The "David Defense."
" How to excuse evil if your job depends on it."
By Ed Sr.
So you go to your pastor and tell him that you have found out that Herbert Armstrong was a child molester for 10 years while he was beginning his "ministry." In his words: "while God was beginning the work." This relationship lasted a decade! You are astonished that the Radio Church of God was founded in iniquity!
What type of response do you think you will get from him? First of all, let's consider what his job is. As Christ says in John 10:11-14, your minister is a "hireling"
"I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and "careth not for the sheep." I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine."
In the above quotation, "hireling" literally means someone who is paid to perform a service; in this case, someone who "shepherds" for a salary.
That seems to be Christ's position:
That those who are paid to preach "care not" for the sheep.
And how about this statement in John 10:16: "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."
Does your pastor get paid? If he does, then whatever he says is suspect. He has a stake in what your reaction is.
These are professional "guilt layers." They justify evil by saying that there must be something wrong with you if you can't just 'forgive and forget.' And these are the people that are going to help you recover from spiritual abuse!
So here are the responses that "a hireling" will give you when you ask about Herbert W. Armstrong's rotten past and some answers you might give them.
1) "David had many sins too."
Didn't God destroy and/lift up Israel according to the spiritual life of its leaders?
If we followed the old Radio Church of God line that Herbert W. Armstrong was our "Apostle", (who was the modern day Ezekiel; Zerrubabel; Elijah; Moses; etal) and that the Bible is "NOT" complete, "AND" that there would be more written in the book of Acts, especially about "our prophet", then we would see these facts pertaining to his life:
Incest Lying Theft Embezzlement Sex toys and operations Adultery, Fraud Plagiarization Greed And much more...
Is this what those who use this weak excuse want? Do they want the truth to be written about their prophet, their founder, as the truth was written about David?
Well, I guess so, since they use the David Defense.
The Jewish Bible is unique in that it doesn't spare its hero's faults from its readers. They are shown warts and all. So if you want to use the "David Defense" you must put up with seeing what "David's Offenses" are also.
Besides, David repented publicly, before God, and before the people.
When did we ever see or hear Herbert W. Armstrong repent, or even apologize or say he was sorry for anything?
Even when a doctrine was changed, such as Divorce & Remarriage, it was not because he was wrong in his original understanding--it was "because God had revealed new truth to him."
And, unlike Herbert W. Armstrong, David hadn't set himself up as a spiritual leader who had the authority from God to control every aspect of peoples' lives. David knew that he was not allowed to build the temple because he had "bloody hands." Any member would have been disfellowshipped for what Herbert W. Armstrong did to his daughter for 10 years. Seems to me his hands were just a little bit "bloody" too.
Seems to me, I haven't studied this, that David's sins were the spur of the moment type, where he really didn't premeditate whatever bad thing he did. Whereas Herbert W. Armstrong's incest lasted for 10 years.
2) "Herbert W. Armstrong was human"
So was Jim Jones, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Baker, Marshall Applewhite of Heaven's Gate, David Koresh, Henry Lyons of the National Baptist Convention, etc. So was Hitler. So was any other despot you would want to name. That doesn't mean we are not to judge their fruits. How else are you supposed to decide if someone is a false prophet or not?
Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Jer 5:26 For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men. As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich. They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge.
Revelation 2:2 Thou hast tried them which say they are apostles and are not, and hast found them liars.
Herbert W. Armstrong was indeed human. And proved by his fruits that he had no right to stand in-between any person and God. I would say the same about those who would cover up his sins so that they can continue to fleece the sheep.
3) "Only God can judge what was in his heart."
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
Righteous judgment will show you that Herbert W. Armstrong didn't even meet the qualifications of a deacon let alone a "bishop".
1 Tim 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
4) "We should forgive and forget."
Luke 17:3 says there must first be "repentance."
Herbert W. Armstrong NEVER apologized, and we are still waiting for the Worldwide Church of God's true apology.
I don't want just a generic apology, they've done that. Most members don't even know what "headquarters" apologized for. If they did, they wouldn't be members for very long.
What is needed is an "ADMISSION of GUILT and RESPONSIBILITY."
They have to tell members just how badly they had been misled and how corrupt the administration was.
People should know just how badly they were deceived so they don't let it happen again.
The reason they will not do this is because they want to maintain control over the minds of the members.
This is not about "doctrinal errors."
It is about "evil". And, to cover up evil is to sanction it and approve of it.
5) "If we admit what Herbert W. Armstrong really did, people will be angry. "
They are worried, rightly so, that you are going to sue them. See Carrol Miller's comments to me.
Or at least you are going to be angry enough at their hypocrisy to do what is in your power to do, like withhold your money or leave for a more healthful fellowship.
Should a person's sins be made public?
If that person is a public person and purporting to lead others in God's name, YES.
My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
6) "We are changing but we have to go slowly, lest we offend the weak members."
Why would "ministers of God" ever want to continue unrighteous practices for ANY reason? Maybe the god of money is more important to them than the God of Truth and Righteousness?
7) "Herbert W. Armstrong may have repented before he died, so we cannot judge him."
All we can do is judge by one of the last things that he did. He appointed JWT Sr. to be his successor.
This was a man, who, if you can believe only one tenth of what The Ambassador Report has written about him, was just as corrupt as Herbert W. Armstrong. Did he think that JWT Sr. would cover-up for Herbert W. Armstrong's sins if he had enough sins of his own? Did he think that he would look really good in comparison to JWT Sr.?
It also seems to me that I remember Herbert W. Armstrong commenting about Emperor Constantine's death-bed repentance and saying that it was not enough.
Just a word of warning.
People who make these arguments are incapable of listening to ANYTHING anyone brings up in opposition to their viewpoint, so no matter what one says, it falls on deaf ears. You are not going to change the opinion of your minister. You can expose his hypocrisy though. Maybe, in time, he will see it for himself. My opinion is that they should not go unchallenged.
Without Herbert W. Armstrong, none of these guys can claim any authority--all authority came from the initial ordinations by HWA.
If Herbert W. Armstrong had no authority to ordain, then neither did the guys who ordained the ones who preach today--so on it goes until NONE of them has any authority to be a minister! They are all standing on a house of cards. If you pull out hwa or JWT, they all fall.
So Herbert W. Armstrong must stay--as the foundation--while the things he taught must be rejected. It is so hypocritical.
Jer 5:31 "The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?
Mat 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
Mat 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
Mat 23:28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
Mat 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
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