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Letters from our readers - Issue 116
Encouraging Communication among the Churches of God
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Letters from our readers

They make me smile

For the last 39-plus years I have kept up with much of the news and changes in the church and its many metamorphoses through my father, Thomas L. Williams. He was ordained back in 1971 when he was with the Worldwide Church of God.

Even at 83 and after a stroke, he is still going strong. He and my mother, who is 80, drove back again to Collingwood, Ont., Canada, for the Feast this past fall.

My time at Ambassador College, Big Sandy, 1965-68, was, to say the least, rocky. I was electrocuted right before the Feast in the fall of 1965. After many months of recuperation I went back to Ambassador. I believe it was early in the spring of 1968 that I was asked to leave.

There is no need to get into the details. To be blunt, I was young, dumb and going through young love. I really don't remember too many of the specifics anyway.

I do remember that there were some great kids and comrades there who went out of their way to say good-bye on my last day as I packed up my earthly belongings in a rent car and headed out. It was a long drive from Texas back to the questions and concerns of my parents in Miami, Fla. It surely was a long time ago.

My life has been anything but boring. I am 59. I finished my college education in 1977 and got my master's degree in 1978. My wife and I live in a suburb of Huntsville.

For 39 years I have had a great career in radio and television. I am the CEO of my own television operation and have numerous other media projects in the works.

I am married to a wonderful woman who, with her master's degree, works on our nation's missile-defense system. I have one great son and a smart and gorgeous daughter-in-law.

In the last few years, and after thought-provoking conversations with my father, I have had a longing to know what happened to the faculty and those wonderful students I went to college with at Big Sandy, and even some of those from the Pasadena campus.

In trying to track many of them down, I was directed to Dixon Cartwright's Web site for The Journal. I am amazed that he has done such an overwhelming job of keeping track of all that has gone on.

The reason for my writing is simple. I am an old softy, and I miss talking to and hearing from those who, like me, benefited from the education and friendships generated at Ambassador and, like me, have lost contact with many from our past.

I am thankful to have known and been associated with such a wonderful group of guys and gals.

Today, as a slightly graying, old, chilled-out baby boomer, I find that virtually all of my memories of Ambassador are pleasant ones. They make me smile.

I do, though, have this unfulfilled desire to take my life full circle, and the years of my life at AC are one of my missing pieces.

So I need help. Do Ambassador's alumni have any formal or even any informal reunions or get-togethers? Does Ambassador have any kind of an alumni Web site or a way to contact the students?

If so, please let me know. If not, then maybe you'd like to make contact with an old alumnus. I'd enjoy that.

There are so many I would love to say hi to and just for a few minutes lay eyes on again.

Tom Williams
Laceys Spring, Ala.

Darwin Sanoy's Web site at is one way for AC alumni and former employees to keep in contact with each other.

The Last Great Day wraps it up

Today is Number 8.

The last day--call it "great."

It's all about the fate

Of all of our late

Relatives, friends and mates,

And even folks we hate.

And, though they have to wait,

It will not be too late

To find out that their fate

Is wonderful and great!

Reg Killingley
Big Sandy, Texas

Worthy article

I'm a bit late with this comment but, regarding "Don't Confuse Christianity With Religion" by Ed Lain in the Sept. 30 issue of The Journal, I found this to be an exceptional article and certainly worth everyone's study.

Nony George
Via the Internet

Original Bible

I wanted to take a few moments of your time to draw your attention to

The Original Bible Project was something my father, Ernest Martin, had a vision for almost since the day I was born, in 1965.

In 1966 he submitted a Ph.D. dissertation, The Design and Development of the Holy Scriptures. That book included the primary research that became the book The Original Bible Restored and later Restoring the Original Bible.

This was a project that my father had close to his heart, and today this project continues to fulfill the vision he had to present a Bible to the world in the original-manuscript order through the competent and caring hands of Dr. James Tabor.

It is my honor to wholeheartedly endorse this project, and I pray that you will consider joining me in supporting this project financially.

If you are not familiar with the concept of the manuscript version of the Bible, please get a copy of this book via the ASK Web site (

Samuel Martin
Jerusalem, Israel

Relatively speaking

I continue to find The Journal fascinating and really appreciate your professionalism and objectivity as editor. Doing a blog rant is so much easier than exercising the kind of self-discipline required for a publication like The Journal, and you have my complete respect!

Gavin Rumney
Auckland, New Zealand

The good, the bad and their attitudes

All members of the WCG remember that they were required to be in a good attitude about everything, especially if God said that they must do something like fasting on the Day of Atonement (whether you wanted to or not).

The hired ministers used the "good attitude" as a club to keep driving the sheep in the direction that they thought the sheep should be going.

The sheep knew that if they did not immediately obey and follow every ministerial comment they would be in a "bad attitude" and therefore subject to being sentenced to spiritual eternal death in hell.

Are you still trying to be in a good attitude by following a man (or group of men)? If so, then we personally believe you are really in a bad attitude.

Follow God. Then you'll be in a good attitude.

Paul and Micki Herrmann
Metarie, La.

Quite a site

Regarding the sad letter by Horst Obermeit (Sept. 30 issue) about his PCG parent:

I would like to recommend the Web site, produced by Robert Kuhne. He and his wife, Claudia, were longtime members of the PCG until he started asking the wrong questions and they were put out.

It is an exhaustively researched, continuously updated work on the history and current affairs of Gerald Flurry and the PCG.

Basil Kopey
Moscow, Russia

Rank-rankled reader writes re role

I received my Sept. 30 issue of The Journal this morning, and, after perusing the features on the first page, I experienced a severe case of culture shock when I read your article titled "Evangelist Leaves One Church of God, Then Marks a Member of Another Church of God."

Even the term "evangelist-ranked elder" rankled me. "Evangelist" is not a rank but a role. It is a function, not a position in a pecking order. Evangelists are individuals sent out from congregations to evangelize the locals. They are not administrators of calcified church hierarchies.

All this "disfellowshipping" and "marking" is sheer nonsense, and so is the statement that the Restored Church of God is "the only organization that preaches the true gospel to the world." How many times have we heard that absurdity?

Then I read in the letters section an item in which a son says that his father's church, the PCG, is threatening to disfellowship his 80-year old father if he maintains contact with his son!

To me, a church that would do that is not worth belonging to or even associating with. How cruel! How ungodly! How mean-spirited! God instructs us to honor our parents, not cut them off in their old age.

My first reaction to these items was anger. My second was pity. I pity people who are still caught up in this intimidating, authoritarian milieu.

The Bible teaches that truth shall make us free, not bring us into bondage to ecclesiastical tyrants who intimidate sons to dishonor their own fathers by not having contact with them. When are we going to grow up in the Lord?

It is this primitive, pea-brained, ungodly, unscriptural mentality that persists in the Pod that induced me to withdraw my contributions to The Journal. It seems that some so-called leaders continue to wallow in a noxious cloud of self-righteousness and self-satisfaction, marking and disfellowshipping anyone who doesn't agree with them.

The best thing that could happen to such bogus leaders would be for their own church members to abandon them wholesale and find fellowship with a group that truly understands and appropriately applies the Bible.

Isn't it time we grew out of this nonsense?

Brian Knowles
Monrovia, Calif.

Lost in the madness tonight

I read with interest your article on disfellowship ["Disfellowshippers Should Take a Break," The Journal, April 30]. I agree with you it is absurd for a group of "Christians" to act like a group of elementary-school children who ostracize someone who does not agree with them.

As we all know, everyone has an opinion on Scripture and doctrine, and everyone seems to think his own ideas are correct. The calendar questions and many others can be approached from many directions, but it still boils down to people believe what they want to believe, regardless of fact.

The other thing I find absurd is the reliance on church government to control people's lives. This is certainly a Jehovah's Witness approach.

The organization will control your life if you do not follow the rules as it makes them.

What seems to be lost in all this madness are the basic principles of Christianity: Love your neighbor as yourself, visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction, and so on.

Following rules and regulations such as strict adherence to one calendar or another is not what it is all about, especially since it cannot be proven definitively one way or the other. This is the religion of the scribes and Pharisees, and we know how Jesus addressed them.

For so long in the WCG we followed ritualism and taught too little about love for our fellowman and even ridiculed Protestant religions for teaching this true concept.

Perhaps these other religions have many doctrines incorrect, but they are dead right on teaching love and kindness.

When we had our disaster in the flood that destroyed our house, several church groups came to our aid and sent an army of volunteers to help us clean up.

My wife and I were extremely grateful for their unselfish help, and it had nothing to do with doctrine. It was Christian love!

The lesson all need to learn is be a true Christian, not simply follow a set of rules dictated by an organization.

John Dickerson
Fayetteville, Ark.

Who knew?

I was listening to a CD last night of the Feast of Tabernacles (made 21 months after the receiver invaded Pasadena in 1979).

Stan Rader was relating how the accountants from Arthur Anderson, the firm doing the church's books, asked him if they could see Mr. Armstrong. Turns out they had heard rumors that Mr. Armstrong wasn't in charge or perhaps even dead.

Mr. Rader invited their meticulous note-taking officials to Mr. Armstrong's house. After they were seated, Mr. Armstrong walked in, perfectly groomed and in a smart suit. He greeted them, invited them to have refreshments, then said words to this effect: "You've been spending a lot of our money, haven't you? Checking up on us?"

To which they agreed.

"And now you know a lot about us, don't you?"

To which they agreed. Then he thundered: "You don't know nothing about us!"

Five hours later he stopped.

Then they knew something.

Geoff Neilson
Cape Town, South Africa

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