Another Author Misunderstands the COGs, Specifically PCG

History of Early Christianity 


One of the many problems small groups like those in various Churches of God have is that many “journalists” and other authors jump to false or misleading conclusions, and/or otherwise have problems with the facts.

The following “news” item is another such example:

The Oklahoman – NewsOK – Feb 24, 2008

By Dennie Hall

Writing about churches and answering questions about religion calls for a background in theology, a knowledge of journalistic practices and the patience of Job.

Andrew Tevington of Oklahoma City has been a journalist, holds a law degree and is a Christian minister. As to the patience of Job — readers of his newspaper column soon see he has that quality, too. Tevington has compiled his columns, which run every other Saturday in The Oklahoman, into a helpful and inspiring book, “Our Faiths: A Peace Offering” (Full Circle Press, $24.95). It puts a spotlight on various beliefs — Christian and otherwise — and answers questions about such subjects as baptism, death and funeral practices, the Trinity, Holy Communion, sanctity of animal life, atheism, creation and the Virgin Mary…

A member of the ministerial staff of the Church of the Servant, a United Methodist congregation in Oklahoma City, Tevington writes about other mainline churches as well as Quakerism, Mormonism, Pentecostalism, Hinduism, Buddhism, the Amish, Unitarian Universalism, Baha’i, American Indian religions, Judaism, Islam and many others. Most helpful is a glossary that deals with such subjects as apostasy, atonement, consubstantiation, deism, exaltation, free will, mysticism, nirvana, trinity and Wicca. The author also discusses a church that has its world headquarters in Edmond, the Philadelphia Church of God, which has established the Herbert W. Armstrong College. The denomination is a split from the Worldwide Church of God. He points out that there are many churches of God. They are part of the Pentecostal Movement, which is not limited to churches calling themselves by that name.

He writes, “The movement includes the General Council of the Assemblies of God, Church of God (Cleveland), Church of God (Original), Church of God in Faith, and the Elim Fellowship.”

Tevington’s clear writing perhaps comes from his background in journalism

“Tevington’s clear writing” is clearly misleading.

Even though I do not agree with what the Philadelphia Church of God teaches as its unique dogma, the truth is that neither it, nor the old Worldwide Church of God, came out of the Pentecostal movement.

For one example, many Pentecostal historians consider that Montanus of the second century was a faithful and true Christian–neither the Living Church of God, the Philadelphia Church of God, nor any real Church of God considers that Montanus could have been a true Christian. 

While speaking in tongues, for another example, may return in the true Church at some time, it does not happen now.  It does not happen in the Philadelphia Church of God (nor the Living Church of God for that matter).

But that is usually a claim from the Pentecostal churches.

Furthermore, the Pentecostals have a very different view of the Holy Spirit than those in the Living Church of God do.

FWIW, here is some of what I have written on the “Pentecostal” distinction in several articles at the website:

…the Churches of God (COGs) are defined as groups holding to the basic teachings of the pre-1986 Worldwide Church of God (WCG), and specifically the current Living Church of God (LCG) which is the church that this writer attends. Historical writings from those considered to be true Christians by LCG and Roman Catholic Church, such as Polycarp of Smyrna (d. c. 156), will also be used. The term Church of God is not intended to convey Sunday-observing or “Pentecostal” groups that sometimes have also used that term

Some articles of possibly related interst may include:

The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 Do they matter? Most say they must, but act like they do not. This article contains some history about the Church of God (sometimes referred to as the continuation of Primitive Christianity) over the past 2000 years.
Hope of Salvation: How the Living Church of God differ from most Protestants How the Living Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background.
Did Early Christians Think the Holy Spirit Was A Separate Person in a Trinity? Or did they have a different view?

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