WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD WORLD HEADQUARTERS PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91123
HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG President and Pastor
May 21, 1978
Dear Co-Workers and Brethren in Christ,
God's great Work—to the whole world—is, truly, going ahead now as never before, with A NEW START!
Soon you will hear NEW PROGRAMS from me, on both radio and television. Just as Moses, the man of God, had not abated in his strength of mind and spirit, in leading the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage into the Promised Land, after 80 years of age, so the SAME GOD has sustained my mind, energy and power for the completion of His Work in this world.
On July 4th there will be a big "4th of July Celebration" in Jerusalem, hosted jointly by the Mayor of Jerusalem, Mr. Teddy Kollek, and myself. The city of Philadelphia had an exact duplicate made of the Liberty Bell—crack and all—and gave it to the city of Jerusalem. In the spring of 1976—Passover time—the mayor came to me privately, and asked my help in building an important downtown park in Jerusalem, to be named the "LIBERTY BELL PARK." Through the AICF, I was able to agree to supply the children's playground area, at the very opening of the park. The park is now completed, and Mayor Kollek has asked me to be present on July 4th for the opening and dedication of the Liberty Bell Park.
July 8th, I am scheduled to co-host an important premier of a charity motion picture to raise funds for the handicapped children in Britain. Queen Elizabeth II has promised to co-host this premier and banquet—and in the event she is unable to be present, either Prince Charles (the next King) or Prince Philip will be there.
In early August, I am again to go to Japan—and perhaps other points in the Far East. Other campaigns in world capitals are now being planned—as before my heart failure and illness. December 1st, the Israeli government is planning a celebration in my honor—on the 10th anniversary of the beginning of our participation in the great archeological excavation, starting southward from the Temple Mount. This date will mark the beginning of the second decade of this major project—now starting further south, in the area of the ancient City of David, to uncover 2,500 years of accumulated debris (some 50 feet high) over the ancient palace and THRONE of King David. The AICF is following through on this—preparing the very SITE of the THRONE on which Christ will sit at His coming. This is just one of the ways in which we are preparing the way for His coming and establishment of the KINGDOM OF GOD, ushering in WORLD PEACE.
Now in regard to the recent shifts I have been compelled to make in the administration of God's Work, I will simply quote in full a letter I addressed to my son, Garner Ted Armstrong, on May l9th. Let me say here that I did not realize the extent of his disagreement with THE WAY Christ started God's Work through me, until somewhat recently. There was not, and is not, any "power struggle" for control of God's Church and His Work. JESUS CHRIST IS IN CHARGE! At all times I have done all in my power to protect my son's good name and integrity. But I feel now that to withhold from you the FULL FACTS, as stated in this letter I am now making an open letter, would do more harm to his good name than to state THE FACTS as they exist.
My son has stated several times that he would wish to be relieved from the arduous duties of administration, and to devote his full time to the more creative work of broadcasting and writing.
Also, an article will soon appear in the next issue of the GOOD NEWS (formerly the Worldwide News) about the BIBLE FORM OF ORGANIZATION OF GOD'S WORK.
Below is reproduced in its entirety my letter to my son, whom I love so very deeply:
Tucson, May 19, 1978
I have said many times I love you above every one on earth. But true love is not blind. Right now my heart 'bleeds for you' to use a modern expression. I hope and pray that what I say here will help and bear fruit.
Before you were born, God called me to Him and His TRUTH. Your birth was one of the fruits of that. Otherwise, had not God opened the eyes of your mother and me to His truth about healing, you could not have been born.
I didn't want to be God's minister. It was the last thing I would have wanted. But God opened my mind to UNDERSTANDING—one thing I had always desired. About the time of my conversion or very shortly thereafter, I realized I was lacking, however, in WISDOM. I read in James how those who lacked wisdom could ask God, believing, and it would be given. I confessed my human lack of it, and asked God, BELIEVING, and also on conversion I gave my SELF to Jesus Christ.
Christ took my life, and USED IT. He also gave me not only UNDERSTANDING of His Word, but committed to me THE GREAT COMMISSION—and THE WISDOM OF HOW to go about it.
The Work He started through me started from literally NOTHING. I had to hitchhike to get to a place to preach. The broadcast was started literally on FAITH. There was diabolical opposition and persecution. But it was CHRIST doing the Work, using me as His instrument. The Work grew at the steady rate of approximately 30% a year for 35 years. I had never heard of any organization, institution or business that matched that record. Not only did it GROW—it was done in a MANNER unlike anything in this world—it was CHRIST doing it HIS WAY— and not the way men would do it.
In due time, you, my son, came into the Work. But unfortunately you DID NOT AGREE with the WAY Jesus Christ had been leading me. You came to a good knowledge of the Bible—of God's TRUTH, doctrinally. God had given you exceptional talents for broadcasting and telecasting. At first you followed the same style on the air that Christ had used in me—totally DIFFERENT from THE WAY the 'expert' commercial broadcasters used. People could not tell whether it was you or I speaking— even I couldn't until I listened some 5 minutes. You signed off, 'This is Garner Ted Armstrong, speaking for my father, Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong.'
Then you changed in your delivery. You copied the commerical broadcasters, became more 'expert' in delivery. In due time you no longer were speaking for your father, but for Garner Ted.
You did not agree with THE WAY in which Christ was building the college and the Work through me. You even said to others you would not have built the college THE WAY I did under Christ's guidance.
In due time, I turned 'more of the reins' of authority over to you. You began changing WAYS and personnel over to YOUR WAY. And, although you will not agree with me in this, as you have not agreed in THE WAY things ought to be done, the Work started downhill. Yet I have been told you claimed YOU BUILT THE WORK.
But the living CHRIST built it. And He built it THE WAY He led me—THE WAY you disagreed with.
At age 18 I knew more than my father—felt sorry for him. But at age 32, not having seen him for 12 years, I realized how wrong I was— and was amazed at how my father had 'qrown up' in that 12 years. But at age 48, you still know more than your human father, and DO NOT AGREE with him in THE WAY matters of procedure and administration should be handled. In broadcasting, you got into the manner of ridiculing other preachers, even mimicking the way you falsely SUPPOSED they talked.
Things at Headquarters in Pasadena came into deep CONFUSION. WHO IS IN CHARGE? people wondered. You kept many things from me. You took to yourself a total and complete authority I never gave you.
I derived my authority from the living CHRIST. You derived what you had from me, and then used it totally CONTRARY to THE WAY Christ had led me.
I have had to step in and take over the reins completely to save the Church of God and His WORK. You, of course, will not agree with any of this, as you have never agreed with your human father.
I have stated here, briefly, the situation AS IT IS. The whole church membership in the U.S. and Canada want, more than anything else in the Work, to see DAILY RADIO back on the track where I put it. You COULD be used in this.
Meanwhile, they are saying in Pasadena that we have PEACE, harmony, unity, for the first time since you began to take over.
We have said that as long as you and I stood TOGETHER, no one could destroy the Work. That was true. But you refused to stand together with me. I have not wanted to stand alone—and indeed I do not. I stand as always with the living Jesus Christ."
With deep love, in Jesus' name, Herbert W. Armstrong