This letter will introduce ourselves as general counsel for Ambassador College.
We have received material published by you under the name and style of "Ambassador Review." Representations have also been brought to our attention which lead to the impression that you are representing the student body, faculty, and alumni of Ambassador College.
The purpose of this letter is to advise you that by virtue of said representations and the use of the name, "Ambassador" in your publication, that confusion is likely to arise in the eyes of the public giving the misimpression that you are affiliated with Ambassador College and acting as an authorized representative of one of its instrumentalities.
Therefore, we hereby demand that you cease and desist using the name "Ambassador" in your material and from representing in any way, either directly or indirectly, that you represent Ambassador College's student body, alumni or faculty. Further, that you cease and desist from in any way, either directly or indirectly, indicating or holding out that you are an agency of or represent Ambassador College.
We would appreciate hearing from you promptly regarding your intentions in this regard.
Ralph K. Helge
for Rader, Helge & Gerson
Attorneys at Law
It's good to see that the boys at Rader, et al., attorneys at law, have a sense of humor. Your demand that we cease and desist using the name "Ambassador" brought a roar of laughter from all of us here at AMBASSADOR REVIEW. We are certain that it was humor you had in mind when you inserted that demand, and consequently, we will not take offense at it nor accuse anyone on your staff of a sandbox mentality. After all, we appreciate a good laugh, and so as not to appear stingy with a good joke (and we know one when we see one ), we shared the guffaw, with the following firms who also have and use the name "Ambassador":
1) Ambassador Magazine (Trans World Airlines)
2) Ambassador Apartments
3) Ambassador Convalescent Hospital
4) Ambassador Hotel
5) Ambassador Inns of America
6) Ambassador Motel
7) Ambassador Rentals
8) Ambassador Van and Storage
9) Ambassadors for Christ
We feel that our use of the name "Ambassador" has a similar parallel to your use of the name and style "Church of God", a corporation which we understand you also represent, and which supports Ambassador College, Inc. In this specific case, the qualifier "Worldwide" has been added to "Church of God". In our case, we added the qualifier "Review". We are sure that this clear parallel will not tax the legal intellect of anyone on your staff. And as evidence of our firm position in defense of our use of the name "Ambassador", we refer you to the Pasadena Telephone Directory. Look under the "A"'s first, until you come to ''Ambassador"; we think that perhaps an explanation will dawn upon you.
By the way, Ralph, by what authority do you demand anything of us? We're just curious. You see, we're wondering if you think that we cannot deliver abundant supportive evidence to back everything we say. We have hundreds of pieces of mail. They are from Ambassador College alumni. We have the input from students at Ambassador College. We have faculty from your college who also provide input. None of them, however, hold out that they are speaking for Ambassador College, Inc. Rather, they are speaking for themselves, to others, about the "Ambassador Experience".
It should be clear to you or anyone else that we do not hold out, nor purport to speak for all students, alumni or faculty of Ambassador College, Inc., and since the last thing on earth we would want would be for someone to receive the misimpression that we are all instrumentality of Ambassador College, Inc., we will be happy to exercise the following affirmative action to offset your unsupported claim of possible confusion in the public eye.
It should be added that we are assured from all sides that your claim (unsupported) of "confusion" does not exist in the public mind. However, we are quite willing to "go the extra mile" in this matter-for your peace of mind. Even though there will be personal expense involved on our part, we will contact any and all individuals you make known to us who have registered a complaint with your office in support of your claim and who were contacted by AMBASSADOR REVIEW through the mail. We will be happy to commit whatever time required to examine any evidence you would care to submit to us in support of your claims which might demonstrate that we have inured to our benefit any tangible property or good will otherwise intended for Ambassador College , Inc.
In addition, we are open and intend always to remain receptive to any suggestions you might outline which would clear up any possibility of any misimpressions-if they exist. In the meantime, we want you to feel free to recite or publish the following disclaimer as your discression dictates.
DISCLAIMER OF AFFILIATION
It has been brought to the attention of AMBASSADOR REVIEW by gentlemen representing themselves as general counsel for Ambassador College, Inc., that it is their impression that the name and style of AMBASSADOR REVIEW could lead to confusion in the eyes of the public and give the misimpression that we are affiliated with Ambassador College and acting as an authorized representative of one of its instrumentalities. So as to avoid any confusion and to clear up any possible misimpression that we are affiliated with Ambassador College, Inc., or acting as an authorized representative of one of its instrumentalities, we are issuing the following disclaimer:
AMBASSADOR REVIEW is NOT AFFILIATED in any way with Ambassador College Incorporated, and does not hold out or intend to indicate, either directly or indirectly, that it is an agency of or representative of Ambassador College Incorporated or of its instrumentalities.
Further, AMBASSADOR REVIEW does not hold out or indicate either directly or indirectly, that it is acting as an agent of any principals such as students, faculty or alumni for the purpose of binding upon said principals any statements or actions which are not authorized by the principal.
If we can be of any further assistance in this matter, please contact us.
John Trechak, J. Timothy Nugent
P.S. As a publishing enterprise we must presume that all uncopyrighted, unsolicited material is being submitted for publication. Thank you for your submission.
To the seekers of the real "Plain Truth", Greetings,
I received a copy of your AMBASSADOR REVIEW and I was really thrilled. Please put me on your subscription list. It is about time the whole truth about the "Ambassador Experience" be brought to light. I too was a true believer for many years and it nearly ruined my whole family.
As an exmember of the W.C.G. and a "super deacon", security chief, etc., I too know how much harm and damage the W.C.G. and its phony leadership has done to thousands of people. I can only thank God that He has allowed the mind and conscience that He gave me to function again, and never again will I allow myself to be taken over by any organization or man.
P.S. Should you run into any legal difficulties I would be glad to back you and even testify as to my "Ambassador Experience" (gestapo like tactics, phone bugging, etc., etc., we really did it all).
Could you please put me on your mailing list for the forthcoming AMBASSADOR REVIEW and any other literature? Thank you. If possible, could you please send the REVIEW in a plain wrapper? You know what might happen to it!
Student, A.C. Pasadena
I read the "Gerringer letter" and the one Richard Plache wrote in resignation. These finally got me off my duff and into much research which really opened my mind. Thank you kindly!
We do not accept this offer and are sending it back. We don't even want it in our garbage. If Mr. GTA and HWA are wrong in their authority, God will remove and/or punish them without our help or ours. If they are not wrong-remember what happened to Korah?
Editor: We'll take our chances.
I would like to mention that I think it is commendable in the way you are handling your manner of "exposing" the truth. The truth will prevail in the end without mud slinging and I think you are on the right track. It is so easy to get mad at the rotten system, especially when you know both sides and you've been through what some of us have.
I would like to see an article on how pressure could be applied to get the Armstrong program off the public air waves.
Editor: We're working on it.
We were disfellowshipped August 2, before three church gatherings comprising approximately 1000 people because we were reading Dr. Martin's literature. We were asked not to read Dr. Martin's writings because all it would do is confuse us. It was very embarrassing. All my friends refused to fellowship with my family and I since that time but we are over the hump now and the sailing is easy. Let me say that I am very happy to be "confused" by Dr. Martin.
As a W.C.G. "regurgitee" and X.C. alumnus (Big Sandy, 1973) news of sanity greatly interests me. News that the college's administration now seeks to censor student mail as a measure against the currency of AMBASSADOR REVIEW also fascinates me. Hopefully you will support the natural reaction such intolerant tyranny will excite in the student body. I should be pleased to help you with a contribution of money to that end. In my last college year, a little outside support of good sense would have been exceptionally welcome.
I am going to tell you people the same as I have told the "Biblical Research Group", the "Associated Group", and another knot-head group: TAKE MY NAME OFF YOUR MAILING LIST. Your letters are unwanted and unsolicited! As for your group, I do not want to read the DIRT you want to distribute. This is certainly NOT true Christianity. Leaving God's Church or Ambassador College is your business. But leave us alone.
Any future letters will be dropped into the "Round File" unopened. Word is being spread here warning each other about your AMBASSADOR REVIEW and most are destroying it unopened. Your cooperation will be appreciated. I read very little of your literature and it made me sick to think former students, etc., could be so vicious. This is NOT God's way. It is Satan's way. I want no part of it or in it. Spreading this garbage makes your group as guilty of wrong doing as the people you are claiming to expose-if indeed what you say is true. I look to God to be my judge and I allow every other human the same priviledge.
We have been in the church about 14 years but for about two years we have had questions about a lot of things. If you start asking questions they tell you you are on Satan's wave length, but we started reading our Bibles and have seen so many wrongs in this church. About two months ago we quit supporting it and that is when we got to looking into things ourselves. We were in ... and ... had the tapes on Galations by David Ord. It really was good and so was Dr. Martin's on the New Covenant-I couldn't believe what I was hearing? Everything was so plain. I could see why they didn't want us to see or listen to Dr. Martin. They knew when you once did, then your eyes would be open.
I appreciate what you are trying to do. I came into the W.C.G. in 1962 and had to get a divorce and sell my home and tithe and give offerings. I wasn't working and was taking care of my mother who is 98 years old now. I remember in 1969 when they said they were going broke and I drew out $1000 from the bank to send them, and, of course, there were the threats of the "lake of fire". I caught you on Channel 7 the other night on the 6 o'clock News.
My wife and I APPLAUD your efforts to get at the truth-which will be excruciating, since you are dealing with that farce, "Ambassador College," and its affiliate, "The Worldwide Church of the Watergate".
I was a W.C.G. minister for 11½ years, terminated last October because I upheld the Bible and Christ. They wanted Herbert and Ted. We felt that was "no bargain".
My gold, AC ring was discarded three years ago, and I am thoroughly ASHAMED of my past affiliation with that pseudo-college. Now, I fall back on my B.A. from Washington and Jefferson College (accredited).
We wish you well, but you're dealing with the lowest of scoundrels, men who are apeishly carnal, totally unconverted and subtly devious who are out to get members ONLY for the "income", and to maintain a high-flying life style.
G.T.A. laments that there are those "out there" who are WAITING for the Organization to crumble. That's ME! And, what's more. I'm PRAYING about it.
The Armstrongs are ENEMIES of mankind, especially Christian mankind!
D.L. Prunkard, Minnesota
Will you please place me on your mailing list? I want to obtain all the current (and all other) information possible about the cult known as the Worldwide Church of God. I was once ensnared by this foul organization of heretical embezzlers and our dear son has been a pitiful slave to these manipulators for ten years. Unless this bunch of charlatans is exposed to the light of day, he and many more thousands of the pathetic brainwashed victims of these cultists will remain zombies ail the days of their wasted lives.
You folks are taking on quite a task. I'm sure you know that only a steady, long-term effort willl bring about the goal of turning Ambassador College into a true institution of higher education rather than a base of operations for a medieval-thinking demagogue.
Many of the ideals of the college are highly commendable, but truly in its present form it is nothing but a front.
Hard work on all our parts collectively could bring about some great changes. I've noticed this-change at Ambassador has nearly always come as the direct result of pressure from without. Again, we applaud your efforts and hope we can be of help!
My husband and I want to commend you on your efforts and especially on your GUTS. We are thankful that there are people like you who cannot, and will not be intimidated or bought off. May you succeed!
I was very interested to read of the plans to publish a journal which will provide the medium for open discussion not only of problems concerning A.C. but also possible solutions. It is encouraging to see that there are some who are concerned enough about A.C. to do more than just hope against hope for reforms that are long, long over due. I do hope that many of us who have sweated, prayed, and sacrificed or in whatever way participated in the "Ambassador Experience" will not be willing to write it all off as a lost cause.
I am particularly sympathetic to your cause although at this time I think it is futile. Many of the thinking people have already left the Armstrongs and have started to do something worthwhile. Your belief in freedom of thought for Ambassador is a novel idea, but impossible for the institution with the Armstrongs still signing paychecks. The theology of the institution must be re-evaluated (re-evaluated nothing, it needs to be rejected!) before any significant change can occur. It looks as though the first issue is a smear campaign and I hope the second issue hits more on issues and suggestions. For what H.W.A. and G.T.A. have done to so many people they deserve all the bad press they get, but I doubt even public pressure would cause the "Apostle of God" and his henchmen to change. I have no interest to rejoin the church, but I would enjoy and support a publication that would... (censored)... or at least bring some things up. Good luck!
For five years I was a member of the W.C.G. There I met my future wife. Upon getting married we were "red-tapped", marked and booted from the church. After a year of marriage under the fear of the soon coming end of the age, we separated and went back to the W.C.G. When John Mitchell and Bill Sutton, ministers in Shreveport, LA, resigned... we have been together happily ever since.
...showed me your letter about AMBASSADOR REVIEW yesterday. I couldn't believe it! Congratulations and I hope you can maintain the standards in future issues. I would be delighted to distribute the publication in England for you if you so desire. We could use perhaps a hundred copies initially.
I think you should do an article about how to get the Armstrong program stopped. A lot of stations would not carry it if they knew how much harm it does. Also, tell your readers they can complain to the Federal Communications Commission, 1919 M Street, Washington D.C. 20002.
The sample article concerning GTA is pretty direct and incisive. Perhaps this type of forceful approach may be just the thing to shake those people to their senses. Too long have trusting people just bowed their heads and numbly accepted whatever the Armstrong clique dictated.
We spent 24½ years with "the organization" and know what it is. We've hoped someone could and would expose it so people in the future won't be taken in and maybe ruin their lives as so many lives have been ruined.
At my age of 80 years, and inflation and high cost of living you cannot expect much from me in support because I don't have it to give. My eyesight has failed me and arthritis has me crippled at times so I can't do little odd jobs to bring in money to pay for extras. Nebraska law won't let me drive any conveyance that is motor powered, so when I go to church I have to catch a ride with others....
Editor. Thank you for your support but we are returning your contribution. It is our policy not to accept contributions from the retired-elderly or those who are in serious financial need.
I have been very disappointed by Mr. Albert Portune, the evangelist. I always thought he was a sincere and good man. He must know all the facts of what was going on in the organization all those years. Why hasn't he spoken out since he left? He did a little for a short time, and then he stopped. Is there any truth in the story that the Armstrongs are paying him $750 a month for "retirement"?
Things aren't what they used to be! I feel something is really wrong and would ask that, if you will, please forward to me any news, happenings, tapes, literature regarding changes, etc.
When I was transferred from my pastorate in the Carolinas to Pasadena in 1971, no one would have been able to convince me that I would, of my own volition, sever all ties with the Worldwide Church of God three years later. I was extremely loyal in supporting that organization.
At headquarters I learned how things really were. As department head of Church Administration, I learned a great deal about people, methods of operation and about the gross doctrinal errors which had been covered up for years. My last position as administrative assistant to the Vice-President of Church Administration was during the time when a number of ministers were attempting to help the organization bring about badly needed reform. We were told and the members were told that anyone who questioned "the boss" was "of the devil"!
Their unwillingness to change left resignation as my only recourse. Since then, a few changes have occurred in the Worldwide Church of God in some doctrinal areas; but change has only occured as a result of great external pressure, and then only after there were many casualties strewn along the way. Changes have not occurred as many had hoped by "working within the organization."
I would like to ask the active and solid members of the Worldwide Church of God if they know what their leaders really believe about church doctrine and the organization's methods. The Hunting-Plache-Ord incident was only the tip of a still existing iceberg. If the members only knew what many of their ministers in the field were really thinking! So many feel trapped because they see Bible truths but don't know what to do about them.
I personally know of a number of ministers who would like to "make the break" but don't know how they could earn a living. Isn't this a tragedy-when "the shepherds" grovel in fear and become the very thing they have preached against and despised for years-mere hirelings!
Change only occurs through pressure. I wish each member could ask as many ministers as possible what they believed in specifics, about certain doctrines. The questions should be pointed, not allowing those men to dodge behind "well, the church teaches....". These ministers should he challenged to speak their own convictions and not hide behind "the church".
It is my personal hope and prayer that the Worldwide Church will make the changes it needs and that this could lead to reconciliation for all of us. I would like to see a general conference of all ministers-both those in "good standing" as well as those who have resigned, been terminated, fired, disgraced or "eased out". I hope that such a conference would involve all, in one assembly but not behind closed doors as was the case with Mssrs. Plache, Hunting and Ord. It should be open to the members in the Church. The precedent for this was set in Jerusalem many years ago by the apostolic fathers (see Acts 15:3, 4, 12, 13, 22 and 23). I really wonder, however, if this will ever be possible.
World Insight P.O. Box 35, Pasadena, CA 91102
I read your Journal (introductory letter) with a great degree of interest and feel compelled to answer. I am a former member of the Worldwide Church of God and a former writer for the GOOD NEWS and Booklet Department at Ambassador College.
It is my opinion that neither the church nor the college is even qualified to be called a viable Christian organization. It never has been. It has consistently violated virtually every principle of Christ and the New Testament. Its doctrinal approach and its teachings are in almost every instance in opposition to what is revealed in the Bible. The actions of the leadership have distinctly demonstrated widespread corruption, hypocrisy, non-Biblical and unchristian practices, immorality and illegality. My experience has clearly shown me that there is absolutely nothing in this organization which has contributed in any substantive way to the Christian community.
It is apparent to me that Herbert Armstrong is a proud, vain, stubborn egoist who must have his way or else. He has been remarkably successful in using the blinding, fearful elements of religion to obtain what he failed to accomplish in any other way-power over people coupled with riches, influence and position possessed by only a handful of the grandest nobles of the human race. He is going out in style at the expense of thousands of dumb sheep (no criticism intended toward the membership personally) who have sacrificed their lives and souls to support the ambitious aspirations of this modern-day religious tyrant.
The fact that the Worldwide Church of God's doctrinal position is in opposition to much of what the New Testament reveals must really go without saying. On such matters as tithing, clean and unclean meats, sabbath, holy days, attitude toward the rest of the world, approach to grace, extreme legalism, concept of the true church, healing, etc., I feel that the W.C.G. had been and still is in error.
Of course, what hurts even more are the past church stands on child rearing, divorce and remarriage, and the aforementioned subject of healing. The W.C.G. and Herbert Armstrong in particular have chosen in their overwhelming audacity to speak authoritatively on matters which God refused to comment. Mr. Armstrong has established a Hitlerian society and his henchmen have probed into the private lives of the laity with such indiscretion that it is apalling. It is truly incredible that it is still being tolerated. But it is a certain truth that as long as one remains a supporter of the organization it is indeed difficult, if not impossible, to really see the W.C.G. in its true light. Members of the W.C.G. tend to reason in vicious circles-to doubt or question Mr. Armstrong is to doubt the apostle of God and that is tantamount to doubting God Himself and that brings the individual back to where he started with nothing resolved. This type of thinking has created probably the most confused, frustrated laity of any church organization in the world today.
The Worldwide Church has curiously never published any type of religious creed or a list of its beliefs or tenets of faith. This has been a cause of concern on the part of many other religious leaders throughout the country. We often discussed the possibility of doing so when I worked at the college, but nothing was ever done. H.W.A. and G.T.A. often used to make comments that they would never argue religion with anyone, that it wasn't right or worth the effort. I now can better understand why they constantly refused to publish any definition of the basic beliefs or publicly debate the issues with their detractors. The simple fact of the matter is that the position of the W.C.G. on many, many points of doctrine would literally be torn to shreds by Biblical scholars. The immature and incorrect approach of the W.C.G. can easily be exposed and refuted. That is primarily why everything done at the college is usually done secretively. In fact, the entire church is and always has been a closed society. No relationships are permitted outside the church, be they business, marital, social, what have you. In case of sickness, the average member was to look not to anyone in the "world", but to the church minister. No outsiders were to attend services (I understand that this has been relaxed somewhat, though I would doubt that it has been implemented to any great extent). In order to become a member, one was forced to endure extensive questioning of his past life, sexual conduct, marital history, etc. Then he was carefully watched to see how he performed. just how deeply involved he really was before he could be baptized into the church. The views of outsiders on child rearing were constantly put down, and the worst possible methods were taught by the church. The child, like the parent was being taught by the W.C.G. to grow up without having the chance to make meaningful choices in his life. Everything was automatic, everything was forced, everything was tightly controlled.
Herbert Armstrong's personal distrust of the membership and for that matter most of the ministry led to iron-fisted domination by this religious dictator, who in his indescribable vanity would state proudly that God had never allowed him to make any major mistakes. I have determined that mistakes and errors were just about all Herbert Armstrong ever made, and the resulting damage may be untold. I have heard him stand up before the congregation and berate and rebuke and criticize and castigate the members for not supporting him, for letting down in offerings, for not praying and studying enough, while he would often state that he was sacrificing more than any of them. One would have to be dreaming the ultimate dream to even imagine any area in which H.W.A. sacrificed at all. While he constantly wrote pleading letters to the already financially-overburdened membership begging for more and more money to bail out the work, he somehow managed to increase his expenditures for as luxurious a lifestyle as the world's richest elite enjoy.
I utterly repudiate the leadership of the Worldwide Church and I reject the teachings and attitudes and approaches of the organization as well. I regret that the best years of my life were wasted in the service of this false prophet, that I gave up every opportunity, every ambition, every cent of money, every ounce of energy, every second of time to further the immoral cause of Herbert Armstrong, and Garner Ted Armstrong is no better than his father. He is a slick, glib salesman, without any evidence of the Spirit of God. He is a hypocrite of the first order, and a man whom I feel has betrayed his own conscience to order to gain the inheritance of leadership from his father.
James B. Rector
Here is an offering to aid you in your work of telling it like it is! More power to you. I was "jailed" for 13 years in "the Empire" and gave them over $15,000 in tithes. I thought Rockefeller had the worst conspiracy going! The H.W.A./G.T.A./Rader/Kuhn mess is a close second! I am spreading your material to those that should know of your work. Please send me a copy of H.W.A.'s article "Did Christ Reorganize the Church".
It is music to the ear to hear people asking questions and getting answers, coming to conclusions, and stepping out on faith for truth. We have been so gullible and God has had to show us "error" with evidence we just couldn't overlook. I proved Mr. Armstrong wrong from every source available, and what a way to deceive people! Most of us were so busy studying what was prepared and preached to us we didn't research other areas until God showed us how corrupt the whole system had become. Anything that will help to wake people out of this folly of taking from the mouths of babes and making a few rich is a step in the right direction.
I would like the 1939 article and to receive the AMBASSADOR REVIEW. Did you know anyone in the Cleveland area found having this article will be disfellowshipped without reservation or review by Mr. Sargeant? This article must be dynamite!
After reading the 1939 GOOD NEWS article you sent me, I wrote its author the following letter. I think your readers may find it interesting.
Dear Mr. Herbert Armstrong:
It was with interest and, I must admit, a considerable degree of amazement that I read your 1939 GOOD NEWS article, entitled, "Did Christ Reorganize the Church?".
For a man who heads a superstructure of an organization; one who embodies the very essence of autocratic rule and unilateral legislation; one who at the slightest challenge of his "apostolic aughority" reacts with purple veined indignation and all-consuming wrath-for such a man to write a flat denunciation of Church government on the grounds that it is "satanic" and unscriptural, that, Mr. Armstrong, must rank among the marvels of our century.
On the other hand, if one understands the particular situation and the circumstances which prompted you to write this article the matter appears to be somewhat less perplexing. From your contemporaries in the Church of God back in Oregon it has been related that your attitude toward Church government at the time stemmed from your own unwillingness to submit to the authority of the then "one and only true Church of God" on the face of this earth, and your article was your way of justifying your rebellion against those over you.
According to Elder Straub of the Oregon Church of God, who received his credentials as a minister the same time you did, the reason for your breaking away from the "Body of Christ" was not only as you claim, over doctrinal matters, but mainly on account of your stubborn refusal to submit to Church authority; the main issue being your unwillingness to render account of the tithe-movies you collected.
That this is the truth, Mr. Armstrong, becomes very apparent when reading your vociferous denunciation of government and boards who aim to have authority to "govern over the spiritual and FINANCIAL AFFAIRS of the Church". The fact that you left "spiritual" in lower case but saw fit to put the financial aspect in bold caps more than points to your real problem at the time.
Your article was subtitled: "Here is amazing new light from the Bible, establishing the TRUTH of this important question of Church organization and government" (emphasis yours). You then went on to caution your readers to prove all things (from the Bible!) because a "careless assumption" (namely that autocratic Chruch government and authority was Biblical!) had left them open to be "deceived". You proceed by inviting them to "search the Scriptures" with you.
I must admit, Mr. Armstrong, you did a thoroughly convincing job of proving from THE BIBLE that Church government and authority indeed is unscriptural and you rightly labeled such practice as being one of the deceptions of "Babylon, the mother of harlots" of which you urged your readers to "come out".
You said, "We should like to see any text in the New Testament showing that there ever was appointed any BOARD to act as a TREASURY for the tithes of the disciples, and to receive and disburse the money for the whole church! We say such a thing is UNSCRIPTURAL and unless SCRIPTURE can be produced for it, such a practice ought to be discontinued!" A little bit further down you state: "Jesus never organized, or re-organized His Church! There is NO SCRIPTURE for it!" (emphasis yours throughout).
Church government you call the "image of the Beast" and continue to say, "The whole thing is FALSE! It is NOT ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE! It is part of BABYLON! Those who are IN, and MEMBERS of such an organized church government, submitting to doctrines declared by unscriptural boards as a fellowship test, are IN BABYLON, and are actually worshippers of' THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST! And God is calling us, HIS people OUT of BABYLON today, before it is too late-before the PLAGUES fall!"
You, Mr. Armstrong, quote Jesus as saying. "Every plant, which my heavenly Father has not planted, shall be ROOTED UP. Our heavenly Father never planted any super-organization, or established any church GOVERNMENT, or set men IN AUTHORITY over either spiritual or financial affairs, in the New Testament Church."
Our fellowship, you claim is with God and Christ, and then with each other, in Love. There is, according to you, "no super-organization over and above local congregations IN THE NEW TESTAMENT", and again you state with your usual ferver, "Any such 'plant' is certain to be ROOTED UP!"
As the reason for your being opposed to hierarchical Church government you state the evils of an authoritarian system. You say, "What has split and divided up the saints in the Church of God? Nothing but ORGANIZATION-which has led to politics, ministers lusting for rule and for power-striving against each other, lining up the brethren on THEIR side, against the other!" "Organization and church GOVERNMENT has brought us only strife, jealousies, divisions, bitterness! It is not of God, and it can bear no other fruit."
Could it be that the "spirit of prophecy" moved you to write those words at the time, Mr. Armstrong? Looking at the mess you have created over the years in both congregations and the ministry I cannot but concur with your conclusions. Your organization and Church Government with Popish "ex-cathedta" pontification has certainly brought you strife, jealousies, divisions, and bitterness. It would seem, Mr. Armstrong, that for once a prophecy of yours came true. Your prophetic batting-average over the years has been between poor and very poor: but this time you hit the bull's eye.
You have convinced me, Mr. Armstrong! And even if I weren't, how can I possibly disagree with the Bible which you so profusely quoted to support your conclusion? After all: God's Word yesterday, today, and forever. Isn't that what you keep claiming? Obviously, God's Word hasn't changed: you have. And it would be most interesting for the readership of AMBASSADOR REVIEW to see how you explain this one away.
You invited reader's comments in your article, asking for Scriptural proof that would support Church Organization and Government. You said, "If there is ONE LINE of scripture for such procedure under the New Testament, the editor of the GOOD NEWS agrees to print it in the next issue-if any can supply it! This is our challenge, and we await replies!"
Well, I am sorry Mr. Armstrong; there is NO proof to the contrary and I have to confess that I am unable to take you up on your challenge. You have done a superb job proving your point beyond the shadow of a doubt. However, since you are still Editor-in-Chief of the GOOD NEWS we shall be looking forward with eager anticipation to see your Scriptural support for your Super-Super Organization in the next issue of the G.N.
P.S. With regard to your poor batting average of prophesying over the years, permit me a rethorical question: How many times can one prophesy falsely before one becomes a false prophet?
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