The following post is by the creator and first editor of the Painful Truth
About The Painful Truth and me,
Ed (Sorry, no last name any longer. Too many death threats from Christians.)
Born in 1943.
Graduated HS 1961
4 years in the service 1961-1965
1st married in 1964
Wife stricken with ALS in 1965
1969 because I am a bible illiterate, we begin to be sucked into the Worldwide Church of God.
1970 because we are in need of answers nobody else has, We join the Worldwide Church of God.
For the next four years my wife would not so much as take an aspirin for fear of losing her salvation. This was the church's teaching. I watched her suffer every day. I too knew that she was doing the right thing, for God.
1974 She finally dies a miserable death at age 29. We had two sons.
1974 Married again. (I'm a hard learner)
1976 Had another son.
1986 Ordained a deacon because of my years of service and putting the church above my wife, my sons, my parents, my sisters, my job, my life.
FOT 1995 Attended one service gave no money. Best Feast ever! Never really went back to church afterwards.
My two older sons both graduated from AC. They are both free of the cult. As is my youngest son.
I haven't figured it out, and for my own sanity probably won't, but I estimate I gave well over $100,000 to the cult. That after scrimping and going without and used clothing and rummage sales instead of new items, and getting loans to pay third tithe, etc.
December 1995 Joined wcgnet email forum.
1996 One of the first to sign up for Ekklesia email forum.
1997 Was forced to create The Painful Truth because the operator of Ekklesia decided to stop publishing, among other things, The Kessler Letter, which I had provided him.
This is not a sob story. Not looking for sympathy from anyone. Yeah, I am responsible for bad decisions. I am a sucker. I am stupid. I am a fool.
This is me.
Why do I publish The Painful Truth?
"Rumors, rumors, rumors. Don't pay any attention to those nasty ol' rumors." Remember that? There are lots and lots of members, just like me, who never even knew what the ministry was talking about when they told us not to listen to rumors, much less what the rumors were.
Well, now we can know what those rumors were and that they were only "rumors" because the leaders of the church refused to tell the members the TRUTH.
As a good friend told me recently:
"We had some friends like this over yesterday. I mentioned that there's lots of things that went on that members don't know about, and their usual reaction was "well, does it matter now that Armstrong is dead if he made a few mistakes?" "
"So I mentioned his incest and they didn't say anything. When I got up to get dessert my friend offered to help, and as soon as we got in the house she asked me if that rumor is really true. Then she said "now THAT could start to make someone kind of mad.""
Some always say, why do you need to tell people all that stuff? What does it really accomplish? Why not just get them to focus on the positive Holy Spirit? The scandalous past of Herbert Armstrong and the cult he founded should be publicly confessed and apologized for. Just apologizing for doctrinal error doesn't cut it.
And don't you have to wonder about the motives of people that are making money off of this man, since they still will praise him whenever they can, even when they know the awful truth about him? Talk about "hirelings!" They know who butters their bread. What a lack of Integrity. And these are "Spiritual Leaders?" They know that if Herbie falls, they all do. What a joke. Shame on any of you "ministers" that may read this. You have your reward.
Do I believe in God? Yes, but not one that is involved with human beings.
One thing that I cannot explain is the obvious indifference of any god being to any sufferings. I watched my first wife waste away to nothing and finally die because she no longer had the strength to breathe any longer; this at 29 years of age. I know that this is nothing unusual. Most people's deaths are not easy. Death really stinks. It drives people to religion. They have to have some hope. They have to have some explanation for all the pain and suffering that they see. Religion gives them hope of at least a good life after death.
Instead of religion making this life better, it has made it worse. It has divided people as no other force could.
I watched what happened in Bosnia all in the name of religion. I watched the planes crashing into the WTC towers, all in the name of religion. I watched the inhumanity of religious people in Afghanistan, all in the name of religion. I watched the religious fanatic, Jerry Falwell, as he blames what has happened on those of us that do not believe as he does. Then, when he is caught with his beliefs showing, he tap-dances around and says we didn't hear him correctly or he was misquoted. What a bunch of crap. Then he "apologizes" for what he said but if he still believes it, is that a real apology? What he should have apologized for is his religious beliefs that truly do blame what has happened on all of us that do not accept his god. I watched a PBS show this past week called POV, that was about some Israeli children and some Palestinian children. They would get along but for religion.
So I watch all this murdering and blame placing, all in the name of god, and I see no godly intervention. No godly help. No godly caring in any of this. And I cannot accept that what I thought were interventions in my life were actually any kind of help from "god." After we first left the cult, I was still delusional. I was still looking for god in my life and still finding him in coincidences and synchronicities. What good is a god like that? I have finally reached the point where I no longer want a god in my life that will help me get a job but will let my wife die of ALS. I do not want a god in my life who will help somebody get a parking place but will let thousands of innocent people die in the WTC.
Basically, what it comes down to is that I have finally realized that there really is not any god that cares about mankind. There is only us. The only miracles that happen are those that we do for one another. I don't know whether to laugh or cry as I watch an Afghan, on TV, get his monthly supply of some kind of grain or food, from the good ol' USA, and lug it away on his back thanking Allah for it! Doctors, firemen, police, nurses, rescue workers, etc., all do the work and who gets the credit? Well, god, of course. So, if these humans were not doing the lifesaving work, would ANYTHING get done? I guess we know the answer to that.
I am not saying that there is no god. I can't believe that all the "creation" that I see, so intricate and interconnected and well thought out could have happened by accident. All I'm saying is that there is no evidence of a god that cares about us. That does not mean that there is no god that cares about us. It just may care more about letting things play out as they naturally would than It does about intervening and helping us. I have made the offer for anyone to try to prove to me that there is a god that cares but NOBODY has offered me any proof at all. I can only assume that, once anyone thinks about it, they really cannot come up with any proof either. Believe me, I would be more than happy to find some proof. Until then, I will have to go with what I can see and observe and, if any god wants me to worship It, I am open to it letting me know.
Who is responsible, the child that is lost to find its' parent or the parent to come looking for the lost child? Some delusional people think that it is up to us to go looking through the multitude of different religions to find the right one to worship god properly. We have limited lifetimes, resources and abilities; does this make sense? Shouldn't religion make sense? Should we have to turn our brains off, the one thing that you can really believe that is god-given, in order to worship god? According to most religionists, yes. Therefore, I am no longer a part of any religion. I place a value on my brain and will no longer turn it over to those that want to tell me that they know what god wants from me, without any proof.
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