The Cult Of Armstrongism

Founder:     Herbert W. Armstrong (his son Garner Ted Armstrong is his helper.)

Names For His Cult:     Radio Church of God; the World tomorrow; The PlainTruth; British Israelism; Armstrongism; and the most popular today, The World-Wide Church of God.

Date Founded:     1934

Literature:     The Plain Truth; “Tomorrow's World Plain Truth” is a magazine that began in 1934, which prints out 2,500,000 copies monthly.  In 1973 it was a 52-page full color copy similar to Time Magazine.  It carries not only religious articles, but also covers political articles and others.  “Tomorrow's World” is a publication that is put out by the graduate school of theology at Ambassador College to cover Biblical issues.  It was discontinued in 1972.

Television and Radio Programming:     The World Tomorrow, Gardner Ted Armstrong, his son, is responsible for this program which has been broadcast over 300 radio stations.

Schools:     Ambassador College-Pasadena, California; Big Sandy, Texas; St. Albans, England.

Background on Herbert Armstrong:     Herbert Armstrong was born in Des Moines, Iowa in 1892.  He was described as a man who desired to be prominent, rich and educated, but he shunned college to go into sales and advertising.  Although by the time he was 40 he had failed in three business ventures, it is apparent that he still picked up valuable experience, because he employs very good advertising techniques today to get his fantastic results.

His early religious training was among the Quakers in Iowa.  Then he joined with the Methodists and married a Methodist girl.  This was actually the beginning of his first real look into religion.  After his failures in business, Armstrong moved to Salem, Oregon, where a neighbor lady convinced his wife that all good Christians should go to church on Saturday and not Sunday.  Soon Armstrong was convinced and they joined a Church of God, which at that time was an offshoot of the SDA (Seventh Day Adventists) church.

For the first time now Armstrong began a serious study of scripture, so serious that he gave up his work in advertising.  At that time, his wife, Loma, became the greatest single influence on him.  She caused his doctrines and his past knowledge of scripture to change.  In his autobiography, here is the account he gives–“his wife had made a great discovery through the influence of their neighbor-obedience to God's spiritual laws summed up in the Ten Commandments is necessary for salvation.  We must repent of sin, repent of transgressing God's law, which means turning from disobedience as a prior condition to receiving God's free gift.”

Now Armstrong's earlier Sunday school days had taught that only belief apart from works were necessary for salvation, the acceptance of the virgin birth and the acceptance of the shed of blood for salvation.  This brought a great amount of controversy between him and his wife.  He could have been termed a nominal Christian in his early day, but his wife would not give in.  She was to prove him wrong-or else.  Since his wife refused to give up her beliefs, it angered Armstrong into his first real study of the Bible.  He was out to prove to his wife that all these churches couldn't be wrong.

After much study and much prayer, Armstrong began writing and preaching-being ordained into the church of God in 1931.  He began to write, but his articles were so critical of his denomination that he was expelled from them shortly after being ordained.  Since he couldn't be happy with anyone else's religion, he started his own.  At the age of 41, a failure in business and religion, he began a series of lectures in a small schoolhouse room in Eugene, Oregon on the Biblical formula for success and prosperity which led to a small radio broadcast and his first written work, The Plain Truth.

     Doctrinal Errors:
1.     The ten lost tribes are migrated to the Anglo-Saxon Countries of Britain and the United States.
2.     Britain=Ephraim
3.     Israel is to be distinguished from the Jews.  The Jews are from Judah and no one from Israel is a Jew.
4.     England is the throne of David.  This is where Christ will sit and rule when he returns to earth.  ie:  The throne upon which the Queen of England sits is actually the stone which Jacob used for a pillow at Bethel.
5.     The use of the Hebrew language in relation to British-Israelism to show the House of Israel is the covenant people: the Hebrew word for “covenant” is “Beriyth”.  The Hebrew word for “man” is “ish”.  Together they mean “men of the covenant”.  The original Hebrew language has no vowels and they don't pronounce their “h's”.  If you keep the “I” to preserve the “y” sound, you take the Hebrew final form and use the Anglo pronunciation-“Beriyth” becomes Brith.  Brit + ish = British, or covenant man.  Also, the ten tribes are descended from Isaac and are therefore Isaac's sons.  Armstrong puts this into shorter form “ssac's son's” or SAXONS.

Five Reasons for Armstrong's Success:

1.     While many churches have wavered and changed their doctrines, Armstrong projects an image of unwavering orthodoxy and supports the inspiration of the Bible.
2.     Armstrong strongly condemns all immorality publicly and often.
3.     When old time virtues are being mocked, Armstrong crusades for a return to traditional moral values.
4.     When people are losing all hope, Armstrong speaks of a future with God in a World Tomorrow.
5.     When religions are begging for money, Armstrong gives away everything.