COGWA: New online magazine–Discern


Life, Hope, & Truth, the public proclamation website of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association (COGWA), had the following announcement:

Today, Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, we are excited to offer, free of charge, this bimonthly, online e-magazine that will give you insight based on an in-depth analysis of God’s Word, the Bible. For example, here are some of the articles you will find in this first issue (Kilough C. Discern. viewed 12/22/13)

So, finally it has what it considers to be a magazine for its public proclamation website.

To put this in perspective, the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) produced its first Bible News Prophecy magazine within five weeks of its formation, and also printed it. CCOG’s Bible News Prophecy magazine has also been produced in multiple languages (English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and Tagalog), with additional languages (Kiswahili and Telugu) expected to be available within few weeks or so. For COGWA to take three years to produce its first an online proclamation magazine helps demonstrate that gospel proclamation was not really a priority.

As far as stated organizational goals, in a member letter dated 8/19/11, COGWA’s Board stated the following:

Of the three major steps needed to establish a permanent governance and administrative system, two are now complete—we have selected our form of governance, and the Ministerial Board of Directors has now been named. A remaining major step is for the MBOD to name a president and to approve the management team he selects…If we are right in God’s sight, then He will bless us in what we do. If we are not right then we will struggle and eventually fail…

We commit to you that our greatest priority will be the spiritual strength and spiritual growth of the Church…

We are committed to preaching that gospel to this world and teaching God’s way of life. We may be small, but there are ways to harness the powers of technology to proclaim a witness to the truth of God with a bigger and more effective voice. We are committed to getting this done!

We are committed to preserving and defending the doctrinal integrity of the Church of God and to helping the Church become stronger through being grounded in the true doctrines of Christ.

The above appears to be COGWA’s four priorities and in the order of importance to its Board.  It spent its first 8 months of official existence mainly on trying to work out its governance (COGWA is a split from the United Church of God and all of its board members were once affiliated with Herbert W. Armstrong).

As far as “feeding the flock” this seems to be the second listed priority, followed by its hope to do public proclamation, followed by its commitment to doctrinal integrity.  These priorities seem neither hot nor cold  (cf. Revelation 3:14-16).  Jesus seemed to list priorities in a different order than COGWA in Matthew 28:19-20.

In a letter to COGWA’s membership dated 3/15/2011, Clyde Kilough wrote:

The obvious affordable vehicle we have for immediate use to launch gospel proclamation efforts is the Internet, and what a tool it is—the tool that reaches literally the entire world! We’ve never come close to tapping its full potential, but we certainly can begin carving out our niche. It doesn’t matter that we may be a small flock; with the power of the Internet, the gospel message has the very real capability of reaching farther, and with greater impact, than ever before. Furthermore, this is the media device that offers the greatest opportunity for broad-based ministerial and member participation. We should note that by no means does this exclude other formats of media presentation—print, radio, television, etc.

Basically it has appeared that COGWA said that it would use the internet as its primary means of preaching the gospel to the world.

Many groups have claimed that they would utilize the internet as their main form of media to have an impact on the world.  FWIW, as of 12/22/2013, the Alexa (an independent ranking source) popularity rank of COGWA’s website was 499,585, while the rank for was 108.682. Essentially what this means is that even though COGWA has claimed about 9,000 members and 170+ ministers/elders, its now preferred gospel proclamation vehicle is considerably less popular than the this ( website.

As far as its public proclamation website, Life, Hope, & Truth, as of 12/05/2012, it had an Alexa ranking of 635,798. So, three years after COGWA officially formed, the impact of the Continuing Church of God (which began over two years after COGWA) seems to have 4-10 times the effectiveness of COGWA in public proclamation. And this does not count the radio interviews that I have done (COGWA does not seem to do radio interviews, at least not often).

While finally having a magazine such as Discern is a step in the right direction, but after three years, COGWA, in my view at least, has demonstrated that it does not have the proclamation fruits or priority to proclaim the gospel like a Philadelphian Church of God remnant group would do.  Those who truly discern should be able to figure out that COGWA’s emphasis on public proclamation is not hot:

14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,

‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:  15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.  16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.  17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ — and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked —   18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.  19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.  20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.  21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”‘” (Revelation 3:14-22).

Do you have an ear to hear?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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 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 basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like the beliefs held of the Continuing Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. These are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.
The Bible, Peter, Paul, John, Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, Roderick C. Meredith, and Bob Thiel 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?
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
Leading the Final Phase of the Work Matthew 24:14 teaches “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come ” will be fulfilled and RCG is not the group doing this. Who is leading the final phase of the work? What did Herbert Armstrong and the old WCG teach about that and about prophets? Does Bob Thiel meet the criteria that the Bible and the old WCG set? What is the proof? What has the Continuing Church of God been doing?  This is a sermonette length video.
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.

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