Evangelist Garner Ted Armstrong dies
Evangelist Garner Ted Armstrong, best known for his "World
Tomorrow" program, died yesterday from complications from
pneumonia at a hospital near his home in Tyler, Texas. He was
"I know that all of you prayed with all you had as we did here,
and fully expected God's intervention," said Armstrong's son,
Mark, in a statement. "We cannot fully understand why the
healing we begged for was not granted. But God's thoughts are
not our thoughts, and He has plans sometimes that we as mortal
humans cannot see."
Armstrong had been hospitalized since late last month, and had
previously shown signs of improvement, according to a spokesman.
Armstrong was founder of the Intercontinental Church of God and
Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association, and son of
Worldwide Church of God founder Herbert W. Armstrong, who died
"I know that my dad fully expected that his work will continue,
and we all have an enormous responsibility to make certain that
his work has not been in vain, and that his voice will not be
silenced," Mark Armstrong said. "His broadcasts will continue,
his wisdom and his knowledge will constantly be made available
to the church and to the public at large in the unique way only
he has been able to explain and portray the truths of God."
"The World Tomorrow" broadcasts, which aired in the U.S. and
dozens of other countries, focused on current news events in the
light of biblical prophecy, as it looked toward the "coming
kingdom of God."
For more than four decades, Armstrong interviewed many national
and world leaders. During the height of the Cold War, he
proclaimed that the Soviet Union was not the main worry to the
United States, but warned that a "United States of Europe" under
German leadership was the real coming threat.
He also was a strong voice against homosexuality, being
precluded in recent years from broadcasting on some stations
which disagreed with that message.
Regarding New York's new high school created specifically for
homosexual students, Armstrong wrote on July 30:
"Can you imagine the shrieks of outrage from liberals if some
group announced they were opening a new high school for
'straight kids only?' Think about it."
Armstrong wrote dozens of articles and booklets on a wide range
of subjects, arguing against the theory of evolution, against
world government, and he recently ripped those who keep
suggesting Islam is a religion of peace and not inherently tied
"Only a blithering fool can deny the connection," Armstrong
wrote last month. "Apparently, there are plenty of those in the
U.N., and in many a national government which struggles against
He also believed the U.S. and Britain are the leading powers in
modern times because they are recipients of ancient promises
made by God to the physical descendants of Israel, as he claims
both countries trace their lineage back to Israel's son Joseph
of the Old Testament.
His published books include "The Real Jesus" and "Peter's
Armstrong's theology differed from that of much of traditional
Christianity – or "churchianity" as he sometimes called it.
Among the biggest differences, Armstrong believed:
God is not a trinity, but rather a family currently consisting
of two members (God the Father and Jesus Christ), with the
potential of adding countless numbers of humans born into that
family in a future resurrection;
Christians should observe the weekly and annual Sabbath days
mentioned in the Bible; and Christians should abstain from
holidays whose traditions he said were of pagan origin,
including Easter and Christmas. During a December interview with
WorldNetDaily on the history of the winter holiday, Armstrong
stood by his long-running statement that "it is impossible to
'put Christ back in Christmas,' since He was never in Christmas
in the first place!"
"It would be a sin for me [to celebrate Christmas], but it
doesn't mean it's the unpardonable sin," Armstrong said,
stressing he didn't feel at all threatened by the holiday.
"I have no more difficulty walking through Beijing at the
Chinese New Year and seeing the dragons and fireworks. It
doesn't affect me. ... [the Apostle] Paul says the idol is
Born in Portland, Ore., in 1930, Armstrong was raised in Eugene
before joining the Navy, graduating from college, and embarking
in a career in evangelism and analysis of current events in the
According to the Tyler Morning Telegraph, "Armstrong was seen by
an estimated 20 million Americans weekly on television and his
radio show was broadcast in five languages to every inhabited
continent on more than 300 radio stations."