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Your Heart Is Not Right With the Church
Herbert W. Armstrong to David Antion on Leave of Absence
20 years later little has changed. This letter eerily reminds me of my own experience. In April 1996 after repeatedly taking these issues to the administration myself I again went and appealed for some answers as to accountability and financial abuses. When I returned home I received a letter from Greg Albrecht that went on for a page saying how much we were loved and appreciated, but not addressing any of the issues I had questioned. He said God was leading him to minister to me. I found out later he had sent Tkach, Jr. a blind copy.
March 4, 1974
Mr. David L. Antion
My Dear Son David:
After two "father and son" talks with you and Molly, I have to be convinced that, to use a Scriptural expression, your heart is not FULLY right with my heart and God's Church and Work, as my heart is with your heart. I don't think you fully realize this. I have tried to emphasize, Dave, that I need you to help me in God's Work, and the Work needs you, and we want you with us 100%.
But I feel that Jesus Christ, the living HEAD of the God's Church and Work, has shown me clearly that it is imperative that you now, in the midst of all this trauma and confusion, take a two months' leave of absence -- that you and Molly and your son get away somewhere -- to some other country -- with salary and a reasonable expense account -- for a cooling off period and intensive PRAYER -- to help you come to see what I perceive you simply do not now see, and to fully regain spiritual, emotional and physical perspective and stability -- a sort of cooling off period, AWAY from this environment where, I feel, with prayer and reflection, you will come to see the whole situation in a true perspective.
Sometimes we come to the place where nothing will help in viewing and solving personal, emotional problems like "getting away" in a total change of environment.
As a father to a son I love as deeply as if you were my own flesh-and-blood son, I see, after much prayer, the absolute NEED of this if you are to serve our loving God and His living Son Jesus Christ in His Church and His Work. I see, also, that this is a positive need for Molly's real happiness. I know you will come back with regained spiritual strength, to resume your ministerial and administrative responsibilities.
Meanwhile, I give and have given you my word that I will deal with love and justice with the present problems -- that I will try to approach the problems with those who have been "your men" as a father to a son he loves -- that I will do my utmost to solve and remedy all justified grievances,
complaints and problems, consistent with God's way. I want you to trust me as your father in Christ to do this.
The living Christ demands of us, David, that there must be restored in His Father 's Church which He rules, the spirit of brotherly LOVE, peace, harmony, justice and trust. I am dedicating my life to that end, and I expect you to believe me and rely on me, and on Christ.
This leave of absence is to take effect as of today, March 4th, and the same conditions apply that applied to Garner Ted's absence. And I would like to know how to reach you by mail so that I may write encouragingly.
With deep love, in Jesus name,
Herbert W. Armstrong
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