Final results of the Survey III
The first question: Are
you a church of God member?
answering NO 54.55%
The minority responding Yes
Take this into account
when you look at the survey answers below.
Question 2: What
is your age?
55-74 years of
age as the majority of our survey takers.
Around a decade ago, after I took on the role of the Painful Truth
editor, I looked at the stats available at the time, and the average age
of our readership was in the 70-80’s. This group has gotten younger as
the older visitors die off, and are replaced by younger visitors.
Question 3: How
many years have you been a member?
33.33% of the
respondents say they have spent or are currently spending over 40 years
in a ACOG group.
25% of the respondents
say they have spent or are currently spending 25 years in a ACOG group.
16.67% of the respondents say they have spent or are currently spending
30 years in a ACOG group.
Question 4: Do
you consider your group where you attend church to be more of a social
club than a religious experience?
41.67% of the
respondents strongly disagree.
the respondents disagree.
25% of the
respondents strongly agree.
8.33% of the
total that agree with the statement is 33.33%
The total that disagrees with the statement is 66.67%
It seems that current and former members have taken or took their
religious experience seriously, while 1/3 see the church as a social
experience over a religious experience.
Question 5: Does
Herbert Armstrong’s incest issue cause you to question his validity as
God’s spokesman or prophet?
63.64% of the
respondents say that the incest issue has caused them to question the
validity of Herbert Armstrong’s ministry and/or qualifications as God’s
spokesman or prophet.
36.36% of the
respondents say that the incest issue has not caused them to question
the validity of Herbert Armstrong’s ministry and/or qualifications as
God’s spokesman or prophet.
I knew that this question would have some very telling answers. Recall
that just about half of the survey takers are current ACOG members. A
little over 36% of the respondents have no qualms about HWA’S
incest problem (read
the comments). It may be that they don’t believe the evidence or
that they don’t see incest as a moral issue. These respondents are most
likely current members, but it is possible that some former members
don’t believe the evidence either.
In talks with current members over the years, I have had many tell me
they don’t care if Herb was making it with his daughter. To them HWA was
Gods main man and that God didn’t care, or thought HWA was like king
David. To many of the members, HWA was right, and to deal with this
issue, the membership buries this in the back of their minds. (1) Cognitive
dissonance should be what follows if a ACOG’er admits HWA was never
qualified for the ministry or as Gods spokesman on earth. If he didn’t
qualify in Gods eyes, he never was Gods spokesman or prophet, he was a
fraud. So, how can you trust his teaching’s? You can’t. You have to
start over in your studies.
the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort
experienced by a person who holds two or more contradictory beliefs,
ideas, or values. This discomfort is triggered by a situation in which a
person’s belief clashes with new evidence perceived by the person. When
confronted with facts that contradict beliefs, ideals, and values, people
will try to find a way to resolve the contradiction to reduce their