HWA’S Embarrassment With Christ

From Herbert Armstrong’s TANGLED WEB


Chapter XI

Writing in The Bulletin, June 3, 1975, pp. 293-294, Herbert
Armstrong explained a perplexing dilemma he had been facing:
“One thing has been a serious handicap, and caused me
and my touring team no little embarrassment. We have had
to say that we represent either Ambassador College, or
Worldwide Church of God.
“I am regarded as an Ambassador for WORLD PEACE.
But if I represent a CHURCH, immediately that shouts to
them ‘RELIGION!’ and that sparks prejudice and
competitive religious prejudice. If I try to get away from
appearing to be a religious crusader by representing
Ambassador College, they ask, ‘Where is this college? How
many students do you have?’ A college even with two
campuses, having enrollments of only some 500 to 700
sounds pretty small, compared to the universities all over the
world each with from 5,000 to 68,000 students.
“Christ has said we must be ‘wise as serpents, and
harmless as doves.’ Some weeks ago I authorized the
forming and incorporating of a new FOUNDATION,
named ‘The Ambassador International Cultural
Foundation. ‘ It is non-profit, dedicated to serving humanity
“Foundations, such as the Ford Foundation, the
Rockefeller Foundation, etc. are regarded with great
respect. I still mention Ambassador College, but also
explain that we have now formed this new Foundation to
sponsor our worldwide educational program for all peoples
at all levels. In time, we may, in this worldwide new
dimension of the Work, drop all mention of Ambassador
College, except as one of the associated institutions.
Furthermore, for accreditation purposes, it is necessary that
this phase of the Word be removed from Ambassador
College, as it now will be legally.
“Already, we are finding that this new Foundation is
giving great added prestige, credibility and favor. It is
something NOBODY CAN CRITICIZE! It carries no
RELIGIOUS connotation!”
Three years later, HWA was screaming about those who had
deceived him into going secular and intellectual! What could be
more secular and intellectual than founding another foundation
similar to the Ford Foundation? Interestingly, that organization’s
founder, Henry Ford II, separated himself from it a few years
ago, claiming it had entirely lost its direction, and he wanted
nothing more to do with it. And, I think, the Rockefeller
Foundation is well known to Americans for its humanistic
liberalism. But Herbert Armstrong craves association with those
types of institutions while he abhors having any connection with
his church and college! No wonder he refers to church members as
“dumb sheep.” What could be more revealing?
Also, while he himself was going international, seeking the
support of “all peoples of all levels, everywhere,” and while he
was actively seeking association with the “great and near-great of
this world,” he had the brass to write to the “dumb sheep:”
of August 28, 1978, his answer is “No.” While he cavorts with the
“name people” as much as he possibly can, he wants the “dumb
sheep” to “sacrifice until it hurts” to further his work and his
work alone. It has never been HWA’s policy to give aid to local
communities via the local church there.
While Jimmy Carter discussed Christianity with the Chinese
leaders (Carter is not even a minister), Herbert Armstrong, who
professes to be a Christian minister, did not so much as mention
the name of Christ on his trip to China for fear of offending his
hosts. Herbert Armstrong seems to have no fear of offending
Christ. But remember, he is ashamed of religion. He would prefer
not to mention the “only name given under heaven whereby a
man might be saved!” Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall
confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father
which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him
will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” (Matt.
Herbert Armstrong has an unusually strong desire to walk
among the great of this world. In May of 1978 he wrote to his coworkers
that he and Queen Elizabeth of Britain were going to cohost
an important premier of a charity motion picture in London.
The Queen’s staff at Buckingham Palace replied they had never
heard of Herbert Armstrong. There was embarrassment all
around. HWA’s boast just was not so. But that is the way he
thinks. He so desperately wants to mix in important circles of
“this world.” One would be hard-pressed to explain what a
religious leader who has taught the things Herbert Armstrong has
taught would be doing sponsoring such a motion picture in the
first place.
Herbert Armstrong was not ashamed to be photographed
with his friend, President Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, who was
involved in the massacre of British people and cannibalism during
the uprising there some years ago. He liked the picture and had it
put on the cover of some of his publications. He probably would
be photographed with the devil himself, if that would advance his
social position. But he must keep his sheep in line back home,
because they are his power base until he can do better. They pour
the money in.
Church members who worked in the expensive new auditorium
in Pasadena began to speak out when concerts of all kinds began
to bring in entertainers and support crews right out of
Hollywood. These crews were not “born-again Christians” by
any means. They run the cross section of the entertainment
industry. In the eyes of religious people, that is not good. Here,
right in what Herbert Armstrong had called “The House for
God” when he was soliciting funds from the membership, were
technicians and others who took God’s name in vain as a matter
of course and others who talked “homosexual talk” while among
our people. On at least one occasion, members were rushed out of
the auditorium after Sabbath services while it was still the
Sabbath in order to get it ready for a performance that evening.
Why? Well, HWA was busily removing the stigma of representing
a church and a college in order that he might be well spoken of
among the New York and Beverly Hills set.