Herbert W. Armstrong was born 120 years ago, on July 31, 1892. And a lot has happened in the world since he was born. From automobiles to the space age, from paper to computers and the internet, from WWI to WWII to terrorism, from societal respect for biblical principles to abortion & homosexual marriage “rights.” There have been changes.
But “he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17).
Even though we in the most faithful COGs actually do not celebrate (but do acknowledge) birthdays, nor do we celebrate his (see also the article Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays?), since many who come to this page know little about him that this would be a good time to tell a few things about him.
We of the Philadelphia remnant of the Church of God believe that God used Herbert W. Armstrong to restore much truth to the true Church of God and to raise up the Philadelphia era of the Church of God. Over the decades that I have been associated with the Church of God, I have repeatedly found both biblical as well as historical proof that the truths that were restored were in fact true. And in fact, the early church did teach them.
One day I may put together a single article showing that early professors of Christ did teach all these truths (and I do have most of them in a book I am currently working on–but it is much too large for an article). For now, however, I would refer readers to the following two articles:
Did You Know What the First Changes the Tkach Administration Made? Some have said healing, others other subjects, but probably the first change had to do with eliminating being part of the Philadelphia era. This article documents what those changes were and compares the Tkach list of restored truths to HWA’s list of restored truths. It contains many quotes from HWA.
History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? This page has articles documenting many beliefs of the early Church–and all these are doctrines that HWA taught.
Furthermore, while Protestants like to point to leaders like Martin Luther and John Calvin, the truth is that unlike them, Herbert Armstrong was not involved in getting people killed–the true church does not do that (see Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare?). The same is true about many Roman Catholic Popes who instituted persecutions in forms such as the Inquisition. Some information on what those non-COG leaders have done to others throughout history may be found in the article Persecutions by Church and State.
Another difference between Martin Luther, John Calvin, Eastern Orthodox leaders, and Roman Catholic Popes vs. Herbert Armstrong is that HWA actually did believe more in the idea of sola Scriptura. He clearly tried to teach what the Bible taught, yet the other churches have all demonstrated their preference for tradition over what the Bible actually teaches. Articles that help document that would include:
Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther? What Did Martin Luther Really Believe About the Bible? Though he is known for his public sola Scriptura teaching, Martin Luther’s writings about the Bible suggest he felt that prima Luther was his ultimate authority.
The Similarities and Dissimilarities between Martin Luther and Herbert Armstrong This article clearly shows some of the doctrinal differences between in the two. At this time of doctrinal variety and a tendency by many to accept certain aspects of Protestantism, the article should help clarify why the COG is NOT Protestant.
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? This documented article answers those questions.
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Orthodox Church and the Churches of God Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Furthermore, HWA did more to get the truth of God to the world as a witness than any did since biblical times. Two articles of related interest may include:
Do You Believe God Used Herbert Armstrong to Raise Up the Philadelphia Era of the Church of God? Nearly everyone while in WCG used to believe this, most do not seem to anymore.
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and HWA expect from evangelists?
Anyway, Herbert Armstrong always taught:
Don’t believe me – BELIEVE YOUR BIBLE – BELIEVE GOD! I always say…check up! Listen without prejudice, with open mind, then check up–go to your BIBLE, and BELIEVE what you read there. (Armstrong HW. Personal from the Editor. Plain Truth. September 1963.)
This is what I encourage readers of this website to do.
To see some of what Herbert Armstrong wrote and why he believed a lot of what he did, please see the article:
Who Was Herbert W. Armstrong? How is He Viewed Today? Includes quotes from the 1973 edition of The Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong and explains how he is and should be viewed today.