Is UCG Changing Doctrine?


The August 2011 edition of the United Church of God’s publication United News has the following from its Scott Ashley:

Is the Council Planning to
Change Doctrine? No.

Despite persistent rumors and insinuations to the contrary, UCG continues to strongly defend the doctrines we’ve always held…

One Internet message stated that the home office had already changed the Sabbath and Holy Days. Another stated that United was going to be adopting the Trinity doctrine. Various other
rumors circulated stated that we are “watering down” our doctrines. Most of these, in some form or another, accuse United’s leadership of having a secret plan to change UCG doctrines…

Is UCG adopting the Trinity belief?

The fact is…we had long been at work researching material to produce a booklet disproving the Trinity doctrine!

Much of the above seems to be directed towards some supporters of COGWA (a group formed by many UCG ministers that broke away in 2010) and James Malm.  James Malm has a blog where he often posts rumors and his speculations–and despite his hints that UCG was trying to become trinitarian, I never reported such rumors at COGwriter as I did not believe that the facts supported UCG attempting to adopt the trinity.

Scott Ashley also wrote:

It was precisely because of our commitment to truth that in 1995 the ministry approved a constitution for the United Church of God that states that our fundamental beliefs can only be  changed by a three-fourths majority of all the ministry of the United Church of God. As a further safeguard, each member of the Council of Elders signs a statement that affirms his commitment to our fundamental beliefs.

These safeguards mean that neither the Council nor administration have the power to change

Now the above statements are interesting as they do allow for changes that it has not defined as fundamental.  The reality is that it has made many changes.  Here is a list of some changes (as well as simply differences from the Living Church of God) I put together that are in the article Differences between the Living Church of God and United Church of God:

1. Broadcast Media and Doing a Work
2. Handling Income Surpluses in 2001
3. Size: Elders, Churches, and Feast Sites
4. Gospel
5. Third Tithe
6. Church Eras
7. Laodicea
8. Philadelphia
9. Petra
10. Who Will Be Protected?
11. Iran: Possible King of the South
12. Herbert W. Armstrong–Elijah
13. Birthdays
14. Born Again
15. Disasters
16. Miracles
17. Voting
18. Jury Duty
19. 18 Truths
20. Last Great Day
21. Unleavened Bread
22. Holidays
23. Catholic or Moslem Europe?
24. Doctrinal Changes
25. Approaches to Prophecy: When is the End? Should it be a major concern?
26. Collapse of US Dollar
27. Governance
28. Mission/Why Are They There
29. Brief Financial Comparison of US Income

Now I will grant that UCG made changes to government at the time of its formation in 1995, but the many of the other changes basically show how it differs from those taught when much of its leadership was part of  Herbert W. Armstrong’s old Worldwide Church of God as well as how UCG differs from the current Living Church of God.

Quotes from UCG on each of the 29 is in the article Differences between the Living Church of God and United Church of God.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Attending the Church of Choice This article discusses whose choice is important to worship God; should you attend the church of your choice or the church of God’s choice?
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?
Should a Christian Vote? This article gives some of the Biblical rationale on this subject. Would Jesus vote for president/prime minister? Is voting in the Bible? This is a subject Christians need to understand.
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 (COGWA) 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. and is the subject of Revelation 3:7-13. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now basically the Living 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.

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