Wednesday, September 14, 2016

HWA's Exploitation of the Feast of Tabernacles

It is terrible how HWA exploited the Feast of Tabernacles to cause his followers to revile all Christians as false and under the influence of Satan. The Feast of Tabernacles is a beautiful festival that is precious to Jews all over the world. It is terrible how HWA exploited this festival to make his followers think his organization was the only true religion on all the Earth.

HWA barely knew anything about the Feast of Tabernacles and he mangled it beyond recognition. Among the Jewish community it is a joyous festival that is spent at home or visiting relatives and friends. They build sukkot (singular sukkah), an outdoor enclosure on their property, in their homes in memory of the wandering in the wilderness and joyfully celebrate the Feast together in their homes.

But HWA did not understand any of this. Getting his followers to build sukkah in their homes and meeting with family, friends and follow believers of the Radio/Worldwide Church of God would not help HWA. The members focus and resources would be spent on each other and not HWA's leadership. So he turned it into an eight day annual conference. Instead of being in a tent like sukkah he got his followers to assemble together and twisted this joyous feast into an eight indoctrination session and annual conference.

Many churches and organizations have an annual conference of some kind. Usually they only last for a weekend. But HWA imposed an eight day annual conference upon his followers. What can possibly be done in eight days that cannot be done in a weekend? This is a terrible burden HWA imposed on his followers.

HWA committed a shameful act of cultural appropriation exploiting this beautiful Jewish festival for his own narrow sectarian ends. It is shameful what HWA did to this beautiful festival and twisted it into an unnecessary burden that serves to more effective control his followers. It is terrible what HWA did to this beautiful festival. We should have respected this beautiful Jewish festival and left it alone, leaving it the Jewish community.

There is no need for a Christian to observe this festival. We should leave this beautiful Jewish festival alone.

(Also relevant to this discussion is the following post: HWA's Error Regarding the Feast.)

1 comment:

  1. Herbert Armstrong's vision of the Feast has been particularly hard on the family. I spent part of one Feast in Squaw Valley helping to tutor a student in math who was growing up in the church. Children typically had to spend most of the Feast doing homework. Maybe the adults could go out and party (we'll get to that in a minute), but it could be quite a miserable time for the children. Yes, they may have gotten a special 'Feast gift' some sort of toy as a palliative substitute for xMass gifts, but on top of being disrupted from the regular flow of school, the children were trapped in travel -- sometimes exciting and sometimes 'are we there yet?'. Some of the children were treated to fast food which is really terrible, as many studies have shown.

    But it was also stressful for the adults. First, the expense is absolutely terrible. 10% of your annual (gross) income? (On top of the tithe.) Changing diets (to something really bad for your health), uncomfortable accommodations and often too little sleep. And these days, Feast goers are treated to disease -- and some of them quite serious. And without inoculations, the problems could be aggravated.

    And then there's the booze. Armstrongism by its very nature attracts a sizeable number of alcoholics -- and some don't know that they are alcoholics because they did not drink before coming into the church -- then suddenly, they are introduced to alcohol and begin their downward spiral of alcoholism. This is an extremely unacknowledged problem which is also devastating. Moreover, the Armstrongist congregations form social groups which actually exist only because of social drinking. At the Feast, where so much money is spent on booze, it spirals out of control. And of course, Herbert Armstrong, along with GTA, were alcoholics who promoted alcoholic boozing.

    What has been referred to as 'post Feast letdown' may be more like a hangover. It's not a good sign when a person returns from the Feast and instead of being inspired with new vitality believing that they are closer to God, are tired, effete and drained of energy, groggy from entirely too much corporate conference partying.

    Yes, Herbert Armstrong is the very last person in this world to have ever taken any example from as to living a Christian life.