Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
"Wouldn't it be all right to compromise, just a little, on some 'unimportant minor point'?" How would you answer that question? In a December 1976 Good News editorial, Herbert W. Armstrong asked that question -- and answered it. Many members of the Church today still don't seem to get the message -- or the point. Some think it is all right to go along with "error" -- such as on Passover, or Pentecost -- in order to have or maintain "fellowship" with a "church." What about you?
by HOIM Staff
I found Herbert Armstrong's editorial in the December 1976 Good News magazine very insightful, inspiring, and direct. He was, I believe, to the best of his knowledge, a sincere, uncompromising man. But how many of his followers -- even those who were evangelists under him -- in the Worldwide Church of God, have that same uncompromising attitude today?
In that article, Herbert Armstrong wrote:
"God has always worked, among humans, primarily through ONE MAN, but often this one man is surrounded with many faithful co-workers.
"But during these 43 years, I have frequently been pressured to compromise -- 'just a little' -- with God's TRUTH."
He went on to ask the question:
"But honestly, now, WHAT DO YOU THINK?
"Wouldn't it be all right to compromise, 'just a little,' on some 'unimportant minor point'? Especially on some ostensibly unimportant point where we appear 'crazy' to the world."
How would you answer that question? Years ago in a ministerial conference in Pasadena, California, I heard how Garner Ted Armstrong would answer it. To the assembled ministry he proclaimed his steadfast, undying, unswerving LOYALTY -- to his father -- not to the Word of YEHOVAH God! He said that if his father misunderstood a particular point of Scripture, and that he, Ted, knew he was wrong, he would still teach it his father's way -- teach error -- rather than stand up for the truth of YEHOVAH God without compromise! I was shocked -- aghast -- when I heard that admission, and I knew right then and there that Garner Ted Armstrong was not a person one could trust with the holy, inviolate Word of YEHOVAH God!
Since the death of Herbert Armstrong, the Worldwide Church of God has, under its new leadership, rejected almost everything Herbert Armstrong taught -- from de-emphasizing prophecy and claiming that prophecies "fail," to de-emphasizing the Ten Commandments and the Law of YEHOVAH God. And now, dismissing the relevance and importance of the Old Testament, the Church has truly "hit the skids" of out-and-out flagrant apostasy. As a result, a number of new churches have formed up, after leaving Worldwide. But each one of these new churches has had to come face to face with the same question Herbert Armstrong asked in 1976 -- ten years before he died. Are they going to compromise with the TRUTH of YEHOVAH God?
Some ministers who have left Worldwide have refused to take an honest, objective look at the Passover and Pentecost questions, and a number of other issues. One such minister, who says he does NOT "idolize" Herbert Armstrong, mentioned his name some 50 times in one sermon. A man who attended both this man's new church, and the church of Gerald Flurry, for a while, commented afterward, "Take your pick! They are both the same." He feels that despite their protestations, they both idolize Herbert Armstrong. As William Shakespeare once wrote, "Me thinketh he protesteth too much!"
I am personally somewhat aghast -- appalled -- chagrined. It seems of ALL the churches which have come out of the Worldwide Church of God because of their flagrant and egregious apostasy and departure from the truth, NOT ONE has sincerely, objectively, with an open mind, looked into the Passover and Pentecost questions! They would all seeming prefer to go on following "CHURCH TRADITION" rather than the plain and simple and easily provable Word of YEHOVAH God! This attitude their mentor, Herbert W. Armstrong, definitely did NOT have! In his "Personal from the Editor" he wrote:
"Nevertheless, if we begin to compromise with God's TRUTH, even in smallest, slightest manner, we have allowed SATAN to get a foot into the door of the Church, and SOON HE WILL PUSH OPEN THE DOOR (he is stronger than we) and TAKE OVER THE WHOLE CHURCH" (December 1976 Good News, p. 1, 28, emphasis mine).
Herbert Armstrong was right on target. IT HAS HAPPENED, just as he prophesied!
Herbert Armstrong went on, saying,
"A little leaven leavens the WHOLE LUMP! In my position, as chosen by the living Christ to be first under Him in authority over the Church and the Work, I have been charged with the commission of KEEPING GOD'S WORD. Keeping it inviolate -- NO COMPROMISE! I have NEVER compromised with God's TRUTH -- regardless of the cost or the circumstances. I never shall! (p. 28, emphasis his).
In this same article, Herbert Armstrong admitted he was not perfect. He said he never claimed that "God had revealed to him THE ENTIRETY of His TRUTH" to him "instantaneously." Rather, he explained,
"Always I have said, 'God has revealed His TRUTH, little by little, a single bit of truth at a time.' Always I have said, 'I am HUMAN -- subject to MISTAKES.' Every man God ever chose and used was the same. David was a man after God's own heart BECAUSE he confessed errors, mistakes and sins -- REPENTED, and turned from the wrong to do what God showed him was right" (emphasis Herbert Armstrong's).
Herbert Armstrong went on to say that he "did not compromise one inch on God's truth on the matter of the day of 'Pentecost.'" He said that every English translation available forty years ago said to count to Pentecost "from" the morrow after a Sabbath, and that he counted faithfully and accurately. But when two "able" translators in 1974 admitted to him that the English versions were "misleading" and that the Hebrew should have been rendered count "on" or "beginning with," he changed, admitted he had been following error for those forty years, and so then changed the method of "counting."
Unfortunately, the two translators were themselves in error and caused Armstrong to change from a correct understanding to an incorrect one! Also, at that time, Armstrong didn't understand that the 15th of Nisan always falls on the weekly Sabbath in YEHOVAH's calendar.
Nevertheless, with his limited understanding Herbert Armstrong was WILLING TO CHANGE when he thought he was in error! He said:
"I will CHANGE whenever proved wrong. I will accept NEW TRUTH as often as PROVED to be new truth to me or to the Church. "But I will not compromise with the truth! I never have!....I won't compromise -- not even 'just a little'" (ibid., his emphasis).
Herbert Armstrong may have been difficult to reach with the truth. He may have seemingly been resistant to change. But the fact is that HE DID CHANGE, WHEN HE THOUGHT HE WAS WRONG -- even when he was an old man, in his eighties! That, to me, is a remarkable accomplishment -- and a remarkable EXAMPLE for all those ministers, today, who claim to follow him, and claim to be walking in his footsteps!
But are they really? How many of THEM have been willing to ADMIT ERROR, and face up to the fact that THEY COULD BE WRONG, and then shown willingness to CHANGE from ERROR, to REPENT of error, and to ACCEPT NEW TRUTH?
That, Herbert Armstrong said, was the reason David was "a man after God's own heart" (Acts 13:22). David did not compromise with TRUTH -- not one iota, not one scintilla, not one mili-liter, not one infinitesimal micro-micron. Not even a little bit! Neither did Herbert Armstrong, although people sometimes were offended at his seeming intransigence, stubbornness, and uncompromising attitude -- including his own son.
But what about YOU? Can you say, honestly, before YEHOVAH God, as Herbert Armstrong said:
"I have never compromised with God's truth -- regardless of the cost or the circumstances. I never shall!"
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