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Amazingly, little more than a year after Mr. Armstrong's death the vast majority of God's people, including the ministry and headquarters executives, were ready to accept apostate doctrine regarding healing and makeup they had rejected during Mr. Armstrong's 1978-81 Church restoration. All it took for them to forget the spiritual principles that led them right in that earlier test were Mr. Armstrong's death and an appointed successor who quickly turned from the Truth—even though if Mr. Armstrong was right in the seventies it was not he but Christ, who had not died or changed.
This of course proves many of God's people were partially guilty of “following a man” in the faith they had in Mr. Armstrong before he died, such that his death seriously shook their faith—though most did not seem to recognize it in themselves. In the seventies/early eighties much more persuasive men than the Tkach cadre could not make the vast majority reject any of Mr. Armstrong's doctrine, even though the Laodicean condition was prevalent through the seventies; after his death the vast majority immediately began to do so, blindly following new leaders. When confronted with contradictory teaching by the Tkaches they essentially reasoned, “Since God let Mr. Armstrong die and replaced him in the Church's government, maybe he wasn't the uniquely taught and authorized end time apostle we thought he was.” It is sadly ironic that many such people today follow a whole different set of new leaders, and they disparage as “following a man” the belief that no new leader has the authority or spiritual competence to “correct” Mr. Armstrong's doctrine and spiritual judgments.
Another key fact proven by the vast majority's unhesitating willingness to embrace what they had very recently rejected is that the Laodicean condition was still dormant just under the surface throughout the Church when Mr. Armstrong died—as he feared and warned—such that its regeneration only required a short period without his powerful advocacy of the Truth.
Virtually all the many doctrinal changes that followed the first two just discussed, through about 1992, were also originally advocated by one or more of the “liberals” listed above. Yet still almost no ministers or officials opposed them in any way discernible by the membership; the great majority supported them to the people, and relatively little opposition surfaced among the membership. When the Tkaches eventually introduced the “trinity” blasphemy and struck at the most fundamental aspects of the Truth held through all eras by the Church of God (the Sabbath and Commandment keeping), then many ministers, officials and members finally left. Yet even this was done with very little attempt by the vast majority of the fleeing ministry or officials to advocate within the Church against the heresy, for the whole membership's sake.