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Worldwide News November 1981
Herbert Armstrong Puts the Church "Back on the Track"
From the article: "But by this maneuver of Satan, the people of God's Church started off the track . . . For watering down of God's truth on healing, the Sabbath, many more vital doctrines followed in its wake."
Mike Feazell admitted to me that he and Tkach, Sr. were part of the group loyal to Armstrong who squelched out the love and grace reforms of "liberal" scholars in the 1970s. All of the changes that had been made disappeared in the early 1980s. Advanced education, changes in many Worldwide Church of God doctrines, including healing and makeup, an increased openness to society -- these disappeared as the old Armstrongism was reinforced through the power of the ruling-elite of the hierarchy.
By Herbert W. Armstrong
FOR THREE YEARS the living Christ has been, working to put His Church back on the track! But how did the people of the living God get off the track? How did the whole world get off the track?
Was mother Eve, the very first woman - a direct creation of God - insincerely evil? Did she have evil motives and intentions?
No. Eve Was DECEIVED! Undoubtedly she thought she was doing right. The forbidden tree, after all, "was GOOD for food," and it was "pleasant to the eyes," and, Satan had assured her, she would really not die. God knew better than that. She was an "immortal soul."
And besides, Satan had said, it would make her a god intellectually -- it appealed to her intellectual VANITY. She couldn't see anything wrong with it. So "she took of the fruit thereof and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."
Thus the WHOLE WORLD was started off the track. And Satan is still at it! "The Devil, and Satan ... deceiveth the whole world" (Revelation 12:9). The apostle Paul feared "lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve by his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted" (II Corinthians 11:3).
Do you think that same wily Satan could not deceive people in God's Church today? Of all he people on earth, WE are the very ones he wants most to deceive. He has the rest of the world deceived already. And remember a deceived person does not know he is deceived - else he would not BE deceived!
Yet Satan did get to our wives today! They certainly had no evil motives, even as mother Eve had none. Had they not repented and accepted Christ, and come into the Church? There were no evil motives or intentions, They, too, saw "no harm in it." They, themselves, would "LOOK GOOD" to the world. Makeup on them would be "pleasant to the eyes."
And it was intellectual to follow intellectual liberals in the ministry (NO LONGER) who reasoned that this little detail and that little point could be interpreted to see "no harm in it" - and after all, if we don't see any harm in it, isn't it all right to do that the world does?
It was all done SO SUBTLY! That is how Satan works. Now let's understand what DID HAPPEN!
How far does God compromise with SIN? God had the POWER to wink His eye at SIN and forgive sin outright, without having to sacrifice His only begotten Son. But God did not compromise one millionth of an inch with sin. Rather than that He "gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not PERISH."
God's Church, the now imminent Bride of Christ, is not going to rise to meet the returning Christ in the air with painted faces and plucked and repainted eyebrows!
How cleverly, without our suspecting it, did Satan influence leading ministers to derail the Church in many ways!
I want, now, to take you brethren through a history of this seemingly minor question of female makeup as it progressed during the '50s, '60s and '70s in the Church. Brethren, CAN WE, remove prejudice, vanity and self-will from our minds and OPEN OUR EYES TO GOD'S TRUTH? We are not going to face God in "THE JUDGMENT" like the world. WE ARE FACING IT NOW! Judgment has begun at the House of God! You and I are being judged NOW!
Some of us have weakened. Some of us have been caught off guard. I am human like all of you, and I was caught off guard and without at the time realizing it, ALLOWED this liberalism to creep stealthily into God's flock! I now repent of that and the living Christ leads me to do what He inspires me to do to correct it and get this holy Body of Christ BACK COMPLETELY ON THE TRACK. For we have not been fully back on the track even yet!
This may be somewhat of a minor question, yet it was used by Satan to help derail the Church! It is only one of a number of points that led us off track.
This question was raised in the Church in the mid '50s. In the July, 1955, Good News, the following under my by-line began on page I under the headline, "What the Church Ruled On Makeup."
"The question of lipstick and other forms of makeup had to be settled. Some in the Church held very definitely that 'make-up is wrong; it's worldly.' There was in some cases an attitude of prejudice and accusation against those who wore it.
So actually the question was first raised by women who felt face-changing was wrong, not by ministers. The next paragraph continued, "But others insisted, 'I can't see any harm in wearing makeup.'"
Many articles followed on the question. These articles covered many specific points and specific scriptures. There was an effort to get to every detailed point (or question, even in "the gray areas."
But we need to learn that God's law is a PRINCIPLE to be .applied. It has to do first of all with an ATTITUDE OF MIND.
The Church RULED AGAINST THE USE OF MAKEUP, based primarily on specific "do" and "don't" scriptures, rather than the application OF THE PRINCIPLE of God's Law.
We did make the mistake of applying God's spiritual Law as the world applies man's laws. The average policeman today has to enforce six times as many specific laws as he is capable of remembering. I am reminded of a comic strip "There Ought to Be a Law," Every day someone thought up a reason for making a new specific law to cover some new minor infraction. It depicted the ridiculous system of man's laws.
Actually, God's spiritual Law is expressed in just one simple four-letter word - LOVE. We apply that law to given circumstances.
Jesus, for example, "nullified the Law and made it honorable." At Mt. Sinai He, as YHWH, expanded it into 10 points -- the first four refining the PRINCIPLE of love toward God, the last six love toward neighbor. From there it expands in principle to cover any and every question that may arise.
But when and how did this thing Of SIN begin? It all began with the super archangel, the cherub Lucifer. He was "perfect in his ways" from the day God created him. Then iniquity (lawlessness) was found in him. His heart was "lifted up" in VANITY because of his beauty (Ezekiel 28:15-17). The wisdom of his mind was lifted up in VANITY. This violated LOVE in the form of obedience and submission to God.
A spirit of competition entered his mind. He said, "I will ascend into heaven [God's throne]. I will exalt my throne above the stars [angels] of God." SELF-exaltation, vanity, jealousy, envy, rebellion against authority, competition, desire to "GET" and "TAKE" seized his perverted mind.
Sin, spiritually, is self-centeredness, self-exaltation, desire to be beautiful, vanity, coveting, desire to GET and TAKE, to exalt the self, jealousy and envy, competition, oft resulting violence and war, resentment and rebellion against authority.
These are the PRINCIPLES of spiritual SIN. There is also the matter of physical sin - transgression of physical laws. Often physical sickness and disease result from this transgression. While Jesus paid the death penalty for our spiritual sins by His shed blood, He also paid the penalty of physical transgression of laws that operate in our bodies and minds "by His stripes." Many do not seem to understand that healing is "forgiveness of sin" - this physical sin - because Jesus paid that penalty in our stead "by His stripes."
But the Church in the 1950s, Still GROWING in knowledge as well as in numbers, ruled on makeup based on specific scriptural "do's and don'ts" - as we then interpreted them. Actually we came to the same right ruling. A very few women argued a bit, but I remember specifically of none who rebelled and left the Church, As near as I could observe our women were happy to leave their faces as the Master Designer made them.
The Church was being blessed and growing - up to about 1968. For 35 years God had caused it to grow at the phenomenal and unmatched rate of 30 percent average increase per year. Then, beginning 1968, Christ the living Head of the Church began to send me to capitals of nations all over the world. I was unable to give day-to-day management at headquarters. Sin entered Pasadena leadership. The Church stopped its phenomenal growth. I had to deal with sins near the top in 1971 and 1972. In the spring of 1974 a ministerial rebellion, led to a considerable extent by two top-ranking ministers at Pasadena, resulted in some 30 or more ministers leaving the Church.
In early fall of 1974, my son caught me on the run as I was leaving for Tokyo and Manila, where I held a big campaign. It was a time when certain "scholars" among our leaders were engaged in "doctrinal research." I had not realized until later that most of them were actually researching to try to prove Church teachings were in error, rather than to discover truth. I admit now and repent of the fact that, not realizing the real motive, I approved this doctrinal research team.
My son said this team had found we had the wrong meaning on four such detailed specific scriptures, and the use of makeup was OK.
Those who know me best know I have a single track mind. That is, I can concentrate deeply on one subject at a time, but when my mind is on one subject, I often do not really "get" something said to me. I was handed a short statement regarding those four specific scriptures. I had especially based much of the decision on Isaiah 3:16 and contextual verses, and on the Adam Clarke commentary on it. I took the note with me. On the plane, I typed the brief statement that appeared on page 522 of the Oct. 23, 1974 Bulletin. I did not return to Pasadena for several weeks.
In my absence my brief statement appeared with my signature under it. WHAT I NEVER KNEW UNTIL NOW was that after my signature, Wayne Cole, then director Of Pastoral Administration, added a few pages giving the new liberal watered-down reasoning, changing the truth of God.
Satan masterminded this in such manner that it all APPEARED under my signature, as if I fully approved all that followed my signature - when in fact I never saw it until the day before yesterday. It was subtly handled and KEPT FROM ME.
I did not and never would have approved of what Mr. Cole without my knowledge published under my signature.
Even now, at this late date, I learn that this "about-face" altering of a decision THE LIVING CHRIST put into his Church caused great consternation among loyal ministers and members in Britain. But by this maneuver of Satan, the people of God's Church started off the track.
I say "started off." For watering down of God's truth on healing, the Sabbath, many more vital doctrines followed in its wake.
But, as Satan maneuvered to start ALL HUMANITY off the track in the garden of Eden, so in these latter days, he maneuvered to use the women of God's Church to start the END-TIME Church off the track. And the whole Church was deceived!
At the time my son came to me with the report that the Adam Clarke commentary was in error on Isaiah 3:16, my mind was primarily on other things, and I made a hasty decision without fully weighing the matter. I have come to realize this. I HAVE DEEPLY REPENTED OF IT. I now correct it before the entire Church.
Brethren, let's get one thing straight at this point. Jesus Christ chose and has been using a HUMAN instrument to lead you. Why blame Jesus Christ for that? HE is infallible. HE makes no mistakes. But WHO among you could He choose as His instrument to lead you who is already supernaturally divine and unable to make mistakes? He took me with my single-track mind, and used me in STARTING this Philadelphia era of God's Church. He has used me, in spite of a few mistakes, in BRINGING ALL YOU INTO His BODY, THE CHURCH. HE revealed His TRUTH to me and through me to You! And now He is using me as His instrument in CORRECTING a mistake, and LEADING YOU BACK ON THE TRACK! Thousands of you have written me you behind me 100 percent. Are You?
Jesus Christ through me has been GETTING US ALL BACK ON THE TRACK ready for His return to earth as the KING OF KINGS, and Lord of Lords. The Church, as His BRIDE to be Spiritually MARRIED to Him, is to rise to meet Him in the air as He descends. Women of the Church. do you think Jesus Christ will say to me, "SEND A PROCLAMATON TO ALL WOMEN IN THE CHURCH TO PREPARE FOR MY COMING. TELL THEM TO GO TO THEIR DRESSING TABLES, PLUCK OUT THEIR EYEBROWS, PAINT IN NEW ONES HIGHER ON THEIR FOREHEADS, AND USE COSMETICS TO MAKF THEIR FACES TO MEET ME IN THE AIR"?
No, dear people, I don't think He will have me make such a proclamation. But rather: Wash the dirt off your faces! CLEAN UP your faces!"
Now JESUS CHRIST, through His chosen apostle, is going to RULE on this question once and for all!
It was through me He ruled on smoking. At the time only MEN smoked. No specific detailed scripture says: Thou shalt not smoke. But I know, in the spring of 1927, when I was converted, that GOD'S LAW is to be applied to given circumstances according to its basic PRINCIPLE. I asked myself, "WHY do I smoke?" To please God? No! Because other men in Satan's world do! Yes. To please the five senses? Yes, the sense of SMELL! Does it express LOVE TO GOD? No! Love to neighbor? No! To some it was offensive. For my health? No, I knew it was harmful to whatever extent. It was a worldly habit. I quit. Through me Christ caused His Church to turn from smoking.
Now apply GOD's LAW to makeup. WHY do women use makeup? To please and glorify GOD? No. God is Master DESIGNER as well as Creator. The world seems to think God did not design women's faces properly, and they try to do a better job of making up their faces than God did. Does make-up PLEASE God? His Spirit says to me, IT IS DISpleasing to Him! (And, like the apostle Paul, I think I have the "mind of Christ.") To EXALT God? No, rather to exalt SELF, which debases God.
IT IS PURE AND SIMPLE VANITY, and God knows it is, even if some women are self-deceived and protest it isn't. It is done to glorify the SELF, not to glorify GOD! It certainly does not humble the self. One woman says it is an ornament of dress, and she doesn't feel dressed up without it. GOD says, "whose adorning ... let it be … the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit" (I Peter 3:3-4). Let it be HUMILITY, exalting GOD.
[Armstrong goes on to give his exegesis on specific scriptures and contradict what the "liberal scholars" had written regarding them]
Again I say to you, it is not a matter of HOW MUCH CAN WE GET AWAY WITH?" or "can we use human reason to do as the world does - rather than what GOD SAYS?"
This effort to bring makeup back into God's Church ended by saying: "Makeup has definitely been grossly abused. But ... it is the vanity which is wrong, and not necessarily the grooming." The argument here is that grooming is not vanity, but it is the EXTENT and CHARACTER of the grooming that can be wrong - and the motivation of it.
My mother and grandmothers did not wear makeup - nor did your great-grandmother of the same era. How did it get into our mid-and-latter-20th century society? FROM PROSTITUTES!
They argue it was done anciently in the world. But that was not GOD'S world. Our women have COPIED THE PROSTITUTES!
When I was a young man, No DECENT WOMAN, EVEN IN THE WORLD, smoked. But prostitutes did. Then cigarette manufacturers used subtle advertising to induce women to follow the prostitute example -- for manufacturers' profits!
Look, finally, at SIN.
It all started with SATAN, when he was the cherub Lucifer.
Again look at how sin BEGAN-- with LUCIFER. God had created him perfect, and he was in all his Ways, TILL he SINNED. How? His heart was lifted UP IN VANITY, because of his BEAUTY (Ezekiel 28:15-17). Being BEAUTIFUL or desire for it led to VANITY. SELF-glorification! His mind went to his BEAUTY, in VANITY. Of course he would have denied having vanity just as mortals today.
Satan introduced SIN into humanity through a woman, mother Eve. She was MISLED, deceived. She didn't deliberately WILL to do wrong - to lead her husband into the first SIN! She was deceived, as our women have been today. Go back and read the beginning paragraphs of this article. It is precisely the way Satan has been getting to our women today.
Women do not use makeup to PLEASE GOD today - for I can tell you ON HIS AUTHORITY it is NOT pleasing to HIM!
Satan used human reason and makeup and WOMEN to START the ball of LIBERALISM AWAY FROM GOD and TOWARD SIN to rolling in the Church beginning October, 1974.
Finally, I repeat, sin, spiritually, is self-centeredness, self-exultation, desire to be beautiful, vanity, coveting, desire to GET and TAKE, to exalt the self, jealousy and envy, competition, oft resulting violence and war, resentment and rebellion against authority. These are the PRINCIPLES of spiritual SIN. Christ is GETTING US BACK ON THE TRACK!
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