I went to Worldwide Church of God services in Fontana, CA and then Phoenix, AZ. I decided to leave right after they started moving new ministers to different church areas, and started getting very strict about everything. Even in normal conversation they were harsh. You could hear it in their voice. I didn’t see much love, only demands of strict obedience. Every Sabbath the same rudeness. One pastor even said during a sermon: “Why are you people looking around the room! Look up here, right here, and pay attention!” He even told people to “sit up straight, don’t lean to the side.” I was already trying to do everything right, keep family in check, meetings on time, rules, rules, rules. You know, the drill! And now to be talked to in a demeaning manner, like they were a drill sergeant, really got me thinking! Where was the love? The true sign of a Christian. So I quit going to services to think things over.
Then I got a job in the Phoenix area and decided I was not going to worship at a large organized religious group again. Of course, this was not easy; the guilt was terrible. It was a new area, no friends or family here. What do I believe now? Was I wrong for leaving? Will God punish me? I lived these lies strongly for ten years. What to do? I could not go to a Protestant church; the beliefs were just the opposite of what I was taught for ten years.
Three years later, my younger son was killed through a freak gun accident, killed by his best friend with his dad’s gun at his dad’s house, while his dad was away on a business trip. You can imagine how hard this was on my wife and me! Now this was really hard to take, and guilt feelings were overwhelming. Was this from God or just an accident?
Life was tough, but about six years later my wife wanted to start going back to a church. I told her to go and find one she liked, try different ones, and then I will go and try it out. It so happened there was a pastor from New Jersey who came out here to start a church, very small when we started, about 10 people, now about 70. My daughter was baptized and married by this pastor and my older son plays in the church band. I love their music.
Now to find out Herbert Armstrong’s sexual sins with his daughter, and that Garner Ted Armstrong was committing fornication and adultery with all the women he could, there is no doubt in my mind that I made the right move when I did it. Thank God for computers and the Internet. The Armstrongs would have failed a lot sooner if these computers were available to people earlier.
It’s a community church that we attend today. No denominations. It all centers on Jesus. Thanks for listening. Thanks again for your wonderful website. It is great. I wish I would have found it a lot sooner.