The Church of God International has a video up entitled:
better known as
“It is universally reported that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not even among the nations, so that one should have his father’s wife.”
1 Corinthians 5:1
Darby Bible Translation.
Well how about a father having his wife’s daughter?
From Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible, (1831).
Ezekiel 22:10 ~ “In thee have they discovered – They are guilty of the most abominable incest and unnatural lust.”
Quote ~ “On thee have they humbled – In their unholy and unnatural connexions, they have not abstained from those set apart because of their infirmities. The catalogue of crimes that follow is too plain to require comment.”
In Chapter 20 of David Robinson’s book, “Herbert Armstrong’s Tangled Web” the author spells out the reality of this crime, calling it not only a unnatural act but a crime punishable by death!
“How serious is the sin of incest, such as when a father uses his
authority to force himself on his own daughter, his own flesh? All
generations of the human family have viewed this conduct as an
unnatural act. The apostle Paul referred to a somewhat similar
relationship in the Corinthian church: ” … such fornication as is
not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have
his father’s wife” (I Cor. 5:1). Incest was disgusting beyond
measure to Paul, who was led to record his revulsion for posterity
in the inspired Bible.”
“Many American states legislated the death penalty in such cases
in the earlier years of this country. I knew personally of such a
case in Texas back in the 1950s. That father was executed in
Huntsville for such an act. He was convicted in Live Oak County,
Texas. He had seduced his thirteen-year-old daughter and had
continued the affair with her until relatives discovered the crime.
It was his own people who demanded the death penalty and the
State of Texas accommodated them. I don’t know for sure, but I
suspect the laws of Oregon and California were not all that
different during the thirties and forties.”
The $60,000 question is, do Armstrong supporters really care about his incestuous conduct? From what I have heard first hand from these folks, they seem not to be bothered with it. One of the first line of their defense is in the story of Lot or King David.
The bible doesn’t spare its hero’s faults from its readers. You get to see what their strengths and faults were. How about Herbert Armstrong’s faults? The sheep who follow the teachings of this man speak of him as if he was the son of God. But do they really want to see the other side of the coin? The seedy side?
And if they ever admit to themselves that all the evidence points towards a guilty verdict regarding his incestuous relationship with his daughter, what difference does it make to them personally?
The David Defense.
Unlike Herbert W. Armstrong, David never set himself up as a spiritual leader who had the authority from God to control every aspect of peoples’ lives. David knew that he was not allowed to build the temple because he had blood on his hands. Consider that David’s sins were the spur of the moment type, whereas Herbert W. Armstrong’s incest lasted for 10 years. There is no record of his repentance. No apology, no admission to guilt, no remorse for not only this above mentioned crime, but for ANY mistake he ever made.
Qualifications For Office.
1 Tim 3:2-12
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
If we use the bible as the authority and word of God, Herbert W. Armstrong had no authority to preach, baptize, or ordain. Neither do the guys who preach today. None of them has any authority to be a minister! Herbert W. Armstrong was the churches foundation. That foundation has crumbled under the strain of this biblical test.
Let me remind the reader what the prophets of old would say about Herbert:
Jer 5:31 “The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way.
Mat 23:27 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.”
Herbert Armstrong was indeed human. He proved by his actions that he had no right to stand in-between any person and God. The same can be said about those who cover up his sins so that they can continue to fleece the sheep.
Defending the Indefensible.
COGwriter Bob Thiel runs to Armstrong’s defense writing:
“What is overwhelming is that there is no proof, yet the accusers, who have no real direct information, continue perpetuating this charade.”
Not true. Since the 1990’s the Painful Truth has had newspaper clippings online that mention Herbert Armstrong and incest in the same sentence. During the course of his divorce HWA’s lawyers tried to eliminate evidence of a “sexual nature” but Ramona’s attorneys said it was crucial since HWA was accusing her of a breach of love and fidelity.
So if there is no evidence of incest as Bob Thiel states, why during the divorce proceedings was it mentioned that the Armstrong’s reached an “understanding” about HWA’s “prior incestuous conduct with his daughter for many years?”
The truth is, that in a criminal court of law Herbert W. Armstrong would have been found GUILTY of these incest allegations. The answer as to why they didn’t pursue charges against Herbert for incest or Ramona for theft is answered in the article itself. “That a trial would be stressful to Mr. Armstrong and might be very injurious to his health.”
Without even mentioning the Lochner tapes, or Robinson’s book “Herbert Armstrong’s Tangled Web” the newspaper article stands as dire testimonial evidence that there was indeed incest going on at one time in the Armstrong family. So when we read:
“I investigated four allegations related to this specific accusation and concluded that unless certain alleged audiotapes (the “Lochner tapes”, where Herbert W. Armstrong allegedly confesses to this) actually surfaced, the accusations are not provable and aspects of the accusations are indeed disprovable.”
know that Bob Thiel didn’t look that hard at the evidence. As the newspaper shows, the incest was part of the legal proceedings in the Armstrong’s divorce. It is part of a LEGAL document.
If we lived in a world of true justice, HWA would have stood trial for this crime regardless of his health. The verdict would have been GUILTY!