What’s In a Title?
Herbert W Armstrong (HWA) had many labels pinned upon him during his lifetime, and in some ways it still goes on. Some he didn’t mind in the proper context. For example, many compared him to a modern day Zerubbabel, building the modern day spiritual temple. Some he waffled on throughout his life, such as the role of the End-Time Elijah. Some titles he outright rejected. He would become annoyed when people tried to call him a “prophet”.
What is it about human nature that wants to elevate other human beings to such high places? Of course, many today still try to prove that HWA was the End-Time Elijah. One Church of God group has even called him a “prophet” even though he himself distanced himself from such a title.
I have often wondered why people don’t seem to be so eager to pin labels upon his son, Garner Ted Armstrong (GTA). After all, for a long time, GTA was the public face of the Church. When my parents first attended the Church, whenever people referred to “Mister Armstrong”, I immediately thought they were talking about GTA. It was a few weeks, perhaps even a couple of months, of confusion over some of the things said that someone finally told me that GTA was HWA’s son. So, in recognition of the fact that he was such a public character and used of God to call many into the Church, why wouldn’t there be a Biblical character to pin upon GTA?
The End-Time Samson
I hereby propose that GTA was the End-Time Samson figure. He was a thorn in the side of modern-day spiritual Philistines, a man of great passions and used of God mightily in these end times.
Here, then, are 7 proofs (because “seven” is a Biblical number) that GTA was the End-Time Samson:
1. Both were married. Or, at least Samson had a marriage ceremony, but then his concubine was given away to someone else.
2. Samson had long hair. GTA had long sideburns.
3. Both messed around with prostitutes.
4. Samson was a “man’s man”. GTA went into the Navy and even got a tattoo.
5. Samson had a way with words and there are 2 poems in his story. GTA was quite the orator.
6. Samson was easily angered and swore vengeance upon the Philistines. GTA was easily angered and swore vengeance upon his father.
7. In spite of their ups and downs and failings, both did a work up until their death.
See? Absolute proof, is it not?
He Who is Without Sin
One thing that we should not forget is that truth is truth, no matter who speaks it. It is up to each and every one of us to prove or disprove the truth to ourselves, whether or not the person giving us the truth lives up to our ideals or not.
OK, I’ll admit that this is a (very) thinly veiled attempt to show that all people, even ministers, are fallible human beings. GTA had many faults. HWA had many faults. Samson had many faults.
“And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
“…And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
“God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.”
~ Heb 11:32, 39-40