Blast from the past…
by Marc A. Mojica
The totalitarian mindset is deeply embedded in the church of God movement. Some of the language that emanates from certain church of God leaders makes me wonder what they would do if they really had power. I sometimes think that, if they had the means, their opponents might find themselves in a prison camp, or possibly in front of a firing squad. The amount of venom is surprising, considering it comes from apostles and anointed ones.
Let’s look at a few examples. Here’s Herbert W. Armstrong on the leaders of the 1974 rebellion:
“They began by questioning this, that, and the other doctrine, finally exposing their REAL intent and purpose, questioning the doctrine of TITHING, and saying the tithes ought not to go for the GOSPEL WORK from Headquarters, but the tithes should stay in the local churches where, of course, it could go into their own pockets.”
“These dissenting ministers want to desert God’s authority and ASSUME IT THEMSELVES. In other words they want “DEMOCRACY,” VOTING which is TOTALLY unscriptural. They want to be part of THIS world -Satan’s world.”
“SURELY, dear Brethren, God’s dear sheep are not stupid enough to be ‘taken in’ by disloyal, greedy, SELF-serving, rebellious local ministers who are rebelling against GOD, trying to engage in CHARACTER ASSASSINATION of myself and my son Garner Ted, WHOM GOD HAS USED TO PRODUCE SUCH ABUNDANT FRUIT for the Kingdom of God these forty some years!”
“Brethren, I ask you to FOLLOW THE LORD JESUS CHRIST -follow HIS CHURCH, not some split-off by rebellious, bitter, greedy MEN!” (Co-worker letter, February 25, 1974)
Now, let’s look at Rod Meredith’s November 25, 1998 letter:
“But, other men came on the Board and the Council-men I have now come to realize had a great deal of personal ambition….”
“These men who have made these threatening political moves and comments toward me seem to have NO FAITH in the Living Christ to lead His Church and remove me if that were ever necessary. Rather, they have decided to use human, carnal political means to get their way and to thwart the one Christ guided to raise up and lead the Global Church of God. This attitude and approach, if it is allowed to continue, will spread like a CANCER through the body of Christ!”
“With the majority of the ministry and of you faithful brethren standing with us, surely this puny band of politicians will not be allowed to prevail.”
“Once Christ sorts out and removes those who have a wrong and rebellious spirit, I am confident that the Work of God can go forward faster than ever. For we will be doing things God’s way more than ever!”
Compare this to an excerpt from Adolf Hitler’s speech to the German people after the July 20, 1944 assassination attempt:
“A very small clique of ambitious, irresponsible and, at the same time, senseless and stupid officers had concocted a plot to eliminate me and, with me, the staff of the High Command of the Wehrmacht.
“The bomb planted by Colonel Count Stauffenberg exploded two meters to the right of me. It seriously wounded a number of my true and loyal collaborators, one of whom has died. I myself am entirely unhurt, aside from some very minor scratches, bruises and burns. I regard this as a confirmation of the task imposed upon me by Providence . . .
“The circle of these usurpers is very small and has nothing in common with the spirit of the German Wehrmacht and, above all, none with the German people. It is a gang of criminal elements which will be destroyed without mercy.
“I therefore give orders now that no military authority is to obey orders from this crew of usurpers. I also order that it is everyone’s duty to arrest, or, if they resist, to shoot at sight, anyone issuing or handling such orders . . .
“This time we shall settle accounts with them in the manner to which we National Socialists are accustomed.” (From “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” page 1064)
Fortunately, we will never know what Herbert Armstrong and Rod Meredith would have done to their political enemies if they had the power of a police state backing them up. It is interesting, however, to see how similar their language is to Hitler’s when they discuss their enemies.
(c)Copyright 1999 by Marc A. Mojica. All rights reserved