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**Do you have history in the Worldwide Church of God? Are you still attending one of its offshoots? Do you see cracks in the doctrine and want more information, or do you not know why you're still there anymore? Is there a hole in your heart and just don't know why God isn't granting you the happiness you were promised would come through tithing and following a man? Do you find that no matter how hard you try you cannot live up to your own standards, and you feel like a failure? Do you find your pursuit of God to be based on fear?
Investigate with me the answers to these questions and more!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

COG7

Visited with the local Church of God (Seventh Day) today. It sure was different than my former affiliation. Small group, older. But the message in the sermon was much more about life. I think I'll go back.

We discussed Hebrews. The topic was Jesus from a Hebrews perspective. It was much more focussed on Jesus Christ. What I just said shouldn't be a surprise to anyone from a WCG background, you already know what I mean, but for anyone else unfamiliar, Jesus was roughly ignored. For all the times HWA railed against the Protestant churches for preaching a gospel "about" Jesus Christ and not the gospel "of" Jesus Christ - I honestly remember very little in my life that was about Jesus Christ. It was as if Jesus was just to be understood, and we only needed to learn about the future or the distant past. I mean, sure we learned that no one knows when Jesus was born. Sure we learned the intricate details of His death. Sure we learned more than our fair share of HWA's personal speculation on His return. However, the love, the care, the real gospel itself was rarely taught.

Well, the message I heard today was one of Jesus Christ being the fulfillment of the Aaronic High Priest, who came as a man, and His life and death and resurrection overcame Satan. Now here's the real catcher, the real difference - those things are already past. Jesus overcame Satan in this age! HWA would have us understand that Jesus overcame Satan, but there's some 2,000+ year gap before He sits down on His throne. Well, the Bible says He has already sat down. This is a sea change for an Armstrongist. It's a beautiful thing.

I'm glad to get away from the fear. I perceive that only two things keep people locked into Armstrongism: fear, and sometimes pride. Now, you could analyze it much deeper than I have and come up with all sorts of things. But overall, I think these two sum it up nicely enough. Jesus isn't fear; He's love.

2 comments:

cbmilne33 said...

Maybe it would have been better if all Radio/WCG members had first of all been COG7 and/or SDA,etc in religious background so that we would have had a better information base.Alternatively maybe HWA should have stayed on as a COG7 Evangelist instead of setting up his breakaway outfit.Maybe the Bible Advocate could have had those 8 million Plain Truth readers and to have media brand unity a Bible Advocate Show on Radio/TV instead of The World Tomorrow.Just an idea.I am an ex Youth Opportunities United member so when the WCGers die off we are the last institutional memory of the HWA WCG era to exist.

xHWA said...

cbmilne33,

First off, thanks for commenting! Glad to have you here. I'm open to whatever you feel needs to be said.

Would it have been better? I wonder. If you will excuse me, I would like to ponder that a bit.

I know that my COG7 minister told me that many of the distinct beliefs churches held in the late 1800's and into the mid 1900's were nothing much more than marketing. Each group needed something to set them apart and draw people in. Of course that meant each group would have to knock down the competition.

I mention that because it is likely the increased membership would have only caused the COG7 to be all the more competitive, and by extension condemnatory. Their beliefs and practices when HWA left were really not that different than what HWA taught. He kept the holy days is the main difference. It is only recently, in the last decade or two, that the COG7 has begun to understand grace.

I could be wrong in feeling it wouldn't have been much better.

Either way, I am glad for the opportunity to experience the HWA era. As messed up as it was. What a time to be alive! What a thing to experience. I've learned a lot.
I only hope and pray that the future generations learn from what we leave behind here and DO NOT attempt to repeat our Armstrongism.