WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD WORLD HEADQUARTERS PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91123
HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG President and Pastor
July 30, 1978
Dear Brethren and Fellow Ministers,
It is with deepest disappointment that I regret that I am forced, once again, by hostile actions by my son, Garner Ted, to bring you up to date with the PLAIN TRUTH.
Diametrically contrary to what he has always said he would never do, he has, not only "raised a hand against his father," in the public press, but as the Apostle Paul warned the elders of the church at Ephesus, "For I know this that after my departing ...of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after themselves" (Acts 20:29,30).
Paul did not say or mean, to draw people closer to God, but to draw away those already IN THE CHURCH, after themselves—to follow a MAN instead of Jesus Christ!
It has happened before. Paul knew it would happen again— and again—and again!
The Lord Jesus Christ, and the God after whom His Church is named were, under Ted's leadership little by little, being subtly pushed out of God's Church and of Ambassador College. It was becoming apparent to several.
One of several such letters just recently received says, "Thank God you are back where Christ wants you. Never before have we been so inspired by sermons or Bible Studies. For the past ten years, so many people, including myself, have noticed that something was wrong.... We noticed that for some reason we were not as inspired as we had been in the past. We felt there was something missing.... In fact, all of the doctrines of God were treated as if they were not important...we were sincere, but did not accomplish much because we lacked so much of the knowledge and faith that we once knew...we were spinning our wheels and sliding backwards. To say the least, Mr. Armstrong, ...Christ has finally shown you plainly where we, the Church, were heading.... I am glad that Christ has put you back in the pulpit to teach us...we can actually understand it when you expound on it."
In my very painfully written letter, notifying you of the disfellowshipment of Garner Ted, I wrote you: "Now I come to something I have felt I had to withhold from you, brethren. During these past few years, when I sensed a CONSPIRACY to bring about a complete takeover of the entire Church's work—virtually to put JESUS CHRIST out...I attributed it entirely to Satan. ...to protect my son's name and reputation, I have 'covered up' for him—because I have said to him I love him above all people on earth.... When Garner Ted maneuvered to shut off communication of what really was going on—when he shut off all authority above him, he not only shut off God's Apostle, but also he shut off CHRIST AND GOD ALMIGHTY.
"Finally, a year ago the men next in authority under Ted came to me, begging me to TAKE ACTION. 'Your son, Mr. Armstrong,' they said, 'has been trying to DESTROY everything Christ has built through you, and build something for Garner Ted Armstrong.' "
His TV and radio programs were becoming secular, dealing in worldly politics, with sponsorship announced, not as Worldwide Church of God, who paid his salary, all production costs, and the cost of air-time, but as that of "Garner Ted Armstrong Productions." Everything was focused on featuring the name Garner Ted Armstrong—instead of the name of the Church.
On follow-up outgoing mail to those responding to the programs, he abolished the "WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD" letterhead—and instead, the letterhead was printed, "GARNER TED ARMSTRONG." With his picture beside it!
For more than a year those now in top administrative offices have implored me to step in and once again take over complete control, UNDER CHRIST—as it was until some ten years ago.
Again I repeat, as I wrote you then, "I say, this Church and its work was built by the LIVING CHRIST! It was HIS SPIRIT that inspired, motivated this entire work—but, He was being put out!"
Fellow ministers and brethren, Jesus Christ has been moving dynamically, these past weeks, to once again ENTHRONE THE GREAT MAJESTIC GOD within this Church and its Work!
Until recently all was CONFUSION at Pasadena Headquarters. WHO was in charge—was it Garner Ted, or was it God's Apostle? Well, I'll tell you emphatically who is in charge—JESUS CHRIST!! It's time we all come to realize this is not the work of a man—or of which man to follow—it is THE CHURCH AND WORK OF ALMIGHTY GOD, with the living Jesus Christ at its HEAD, on His Father's throne!
A few years ago, one of the Church's ministers had inherited some money. He left the Church to draw away our members after him saying he and his wife were about the age of God's Apostle when God started His Work through His Apostle. But this man was not God's Apostle— God was not IN what he tried to build for himself —and his efforts failed completely!
In 1974, some 35 ministers left. They incorporated themselves as the "Associated Churches of God." But GOD was not in it—and it fell flat on its face! Tragically, a few thousand brethren followed after these men, who were seeking to draw away those already in the Church to follow them! Where are they today? I know many of those former ministers have had to take jobs working with their hands to earn a living. That is JUSTICE! But, the tragic part of it is that those brethren, who followed them, as sheep without a shepherd, going to the slaughter, have been probably lost from God!
And now Garner Ted has incorporated himself with his wife and his brother-in-law—and this GARNER TED ARMSTRONG CHURCH has now started a campaign to draw away both whatever sheep and shepherds he can now entice to follow him—to follow a man instead of the Living God!
I say to you, ministers and brethren, Christ is on GOD'S THRONE. He did build His Church! No MAN built the Worldwide Church of God of today—and Jesus Christ promised that the gates of the grave shall never prevail against it! Human MEN, with selfish motives, may try to start a church after a MAN! But it is those in the true CHURCH OF GOD that shall inherit, IN GLORY, the soon-coming KINGDOM OF GOD!
Satan is the real source of human nature. It is ever the same! In the days of King David, whom God had selected as king, two of his sons, one at a time, attempted to take over the throne, and make themselves king, Absalom and Adonijah. But GOD PROTECTED His people of that day, and David, whom HE had chosen!
God called MOSES to lead His people, long before David. Once Moses' brother Aaron and sister Miriam, challenged Moses' leadership. They claimed equal right to lead. God sternly rebuked them! "Wherefore," said God, "were ye NOT AFRAID to speak against my servant Moses?" "And the anger of the Eternal was kindled against them" (Numbers 12:1-9). Miriam was seized with leprosy, for seven days.
But, have we become so detached from God in His Church today, that we think perhaps God has CHANGED?—are we today NOT AFRAID to speak against God's anointed?
Then of another time Korah gathered a group against Moses' leadership. Again God was stirred to ANGER! Korah and those with him were simply swallowed up by the earth!
I simply plead with you, ministers and brethren, HELP ME as I put myself in GOD'S HANDS, to follow Christ in His Church—that we may carry on following Christ (not a man) in once again ENTHRONING THE GREAT MAJESTIC GOD AT THE HELM OF HIS CHURCH!
With deep love, in Jesus' name, Herbert W. Armstrong