Going “Charismatic” Again

Subject: may 10ths blog….Re: charisma


does this sound right?

James Malm wrote in “The Charismatic Trend in UCG”:

To recap; when UCG split, it was a mutual divorce between those who wanted an Armstrong style system [COGWA]  and those who were Charismatic in outlook [UCG].

Malm continually charges that UCG is becoming “charismatic” and “Pentecostal”.  Obviously, he is above correction even on his misuse of English.

I wrote the first person quoted back:

James Malm needs to invest in a dictionary — and learn how to use it. I see zero evidence that UCG is going "charismatic" or even "Pentecostal".

Now, are they watering down doctrine? It appears they could be, but basing that belief entirely upon an About Us page seems rather odd. Are they turning Protestant? Time will tell.

FWIW, I do not believe we have seen the end of where UCG is heading. The entire idea of putting elders’ names on ballots can only be for one reason.

There will be more leave, but I highly doubt it will be as dramatic as the last one. Only then will things become more evident.

John D

While I do not believe UCG will wind up as a Protestant organization, I honestly cannot say for sure where UCG leaders are taking the organization.  At this point, I think only they really know and everything else is speculation.

The dictionary defines charismatic as:

characterizing Christians of various denominations who seek an ecstatic religious experience, sometimes including speaking in tongues and instantaneous healing.

Also, Pentecostal is:

noting or pertaining to any of various Christian groups, usually fundamentalist, that emphasize the activity of the holy spirit, stress holiness of living, and express their religious feelings uninhibitedly, as by speaking in tongues.

So, if UCG starts promoting speaking in tongues, then we can conclude that Malm was correct on them becoming charismatic/Pentecostal.  If not, then it is time to realize that Malm’s blog is the electronic tabloid equivalent of “The Enquirer of The Churches of God”.


  1. maiuuislandgirl

    Hi John..this is my first time posting on your website..I went to the new site for UCG and I did find some unsettling statements written under the” about the united church of God” page.. the statements are as follows ” New Testament Christianity” do they mean O.T. no longer vailid or has any impact? doctrinal distinction of a Seventh Day of worship” not THE Seventh Day of worship as our literature has always stated..the description of God’s Holy Days as Hebrew Holy Day Seasons and finally describing the origins of UCG as an organization that came into being because of “uneven administrative practices” ( what in the world does that mean?) . Though I agree with you that UCG is not Pentecostal or charismatic at this time, I believe that they are moving toward being more “mainstream” in thought and doctrine. I also think that we will see more and more of this mainstream thinking as time goes on with Jesus becoming the center figure and God the Father being mention less and less. Like you, I believe only time will tell where UCG will end up.

  2. Hi Maui

    I read the same things you did. I will say up front that I’m no longer a member of UCG. I left at the end of Dec when my pastor (Mr Blackwell) left. So what I say is not influenced by wanting to believe the best about the org I’m in.

    First, New Testament Christianity is a perfectly acceptable description. It is synonymous with Apostolic Christianity and Forst Century Christianity. It means the Christianity of the Bew Testament. To be fair, there was no such thing as Christianity before the NT. Even the Apostles saw themselves as just another sect of Jews, following The Way. So it is a good description of what we are as Christians, period.

    The change between ‘a’ and ‘the’ is kind of a matter of semantic style. I’ve used both before. I typically use The if I’m going for proper noun (“The Sabbath”) and a for improper (“a sabbath”). I doubt much was meant by that beyond just stylistic phrasing that wasn’t given much thought.

    And given that the about us page is for people who do not know United, it’s sometimes best to approach them on their terms to describe things. Hence Hebrew holy day seasons and not God’s holy days. Many times I’ve gotten more ubderstanding when I tell people I’m keeping the “Jewish Holy Days” when they get confused as to what religious days I’m taking off for. I even tend to refer to then by names they know more (Passover as opposed to Days of Unleavened Bread, Yom Kipur, etc).

    Words are just a means of communicating ideas, and not everyone places the same meaning on what some words mean. We in the COGs place importance on such phraseology, even if the intended audience (not us) would be better served by a different phrasing for clarity’s sake. It is my opinion that is what is seen on the About page.

    That said, though, I still think United is headed for uncertain times. After I read, and reread the Council minutes regarding elders names on the ballots (changing from letting the GCE decide one day to unanimously passing it the next), and checking with Mr McNeely to make sure it was correct (I was told they did not need GCE approval for that, so they passed it without it needing to go to them), I’m very concerned with their direction. I’ll be even more concerned if John Elliot is elected to the Council (which he is up for, and I anticipate him getting on). He has outright said things in sermons, such as “the ten commandments are not a law of love.” uh…what?

  3. Apologies for some of my atrocious typos. That was done on an iPod and touch screen keyboard. Missed the mistakes.

  4. maiuuislandgirl

    Hi Andrew.. I guess I should give you a little background on myself so that you can understand my uneasiness with phrases like “new Testament Christianity” ” Hebrew Holy Seasons” a seventh day Sabbath..I grew up in a strong main stream Christian church environment and the phrase New Testament Christianity was taught to mean that the old testament was done away at Christ’s appearance and death and held no importance. That included Jewish Holy Days, Jewish seventh Day Sabbath, Ten Commandments and that everything became Christ-centered instead of God the Father. we never discussed God the Father except in terms of a” harsh, cruel being, that was replaced by a benevolent Christ.. everything that was discounted was labeled “jewish” I know that words can create powerful pictures in our minds being a teacher by profession and I worry that people reading our material will draw the conclusion that we are no different from main stream religions. just a side note Mr. Robin Webber has been heard to say he will no longer use O.T. scriptures in keeping with the New Covenant Christian understanding . I too am worried about some of the ministry in UCG. as I said before, only time will tell where UCG will end up both doctrinally and as a church body

  5. M.N.P. Bizic

    I would encourage everyone to do stringent fact checking. Much misinformation and many outright lies have been told about individuals. In particular Robin Webber has been misquoted often. If you can’t find a source beyond “I heard that…” don’t believe it. James Malm himself made a post in which he attributed an antinomian statement to Robin Webber in a specific sermon. I and several others listened to the sermon, and the statement was simply not there. When I confronted Malm about this, my comment went unanswered and unposted.

    • @MNP Bizic: That’s not the only time he accused Robin Webber of something, either. When COGWA had its first conference, Malm claimed and later had to retract that Robin Webber said women would be leading portions of services.

      Lately, he accused HWA of teaching a third death as well. This was from some unnamed “direct representative of HWA.” Of course, HWA never taught such nonsense.

  6. I have to agree with maiuuislandgirl on the use of “New Testament Christianity”. That’s a definite code word in religious circles, so intentionally or unintentionally, they are telegraphing that you can more or less throw away the OT. Whether or not it is intentional is the real question.

  7. That’s a definite code word in religious circles

    It’s a big world and there are a many circles out there. From my experience when reading and sometimes participating in discussions about the seventh day Sabbath vs. Sunday, Passover vs. Easter, and soul sleep vs. eternal life in hell, to mention a few topics. I find there is an opposition out there roaming all the circles, that would want people to believe that if you keep the Sabbath, Passover and understand that the dead sleep, you are definitely not getting your Christianity out of anything the New Testament has to say about it.

    I am of the opinion a Christian should be fully capable of using the NT as primary source to prove that His people keep His commandments. As Bob Thiel shows in his webpage below:


  8. maiuuislandgirl

    well there has been alot of comments, and I have only three points to make..I believe a Christian must use both the O.T. and the N.T to understand what the writers and apostles were writing about..examples : when Paul talked about leaven and unleaven bread and that Feast, he was addressing a gentile church who had no Jewish history background

  9. RE: Using OT: Thiel’s article not only goes into how the NT upholds the Law but also how various Scriptures support that the Law existed before Mt Sinai. On both counts, I agree.

    The problem with only using the NT is that it marginalizes much of the Bible. However, even worse, it allows people to twist meanings in so many more ways. For example, I had a discussion with a JW once where he claimed that every one of the Ten Commandments was upheld in the NT except the 7th day Sabbath. When asked about Jesus’ example, he found a way to explain it away in his mind.

    In fact, much of the NT doesn’t make much sense without the OT. For example, you can read about all but one of the holy days in the NT, but how were they supposed to be kept? What was their significance? Without the OT, you wouldn’t even know. Try explaining the meaning of the Day of Atonement without the OT. It would be guesswork without knowing the ceremony of the Azazel goat.

  10. maiuuislandgirl

    oops hit the wrong key! anyway..he had to explain the first passover, then the unleaven bread and so on to make sense..without the O.T. there was no “connection..Christ Himself gave vailidation and importance to the O.T. when He answered questions from the Pharisees and others. also there is a difference in the words a and the when there is a certain subject being discussed a 7th day Sabbath indicates any 7th day ( how ever you wat to start counting) the 7th day Sabbath indicates a definite day so words are very important..o.k. that’s all I have to say.. thanks for listening!