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.
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.
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.