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The Newest Specialist... The GOOF-OFF!
Plain Truth Magazine
September 1963
Volume: Vol XXVIII, No.9
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The Newest Specialist... The GOOF-OFF!
Garner Ted Armstrong   
Church of God

Born: February 9, 1930
Died: September 15, 2003
Member Since: 1930
Ambassador College: 1956
Ordained: 1955
Office: Evangelist

A big disease gnawing at our vitals is sheer laziness! Apathy, lethargy, inefficiency; these are the common denominators of our times! Read God's challenge to indolence in this article.

   "WE'VE entered the age of the goof-off," shouted the Chicago American recently. And it's true! This is the time of the tea break, dawdling at the water-cooler, going out for coffee; the time of the 5 o'clock stampede!
   It's a time of sloppy work, half-finished jobs, careless bids, unkept promises, slipshod construction, poor materials, and just plain laziness!
   Is work a disease? Is it a SIN to render to your employer a good, hard, honest day's work? Is it WRONG to give an honest bid, to supply good materials, to produce, to WORK HARD?
   In some circles it is! For example, five members of an automobile workers' union in the United States were charged by fellow workers with "working too hard," and were fined and suspended from their union for two years! The men, accused of working at speeds above a normal standard, were given heavy fines and a suspension from their labor organization! Further, about 90 per cent of the membership APPROVED of the penalties against the men!


   Think of it! Living in the times of the GREATEST DANGER in the recorded history of man the threat of nuclear war, deep racial problems, untoward natural cataclysms, growing drought and hunger, a burgeoning population explosion yes, the time of man's greatest danger yet, APATHY is extant as never before.
   God said it would be this way. "For this know also, that in the last days PERILOUS TIMES shall come..." (II Tim. 3:1). Yes, PERILOUS TIMES the times in which you live! But what would be the attitude during these perilous times? "For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, LOVERS OF PLEASURES MORE THAN LOVERS OF GOD; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof from such turn away!" (II Tim. 3:2-5).
   A striking paradox, isn't it? In the face of grave DANGER during "perilous times," men would, according to your Bible, become LOVERS OF PLEASURES haughty, proud, indolent, thinking only of THEMSELVES instead of busily working to avoid calamity!
   God inspired Ezekiel to write of our day (remember, Ezekiel prophesied impending national calamity for the peoples of Israel, over 120 years AFTER Israel had already gone into a captivity from which they never returned!), of the wrong message, the "wicked counsel" of FALSE ministers, and leaders in political offices who say, "IT IS NOT NEAR," or nothing is going to happen we shall have PEACE!
   Read this remarkable prophecy in the eleventh chapter of Ezekiel. Notice verse 3: "Let us build houses this city is the caldron, and WE be the flesh!"
   Yes the proverbial "FLESHPOT." What a paradox it is that in the face of immediate and terrible danger people turn to licentiousness, immorality, phlegmatism and apathy!
   An elderly couple in one of the Plains states was warned hurriedly of a rapidly approaching tornado! Their minds simply refused to grasp this awesome truth. They sat in their living-room, INSISTING the horrifying roar approaching them was nothing but a passing locomotive!
   However, there wasn't a train within forty miles of their home. The tornado blew them and their home into oblivion!
   Soldiers, pinned down under heavy enemy fire on the battlefield, have been known TO LOSE ALL GRASP of what was happening around them! Some have STOOD UP, making the statement they were "going home" or some similar senseless saying. Their minds simply snapped under the tremendous pressure refusing to admit the terrifying DANGER they faced!

The 5 O'clock Stampede

   This paradoxical characteristic of human nature to refuse to admit what it does not WISH to admit is evident in the tremendous debauchery of modern society! The closer our impending national calamity the faster we toboggan-slide into complete and utter moral depravity! Instead of busily seeking the way out of our approaching calamity we take time to play!
   Secretary of Commerce, Luther Hodges, said, "We are SOFT in this country!"
   Mr. Hodges, having had the initiative and driving ambition to work his way up from a 50-cent-a-day mill hand to a textile millionaire, and finally, after having won election as governor of North Carolina, to be appointed as President Kennedy's Secretary of Commerce, is a "come-early, work-late" type man!
   He said there are MILLIONS unemployed but there are also thousands of concerns and businesses looking for people! "They can't find the people who are willing to give a full day's work!" he said.
   Later, Mr. Hodges sternly warned, "We're going to have trouble ahead in international competition unless we're as efficient as possible!"
   In past articles in The PLAIN TRUTH magazine, we have exposed, repeatedly, the tremendous TRADE WAR that is already furiously under way. We have shown time and again the increasing phlegmatism of the average American, British, Australian and Canadian worker with the continual strikes, slow-downs, slipshod work, millions of man-hours eaten up in coffee and tea breaks, and the many horrible practices which threaten national disaster to our peoples.
   In the meantime, a burgeoning union of nations is forging ahead, WORKING HARD to overtake us!
   Lazy, indolent, FAT bloated on our own prosperity, we seek only to sleepily and unconcernedly save what we have! But a VIGOROUS, hard-working enemy is soon going to TAKE from us what we have unless we WAKE UP and get to WORK on the only goal there is!
   Newsweek magazine conducted an opinion survey around the United States and found MANY in various professions who admitted the United States' workers are becoming "clock-watchers." A San Francisco attorney, Mr. James L. O'Dea, said, "Workers on the average just watch the clock all day so they can rush home and watch TV." "We're rotting at the core," said Mrs. Gwen Glove, Detroit secretary.
   "The biggest threat to America is Americans." "The fellow who is really interested in his work," said an Atlanta merchant, "sticks out like a sore thumb." A lawyer, in Dallas, Texas, commented, "You'd better not be at our office at 5 o'clock you will get run over!"
   A San Francisco businessman said: "What is happening frightens me. I THINK WE ARE GOING TO DECLINE AND FALL JUST LIKE ROME DID!"
   These alarming statements, made by average businessmen and businesswomen in average jobs state the case very clearly.
   As PEOPLES, we are lazy, indolent, negligent, half-hearted in our efforts, and have forgotten, apparently, the true MEANING of hard work!

Little REAL Unemployment!

   Unemployment a growing problem among our peoples is NOT, believe it or not, the same kind of unemployment it used to be. Today, there is WILLFUL unemployment, there is deceitful unemployment, and there is misplaced prideful unemployment! There is LAZY unemployment and, in some industries, there is seasonal unemployment, strike unemployment, and cutback unemployment.
   But the day when hard-working, honest men who sincerely WANT to put in a GOOD DAY'S LABOR, working HARD to produce and still can't find a job... those days are simply not here as yet.
   Actually, a glance at the classified ads in any newspaper will show clearly that there are PLENTY OF JOBS AVAILABLE!
   But that's just it. There are JOBS available and altogether too many people are looking for "positions."
   What about YOU? Are YOU willing to really WORK? Are you willing to find a job and WORK at that job even if it means distasteful sweat, long hours, and perhaps meager pay? Or would your immediate come-back be, "Why should I do it when so many others have a soft berth?"
   Its time we shook ourselves out of our lethargy and began to WAKE UP to our national, and our PERSONAL danger!
   Its time to come to KNOW the true peril we face and know what you, personally, should be doing about it! God says, "For when they shall say, 'Peace and safety'; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape! But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the DAY, we are not of the night, nor of darkness therefore LET US NOT SLEEP, as do others, but let us watch and be sober!" (I Thess. 5:3-6).
   Its time to WAKE UP it's time to throw off the cloak of laziness and lethargy it's time for HARD WORK!

A Message about WORK

   The most well-balanced man who ever lived was Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. Jesus said He was sent to this earth to "work the works" of the Father, who had sent Him! (John 9:4). His message was concerned with ZEALOUS WORK!
   Jesus Christ came to this earth to set us an example that we should follow in His steps (I Pet. 2:21). He lived an active, vigorous life a life filled with ZEAL, with robust health, and live vitality!
   It may come as a shock to you to realize you can DENY YOUR SAVIOR by laziness, alone.
   God COMMANDS all human kind, "Six days shalt thou LABOR, and do all thy work" (Ex. 20:9). Remember, Jesus said, "If you love me, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS" (John 14:15). Today, false ministers preach a lazy salvation an easy message about an indolent eternity, floating around negligently, apathetically and phlegmatically on a cloud in heaven! They deny there are any WORKS to salvation!
   But Almighty God neither intends that you live a physical life in idleness, nor that you spend an eternity in laxity and ease!

The MARK of a Christian

   Rather, God says, "WORK out your own salvation with fear and trembling!" (Phil. 2:12). The Apostle Paul said he really had to WORK on himself that he had to struggle, and labor in living a Christian life. "... forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I PRESS [that is, he worked, struggled, DROVE himself, forced himself forward] toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus!" (Phil. 3:13-14).
   Notice an example Christ used to illustrate His message about work. Read Matthew 21:28-31. Notice, "... a certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, 'Son, go work today in my vineyard.' He answered and said, 'I will not': but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, el go, sir': and went not!"
   Christ then asked, "Which of the two did the will of the Father?" Read the answer in your own Bible! The first, of course! Even though he had first refused he REPENTED, and then DID something about it. But the other son though professing to obey DID NOT WORK!
   This other son was in exactly the same category as those of whom we have read who, "have a form of godliness but deny the Power thereof!" (II Tim. 3:5).
   What is your status? Perhaps you have seen the truth! You may be able to SEE the difference between the pagan doctrines of this world and the precious TRUTH of God which you have been hearing over The WORLD TOMORROW program, and reading in the pages of The PLAIN TRUTH! Perhaps you nod your head being willing to "go along" with some of it, or all of it. Many have been able to SEE the truth of God by the REASONING of their own minds. But, if in actual practice they deny the very truth which they profess because they refuse to work at it they are denying Jesus Christ! Notice, "They profess that they know God, but in WORKS they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every GOOD WORK reprobate!" It's easy to float downstream. It's easy to take the line of least resistance. It's easy to let a huge organization tell you to slow down, to take it easy, or to go off work on strike. But it's DIFFICULT to forge ahead, WORKING with all your might, putting into PRACTICE the truths of Almighty God!
   Christ said we are to be shining LIGHTS in the world that others may see our good works! Through the positive, brilliant, purposeful and hard-working example of every Christian, others should be turned to the truth of God.
   There should be such an obvious difference between a person who is a True Christian, and one who only "professes" Christ that you could be able to tell by how hard he works.
   God has not called anyone to take it easy. No one has been chosen so he could RELAX! Jesus said, "In the world, you shall have tribulation" (John 16:33). But God also promises, "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Rom. 8:18). Some, hoping "God will take care of them," have neglected the plain-spoken commands of Scripture.
   They say they have FAITH. Faith, you say? FAITH that God will take care of you? And certainly HE WILL, but unless or until you PROVE TO GOD YOU REALLY MEAN BUSINESS BY DOING SOMETHING ABOUT WORKING HE WILL LET YOU STARVE! God inspired Paul to write, "For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we COMMAND and EXHORT by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they WORK, and eat their own bread... and if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed" (II Thess. 3:11-14).
   Notice it! God says any able-bodied individual who CAN work but refuses to work, expecting others to take care of him, will be put out of the true Church of God for refusing to work!
   God commands us to be quiet to quit criticizing others and to WORK WITH OUR HANDS that we may have, in order to give to others! (I Thess. 4:11-12).
   James said, "Faith without WORKS is dead!" (Jas. 2:20).

Who Is a "Goof-Off"?

   Are YOU a "goof-off"? The goof-off is the "average" worker who takes perhaps an hour or more for lunch, 15 minutes for a morning coffee break, 15 minutes for an afternoon coffee or tea break, about 45 minutes for chatting and doodling on paper, perhaps 15 minutes walking to and from the water-cooler, the wastebasket, or the restroom.
   On an outside job, the goof-off spends far more time seeing to his personal comforts, selecting and picking up his tools, "getting started" or "cleaning up" near finish time than he does on the job!
   The goof-off is always late, his work is slipshod and half-hearted, he is possibly accident-prone, since he knows small accidents will give him several days' leave away from the job with perhaps pay and a half.
   The goof-off is a skilled artisan knowing How to spend perhaps eight hours a day in the vicinity of work, but without doing any work himself!
   In an office, he may be hiding a copy of "Mad" magazine behind the Statistical Report on Business Efficiency. He may be going through the motions of work filing, clipping, stapling, shuffling papers about. He may use a rubber stamp, a handful of paper clips, and appear to be "busy," but he can point to NOTHING truly accomplished at the end of the day.
   The master of the goof-off, according to the Chicago American, is the secretary who manages to make her boss feel she is doing him a favor whenever she does some work.
   An educator, Dr. Houston Cole of Jacksonville State College, said, "The average American actually works only about 4 hours a day. The rest of the day he 'goofs off.' "
   The TOOLS of the goof-off are the telephone (for personal conversations), note paper, form letters, office supplies and his desk drawer (for doodling, shuffling, rearranging, and "looking busy"), the typewriter (for personal letters, notes, or just consuming time), his neighbor's ears (for jokes, last night's party, plans for later, or discussing his work"), the water-cooler, the teacup, coffee cup, restroom, and wash basin and mirror!
   The goof-off is a LIAR! His very presence "on the job" is a lie. He is a CHEAT since he is cheating the boss of all pay he receives during periods of goofing off. He is a FALSE WITNESS, a time-waster, a useless appendage leeching from the company, a cancer in the organization since his example may encourage others to goof off and he is decidedly NOT a Christian!
   The U.S. News said, in indicting America for our softness, that never before in history have the people enjoyed the mass prosperity found in the United States. At the same time, paradoxically, there are now, more than ever, widespread signs of complete decadence in American morals. The U.S. News went on, "Critics are saying that Americans, in prosperity, have become soft. They find people turning more and more to pleasure-seeking and profits AWAY FROM HARD WORK and the high standards of the past."
   Several years ago, while traveling in South America, Dr. Benjamin Rea and I heard an interesting comparison from a businessman in Bogota, Colombia. He said, "Ask a Briton about his product and he immediately launches into a long discussion on why his product is the best. Ask an American, and he sends you a huge catalog. Ask a Frenchman, he haughtily refuses to answer. Ask a German, and two Germans show up immediately, saying 'Where do we put it?' "
   Today, European consumers are turning against American-made goods. Morris J. Gottlieb, Vice President of Market Facts, said the findings came as "quite a shock!"
   "The findings were certainly not what we expected," he said. But he said they felt the findings to be valid because the reports were consistent from one country to another. Europeans felt the "made in U.S.A." brand conveyed the thought of POOR WORKMANSHIP, and little durability!
   Yes, phlegmatism, apathy, lethargy, laziness a soft, coddled, pampered, overindulgent and COMPLETELY SPOILED race of indolent people are on a greased toboggan slide toward their own national OBLIVION!
   Its time you WOKE UP to the fact that America and Britain have begun to go the way of ancient ROME! With HORRIFYING problems to face terrible crime waves, frightening moral and spiritual decay, sickening racial confusion and hatred, confusing religious disagreement, and AWESOME stockpiling of weapons WE THINK IT'S TIME TO PLAY!
   Jesus said, "As it was in the days of NOAH, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man!" (Luke 17:26). He referred to MAN'S PERVERTED WAYS his evil and wrong marriages, his complete MORAL depravity and CRIME, his violence! But He also referred to his COMPLETE UNCONCERN IN THE FACE OF IMPENDING CALAMITOUS DANGER!
   Jesus said, "Remember LOT'S wife" (Luke 17:32). Why? Because, plucked from the prospect of being burned to a crisp in a seething vortex of flame, Lot's wife looked longingly back toward the OLD WAYS toward the perverted PLEASURES toward the lazy, indolent, FLESHLY LUSTS of Sodom! She was destroyed because of her LUST for the ways of the world!
   The handwriting is on the wall for America and Britain! OUR pagan orgy is about to end! OUR "Decline and Fall" is an ever-sharpening reality! OUR "Armageddon" is at the door!
   But YOU can change. YOU can begin to work hard and hardest of all on the MOST IMPORTANT JOB ON EARTH TODAY that of performing the very work Christ started.
   Be sure to read our free booklet, The Seven Laws Of Success, and the article, "How to Get and Hold a Good Job."
   Keep reading The PLAIN TRUTH, and EVERY piece of literature you hear announced over the air, or mentioned in the pages of this magazine!
   Keep listening to EVERY WORLD TOMORROW program you can. Remember, God says, "WORK out your own salvation with fear and trembling!"

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Plain Truth MagazineSeptember 1963Vol XXVIII, No.9
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