The following is from the latest edition of Servants’ News:
Falling Away from the Laodicean Church
by Sandy Kile
I’ve heard more excuses lately for not meeting on the Sabbath and for groups splitting up than you can shake a stick at. Some are splitting over doctrine, but quite often things so petty and silly it’s practically unbelievable! Like song books or even single words in songs! Some are starting to keep the Sabbath whenever they want, however they want—or not hosting Sabbath Services for troubling reasons that compel me to speak…
Read the following examples of excuses of people not meeting on the Sabbath, of people pleasing themselves, doing what they please, as they please, and not pleasing God.
Remark: “It doesn’t feel like the Sabbath to me if I host Sabbath Services. It’s too much work.”
Answer: It’s not about how you feel, it’s about obeying the command that the Sabbath is a holy convocation (Lev. 23 & Heb. 10:25)…
“Obeying God is always for our good and is part of how we show love to God,” states Don Haney (1) (Duet. 10:12-13). In other words, it’s our responsibility to obey God. I don’t see much responsibility in the Church these days, I see irresponsibility.
The Holy Days have been attacked with this “Do Your Own Thing Virus” as well, as in the following example: “We keep the Passover as the spirit moves us with whatever we have, including pop and pretzels. That’s not wrong, is it?” they ask. Answer: Yes, it is…
Squabbling over song books, making up excuses to not meet together, and generally making a mockery of the commitment we once had is not love! “We don’t have to agree with each other on every point of doctrine to love one another,” says Brian Knowles. It is possible to disagree without being disagreeable. We can agree to disagree and remain friends. We can grow up, and quit focusing on food, and picking at every little thing. If not, God may take us to the wood shed for a thrashing, and you can bet it’s not going to be as comfortable as if we disciplined ourselves.
The theme of Ron Dart’s recent CEM letter was also about sin being alive and well, and finding a comfy home in the church: “In something as small as Paul’s ‘a little leaven leavens the whole lump’, we are reminded that we are accountable for maintaining the integrity of the church. And if we don’t, the whole church can be corrupted by a very small matter tolerated over a long period of time.”…
While distant brethren faithfully and bravely suffer, the Church of: “God Is Too Much Trouble” is in danger of falling away from the Laodicean Church, the one Christ says He will spew out (Rev. 3:16).
Why? Because we can’t be bothered to even try reaching the “high”standards of the most lukewarm church in the Bible. We need to wake up and grow up before it’s too late. As Christ said, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent” (Rev. 3:19).
Norman Edward’s made the following comments in an insert box next to the above article:
State of Independent Churches
This heartfelt article indicates some of the problems that are occurring in the church at this time. These specific problems seem to occur more frequently in independent groups than in hierarchical groups, where a certain standard of behavior is expected or enforced. Brethren in independent groups need to realize that the price of freedom from this enforcement is that each of them, as an individual, is now required to have a close relationship with God and to look to Him to “keep them on track”…
Are independent believers also spending too much to take care of themselves and not preaching the gospel or feeding the flock? Because they are independent, these groups cover the whole spectrum: Some are very diligent to serve our Father, doing much with little. Other groups, while they quote the scriptures continually, are such a poor example to the outside world that they are an embarrassment to our Father. Independence is of little value if it produces no fruit.
“I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Revelation 1:9) It was on Patmos that Jesus had John write about the Laodiceans.
It is of interest to note that at least some of the independents realize: 1) That they are, at best, Laodiceans and 2) Many independents are so lukewarm that they are not truly part of the Church of God.
The fact is that the price of being independent is much higher than what Norman Edwards indicates. Being “independent” means that you are not truly supporting the Philadelphia work of getting the gospel of the kingdom out to the world as a witness so that the end may come (Matthew 24:14). Because of failing to “hold fast” (Revelation 3:11) but thinking that your own “people decide” governance (Revelation 3:14-19) which is basically what the two Greek words that make up the term Laodicea literally mean) is fine, Jesus says He will spue the unrepentant the Laodiceans out.
And furthermore, as the writers above even admit, the independent Laodiceans are having major problems simply hosting church services or even attending Holy Day services.
FWIW, my wife and I have been hosting church services in our home for nearly 12 years now. It does take a certain amount of work and is a bit of a hassle at times, but so was driving nearly an hour to WCG services many years ago.
In addition, as readers of this page are aware, we (my wife and I) are not “independent” Christians as we are part of the Living Church of God. The COG group that I am aware of that comes close to meeting Jesus’ standards for being “Philadelphian”.
Furthermore the Bible, in Zephaniah 2, specifically indicates that those who are not “gathered together” (which would suggest that they are independent) will not be “be hidden in the day of the LORD’s anger” (Zephaniah 2:3). Because the independents will not listen to the Bible, Jesus is upset with them.
The cost of being independent is too high. If it were not so, the Bible would not contain the warnings it does against it.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 3:22).
Several articles of related interest may include:
There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be PetraThis article discusses a biblical ‘place of safety’ and includes quotes from the Bible and Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject–thus, there is a biblically supported alternative to the rapture theory.
Independent Members of the COG: Herbert W. Armstrong Comments, Plus Questions and Answers What did Herbert W. Armstrong teach about being independent of the organized Church? Should independents who claim to accept Herbert W. Armstrong’s teachings be part of LCG?
6. The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now LCG.
7. The Laodicean Church Era was predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. Non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.
There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God?This is an article for those who wish to easily sort out the different COGs. It really should be a MUST READ for current and former WCG members or any interested in supporting the faithful church.