Featured Post

Death, Pestilence, and Destruction Around the World Today!

The title of this post could be the opening line of most newscasts and many sermons. Indeed, our obsession with gloom and doom is legendary ...

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Forget Apostle or Evangelist, Did HWA or GTA Meet the Biblical Standards for A Church Leader?

Luke 22:24 (NLT): Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. 25 Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ 26 But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. 27 Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.

Matthew 23:8 (NLT): “Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters.[d] 9 And don’t address anyone here on earth as ‘Father,’ for only God in heaven is your Father. 10 And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you must be a servant. 12 But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

I Timothy 3:1 (NLT): This is a trustworthy saying: “If someone aspires to be a church leader,[a] he desires an honorable position.” 2 So a church leader must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife.[b] He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. 3 He must not be a heavy drinker[c] or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. 4 He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. 5 For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church? 6 A church leader must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall.[d] 7 Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil’s trap.

Titus 1:6 (NLT): An elder must live a blameless life. He must be faithful to his wife,[b] and his children must be believers who don’t have a reputation for being wild or rebellious. 7 A church leader[c] is a manager of God’s household, so he must live a blameless life. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered; he must not be a heavy drinker,[d] violent, or dishonest with money. 8 Rather, he must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must love what is good. He must live wisely and be just. He must live a devout and disciplined life. 9 He must have a strong belief in the trustworthy message he was taught; then he will be able to encourage others with wholesome teaching and show those who oppose it where they are wrong.

And, if after reviewing the above scriptures your answer is NO, what does that imply about their ministries and the churches they founded?


  1. Difficult to define "biblical standards." As many definitions as their are Bible studiers and theologians or (as Dennis Diehl likes to say) farmer theologians. So difficult in fact that it's pretty much a fool's errand to make the attempt.

  2. The point is, HWA and his lackeys taught the scriptural standards enumerated above, taught that as “God’s True Church” they alone understood and embodied them, and then as the years progressed, we learned that they failed to live up. They never did walk the talk.

    The only individual still in Armstrongism whom I ever knew to publicly acknowledge this was the late Ian Boyne. Ian taught that the founders of the Armstrong movement had deep character flaws, but that somehow they had stumbled across the truth. He was endeavoring to “reform” Armstrongism (I question whether this is even possible) at the time of his unfortunate death. Ian represented perhaps the best chance for a restoration of the vibrancy of Armstrongism. We’ll never know whether he would have been successful. None of the current crop of pretenders are showing any sort of life, any small spark. Without an effective leader, Armstrongism has been reduced to a pathetic nostalgia act. I think it is safe to lay this at the feet of the founders and the fact that current leaders don’t repent of HWA’s violations of the above scriptures, they embrace them and consider the example to be license!


  3. One of the responses to my private e-mail:

    I think Revelation 2 and 3 are informative. The churches described here are presumably legit yet in many cases they have serious problems not just theologically but morally. And the history of Christianity since the first century is hardly a reflection of the verses you quote. Human nature keeps getting in the way, even of the best intentioned folks.

    I've often thought that if we or any group of people were filled with the Holy Spirit we would pretty much agree on everything of importance. Yet even in Acts, when presumably the earliest Christians were unquestionably spirit-filled, we start to see differences and divisions, even in areas of importance such as the necessity for circumcision or even whether there is a resurrection! Why has the Christian church never been one as Jesus prayed we would be in John 17? Wasn't His prayer effective?