Church of God–America, Anchored in Scripture

Funny how things work sometimes.  I fully intended this morning to write about Latin America and Leon Walker.  Leon Walker’s insistence that he and his followers are still part of UCGia, even though he and the ministers under him were all fired, was baffling to me.  I mean, I was laid off from YRCW some time back.  I don’t claim somehow to still be part of YRCW.  The lack of their name on any check I’ve received recently is a huge hint.

I should insert here that UCG recently put out a letter that there is only one UCGia organization in Latin America.  It is speculation as to whether or not they pursued legal means to protect the name.

Walker’s attitude really was a puzzle, but now no more!  Google Alerts came to my rescue by informing me that the Church of God – America, Anchored in Scripture has now been formed.  On their home page, they state their purpose, which in part reads:

As we look to see what God intends for the future, we will go forward as the scripture reveals a church should function. Because it is impossible to set up a perfect church, we will function in the biblical model of a healthy church. By starting from the scriptural model, we acknowledge that unless the “LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it” (Psalm 127:1).

We encourage one another to follow the Ephesians 4 template for the pastor, members, and congregation. In Ephesians Paul lays out the characteristics of a healthy congregation. We will practice what Paul preaches and not rush into another system of organization that inadvertently puts human reasoning before scripture. We have begun discussions on how to work together without a physical corporation, but with a commitment to learn from Paul’s experience.

Actually, the truth of the matter is that I think he may be closer to the model we see in Scripture than anything else we see today in the COG world.  In today’s world, we tend to view companies and charities as global behemoths or even financial empires.  However, that would not have been the case in the 1st century.  Back then, empires and global reach were attained through political means backed up by a strong military.  The Church, however, was often scattered and cut off from one another.  They were persecuted and so were often underground.  They just didn’t have nice neat org charts, budgets and parliamentary rules.

And, really, isn’t that the crux of the problem?  Politics?

At any rate, it will be interesting to see just what the “Ephesians 4 model” turns out to look like in practice.


  1. Thanks for presenting a positive but realistic approach to the UCG events. You are getting more hits on your blog because the intensity has ramped up and the folks are looking for information. I am skeptical that the Walker-Salyer alliance even knows how to implement another model other than the one that they have known all these years. The simple advice is re-evaluate your commitment to God before giving any commitment or renewal of commitment to any man. And the answer may be that you can't give commitment to any of these men.

  2. So we've moved in 15 years from a Worldwide Church of God to a "Church of God-America."

    An ironic name, some would say, since WCG and several spinoffs have preached a message which is quite U.S.-centered (based on British Israelism).

    Obviously this group was put together in light of events in Latin America — so wouldn't that fact be worthy of an extra "S" at the end of that name?

  3. I do not agree that Walker’s Church of God America organization is Biblical based, at least not so far.

    They state that they are focusing on Matt 6:33 about seeking first the kingdom. Eph. 4:12-16 about preparing the church , (12) for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,(NKJ) and 1 Tim 5:19-20 (19)Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses.(NKJ)

    Notice these scriptures are about the current church members and the last one is all about the ministers. As they quote from Timothy, in the same situation we face today in the church, what was Paul’s final instruction to Timothy?

    First a little background. 2 Tim 1:15 “This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, among whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.”(NKJ) Paul faced a massive falling away in the Church after his very successful campaign in Asia centered around Ephesus 10 years earlier. (See Acts 19).

    His letter to Timothy gives us a clue what is was like in the church amongst those few that had not fallen away. 2 Tim 2:14 Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit (quarreling about words NIV), to the ruin of the hearers. 23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. (NKJ) Amongst the remnant they were divided and arguing about minor matters. Sound familiar? And therefore those few that had remained faithful were then vulnerable to deception. 2 Tim 3:13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. (NKJ)

    The church at the end of Paul’s life was in a mess, small in number and divided over minor issues and susceptible to more deception. I repeat, sound familiar? (I know the Sabbath is not a minor issue, but most of the issues are.) Yet what does Paul tell Timothy to focus on. 2 Tim 4:1-2 “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. (NKJ)Paul tells him Timothy to preach the gospel! Where is this mentioned in Walkers site? In fact in verse 5 Paul tells Timothy to do the work of an evangelist. 2 Tim 4:5 “But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”(NKJ )Evangelist here according to Strong’s means a preacher of the gospel. The same word that they avoid in Eph. 4 by starting in verse 12.

    Is this organization just about providing an income for the ministry, or is it really about doing God’s work? Matt 7 tells us that you can only recognize wolves in sheep’s clothing by observing the fruits. So as you conclude John, let’s see how it works in in practice.

  4. @John: Thanks. Not everyone would agree with that, and I appreciate the time you took to say some kind words.

    @Richard: The name is an odd one. Some blogs have remarked upon its length as well as the "America" in the name (and not in a positive way).

    BureauCat wrote: "Matt 7 tells us that you can only recognize wolves in sheep’s clothing by observing the fruits."

    I wonder if that is why patience is advised over and over again in Scripture. The entire mess we are in seems to drag on forever, but it takes time to see the fruits of the actors. Will it be wheat or will it be tares?

    If Walker and the associated groups are not doing God's will, they will eventually come to nothing. However, if UCG is not acting in righteousness, then all its efforts in Latin America will likewise dwindle. And, if neither act righteously, then both will be smitten like the House of Israel and the House of Judah.

  5. Anonyous wrote: "I’m a long time member of the Church (1968). To be honest, I’m disappointed and disgusted with the ministry — the ones causing the problems because — bottom line — 'how dare you try to rule us' is your … cry…. Where were you when Mr. Armstrong taught you the lesson about what God is looking for. Loyalty. God does not want rebels in his Kingdom. Duh! Satan has you where it hurts most and YOU are causing discouragement, bitterness, confusion and baying in the flock. If you don’t like it, get out. The loyal brethren are in United to worship in peace with truth. They’re sick of your backbiting, politics and division. Seeing that you can’t seem to be ruled over perhaps you should practice saying those famous words: 'would you like fries with that?' You know something — the fryer can get really hot — and that’s straight where you’re headed."

    NOTE: This is the last time I'm going to edit a message. Either say it civilly or go away.