Some Infor on the Worldwide Church of God - 05/15/2005

The world wide church of God has got hold of my cousin and I need to explain to him why he should leave that. Could you help me with this..





CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:


Hi, and thanks for writing.  A lot depends on which Worldwide Church of God your cousin has gotten involved in.  WCG has a long splintered history that created several sects.  Today the main body of the WCG has corrected many of its heretical teachings to the point that some consider them orthodox, but they have also added some heresy to their beliefs and still have not completely rejected their founder as a false prophet. 
 
When the founder Herbert Armstrong died, the leader that took over the church brought it back to orthodoxy on many of the key doctrines of salvation.  Over time some heresy has been let back into the church.   For example the main WCG now teaches that there is a second chance for salvation after death, similar to the Catholic belief in Purgatory.  In the case of the main body of the WCG, the biggest concerns will probably be the controlling and cultic practices they have retained in how they govern their members.  You'll probably need to determine just which heresies remain in the church your cousin's attending in order to point out error, and also address the spiritual abuse that comes with a controlling church leadership.
 
If your cousin got involved in one of the splinter groups that broke off from the main church when it corrected some of its heretical teachings, then that would definitely be an even greater cause for concern.  Some splinter groups still practice "Armstrongism".  Armstrongism follows the teachings of the original founder of WCG who taught such abhorrent doctrines as  the view that the white Anglo-Saxon Protestants of America and Britain are the "pure" descendants of ancient Israel and God's only true people on earth, a disbelief in the trinity, rejection of salvation by grace alone, heretical views of heaven, hell, and eternal punishment, and  the belief that WCG followers would actually become Gods themselves after the resurrection, similar to Mormon doctrine.
 
If this sounds like the group your cousin is involved in, it would probably be best to read up on what exactly they believe before you talk to him.  We haven't yet profiled that particular cult, but I can provide you with several links that should help you a lot.  I'll list those links below.  We can also pray for your cousin and for you as you witness to him.  God bless you for contending for your faith and for reaching out to your cousin.  After you've taken a look at the following links, if you have further questions, feel free to write us.
 
In Him,
 
Jennifer Rast
Contender Ministries
 

Links:
 
This is probably the best profile I've come across.  It details the changes made following Armstrong's death, the problems that still exist, and provides a few details on the splinter groups.  There are also other links you can go to from here.
 
The Apologetics Index has a page of information with many links to other sources and articles:  http://www.apologeticsindex.org/w01.html
 
This article details the history and identifies many of the splinter groups and their beliefs:
 
This article addresses some of the problems that still remain in the main church, and some of the different views on their current teachings.  This might help you decide what questions you need to ask your cousin in order to determine which set of beliefs he's following.
 
Another article that covers some of their responses to criticism.  The WCG tends to give non-answers quite a bit, and they don't take a stand at all on some of the more difficult doctrines.