I have written before about church divisions and why I believe God allowed, or perhaps caused, the splits around 1995. Just to recap, the old WCG often had all the answers, or so we thought. We were often arrogant towards “the world’s churches” and sometimes even others within the Church of God. I believe that God allowed HWA to die in order to test to see what people believed, and to sift and sort them all out. The Pharisees and the lukewarm were all sorted out from those who truly believed in loving others as they loved themselves. Pretty much, it was a pre-sorting of the wheat and tares at a basic level.
However, it would be a mistake to think that all who fell away were necessarily tares. Some of them may have been driven away by the very people who were supposed to make them feel welcome!
Sometimes the best criticism does not come from one who is disposed towards your point of view, however. A not-so-COG-friendly blog Shadows of WCG Next Generation also wrote about “Division” recently. The author presents a pretty negative yet realistic picture of the scattered COG organizations.
Why point you to such a blog? Just because we might disagree with other groups or even those who have left the COG entirely doesn’t mean they don’t have something to say.
The one criticism I might have of the article is the tendency towards generalizations. I’m guilty of that from time to time, but I have learned to try to avoid them whenever possible. I don’t think that takes away from his basic points, though. He comes to the inescapable conclusion that if we were all being led by one Spirit and by Jesus Christ, we would all be saying the same things, teaching the same things.
The fact is that not everyone in the COG has been led by the Spirit of Christ. The fact is that people have been treated badly. Jesus Himself warned of this.
44Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
45Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
46Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
47Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
48But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
49And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
50The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
So, when you really think about it, how many problems have been caused by the Church itself? How many of these servants have mistreated other servants?
More importantly, how many of us have truly learned how to love your neighbor?