Tuesday, February 9, 2010

HWA Did Not Name Us!

Why didn't HWA give his followers a name?

The Mormons got a snappy name, Mormon, because that's what Joseph Smith's first book was called. Or they prefer to be called Latter Day Saints.

Rutherford bestowed the name Jehovah's Witnesses upon his followers. They have good sounding names.

I am reminded of this relevant quote from Felix Taylor's blog.

But self proclaimed Apostle Herbert W. Armstrong, who knew enough to come up with snappy booklets and even books which drew us into his mad and crazy world, never gave his movement a distinctive name. Just 'Church of God.' He taught that God had called the church 'Church of God' and that was the divinely bestowed name.

Now I know how true believers in the COGs will interpret this. "HWA taught that Church of God was the name of the church that God gave the church. We were taught that God names things for what they are and we are the Church of God. That is what we are. So it is a good name."

"How can you complain against the name that God has given us? The Devil must be influencing you to reject that which God has given us. The Devil has blinded you into forgetting what was actually taught."

I know very well that HWA did give his church a name. But Church of God, although it expresses the beautiful idea of being a community of believers dedicated to God, because of its vague nature it was inevitable that some kind of distinctive name would be placed upon this movement unless HWA gave such a distinctive name. This would happen regardless of whatever name God placed on His church.

HWA failed his followers in neglecting to give a good distinctive name. When his organization was incorporated with the State of California in 1946 he incorporated it as the Radio Church of God. Then in 1968 he renamed it the Worldwide Church of God.

Both of these names do not help give one a proper sense of identity. In that sense both names are terrible.

Worldwide, Worldwider, that's not a name. When I first heard of that name in the letters for the first Tomorrow's World issue I immediately thought that was a bad name. Why Worldwide? That does not have any bearing on who you are. That is just an arrogant boast. 'Look at me, Herbert W. Armstrong. My church is now worldwide.'

Neither Radio or Worldwide were good names. HWA failed his followers.

And because HWA failed to give his followers a distinctive name 'the world' gave us one whether we liked or not. Armstrongite.

HWA's failure to give us a good name is yet another one of the many failings that false prophet inflicted us with. I regard this as yet another painful insult HWA inflicted upon his eternally abused flock. He should have given his followers a better name. The fact that he did not is just another of his failures towards those he convinced to follow him.


  1. Nice insight. I'd like to back you up on that, RF:


  2. I smell quite a tongue-in-cheek here. I prefer to wait for Jesus to give me a new name, when He comes again (Rev. 3).