By Ronald Dart
Some of the things I have been reading lately on this board prompt me
to post a message I wrote in another circumstance, but that seems entirely
relevant in this environment.
In the past years I have heard endless discussions about what is "required
for salvation." In the late 1970s I came across a requirement for salvation
that I had never considered. In the normal course of events, one would never
think of it. If you will bear with me, I would like to share it with you.
I will criticize no living person, organization or doctrine, nor will I
make an appeal for my church over others. It is just that there is something
I know that I think you ought to know. It is this:
Disillusionment is required for salvation.
To whatever extent we have illusions about our church, our leaders, ourselves
or our God, those illusions must be swept away. One does not have to be
a rocket scientist to know that the sweeping process is going to be painful.
I will tell you my story and then I will leave it at that.
Herbert W. Armstrong was a great man and a personal friend of mine. He was
my mentor, my teacher and like a father to me in many ways. I loved him
then and at the hour of his death, and I cherish his memory to this day.
He was also, as many great men are, flawed.
During much of our acquaintance, I did not see his flaws. Then I saw them,
but overlooked them. Then I saw them closer and denied them.
Like a lot of people, I had an illusion of the man. Late in 1978 those illusions
I won't go into details now, but I had to sit alone in my study and speak
aloud to myself the truth about the man. I had to do it to save my sanity
and perhaps my salvation.