Open Letter To The Worldwide Church of God Leadership
By Russell Miller
This is an open letter to the Worldwide Church of God leadership, including but not limited to Joseph Tkach, Bernie Schnippert, and anyone else who is in charge or has any influence at all over the direction of the Worldwide Church of God at this point in time.
to whom it may concern:
My name is Russell, I was raised in the Worldwide Church of God from the time of my birth in 1975. After a great deal of effort I was able to extricate myself from its clutches. And I am still to this day feeling the effects of my involvement in that organization, to the point of having recurrent panic attacks and having to talk to a psychologist once a week.
Around 1995 or so, Joseph Tkach Sr. led his organization on what was billed as a significant change converting from old-style armstrongism to protestant-style evangelical Christianity. This change was widely lauded as a sea-change, unparalleled in the history of Christianity. And, make no mistake, the changes as expressed were indeed significant. At the time, I was in full support of the changes in the organization, and I concede that they are certainly a vast improvement over the organization as it used to be, as represented in the writings of Herbert Armstrong.
It was my understanding that the Worldwide Church of God has renounced these views and now considers them to be, if not heretical, than everything short of heretical. This I agree with. Although I am not a Christian, I believe that the teachings of Herbert Armstrong have caused untold damage to millions of families, adults, and children. It is not possible to overestimate or overstate this damage.
I have been outspoken in my doubts as to the veracity and sincerity of these changes ever since I have left the organization, but I have always had underneath a glimmer of hope in your collective humanity to "do the right thing", as it were. That is, until this week, when I learned that you have sold the rights to some of Herbert Armstrong's works to what is arguably one of the most extreme and dangerous of the Armstrongite cults the Philadelphia Church of God.
I have sat by in bewildered bemusement at most of the harebrained things that you have pulled over the past 8 years or so. When you decided to become a real estate broker/developer, I sat back and laughed. Mostly I just felt sad for you. In fact, I have been trying my hardest to figure out whether most of your actions are due to malice or just plain stupidity and ignorance. Until this week. Now I am furious.
I believe I speak for the hundreds of thousands of people who have been collectively harmed by the lecherous man that was Herbert Armstrong, when I say:
How DARE you!
Are all of the changes that you have professed to make all for naught? Does the sincerity of the changes that you purport to have made stop at the hope of getting a few dollars? Is money that important to you, that you would sell away the lives of thousands of people that will undoubtedly get sucked into the twisted world of the armstrongite cult? Would you sell your very _souls_ if the opportunity were to present itself? Or have you already?!
If you had been truly interested in doing right by all the people who have been harmed by your organization in the past, and if you had been truly interested in the well being of your members and in the "spiritual health" of those who have been affected by you, you would have burned those works a long time ago. And more so, you would have not sold them to anyone else at *any* price, no matter whether or not the legal costs would have bankrupted your organization. You would have fought this fight until it could not have been fought any more. But at any cost, _You would not have allowed these works to fall into the hands of an organization such as the PCG_.
Not only have you enabled the PCG to begin using the works of Armstrong again in order to suck even more people into that mindset which you have supposedly renounced, you have lent credence to the "prophesying" of that false prophet, Gerald Flurry, who had in the past prophesied to his "sheep" that he would eventually gain the copyrights to these works. You have lent that man credibility, which is inexcusable. It makes me sick to my stomach to think of the crowing and gloating that will be coming out of the nether regions of Oklahoma, and it makes me even more sick to my stomach to think of the fact that it is your ultimate betrayal those people who have put themselves on a pedestal as shining examples of "Christian stewardship" that has allowed it to happen.
I had hoped that someday you would show a glimmer of humanity and finally do the right thing. I no longer hold out any hope of that happening. In this action, you have removed the thin shroud of the changes that you have purported to make, and revealed yourselves to be the worst sort of people imaginable. I hope you are happy with yourselves. The potentially lethal damage that your actions have inflicted on all of these poor people is on your head now. If there is a god, may he have mercy on your souls. You are going to need it.
Russell Miller firstname.lastname@example.org
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