Monday, August 5, 2013

Richard D. Armstrong to Children: KEEP QUIET

All About Armstrongism has a brilliant post up about a letter Richard D. Armstrong wrote in March, 1958, ordering parents to discipline their children and threatening them with the Lake of Fire if they should fail to fulfill his demands.
Two hours a week is not too long for your children to sit STILL and listen to the services, and to stay still AFTER the services are over. - Richard D. Armstrong
One thing I noticed about Richard Armstrong's letter is that I cannot help but think he over reacted to the problem. He complains that the janitor mentioned that church children had damaged a toilet and offended the Masonic lodge members by wandering into a meeting of theirs. I find it disturbing that Richard Armstrong did not appear to talk with the landlords directly about this problem. He heard about their alleged threat to kick out the church second hand through their janitor. I wonder why he seems not to have talked with the landlords directly about this problem.

Instead of talking about this problem with the landlords he wrote a letter blaming the parents, threatening them with the Lake of Fire for failing to keep their children in order (in his opinion), ordering them to take draconian measures, announced he will shame in front of the congregation the parents of any child caught wandering around the building during the service.

I also find it disturbing that he cited how he trained his dog to behave in the house as an example of how parents should raise their children. Children are not dogs. They are far more precious.

Richard Armstrong also improperly used a story concerning Elisha in a fear based manner. They were not children, they were, in the Hebrew, naar, which is translated as 'young men' or 'young man' over seventy times in the King James Version.(Amplified Bible footnote.)

Also in HWA's introductory remarks he states that Richard Armstrong felt as though the members, some far older then he, were like his children. Maybe he meant that in a good way but I am not sure this idea was particularly helpful. I worry that such an attitude may have encouraged authoritarian behavior.

And to top it all off HWA announced that he suspects Christ wrote his son's letter though his minister, as though it is like the Bible, or something. No wonder he was called Mr. Confusion.

In this letter we see sad evidence of the authoritarian, legalistic, cruel world HWA, Richard Armstrong and many others help to create within the Radio Church of God.

[Update: July 28, 2017. All About Armstrongism is now defunct. A link to the article under discussion has been added in the words, "March, 1958."]

1 comment:

  1. Just FYI, I do think that Richard would have been a better man if he had the chance outside of Armstrongism. He did pray for a man who wheelchair bound, and he had enough faith to trust Christ to do that. I think the man's name was Clark. Anyway, Richard went through a horrific death because HWA refused to allow him to have anything that would have kept him from going into shock or having the pain of severe injuries that he had.
    I find that anyone who went the full four years at Ambassador College, as did Richard, was totally brainwashed with Armstrongism. I know I have a son-in-law who is still hooked on the system