Opinions of COGwriter
Christian Churches of God (CCOG of Wade) is directed by Wade Cox, headquartered in Australia. Like many groups with origins in the Worldwide Church of God (WCG), it has changed various doctrines and practices. Because of certain of its views, in my opinion, it is not truly a Church of God (COG). This brief article will focus on those teachings that differ from those in WCG in 1986.
As far as I have been able to tell, CCOG of Wade has no real media presence other than the internet and the sale of some books. Any fruits of its "public proclamation" efforts seem quite limited, and as I have not seen any reports from CCOG of Wade on this subject, none are included in this article.
This article consists mainly of quotes from CCOG of Wade literature and websites. My comments following the various quotes will be in italics.
STATEMENTS OF BELIEF
In this section, all of the following quotes were taken from CCOG of Wade's Statement of Beliefs of the Christian Faith. The numbers shown are the section numbers which contain the quoted statements.
CCOG of Wade Teaches that God is Singular
1.5.3 The Name and Sovereignty of God: There is no doubt that God is singular and sovereign.
18.104.22.168...We worship no other Elohim other than God (Ex. 34:14; Deut. 11:16) or we will be destroyed (Deut. 30:17-18).
The True Church teaches that Elohim is a Hebrew term which is actually a uniplural noun, such as the word "church' is a uniplural noun. Elohim represents the family of God, then consisting of the Father and the Son, but in the future having more members. More details can be found in the article Binitarian View. Another article of related interest may be Was Unitarianism the Teaching of the Bible or Early Church?
CCOG of Wade Teaches that Jesus was Generated is Not to be Worshiped as God
1.4...But it was God who generated him and who willed that the creation exist and subsist in Christ. Therefore, Christ is not God in any sense that God the Father is God and who alone is immortal (1Tim. 6:16) existing in abiding perpetuity.
22.214.171.124 The Object of Worship: The primary position and the principal sign of the elect is and always has been that of absolute monotheism and a belief in the subordinate relationship of Jesus Christ.
3.2.4...God the Father is the one true God (Jn. 17:3) and there is no elohim that is before, or equal with, Him. It is impermissible to worship or to pray to any other entity including Jesus Christ.
Though the True Church has always taught that Jesus is under the authority of the Father (John 7:16-17), it has always taught that Jesus is also God as a member of the Godhead (Colossians 2:9) and that Jesus always existed (John 1:1,2,14). Jesus allowed Himself to be worshiped (Matthew 28:17) and to be called God (John 20:28). CCOG of Wade does refer to Jesus as Lord (i.e. 126.96.36.199). More details can be found in the article Binitarian View.CCOG of Wade Teaches Christians are Born Again in This Life
2.5...You cannot receive the Holy Spirit unless you repent and are baptised, thus being born again...Thus we are born again but continue to grow in the spirit daily in Christ Jesus until we come into the glory of God.
The True Church has taught that we are not born again now (John 3:6-8), but will be at the resurrection (I Corinthians 15:42-46). A related article that may be of interest is Born Again: A Question of Semantics?
CCOG of Wade Has a Different Understanding of Sabbath and Passover
188.8.131.52...These signs of the law, the Sabbath and Passover, are specifically intended to guard against idolatry (Deut. 11:16). These two signs are the seal on the hand and the forehead of the Lord's elect and, with the Holy Spirit, will form the basis of the sealing of the 144,000 of the last days in Revelation 7:3.
It should be noted that Deuteronomy chapter 11 says that every commandment (vss.8,13,& 22) is the subject--the Passover and Sabbath are not specifically mentioned in that chapter. Nor are they mentioned in Revelation chapter 7.
CCOG of Wade Teaches that New Moons Required to be Kept
184.108.40.206 The New Moons: The New Moons are required to be kept under the law (Num. 10:10, 28:11-15; 1Chron. 23:31; 2Chron. 2:4, 8:13, 31:3).
A review of each of those scriptures does not indicate that New Moons are to be observed by Christians. They do say that the priests are to blow trumpets and present offerings at the beginning of each month, and that kings were to appoint some items for the offerings. A related article of interest may be New Moons.
Jesus an Angel?
"There is no doubt that the elohim are a plural structure and that they are the messengers in the Bible texts referred to as angels and that Christ himself was the Angel of the Presence or the Angel of YHVH. It is thus absurd to suggest that no angel was referred to as creator when Christ was admitted to be creator and was also the Angel of YHVH. Moreover, there is no indication that the plural terms involving creators were confined to two Beings which were God and Christ. This is an unsupported assumption that is contrary to the Bible. It is, moreover, a basic assertion of Binitarianism, which is logically absurd and conveys within its structure the logical inevitability of Trinitarianism. This error entered the Church some 30-40 years ago and some people cannot divest themselves of their paradigm" (Binitarianism and Trinitarianism (No. 76) (Edition 3.0 19941112-20001202). Copyright 1994, 2000 Wade Cox. Christian Churches of God).
Colossians 1:15-17 makes it clear that God created all things through Jesus, hence the idea of God and Christ as the only two beings being involved in the creation is not a recent concept as they are the two mentioned in scripture. Similarly, Hebrews 1:1-4 states, "God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they"--Jesus, while He was a messenger for the Father, is NOT what is commonly called an angel. Furthermore, the implication of one or more angels being part of Elohim in Genesis 1 suggests that one or more angels, and not necessarily God, created all things and that humans are in the image of angels. Yet Ezekiel 10:14 describes what that the portion of angels called cherubim, at least, look like, "Each one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, the second face the face of a man, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle"--since the first face is not human, it does not appear that Genesis 1:26 is referring to humans being made in the angel image.
While it is true that elohim can refer to beings other than the Father and the Son, it is also true that the word translated as 'god' (in both the Hebrew and the Greek) is sometimes used of pagan gods and humans. Yet the Father and the Son still are 'god'. An article of related interest may be Was Unitarianism the Teaching of the Bible or Early Church?
Others Not in First Resurrection
"If you are a Binitarian or a Trinitarian you are not in the first resurrection" (Binitarianism and Trinitarianism (No. 76) (Edition 3.0 19941112-20001202). Copyright 1994, 2000 Wade Cox. Christian Churches of God).
Essentially, it appears that CCOG of Wade is teaching that those who believe Jesus is God (as though they differ significantly, both the true Binitarians and traditional Trinitarians do) will not be in the first resurrection, hence are not true Christians. Many more scriptural details showing that Jesus is part of the God family can be found in the article Binitarian View.
CCOG of Wade was the first COG that I was aware of which asks for a donation on its home page. It has a button called "PayPal" to assist in making those donations on-line.
It's home page on 4/9/03 also states, "Provides all literature without charge. Its members and friends provide funding for all expenses. No charge is levied on recipients."
That is not quite true as CCOG of Wade sells at least one booklet (which I purchased from its website) on the Transylvanian Sabbatarians. I should add that this book is not just of historical interest, it is quite significant to CCOG of Wade's "old unitarian" concept of Jesus.
I have heard reports that CCOG of Wade seems to threaten legal action related to the internet, etc. And I have heard that more often about CCOG of Wade than any other group with origins in the old WCG.
"* Is controlled by Executive Committees elected from its members.
* Has elected general coordinators and national and area coordinators for day-to-day management.
* Has no people paid to be ministers or priests. It's employment is task oriented.
* Does not have a ministerial hierarchy as is commonly understood among mainstream organizations."
On one of its pages titled Christian Churches of God, it lists the various practices, which also differ from the Church's prior teachings. It says:
* Through scholarly bible study papers, teaches the original faith taught by the Messiah and the apostles.
* Holds the doctrines common to the faith over the two thousand years since Messiah and the apostles...
Thus the CCOG of Wade differs in many ways from what those of us once in WCG all used to consider to be "the faith that was once for all delivered for the saints" (Jude 3).
Although it some have said that the doctrinal differences among the Churches of God are insignificant, this author does not believe that one can examine the teachings of groups, such as CCOG of Wade, and come to that conclusion (nor apparently would Herbert Armstrong, for proof please check out some quotes from HWA on holding fast to doctrine).
Laodicean Warning for God's People If you have read this far you are probably a current or former member of one of the Churches of God and may be interested in reading this warning article which was also published in The Journal.
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Thiel B. Teachings of the Christian Churches of God. www.cogwriter.com (c) 2001/2003/2004/2006/2012 1221