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Former Armstrong Spliter Group Murders Members
Published on March 13, 2005 By Sabbatismus In Current Events
It was only a matter of time. One of the splinter groups from the Worldwide Church of God, started by the self-professed endtime Apostle and Prophet Herbert W. Armstrong, had a member come in and end the lives of 7 and himself by shooting them.

The self-proclaimed "Living Church of God" became a deadly place to be attending Church. These "Churches of God" all hold similar beliefs as the David Koresh Cult that burned his followers alive in Waco, Texas. Their teachings are that Christians must live a Jewish Lifestyle and if you become a member of their church, you'll be one of the very, very few who will enter the kingdom of God. Of course, they all profess to be God's ENDTIME WORK. Indeed, it was at least "end time" for these poor folks.

These cults have a way of becoming a magnet for the unstable. Since, these cults are started by someone so unstable self-deceived and egotistical as to call himself "God's Endtime Work" and an Apostle and/or "endtime Prophet". Birds of a feather, flock together. The unstable tend to be somewhat of outcasts from society and the cults promise them a place to be superior or at least SPECIAL ABOVE OTHERS . Thus, you find them full of dissenter society and fundamentalist bible thumpers who have their ax to grind for being so mistreated. The cult gives them a voice by which they can lash out at society. But, given enough built up anger, they will lash out even at their own group. This is one of the reasons they are constantly splintering. That is the case of this weekend's Sabbath services where a member murdered himself after 7 of his fellow worshipers and injured four others. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,150255,00.htmlLink

Comments (Page 1)
on Mar 16, 2005
You should really check your facts before stating what you PROFESS to be facts. There are so many mistakes in the first two paragraphs of your statement that I didn't bother to read beyond that. I am not a member of LCG but I do know their beliefs. You should really get to know a group of people before you put them into a box that makes you feel safe and superior.
on Mar 18, 2005
This article is very sad. Nothing in it is true. Maybe you should study up on the LCG or any of the other so called "splinter groups" before you start voicing your opinion. None of these churches are CULTS. To say that they are is totally ridiculous. This type of shooting could happen at any type of church, you choose to feed on this because the church actually teaches what the Bible proclaims, which is something you are not obvioiusly used to.
on Mar 21, 2005
Let me tell you, miss anonymous, I know you guys only too well. Rod Meredith thinks he and his itty bitty following, like David Koresh' s group is "the center of God's work on earth". He is a direct spin off of Herbert Armstrong's Church. He worked with the self-professed, self-proclaimed prophet and "God's Apostle" , Herbert Armstrong. Don't tell me, I'm not speaking the truth. Rod Meredith along with the other Armstrong splinter groups, teach that if you live a Jewish Lifestyle and profess to be Christian, then you are one of the few "called" people among all the billions of earth, you all have "the truth" .

This type of shooting was only a matter of time because strange leaders attact strange followers. I invite the readers to follow some of the most bizarre reading of comments you teachers at the funeral of Terry Ratzmann the murderer.
Get this one! From a Pastor Gilchrist. " at www.ambassadorwatch.co.nz " Terry Ratzmann's funeral held: The Journal Sentinel report on Terry Ratzmann's funeral is available online. The funeral for Ratzmann's youngest victim, 15 year old Bart Oliver, followed later at a separate location. Glen Gilchrist, an LCG minister who previously served in Milwaukee, took the service. Pastor Glen Gilchrist officiated at Ratzmann's funeral and "attempted to honor Terry for all the good he did and recognized that some of the great men of the Bible did some heinous things," [Thomas] Geiger said. He mentioned King David and others who committed horrible acts but later repented. "Unfortunately, Terry didn't have time to repent," Geiger said. "But God may provide a provision for that." The Living Church of God teaches that people have a second chance to repent when Christ returns to Earth. Gilchrist, a former pastor of the Milwaukee group and close to Ratzmann, couldn't be reached Friday. " I have first hand knowledge that the LCG does teach and believe that MURDERERS LIKE RATZMANN and even Hitler, (they know it's bizarre so they don't talk to loud about that one) are going to have "another chance" . You see, this group is so exclusive that they think only the believers like themselves that follow Rod Meredith and the like are the ONLY people on earth who know the truth. That's because ONLY they, and their little tiny following are "the called" and the rest of the world of billions of Christianity are just dead wrong. Only, THEY are the "true church" . . You see how exclusivist this group is and the rest of the splinter groups are exactly the same way. Before you can become one of them, you must subscribe to living a JEWISH lifestyle. You have to go to church on the Sabbath, fast on the day of Atonement and keep the rest of the law of Moses. They actually don't do keep all the law of Moses, but, they PROFESS THEY DO.
on Mar 21, 2005
The above example gives you an idea of how exclusive the group is. Now take a look at how bizarre their theology is:

Ratzmann goes into a church and murders 7 and injures others in the midst of a group of worshipers, right or wrong. He does immeasurable harm to not only those whom he injured and murdered but those who survived, family and friends. They will live with this horror for the rest of their lives. And the answer from Gilchrist is that “he will have an second chance” ?”he will have an second chance” ? What kind of perverse justice is that? Second chance? That is the very kind of thing that teaches men that they can be come murders, and promotes even entices evil and they will “get a second chance”. Ratzmann having been taught this "second chance" stuff by guess how, the LCG and Rod Meredith, who learned it from the Armstrong's, Could it be, that this was exactly what this murder was thinking when he decided to murder those people? A second chance?

Scott Peterson goes to the death chamber, most murders at least go to prison for the rest of their life for ONE murder,! Gilchrist believes and teaches because of Armstrongism, he is NOT punished but rewarded with “another chance”.

This is the kind of teaching that promotes evil and teaches their is no punishment for it! I’m sure as Ratzmann loaded another clip, he was always hoping he’d be rewarded with “another chance” . How incredibly unjust it is those who have been murdered and injured to the suffering of the whole church membership, even all civilized human beings. Instead of teaching that there is justice with God, he teaches a perverse kind of mercy. No, the scripture promises the lake of fire and brimestone for murderers (Rev.21: 8But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

The LCG teaches that a man can commit MURDER, Adultery and every other heinous crime and still have "another chance" in another life, to repent. But that isn't what scripture teaches. They also teach that a wicked person goes to "soul sleep" where he is at rest, and escapes punishment . No wonder, is it? that this Ratzmann then turned the gun on himself to avoid any civil punishment and shame due to his crime. According to them, he is in soul sleep, at REST. Waiting to be resurrected and "get another chance" That is why the coward turned the gun on himself. Ratzmann was nothing more than a homocide bomber, terrorizing innocent and unarmed defenseless people, in church of all places. His own church at that! I have no love for that cult, I do have pity for their followers who were so easily deceived. Their theology may have played a part in bringing it upon themselves. I don't doubt that for a second. Still, It is a horrorific crime and their ministers are so senseless, they offer "another chance" to Ratzmann and anyone else who might like to commit the same crime. It's shear stupidity. That's what a false prophet and false Apostle brings to the table for his followers. Let the name Herbert W. Armstrong and Garner Ted Armstrong go down in history in shame where they belong.
on Mar 21, 2005
Want to know more about the Armstrong cult. Read hereLink

on Mar 23, 2005
Mr. Sabbatimus, Why are you so angry? I can see you foaming at the mouth like a mad dog. Who did what to you? Go before your Heavenly Father and ask for peace -before the same spirit that drove Mr. Ratzmann compels you to act on your hatred. I have followed Mr. Armstrong's Teachings for 37 years. He preached that Christ was coming back to displace Satan as ruler of this world. That is what makes Satan so angry and wants to wipe out those that teach it and believe it. You had better hope this is true, because Christ's return and taking charge is the only hope any of us have. Believing this has not caused me or my Family to have a miserable life, but rather has helped us to love our neighbors and our enemies. My husband has lost many jobs because he refused to work on God's Sabbath. Not because Mr. Armstrong said so ,but because he read in the Holy Scriptures that it was a sign between the True Creator God and His People. The Apostle Paul kept the Sabbath and most of all Christ kept the Sabbath as did all the early Christians.The Apostle Paul was the enemy of the true Christ and His Gospel at one time. My husband is not angry at those that fired him but rather understands their point of view, but we have to look at things from God's point of view as he shows it to us. God can change anyone's mind. Hope you get to feeling better. May the God of comforts be with you and give you some peace. cl
on Mar 23, 2005
all hold similar beliefs as the David Koresh Cult that burned his followers alive in Waco, Texas.

Sabbatismus,

While I generally appreciate your work, I do take issue with this statement. The government has, in the years since Waco, admitted that it used incendiary devices. While I am not vindicating Koresh or his beliefs, I take issue with the inaccurate portrayal of what happened at Waco, especially as such acts endanger the religious freedoms of ALL of us.
on Mar 23, 2005
Ms. Clwhrn, There is a place for righteous indignation. I don't hate Ratzmann or anyone else. I abhor the false teachings of Armstrongism. I'm sure you and your husband are sincere people. But, you've been sincerely mislead by first a self-professed prophet and apostle, Herbert Armstrong and secondly, his son, Garner Ted Armstrong. Your argument about Paul is typical of the Armstrong's. Paul was a Jew, we expect devout Jews to keep the Sabbath. On the other hand, you have Paul and the other Apostles Peter, himself , as well as James, ALL WHO WERE JEWS all declaring that the Jews were NOT to pester, nag, intimidate or suggest that Gentiles were under any such obilgation to observe the Jewish Sabbath, Holy Days, Circumcision or New Moons. Yet, the whole foundation of Armstrongism is to do exactly that. Pester, nag, intimidate and make Gentile Christians feel obligated to become and live like a Jew. Read and study the book of Galatians, Read and study Acts 15, Acts 21. Nearly the whole new testament is a condemnation of the Judaizers, page after page of it. Yet, Armstrong has so blinded you, you can't see ever after 37 years. In Acts 15, the Apostles wrote a decree commanding the Jewish Christians to leave the Gentile Christians alone. By commandment of the Apostles, yet the Armstrong cults deliberately do just the opposite.

The Armstrongs have cause countless divorces of Christian homes over whether you have to be Jewish to be Christian. That is the first great heresy of the Christian Church and they revived it. None of their prophecies ever came to pass, to show that they were nothing more than false prophets. Now , the few remaining ministers are feeding off the scattered sheep to take what is left in the purses after destroying their souls in learning a false Christianity.

That fact that people lose "many jobs" because they wouldn't work on the Jewish Sabbath, is very likely one of the reason's Ratzmann flipped. All that tithing, all that pressure to live up to all those tithes, without work finally flips a guy out, especially if he is already a bit unstable. They put all these unnecessary stumbling blocks in the way of Christians. The very thing, the Apostles tried to prevent. Read my studies on the Law and Answering the Sabbath and Holy Day questions. Read, the commentary of Acts 15. It's here for you to see, how the Armstrongs have deceived you into a cult. And now what you have left is nothing more than those trying to take what they can from a dead body. What is now worse, the Armstrong cults teach that Ratzmann and nearly all murders, rapist, child molesters and criminals of the worse kind and the like, will not be held accountable for his murder, but will have a "second chance" to have salvation. Right now, according to Armstrongism, they are all enjoying soul sleep.

Gideon, I didn't comment one way or the other on the Governments role in Waco. I only commented on the fact that Koresh and the Armstrongs all hold the same beliefs.
Link to Understanding Acts 15, http://sabbatismus.joeuser.com/index.asp?aid=29969
on Mar 23, 2005
Link

Here, at the top is the link to Why Christians DON'T keep the Jewish Sabbath. The truth is here for you. You can get yourself out of that cult or you can refuse to look and go on your merry way. If you do chose not to look, then you put your own salvation and that of your children at risk. It's up to you. Don't say no one told you.

Here's the link to correctly understanding Acts 15.
Link
TELL ARMSTRONGISM ISN'T A CULT. A former WCG Armstrong child describes his childhood at the Armstrong cult from Ambassador Report ----- The next 3 to 5 years: I was saddened to read about Wisconsin Church shooting. Two things that I have read about the gunman were he suffered from depression and he was somewhat of “a loner”. Both descriptions of the gunman touched something deep inside me that I could relate to... Excerpted below is a section from my unpublished book that may provide some insight to readers coping to understand this tragedy... Second, I look back on my Church experience and I now realize how unnatural my own youth was. I literally grew up old! Let’s face it: The impending world destruction and “the end of the world” is pretty heavy stuff. Having Armstrong’s influence first introduced to me at age 7, I was “an old 20” by the time I realized Armstrong might not be right and I finally stopped attending this unhealthy church. In life, there is a time to be young and a time to be old. I feel I missed out on my youth and look back with much regret for my lost youth. I suffered from severe depression often during what should have been the best years of my life because I didn’t see any future for me and always felt “time was very short” as Armstrong said. Compounding the hopeless feelings, I also grew up feeling that I was different from other kids. I felt very inferior – I believe it was the partial effect of the periodic reminders of the Church’s teaching that I was “the weak of the world”, “a base thing”. I had virtually no friends in school because they were all “in the world”. We didn’t associate with people outside the Church, and I did not participate in any school activities. I remember I use to ask myself, “Why me?” Additionally, I had the very heavy burden and grave knowledge of the impending 1972 great tribulation and the destruction of the whole world thinking all my classmates would soon be dead! Thus, I trace the origins of becoming a “loner in life” to my Worldwide Church experience (I’ve spent most of my adult life single and alone. At age 39, I had my only real relationship that lasted only 4 years but did produce a wonderful daughter). I should also mention my book makes many references to my sermon notes taken in church services in the 1960s and 1970s. Here is one direct quote from Roderick Meredith: “Another age will start within the next 3 to 5 years” (April 7, 1969 Roderick C. Meredith, Special Bible Study). Richard A. Dahms
on Mar 24, 2005
Mr. Sbtms, I appreciate your replying to my post. My whole point is why do you hold such hatred for Mr. Herbert and Garner Ted Armstrong. I'm sure there are many others that in your estimation preaches wrong doctrine. You don't express hatred to the Catholic Church which in its existence has caused the death of millions who didn't adhere to their doctrines, to which they attribute to Christ. If you have read very much, you know THAT Church takes credit for changing the Sabbath from the 7th Day to the 1st Day of the week (or enjoined the Roman emporer Constantine to do so.) All the sunday keeping Prostestants follow their lead. Do you have no words for them? Personally, I don't worry about which day you keep. That is between you and God. There are ex-members from any place you want to look and they all have harsh words for their former associations. In my years in the Church of God, No one has forced me to believe or do anything.. I believe the Holy Scriptures both the Old and New Covenants. What fills me with joy is not the bad news that must necessarily happen before Christ returns, but the wonderful Good News that Christ came the first time and gave his life to reconcile us to the Father. He is coming back "when the time comes" to bring the Kingdom of God to everyone, not just me, not just you. Only then can we have peace and happiness and won't be trading quips back and forth on the "puter". We don't believe or Mr. Armstrong didn't teach that people have a "second chance". We believe that everyone that ever lived on this earth will have a "first chance". "each man in his order" as theApostle Paul says. (By the way Paul went for seven Sabbaths in Acts and taught Gentile Christians.)In order to have a chance we have to know what God expects of us. That is our Father's job to open our minds to that understanding. I believe Mr. Armstrong was a teacher sent from God. Mr. Armstrong is dead now. His work is done whatever one may believe about him. I believe what I can read in the Scriptures. Thank you for giving Mr. Armstrong a little true publicity here along with all the hate mail. Oh, let me tell you, I never met Mr. Armstrong in person, never stood in line to shake his hand - didn't need to - Got kicked out of the Worldwide Church in 1998 for sticking to doctrines I knew God had taught me. got kicked out of the PCG for clinging to those same doctrines. ( Gerald Flurry is no more like Mr. Armstrong than Jerry Falwell is like Ellen G. White.) Maybe you could set that record straight. He has done more to harm Mr. Armstrong's reputation than to uphold it in anyway , by claiming he is like him. Anyway, sir, you don't have to regard anything I say, but it would be to your benefit to back away from harsh unwarranted critisism of Mr. HWA. and those that truly believe God used him to preach the Gospel. If some in the Church were badly treated they need to look to those that treated them badly. What they believed was up to them. As I said , nobody forced them. I promise not to bother you further. Thank you for the space. cl
on Mar 24, 2005
clwhrn, Your reply is full of error and false assumptions. That is why your in a cult. Y ou use a lot of the cult terms like "changed the Sabbath to Sunday" . If you had taken the time to read my reply, you would know the Catholic Church never changed the Jewish Sabbath to Sunday. You don't read so you keep professing the same falsehoods you were taught by Armstrong. Again, had you read my links, you would see that I cover Acts where Paul taught gentiles in a synagogue on the Sabbath. The Armstrongs knew nothing of how or what Judaism taught. They never read Josephus, or they would well know that Gentiles were allowed into the synagogue on the Sabbath but were never required to keep the Sabbath or commanded to keep the Sabbath. Gentiles were considered "the RIGHTEOUS among the nations, without ever having to be circumcised in the flesh or keeping the Sabbath, because that is what the scripture teaches. Only, you judaizers never learn that part of the bible.

What a cutsy game Armstrong taught you to play with this "first chance" - "second chance" stuff. Everyones 1st and ONLY chance is in this life, not some second existance. You've apparently never studied Romans 1 and 2. Romans 1 makes it plain, as does the rest of scripture that everyone is judged by their works in THIS LIFE, not some next life. The wicked are condemned to everlasting fire for their sins IN THIS LIFE, not some next life bunk. You guys teach that you can be as evil as you want in this life, and still be saved in another life. Don't deny it. You teach that you can be a murderer, abortionist, the BTK murderer, heck even Adolf Hitler and have "another life" to repent and never be judged for your sins in this life. You guys teach unless you were baptized by one of your ministers into your little cult, then you were not called. You teach anyone can be a pervert of the worse kind, the most evil person on earth, but you get your "chance" in another life. As long as you murder yourself, before the cops catch you, you'll never pay for your sins in this life or the next. because, your on a "Not Called List" . So, go ahead and be as wicked as you want in this life, according to your and Armstrong teachings, you get a chance to be saved in the next life, because you are on the " NOT CALLED LIST" . What trash! What garbage! The wicked that die in their sins are thrown into everlasting punishment immediately after death. That is what the scripture teaches. I could go on and on with the endless false teachings of Armstrongism. I begging you to get out of that cult your in. Open your eyes. Read my links, but I know you guys, your souls are as hardened as brass, lest at anytime you should see and turn from your false doctrines and false gospel and be saved. Just don't say, nobody told you.
on Mar 24, 2005
There you go getting all riled again Mr. Sbtms. You know what. Christ will straighten one or both of us out when He comes back. Of course you seem intent on burning me in hellfire, but really I expect Christ is of a different sort and I'll place my fate in his hands. Now, you settle down, you hyeah. I'm just a good ole Southern girl waiting for the return of Jesus Christ. Take it easy. Talk about not listening to anything anybody says. Whew!
on Mar 24, 2005
Yet another "Blame the Victim" rant!
on Mar 24, 2005
Didn't Koresh, though, stockpile gasoline to burn the place if the police got in? If I recall correctly the police did start the fire with a combination of the tear gas and flash grenades, but the reason it burned the way it did was because they had hundreds of gallons of gasoline ready to burn the place.

Sorry if I am misinformed. That's just my own recollection.
on Mar 24, 2005
Clwhrn wrote: "I'll place my fate in his hands." . No doubt your fate will be in his hands. You are in for an eyeopener. The Apostle Paul pronouced a curse upon your gospel in Galatians1:6-9 and said, "let them be accursed" which preach it. So, the choice is yours. Take a lesson from Luke 16: and see what it means to be accursed.

19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. 27Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: 28For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

According to Armstrongism the rich man was on the "NOT Called List" but it didn't make any difference to Christ, the man went immediately into torment after his death for his wickedness. No second life time nonesense. Oh yes, after he was dead and went into torment, he wanted to save his brothers from TORMENT TOO, only he couldn't. What a lesson for those that promise the wicked soul sleep and rest instead of everlasting punishment. THEIR EYES WILL BE OPENED AT DEATH, JUST LIKE THE RICH MAN BUT IT WILL BE TOO LATE. Still for now, the promise all the wicked they won't be punished AT ALL but will have a second lifetime. Does it get any more perverse?
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