GIVING & SHARING NEWSLETTER August, 1990 No. 11
Sharing Library Begins
In order to make more good reading material available, we are starting a FREE lending library service, called “Sharing Library.” It begins with several items. By the end of the year, we hope to add many more items for free 30-day loan.
Sharing Library has books and tapes for loan. Giving & Sharing Bookstore will continue to supply items for you to keep. Loan items can be returned to Sharing Library via inexpensive Library Rate. The service is provided free. However, your contributions are welcome to help cover postage. If you have suggestions for additions to the library, or books you would like to contribute, please contact Giving & Sharing. [Note: Sharing Library was discontinued after a short while. We hope to revive it again in the future.]
Watering Down Continues
The February 5, 1990, Christianity Today magazine noted that Worldwide Church of God leader Joseph Tkach is “presiding over a review of the church's doctrinal position.” Like a bull in a china shop, Tkach is smashing former teachings and going back to the Systematic Theology Project (STP) of the late 1970s, which Herbert W. Armstrong (HWA) accepted for a brief time, but later denounced as “liberalism.”
In the May 9, 1990, issue of Worldwide News, Tkach even aligned himself with Garner Ted Armstrong’s incorrect teachings on Passover and the Sabbath. (1) Tkach maintains that the “Last Supper” of the Messiah was not the Passover with a lamb. Mark 14:12 (see RSV) disproves this heresy. (2) He also says that the Old Testament Passover was kept at the end of the 14th, not the beginning of the 14th. See our article, “Passover, 14th or 15th?” which proves that Passover, Old and New Testament, is on the beginning of the 14th day of the first sacred month. (3) Finally, Mr. Tkach concludes that the day begins, not at sundown, but at dark! Garner Ted Armstrong’s Church of God, International, in 1985 stated that the day begins in the evening, a nebulous indefinable period of time according to them. Our article, “When Does the Sabbath Begin?” in our book, Biblical Holy Days, proves scripturally that the day begins at sundown.
Previously, Tkach’s reinterpretation of the sacrifice of the Messiah and meaning of the Passover bread, and watering down of the doctrine of healing, caused some “conservatives” to leave the Worldwide organization.
Now, Worldwide Church leader Tkach has stated that interracial marriage is not a sin. Furthermore, in line with church policy since at least 1972, Tkach has authorized work, on the Sabbath, of construction workers and contractors at the church’s Big Sandy, Texas, college campus. He claims such work is an “ox in the ditch” and necessary to finish construction so that the enlarged campus can open on time for the fall 1990 school year.
The truth is, Biblical principles forbid interracial marriage. Hiring contractors to pour cement on the Sabbath is breaking the Commandment. Mr. Tkach has pushed the ox into the ditch.
Some, reacting to the “liberal” tendencies of the Worldwide Church of God, have aligned themselves with offshoot “conservative” groups.
One such new church is headquartered in Edmond, Oklahoma. According to their teachings, Herbert Armstrong was a modern Zerubbabel, an end-time Elijah or John the Baptist. He supposedly got the church “back on track” doctrinally after Garner Ted Armstrong was expelled in the late 1970s. All HWA’s doctrinal teachings prior to his death are said to be 100% inspired and we must follow them.
When I spoke with a minister of this new group, I pointed out that Armstrong consistently followed liberal and anti-Biblical teachings on divorce and remarriage and Pentecost from 1974 to his death in 1986. The minister replied that Mr. Armstrong ruled on these subjects prior to his death and that was good enough for him. He doesn’t have time to study such topics. This man told me that my marriage to Shirley (we were both baptized believers and virgins when we married in 1972) is not binding for life, and if one of us deserts the other or leaves the church, the other would be free to remarry. I personally take great offence with such heretical statements. I wasn’t surprised to learn that this man is a “D&R” case himself. He says he has no need to study the marriage issue, because Herbert Armstrong ruled on it. Isn’t I Thessalonians 5:21 in his Bible?
Some of the marks of cults are (1) non-thinking — the condemnation of any substantial questioning of the leader’s teachings, and (2) absolute obedience — obeying without question the orders of the religious hierarchy.
I term such people “fake conservatives.” They appear to be following a man, not the faith once delivered. Their religion is not a personal relationship between themselves and their Maker. They do not prove all things. Herbert Armstrong, who married a divorcee in his later years, actually disfellowshipped himself from the true church by a massive departure from the Truth. A few minor adjustments after Garner Ted’s “liberalism” failed to put the church “back on track.” It is sad that the Worldwide Church of God is “loose in the caboose.” Ω