Moment Of Decision
Much has been said, over the years, about forgetting the past and forgiving the wrongdoers. More specifically, this applies to the cultmasters in Worldwide Church of God and Worldwide Church of God+, by simply white washing the whole mess under of rug of "Jesus forgives."
There has also been a lot of discussion about such possible forgiveness when past members have spoken out regarding the wrong done in the name of "God's Church." I've seen many openly criticize this site because of the blame leveled at the head Worldwide Church of God cultmasters who have caused incalculable grief to countless thousands of trusting ex-members. This grief is not always something that is in the past, but many still feel damage, and will probably do so for the rest of their lives. So, simply forgetting all the evil done is impossible. No one intelligent ever said we should forgive and FORGET.
In the first place - no one is condemning anyone here. Since we are expected to (even Biblically) make a "righteous judgment" - and that judgment includes one toward the wrongdoers - then this puts the burden on all of us NOT to be dummies and gullibly accept any pile of drivel that's expounded, and if possible - warn others. We are intended to make a wise judgment call regarding the facts as we have them. Sure, we were fooled, but when we came out of the cult, we then knew the truth, and could honestly relate what happened so that others would not fall prey to the same trap.
All anyone is doing here - at least by my observation - is making a righteous judgment, determining the logical consequences, and reporting the outcome. This is nothing more than putting the facts down on paper and letting the reader decide for themselves. This is simply accomplished by stating the evils done, and in most cases - deliberately, to thousands who have suffered and even lost their lives as a result of being in the Worldwide Church of God cults. If this puts a bunch of Worldwide Church of God cultmaster heads in a spiritual noose, then - too bad. This article is nothing more than a shot of righteous judgment that indelibly points the finger at the offender.
People are willing - and in most cases, anxious - to forgive. But there's a stipulation that goes with any forgiveness, and that is repentance. If anyone is not sorry, or continues in their path of wrongdoing, then there is no repentance, and therefore there can be no forgiveness. We can see this latter scenario in the case of the Worldwide Church of God and the Worldwide Church of God+ cults. From the instigation of all the tax-exempt Worldwide Church of God spin-off cults, to the selling of all the treasures that were once enjoyed by the Worldwide Church of God privileged few - the upper cultmasters - we see no signs of any repentance whatever, and so - in the Biblical vernacular - their sin remains. This is not condemnation, but a simple reporting of the facts, a logical deduction, and a righteous judgment made.
But, were all these leading cultmasters plain stupid? Did they somehow just stumble into their respective cults and were forever blinded from the truth? Do they all have moronic IQ's so that they couldn't see the continued scamming of the members? Were they so ignorant that the disgraceful conduct, which was exemplified by Herbie and his minions, was not obvious? Could they not understand that the whole church's approach was oppression of the members' civil rights? And when they saw the extravagance, did they not question the ethics involved? Could these leading cultmasters have been so blind to the criminal activities that continued?
Even if we wish to use the premise of OCKHAM'S RAZOR then the conclusion must be obvious. There is no possible way that these hirelings could have been shielded from the evil done, the abuse of power, and the decadent waste of money. Therefore they knew all about the scamming, and by ignoring it, they became a party to the wrongdoing. Accessories all - during and after the fact. And so - their sin remains.
Just before we left in 1979, my wife and I sat behind one table in a fast food restaurant during a lunchtime, when we attended our last conference in Tucson. Several of the top cult ministers were there and were openly discussing the problems with the church at that time, the membership decline, and what they considered wrong with the leadership. They undoubtedly thought we could not hear, but their subdued chatter could be easily heard. I can still remember the names of most of those "ministers" and what was said, and who, among the top echelon, was criticized.
Herbert W. Armstrong came under attack as being senile. Stan Rader was scoffed at as being an evil, money grubbing influence. The two new loyal "evangelists," Burk McNair and Dennis Luker were considered a couple of jokes. They bad mouthed Rod Meredith, saying he was tearing apart the ministry, and all agreed that, under the present management (1979), the church was being torn asunder. However, when all was said and done, in the weeks and months that followed, nothing changed in the Worldwide Church of God management, and each of those who were critical of Worldwide Church of God at that table stayed loyally with the cult and with the security of their paycheck.
In those days, especially after leaving, I wondered about the decisions that people made when they left the cult. People don't simply just "up and leave" anything they believe holds the key to eternal life. Obviously, they must have come to a crossroad, like many of us did, saw the evil, and made a decision. We already know what many of those cultmasters and hirelings did when indelibly faced with their own particular roads of destiny. The paycheck and ego were seemingly the most important path to all of them. It was certainly the easiest course, and revealed the action of a coward. The Worldwide Church of God continued to gladly and widely fling open the doors of acceptance to all those loyal followers, and those spineless hirelings who put mammon ahead of God.
During conversations with many ex-hirelings and ex-members, there was a common thread that each had to personally relate. It seems that all had come to their own particular moment of decision at some time or other. There was never a question, in anyone's mind, that a moral decision had to be ultimately made. The choices were obvious, and everyone - without exception - saw those options clearly. If we chose what we believed to be, the right way, then we could suffer all sorts of problems. Disgrace and hate would follow us when disfellowshipped, humiliation would come as a result, possible loss of income could ensue, condemnation from the current membership was a given, lies spread about us was automatic, disruptions within our families was probable, and a feeling of guilt often followed the departed members.
For those, especially hirelings, who chose to ignore any of the Worldwide Church of God problems and bury their heads, then this convenient scenario was the most comfortable and trouble-free solution - for them. Please see HALL OF SHAME. Their lives could continue unfettered, their incomes remained intact, their egos could continue to be satiated, and they could continue to be "bought off" by the Worldwide Church of God business machine. But, I've observed (along with others), that each time the truth is presented to such a person and ignored, it makes it much harder to accept that truth the next time it comes knocking. Many have therefore continued to accept the easy way, maintain their status quo and their lifestyles by slippery-sliding all over the truth as if it wasn't there.
Many ex-hirelings also said that they knew of other hirelings who had faced the same crossroads. Some had left, but most stayed with the cult and its security. So then, many hirelings remained with the cult and preached Herbieizm, even though they KNEW it was wrong, even though they KNEW that Herbie was no more an apostle that the local alley cat, and even though they KNEW that thousands of decent people were being shafted and their lives ruined as a result of such a hireling's loyalist preaching. No wonder their sin remains.
No doubt, in the early years of the Nazi party, the future S.S. members were faced with a similar choice. To ignore or criticize the rantings and ravings of Hitler would have meant dismissal, loss of pay, loss of glory, disgrace, and probably destruction of their lives. In the early years of the Worldwide Church of God, the future hirelings and cultmasters must have also faced a similar choice. To ignore or criticize the rantings and ravings of Apostle Herbie would have also meant dismissal, loss of pay, loss of ego and prestige, disgrace, and possible destruction of their reputations. Quite obviously, the sacrifice of doing the right and moral thing proved to be too great for many.
Psychologists will tell anyone that if a person is bent on doing the wrong thing and keeps justifying it, then in time, that person will actually convince themselves that the evil they are doing is the really the right thing to do. The nazis were reported to have gone this route, and the bullying domination of people along with the senseless slaughter of citizens became a matter of their doing what they considered proper. No doubt, the current Worldwide Church of God & Worldwide Church of God+ hirelings and cultmasters had gone a similar route, and the bullying domination of people along with the senseless slaughter of decent folks' reputation and income became a matter of their doing what they now considered proper. They milked the bank accounts of decent, trusting people, while they stuffed those profits into their own abundant lifestyles and golden parachutes. It appears, that under all such circumstances, such cultmasters and hirelings consciences are lastingly seared, and what is immoral, perverted, cruel, insensitive, and criminal is now considered correct behaviour and justifiable in their own distorted little minds.
But, at one stage, each one of those offensive individuals stood at the crossroads, and were challenged by a moment of decision. They made their choice. And so again, their sin remains.
Each of us, in our own minds, are confronted with decisions daily. God - the all in all - being Infinite energy delivers all thought, ideas, and choices - good and bad. We mull the ideas over, think about them, and accept the energy given, whether it be right or wrong. It all up to us. Those who have left the Worldwide Church of God compounds have made the choice of a moral path, the abandoning of a malevolent cult, and have now taken the path to integrity and honest living. In many cases, the going has been rough, but no one ever said that doing the right thing was easy. But, doing the right thing means an upward growth instead of a downward spiral into degeneracy.
We all have our moments of decision. Many currently in the Worldwide Church of God and the Worldwide Church of God+ membership are still too brainwashed to realize what's happening to them. The more brainwashed they are in their respective cult, the more time it will take for their particular choice and decision of escaping the cult to become obvious.
For those still in the cults, I can promise you this. If and when you make the right decision, it will probably be hard living for a while, with all the psychological damage that's been done to you, maybe family disruption, and naturally, personal retaliation from the cult itself. But, in time, those pressures will ease, your lives will settle down again, you'll look back and learn from this experience, and most of all, you'll be free.
Most of us, in the past, have reached our moment of decision to leave the cult. But exposing all the horrors and evil of such a cult (e.g. on this site) is not wrong. It is a service to those who are still in the dark as to the horrors of many ruined lives. Such an expose simply warns others, who either find themselves trapped in the cult or those who are thinking about leaving it. It is a solemn warning to beware of "wolves in sheep's' clothing," and not to get trapped as we once were. It encourages everyone with all the given facts to make a righteous judgment, and get away from all the lies, chicanery, power plays, and money grasping of the cult. Please remember that this site has the provable facts that can be testified to, but the cults have nothing to support their side of the argument except lies, bullying, intimidation, fear, hatred, and ignorance.
Each of us has our choice in the respective roads of the destiny that we must eventually choose. That will be our personal moment of decision. It is the wise person who looks, proves all things, and makes that choice based on facts and logic, and not the standard religious, cultic salesmanship that's accompanied with all its subsequent emotion and the destructive proliferation of ignorance and fear.
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