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Friday, December 23, 2016

The Assumptions of A Flawed Theology

2016 is almost at an end, and Herbert Armstrong has been dead and buried for almost thirty-one years now. His theology, however, still has its supporters/defenders. Nevertheless, many of us now recognize that Armstrong's theology was based on some erroneous assumptions. In other words, the Armstrong house of cards rests on a very weak and unstable foundation.

As a former member of the Worldwide Church of God who has had many years to contemplate his involvement in the movement, it is now clear to me that the whole system was founded on a number of false premises. What are some of those erroneous assumptions?

1. That the Bible is without error or contradiction and must be understood to be literally true in all particulars (demonstrably untrue).
2. That the Bible is the final and supreme authority in matters of faith (blasphemous).
3. That the Bible can only be understood by those whom God has specially called into "His" Church.
4. That there is only one way of interpreting the various scriptures, and that this interpretation renders a coherent and meaningful whole.
5. That modern nations can be identified with ancient peoples of the Bible, and that those identities are the basis for understanding much of the prophecy recorded in the Old Testament.
6. That there has been a grand Satanic conspiracy to suppress the truth, deceive and otherwise corrupt humankind.
7. That God is a vengeful, angry and mean-spirited entity capable of zapping anyone who displeases "Him" at a moments notice.
8. That growth and material wealth are evidence of Divine favor/approval.
9. That almost everything that Catholic/Protestant churches teach is either false or very inferior to what Armstrongists believe/teach.
10. That individuals within the Church are subservient to the ministry and God's purposes for the Church, and that they should never contradict or seek to overthrow either.
11. That "TRUE" Christians are obligated to keep all/most of the Mosaic Law as outlined in the Torah.
12. That mankind is corrupt and headed for catastrophe/destruction, and that we are living in the last days.

***Please note that points 4-12 are entirely dependent on the first three assumptions***

Thus, it seems to this writer that almost every belief of the Armstrong Churches of God rests on one or more of these assumptions. Moreover, it is apparent to this now former Armstrongite that there are problems with every one of these assumptions. And, as we all know, if the foundation crumbles, the edifice which it supports will also fall!

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