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Letter to Jules Dervaes from Mr. Hunsberger

Copyright © Jules Dervaes

March 3, 1987





March 3, 1987

Dear Mr. Dervaes:

Your letter of February 11 has been received. We note that you say you will begin distributing your article if you do not hear from Mr. Tkach within one week! Mr. Tkach has been on a journey of several weeks overseas so will obviously not see your article. Laymen have no authority to give ultimatums to anyone anyway, so yours will be ignored.

Your enclosed article appears to be the same material which has already appeared on car windshields in the Pasadena area, so it doesn’t appear that you thought much of your own ultimatum either! This is the type of letter the Pastor General would refer to staff members for any response. Hence, I trust you will not mind hearing from this department.

It is not our intention to comment on your disfellowshipment. You have access to a local pastor when you are repentant and desirous of being taught as a member of the Church of God in obedience to the scriptures (1 Thess. 5:12-13; Heb. 13:7,17).

However, we will do you the courtesy of explaining some of the places where you have erred in the article you submitted with your letter.

You are wrong in saying Mr. Armstrong taught that the Philadelphian era of the Church would be replaced by the Laodicean era at his death. He never said that and did not believe that. On the contrary, he taught that the Laodicean era would commence upon its separation from the Philadelphian era at the beginning of the Great Tribulation.

Mr. Armstrong did say that God would not let a human leader die before his Work was finished. Mr. Armstrong did believe that his personal work was completed. But, neither Mr. Armstrong nor the Church has ever equated a Church era with the work of just one human leader. Rather, each era is under an angelic messenger, and there have been multiple human leaders in every era so far.

The “passing of the baton” is our phrase, not a biblical quotation. We have used it to portray the succession of a new era of the Church. We have also used the same terminology in the completely different context of a new era of human leadership within the same era of the historic Church. Thus, you cannot cite this terminology as evidence the eras have changed. We are the ones who used the term, and we did not mean it the way you are taking it. To you it may be “a well-known political formula that one leader equals one era.” But that is not found in the Bible, and we have never taught that. It is your personal doctrine. So do not attempt to use quotations from our literature to prove it. That would be hypocrisy.

Your contention that the attitudes of a majority in the Church are now Laodicean is a personal judgment which you are not qualified to make. The claim that “one who is practicing deeds of love must be at variance with a complacent Church” would appear to be an example of speaking evil of one’s brethren in order to excuse his own doctrinal disagreement. Such is not an evidence of pure godly love.

We did want to point out that you have been misusing quotes from our publications. Hopefully, you will correct the wrong conclusions which have resulted.


[Signature on file]

David G. Hunsberger
Personal Correspondence Department



In paragraph 2, line 1, Mr. Hunsberger INCORRECTLY ASSUMED that the “deadline” was not adhered to. By this time there were TWO scrolls written. The first one was already being distributed since January 1. But the new scroll (Now The Last Era)—with a new deadline—was NOT distributed until after Mr. Tkach had the chance to read and respond to it.

The procedure Mr. Dervaes followed for the first four scrolls:

FIRST, he submitted the material to Mr. Tkach, asking for a response.

SECOND, after no response, he submitted the scroll to the evangelists and ministers at headquarters. When there were no comments, he distributed the material to the international offices and lay members in Pasadena.

THIRD, he distributed the scrolls nationally and internationally to ministers and lay members in various congregations.

For the last three scrolls, Mr. Dervaes followed the same procedure; however, he no longer asked Mr. Tkach for his input nor did he wait for one before distributing the scrolls to others.

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