A few years ago I wrote a post “Confessions of a Former World Wide Church of God Member”. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to “meet” other former WCG members online. Some have gone on to other religions, others are still searching for a place to belong to. Most are still picking up the pieces of what was a life shattered by a church that promoted a false and apostate teaching that misled many away from the true Gospel of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Needless to say many who have left, harbor anger, bitterness towards a church that promoted such a destructive doctrine.
I’ve seen marriages and lives ripped apart because the pastor/policy was against racially mixed marriage. Yes, these marriages that were considered mixed had children in some of them. Those children had to watch their other parent marry more fitting spouses while attending the same church as they did. Some of those children were my friends in WCG and harbored serious emotional issues.
Now, as an hearing impaired, African-American, orphan attending church with her sisters, I can tell you I was looked down upon and even excluded in some cases, but what I experienced as a WCG Member does not remotely compare to what those who parents & guardians have staked their lives and the lives of their children upon such a teaching. I came to WCG as a teen, but others were born, raised and bred WCG doctrine. Truly, I have genuine sympathy towards their anger and bitterness.
So what now? Since the doctrinal changes in 1995, how does one go about their lives when the dust settles? Especially those whose lives were catered around that old WCG doctrine. Where do they go? How now do they live?
For my sister, her answer was to return to “WCG” prior to its changes, which is now called United Church of God, pardon me while I will not link to their site. Although she stuck with WCG afterwards for some time afterwards, she missed the fellowship and social events that came with the “holy days”.
We discover who we really are when life events like these happen. We find out if we are really soldiers at heart or creatures of comfort. Implosions like these give a ripple effect of reflections, we finally see who we are, or who we thought we were and for the most part it can be an ugly reflection.
After WCG I realized, I was a creature of comfort, seeking churches for physical socializing to appease my want of “belonging”. It was when I would inwardly cringe and wince, whenever the pastor would teach his own messages and not that of the Lord was when I faced the truth…my will or HIS will? Eventually I decided without realizing I decided. I couldn’t take the mangling of His Word for my own sake. Truly I understand now with vital clarity, that if I were to appease that inward creature of comfort, I would be utterly useless for His Glory. Like salt that has lost it’s “saltness”. Good for nothing, but to be thrown away and trampled upon. Matthew 5:13 Each I church I attended after the “implosion”, was a search for a church of my liking, my belonging. With the lofty goal of finding the right church as I have been so oft been told, Eventually I had come face-to-face with the reality of this life time…apostasy…
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; – 1 Timothy 4:1
Every “new” church I attended brought this reality home. As I saw things that disturbed me.
- Inabilities to dialogue knowledgeably about the Word.
- Un-comfortableness dialoguing about Christ
- Exclusive tight knit social groups
- Overt admiration and catering to the Pastor/leader of church (what I call pastoral worship)
- Sermons catered to the quality of one’s life (marriage, parenting, finances) as opposed to making “teachers” for the Gospel (Hebrews 5:12)
Apostasy is alive and well and a very very real issue that has created a culture, rather than a Gospel out of what we call Christianity today. What started out as a damnable heresy, by WCG, progressed to a wind of doctrine and ended as my acceptance and contentment with the calling of fellowship with Christ as sufficient for my soul and spirit.
God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. – 1 Corinthians 1:9
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. – 1 John 1:3
So here I am, no longer do I consider myself a “former member of WCG”, but an unchurched Believer in the Son of the the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Content to walk in the fellowship of Christ Jesus for HIS sake.
I do not want to be misunderstood. Desiring physical fellowship with like-minded Believers is GOOD and RIGHT. But physical fellowship at the cost of TRUTH is wrong. It is easily forgotten that we are called to bear our cross. (Luke 14:27)
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? – 2 Corinthians 6:14
What is an unbeliever? Many say they are Christians. And many Christians attend church, but ultimately our heart defines who we truly are.
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. – 1 John 1:5-7
In conclusion, whether we have been led astray by damnable heresies or by a wind of doctrine, we have the blessing of free will. We can use our free will as others do to deceive, to BELIEVE the holiness and righteousness of a God who so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son!
We have that power to turn what was evil for the goodness and glory of HIM! I praise God for my WCG experience, if I had not known, I would be unable to share the jewels and pearls of my experience, with my children. I would be unable to give them a life I desired as a child, a life a truth, love and acceptance. With a renewed mind and lightened heart I was not defeated by a doctrine so destructive.
And I encourage all of you who once called yourselves a member of WCG, do not allow the beauty of the Gospel to be tainted by the evils of humanity! You are no longer former WCGs, a victim, but an over comer.
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? – 1 John 5:4-5