrine (Verse 24). This woman Jezebel symbolizes the Roman Catholic Church. Most Danites (Irish) are members of this false church from birth, attending her schools, festivals and idolatrous religious worship services ....
"Since the nation of Ireland, the modern Danites, are in the 'depths of Satan' and do not know God's true way.... "
At the Jan. 1972 ministerial conference in Pasadena, Garner Ted attacked Rex Humbard:
"My father said to me one time after watching the Rex Humbard television program: '...You know, Ted, these people are saying some of the things that sometimes I think we ought to be saying.'... I think the man's a fake from the word go. But nevertheless he is a complete, unabashed, unashamed, unafraid fake. He comes right out with statements about God and about Christ and about conversion and about salvation...."
Ambassador Report would like to go on record against these holier-than-thou, malicious diatribes directed at other sincere Christians. How can a minister claim to represent God and yet expend his energy trying to discredit other Christians? Granted, all Christians and their churches have flaws-but so do the Armstrongs and their church.
One of the most obvious themes of the Bible is love-especially in the New Testament. Jesus declared emphatically to his disciples that all men would be able to recognize his true disciples by their love for each other (John 13:35). We hope the Armstrongs and their church will quit wasting time and money attempting to discredit other churches and proselyte their members. Before Herbert Armstrong and his church judge another church to be a church of Satan, they should thoroughly examine their own teachings-many of which they have already had to admit were in gross error-lest they themselves be found worshipping God in vain by "teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."
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