Friday, May 8, 2009

No Time for Movies, HWA

Herbert W. Armstrong claimed that his wife Loma had a dream just a few days after their wedding. HWA would later claim this was a sign that God had called him, but this was unrecognized at the time. This story may be seen in Chapter 10 of his Autobiography. This dream has also attracted outside attention, as this article from the Watchman Expositor shows. This story was first published in the August 1958 Plain Truth, on pages 12 and 18. This was when HWA was teaching that Christ would return in 1975.

In this dream Loma was concerned about her new husband because they often went to movies together. "At that time, we had been going quite regularly to motion-picture theatres. She asked the angel if this were wrong. He replied Christ had important work for us to do, preparing for His coming -- there would be no time for "movies." (Those were the days of the "silent" pictures.)"

So it would appear that HWA would have no time for movies. It must also be remembered that back in 1917 many movies were of short duration. Lasting from ten minutes or a half hour. It was only two years earlier that D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation brought full length movies to the fore. So if there was no time for movies this would include the short movies as well.

I wonder, was this story ever used to make members feel guilty for watching any movies?

Is it true that HWA had no time to watch movies as this angel told Loma?

At the end of his booklet The Plain Truth about Healing, published in 1979, HWA wrote these words (emphasis mine): "After writing the above lines, intending them to be the conclusion, I turned on television for a moment's relaxation. A medical drama was on. In a heated argument between two doctors -- actors taking the part of doctors -- one said to the other, angrily, "You're not a miracle worker -- you're a doctor!" "

So much for having no time for movies.

If this TV "medical drama" was an hour long, or even only a half hour long, this contradicts what this (alleged) Angel said to Loma Armstrong. Maybe the failure of the 1975 prophecy had caused him to relax.


  1. And yet WCG sometimes showed movies at Feast sites.

    Not simply "Behind the Work" films, either. At one of the first Feasts I attended in Big Sandy during the 1980s, we are all encouraged to come out one evening to see The Man From Snowy River. It was a great family film, we were told. In fact, they may have shown it twice (my memory's vague about that now).

    No, I didn't go.

  2. "You're not a miracle worker -- you're a doctor!"

    Didn't Scotty say something similar on Star Trek?