A Broken Key: The Case Against British Israelism (Part Two)

Herbert W. Armstrong needs no introduction, but it would be prudent at this point to modify our perception of the man. When Armstrong walked onto the stage of BI history he was not the bombastic preacher of prophecy that we knew him to be. In the late 1920’s, when he first encountered BI, this self-proclaimed “idea man” was all out of ideas. Once a rock star of the advertising world, he was now humiliated, unemployed and desperately grasping for a way of escape from the obscurity he had been plunged into. It was under these bleak, ego-starving circumstances that Armstrong had turned to religion. But what began as a search for solace quickly blossomed into a new opportunity for self-promotion.

Through a neighbor the Armstrongs were introduced to a local congregation of the CoG (Seventh Day), which just happened to be that of Andrew Dugger, editor of The Bible Advocate. It was around this time, in 1926, that Armstrong’s prosaic view of Christianity was challenged by his wife Loma, specifically on the point of the Sabbath. Driven more by the threat to his ego (“wifely religious fanaticism” as he put it himself) than a thirst for truth, Armstrong launched a new career, one that would befit his high opinion of himself. He would eschew the search for honest employment in favor of long days at the library, poring over tedious books on theology, esoteric theories, and pseudo-scientific pablum.

The “idea man” was back in the saddle.

A Pyramid Scheme

In the following months Armstrong became convinced of the CoG (Seventh Day)’s teaching on the Sabbath and began to attend services with them. He also began reading their paper, The Bible Advocate. In 1927, the paper published an article on pyramidology that fired Armstrong’s imagination (and/or ambition). Pyramidology is a harebrained numerology scheme whereby biblically significant numbers are sought in measurements of the pyramids, and, as with children looking for images in the clouds, pyramidologists (or as legitimate Egyptologists call them, “pyramidiots”) always manage to find what they are looking for. In a letter dated June 3, 1927, Armstrong wrote to the author of that pyramidology article (a “Reverend” Lincoln McConnell) to request more information on the subject. To our ultimate detriment, he received a most productive response. McConnell writes:

The most recent book on The Great Pyramid and a much easier one to read if you want this, is by “Discipulus,” and can be had of the same people…. Its special value lies in the fact that it connects Pyramid truth with “British”-Israel truth in a fine way…I must say that if you really want to KNOW your Bible you will have to get the books on “Anglo-Israel”…. You will never know the real truth the BOOK is teaching without this key. This sounds radical perhaps, but you will see when you study it that it’s simple truth (Reverend Lincoln McConnell to Herbert W. Armstrong, HWAP collection, #867).

And so it was that Armstrong was led to what he would later proclaim as the “key” to Bible prophecy, by way of an interest in pyramidology (Ibid.).

Another Dead End?

So Herbert high-tailed it back to the Portland, Oregon library to see what he could find on the subject of BI. And, as it happened, that was quite a lot. In fact, by this time the Pacific Northwest had already become something of a nexus for BI disciples. Armstrong’s favorite library had in its collection at least three BI books: The House of Israel or the Anglo-Saxon by Samuel Albert Brown, Anglo-Israel or the Saxon Race by W.H. Poole, and, of course, Judah’s Sceptre and Joseph’s Birthright by J.H. Allen. These he devoured and, regarding the last as the most reliable, wrote to its publisher for a second opinion. This publisher was A. A. Beauchamp Publishing Co., which he was referred to by the pyramidologist McConnell in the letter quoted from earlier. Armstrong wrote to Beauchamp in the spring of 1928:

Gentlemen:

I have heard that the most recent book on the Great Pyramids is one by “Discipulus,” published by you. I know nothing about this book, but if it is authoritative, giving accurate and reliable measurements of the interior passages as well as other measurements, I want it.

I have seen the works by Smyth [that’s Charles Piazzi Smyth, the pyramidologist mentioned previously as a supporter of the BI popularizer, John Wilson], and have read The Miracle in Stone by Seiss. If this book is equally authoritative and dependable, but giving more recent data and information, you may send it to me at once, C.O.D.
What do you regard as the most authoritative and dependable book on the Anglo-Israel theory? I have seen many on this subject which I could not regard as at all reliable. One book which I have read, Judah’s Sceptre and Joseph’s Birthright, by Allen, appears to be more reliable than others I have seen. (Armstrong to A.A. Beauchamp Publishing Co., 28 March 1928)

Not surprisingly, Beauchamp confirmed Armstrong’s faith in the superiority of Judah’s Sceptre and Joseph’s Birthright.

Not two months later Armstrong had become determined to make his own mark on the already saturated BI market. He discussed a book idea with his minister friend Andrew Dugger and also sent another letter to Beauchamp the publisher:

I wonder if there is not a real need, as well as a ready market, for a new book on the Anglo-Israel subject?… The book I have in mind would follow, in great measure, the line of thought and proof offered by Allen. I would endeavor to keep it as dependable and as sound in its arguments as Allen’s. But the ground covered by Allen would be covered in boiled-down form, condensed where possible…. The book would be written, moreover, in an entirely different style….

If you believe there is a need and a market for such a book, and you would care to consider the possibility of undertaking to publish it, then I should like to go into the matter further and in more detail with you (Armstrong to Beauchamp, 4 May 1928, HWAP, #873) (Ibid.).

Beauchamp declined this pathetic self-selling attempt on the grounds that there was not, in fact, a “real need” or a “ready market” for a new BI book, especially not one that “would follow, in great measure the line of thought and proof” of one that had already attained great success. Why would anyone buy a book they already owned in a different form?

But Armstrong was unfazed. He simply had to make something of himself (or starve trying). So he went to his second choice of publisher (as he had put it to Beauchamp, rather douchebaggily, this particular publishing house was “not equipped to turn out as up-to-date and attractive a job as I feel will be necessary.”). This publisher was, of course, Andrew Dugger, who initially responded with encouragement.

In January of ’29, Armstrong began work on his BI manuscript, sending it in increments to Dugger for review. By July of that year Dugger had read 20 chapters. At this time he wrote to Armstrong:

You have put much work on this and I am impressed to write you now while the matter is fresh on my mind…. I have seen no work near its equal in clearness and completeness. You surely are right, and while I cannot use it in the paper at the present you may be sure that your labor has surely not been in vain…. There is a purpose in your having gone into this matter so deeply… and you will hear more from these truths and the light herein revealed later (A. N. Dugger to Herbert W Armstrong, 28 July 1929, The Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong, 1967 ed., 406).

Armstrong would much later assert in his autobiography that his early attempts to get himself published in The Bible Advocate were actually his way of “testing” CoG (Seventh Day) to see whether they would accept and teach God’s Truth™ on BI (as laid out by Armstrong). Yeah, right, Herbert. As Orr puts it:

Despite what Armstrong would claim, it is difficult to understand Armstrong’s mailing the manuscript to Dugger just as a test of the Church of God (Seventh Day). This is because Burt Marrs, not Dugger, was then the president of the General Conference. If Armstrong were simply testing the church, he should have mailed his manuscript to Marrs. Perhaps they could have brought up the subject at the next conference meeting. But the mailing was more than a test. Armstrong was looking for a publisher, and Dugger was responsible for the church’s press.

Well, Dugger failed Armstrong’s real “test” by ultimately deciding, although he agreed with what Armstrong wrote therein, he would not (for reasons he did not explain) be able to publish Armstrong’s book at that time (Ibid.). Patience is apparently not a virtue for an egomaniac in a hurry: Herbert wanted aggrandizement and he wanted it NOW!

Delusions of Grandeur

What was behind all of this feverish self-promotion? Was it a stubborn “stick-to-it-ive-ness,” a plucky drive to succeed? No.

Herbert Armstrong was special, far too special to stoop to the level of a normal, workaday job like the rest of us poor schmucks. Orr writes that “Armstrong became totally absorbed in his writing. Though his family was suffering severely from his lack of employment, nothing else mattered as much as completing that book. Though this was before the Great Depression, Armstrong described these months as a time of economic ‘desperation’. (Ibid.)”

He supposedly discovered his lofty status when a “mysterious woman” showed up at his door while he was “working” on his manuscript. He discussed this encounter in his autobiography:

We had reached another crisis of hunger and desperate need. Again I prayed earnestly for God to either send us some money or provide a way for me to earn it…An hour or two later, a strange woman knocked on our front door. Mrs. Armstrong opened the door. There was something mysterious about the woman’s appearance. Who was she? She did not introduce herself. She gave no inkling of her identity.

“If your husband isn’t too proud to do it,” she said in a low, quiet voice, “there are two truckloads of wood he can throw in at this address.”… The mysterious woman walked quickly away and disappeared…. We were totally perplexed as to the identity of this strange woman. How did she know we were in such desperate need? Who was she? We never knew….

No matter who this mysterious woman was, I knew God sent her! And I realized instantly that God was answering my prayer his way, and not mine. I knew he was giving me a test to see whether I could accept a humiliating job (The Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong, 1973 edition, 330–31).

One has to wonder what job he wouldn’t have found “humiliating.” It isn’t as though he was looking for work. Notice what he wrote in a February 1929 letter to fellow CoG (Seventh Day) “brother,” G.A. Hobbs: “I am writing for Bro. Dugger about [BI]…. I have spent all the time I had for writing on that.” In the same letter he revealed his strange interpretation of a neighbor’s charity:

We simply reached the end of the rope about a week ago, and I decided the time had come to [Get a job? No…] fast and pray until I received a definite answer from the Lord. I received it. Will explain how when I see you, but the answer was to go ahead with this work as hard as I can and trust the Lord to take care of us. All our immediate needs have been taken care of. In fact, we were out of wood, and it came to our front door from a most unexpected source even while I was yet praying for it. I was made to see clearly that I have been given a commission to get this warning message out with the loud shout to the world. The true, full message never has been carried at all, much less with the shout. I don’t see how I am to do it. The Lord will open the way, and I must simply trust him and look to him for guidance. The means will be provided and the way opened, I am sure (Armstrong to Brother Hobbs, 6 February 1929, HWAP, #850, emphasis mine).

It apparently never occurred to him to look for work, nor did it occur to him that his family had been provided for not by his personal divine promoter in the sky, but by a neighbor who likely noticed the pathetic condition of his children. She obviously also noticed his own pathetic condition, as is made clear by her statement, “If your husband isn’t too proud to do it…” Because we all know that stacking wood is below the station of an unemployed advertising genius. Did he even thank her? Probably not. She was just a tool after all, an instrument in the hands of an imaginary god whose only purpose was to prop up the ego of a self-important fool and negligent father. Orr writes:

Armstrong had seen no vision. He dreamt no dream. He heard no voice. There was only the woman at the door with an offer for him to stack wood. Yet, whose prayers had God answered? Armstrong’s? His wife’s? His children’s? All of the above? To those who were hungry it does not matter. That offer to chop wood kept the Armstrongs from starving and enabled Herbert Armstrong to continue to write [instead of working]. That was all it took to convince him that he had a unique calling.

Plagiarism!

Escapees from the Armstrongist sub-cult, PCG, should be familiar with the unwholesome practice of self-styled “prophets'” plagiarizing supposedly specially revealed messages to the faithful and claiming to have gotten them from God. As it turns out, Flurry was indeed following in the old man’s footsteps in this regard (if not so much in others) when he copied down Malachi’s Message from an earlier manuscript sent to him by its author, Jules Dervaes, through registered mail two years before Flurry started getting his “revelation.” Flurry’s “spiritual father,” Armstrong, proved to be similarly unscrupulous with regard to literary theft.

The indefatigable Herbert Armstrong continued to work on the manuscript that would become The United States and Britain in Prophecy, and by 1930 he began distributing it among any who showed an interest in reading it. In this work were a few ideas that were original with Armstrong, and some that were a synthesis of ideas he had come across in his reading of Adventist materials. The main concept Armstrong contributed to the BI myth was a contrived connection between the question of identity and the commandment to keep the Sabbath, based upon an unconventional interpretation of Ezekiel:

Armstrong’s transformation of Ezekiel into a warning for America is unique in all Anglo-Israelism. It may be the one significant addition he made to the belief. As such, it became an effective tool in calling people…to the Sabbath…In making the Ezekiel connection, Armstrong repeated the error made by many prophecy expositors. He ignored Ezekiel’s plain words, which identified to whom he was writing and about when God would fulfill his prophecies. Training in proper hermeneutical tools would have been helpful (Ibid.).

Besides this contentious exegesis and a few insignificant details, Armstrong’s book was in large part a duplication of J.H. Allen’s Judah’s Sceptre and Joseph’s Birthright, written in 1902. A multitude of entire passages from US&BiP are nearly word-for-word facsimiles of their counterparts in JS&JB. Often Armstrong repeats in exacting detail the analogies used by Allen, or closely models Allen’s original phrases, and he generally follows Allen’s arrangement of the relevant material. These instances of plagiarism are recounted comprehensively elsewhere (for example here and here).

It is clear that BI was not revealed to Armstrong if he copied it from other writers, but the full truth is worse: Armstrong didn’t just copy their words; he copied their errors. In Part Three, we will explore these errors when we handily disprove the spurious claims of British Israelism. Stay tuned…

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23 thoughts on “A Broken Key: The Case Against British Israelism (Part Two)

  1. Recently Church of God Seventh Day related to me what Burt Marrs said at a conference concerning self-styled would be apostles wanting to take control of the church.

    Burt Marrs disclosed that Herbert Armstrong wanted to take over the Church of God Seventh Day — he wanted to be in charge. The idea of Herbert Armstrong was that he and only he was qualified to rule over the Church of God Seventh Day.

    British Israelism was made to be the “test,” but Burt Marrs observed that the real issue is that these sorts of men simply want to seize the church and make it theirs.

    This is certainly the case with Herbert Armstrong: Even though he had little more than an 8th grade education, he, in his delusions, his monopolar hypomania, his great swelling narcissism, always thought himself superior to everyone else. He thought himself to be “top of the line,” the foremost, the most advanced, the very man God had sent forth. He found it insulting that people like Burt Marrs did not recognize his greatness.

    The Church of God Seventh Day sees Herbert Armstrong as of no worth: An heretic, a religious nut — and a man to be little regarded — proving himself to be a false prophet. Their view of British Israelism at this point is that it is preposterous.

    I do not speak for the Church of God Seventh Day; I merely tell you what has been related to me over the past three years. The Church of God Seventh Day has observed the splits, schisms and divisions in the Armstrongist community from afar and stand ready to embrace those who are willing to admit they were wrong to follow Herbert Armstrong and offer to share the love of Jesus Christ with them in peace.

    • “…the love of Jesus Christ…”

      Douglas, how can a man who died (assuming he existed) over 2000 years ago love anyone? We all appreciate the information on CG7, but I respectfully request that you don’t proselytize on this site unless you are ready to support any claims made with evidence, and defend them against the strong challenges that will inevitably crop up. We promote reason and skepticism here, after all, rather than religious belief.

      • Casey, your response there seems a bit stupid. read it again. And what makes you such a big tough guy anyway?! – big angry man, sticking up your finger there to eveyone, both young and elderly. whatever. I thought there was mention here of truth, and open mindedness? Why then so hostile against Jesus Christ? And if you have something against Jesus Christ, then why do you concern yourself with His sheep?
        Just because you were tricked, or fooled, or went along for the ride, doesn’t change a thing about Jesus Christ.
        please try not to be too angry.

      • “Casey, your response there seems a bit stupid. read it again.”

        Your response here seems a bit fuzzy. What exactly is “stupid” about my response? You’ve got to give us something to sink our teeth into, young Stephen.

        “And what makes you such a big tough guy anyway?!”

        Bushmills, usually.

        “…sticking up your finger there to eveyone, both young and elderly.”

        Oh, the horrors! Welcome to the Internet, Virginia.

        “I thought there was mention here of truth…”

        Yes. Your point?

        “…and open mindedness?”

        We like to keep our minds open, but not so open our brains fall out. I’m not sure which extreme you’ve blundered into, but it’s definitely one or the other. Keep reading; perhaps you will find a remedy for your delusions. Don’t thank us, that’s what we’re here for.

        “Why then so hostile against Jesus Christ?”

        And what are you proposing as the relationship among Jesus Christ, truth and open mindedness? To answer your question, I am not hostile against Jesus Christ as he is already long dead. It would be a waste of time. Instead, I tend to focus my hostility on enemies that are real and alive. Like your pathetic namesake.

        “…why do you concern yourself with His sheep?”

        First, a dead man cannot own sheep. I am concerned with sheep for the obvious reason that they are responsible, in their intellectual weakness and moral turpitude, for the thriving of cults.

        “Just because you were tricked, or fooled, or went along for the ride, doesn’t change a thing about Jesus Christ.”

        I agree. Still dead, regardless of our experiences. Again, what is your point? Here to proselytize your bloody savior to us? You’re doing a piss poor job of it. Try an argument maybe.

        “please try not to be too angry.”

        You flatter yourself: your offering here is beneath my contempt. I like to feed trolls, though, so let’s see if you bite…

  2. Casey, sorry for the confusion. I am not offering the love of Jesus Christ, I merely said that the Church of God Seventh Day was.

    • Well, again, that statement itself assumes the claim has some merit. It doesn’t. CG7 cannot make such an offer validly because they do not possess the item in question, since the love of a dead man is non-existent. So, right off the bat you’re extending the offer of a delusion, albeit from someone else.

      I’m sorry if I’m coming off as a hard-ass (on second thought, no, I’m not sorry), and I understand that some people have an unfortunate emotional drive to believe unsupportable claims (which is exploited by outfits like CG7), but this is not the place for making altar calls in the form of, “Abused by your cult? Come to ours!” or, “Rejected by the false Jesus? The true Jesus still loves you!” without challenge. If you want to do that, you’ll get plenty of approbation over at Mike’s so-called “Exit Support Network,” the “non-heretical” Christian proselytizing arm of the anti-Armstrongist community. The editors of Armstrong Delusion do not like Mike, who is nothing but a common liar for Jesus (although the letters from “exiters” are sometimes helpful and informative–I doubt he has the courage to post those which espouse views he doesn’t agree with though).

      So I just wanted to make that clear. We do not approve of CG7 or its “heresies,” and we do not subscribe to “non-heretical” Christianity. In fact we could argue splendidly for the atheist position if you want to push it. But we have the decency not to bring it up because we know what our own site is for and what it is not for. So, I’d appreciate it if you would not force our hand in this way.

      Note that you could have said, “CG7 offers former Armstrongists a place where they can enjoy the sense of community and Sabbatarian trappings they miss” and it would have gone just under my anti-proselytizing radar. But not by much.

  3. When I came to this site and saw that part 2 was finally posted, I started salivating. It was much to my satisfaction. Fantastic read.

    Has anyone had any success in showing these articles to members of any of the CoGs? My mother is in the UCG and I have been thinking for quite some time as to how to make her skeptical. I am not sure if this site is where I should start (it seems best for those that already have that seed of doubt planted). My only concern is that the language may be off putting for someone who holds far too much respect for HWA. The question then remains, how do I prepare her for harsh criticism?

  4. Nice article.

    I suspect a lot of the stuff written over at ESN was just made up by Mike or one of his associates. However, sometimes they do publish verifiable facts.

    In view of Armstrong’s lies (e.g. “I did not get what I teach from men”) I also have a low regard for the information in HWA’s autobiography. It’s hard to tell how much is made up. I’m sure the story of his wife’s dream was made up. If not, HWA was manipulated by evil spirits from the get-go. Or maybe she was hallucinating.

    HWA probably got through high school, not just grade 8.

  5. Kruser, how to plant seeds of doubt in your mother is a sensitive and important topic. I wish I could answer that. It is risky because it does not take much to alienate people. The COGs have really got people in their grip that way. Unless you are very careful you will quickly be branded as an instrument of the devil and possibly shunned or ostracized. I think this site is too strong for most COGers.

    Do you and her still talk about religion? Does she try to interest you in her beliefs?

    Here is one idea: get a copy of JS&JB from the library, show it to her, and ask if she has seen it. She might be interested in BI, and pick it up and notice the similarities with HWA’s book. If she reads it, it will be Allen doing the talking, not you. Once she is convinced it is very similar, ask her why Armstrong admitted at a bible study he read Allen (the bible study recording is on the internet) yet did not cite Allen in the book. How could he claim he never got his teachings from men? What was he trying to hide by not mentioning Allen, apparently even deleting references to Allen that appeared in the manuscript his book was based on? Show her where HWA said the “lost key” was not revealed until he came along. Now, that was a bald-faced lie. This might also lead to a discussion of the errors in BI, which is supposed to prove the bible. You will have to know your subject: errors in BI that HWA fell for and promulgated, where to find, in his own literature, the information proving he lied, etc.

    Go slow. Watch her response. Don’t push too far too fast. Don’t alienate her.

    • For the record, the intended audience for this site are the disillusioned on the outside of the cults (who often still struggle with the lies they were taught), and rebellious youth still on the inside. It is certainly true that it is too strong for the sheep. There are other sites for them. If anti-armstrongist websites were drugs, this would be crack cocaine. Sheep need to graduate from the more pedestrian “gateway” sites before this will have any effect. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Armstrongists.

      • You’re wrong.
        Your site’s not too strong for me. God has other creatures apart from His sheep and your kind. I’m a bird of prey – and I’m well fed. But, maybe that’s not true because Casey understands it not to be so.
        Your “crack cocaine” is cut with talcum powder!
        peace.

      • “You’re wrong.
        Your site’s not too strong for me. God has other creatures apart from His sheep and your kind. I’m a bird of prey…”

        Self-contradiction is a bad sign, there, Stevie. I said this site was too strong for sheep. You say I’m wrong. Why? Because it isn’t too strong for you, a bird of some kind. That sure sounds like sheep-logic. Are you a sheep-bird hybrid or something? I’m sure that’s an abomination to your Lord.

        “Your “crack cocaine” is cut with talcum powder!”

        Okay, don’t take the analogy too far, there, Sport, or you might be asked to defend your additions to it. For example, what is the talcum powder representative of, precisely? Can you point out a specific “impurity” in our arguments? Surprise me by doing so!

  6. “Greetings everyone!”

    a specifc “impurity” in our arguments?

    How about your bold and joyous assertions that Jesus Christ is “a dead man,” and “still dead”? Wow. That’s some powerful mind you have! Or really presumptuous. Give me a break.
    How is it that you actually know this? Or is that maybe just what you think? what is true?
    So, how do you know that He’s “still dead,” and not actually alive today as the first born from the dead – you can’t prove that can you?

    I only say that your “cocaine” is tainted because I have very much enjoyed this work – it is quite a buzz indeed to see the actual truth about businessman Herb’s true methods, sources, influences, lies, etc., – only to find unexpected and unpleasant come downs in the form of Casey Wollberg bashing Jesus Christ! (a bit of a troll yourself?) I thought the target was Armstrong, not Jesus Christ, or Christians, or “sheep.” That angle seems a bit childish compared to that of analysing & breaking down the ‘Armstrong Delusion’ – and it confuses your motive.
    It’s like biting into a nice lovely cake that has a turd inside.

    The saints in Virginia salute you.

    • “I only say that your “cocaine” is tainted because I have very much enjoyed this work…”

      You’re welcome, lazy ass.

      “only to find unexpected and unpleasant come downs in the form of Casey Wollberg bashing Jesus Christ! (a bit of a troll yourself?)…”

      Yes, I’m trolling my own website. You’re an idiot.

      “I thought the target was Armstrong, not Jesus Christ, or Christians, or “sheep.””

      I really hate people who make me repeat myself. This is not an atheist website, but the comments section is wide open, even for the site’s owner and administrator, strangely enough. And sheep don’t get a pass here; they certainly are targets of our articles, and they will be more powerfully in the future. Consider it a supply-side approach. Don’t like being considered a sheep? Stop being one.

      “That angle seems a bit childish compared to that of analysing & breaking down the ‘Armstrong Delusion’ – and it confuses your motive.”

      Tell you what, Bozo: take a course in writing, learn some basic logic, pick a subject, do some research, purchase and register a domain name, and set up your own goddamn blog. Then you can kiss Jesus’ ass all you like. We’re not doing it here. Copy that?

      “It’s like biting into a nice lovely cake that has a turd inside.”

      No, it’s like reading for comfort rather than truth. It’s telling, by the way, that you equate reading materials with non-nutritive dessert foods.

      As for your nonsense about proving a negative, I’ll address that in a separate comment (not directed to you, as you are obviously too pathetic to appreciate the sense that will be laid down therein). Fuck off, moron.

    • Also, you did not address an “impurity” in the arguments of our articles, which is what the original metaphor referred to. You are fixated on the unruly comments section, where anything goes. Even so, a discussion about the lack of evidence for the resurrection of Jesus would not be out of place in an AD article, since this claim is also a part of the Armstrong Delusion. Armstrongism is, after all, a Christian cult. We know what we’re doing here and we aren’t interested in your silly attempts at advising us. If you want something that isn’t so rough with your favored myth, try Mike’s Christian Proselytizing Network. Tell them the Antichrist sent you.

  7. “How about your bold and joyous assertions that Jesus Christ is “a dead man,” and “still dead”? Wow. That’s some powerful mind you have! Or really presumptuous. Give me a break.
    How is it that you actually know this? Or is that maybe just what you think? what is true?
    So, how do you know that He’s “still dead,” and not actually alive today as the first born from the dead – you can’t prove that can you?”

    We have a wide-open comments section here at AD for just such opportunities as this one. Every so often a small-minded git comes along presuming to wag their finger at us over something they think they understand. This invariably turns into a well-deserved paddling for the individual in question, and bonus material for you, our dear readers to cogitate upon and digest (or for the more advanced, merely to get a kick out of the absurdly unbalanced battle of wits on display).

    This troll calling itself “Stephen Flurry” is a typical inexperienced myth-pusher. It hasn’t quite gotten around to learning much about how this playground works, while, unfortunately for little Stephen, your faithful editor has been knocking around here for a long time. Perhaps Stephen has figured out by now that he is far out of his depth. At any rate, I will for your amusement and perhaps enlightenment, explain why he is so dead wrong.

    First comes his miraculous changing of the denial of a claim into a claim itself. Notice. I reject the claim that Jesus was resurrected. I don’t come along in a world where people are resurrected as a rule and make the claim that one wasn’t. Instead, we are all living in a world where people as a rule are not resurrected.

    Therefore, the one making an affirmative claim in this world (the one we all, and presumably Stephen, live in) are those who assert that Jesus (or anyone else) was, in fact, resurrected. Since they are the ones making a claim, then the onus is on them to provide evidence to support their claim. We educated people call this burden of proof, and Stephen commits a logical fallacy when he shifts the burden of proof onto those who reject the claim on the grounds that he has provided no evidence for it.

    Next is the fact that such a claim is not any normal claim but an extraordinary one. It requires supernatural intervention for which there is no known or described mechanism. If this mechanism was understood, you can be sure we would be utilizing it at every opportunity. As Carl Sagan said, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” There is neither ordinary nor extraordinary evidence for Jesus’ resurrection. And, as Christopher Hitchens said, “What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.” This is because the one who makes the assertion bears the burden of proof.

    So, we can with confidence return young Stephen’s words back to him: “How do you know Jesus was resurrected?” The answer is he doesn’t. But he’s pretending he does, because he just can’t live without an imaginary friend.

  8. I have read and studied Armstrong’s book concerning The US and Britain in prophecy and I used the KJ bible to follow what he was declaring and I found that the scriptures supported all that he was saying. I have read many peoples post trying to condemn Mr. Armstrong on this subject and the one thing I have noticed about them all is that none of them referred to any scripture. My God Jesus tells me that I am to let all men be as liars and to only let Him be true. The bible is my finally authority on all matters of belief and faith. I ask you why do not use scriptures to support your idea that the teaching of US and Britain being of the lost tribes of Israel? Might it because you have none? I am not of any churches that were part of the WWCG. I am just a simple man who desire to know and understand God Jesus’ Holy Word. So until someone comes forth with bible proof that the teaching is false I will continue to believe it.

    • You’re right about one thing: you’re simple. The Bible doesn’t prove anything.

      Scripture-based refutations aren’t my department anymore: I’ve moved on to more important things. But I can recommend a book to you, if you’re into that. Roger R. Chambers’ book The Plain Truth About Armstrongism does an excellent job at exposing Armstrong’s fraudulent handling of scripture in his British-Israelism literature. He also briefly discusses more relevant avenues of disproving this myth (like archeology and linguistics, for example). You can get it super cheap, so don’t make any excuses, there, truth-seeker, alright?

  9. Why would anyone respond to Mr. Wollberg? He is just so full of himself and any kind response gives him a platform to rail against. He is stuck in his own quagmire and nothing said to him will make any difference. Of course, we can pray for him.

    • Good advice; why don’t you follow it? Answer: because you’re a fool and a hypocrite, and you couldn’t help but put this on display for all our readers. Thank you for making our job that much easier.

      “He is just so full of himself…”

      Armchair psychoanalysis is fun, isn’t it? Now how about addressing the arguments at hand? Oh, you can’t. You’ve got nothing but delusions, as is amply demonstrated again and again by your kind. This never gets old! If you’d like to suprise anyone, try offering something substantive to the discussion–a statement of your position and a logical defense of such would be an interesting start.

      “He is stuck in his own quagmire and nothing said to him will make any difference.”

      Obvious projection is obvious. You folks really have no self-awareness to speak of, do you?

      “Of course, we can pray for him.”

      Please do. I enjoy the mental image of a bunch of loons getting together and making me the object of their raving lunacy.

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