What Many CoGs Get Wrong
The following are our goals in presenting this information to members of various churches of God whose basic doctrines came out of the Worldwide Church of God (WCG) and the teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong:
- To reveal truth that will help you remove the shackles of false doctrine in order to grow in grace and knowledge and reach your full potential in the Father's earthly family of kings and priests.
- To show the fallacy of a number of erroneous teachings of the WCG that have led many whom the Sovereign Father has called to salvation away from his truth and placed them in jeopardy of the second death in the lake of fire.
- To share knowledge that, if understood and put to practice, will help bring you into closer conformity to the Father's will for your life and help you fulfill your awesome calling and responsibilities within the Father's earthly family of kings and priests.
While visiting with a friend who is a former WCG member and a minister of one of the larger congregational associations that broke away from WCG, I mentioned that a man I knew who was a former WCG official had tried to present important biblical truth concerning the Passover to his congregational associations doctrinal committee for review, but he received a very negative response for his effort to share this truth.
Concerning the attempt at teaching new biblical truth, my friend said, "Why would someone want to change another person's belief?"
The following are two reasons why a person should want to share new truth with their brothers and sisters in the faith:
- The scriptures instruct the elect to deeply love and respect each other and watch for each other's spiritual safety. Therefore, each of the elect should continually be on guard for heretics and heretical teachings and be ready and willing to alert one's brother or sister in the faith to teachings that could very well lead to punishment by Christ for rebellion or to the second death in the Lake of Fire.
- A true follower of Christ should want to share God the Father's truth and way of truth with a brother or sister in the faith, in order to help enhance their spiritual walk and help them conform to the Father's will for their life.
Teaching Erroneous Doctrines
Did the WCG ministry teach and hold doctrines that were in opposition to the Sovereign Father's truth and way of truth? Absolutely it did. Do former WCG ministers teach and hold many of these same erroneous doctrines? Yes they do.
The question is why do so many former WCG ministers and those whom they have ordained persist in teaching concepts and principles that are in opposition to the clear teachings of the Bible. The following are some of the reasons:
- They may not be converted and therefore do not understand spiritual concepts and principles.
- They are not authorized by Jesus Christ to lead the elect.
- They are false ministers masquerading as servants of God.
- Their motive for leading is self-serving.
- They are living in rebellion against God including blatant sin.
- They are afraid to teach truth for fear of losing their positions.
- They are not fulfilling their responsibility according to scripture.
Simply put, many of the men in leadership positions within the congregations of the elect are not qualified to lead the elect for one or more of the reasons stated. If this were not true, there would be unity of belief and a spirit of cooperation and teamwork among the spiritual leadership of the body of Christ and false teaching would either be eradicated or minimized.
TEN MAJOR DOCTRINAL ERRORS
The following are ten of our studies that correct major errors that have been taught by WCG and give insight into truth that the WCG failed or refused to teach for various reasons. We sincerely hope that you find these studies spiritually enlightening and beneficial.
The Day of Atonement
The following are two major errors taught by the WCG that prevent a true understanding of the ritual and symbolism of the Day of Atonement:
The Goat That Was Sent Away
WCG taught that the live goat that was sent into the wilderness represented Satan, and that the sins of the people were symbolically put back upon him and sent away. However, this teaching is inconsistent with God's plan for the salvation of humanity in that, salvation can only be obtained through the sacrifice and name of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:10-12).
Satan has no part whatsoever in a person's justification to the Father or their ultimate salvation. Satan is the originator of sin and, therefore, he could never, in any way, have a part in being an atonement for sin.
Our study Day of Atonement Rituals debunks the erroneous teaching that Satan was symbolically a participant in the Day of Atonement rituals and reveals the true meaning of the two goats.
Fasting On the Day of Atonement
There is no doubt that the elect of God who lived during the time when the temple existed practiced many of the rituals and observances associated with the agreement with ancient Israel. But does scripture support mandatory fasting on the Day of Atonement for the Father's elect today? The answer is no. Scripture does not support this for the many reasons set forth in the Law and the New Testament.
Our study Should Christians Fast on the Day of Atonement? reveals the true meaning of the fast that ancient Israel was required to perform on the Day of Atonement and reveals why fasting by the Father's elect for the same reasons is not only impossible but also denies the sacrifice of Christ for the forgiveness of sins and the indwelling of the holy spirit within the elect.
The Weekly Sabbath
A deadly mistake in regard to the rules of conduct set forth in the Bible for Sabbath observance is being taught in many of the congregations of the elect. No one who is unwilling to obey the rules of conduct set forth for Sabbath observance will enter into the Father's eternal habitation. For those who obey, there is salvation and eternal life; not salvation through works, but salvation through Christ. For those who do not obey, there is death and dishonor.
Our study Questions, Answers, and Comments About the Sabbath explains major errors taught by many, including WCG, concerning working, buying, selling and eating in restaurants on the Sabbath.
The Night to Be Much Remembered
Neither Orthodox nor Secular Jews place or observe a day in between the Passover and the first day of Unleavened Bread. The historical observance of the Passover season does not include The Night to Be Much Remembered as taught and observed by the WCG.
Our study Which Day is the Christian Passover reveals that a simple misunderstanding of one primary scripture and a few peripheral verses form the basis for the false teaching of The Night To Be remembered, which causes it practitioners to observe the Passover on the wrong day.
Our study Meaning of the Passover Past, Present, and Future also reveals the true sequence of the Exodus Passover as clearly shown in the biblical narrative.
Tithing: Fact, Fiction, or Fraud
WCG taught a strict policy of three tithes on a persons total gross income. For some individuals this policy became an enormous burden that lead to financial hardship and sometimes financial ruin.
The information contained in our study Tithing: Fact, Fiction, or Fraud shows the error of the tithing doctrines taught by quasi-Christianity and the WCG. This study also explains why the Jews do not tithe today and why the early church did not teach tithing. It also presents some surprising information about how God views the practice of giving and sharing.
Our study is not an appeal for money. However, it is an opportunity for you to gain an understanding of principles which can enrich your personal relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ.
The Congregational Meeting Place
Does it displease our heavenly Father and our Savior for the elect to assemble for worship in places dedicated to opposing religious systems and other gods? Does the physical location where a congregation of the Father's elect assemble to worship him have a positive or a negative impact on your spiritual relationship with him and his Son?
Our study Does it Matter Where the Father's Children Worship Him? shows that the Father and Christ are concerned about where the elect assemble to worship and that meeting in the temples dedicated to religions and gods that are in opposition to the Father's truth and way of truth is a show of disrespect for him and major violation of his law.
The Observance of the New Moon
Although WCG taught the observance of the Sabbath, the Passover, and the annual festivals, they never taught the observance of the New Moon that was commanded to be observed by ancient Israel.
Like the weekly Sabbath and the annual observances, which provide an opportunity for spiritual growth and nourishment, God designed the observance of the first day of each new lunar month as part of his plan for the spiritual nourishment of his people. Because God's Sacred Calendar is based on the lunar cycle, the observance of the first day of each month encourages his people to maintain awareness of his calendar and his awesome plan for humanity.
The New Moon was observed by ancient Israel and the early church, and it will be observed by all mankind after Christ's return. Our study The First Day of the Sacred Month During the Gospel Age and other studies on this subject show that the observance of the New Moon should also be practiced by the elect.
Where God Places His Name
Although, it was not overtly stated in their publications, WCG teachings implied that a person must attend the place designated as an official festival site by the WCG in order to properly observe the annual festivals.
Although the practice of gathering together as a group on a festival can be a wonderful experience, it is not required to observe a festival. This false teaching of WCG came from a misunderstanding of what actually took place on the Festival of Pentecost after the death and resurrection of our Savior.
An understanding of where the Father places his name and presence on earth is vitally important to everyone who seeks to worship and serve him, because the only place he can be worshiped is where his presence is to be found.
Our study Where the Name and Presence of God Resides on Earth reveals not only where our heavenly Father places his name on earth but also that the elect can observes all of the his festivals and holy convocations anywhere they happen to be at that time. Moreover, this study shows the awesome and wonderful privilege the Father has bestowed on his elect children through his presence.
Deacons and Deaconesses
One of the practices that led to much trouble within WCG congregations was the ordaining of men and women to an office of authority denoted as deacon or deaconess.
Is the practice ordaining a person to an office of authority as a deacon or a deaconess as practiced in most congregations of the elect what the apostles intended or is this practice a perversion of what the apostles set forth as a function and a responsibility among the elect?
Our study Deacons and Deaconesses, an Office or a Service reveals that an intentional misinterpretation, manipulation, and perversion of a number of New Testament texts by the King James translations of the Bible has resulted in a misapplication of the apostles' instructions concerning service to the widows (noted in Acts 6:1-7) and a misapplication of the apostle Paul's instructions to Timothy concerning bishops (noted in 1.Timothy 3: 8-13).
Our study reveals that the establishment of an office of authority denoted as deacon or deaconess within the congregations of the Sovereign Father's earthly family is contrary to the apostles' instruction and intent and that, when the true intent of these instructions are understood and practiced, the entire congregation benefits.
Oppressive and Dictatorial Leadership
The leadership philosophy and teaching style expressed by the WCG Ministry was oppressive and dictatorial, thereby limiting spiritual growth and a person's ability to fulfill the functions and responsibilities of their calling.
The reasons for the ministry and the organizational structure of the early church were as follows:
"For the perfecting of the saints, the work of the ministry, and the building of the body of Christ. Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 'That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body to the edifying of itself in love" (Eph.4:10-16 KJV).
None of the things noted by the apostle Paul can be accomplished in a major way without the teaching, the learning, and the practicing of the Father's truth in a non-threatening environment.
Our study Discipleship and Stewardship (A Cure for Doctrinal Chaos and Organizational Disunity) clearly and concisely details what the great commission is and is not, the responsibilities of those in spiritual leadership positions, and how each individual can become and remain a productive disciple and steward in the Father's earthly family.
These and other studies that we offer on our web sites show that new and beneficial insight into our heavenly Father's truth and way of truth is still being revealed to those who will heed the instruction given by the apostle Paul to make a diligent effort to study to show yourself approved and to grow in the grace and knowledge of our heavenly Father and his Son.
-The Congregation of God, Las Vegas, Austin, and Santa Cruz