In its announcement dated 12/24/11, COGWA has the following:
Having to start afresh a year ago required beginning with absolutely none of the “intellectual property” we were accustomed to having within easy reach at any time—no booklets, magazines, videos, classes, Bible courses, etc.—not even a communications system…
Building a website aimed solely at proclaiming the gospel to the world is our No. 1 priority this year. What is now the cogwa.org site will become our member site, internally-focused on “feeding the flock” in-house and providing spiritually deeper content.
Our greater challenge lies in taking the gospel to the world, and in this we face two hills to climb: 1) developing the content of the gospel message and 2) generating traffic—that is, making the content visible and easily accessible so people can find it. It is impossible to discuss in one letter all that is involved in these areas, so I want to focus on content development here, because content—the word of truth—is the “seed for the sower” (Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23).
Officially, COGWA formed one year ago today. Its main two accomplishments since that time seem to have been:
- Getting much of the paid US based ministry of the United Church of God to leave and support it.
- Not falling into the type of apostasy that happened in the Tkach WCG/GCI.
Although COGWA has claimed that public gospel proclamation was to be its top priority, it still has not been particularly effective with that. And since the internet is the vehicle it said it would use, I will again comment that its internet effectiveness according to independent assessments like Alexa, is substantially less than the member website known as COGwriter.com, though it has made some progress in that area. I do not believe that COGWA has displayed the type of Philadelphia-era fruits that a Philadelphian Church of God would have demonstrated by this time.
Some in COGWA seemed to think that I would be supportive of their split. That is not quite the case. I never felt that the United Church of God was truly united, and so when Ray Wooten left with his group, former UCG president David Hulme left and formed COGaIC, and others left in the past 15 or so years, having others leave to form COGWA was not really unexpected. Nor was it something that I encouraged.
FWIW, the Wooten, COGaIC, and COGWA splits were claimed to be related to issues of church governance and direction.
Now an accuser of the brethren named James Malm has written a lot against UCG, and some against COGWA and LCG. He has made false predictions, been proven wrong when he challenged me publicly on prophetic matters (see James Malm Admits Error, But Provides Another Wrong Date), called me names (“lap dog” was his false accusation on 12/12/2011), and seems to wish to stir up problems that do not always exist. One of them has to do with LCG and COGWA, so here are some of his 12/12/11 speculations:
Further Doug Winnail who is the heir apparant, would never reveal or admit any thoughts along the lines of cooperating with COGWA, which would be a nonstarter [because of Larry Salyer] with Rod and might get him removed as heir apparant.
While heir apparant, Doug Winnail is still opposed by certain others, LCG is not nearly as united as they want to appear. There is still a behind the scenes struggle for power going on.
Rod and a good many in LCG still bear a huge grudge again Larry Salyer and would not want to cooperate with COGWA as long as Larry was around. Larry is supported by Doug Horchak and that would involve the politics in COGWA. Nothing along this line of cooperation could happen until Doug Winnail is in full control of LCG. Then Larry Salyer would have to be sidelined by COGWA, and Bob Thiel by LCG. If not stopped they would certainly be sidelined and muzzled. James
James Malm has never spoken to Dr. Winnail about any of this and should be careful not to make such accusations. The heir designee in the Living Church of God at this time is Richard Ames, not Dr. Winnail. Not only did Dr. Winnail deny any such COGWA plan with me this week when we discussed this in person in Charolotte (NC), he also stated that he supported the choice of Richard Ames. Furthermore, he, in writing to me, also denied such a COGWA plan this week, mentioned COGWA-asked for cooperation (which disproves another of James Malm’s incorrect “speculations”), and wrote other statements consistent with what I have tended to report about these type of matters in the past.
Since pretty much everyone knows that I do not support a merger with COGWA (though I do encourage those part of it to look at the real fruits of it and consider supporting LCG instead), there is no way that Dr. Winnail would put his comments also to me in writing as I would likely post some of that information if I thought that he was being deceitful. And no, I do not believe that Dr. Winnail has a secret plan and is deceitful–and his telling and writing me about that pretty much should tell everyone that he has no such plan.
On the other hand, this does not mean that he and others in LCG may not ever cooperate with those in COGWA, UCG, etc. on various matters–and we also discussed that. I personally have contacts in various COG groups and while I do not support mergers per se (I want individual members to check out doctrine, priorities, and fruits and make the right decision), there are areas of cooperation that groups can have and that does not mean that mergers are to occur.
Anyway, COGWA formed a year ago, we in LCG do not intend to merge with COGWA, James Malm is an accuser of the brethren, and those in COGWA who hope to be Philadelphian should consider its fruits and real priorities.
Some articles of possibly related interest may include:
Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, and Roderick C. Meredith on Church Government What form of governance did the early church have? Was it hierarchical? Which form of governance would one expect to have in the Philadelphia remnant? The people decide and/or committee forms, odd dictatorships, or the same type that the Philadelphia era itself had?
Unity: Which COG for You? Why so many groups? Why is there lack of unity in the Churches of God? Has it always been this way? What can/should be done about it?
Differences between the Living Church of God and United Church of God This article provides quotes information from the two largest groups which had their origins in WCG as well as commentary.
There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God? This is an article for those who wish to more easily sort out the different COGs. It really should be a MUST READ for current and former WCG/GCI members or any interested in supporting the faithful church. It also explains a lot of what the COGs are all about.
Concerns about Church of God, a Worldwide Association This seems to be the largest group that came out of the United Church of God. Here is some history and concerns about it.
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from evangelists?
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. These are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.