Despite the obvious import of these facts to the question of whose spiritual understanding is more reliable by God's demonstration, all the leaders of the various splinter organizations believe some of the doctrines and spiritual judgments Mr. Armstrong left in the Church are erroneous.  They also disregard the fact that Mr. Armstrong emphatically reconfirmed in his final years all the doctrines and judgments in question (including makeup), and he charged the Church and the leadership that he had been commissioned to “restore all things” and put the Church completely “back on track” before his work ended in death or Christ's return.


A significant number of God's people accept the opinion of their chosen leaders in this regard. Many are not sure if they accept their leaders' opinion but go along because they feel they must “attend services” somewhere; others disagree with their leaders but stay in their congregations for the same reason.  Some actually have blinded themselves to the fact that their leaders teach contrary to Mr. Armstrong. The various leaders disagree with each other about where the errors are, and their critiques of their rivals' spiritual accuracy and honesty are generally valid. Among the various doctrines and spiritual judgments they will not follow, all have rebelled against principles of God's government restored in the Church through Mr. Armstrong.


The great question of Mr. Armstrong's spiritual accuracy is actually a question of the proper understanding of God's government.  This question did not originate with the Tkaches after Mr. Armstrong's death, but was raised first by a number of other men in the seventies.  The names are familiar to most of God's people, and should be instructive:  Garner Ted Armstrong, David Antion, Wayne Cole, Ron Dart, Charles Hunting, Ernest Martin, Ken Westby, the Systematic Theology Project, etc.  All these argued (at least in the earlier stages of their rebellion) that though Mr. Armstrong's teaching was correct on certain very important subjects, and therefore he had been given understanding unique for his time, they understood certain other doctrinal subjects better than he did, and so they were authorized by God to correct Mr. Armstrong's supposed errors.


Their “authority” was the same facile reasoning often invoked today to justify “correction” of Mr. Armstrong's truly authoritative teaching—the slogan that “no man is infallible.”  Eventually the vast majority of God's people at that time perceived the fatal flaw in using such a theoretically undeniable principle as authority to overrule Mr. Armstrong: the ones who proposed to “correct” Mr. Armstrong were fallible too—even more so. Mr. Armstrong had the undeniable “fruits” of a true apostle: God's revelation to him unique in his day, and God's miraculous blessing of the Work under him, in which God “sent him forth” with the Gospel in unprecedented power. The ones proposing to correct had no such fruits, just arguments Mr. Armstrong heard and considered in detail, then rejected.


God's people succeeded in the test false teachers posed in the seventies because they ultimately decided to faithfully follow a key principle of God's government: that Christ would eventually guide His proven leader to recognize any valid points raised by advisors or even average Church members, as had happened at times over the years.  Also it was appreciated that a far greater number of invalid points had been zealously advocated by others and rightly rejected by Mr. Armstrong over the years, thus saving the Church from straying into persuasive error.  Proponents of such invalid points were not all obvious rebels, but also included loyal and spiritually knowledgeable evangelists such as Dr. Meredith and Dr. Hoeh. Thus, the apostle in God's government was like a faithful father who welcomes candid advice on important spiritual decisions from wife and children, but must ultimately exercise the greater spiritual discernment God makes available to his office. Sometimes he finds his family's advice significantly flawed, often it generally concurs with his own judgment; sometimes he finds eventually that it contributes key information/ideas he was unaware of or had not yet considered.