Midnight Is A Cat
By John B
Midnight is a cat.
Cats can see in the dark.
Therefore: Midnight can see in the dark.
Irrefutable logic. Proof beyond all dispute. Only a fool would argue the point.
And so it was that we, those of us who were lured by the teachings of Herbert Armstrong, were shown proof that his doctrines were correct. "Don't believe me!" he said repeatedly. "Read it for yourself! If it's not in the pages of your Bible, then don't believe it!" And with that simple declaration he convinced tens of thousands that he was sincere.
"Prove all things. Hold fast that which is good." Straight out of the Bible. We were shown hundreds of proofs. Seven Proofs God Exists. The Proof of the Bible. The Plain Truth. The Plain Truth About Childrearing. The Plain Truth about [a whole bunch of things]. Ministers were always proving things to us. We were constantly told to prove things for ourselves (using accepted WCG-authored publications). Most of us dutifully sat down with the Bible Correspondence Course and other materials and checked out every scripture, every biblical citation, and proved beyond a doubt that Armstrong's church was, indeed, God's True End-Time Church.
And once we had proved it, most of us were no longer willing to entertain any argument on the subject. Most of us were convinced we had "found it", that we were in the right place, that God had called us out of an evil and corrupt world. The evidence was in. God had spoken. God had appointed Herbert Armstrong as the end-time apostle, with many dozens of "shepherds" under him. We knew this, because we had proved it. The proof was irrefutable.
Midnight is a cat...
Once this proof had been accepted and internalized, we were no longer at liberty to entertain any ideas or arguments that did not originate within the WCG. "Dissident" publications such as Ambassador Report were the work of Satan, aimed only at tearing down God's church and killing its members. We were to avoid them at all costs, and most of us did.
Cats can see in the dark...
And, having proved what we had proved, we now had to accept all teachings handed down by Herbert Armstrong and those who worked for him. We were no longer at liberty to even prove whether they were right or wrong, because we had already proved it, and now we simply had to accept and obey.
Therefore: Midnight can see in the dark.
But - what if there was more? What if there was something we did not know? What if we had not been given all of the evidence? What should we have done then?
I mean, just suppose...
MIDNIGHT IS BLIND!
One of the local elders in the Fresno church was a good friend of mine at the time that I quit. He was most distressed to see me go and tried to argue me down. By that time I already had far too much information to stay, information that proved beyond a doubt the corruption in the organization. As yet I had very little doctrinal proof (aside from the tithing fallacy), but that would come later. I only knew that the God I believed in would never be behind an organization as corrupt as the Armstrong/Tkach empire.
This local elder was also a lawyer (very rare in the provinces of WCG), so when he was going on and on about the proofs of the divinity of WCG, I tried to use an analogy he could understand.
"Dave," I said, "suppose a jury sits and listens to a murder case and after two weeks of hearing all the evidence, they come back with a guilty verdict. They know the defendant is guilty because the evidence and the testimony has been very convincing. So the defendant goes to prison for life (or maybe to death row). Years later, the members of the jury discover that certain evidence was suppressed at the trial. Eyewitness testimony, perhaps, or physical evidence that was disallowed because of a technicality. This suppressed evidence is sufficient to demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that the defendant was, in fact, not guilty.
"Dave, how is that jury going to feel?"
"What's your point?" he asked.
"We weren't given all the evidence, Dave. You haven't seen the evidence that was suppressed. I have. Forty years later, I've seen the evidence. And you should look at it, too."
"There is no evidence!" he exclaimed. And today he is still straining at gnats, living in fear of a tribulation that isn't going to come, preaching that same fear to others. Because, lawyer or not, no matter how smart he is, he has the mind of a cult member. He still isn't willing to review the evidence that was suppressed.
Lots of people claim to have open minds. Most of them don't. The mark of having an open mind is to be willing to look at the evidence again. And again. And again. It may not change for ten years, or twenty, or forty. But one day, something may turn up that wasn't there before, something you never knew about, or even dreamed of. If you stop looking after only the first time, then you are a fool. Your willingness to review the evidence that one last time might be the thing that will set you free, or save your life.
If you are still a member of the WCG+ cults (or any other cult), you owe it to yourself to think about it. Did you prove it once before?
Then prove it again!
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