Thursday, April 25, 2013

Herbert W. Armstrong 'The Sign': A Useless Video for a Useless Cause

Recently I watched The Sign, a 15 minute video glorifying the false prophet Herbert Armstrong, uploaded by Youtube user, Matthew24signs. There had been mention of it before at Banned by HWA's post, The Sign: Deifying a Man.

The video shows footage of HWA at the height of WCG's power and prestige before the reforms under the Tkachs, with subtitles commenting on the current fall from power the COGs are in now. 

There is no mention of the many false prophesies HWA taught that scared people into joining WCG. One would have no idea that from 1953 onwards HWA taught that Jesus Christ would return in 1975 from watching this video. That is deceptive.

It argues that HWA was sent by God to fulfill certain tasks (namely preaching the 'gospel of the kingdom', the 'truth' (Armstrongism) to the world before Christ returns) and after he dies his work, the work of the Philadelphia church era, is complete and the COGs should no longer strive to proclaim 'the truth' to the world.

After watching it my main response was, if the COGs are no longer supposed to proclaim the 'gospel of the kingdom' to the world because HWA did it, and simply wait for Christ's return, why bother making this video?

To me this argument is absurd and ludicrous. It gives Armstrongites nothing better to do but to simply continue to maintain their identity as Armstrongites and wait for Christ's return.

Often I have heard some Atheists argue that religion teaches people to be apathetic and simply ignore the problems of this present life hoping that one will receive a better life in the afterlife. Personally I find this idea to be mainly a stereotype used to contrast Atheists with (some) religious people. An attempt to polarize people, make them view things in a black and white manner when (usually) things are not so clear cut. As far as I can tell most religious people are not like that at all. The Protestant reformers, Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement, the mostly Muslim protesters of the Arab Spring should prove otherwise.

But there are some religious people guilty of acting that way. Armstrongites tend to be very bad in this regard. Because they focus so much on Christ's return and assume that event will solve all their problems, mainly refuse to vote and tend to avoid secular politics, Armstrongites often ignore social issues and strengthen that negative stereotype. The Sign perfectly fits this stereotype.

Not only does The Sign promote idolatrous adulation for HWA, it is useless for Armstrongites because it gives them nothing to do but wait for Christ's return.

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