An Open Letter Regarding the State of the Church in 2007
by Matthew Kalliman
I wrote the following open letter in early 2007 and posted it on one of the Church of God forums. A reader forwarded it immediately to an ABC administrator who taught that wearing makeup is NOT sin -- a teaching contrary to that of Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of Ambassador College and Pastor General of the Worldwide Church of God. God raised up the Church and ministry of our time through Mr. Armstrong.
This administrator called my daughter into his office and responded to my letter in a very negative manner which upset her greatly. Deborah called me after the meeting, in tears, to tell me about it. For the remainder of the school year she and her future husband, Andrew Disher, were pressured constantly by ministers who tried to dissuade them from believing teachings of Mr. Armstrong.
As a father, I deeply resent the attempts of an off-track ministry (modern Pharisees -- Matt. 16:12; Luke 12:1) to undermine my efforts to lead, teach and administer God's government properly over my family -- to inject themselves between parents and children within God's Church. Doctrine Six -- A World in Confusion
The problems in the Church today will not exist in the World Tomorrow because Satan will no longer be around to "get his foot in the door" of God's Kingdom -- to inject himself between God and His Family -- to block out the light of the knowledge of God intended to educate His children. The Basic Questions -- Doctrine Three -- The First Millennial Day
"He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more. . . ."
" 'As for Me,' says the Lord, 'this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants' descendants, says the Lord, from this time and forevermore.' "
I am a 1976 graduate of Ambassador College. My Story
The letter follows:
The letter follows:
"I have a daughter currently attending UCG's ABC program in Cincinnati. She calls me regularly to discuss the things she sees and hears.
"One minister was asked, 'Is UCG the true church?' 'Yes,' the minister replied, 'because we are the continuation of WCG.'
"If UCG is the continuation of WCG, then it is merely the continuation of the pre-1978 years, before Mr. Armstrong put the church 'back on track,' and the continuation of the post-1986 years, after the death of Mr. Armstrong when liberalism crept back into the church. UCG is not the continuation of the on-the-track years of WCG between 1978 and 1986, under the guidance of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong during the final phase of his human life.
"Makeup is one example. Before my daughter left home to go to ABC, she went through my collection of church literature and pulled out the booklet, 'Truth About Makeup.' She showed me where Mr. Armstrong labeled the use of makeup 'sin,' punishable by eternal death in the lake of fire. I have recently reviewed that booklet.
"On the first day of class at ABC, one teacher said, 'Let's get one thing straight, makeup is not sin.' The teacher did not want any opinions to the contrary expressed publicly. The teacher told my daughter privately, 'If the Bible said to wear one black shoe and one brown shoe, I'd do it,' however, since there was no direct command in the Bible about makeup, the minister did not feel that using it was sin.
"I told my daughter this is the very point where the liberals go off track. Mr. Armstrong explained at great length in the booklet that it is the principle of the law, not the letter, which wearing makeup violates. There is no direct command in the Bible not to smoke, yet smoking does violate the principle of the law. There is no direct command for children to pick up their toys, but when the parents tell them to do so then the fifth commandment comes into play. God honored the Rechabites (Jeremiah 35) because they listened to their father -- respected him.
"The real issue, I told my daughter, is one of government. The liberals feel they know more than Mr. Armstrong. Like a teenager may think he knows more than his father. Mr. Armstrong was an apostle trained by Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:11). Christ puts doctrines and policies into the church through His apostles, not through a vote of the ministers. The job of the ministers is merely to administer the policies and doctrines set in the church from above by Christ through the apostles, not to overturn those doctrines and policies (see Mystery of the Ages).
"It's like what happened in the garden of Eden. God told Adam and Eve not to do something. But Satan overturned that -- gave them 'permission' to do what God said not to do. God does not want His daughters painting their faces. Ministers who give church ladies 'permission' to do so are doing the same thing Satan did in the garden of Eden. The penalty of sin is death! Christ's sacrifice only applies after sin is repented of, turned away from.
"There are two kinds of ministers, the 'HWA type' and the 'GTA type.' The second kind think they know more than Mr. HWA. No doubt there are both kinds in UCG. That's why when the ministers get together and vote, the results are not unanimous. A 'consensus' prevails. The teaching which comes down into the ears of the people is not the same as that which originated with God above. Isaiah 29:9-14 says people lose their understanding (fall asleep) when they listen to men instead of God.
"The tree of life was purely good, having no evil in it (representing the pure Word of God). The forbidden tree contained both good and evil (truth mixed with lies). That is a deadly mixture, one to be avoided. A tree is known by its fruits (Matthew 7:13-29). We are to reject teaching which is not in harmony with that of Christ (II John 9-10).
"King Saul (like Adam) lost his job because he did not administer the government of God properly. Consequently, God rejected him as being king. God replaced Saul with David, a man who did administer the government of God faithfully (Psalm 1, II Samuel 23:3, I Chronicles 28:4-9). Jesus Christ, the second Adam, will sit on the throne of David in the World Tomorrow, administering the government of God properly. We will rule with Him, administering the policies and doctrines of God as Christ directs, not changing them by substituting our own ideas.
"God needs to know that He can rely on us. Parents are to administer the government of God properly over their children.
"Mr. Armstrong's article 'Recent History of the Philadelphia Era of the Worldwide Church of God,' written in 1985, shows what the liberals of the 1970s wanted to do. All of the points of liberalism mentioned in that article have been overturned by UCG.
"My daughter says the older women in Cincinnati wear a little makeup, and the younger women wear a lot. When she questioned the wife of the teacher who taught that makeup is not a sin, the woman rolled her eyes and looked disgusted at the very thought that my daughter would bring up such an issue.
"My daughter also talked to another woman in the Cincinnati church who admitted that she didn't feel good about wearing makeup -- felt 'dirty' about doing it -- but she did it anyway, just to be like the other women."
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"God’s Church can come to no other decision than that changing the face God designed and gave, and following the world in makeup is SIN, and will certainly lead to DEATH in the LAKE OF FIRE!"
-- Herbert W. Armstrong, SATAN HASN'T GIVEN UP ON MAKEUP