John D. Schroeder on Herbert W. Armstrong



A reader (not part of CCOG or LCG) sent me the following today:

John D. Schroeder (1958)

Herbert Armstrong’s “World Tomorrow”

I knew Mr. Armstrong personally, although not nearly so well as Aaron Dean did. I followed him avidly on the radio from ’55 to ’58 before coming to college, and had several, sometimes deeply personal, conversations with him at college. I think I’m at least a fairly good judge of character – and by all I saw in him, as did Aaron, there was only deep, bone deep sincerity. I would stake my life on it, and in some ways did.

Choosing the WCG and AC cost me a multi-million dollar inheritance plus a full scholarship to study engineering. I readily opted for Mr. Armstrong’s vision of a “World Tomorrow” in which the 12 tribes of Israel would eventually return to reconnect with the land, and most importantly with a renewal of the marital covenant we first accepted at Sinai – regardless of what Paul writes to Gentiles in Galatians 3. Paul was hopefully exaggerating for effect, because in Chapter 5 he rightly states that all Jews are obligated to observe the whole Torah. Jesus, with rare eloquence, also supported the permanence of the Torah, and King David attested to its perfection – as did our Creator to Jeremiah. But none of them insisted that non-Jews should live within the full covenantal terms. Quite to the contrary.

As best he could, within the parameters of his understanding, especially including his conviction that the English speaking countries were Israelite entities, Mr. Armstrong set up a living preview of the Messianic kingdom, utilizing the entire Headquarters campus with its magnificent Auditorium, dedicated in prominent polished brass letters on Iranian onyx to “The Great God.” Powerful in his mind were Isaiah 8:20, Malachi 3 and 4:4, drawn chiefly from the KJV and addressing all Israel. I was drawn to AC by his intuitive grasp of Scripture, hoping to immerse myself in more of the understanding proffered on his nationwide radio broadcast.

We know now that there were many Scriptural misapplications in RCG/WCG theology – some of them dreadful – but they were nonetheless based on an expansive Biblical picture of how God intends Israelites to live. Had HWA’s concept of the “World Tomorrow” been expressed in a painting, one should have stepped back a few paces to better see its overall impression – with the errors minimized by distance. By all I know now, HWA was definitely in the ballpark with his vision of the coming Messianic world.

Solomon, with all his wisdom, poured too much wealth into his HQ, and it also failed. Was the fundamental premise wrong back there too? Of course not. How about God’s personal creation of Adam’s family – whose firstborn murdered his younger brother? Moses went through similar agonies, as did Joshua. It’s all in our free choice of whether or not we’ll participate, with God, to help Him fashion us into His image – a matter of developing Godly character.

In Pasadena the spirit of HQ was special, in a highly noticeable, wonderful way, for many years before the inevitable rot infiltrated and became endemic. I remember one of my conducting teachers, then the Music Dept. chair at UCLA, and for thirty years the conductor of the Redlands Symphony, telling me, “John, when someone walks onto your campus, they’re suddenly in another world. Really, John, it’s truly another world!” He was an SDA, the son of an SDA minister – but he still saw something at AC that transcended everything else he’d known.

I think I do grasp the big picture of what God is doing here on earth, largely because of my WCG/AC experience. I’m also a debtor to my 20 Catholic years as well as to the last 20 years in the Jewish world – but it was Mr. Armstrong’s vision that first set my heart on fire for the coming Messianic kingdom. And I still fervently believe that I walked through a valid, inspired, amazing, believable foretaste of that kingdom during most of those HQ years on campus in Pasadena.

I’m quite sure there are those who reject what I’m writing here, but for some others, here’s a song I find comforting when the world feels a little too strident.

Try to Remember

Try to remember the kind of September
When life was slow and oh, so mellow
Try to remember the kind of September
When grass was green and grain was yellow
Try to remember the kind of September
When you were a tender and callow fellow
Try to remember and if you remember then follow

Try to remember when life was so tender
That no one wept except the willow
Try to remember when life was so tender that
Dreams were kept beside your pillow
Try to remember when life was so tender that
Love was an ember about to billow
Try to remember and if you remember then follow

Deep in December it’s nice to remember
Altho you know the snow will follow
Deep in December it’s nice to remember
Without a hurt the heart is hollow
Deep in December it’s nice to remember
The fire of September that made us mellow
Deep in December our hearts should remember and follow

I am not certain if I ever met John D. Schroeder, though it is possible.

Anyway, I agree with him that Herbert W. Armstrong was sincere.

Yes, he did make mistakes, including some serious ones, but he felt God called him to proclaim the “Gospel of the Kingdom of God.”

Claims that Herbert W. Armstrong was basically into religion for money is false. Yet, many on the internet promote that lie.

Foolishly, and this does show their ignorance, many have falsely claimed that I am involved with the Continuing Church of God for money as well. Yet, since I do not take a salary and give tithes and  offerings, that should stop such falsehoods. But it has not.

Many wish to make false statements against the faithful and in the end times that is expected to be worse and sadly some love lies:

11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12)

1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; 9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.  (2 Timothy 3:1-9)

13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, (2 Timothy 3:13-15)

14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. (Revelation 22:14-15)

There are many false statements about Herbert W. Armstrong on the internet. Including several that I looked into years ago.

Many people assert as facts that which is rumor, falsehoods, and innuendo.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

17 Accusations and Truthful Responses About Herbert W. Armstrong He, even after his death, keeps being improperly maligned–here is the truth on these matters.
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 who he was and how he should be viewed today.

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