We continue with part 2 – “The Waldenses and the Lies the WCG Told”
The ancient church of the Waldenses. It makes the claim of being the oldest Protestant church in the world. The Worldwide Church of God disputed that claim and said that at one time it was one of its “parent” churches linking it back to the New Testament. They claimed it was, for a season, the true church of God. Could they prove it?
Was the Easter/Passover issue the indicator of true religion? Did Christ make Moses’ Law even more binding on Christians? Was there one great false system of Christianity and one true system? If so, how do we distinguish between these two systems?
Contributors to the Painful Truth have made many comparisons of Herbert Armstrong to Adolf Hitler, of the Worldwide Church of God to the Nazi regime, of the “hireling” ministers to Gestapo members, and of the church members themselves to blind political followers of a morally bankrupt system of belief. These comparisons accurately reflect the submission of humans to totalitarian forms of rule. Whether under the guise of a missionary political savior or a modern day apostle of God’s “true church,” demagogues were at the helm.
All of us ex-Worldwide Church of God members experienced denial of personal liberties that people in most democracies can enjoy. We had a taste of (voluntarily, for most of us) living under harsh and arbitrary forms of rules and regulations. Minions that had neither the qualifications nor moral composition suitable for holding positions of authority led us. We are now all keenly aware the evil these types of public “servants” can inflict upon us if we turn a blind eye to what they are preaching and doing, before and after coming into positions of authority.
A demagogue, according to Webster’s Dictionary, is a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power. Herbert Armstrong was an example of a religious or cultic demagogue. Demagogues come in all colors, shapes and sizes and are not a thing of the past. Rather, they will always be with us and continue to be a menace to society.
We’ve all heard various renditions of prophetic sermons in which the Beast Power, a German-led United States of Europe will take Americans captive at the “End Time.” Ministers have given such sermons traditionally to exploit the fears of members and to solidify their power and authority in their respective churches. They have claimed that members who submit to church authority will be blessed. HWA and other cult leaders have made false promises of eternal salvation, protection during the Tribulation, or other material blessings as rewards to members who did not question church leadership.
Tomorrow we will start to examine some examples of Worldwide Church of God “Demagogues.”