COGWA and LCG Report on Japan and Disasters


Cecil Maranville, of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association (COGWA), posted the following at COGWA’s website today:

Crisis is overtaking crisis in the stream of news coming out of northeastern Japan. First, the fourth or fifth largest earthquake in recorded history struck the region, literally moving the entire Japanese island chain approximately 8 feet to the west and shifting the earth’s axis 6.5 inches, according to the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

A black swan event within Fukushima

Japan is perhaps the most prepared nation in the world for earthquakes. It has the best tsunami warning system on earth. And yet neither could prevent disaster. One U.S.-based Japanese citizen encapsulated the reactions of all who saw these awesome scenes: “We are humbled by the power of nature.”

Japanese architecture is designed to withstand the magnitude of the largest likely earthquake in the region of the building being built. Of course, a “black swan magnitude” would change everything.

The Fukushima nuclear plant includes a series of six General Electric nuclear reactors, built between 1971 and 1979. They were built not only to withstand the largest anticipated earthquake in the area, but also the largest anticipated tsunami.

However, Fukushima was not designed to withstand the worst anticipated earthquake and tsunami simultaneously, according to a BBC interview of a Japanese engineer. One might wonder today why this scenario wasn’t included, but hindsight is 20/20.

A black swan event—completely unforeseen—overtook the nuclear industry.

Late today, the Guardian reported the following:

Japan battles to contain nuclear crisis and relieve quake survivors

• Radiation hits harmful levels at Fukushima plant
• Prime minister urges public to remain calm
• Struggle to supply food, fuel, water and medicine

Related to the disasters, in his co-worker letter of March 14, 2011, Dr. Roderick Meredith of the Living Church of God (LCG) wrote:

As we swiftly approach the end of this age, prophetic events are certainly speeding up! The unprecedented upheavals against authoritarian governments in the Middle East, the massive earthquakes which have recently struck Christchurch, New Zealand, and now Japan, the continued flooding affecting vast parts of Australia and many other so-called “natural” disasters—all this is beginning to shake millions of people into an awareness that “something big is up!”

If we truly study the inspired Word of God, we can genuinely understand.

For this world really has turned its back on the true God of the Bible. If we try to cry out and “tell My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins” as God commands (Isaiah 58:1), then it is we who become “guilty” of being “too judgmental, too selfish, or homophobic” in the eyes of a very confused world! For most of this world is rushing head first into almost every perverted and deviant practice imaginable. Absolutely gross examples of indecency are often reported in our newspapers. Yet, instead of a national day of prayer and fasting being called, most professing Christians go on as if nothing unusual is happening in our truly “sick” society! Yet disaster after disaster is beginning to strike our peoples. And although millions go to their “mainstream” churches, sing songs and clap their hands, their prayers are usually not being heard.


Because Almighty God’s inspired Word tells us, “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2). Later in this chapter, God describes the exact situation facing us today as we proclaim God’s Truth to an increasingly rebellious and hostile society, “Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. So truth fails, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey” (vv. 14-15).

Yes, we will become a “prey” if we continue to dedicate our lives to “crying out” with God’s message to a deceived world. However, by earnest Bible study and fervent prayer, we must summon the faith and the courage to act. Through this very Work of the living Christ, we must reach out with increasing power to make “all” the nations aware—at least as a “witness”—that the God of heaven will soon intervene. That He will set up a righteous government here on this earth (Revelation 5:9-10). And that His government, under the direct rule of Jesus Christ, will be the “stone” of Daniel 2:44-45…

May God grant each of you the understanding to do your part, right now, in His Work among men. May He inspire you to act on the full Truth and be one of those “overcomers” to rule this world under Jesus Christ and help to bring about a depth of peace and joy beyond what the world has ever experienced!

While bad “black swan” events happen, all should understand that the need for humankind is to repent and turn to God.

Notice something that Isaiah was inspired to write:

8 Now go, write it before them on a tablet,
And note it on a scroll,
That it may be for time to come,
Forever and ever:
9 That this is a rebellious people,
Lying children,
Children who will not hear the law of the Lord;
10 Who say to the seers, “Do not see,”
And to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us right things;
Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits. (Isaiah 30:8-10)

Many people prefer to hear “smooth things”, but I believe that pointing out these matters shows love as Jesus seemed to have pretty strong messages in the end for the people of God, including their works (cf. Revelation 3, the entire chapter) and/or approach to it.  National and personal repentance are needed.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Are You Saved? Do You Love Jesus? What is a True Christian? What is the Gospel? Evangelist Richard Ames answers those important questions.
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.

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