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Monday, February 22, 2016

My Statement of Nonbelief

As most of the various Armstrong Churches of God have presented a formal statement describing their beliefs to the public, I thought that it would be interesting to offer my own Statement of Nonbelief to highlight the theological distance which I have traveled since being disfellowshipped from the original Worldwide Church of God in 1985. Indeed, many of the folks both within and outside of that culture have questioned me about my beliefs (Do you still believe this or that?). While this should not be regarded as an exhaustive or comprehensive list of the doctrines/teachings of Armstrongism which I have rejected, I believe it will underscore just how far away from that culture I have journeyed over the last thirty years.

My Statement of Nonbelief:

1. I don't believe that the Bible is God's complete and final statement/authority about "Himself" or "His" plans for us. I also don't believe that everything in the Bible is the "Word of God," or that it is inerrant or free of contradictions. Moreover, I don't believe that all Scripture is subject to a literal understanding/interpretation.
2. I don't believe that God is defined or contained by Scripture.
3. I don't believe that any individual, group or church has all of the truth or is the only vehicle through which God is working.
4. I don't believe that God instituted a hierarchical or authoritarian form of government within "His" Church.
5. I don't believe that any individual or group has the spiritual authority to excommunicate/disfellowship someone from God's Church.
6. I don't believe that keeping the Law (including the Sabbath command) is necessary to receive salvation or win God's favor.
7. I don't believe that God expects Christians to observe the Holy Days or the regulations regarding clean and unclean meats outlined in the Old Testament.
8. I don't believe that there is anything inherently wrong with Christians observing Christmas, New Years, Easter, birthdays, etc.
9. I don't believe that Scripture delineates three separate tithes, or that Christians are obligated to tithe on their gross income, or that they are required to give all of their tithes/offerings to any individual, group or organization.
10. I don't believe that prophecy was intended to equate modern people or peoples with ancient individuals or nations, or to provide us with a timetable for world events.
11. I don't believe that the peoples of the United States and British Commonwealth are descended from two of the so-called lost tribes of Israel, and I don't believe that the current British royal family occupies David's throne.
12. I don't believe that the gospel message is exclusively concerned with the subject of government.
13. I don't believe that anyone knows what happens when a person dies, and I don't believe that Scripture provides us with a clear understanding of the subject either.
14. I don't believe that Christians will one day be God or equal to God.
15. I don't believe that Jesus Christ was resurrected on the Sabbath, or that Christians who regard that event as having occurred on the first day of the week are wrong.
16. I don't believe that homosexuality is an abomination or that homosexuals are bound for the Lake of Fire.
17. I don't believe that God ever had to change "His" plans or that this earth was originally designed for angels.
18. I don't believe that any part of the rituals surrounding the Day of Atonement had anything to do with Satan.
19. I don't believe that angels are immortal, and that Satan's ultimate fate is to be cast into outer darkness.
20. I don't believe that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit immunizes anyone against deception or fallibility.
21. I don't believe that Herbert Armstrong was qualified to be a minister of Jesus Christ, let alone an evangelist, prophet or apostle.
22. I don't believe that the theory of evolution contradicts God's existence or undermines "His" role as Creator.

What do you think of my list?

1 comment:

  1. A friend sent me this link:
    http://johnpavlovitz.com/2016/02/22/breaking-bread-with-heretics-the-table-of-gods-hospitality/

    ReplyDelete