WHERE WOULD YOU GO?
"To be in possession of an absolute truth is to have a net of familiarity spread over the whole of eternity. There are no surprises and no unknowns. All questions have already been answered, all decisions made, all eventualities foreseen.... An active mass movement rejects the present and centers its interests on the future. It is from this attitude that it derives its strength, for it can proceed recklessly with the present-with the health, wealth and lives of its followers."
THE TRUE BELIEVER, by Eric Hoffer, Harper and Row publishers
Does the Worldwide Church of God really have a "net of familiarity spread over the whole of eternity"? Does it possess the answers to all questions? Has it foreseen the outcome of all events or prophecies? Events of the last five years have shaken the faith and confidence of many in the "absolute truth" expounded by the Worldwide Church of God. Even Garner Ted Armstrong, the spokesman of the organization on radio and television, stated in an interview with Joseph Hopkins, author of THE ARMSTRONG EMPIRE*:
"It's (British-Israelism) not essential to salvation. It hasn't been proven to my satisfaction that the ten lost tribes relocated in specific places in northern Europe. It certainly is not a necessary doctrine."
In answer to a question regarding Herbert Armstrong's one true church dogma, Garner Ted replied:
"I don't believe that either, except for the invisible church, the Body of Christ. But it is definitely not necessary to belong to the Worldwide Church of God in order to be saved."
In answer to another question regarding the Sunday-mark of the Beast doctrine, Garner Ted, admitting that the doctrine had been taught in the early history of the Worldwide Church, declared:
"I haven't taught this for at least twenty years. In fact, as long as I have been in the Work this doctrine hasn't appeared in the literature." For those who possess Lesson 30 of the AMBASSADOR COLLEGE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE, copyrighted 1967, we ask you to refer to pages 9 and 15 to determine the validity of Garner Ted Armstrong's denial.
In addition to these statements from the Executive Vice-President of the Worldwide Church of God, add the Pentecost change, the 1972 miscalculation, the Healing change (not yet published for the church), the Divorce and Remarriage decision and the watering down and/or elimination of many other peripheral teachings, doctrines, superstitions, etc. and we can hardly say that the Worldwide Church possesses the "net over eternity". Rather, the doctrinal net is ripping if not already completely in tatters.
AMBASSADOR REVIEW presents "another side of the story" on a number of issues of interest to those who are in one way or another associated with Ambassador College or the Worldwide Church of God. It is not our primary purpose, however, to address theological issues. Therefore, you may ask, "Where can I go to get another side of the story on the many doctrinal questions which have arisen in the Worldwide Church of God"'
We are providing you with a partial list of the groups to whom many are looking for "another side of the story."
Foundation for Biblical Research
P. O. Box 928
Pasadena, California 91102
The F. B. R. was founded by Ernest Martin, former chairman of the Theology Department at Ambassador College in Pasadena; Kenneth Storey, former director of space planning for Ambassador College; and Gary Arvidson, former manager of the Church Administration Department of the Worldwide Church of God. The Foundation distributes booklets, articles, cassette tapes and a monthly newsletter.
P.O. Box 35
Pasadena, CA 91102
This is a new nondenominational organization founded by Gary Arvidson, Kenneth Storey, Richard Plache and Gary Reid. They are presently working on the first issue of a new magazine called INSIGHT. This publication will contain articles about Christian living, the ministry of reconciliation, prophecy, world news, psychology and related subjects.
Foundation for Biblical Research
4 Rue Echille Robelti
Philippe Sandron, a former minister in the Worldwide Church of God, is director of the F.B.R. in France. The Foundation distributes articles and cassette tapes in the French language.
Associated Churches of God
The Clark Building
Columbia, Maryland 21044
The Associated Churches are directed by Kenneth Westby, former Washington, D. C. district superintendent, and George Kemnitz, former Chicago District Superintendent, of the Worldwide Church of God.
Twentieth Century Church of God
P. O. Box 129
Vacaville, California 95688
This group is directed by Al Carrozzo, former Pasadena Visiting Program director and assistant superintendent of Ministers for the Worldwide Church of God. Mr. Carrozzo publishes a monthly newsletter for those on his mailing list.
Church of God, The Eternal
P. O. Box 775
Eugene, Oregon 97401
Raymond Cole, former Worldwide Church evangelist and one of the original four Ambassador College students in 1947, pastors this church in association with several former pastors of the Worldwide Church.
The Church of God
P. O. Box 247
Cleveland, Ohio 44121
Carl O'Beirn, former pastor in. the Worldwide Church, directs this group.
Church of God, Seventh Day
P. O. Box 2370
Denver, Colorado 80201
Herbert Armstrong left this group when he decided to form his own church. They possess a great deal of doctrinal material as well as information concerning the origins of the Radio Church of God (now Worldwide Church of God) which differs in crucial areas from the account of Herbert Armstrong in his Autobiography.
Seventh Day Baptist Church
General Conference Headquarters
510 Watchung Ave.
Plainfield, New Jersey 07061
This church, whose origins go back to the early 1800s, has over the years attracted many former Worldwide Church members. It has literature available as well as congregations throughout the United States.
Church of God Seventh Era
P. O. Box A-1
Cabot, Arkansas 72033
Decidedly esoteric in nature, this group is headed by Larry Gilbert Johnson, a former Worldwide Church member.
Religion in the News
Nashville, Tennessee 37201
Founded and directed by William Hinson, a former Worldwide Church minister, this organization publishes and distributes literature concerning the Worldwide Church of God.
Concordant Publishing Concern
15570 W. Knochaven Dr.
Canyon Country, California 91351
The Concordant Publishing Concern was founded by A. E. Knoch in the early 1900s. It publishes a bimonthly magazine called UNSEARCHABLE RICHES along with many books on subjects such as "The Problem of Evil", "God's Eonian Purpose" and "The Reconciliation of All". Their publications have become quite popular with many former Worldwide Church members.
AMBASSADOR REVIEW is not necessarily endorsing any of these groups, nor are any of these groups necessarily endorsing AMBASSADOR REVIEW. None asked to be listed. There are certainly many issues on which these organizations disagree. Yet, we feel it is important that you consider all sides of every issue. Each will be happy to explain its particular point of view; you may find there are many more sides to certain questions than you expected.
"It is the true believer's ability 'to shut his eyes and stop his ears' to facts that do not deserve to be either seen or heard which is the source of his unequaled fortitude and constancy. He cannot be frightened by danger nor disheartened by obstacles nor baffled by contradictions because he denies their existence. "
THE TRUE BELIEVER by Eric Hoffer, Harper and Row publisher
-Robert Gerringer and Gary Reid
*THE ARMSTRONG EMPIRE, by Joseph Hopkins, is published by the William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 255 Jefferson Ave., S.E., Grand Rapids, Michigan 495O2 ($4.50).
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