The Legacy of the Worldwide Church of God

What it was like growing up in a cult and its impact on my life and others like me.

Monday, May 16, 2005

What will I do in the Wonderful World Tomorrow?

The Worldwide Church of God preached that Christ would return to the earth soon, destroy all unbelievers, and set up a new kingdom where all of us who qualified would reign with him. They painted a very rosy picture at times but often it seems through rose colored glasses. Probably the most often qouted bible verse for the world tomorrow was Isaiah 65 in which the ministers spoke of the blind seeing and God wiping away our tears. But what exactly was it that we would be doing for all eternity?

As a teenager in the church I think I was unsettled by the prospect of the tribulation the most. The ministers preached about this quite frequently. They often spoke of the "left behind" scenario. Where some would be taken to the place of safety while others would be left behind to suffer in the tribulation. One of our ministers in a sermon actually claimed that Herbert W. Armstrong might tell women to stop having children because the bible warns of the woe to come for women pregnant or nursing in the tribulation. It was hard for me to think this would be my future. No family or marriage. Leaving people I cared about behind. All to sit in the desert hideaway in Petra (the churches speculated place of safety) being controlled by the tyrannical ministers.

But to what end? Speculation was rampant. Supposedly we would become teachers to the wayward unbelievers and sit in Gods house on Earth with Christ as the head for a thousand years. But who would set next to Christ? Abraham? Adam? Could it be Paul? Or would it be Gods end time apostle Herbert W. Armstrong? HMMMM. So what would we be doing for 1000 years besides sitting in Gods house? And when does eternity start? Well thats where it gets interesting. First and foremost we are to be teachers of Gods laws and truths. So we get to be tyrannical ministers also? Well the men would but what was a woman supposed to do? We wouldnt be allowed to preach because that was a mans job. Were we supposed to teach how to be good wives and mothers? But are we mortals in the 1000 year reign or mini-gods? And if we are mini-gods then we arent going to be wives or mothers, right? So maybe Ill get to be the mini-god of teaching cooking. (With no lard or shellfish of course.) So Ill be teaching cooking for 1000 years and possibly eternity? But I thought the wonderful world tomorrow meant no more suffering?

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