An Open Letter To Members
As the title suggests, this is an open letter, but it's a letter that's primarily directed to all current and would-be members of the offspring groups of the Worldwide Church of God. Since we know that many of these articles on the PT Site are read by those who are still within such organizations, and they are read by those who are still examining the WCG theology and the validity of the teachers that profess to be "ministers of God." They are also read by these so-called church pastors themselves. There are several offspring groups at this time, each vying for their own place in theological and monetary history, and each led by a past member/s from the WCG fold.
While there's been plenty of criticism of this PT Site, and that of the AMBASSADOR REPORT, there has NEVER been any evidence provided to show that what has been stated anywhere in these areas has been wrong. The facts, personal experiences, and all the horror stories have stood the test of time as 100% accurate. Since everything stated has been correct - and provably so - then we can only ask the obvious question - why have these ministers within the WCG and its offspring NOT repented of their incontestably wrong actions? Where are all the apologies?
Since about 40,000 members have left the WCG fold, and that includes ministers, isn't this a strong indication that something is definitely wrong? If it serves as no proof that (at least) some investigation is needed, then doesn't this massive departure jangle a bell somewhere with people that these ex-members were unhappy, and so, they left the WCG? Were they all Satanically possessed? Puh-leease! The often used Biblical idea that this departure is, in reality, "the great falling away" is pure and utter nonsense, as the falling away is (by Biblical exegesis) a single happening, and these WCG departures have been happening since the 1930's. However, the more the reader goes through this article, the more obvious the above conclusive statement will become.
What anyone reads here, in this article, is certainly up to the reader to evaluate, and either accept, discard, or research further. While general religion discourages any further investigation beyond their own particular views, this article encourages it, and urges - even beseeches the reader - to go ahead, examine all the facts further, and "prove all things." We have nothing to hide.
A GOLDEN RULE: If anyone - namely some "minister" - ever threatens you or anyone else, simply because the latter wishes to prove the truth (for whatever reason), then it's time to run for cover. The person doing the threatening is obviously one of the bad guys, as logically, God has NOTHING to hide. Any open investigation is healthy, and any honest person will have nothing to fear from questions or an investigation into their philosophy. That even goes for anyone who may have second thoughts, or anyone who is already a member of such a church group. It makes no difference. There is nothing wrong with asking intelligent questions. If any such "minister" is reluctant to pursue inquiry, or if he's stiff and unyielding, or if he threatens anyone who asks questions, then the obvious conclusion must be that this "minister" has something to hide - even though God does NOT. What's he so afraid of? As to any such "minister's" reasons for secrecy, then YOU must deduce the motive behind that reason and decide for yourself. Please read on.
Although references to other articles will be given from this PT Site, please check out other references for yourself - especially the section on books and literature on this site - books that are available from Amazon.com. The links to each book are available on the site, and these are written by outside writers who have nothing to do with the WCG, or any of its membership. These books are simply information that's provided by outside authors who have no axe to grind about the WCG organization or its offspring. It's impossible to follow the admonition of "prove all things," if the only literature that's ever read by the believing follower is that literature that comes strictly from within the organization itself. In order to "prove ALL things," we must, of necessity, examine ALL things.
During the 1979 debacle with the receivership of the WCG in Pasadena, one of the state's attorneys, Hillel Chodos, made a statement about the WCG membership and its paranoid attitude about "persecution of the church." Chodos stated, quite honestly, that the state didn't give a hoot about any of the WCG church's "work," but that the State was looking for WCG financial misconduct. (And there was plenty). When the fuss of fanaticism from the members increased (owing to the fanning by the church's neurotic and over emotional leadership), Chodos - now having found a financial shambles with the books that the loyal (and bonus compensated) staff still hadn't yet managed to shred - made another statement on TV. It's a statement that I'll never forget, and it's something that needs to be stated here - with EMPHASIS.
"People," he said, "have a right to be as stupid as they want to be. But it's our job to point out the stupidity and any illegality. What the people do at that stage, is up to them."
Fortunately, many members at that stage, decided to "prove all things," and as a result, they left the WCG. Others decided to remain "stupid" and ignorantly believed what was fed to them by the WCG leadership at the time. Those financial improprieties had indeed been exposed for what they were. Although nothing happened at that time to WCG for political reasons (See THE 1979 RECEIVERSHIP article), the statement of Chodos still stands.
If people choose to be stupid and let themselves be ripped off, then so be it. That's their own personal business. But, if someone on the outside sees the evil done here, in the name of "God," then it behooves those who can see clearly to "Cry aloud, spare not, and lift up your voice like a trumpet . . . " And then? What the current WCG or offspring "church" people choose to do with this information is up to them. If they choose to remain ignorant because of fear, then again, so be it. At least they have been told, and they can never say truthfully that: "I didn't know, because no one ever told me." Someone is telling you, NOW.
There are probably countless reasons why NO ONE should ever belong to the organizations that have been spawned by the teachings of Herbert Armstrong and the Worldwide Church of God. We can only list a few here. If you want more background to the shenanigans behind the "church" activities, then please avail yourselves of the enormous amount of data in the AMBASSADOR REPORT, and the personal experiences, essays, and articles on the PAINFUL TRUTH site.
Since those of you who are still in the WCG offspring organizations referred to, then you are obviously still leaning toward the Bible as your source of reference. Although this article is not going to be Bible based, I will quote a few references that are used by your leaders in such organizations. These quotes will show that such Biblical references have been used out of context for the profit of the church corporation and the establishment of the leadership here as masters of the people they control.
Here listed, are some of the reasons that no one should belong in any of the WCG offspring organizations. I urge anyone reading to PROVE the following, and feel free to check your own references. If you chose to blindly believe what's been fed to you by your "ministers," then you'll forever remain ignorant, and in bondage to those who hold you as a mental hostage, and a financial slave to pay for the indulgence of their own personal whims.
REASON #1: Your "minister" is NOT ordained to anything. He's not even a minister. This is elaborated in the article: NON MINISTERS. As such, he's NOT qualified to teach you anything of a spiritual nature. "God" is not even involved here, and never was. Since most of these men only have an unaccredited Ambassador education, this then leaves them with little or no credibility in any academic field either. At best, many have been referred to as "ignorant salesmen."
Supposedly, these men all claim to have been ordained by men, who were ordained by others, who were ordained by Herbert Armstrong. The fact is that HWA was not ordained. He was NOT any type of minister when he started his Pasadena based group that was eventually named The Worldwide Church of God. He was once prayed over by a group of people in Oregon and temporarily credentialed by the Church of God, Seventh Day (CG7). However, in the course of the following years, and due to Herbert W. Armstrong's disgusting conduct, such credentials were revoked by CG7. They wanted nothing more to do with him, as I've been told personally. He was, certainly and certifiably, NO longer any type minister, and an ex-member of CG7. If you have any doubts, then please check with CG7 on this point.
Since Herbert W. Armstrong was not a minister, none of his offspring can be either. None of them are ordained to anything. So, your minister is - to use the vernacular - a phoney. And the bottom line is that he is nothing more than a salesman for his corporation, and is (what's commonly known as) a "hireling" or a "paycheck hooker."
REASON #2: Fear is the driving motive behind the WCG organizations. In fact, fear is the driving motive behind most religions. This is rather surprising, since "Perfect love casts out all fear." Since this is the (Biblical) teaching, why are people so scared of challenging the information given to them by their ministers? Why are so many people so terrified to research on their own, and "prove all things?" What does God have to hide? Is God so small that He cannot be examined? Does anyone think that God cares if you try and prove His truth? Is God THAT closed minded? Please think about it. If you have any doubts about your checking into the truth, do you FEAR that God will somehow blast you into the Lake of Fire? If so, then that's fear. It's all man made, because it doesn't come from God. And fear has no place in love - or God.
If you fear ANYTHING from your organization, or if you ever feel intimidated by the ministry, or if you're being subtly (or not so subtly) bullied by them, then you're swimming in the wrong spirit. You're within an intimidating sewer of darkness. A wise person needs to shed their fear and get out and away from that ugly atmosphere. "Perfect love casts out ALL fear." So, if there's ever any fear present, then you're in the WRONG place.
REASON #3: Church believers think they must follow "The Law." We're not talking about any freedom to do wrong, here. That's what legalists would have you believe. No one is talking about a life of immorality or crime. Morals, love of fellow man, and integrity among all people is always necessary if mankind is to ever have peace. But we don't need some "law" or "church" to tell us that obvious fact. Common sense - without church organizations - tells us that when ALL man loves his fellow man (as preached by the Christ character), then the whole world will be at peace.
In reading from the Bible account and in the New Testament, we find that the person of Christ was always at odds with "The Law." He referred to such legislation as "Your law" (in talking to the Pharisees), or "The law of Moses." It was NEVER referred to as the Law of God. That was simply because it was NOT God's law. Sure, Jesus reportedly kept the law because He was Jewish, and that was the way of life in His time. If any of us went to China, for example, we'd follow their laws too, even though we wouldn't follow their ways in the USA. Jesus lived in that society, and so, He followed the established laws of the day. If you remember correctly, He actually "broke" the Sabbath by claiming it was Ok to heal on that day. This was NOT hearsay from another, but the Bible literally says the "He broke the Sabbath." So He gave nothing more than lip service to what He considered were archaic laws. While He acknowledged that the laws were good to follow in order to keep a peaceful society, He felt they were anything but perfect. Remember He was quoted as saying several times: "Moses says (such and such) . . . but I say to you (something different) . . . " knowing, of course, that this Mosaic Law had nothing to do with any higher spiritual values.
The whole Old Testament covenant was based on Moses' interpretation of ancient Egyptian laws, the rules of the Egyptian viziers, and the earlier (pre-Nebuchadnezzar) Babylonian code of Hammurabi. There was absolutely nothing new in the Mosaic Law. However - the biggest reason for the church's insistence on keeping that obsolete and archaic law, is found in the reason given below.
REASON #4: Tithing is supposedly commanded. No it isn't. Again, that's the law of Moses. It has nothing to do with God. That's Moses talking. And the Jewish temple loved the tithe. So do the modern day Pharisees.
Since tithing is such a touchy subject, let's be brutally honest about it, shall we? The Mosaic Law said there was to be a first tithe on a man's increase. Since our "increase" in today's world was our net pay - that was our increase - so why did WCG insist on tithing on the gross? In any case, this (first tithe) was the ONLY commanded full tithe in the Mosaic Law which was to come from any person.
The second tithe (in Deut 14) is only a harvest tithe and a tithe on just the firstlings of the flock. So, it is NOT a full tithe. This was to be consumed by the people themselves, and wherever God supposedly placed His name, and done usually, each year. But in the third year (V28-29) the SAME tithe was to be consumed in a different location - namely, at home. It's use is explained in V29, but it's still the same second tithe. It's just eaten at home instead of some external, pre-chosen location. THERE IS NO THIRD TITHE.
If your minister insists that there is such a fabrication as a "third tithe" in spite of the Biblical evidence to show otherwise, you must ask yourself: "Why is he doing this?" Please check out the reference for yourself, and if you insist on following the Mosaic Law, then you can see clearly by what's been explained above, that the tithing laws have been adulterated by this modern day ministry for the overall profit of the organization. Those tithing laws - all of them - are NO longer applicable.
REASON #5: Check out your "minister." I'm basically talking of the ones who are at the top of these organizations or the ones who pastor the flocks. Also check out their wives. Check out the clothes these women wear. Ask your wives to evaluate the clothing styles and materials used in the minister's and his wife's clothing. Women are masters in the matter of clothing evaluation. They can tell you the cost, almost to the penny. So, what about the minister's clothes? How about his wife's attire? Are they dressed better than most? Are their clothes custom made, and bought from the most expensive stores? Check out where they live - and HOW. Could any average member afford these homes? You can bet the pastor's style of living is far beyond the membership. Does the average member live this well? Check out their cars. Are they better models, newer and more expensive than most of the membership? If ministers are there to serve the congregation, then how come they live better than most of the flock? See if you can manage to get inside their homes. The odds are that they won't let you. They'll have some excuse. They don't want you to see the opulence with which they surround themselves - at your expense. But if you manage to get inside, then have the wives check out the furniture, carpeting, decorations, and accoutrements. Women know the value of these things. I promise you, that these people live in an affluent style that will shock you all.
Have you ever seen your minister surrender and give away all his wealth for the sake of the work whenever there's a financial crisis? After all, shouldn't he be the first one to contribute? Did his wife rush out and sell all her jewels to help the work? Take a look at what she's wearing. Check out the jewelry. It ain't paste either. When church finances were short, did your minister rush out to sell his spiffy car and buy a Nissan? Or did he keep his cushy car and buy another luxury sedan, wagon, SUV, or truck the very next year? Financial crisis? Yeah - right! By their fruits . . .
You can bet that if the "ministers" live with a discernibly higher standard than the regular membership - then something stinks.
REASON # 6: Their theology is wacko. Have you ever been told that salvation, and the First Resurrection, is only available through their group? Is God a respecter of persons? What about the 95% of all those who have lived in Biblical times who've never heard the name of Jesus? The idea of the last 100 years in Isaiah is a crock of spiritual and exegetical rubbish if anyone will read it honestly. So where does that leave all the non-WCGers? Is it logical to create mankind, only to throw 95% of them into the Lake of Fire, because they somehow (by no fault of theirs) didn't get the "plain truth" message propagated by Herbert Armstrong and his WCG? Does God hate everyone except the loyal WCGers? Does that make any sense? Have you ever been told that if you leave your particular WCG offspring organization that God will hurl you into the Lake of Fire? When you were baptized, did you have to accept Jesus as "Lord and Savior?" Where does all this stuff come from? It sure ain't Biblical.
Have you ever been told to shun a departed member, and heard that those people were subsequently "marked, disfellowshipped," and degraded from the pulpit? The "ministry" goes on to prove their point by quoting Romans 16:17. If you have your Bible handy, then please look at it. What the church leadership is saying regarding this Biblical quote is pure theological insanity. These guys not only twist Scripture to their own advantage, it appears that they cannot even read English. This verse (V17) is a simple and personal REQUEST to simply TAKE NOTE OF anyone who doesn't follow the principles of decent conduct that has been taught, and to basically avoid such people. It is a simple request to individuals - personally, and not a decree of execution given to any so-called "church" leadership. It is NOT a command for anyone to publicly humiliate, degrade, denounce, brandish insults, or bad-mouth any departed member for ANY reason. It doesn't say that you are to "flee" anytime you see such a person. It doesn't say the departed member is to be hated, abhorred, or treated like filth or dog vomit, simply because they may choose to disagree with the WCG teachings. Any thinking person MUST ask: "Where did they get all this Biblical madness?"
In essence, these church "ministers" are teaching the membership to hate anyone who doesn't conform to their personal teachings. Such behaviour is not to be found among the Christlike teachings of anyone, anywhere, in any place, or at anytime. This type of conduct is what would be expected of a hardened bunch of dedicated, brainwashed Nazis, and must be likened to the subsequent hatred they showed to all the Jewish people.
In other words, these WCG groups conform to the fruits of a hate-filled "cult".
There are plenty more facts that many people can give, but the above can suffice for now. Check the PAINFUL TRUTH website for an avalanche of other reasons. Again, I urge all you current, or possible future WCG or WCG offspring members to read and prove all the above. We have NOTHING to hide. Avoiding these cults will save your peace of mind, your life's direction, possibly your career, and definitely your finances and future retirement. Too many lives have already been destroyed by these teachings and many have actually lost their lives as a result. Too many of us, personally, have suffered the loss of our careers, our savings, our future retirements, and many have suffered the loss of loved ones who died in agony due to the WCG teachings.
These people have a track record of personal destruction, and if you ever become involved with this spirit of utter darkness, you are really walking "through the valley of the shadow of death." But, this time, there will be no God to help, because there has been plenty of advance warning. There can be no excuse in saying: "I didn't know." Yes, you do now. Please remember to honestly: "Prove all things." After all, what's to hide? And watch. These cultmasters will talk a mile-a-minute to convince you that you MUST stay with their teaching. They'll threaten, coerce, intimidate, and probably bully you into staying. It's happened before. They'll remind you that your eternal life is at stake, but that's been tried unsuccessfully before too. They use all the reasons that "Satan" will get you, and you're quenching the spirit. Does any of this make sense if you're simply trying to find out the truth? Is God that demented that He'd destroy you for having an inquiring mind?
If anyone tries to deter you, in any way, from reading this PT Site, then you must ask yourself: "What are these guys trying to hide from me?" Any honest person wouldn't care if you read and checked out anything. Only a person with something to hide would object. So obviously, there are some things on the PT Site that they want hidden. Please ask yourselves - why?
But ask them to honestly PROVE what they say. Ask them about the aforementioned six reasons given. Ask them about 3rd Tithe, for example. Really check out these people, and their teachings. The stability of your future, and that of your family, and possibly your mind could depend on it.
No one here is saying that we have all the answers. We don't. All any of us can do is help point the way to the real "plain truth" and what we've seen and experienced for ourselves. You already have the answers. Now, all you must do is verify this and "prove all things" to show that you don't need the bondage of those WCG manacles.
Now, to conclude we must have . . .
REASON #7: Because there always must be seven reasons. We cannot leave this article with only six reasons, as six (according to WCG) is NOT a Godly number. So, we must complete the number of reasons with a spiritually complete number - seven.
And the seventh reason is: Please be sure to remember the other six.
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