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Armstrongism - What's Behind This Cult?

Updated on March 12, 2011

Herbert W Armstrong

What Is Armstrongism?

"What is Armstrongism?" is the question many ask when they hear this word. It is actually the term referring to people who claim that Herbert W Armstrong (who founded the Worldwide Church of God - hereafter called WCG) was an end-time Elijah.

Among people who believe in Armstrongism, Herbert Armstrong was seen as a man who restored all things to the church of God. It was believed that all other churches were paganized to greater or lesser extent. Their doctrines were somewhat similar to the Seventh Day Adventists, but also with some elements from Jehovah's Witnesses - which caused some to believe he had been "inspired" by their doctrines.

Herbert Armstrong died on January 16th 1986 - now approximately 24 years ago. There has been great emphasis upon prophecy in the WCG, and break-out organizations have kept that emphasis. They see many symbols in dates and years, 19-year time cycles etc.

In the 1990s the successor, Joseph W Tkach, made numerous changes to the WCG which have been continued by his son who is now the current Pastor General - Joseph Tkach Jr. Today the WCG is known as "Grace Communion International".

In continuation to those changes, Gerald Flurry, broke off ties with the WCG and formed the Philadelphia Church of God. Some years later, Roderick C Meredith also broke off and formed the Global Church of God, and later the Living Church of God

Other dissidents have been David Hulme (who previously was a presenter on the World Tomorrow show which was financed by the WCG to get more members), David Pack andmany years before all the major changes, Raymond Cole formed the Church of God, The Eternal.

Gerald Flurry

Gerald Flurry and the PCG

Gerald Flurry is the man who acquired the entire library of literature written by Herbert Armstrong. It was purchased by the PCG from the WCG. Some of his followers have wondered why he would ever sponsor an organization he claimed had gone astray, but most who ask such questions are kicked out - the so-called "disfellowshipment" as we see in many other cults.

It was declared as a big victory to have acquired these materials, and many within that organization have great faith that this should be a signal of succession. Their tv-show The Key of David is seen in many countries, and is a continuation of the World Tomorrow program that was previously aired by the WCG while Herbert Armstrong was alive.

The PCG publishes The Philadelphia Trumpet and Royal Vision regularly - also a continuation of the publications of the WCG which were called The Plain Truth and The Good News.

Roderick C Meredith

Roderick Meredith and the LCG

Roderick C Meredith spent much time, in the beginning, emphasizing how he had worked very closely with Herbert Armstrong. He was one of the first students at the WCG-sponsored Ambassador College, and was among the first to be declared an Evangelist (one of the highest ranks in the WCG-ministry).

Roderick Meredith had acquired a doctorate at Ambassador College, and did at some point very often refer to himself as Dr. Meredith - in articles etc. Credibility lies in titles, some claim... :-)

David Pack had cooperated with Roderick Meredith, but at some point there wasn't enough room for both egos in the same organization, so David Pack formed the Restored Church of God. You can read more about David Pack below.

The Living Church of God publishes Tomorrow's World, which is also the title of their tv-show. So, once again, everything has to be done according to the WCG recipe.

Update: In the January 13th co-worker letter it has been announced that Richard Ames has been appointed as successor of the Living Church of God in case Mr. Meredith passes away.

David C Pack

David C Pack and the RCG

David C Pack previously collaborated with Don Tiger to secure all books, booklets and materials ever published in the Armstrong-era of the church. For personal reasons their cooperation ended, and it later became the doctrine of the Restored Church of God that all books (and booklets) had to be rewritten, by David Pack - of course.

David C Pack and his Restored Church of God publish The Real Truth magazine and they air The World to Come on television.

No mention is made of the cooperation with Roderick C Meredith. Only emphasis on being a succession of Herbert Armstrong.

Conclusions About Armstrongism

This hub is a continuation of the hub "Are You In A Cult?" and answers specific questions relating to the cult of Armstrongism.

As you can see everything is centered around a man - Herbert Armstrong. Being the "right" successor in their own minds - never considering what were the actual intentions by the man himself. He named a successor. Yet men, filled with ego, found reason to believe THEIR own ideas were better than the choice of the man they claim was inspired by God.

These leaders won't see that. Neither could Corah. Rebellion has many faces. The real losers are the many tithe-payers and contributors who allow this madness to continue.

They have the best of intentions, yet are caught up in a power struggle for money as happens in any cult on the face of the earth.


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