Saturday, February 11, 2017

Listening to Garner Ted Armstrong

Recently I decided to listen to some of Garner Ted Armstrong's sermons.

In one sermon entitled "Who is the Antichrist?" he starts out by calmly stating that the New Testament never talks about a single individual called the Antichrist. He ridicules one author who wrote a book saying that Prince Charles is the Antichrist. Then he talks about the "false prophet" who is interpreted in Armstrongism to be the "final Pope," an assertion bound to stir up anti-Catholic hostility.

In one sermon entitled "Fervent Patriotism - is it the Same as Godliness?" he talks about the political situation shortly after 9/11 including the situation with Afghanistan. Although he states his support for the wave of patriotism that occurred in response to 9/11 he talks about how the United States is filled with things that (his) God hates. He also alludes to his military service during the Korean War.

In one sermon he gave in a Atlanta on April 22, 2000 he talked about the annual Sabbaths insisting that Christians are to observe them. Lack of knowledge regarding the Jewish holy days of Leviticus 23 is portrayed in a sensationalist manner as being suppressed by mainstream Christian churches.

HWA, Garner Ted Armstrong and the COGs in general have insisted that Christians are required to observe the holy days mentioned in Leviticus 23. This unusual teaching is contrary to what has been taught by the vast majority of Christians. While it is true that the first Christians were Jews when Christianity began to spread among non-Jews naturally the question arose: Did Gentile converts to Christianity need to become Jews to be a Christian? And one obligation for male Jews was to be circumcised which symbolized entering the Jewish community.

Very early on, even before the New Testament was written, it was decided that a non-Jewish convert to Christianity did not need to adopt the rituals and practices of Judaism to become a Christian. Hence why Gentile Christians were allowed to not be circumcised as Paul argued in Galatians and as was mentioned in Acts 15. Over time it came to be mutually agreed that Judaism and Christianity were two different religions so Christians do not need to observe the holy days of Leviticus 23.

The Jewish Holy Days were specific to the Jewish community back in Apostolic times. They are precious to Jews all over the world. It is most unfortunate that HWA and Garner Ted Armstrong have exploited these beautiful festivals to sow resentment, disillusionment and division within Christian churches. The Jewish community never gave permission for these distinguished festivals to be exploited in such a way. HWA culturally appropriated these Jewish festivals and twisted them into a weapon to discredit mainstream Christian churches and get tithes paying converts. That is a terrible misuse of these precious Jewish festivals.

Near the end of this sermon Garner Ted Armstrong fantasized about the power he and his followers would have as immortal God beings ruling over the world. He mentioned the Elián González custody case and fantasized that if he and his followers were immoral God beings that would easily resolve that case as well as casually overthrow the Castro regime as well. What hubris.

Why wait for Christ's return to have a positive influence on society? One might as well try to help out our troubled world now.


  1. "He mentioned the Elián González custody case and fantasized that if he and his followers were immoral God beings that would easily resolve that case as well as casually overthrow the Castro regime as well."

    Perhaps you meant to say "immortal" but please don't change it -- it's better and more accurate this way.

    Immoral it is!

    Immoral God Beings!

    Yup. That's Armstrongism!

    1. I will admit that was a mistake but since you asked I will it as is.

  2. And the problem runs deeper than that! The Armstrongs rewrote Christianity, and anthropomorphized God soas to make Him an immoral and unethical being in their own image!


  3. As we move towards a total thaw of Arctic summer ice by 2030, scientists at Arizona State University are proposing a $500 Billion project to artificially refreeze the region, preserving a heretofore pristine environment, and various native species.

    As an avid outdoorsman, GTA was always very concerned about and wrote extensively about environmental issues. His son Mark seems to want to repress them, to deny them, and to label them as bogus science.


  4. The first PT I received had at least one article on the environment. I remember GTA relating to a number of environmental issues, and even quoted from Silent Spring.

    In one of his sacred/secular oscillations, HWA criticized GTA's "Capsule Commentaries" being on topics that attracted the 'wrong people' who responded to offers like Our Polluted Planet but didn't want the religious literature.

    Mark blamed Washington for 'taking away our birthright privileges', which apparently include reliance on fossil fuels...