Exit and Support Network

I Had Serious Concerns

I was a member of Worldwide Church of God from 1974 until 1996. I read their glossy, free magazine from October 1971 to 1974 and it was a very balanced magazine in those years. I came across nothing controversial before I joined. Little did I know I had joined an elitist totalitarian society with the brain quality of a confirmed dunderhead. Neither was I aware of the scandals that were rocking the movement in the United States.

From 1977 onwards, I was having serious concerns about the direction of this movement, particularly Worldwide's battle with the State of California. I wanted more information, and I knew I needed it. However, it was then very difficult to get any information from the U.S. if you were living in England. Also, I only had a pittance in the bank. (I had turned down a very good job because it involved working on the Sabbath every fourth Saturday and like every one else in a similar position I received counsel on the matter.) Also, for decades I did not gossip, as taught by Worldwide, so I learned nothing. (That is why your website must continue!)

There were many things I did not believe, even as a young person; i. e., Petra, Herbert's personal detail on Bible prophecy, etc. I remember one clever deacon who boldly showed me a very detailed set of so called Bible prophecies in the correspondence course, asking if I believed any of this. I said nothing. However, while my eyes were on the Jesus in Heaven from the very date I walked into Worldwide, I did sincerely believe in the concept of a true church organisation (without Worldwide's demonisation of the outsider). However, this meant I was a captive to the very arbitrary diktats that flowed like a river from Pasadena. Two decades of experience proved far, far, far beyond all reasonable doubt that this was false and that my definition of love, mercy and compassion--as loudly proclaimed in the Bible and as defined by the leading English Language dictionaries--was not as defined by Worldwide.

Contrary to true spirituality, many members and ministers openly deified HWA. In Worldwide itself many members and ministers remain who sing HWA's praises to the rafters, even though the rump that remains has reformed. However, many questions remain unanswered. Take just one: a lot of money was disappearing into a black hole in the 70s and 80s--where did it go? We are probably never going to find out. I think that one thing that does anger myself still (and contrary to the foolish wisdom of the world there is such a thing as legitimate anger) is the way I was bullied (and as opposed to the very profound double standards of the leadership documented in Ambassador Report) not to date three young ladies in the 80s, all of whom instinct said would make good marriage partners. Again, Worldwide put a stop to it. I learned the hard way, there is no such thing as a true church organisation. The plain truth is, thanks to Worldwide, like many others, I am jobless and on my own, usually unable to attend church with very little money and living in a really bad area where I do not wish to be. I remain committed to God and the Bible, and regard myself as Church Of England.

Now that there are so many hundreds of splinters, and splinters from splinters, and even splinters from splinters from splinters, I am not surprised. The fruit of Armstrongism is fully apparent in all these offshoots, and is not a product of the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5, verse 20 contrasted with verse 22-23).

Please keep up the good work!

By Roland
June 15, 2006

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