Articles Pertaining To Herbert W. Armstrong, Garner Ted Armstrong and The Worldwide Church of God
PT Home Page
Complete Articles Index
Read the Ambassador Report
Download the Ambassador Report (Right-click and choose "Save Target") 12.2 megabytes
Email The PT
Primary PT Sub-Pages
Herbert W. Armstrong and the Worldwide Church of
What About the Bible?
The Age of Reason
Acts of God
Alcoholism and the
Worldwide Church of God
Suicide and the Worldwide Church of God
411, Information Please
Death Notices For The Worldwide Church of God
You might have grown up in the Worldwide Church of God
if . . .11/27/06
Garner Ted Armstrong and Geraldo
Rivera Video Download
Stanley Rader on "Sixty Minutes" with
Mike Wallace Audio download
The Graveyard Church of God
Google Adwords for Herbert W. Armstrong
Herbert's Trout Stream
By Retired Prof
The Painful Truth is full of big reasons to doubt that Herbert W.
Armstrong was a true apostle: illicit sex and excessive alcohol, failed
prophecies, lavish spending of tithes and offerings on personal
luxuries, and so forth. But sometimes the little reasons count for
During the 1959-60 school year at Ambassador College I knew nothing of
his bouts with incest and alcohol. I didnít find out about his long
history of false prophecies because he hid his past prognostications and
focused our attention instead on 1972-75. He did show off his lavish
spending when he invited groups of students over for short visits. For
example, in his opulently paneled and furnished mansion he demonstrated
for us a color TV, at that time a rare and precious object. He explained
that all this extravagance was not wrong, because circumstances forced
him to live that way. He needed to make a good impression on leaders of
the business world he might have to deal with on behalf of the church. I
confess to harboring seeds of skepticism when I entered Ambassador, and
this presentation should have nudged them to germinate. Nevertheless, I
tried to suppress my doubts and accept his explanation.
One thing that raised doubts I couldnít suppress was a trout stream.
Yes, I know trout streams per se carry no biblical weight. The bible
never mentions any, and for good reason: the holy land is too warm for
them. But hear me out.
That fall on the Ambassador campus Armstrong had an artificial one
built, a winding concrete channel with rocks and gravel in the bottom,
over which water flowed down from a man-made spring for fifty yards or
so into a wide concrete pool. The water was pumped through a pipe back
up to the spring to flow down into the pool again in a continuous
circuit. The workmen who built the streambed configured one of the bends
wrong and water sloshed over onto the lawn, but that didnít bother me
much. The foreman who oversaw construction was the one guilty of error,
not the ďapostleĒ who commanded it. After that bend was jackhammered out
and reconstructed, the stream was quite pretty and I enjoyed it a great
deal. It was stocked with rainbow trout, and many were more than a foot
long. I often dreamed of fishing in a real stream like it where the fish
were that large and that plentiful.
Its beauty lasted through the short southern California winter. When the
weather warmed up, those lovely trout one by one turned belly-up and
died. Rainbows, like other trout, are a cold-water species. Even I, a
freshman hillbilly from Arkansas, knew that much.
The death of those fish bothered me a lot. It didnít stem from a mere
glitch in executing the plan; it bespoke appalling ignorance in forming
it. If Armstrong really did get divine guidance in every decision, why
hadnít god told him to refrigerate the water? On the other hand, if god
didnít actually direct all his decisions, but merely granted him insight
to sift and winnow the words of others and cull out nuggets of wisdom,
why hadnít Armstrong read a fisheries book or consulted an expert on
I could find no answers to those questions that supported the
proposition that Herbert W. Armstrong was an apostle of god.
Of course I was guilty of gagging on the gnat of an ignorant mistake and
swallowing the camel of the deadly sin of greed, but there were
extenuating circumstances. The gnat was tiny but raw and scratchy,
whereas that camel was well greased with rhetoric and force-fed through
an authoritarian funnel.
If you have anything you would like to
submit to this site,
or any comments,
email me at:
CLICK HERE FOR EMAIL ADDRESS.
Back to Painful Truth menu
The content of this site, including but not limited to the text and images herein and their arrangement, are copyright © 1997-2006 by The Painful Truth. All rights reserved.
Do not duplicate, copy or redistribute in any form without prior written consent.