I got an email today, and I asked permission to print it without name or email address. This is something I really wish people would give some thought to.
I saw your post today. I am sad that it has come to that for you as well as many of my brethren.
As it stands, my wife and I are nearly out the door as well. This has been a long drawn out ordeal (considerably longer than the average member sitting in a seat realizes). Once the rescind came into play (after everyone prayed and fasted) as well as the “I campaigned with a grand vision for the church – while smearing the previous admin –and won a seat on the council” sermon by D. McNeely, I knew the train was about to jump the track if those of like mind were on the council. The derailment gained momentum by this last summer and is now already plummeting off the cliff into a chasm. Sad, truly sad.
I have started looking into our past to see how we could have come to this point … again. I have come to realize that many things that I was taught from my earliest days (born in ’69)– such as church governance, “who” the church is, “what” the work is, and “how” the work is to be done – have all been filtered through the idea that HWA was the “man.” I remember sermons by G. Waterhouse that were heavy on the pay and pray and submit or else. I believe that God used HWA mightily to restore the basic doctrines in this end time age when he was small in his own eyes, but allowed him to get off track when he allowed himself to be called the “only Apostle.” This lead to great wrongs being committed (and covered up) by the “higher ups” until it finally lead to the complete apostasy of the WCG.
Some faithful started UCG (some tares came as well), but brought some of the baggage (as well as some wrong ideas) with them. And those ideas have been a big part of the problem that has lead us to the point we have now.
I am unsure if I am ready to “incorporate” at this point. I am wary of the new UCGaWA at the moment. They are rallying a lot of people behind them – but something just isn’t setting right in my gut about the whole thing. Maybe I am being “once bitten, twice shy”? There seems to be the idea of more locally autonomous congregations (which is the biblical example) with light national oversight. But they will “re-evaluate” in 6-9 months. As Malm points out this idea is being put forth by some of those who squashed some of the independent CoGs a decade ago. I’ll have to wait and see on this one.
What ever path or fellowship you choose, keep the faith and fight the good fight. Most of all, draw near to God and place Him above all else.
Your Brother in Christ,
[Name withheld by request]
It's encouraging to hear that some people are starting to realize the problems of the HWA / WCG organization.
It really hurts when your world (and your faith) is tested and shaken, but the fruit and blessing that comes afterwards is so sweet. God is not looking for faithfulness to a man, men or an organization, He's looking for faithfulness to Him and His Son and He's much bigger than I realized when in WCG. He will shake and continue to shake until every person He is calling and working through has all the un-necessary trust in other things shaken off and responds faithfully to Him and His Son.
One thing I know for sure – God loves His creation and we are much more important than trees and animals.
There is a very good article on the "Sifting of Saints." Article can be accessed at
The author has a ministry of encouragement to hurting Christians, especially pastors.
May each of you realize you are being prayed for, but most importantly *all* things work together for the good of those called according to God's purpose and *nothing* can separate us from the love of God. I think all too often we insert "the church", "an organization", "a specific set of doctrines", etc. in place of the words "love of God." Hold only to Jesus, and let Him, the Supreme sovereign ruler of the universe with all power guide your steps.
If I can suggest one piece of advice for everyone making a fresh start in the aftermath of this split it is beware of unity against a perceived common enemy. Since the breakup of WCG a common dynamic has played out in most every COG split. What typically happens is a group of people leave an organization over a variety of issues that all come to a head around the same time.
Initially all those that leave have a strong bond for a short period based on the one main thing they all have in common. They all strongly disagree with the group they just left. However, once some time passes and the dust settles from the initial split it becomes apparent that not everyone is on the same page in regards to how proceed from here. Then some more splintering takes place. This has played out time and time again in most every group that has split and given that the best predictor of the future is our patterns from the past it will likely play out with the new organization (or organizations) that comes out of this split as well.
@Anonymous (10:02): That's good advice, and it covers more than just church splits. That's why national coups rarely work. Once the common adversary (I hesitate to use "enemy", as I hope that's not the attitude being taken) is out of the way, there's nothing to hold them disparate groups together.
I agree that smaller, more independent groups are better able to serve the ecclesia. The New Testament often refers to house churches and home churches. Larger churches are great for power and organization, but smaller ones can often serve the needs of individuals more thoroughly and with more understanding.
I see more problems with the power structure of the WCG and now with UCG than anything else, and the only thing my (admittedly mortal) mind can see to solve it is to scrap it entirely and start again, on a much smaller scale.
What the author of the letter above stated about God using HWA when he was still a small man is true. When HWA got too big for his britches, God allowed him to wander off track to his own destruction.
My personal belief is that the Churches of God will have to wander in the desert for a while yet, like the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years. The disobedient generation will have to pass away, the generation of followers who experienced the sad end times of the WWCoG will have to pass. Those of us who felt betrayed and still carry the baggage of that betrayal, will have to pass. Our children, or perhaps a future generation will see the restoration of the Church of God. The World Wide Church of God will have to pass out of living memory, then it might be possible for a truly United Church of God to appear.
Meanwhile the rest of us will stumble in the desert, because there really aren't any other alternatives at this point. Grated we have the Living Water of the Word of God, so won't thirst in the desert, but it still feels like wandering when you don't have a (church)home to settle in and grow roots.
The leadership of many splinter groups seems untrustworthy, like they are reacting to current events and to one another, boinging around like tennis balls instead of solidly following God's appointed path. In these circumstances I trust small local groups a lot better than I do any international organizations.
I am still not clear why or what the cause or causes of the split are. That is what is not being told to many what is the true, real issues and the why. What doctrine or disagreemet is causing this schism? Matt 18 instructs that when a problem cannot be resolved between the persons, and not even with 2-3 witnesses to tell the problem to the church, the members and I have not seen this done. I have heard the messages and sermons and I see a lot of fear, mis-mistrust and ministers doing all they can to hold members with the word. What everyone seems to not understand is God and God alone is in control and if we leave it to him and stand strong in our convictions all will come out alright. But members need to stop looking to men, pastors etc and trust God, go to him and believe. Where is the faith?
Anonymous wrote: "Matt 18 instructs that when a problem cannot be resolved between the persons, and not even with 2-3 witnesses to tell the problem to the church, the members and I have not seen this done."
Well, we can either believe the reports that it was tried or not. Truthfully, if you and I had "seen this done", then that would violate what Jesus was telling them to do.
What do you mean that would violate what Jesus was telling them to do? Apparently the issues have not been resolved or many would not be leaving. Yet the church members are not really being told the entire story and truth. It would not violate what Jesus said to do. If it is not resolved with the persons offended and offendor and 2-3 witnesses do not help either then Christ said tell it to the church and the church is the entire membership. That is pretty clear. Why would we believe reports that something was tried? The ministry is NOT the membership or the entire church and seems that has been a problem way back even in Christ's time. You either do as he said to do or you are in rebellion against his authority. He is the head not some headquarters or ministry. American King James Version Matt 18:15 Moreover if your brother shall trespass against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone: if he shall hear you, you have gained your brother. #1. The problem has not be resolved, there are people leaving offended. #2. Matt. 18:16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. Again apparently this too did not work. #3. Matt 18:17-18 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. The church lay members are not being told everything and the ministry in not telling them is violating Christs directive and letting these people walk away offended. Not allowing the members to have a Christ directive say. Christ is the head and the United Ministry has not implemented part three of this. They would not be violating what Jesus said because. The obvious is the conflict and problem has not been resolved with part one or two. If it were there would not be people and ministry leaving. Part three is necessary now and it is not in violation of Christs teaching but in keeping with it. You either do as he says or you are in rebellion against his authority he who's church and body it is and he alone is the head.
I see in your list of Churches of God you do not have listed Seventh (7th) Day Church of God. Paul Woods, Caldwell, Idaho. These are different than Church of God 7th Day. Woods group observes all the holy days and feast days, the clean and unclean etc. Church of God 7th Day does not. They keep the "Lord's Supper and 7th day Sabbath and do not keep Pagan holidays or most don't. But they do not keep the Holy Days or Feasts and the some eat unclean food. I know because I attended the COG7D for six years and affliated annually and have relatives who are members of the 7th Day church of God.
Both of these groups too are having splits and dissention over doctrine. I would say we are possibly in the time of the shaking out.
15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’
Pretty simple, really. If everyone knows about it while it's occurring, then it wasn't done privately, was it? If that's the case, it violates what Jesus said to do.
Therefore, all we have to go on is what people said was privately discussed. You either believe them or not. Since it is obvious that one or both sides will not admit fault, you have to weigh what's being said and use discernment.
RE: 7th Day Church of God in Caldwell, ID. Do they have a website?
RE: 7th Day Church of God.
Thanks for the contact info, but since they don't have a website, I'm going to assume they don't want their email addresses and phone numbers published on a blog. Also, the COG links in the footer are web related, which is why I asked.
The sad thing with what is occurring in United is both sides are believers with different perceptions of what the scriptures say. This is where personal growth occurs. This is where it does become just between God and the individual person. I am hearing several suppostions of why some or many even are leaving United. All rumor with more than likely some truth and some falsehood
#1. Tithing issues
#2.Sabbath day issues
#3. Authority of or right to authority of pastors and their right to a living off members via tithing
#4.Holy Spirit issues.
Undoubtly these are some but not all and most likely some of it is true and some is not. Rumors go out because membership is kept in the dark and makes everyone uneasy and suspicious and that is wrong too.
Lots of prayer is most assuredly needed and Christ is the light and the head. Asking for more of the Holy Spirit, applying the fruits of such, keeping an open mind and more and open heart and ear to god via prayer, meditation, study and even fasting will bring God's purpose and will to light for all.
This is sad for everyone and I see it leading to prophesy in Matt 24 and Mark 13 the true church whoever they or we are will prevail that is promised. Deeper faith in Trusting God and Jesus to see us through all trials and problems is needed. The biggest thing everyone lacks and see it all the time is FAITH complete trust in God. Complete Trust in Jesus. The world is more and more ungodly and it does affect true believers and more so those who are not fully committed, or close to God daily in prayer, medication, study. Luke 18:6-8 Then the Lord said: Hear what the Unjust Judge said. 7: And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though he bears long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of Man comes WILL HE REALLY FIND FAITH on the Earth?
WE need to draw closer to God in prayer, trust him and most of all each of us endure to the end.
They do not have one because they have not got someone to make one for them. The pastors are older fellows who are not comfortable beyond basic email and so have not got a website up. Interviews are being conducted for a younger man to take over the publishing and other areas with hopes they will put up a website. They hope to find someone come Spring. If or when they get one will let you know.
Okay that clears it up for me about the Matt 18: scriptures. Thanks.