News of Those Once Affiliated with the Global Church of God
Since the takeover of the old GCG by the board in the U.S., those once with GCG went to many places. Nearly 80% went with the Living Church of God (LCG), 8-15% went with the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship (CGCF) and smaller percentages went with David Pack's Restored Church of God (RCG), Harold Smith's Church of God Fellowship, Northwest (CGFnw), and other groups (at least one which is outside the U.S. uses the term Global Church of God). On July 1, 2001, eight ministers resigned from CGCF and formed the Church of the Eternal God (CEG), similar in name, but not related, to the Eternal Church of God (ECG--founded by a minister removed from the original GCG ministry for impropriety) about a month later CGCF (USA) dissolved and most still with it ended up in the United Church of God (UCG). One former GCG minister (Ronald Laughland) became pastor of the Wholeworld Church of God. One group that split from UCG (and never was part of GCG or LCG), then COGaic, called Church of God, Established in Modesto (COG-eim, Steve LeBlanc) has some former GCG members and maintains a relationship with the GCG Belgians (who had supported the original GCG takeover); in 2002, COG-eim split, and its leading minister (Don Billingsley) formed a new group called COG-Faithful Flock (COG-ff). In 2004, Raymond McNair, having been in GCG, CGCF, LCG, then went on his own and formed Church of God, 21st Century (COG21). Don Haney, once in GCG/LCG, formed the Church of God In Peace and Truth. In 2005, Ben Faulkner, who was in GCG and LCG formed the Church of the Sovereign God (CotSG). In 2006, Charles Bryce who was in GCG and LCG left, with apparent hopes others would follow him--what he will do is unclear.
12/29/06 a.m. This morning, CEG reported:
Mr. Raymond McNair was released from the hospital last Thursday evening. His urinary infection is under control.
CEG had two news items of interest:
Euro Overtakes US Dollar
The Financial Times reported on December 27:
"The US dollar bill’s standing as the world’s favourite form of cash is being usurped by the five-year-old euro. The value of euro notes in circulation is this month likely to exceed the value of circulating dollar notes, according to calculations by the Financial Times. Converted at Wednesday’s exchange rates, the euro took the lead in October...
Is it true that the design of the European flag has been adopted from a picture of the "Virgin Mary"?
This is apparently correct. The historical background of the design of the European flag, and its biblical significance, is quite interesting. The Catholic News Agency, Zenit, wrote the following on December 7, 1999:
"December 8 is a very special day for Europe: in 1955, on that day, the European Ministers' delegates officially adopted the European flag designed by Arsene Heitz... The decision was taken following the 1950 European Council's... convocation of a competition to design the flag of the newborn European Community...: 12 stars on a blue background.
"Recently Heitz revealed to a French magazine the reason for his inspiration. At that time he was reading the history of the Blessed Virgin's apparitions in Paris' Rue du Bac, known today as the Virgin of the Miraculous Medal. According to the artist, he thought of the 12 stars in a circle on a blue background, exactly the way it is represented in traditional iconography of this image of the Immaculate Conception...
The EU is coming together and will have Roman Catholic influence (please see the article Europa and the Beast of Revelation).
12/27/06 a.m. A reader sent the following:
God’s church has suffered many attacks that have left the body reeling. The wave of attacks that started about a decade ago was from the left – those who wanted to go back to their protestant roots were given permission to do so, and so they did. The current wave of attacks is coming from the right – those who desperately want to be obedient to God and do all His will. Is there anything wrong with wanting to obey and please God? Absolutely not! We all should be passionate about the truth to the point that we are willing to die for it. The problem that is now fermenting in the Church is something very basic, something thought to be well understood – the true gospel message. How can something so basic cause such turmoil among brethren who love the truth?
Two Definitions of the Gospel?
The problem is rooted in two different explanations of the gospel. Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of the World Wide Church of God, taught that the gospel is the “good news of the coming kingdom of God”. The Living Church of God in its statement of beliefs explains the gospel as the “good news of the forgiveness of our sins through Christ’s sacrifice, and of the soon-coming Kingdom and government of God”. Are these two statements in opposition to one another or does one support and substantiate the other? Let’s examine them further.
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance translates the Greek words “euaggelizo and euaggelion” (word numbers 2097 and 2098) as the English word gospel, and shows the meaning as to declare good news. The Church generally agrees with this definition. The gospel is described as “the gospel of the kingdom of God” in Matt. 4:23, Matt. 9:35, Matt. 24:14, and Mark 1:14-15. These scriptures also state that this is the message that Christ preached. So, Mr. Armstrong was on solid ground when he taught that the gospel is the good news of the coming kingdom of God. Mr. Armstrong further taught that a kingdom consists of four entities including a king, territory, subjects, and laws. Since this is the case, the gospel of the kingdom of God is also good news about the king of the kingdom (Jesus the Christ), good news about where the kingdom will be (territory), good news about who can be a part of the kingdom and how they can be a part of it (subjects), and good news about how the king and the subjects relate to one another (laws). Mr. Armstrong showed he understood this to be true based on what he taught.
The Church learned from Mr. Armstrong that Jesus Christ would return to rule His kingdom on this earth. (Rev. 5:10, 20:6) The Church was taught under Mr. Armstrong that to be part of the kingdom we must repent of our sins, accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, be baptized as an outward show of our commitment to walk in newness of life, and have hands laid on us to receive the gift of God’s Spirit. Those who were Christ’s at His coming would be resurrected as full sons of God and born into His Kingdom. (Rom. 8:11-14; I Cor. 15:20-23) This is the same message that the Apostle Peter taught when he preached the gospel on the first Pentecost which was the birth of the New Testament church. (Acts 2:38) God’s church was taught under Mr. Armstrong that His laws are eternal and that all who would enter into life must keep the commandments. (Matt. 5:17-19, 19:17) Mr. Armstrong’s teachings demonstrate he believed the gospel encompassed a complete message concerning the Kingdom of God with all its aspects. Knowing these things, why is it disturbing to some that the phrase “forgiveness of sins through the sacrifice of Christ” be added to an explanation of the gospel? All true members of the Church agree that we have forgiveness of sins through the sacrifice of Christ. It is through His death that we are reconciled to God. (Rom. 5:10) In fact, Paul stated that the first point he made concerning the gospel was Christ’s death for our sins. (I Cor. 15:1-3).
LCG is NOT Protestant, and RCG's previous charges suggesting that the true gospel message sounds to Protestant to them simply shows that they have difficulty understanding the Bible (please see the article Why Not the Restored Church of God?).
12/22/06 p.m. Another long-time reader of this page forwarded me the following:
Mr. McNair came home today from the hospital. Indeed the prayers of many scattered brethren were answered in this matter.
Those that would like to email Mrs. McNair may do so at this email address: email@example.com (she will gladly read emails of encouragement to Mr. McNair from the brethren)
Cards and letters may be sent to Mr. and Mrs. McNair at the following address:
Mr. and Mrs. Raymond McNair
P. O. Box 893909
Temecula, CA 92589
And another sent me the following:
Greetings, thank you for your prayers and for God' intervention for the McNairs. Mr. McNair has been released from the hopital and is home."
12/21/06 p.m. A long-time reader of this page forwarded me the following:
This afternoon, Norbert Link and Margaret Adair visited with both Eve and Raymond McNair. Mr. McNair has been hospitalized with a critical urinary infection and was anointed by Norbert Link. This latest setback comes on top of other serious health problems that Mr. McNair has experienced.
We are asking for your earnest prayers on behalf of this long-time and faithful minister of God and his wife. Please ask God for His speedy intervention on behalf of Mr. McNair. We make this request with the confident assurance of God's comforting promise: "...The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:16).
On other matters, in his latest ad in The Journal, COG-ff's Don Billingsley writes:
...it is my hope that all of us would be sobered and really take to heart the following written words of God’s late apostle, and the Elijah to come, of this the end time:
“. . . The final generation of the Church shall be LUKEWARM—not less emotional, but more ‘liberal,’ more secular and less spiritual— less strictly biblical—[Jesus] says . . . because we have kept God’s Word faithfully, not liberalizing nor watering down, God will keep us from the ‘hour of temptation, which shall come upon all them that dwell on the earth’ to try and test them” (“Personal from Herbert W. Armstrong,” Plain Truth, August 1980).
“Those in the true Body of Christ shall be protected until this tribulation will be over (Rev. 3:10- 11)—applying to those faithful in God’s Work now going to the world. Rev. 12:14; Isaiah 26:20. But YOU must make your own decision— and to neglect doing so is to have made the wrong decision! God isn’t kidding! This is for real! The decision in now yours!” (Armstrong, Herbert W., The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy. 1975; p. 60).
Although he got his quotes right and I like Don Billingsley personally, his group simply does not have the same Philadelphia work that HWA advocated. Furthermore, he forgets that HWA admitted that HWA himself did not have to be the Elijah (please see the article The Elijah Heresies).
12/21/06 a.m. I received an email this morning that states that Raymond McNair was hospitalized because of his cancer. Prayer for him was also requested.
12/20/06 a.m. Frank Olive sent me the following:
Raymond F. McNair
Mr. McNair has been hospitalized. Please ask God for His speedy intervention on behalf of Mr. McNair.
12/17/06 a.m. LCG has decided to directly address the false charges against it and its gospel message as claimed by several who have left, including several in RCG:
Confused Critics Limit the Gospel
In recent months some individuals have chosen to criticize what the Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs of the Living Church of God states about the Gospel. The essence of their challenge is that the LCG statement is different from what Mr. Herbert Armstrong taught—therefore the LCG is teaching a false Gospel. The critics project a common theme that the LCG is going off track doctrinally. Yet, in their zeal to make a religion of Mr. Armstrong’s writings, these critics appear to be unaware of what Mr. Armstrong actually understood about the Gospel. They also overlook or ignore the fact that their arguments and sometimes twisted reasoning actually contradict what the Bible says about the Gospel. Many critical comments follow or promote the erroneous ideas of the self-appointed apostle, David Pack, of the Restored Church of God—as the following quotes illustrate:
David Pack states: “LCG’s gospel has become a hybrid of truth and Protestantism, combining the Messenger with His message, the
… LCG goes further and actually lists Christ as the first element of the gospel. Notice this from their Statement of Beliefs: ‘The Gospel of Christ is the ‘Good News’ of the forgiveness of our sins through Christ’s sacrifice, and of the soon-coming kingdom and government of God.’ This ‘gospel’ is very different from what Mr. Armstrong taught in his booklet What is the True Gospel?” Mr. Pack then asserts that the “revised gospel” taught by the LCG is a false Gospel condemned as “another gospel” in the Bible (Galatians 1:6-9; II Corinthians 11:4). (quoted from How LCG’s Teachings Differ From Those of Mr. Armstrong and RCG) kingdomof God
Chris Lomas (a former LCG minister now with RCG) states: The LCG doctrinal statement about the Gospel “is contrary to what God restored to His Church through Mr. Armstrong… The LCG has begun to twist the Gospel priorities very subtly.”
Syd Hull (a former LCG minister now with RCG) states: “RCG is the only organization that preaches the true gospel to the world.”
DS (a former LCG member now with RCG) cites the LCG doctrinal statement about the Gospel and then asks: “What did Mr. Armstrong teach the Gospel was? The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the good news of the coming
, not a gospel about Jesus Christ, or his name.” kingdomof God
Charles Bryce (former LCG minister) states: “LCG seems to be preaching a mixed, confusing message about the gospel, i.e. that the gospel is the good news of forgiveness of our sins through Christ’s sacrifice and of the soon-coming kingdom and government of God and the name of Jesus Christ. There seems to be a movement toward the gospel about Christ and the gospel of salvation.” Mr. Bryce uses only one scripture to define the Gospel (Mark 1:14-15) and then refers to the warning in Galatians 1:8-9 about preaching a different Gospel.
All these attempts to define the Gospel claim to faithfully follow the teachings of Mr. Armstrong. They also state or suggest that references to Jesus Christ or salvation are simply not part of the true Gospel. However, when you compare these claims with numerous Scriptures about the Gospel and with what Mr. Armstrong also wrote about the subject you find something very different.
Notice how the following scriptures define the Gospel:
Mark 1:14-15 – Jesus said the Gospel was about the coming
Mark 16:15 – Jesus commissioned his disciples to preach the Gospel to the world
Acts 8:12 – Philip preached the Gospel of the Kingdom and the name of Jesus Christ
Acts 20:20-27 – Paul preached the “whole counsel of God” including repentance toward God and faith toward Jesus Christ, the Gospel of grace and the
(grace involves forgiveness, unmerited pardon) Kingdomof God
Acts 28:23 – Paul preached about the
and about Jesus Kingdomof God
Acts 28:30-31 – Paul preached of the
and things concerning Jesus Christ Kingdomof God
I Corinthians 2:2 – Paul’s main focus was on “Jesus Christ and Him crucified”
I Corinthians 15:1-8 – Paul preached “the gospel…by which you are saved…that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures…and that He rose again on the third day”
Ephesians 1:13 – Paul wrote of trusting in Christ “after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation”
These scriptures clearly indicate that the Gospel includes not just a message about the coming
, but also the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins. That sacrifice, when accompanied by repentance and spiritual growth on our part, will result in our ultimate salvation—receiving eternal life in the Kingdom and family of God (see John 3:16, etc.). The Gospel is also about the exciting news that Jesus Christ is going to return to this earth as King of kings to establish the Kingdomof God and bring peace and justice to all (Isaiah 9:6-7; Revelation 11:15). To separate the Gospel of the Kingdomof God from the good news of the opportunity for salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is simply not biblical or factual. Kingdomof God
What the critics of the LCG doctrinal statement also overlook is the fact that Mr. Armstrong understood the Gospel encompassed more than what he addressed in certain writings that critics have chosen to quote. Notice these statements from the Good News, December 1984, p. 5 – “The Gospel of Christ is Christ’s own Gospel—not a story about His person… The Gospel of Christ ‘is the power of God to salvation’ (Romans 1:16)… What is Jesus Christ’s Gospel?… It is the Good News of the
!... It is the message of divine government—government by God’s Laws!... Of course that message includes the knowledge about the Savior, High Priest and coming King! Of course, it includes the true way of salvation, which the churches have lost! [Emphasis ours]. And it includes also knowledge of the location of the territory to be ruled over by the King of the coming Kingdom—the fact it is this earth and not heaven.” Mr. Armstrong clearly understood that the true Gospel included much more than just a story about the person of Jesus Christ. However, he also clearly understood the Gospel included that Jesus was the promised Messiah who came to give his life as a sacrifice for mankind and to explain the way of salvation that is outlined in the great plan of God pictured by the Holy Days. When we study all the scriptures on the subject, there is no need to be confused about the Gospel. Even the critics should remember that Mr. Armstrong repeatedly stated, “Don’t believe me, believe your Bible.” The Bible must be our ultimate authority in this vital subject. Kingdomof God
It is sad that many really do not understand what the Bible teaches on the subject.
Since the critics have claimed to follow Herbert W. Armstrong's teachings here, I thought I would pass on a few more quotes from HWA on this subject that a reader of this page sent me yesterday:
"What is Christ's Gospel? What is the message God sent to mankind by Jesus Christ? It is the GOOD NEWS of the KINGDOM OF GOD!...Of course that power-filled message INCLUDES THE KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE SAVIOR, High Priest and coming King! Of course, it INCLUDES the true way of salvation, which the churches seem to have lost!" (Good News, Jan. 1980, p. 9, HWA).
"We must believe the GOSPEL, and THAT MEANS ALSO believing on JESUS CHRIST, the King OF the Kingdom of God, and coming King of kings over all the families of the earth. IT MEANS believing in Him as personal Saviour, as High Priest, now and as coming King" ("What is the True Gospel?" 1972 booklet by HWA, p.10.)
"If those who claim to preach a gospel of SALVATION understood and proclaimed WHAT salvation really is...it might be A PART OF the gospel" (Incredible Human Potential, 1978 hardback edition, by HWA, page 16)
"I must call the reader's attention again at this point to the fact that a full and complete understanding of the MESSAGE sent by God TO ALL MANKIND, by His Divine Messenger Jesus Christ, involves a vast comprehension of God's great purpose, and of events, prehistoric, historic, present and future. "I might say it means an overall understanding of EVERYTHING!" (ibid, p.15).
"The true GOSPEL, when viewed with ALL THAT IT EMBODIES---the reason for it, the prehistoric truth of earth's first inhabitants, the reason
humans were created and put on earth, the CAUSE of all the earth's evils and sufferings, the nature of the human mind, the need for spiritual salvation and what it is, the coming world tomorrow of peace, what lies on beyond, and man's ultimate incredible potential---becomes the MOST ALL-ENCOMPASSING SUBJECT that can enter the mind of man" (ibid, p.11).
As I have previous quoted from HWA's booklet on the true gospel before here, I will not requote that now (it remains available in the Why Not the Restored Church of God article).
12/16/06 a.m. I listened to some of part 3 of David Pack's 144,000 message this morning. In it, he teaches:
The splinters...do not get it right because God would not reveal it to them...Gentiles can be part of the 144,000...You are all one in Christ...The twelve tribes are not talking about the twelve tribes of Israel (Pack David. The 144,000 and the Great Multitude. Part 3. Posted 12/09/06).
But Herbert W. Armstrong taught (bolding mine):
You have probably heard many interpretations. They are all in error. Men are unable to interpret this prophecy (Rev. 7:9, 13-14) (Armstrong HW. The Book of Revelation Unveiled at last!. WCG, 1972, p. 33).
The 144,000 are 12,000 from each of the literal tribes of Israel. (Rev. 7:4) They are sealed by the Holy Spirit. IN their foreheads, and it is THE FATHER'S NAME that is sealed there. (Rev. 14:1) The TIME of this sealing, then, is yet future - after the Tribulation, after the heavenly signs, after the SIGN of Christ's coming appears in heaven (Armstrong HW. The key to the Book of Revelation. WCG, 1972, p. 10).
Notice that what LCG teaches is consistent with HWA's teachings:
Genesis introduces the number 12 with Jacob’s 12 sons who gave rise to the 12 tribes of
. Throughout the Torah, 12 is used as the number indicating "organizational beginnings." When we look at Revelation, we again see this same pattern. Revelation 7 recounts the sealing of the 144,000 with 12,000 selected from each of the 12 tribes (Ogwyn, John. Revelation: The Mystery Unveiled. LCG Booklet). Israel
Sadly, David Pack, who has now directly contradicted Herbert Armstrong's teaching on this matter, is another man who was unable to interpret this prophecy. David Pack is NOT an apostle who is faithful to the teachings of Herbert Armstrong. Herbert Armstrong taught the identity, we in LCG believe that, but David Pack is contradicting those teachings.
In the same message, David Pack claims that while knowledge of the 144,000 is important, he states that the knowledge of who the final Elijah is, is more important (David Pack was an erroneous understanding concerning Herbert Armstrong here).
Since David Pack claims that believing that HWA is the only one who could be the end-time Elijah, and that knowledge is more important than who the 144,000 are, why would David Pack blatantly contradict HWA's teachings here?
The 144,000 is simply another prophetic area that RCG is not faithful to the teachings of either the Bible or Herbert W. Armstrong.
An article of related interest may be Why Not the Restored Church of God. It remains my hope and prayer that those who abandoned the Philadelphia portion of the COG for RCG (or any group/reason for that matter) will anoint their eyes and support LCG.
12/12/06 a.m. RC Meredith sent out a letter to LCG's membership on the Charles Bryce matter, dated 12/08/06. The letter is quite similar to the one sent electronically to the ministry last week. I received my copy in the mail late yesterday. Here is some of what it says (I do not have an electronic version of it at this time, so this was basically re-typed here):
Mr. Charles Bryce...sent a Fed-Ex package to us here in Charlotte...
His letter is simply a sort of rehash of the approach taken by Gerald Flurry and David Pack...
Without going into every detail, fellow ministers, it is obvious that Mr. Bryce wants to recreate make his version of Mr. Armstrong's teachings the final standard and have his people follow that version—which he feels is set in stone. Near the end of his letter, Mr. Bryce states, “If all of us will come back to see the wrong places the church is in now and together get back to the faith once delivered—all the way back and not one iota short of it [our emphasis]—we truly believe that God will pour out His blessing on His church and give us the real breakthrough we have all been anxiously waiting for since the beginning.”
As you can see, brethren, Mr. Bryce is adamant that we must change “not one iota” of what he thinks Mr. Armstrong was teaching at a particular point and time. However, Mr. Apartian and I who knew Mr. Armstrong fifty times better than Mr. Bryce spent thousands of hours with him both recognize—as Mr. Ames stated—“Mr. Armstrong was an innovating and forward looking man and would grow, modify and ‘tweak’ various doctrines and teachings from time to time when Christ led him to.” As you men know, Mr. Armstrong did change his approach to divorce and remarriage, to healing and medicines, to makeup—in fact back and forth three different times—and to Pentecost, and to quite a number of other things. He definitely would keep growing and modifying if he were still alive. Frankly, he would be surprised that we would think that he would not do this and that some individuals are now teaching that his ideas—at a particular time of their creation—were all “set in stone” as the Ten Commandments! Mr. Armstrong was not like that! So we, as a Church, intend to follow Mr. Armstrong and honor him as he told us to. For Mr. Armstrong said again and again, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” We intend to do that. And, as he would have wished, we intend to put Christ first and grow in grace and in knowledge as we are now in the 21st century, situations change and we need to move forward in many different ways as we reach the entire world in our modern time.
We are not ever going to change or modify the Sabbath, the Holy Days or any basic doctrines—as I am sure you all know. But we do intend to follow Jesus Christ and His standards—not the ideas brought up in different ways by the likes of Gerald Flurry, David Pack and Charles Bryce. We are going to reach the whole world with the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. That is what God commands us to do, and I hope all of you men will join with us fervently and prayerfully in doing this...
Brethren, this past Sunday, I called Mr. Bryce and talked to him for about 45 minutes...He then went on to directly discuss--this was at his instigation--the fact that he would "have to resign, lose his salary, lose his lease car, lose his computer and his health plan." So he directly spelled out that he was going to quit and "do something else."
Brethren, it was very clear that he intended to bolt the Living Church of God and start another organization--teaching people his approach to what I feel is his type of Pharisaical doctrine and not the full, balanced Truth of the Bible.
The "Sunday" RC Meredith is referring to was December 3, 2006. Perhaps I should add here that even though LCG correctly teaches that the Bible is the true basis of doctrine (and not someone's memory of what they are convinced HWA would be teaching in the 21st Century), I am unaware of LCG changing any doctrine that HWA had not ever changed or allowed for change.
Four articles of possible interest may include:
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work?
Are the Laodiceans the Modern Sadducees and Pharisees?
Makeup and the Philadelphia Era of the Church of God
There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God?
12/10/06 a.m. LCG's Douglas Winnail reported:
As many of you are already aware, Mr. Charles Bryce informed us last week that he has serious doctrinal differences with the Living Church of God (on wearing makeup, the explanation of Church eras, the definition of the gospel and Church mission, appropriate meeting halls, etc). He informed Mr. Meredith and me several times during phone conversations that it would be a waste of time to come to
to discuss the matter and that he would have to resign. Due to the adamant position that he has taken and his subsequent release of his list of issues to the entire ministry, we have had to terminate Mr. Bryce from being a minister with the Living Church of God. This was not a decision that we wanted to make, yet it was necessary for the protection of the Church and brethren. It is certainly our hope that Mr. Bryce will reconsider his actions. Up until last week, Mr. Bryce gave us no indication that he had serious concerns about any of these issues. He did not mention these issues during the years he served on the Council of Elders (he chose to resign from the Council a year ago when he moved to Charlotte ). While he was Director of CAD he also had the opportunity to suggest changes in these areas, but nothing was said. Texas
Brethren, we need to remember a number of important principles when it comes to drawing conclusions about doctrine. We are told that there is safety in a multitude of counsel (Proverbs 11:14) and that we should be extremely careful about drawing conclusions that seem right to us as individuals (Proverbs 14:12). The Scriptures inform us that the Church is given the charge to determine doctrine, not individuals (I Timothy 3:15), and we see how this operated at the council meeting in Acts 15. It is regrettable that Mr. Bryce did not follow these principles in this most recent situation. From calls that we have made around the country, it appears that very few ministers or members are sympathetic with the ideas in Mr. Bryce’s letter. Mr. Meredith is writing a letter to the membership to put this most recent situation into a bigger perspective.
In his November 28, 2006 letter, Charles Bryce actually claimed the following:
In his November 28, 2006 letter, Charles Bryce actually claimed the following:
Doctrinal slippage has taken place especially in the last 1½ to 2 years...
1. LCG teaches that we live in a time of the “Greater Church of God” made up of different branches or church groups. These branches don’t meet together and they have different teachings, yet they are still the true church of God....
2. LCG teaches that the use of make-up is not wrong and that it is an individual choice about personal grooming...
3. LCG seems to be preaching a mixed, confusing message about the gospel, i.e. that the gospel is the good news of forgiveness of our sins through Christ’s sacrifice and of the soon-coming kingdom and government of God and the name of Jesus Christ...
4. LCG teaches that several church eras exist contemporaneously and that we are now living in the Laodicean era as a remnant of the Philadelphia church.
Are any of these changes made in the last 1 1/2-2 years?
GCG/LCG taught all of those, and always allowed, though never required, makeup.
Regarding C. Bryce's first and fourth point, RC Meredith publicly taught this in sermons in GCG and LCG, they were taught in articles in the GCG News and LCG News (and elsewhere), and even the late John Ogwyn essentially taught it in GCG/LCG in his God's Church Through the Ages booklet (and specifically confirmed that orally). Regarding the gospel mentioned in the third point, LCG's Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs that Charles Bryce approved in November 2002 has not changed (this statement was even published in The Journal then). Since Charles Bryce seems to be objecting to LCG's teaching on the gospel, let's quote the statement he had to have approved in its entirety:
The Gospel of Christ is the "Good News" of the forgiveness of our sins through Christ’s sacrifice, and of the soon-coming Kingdom and government of God. Christ’s Gospel of the Kingdom of God reveals the means by which we are to be qualified by God to be ruling members of His Kingdom (Acts 2:38-39; Mark 1:14-15; Matthew 24:14; Acts 8:12; 17:7; 28:30-31; Revelation 2:26-27). (Living Church of God. Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs. November 2002--also the same as the current version).
Thus, the facts and I totally agree with Dr. Winnail, RCM, and others, that the alleged recent changes, are in fact not recent changes.
In a rather bizarre twist, although I did not hear him (as I was at a different FOT site), three people at church here yesterday stated that they heard Charles Bryce say in a sermon at the Feast in Oxnard in October 2006 not to be bothered by unimportant and piddly things like makeup. Then his 11/28/06 letter condemns a variety of piddly things (makeup, male earrings, etc.) as highly important.
Here is Charles Bryce's recent earring charge:
LCG teaches styles of dress, hair, a man wearing ear rings, etc. is majoring in the minors–as GTA used to say. Mr. Armstrong taught that we must have biblical standards on all of these matters and require adherence and proper conduct from the membership. For instance, no long hair for men or ear rings. No cropped off hair for women and that they must dress modestly–which still allows for good style and pleasant appearance.
LCG does teach that we should have the proper attire, etc. for church services. What Charles Bryce is apparently objecting to are statements that LCG leaders have made (including he himself, I believe) that we should not "jump on" new people who visit our church services a few times about those type of matters as they will most likely figure it out on their own. LCG specifically teaches if dress is immodest, hair length improper (male or female), etc. that the local minister (not a self-appointed grooming monitor) will discuss this privately with the prospective member at some time if they do not figure this out themselves. That is what LCG clearly teaches.
Perhaps it should be noted that I addressed the earring charge 2 1/2 years ago in the article Did Roderick C. Meredith Really Make 26 Doctrinal Changes?, when I dealt with a variety of inaccurate charges allegedly from David Pack that Roger Waite discussed. Here is what that article states about earrings:
Alleged Change 10) MEN CAN WEAR EARRINGS.
Roger Waite writes,
Under Mr Armstrong we forbade men wearing earrings under the principle of men not wearing anything that pertains to a woman(Deut.22:5) and because it was a cultural sign of rebellion. It has now become culturally acceptable for men to wear earrings.
I have never seen any man in any LCG congregation I have ever visited wear an earring. RCM told me he personally discourages men from wearing them.
On the other hand, I believe that HWA did make exceptions on earrings depending upon the culture. Furthermore, ear piercing for male servants is authorized in the Bible (Exodus 21:6; Deuteronomy 15:17) and men in Israel did have earrings (Numbers 31:50).
Anyway, David Pack and others have long made a variety of inaccurate, trivial, and sometimes illogical charges against LCG. And it is sad that some who have left us seem to do the same. Hopefully, Charles Bryce will understand that and reconsider what he has done.
Anyway, David Pack and others have long made a variety of inaccurate, trivial, and sometimes illogical charges against LCG. And it is sad that some who have left us seem to do the same. Hopefully, Charles Bryce will understand that and reconsider what he has done.
12/09/06 a.m. RCG announced the following:
144,000 Explained: David C. Pack’s sermon series identifying the 144,000 and the Great Multitude will be posted Saturday at 5 PM (EST). This subject is not comparable to any other. There is nothing like it! In fact, there are no more urgent sermons you could hear.
David Pack has not shown himself to be a reliable revealer of prophecy in the past (see Is There a Future King of the South?). Those interested in RCG' teachings really should read the article Why Not the Restored Church of God?
Several leaders of small groups, such as Art Braidic of ECG and Ron Weinland (formerly of UCG, but now of his own CGPFK) have come out with their own interpretations of the 144,000.
Actually, those two have come to essentially the same conclusion. Art Braidic's church published:
The 144,000 are sealed with the Holy Spirit as servants of God. They are an exact number of people who have been redeemed from among men. They stand on Mount Zion—the New Jerusalem, a city whose dimensions are multiples of twelve and which has the names of the twelve tribes inscribed upon its gates. The 144,000 are destined to rule from this magnificent structure...
The 144,000 are the first resurrection, raised up to work personally with Jesus Christ. The final members of this elite group will be finally be chosen before God executes...
Although the vast majority of mankind will one day be saved, the greatest rewards are reserved for the 144,000. Jesus will marry only one bride.
I included the last line as I believe that Art Braidic has had four brides himself (the one I know, he is no longer with--and he has had two since her). Although I have personally always gotten along with Art Braidic, as he knows, I have never approved of his departure from the wife he had which I still know (nor did the old GCG).
FWIW, some may find this hard to believe, but this website was NOT my idea, but Art Braidic's. It was Art Braidic who told me to start this webpage nearly 10 years ago, when he was the minister with responsibilities for the videogroup here. I actually objected to doing it, but he persevered and eventually got me to do it. This website originally consisted of articles that I wrote about the ten commandments to encourage those still in WCG to be faithful and not fall for the antinomian arguments coming out of Pasadena then (and still for that matter). After the GCG crisis in 1998, this webpage also began to cover news. And later History Related to Early Christianity.
Regarding the 144,000, Ron Weinland wrote:
The 144,000 will return with Christ on this same day after the seven last plagues are poured out upon the earth. It is at the beginning of this same day that the return of Jesus Christ becomes visible to the whole world (2008 - God's Final Witness, p. 23).
There will be only one great resurrection on the very day that Jesus Christ returns, and this will be the 144,000 (2008 - God's Final Witness, p. 74).
Ron Weinland calls himself a prophet and teaches that he is one of the two witnesses (that and more is documented in the article Brief Article on Church of God-Preparing for the Kingdom of God). He also seems to hold unitarian, and not binitarian views.
12/08/06 a.m. CEG reported:
On December 7, 2006, at 5:15 A.M. Pacific Time, Edwin Pope died. We are deeply saddened by this loss of a faithful servant of God who has been such a bright and shining example of gentleness and loving concern for the brethren. In this moment of grieving, the words of another of God's servants remind us of the boundless hope that is given to those who live this life as Christians:...
We are saddened to have to report that Mr. Edwin Pope, Senior Pastor of the Church of the Eternal God, died Thursday morning at 5:15 am. On Wednesday afternoon, Norbert Link, Margaret Adair and Michael Bannen spent time with Joan Pope. Edwin had been transferred from the hospital to his home on Tuesday. He remained in a coma, and his doctor stated on Wednesday afternoon that Edwin's vital signs were weakening. Furthermore, he did not expect Edwin to live much longer. A nurse spent the night at the Pope's home to assist. Additionally, Johanna Link and Margaret Adair were with Joan during the evening.
By Wednesday evening, it had been four weeks since Edwin was struck by a heart attack. Emergency crews were able to revive him, but Edwin never regained consciousness again.
We wanted to let all of you know who have expressed such heartfelt concern and who have faithfully prayed about Edwin and Joan.
While I disagreed with many things that Edwin Pope did, he and I got along reasonably well on the few occasions we had interactions. His death will likely have a major effect on CEG.
12/06/06 p.m. While I believe that LCG made some mistakes in the handling of the Bryce/Solomon matter, my reading of Charles Bryce's recent writings remind me of what Syd Hull wrote when he went with RCG (although Charles Bryce made a MUCH bigger deal of makeup, than did Syd Hull).
They both inaccurately claimed that LCG made certain significant doctrinal changes in recent times, which simply did not happen. Few, if any, of the items that Charles Bryce raised are taught any different in LCG now than they were years ago. LCG's Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs, which I believe Charles Bryce and Syd Hull approved four years ago, differs in many ways from positions they are now advocating.
As I have already addressed makeup as well HWA's understanding of the gospel in other articles, I at this time, see no point in a blow-by-blow rebuttal of Charles Bryce's positions on those and other areas, other than to say that I am saddened that he no longer wishes to support LCG.
But I will simply make the following comments.
According to Jesus, the criteria for the leadership was fruits. Notice what Jesus stated:
You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them (Matthew 7:16-20 NKJV).
Also notice what Herbert Armstrong wrote:
...this small remnant of the original true Church of God began to take on new life as the Philadelphia era… This era of the Church was to produce fruit…" (Armstrong H.W. Mystery of the Ages, pp. 289-290).
And what are the fruits?
Just last week, LCG's Wayne Pyle reported:
We are also watching the spiritual seeds coming to fruition, with more than 800 baptisms in North America from the telecast alone since its launch in January 1999, of which 414 of these baptisms originated directly from the Tomorrow’s World telecast. Our member files now show more than 1,800 baptisms from all sources in our U.S. and international Living Church of God congregations since 1999 (Pyle W. MEDIA. The World Ahead Weekly Update. November 30, 2006).
LCG probably has the highest percentage of people baptized in the past 8 years of any COG. And the highest number of people baptized who did not have a prior COG background.
Also notice this from the same report by Wayne Pyle:
To date, our TV coverage in countries around the world reached 183,050 responses since the beginning of the year, which is 26 percent more than last year’s TV response for the same period. This is indeed our biggest year ever in sheer TV-response counts. North America is up 27 percent over last year, Australia is up 23 percent, New Zealand is up 24 percent and the response from our three satellites over Europe and the Middle East is up 81 percent over a year ago. The telecast has been averaging 3,800 responses each week since the beginning of the calendar year.
It is sad when people who know this choose not to be supportive based upon claims of recent doctrinal changes that did not happen.
12/06/06 a.m. Per the posting at the AW site, Charles Bryce wrote:
Time Line of Recent Events:
1) We Fedex'ed (to avoid them getting lost or delayed in the Xmas mail) four letters to Charlotte on Wed. Nov. 28, 2006. They arrived there the next morning.
2) I heard back from Doug Winnail on Friday, Dec. 1, 2006. We discussed the letter and agreed to talk again the next week, on Wed or Thurs, about my coming to H.Q. for meetings.
3) Mr. Meredith called on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2006 to discuss the "situation". We had a very congenial, brotherly talk which concluded with friendship. He said Doug Winnail would call me, this week, to discuss our coming to Charlotte and that maybe we could work things out.
4) We received a letter from Doug Winnail on Monday, Dec. 4, in which he mentioned random thoughts and observations about his views...
And per the posting at the AW site, RC Meredith wrote:
Mr. Charles Bryce’s letter to the ministry just came on the e-mail and certainly deserves an answer. Sadly to say, Mr. Bryce puts an unusual “spin”—as is often the case—on what actually has been happening. On his third point, he says that he and I talked on the phone to discuss the “situation that we had a very congenial brotherly talk which concluded with friendship.” What Mr. Bryce does not mention is that he definitely indicated that he would not come into Charlotte, that he saw “no reason” to come into Charlotte since we had our “iron clad” position and that he, also, had his iron clad position. He made it very plain that he would not be coming. Then, I asked him very plainly, “Are you then going to split the Church, Charles?” He said, “No, not in that way. I am not going to send out a big attack letter, but will simply let people know what I feel and then they can call me or come to my home and discuss the situation. I will try to serve those people that come with me in that way.” He said, “I plan to resign quietly and let things develop in that way.”
Perhaps I should have asked him to officially resign—on the phone—right then. But, trying to be charitable, I was hoping he might still back down. But he did say that—since neither of us would change our positions—he would “have to resign.”
Also, he failed to mention that his son-in-law, Larry Solomon, had a long talk with me Sunday morning and acknowledged that he would follow Mr. Bryce in leaving the Church and doing a different type of work if Mr. Bryce chose to do that. He made that very clear—though in a low key way.
Therefore, because of all of this—and many other things which we know and don’t want to get into in starting a “battle of words”—we find it necessary to terminate Messrs. Bryce and Solomon from the ministry of the Living Church of God and from their membership therein. Both of them have clearly indicated that they plan to do another type of work. They clearly intend to follow their version of “Armstrongism”—directing their people to give up make-up, stop acknowledging there are other true churches of God, and presenting the Gospel only as the “Gospel of the Kingdom of God”—not mentioning in that context the “Good News of forgiveness of sins through Christ’s sacrifice” which Mr. Bryce clearly condemned in his letter to us.
12/05/06 a.m. CEG reported the following on Friday:
Update on Edwin Pope:
On Monday afternoon, November 27, 2006, Norbert Link and Margaret Adair met with Joan Pope, and the three of them had a very detailed and heartfelt discussion with Edwin's primary care doctor. Doctors performed a tracheotomy earlier in the day in preparation for the slow and careful removal of the ventilator that now assists and sustains Edwin's breathing.
It is the doctor's professional opinion that everything has been done that can be humanly done, and that based on past occurrences, Edwin's body has experienced such trauma that he will, most likely, not survive much longer. For this difficult period ahead, the doctor advised that we also must consider the possibility that even now, Edwin may be suffering physically. The doctor also explained that Edwin's response to certain commands last Wednesday would indicate that Edwin feels pain.
We would have hoped to bring a more positive report. Nonetheless, we have submitted to God's Will and continue to do so--as we continue in hope even now, earnestly praying for God's miraculous and most powerful intervention! Let's be reminded that Edwin is in the hands of God, and for that, we can all take comfort as we continue to persistently pray, in faith, about this matter.
I met Edwin Pope years ago and spoke with him when he was considering co-founding CEG. It is sad that he is so ill.
Charles Bryce has possibly formed his own group. R.C. Meredith wrote:
Charles Bryce...sent a Fed-Ex package to us here in Charlotte on this past Thursday with identical letters enclosed for four of our Headquarters Evangelists—Apartian, Ames, Winnail and me. This letter explains how he is recreating his version of “Armstrongism.” He expresses that he is unhappy with a number of doctrines and teachings now, that seems a little strange to me, however, as Charles was with us for the last 11 or 12 years and suddenly decides to get upset now all of a sudden. His letter is simply a sort of “rehash” of the approach taken by Gerald Flurry and David Pack. He states his concern that, “LCG teaches that we live in a time of the ‘Greater Church of God’ made up of different branches or church groups.” Mr. Bryce goes on to say that this is wrong—indicating that we should not recognize these other groups as Churches of God...
We are not ever going to change or modify the Sabbath, the Holy Days or any basic doctrines—as I am sure you all know. But we do intend to follow Jesus Christ and His standards—not the ideas brought up in different ways by the likes of Gerald Flurry, David Pack and Charles Bryce. We are going to reach the whole world with the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. That is what God commands us to do, and I hope all of you men will join with us fervently and prayerfully in doing this. I hope the above information can help you answer the questions of our brethren as they hear about Mr. Bryce’s defection—along with his son-in-law, Larry Solomon, and perhaps a number of local elders or those who decide to join in this division which they are causing within the Church of God.
Herbert Armstrong recognized that CG7 was a remnant of part of the Church of God while WCG also existed. I am sorry that Charles Bryce has left.
12/01/06 a.m. In his latest commentary, COG-eims' D. O'Malley states:
Recently, the Republican Party has had to answer for one of their Congressmen making homosexual advances toward a young man who had been working as a page in Congress. The Republican Congressional Leadership went to great lengths to explain how they had admonished this publicly–known homosexual Congressman that he should not make advances to male pages. They claimed they had done everything to properly monitor the offending Congressman’s actions over the past few years.
They don’t get it!
How about the Democratic Party? Do they get it? Every two years the Democratic Party, both at the state and national levels, officially nominate and support known homosexual men as their official candidates for Congress. One Democratic Congressman who is perennially re-elected to Congress had a homosexual call service operating out of his congressional office!
Is there a law in the country against a homosexual holding the office of Congressman? No. They have a constitutional right to participate in the political process of the nation. However, they do not have a constitutional right to be nominated and supported by any political party for office. If the leadership and members of the Republican or Democratic Parties believed the word of God, they would not support an individual who is a known and practicing homosexual for public office. And this leads to a grave problem for this nation. It no longer appears most members of Congress care about the word of God and what it says.
They don’t get it!
Here is what the word of God says about the practice of homosexuality. Maybe if some of them would read this, they could start to get it:
Romans 1:26-28 26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, GOD GAVE THEM OVER TO A DEBASED MIND, to do those things which are not fitting; NKJV
1 Corinthians 6:9 9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, NKJV
1 Timothy 1:9-10 9 knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers……. NKJV
Deuteronomy 23:17-18 17 There shall be no ritual harlot of the daughters of Israel, or a perverted one of the sons of Israel. 18 You shall not bring the wages of a harlot or the price of a dog (sodomite) to the house of the LORD your God for any vowed offering, for both of these are an abomination to the LORD your God. NKJV
Leviticus 18:22 22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. NKJV
Leviticus 20:13 13 If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. NKJV
Revelation 22:14-15 14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs (sodomites) and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. NKJV
These scriptures without question condemn homosexuality.
An article of related interest may be Should a Christian Vote?
11/29/06 p.m. This morning the following was added to the article regarding RCG:
Anoint Your Eyes
One who I spoke with who attended RCG for a while told me he was influenced by David Pack's writing titled Anoint Your Eyes.
Thus far, I have seen no reason to read that document, because it is clear to me (and many with a COG background) that apostasy entered the COGs and most have departed from the faith. I consider that most who were part of the COGs have become Laodicean with some associated with Thyatira and Sardis. Furthermore, I believe that most of the Laodiceans are modern Sadducees and Pharisees.
I, personally, have documented this over the years in a series of articles. Actually, the cogwriter.com webpage actually seems to have more documented articles detailing how the various COGs have specifically departed from the Philadelphia era teachings and practices than other sources do.
Some of my experiences with David Pack's inaccurate claims about LCG have already been addressed in this and other articles, so there is no point seeing them again in this other writing of his.
At this time, all I intend to do is give a brief list of why those associated with RCG need to anoint their eyes to see that RCG is simply not part of the remnant of the Philadelphia portion of the COG.
1) David Pack is a self proclaimed apostle based upon his opinions of his church, his writings, and a misunderstanding of the Bible and COG history. After trying to explain why the Bible requires that there be an apostle in charge of the COG, he clearly admits that there were no apostles for 3/4 of a century prior to HWA.
2) David Pack claims to carefully follow the teachings of HWA, however HWA specifically did not appoint anyone to be an apostle to takeover after HWA died. Hence, HWA clearly did not feel that the end-time portion of the Philadelphia portion of the COG had to be specifically led by a living apostle.
3) David Pack had the wrong priorities when he began RCG and felt that the Philadelphia work was basically over. Recall that he wrote,
Since Mr. Armstrong was not sure whether or not the open door was placed in front of Philadelphia or himself as its messenger, I have no intentions of acting presumptuously declaring it to be one way or the other. I sincerely do not know. I suspect that door is either closed or closing and have felt that this has probably been happening for some number of years (Pack, David C. Is the Work Finished? Booklet. 2000. p. 55).
4) RCG clearly does not understand what the Bible, HWA, and LCG teach about what is the true gospel. The proof is that while RCG falsely claims, "LCG’s gospel has become a hybrid of truth and Protestantism" and the Bible and HWA clearly show that:
Just TWO things we do—REPENT, and BELIEVE. We must BELIEVE the Gospel, and that means also believing on JESUS CHRIST, the KING of the Kingdom of God, and coming KING of kings over all the families of the earth. It means believing in Him as personal SAVIOUR, as High Priest now, and as coming KING (Armstrong HW. What is the True Gospel? WCG booklet, 1972, p.6).
5) As far as I can tell, David Pack has consistently made false accusations against LCG which he must know are not true, so why does he not change them if he is a true Christian leader?
6) RCG wrongly insists who the king of the South is, hence RCG does not properly understand prophecy and cannot be counted to be the vehicle that God will use for His final prophetic warnings (including the place of safety).
7) RCG clearly does not understand that the Bible and HWA authorized evangelists to proclaim the warning message to the world. HWA had both RC Meredith and Dibar Apartian do it while he was alive, plus approved that the telecast should be done by Richard Ames and other evangelists upon his own death.
8) RCG clearly misunderstands scripture concerning some of its Elijah teachings. It also does not understand what HWA actually wrote and admitted about a future Elijah.
9) RCG often emphasizes minor points (like the appearance of potential new converts at church services) over love and truth.
10) RCG misunderstands the truth about Laodicea. HWA and the Bible taught that they are part of the true Church. Recall that David Pack wrote,
While Laodicea means “the people rule, judge, decide,” they are still God’s people, but in a weak and confused condition. However, they do not represent His true Church, and are outside His Body (Pack D. Where is God's True Church? RCG Booklet. 2005 edition).
This is another change from HWA's church taught, which was
...the Laodicean era...they are the Church of God...the "Church of Laodicea" (What is the Laodicean Church? Good News, August 1959).
As well as a change from the Bible (Revelation 3:13-14). While it is true that the Laodiceans do not value the full truth as much as they should, they are not outside His Body.
11) David Pack admits that he has changed the work. While he claims HWA was the messenger to Philadelphia, he claims he is the messenger to Laodicea. This is clearly a different work.
12) While David Pack has made a variety of boasts about the number of people he baptized while working as part of WCG, he and RCG simply do not have the type of fruits that Jesus says the faithful church would have. It is my understanding that rather than accept the baptismal fruits at LCG, since RCG misunderstands the entirety of the true Gospel, it claims that LCG only has those fruits because we proclaim the entire Gospel which RCG refuses to understand is true.
Will those of you associated with RCG anoint your eyes?
The above has been added to the article Why Not the Restored Church of God?
Click here for the previous news of those once affiliated with GCG