Frogs In The Water
Just like the poor little frog that doesn't know the cold water's temperature is slowly rising as you boil it alive on the stove, we didn't realize what was slowly happening as we got sucked in deeper and deeper by one insidious wrong doctrine after another over a long period of time. The frog could jump out of the water any time it wants, but sooner or later it dies. And we could have gotten out any time we wanted, too, if we could have seen the process as a disinterested third party might if viewing us from the outside.
Consider all the seemingly unrelated doctrines (teachings, traditions, policies, or whatever) that had the inadvertent effect of maximizing the amount of money we had available to donate.
(1) Tithing, offerings, Holy Day offerings, etc. This has been discussed by enough others in enough depth that I don't need to elaborate here. Once we had been conditioned to accept this teaching, then it simply became a matter of how much do we give over and above the minimum necessary. That was manipulated by all these other points.
(2) Ours was the only charitable organization that was really doing any good because we were going after the root cause of the problem rather than applying band aids to the symptoms. Therefore we, being wise stewards of our money, should never want to contribute to any other group like the Red Cross who would take those funds, not misuse them, and actually spend them on digging people out from the rubble when earthquakes destroyed their homes. What a silly, useless Band-Aid that one was. It's a much better use of hard-earned and sacrificed money to drink Dom Perignon and give oneself more expensive silverware than it is to give food to someone whose home has just been destroyed.
(3) All colleges, except for "God's West Point", were of Satan the Devil, their curricula were based on worldliness, there wasn't enough time left before "we flee to the place of safety" to get a college degree, so why spend any money on a college education? (One night in a spokesman's club meeting after I had just given an ice-breaker speech in which I mentioned that I had graduated from North Carolina State University with a B.S. in Applied Mathematics, I had an Ambassador College graduate come up to me during the break and ask me how it felt attending a pagan college. I stood there dumbfounded for about 5 seconds, trying to decide should I ignore him, punch him out, or tell him what a colossal asshole he was for asking me that question.)
(4) God would heal us for free and if we sought medical help we were idolaters, so why spend any money on even aspirin? Certainly medical insurance was a grand waste of money, since we wouldn't even get really sick. But if we did we had a Healer who would fix us up for free.
(5) We didn't have enough years left before the time of the end, no one would need to retire, so why invest any money in a retirement fund or long-term investments? Oh, sure, Solomon talked about laying up an inheritance for your grandchildren, but he wasn't living in a time of crisis when he said that. And we all knew how urgent the time of crisis was because we kept hearing the crack of the starter's pistol telling us the gun lap had just begun. (Let's see, now. How many gun laps are there in your average race?)
(6) Christmas and birthdays were pagan, so why should we want to waste any money buying presents to give to loved ones on these days? Why not rather give a gift to Christ or His Work? I guess if I had gone into a Las Vegas casino I could have found Christ (Herbert-God's son) there at one of the tables, or maybe sitting at the bar chatting up a prostitute, and then I could have given my Christmas gift directly to him.
(7) In giving all that money to "God's Work" we could take a big tax deduction and get part of our money back.
(8) We didn't need to get our teeth fixed since our teeth would surely last until it was time to flee.
When you add on one of these teachings at a time, you don't realize what is happening. And when you are a sincere "dumb sheep" as I was, you don't even care. Especially when God's roving and raving evangelist Gerald Waterhouse, the winner of the Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels act-alike contest, comes by every two or three years to whip us all up to a fever pitch again and again in the name of blind loyalty.
The fact that all of the seemingly unrelated teachings mentioned above would all intertwine to increase how much we could donate to HARMstrong is very interesting, to say the least. Either (1) the whole set of teachings was designed from the very beginning to scam ALL our money, or else (2) Herbert W. Armstrong was sincerely trying to follow God and things just somehow went wrong little by little.
Either way, it doesn't really matter. Even if all the prophesied events come to pass and all of HARMstrong's wacko doctrines are correct, that is still no reason to abuse the people who come to believe you.
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