This article teaches the Armstrongite doctrine that Protestantism is an illegitimate form of Christianity that mixes elements of paganism.
This assumption is used to condemn the Trinity, Christmas, Easter, birthdays. (These ideas were actually stolen by HWA from the Jehovah's Witnesses who teach and practice many things similar to HWA.) But an unsuspecting reader of this article would not know this and only gradually accept these doctrines which will cause him or her to become isolated from society and embrace the teachings of a man who is very much a false prophet who repeatedly set dates for Christ's return (1936, after World War II, 1975, by 2005) that failed.
Let's take a look at this article and see what Meredith says.
Millions of churchgoers are in confusion, and often practice a "cafeteria" approach to religion—choosing a little of this and a little of that.This hides the fact that in reality Herbert W. Armstrong also had a cafeteria approach to religion, taking whatever doctrines appealed to him from the Church of God (Seventh Day), Jehovah's Witnesses, British-Israelism, Mormonism, etc, and the end result of his thinking was what he taught in the World Tomorrow program and Plain Truth magazine.
Significant numbers are finding themselves attracted to Roman Catholic teachingsThe unsuspecting reader will be unaware that LCG dogma (created for the most part by the false prophet HWA) teaches that in the future Protestants will flock to the Roman Catholic Church and cause it to become radically strong and unite Protestants and Catholics so that this union will be allied with a European Empire which will conquer and enslave America and Britain (which are taught to be descendants of Israel).
He refers to Benedict XVI's call for disaffected Anglicans to come into the Catholic Church as though this is part of a trend.
He then proceeds to delegitimize Protestantism in order to cause the unsuspecting reader to isolate him or herself from Protestantism in order for that person to become a three tithes paying member of LCG. He portrays them as ignorant of the Bible.
The unsuspecting reader will not know that HWA taught that the Roman Catholic Church is the Harlot of Revelation 17 and Protestants are her daughters.
He then expands on this by delegitimizing the founders of Protestantism. He accuses them of refusing to banish all traces of Catholicism from their thinking.
Although Luther, Calvin, Wesley and other great Protestant leaders understood this, they still had a certain sympathy for their former faithThe fact he calls them "great Protestant leaders" will cause unsuspecting readers to be unaware that this man is teaching something very different from standard Protestant Christianity.
(It also needs to be said that Wesley was never a Catholic. Such looseness with the facts is a characteristic that often occurs within the COGs I am afraid to say.)
He then uses a quote from Luther to ridiculously assert that Protestantism and Catholicism are essentially the same.
Luther said, "No one can deny that we hold, believe, sing, and confess all things in correspondence with the old Church, that we make nothing new therein nor add anything thereto, and in this way we belong to the old Church and are one with it" (Lindsay, A History of the Reformation, Vol. I, p. 468).This is a ridiculous statement. This is simply an inflammatory statement made to demonize Protestantism and Catholicism.
By their own statements, then, it is proved that the Protestants regarded themselves simply as a continuation of the historic Roman Catholic Church, but under a different and supposedly "purified" form. Luther himself vehemently affirmed their essential oneness with the Roman Catholic Church!
They are not the same. Back in the Protestant Reformation they well knew the differences between their religions. Wars were fought, to a large extent, over religious differences during the Reformation. They certainly were not very united. A sad fact of life we are still struggling with even today.
The hostility between Catholics and Protestants would linger on for hundreds of years afterward. That is why Martin Luther King called for "Protestants and Catholics" to be united within a harmonious society in his renowned I Have a Dream speech. It was only until very recent times that such hostility has come to be more unfashionable. However this hostility, which Meredith is trying to tap into, is still alive and well in certain corners of Protestantism.
He then ends the article identifying the Roman Catholic Church as the Harlot of Revelation 17 and that Protestants are her harlot daughters. Thus both are irredeemably corrupt.
So after reading all that the unsuspecting reader is now confronted with the bold assertion that both Catholicism and Protestantism are irredeemably false and are not true expressions of Christianity. What will that person do? Most likely this article will just be ignored. But some will be greatly fearful that they are in the wrong church and will seek further guidance from this organization which seems to be so informed about sacred matters. They will learn more and more seemingly fascinating doctrines.
But unknown to them it is all a cleverly devised trap to grab hold of your heart and allegiance and the money you will be required to pay your three tithes towards LCG. The convert will be trapped in an inherently exploited position within LCG. That is the true purpose of this article. All of LCG's recruitment efforts is just a devilish trap.