Shake-ups at COGaIC and the bigger vision


Over the past couple of weeks, I received some questions and emails about shake-ups happening at the group called Church of God, an International Community (COGaIC).  For those unfamiliar with it, COGaIC was founded in 1998 by one-time WCG evangelist David Hulme once he failed to be re-elected as president of the United Church of God (UCG).

It has been reported that Steven Andrews, Peter Nathan, and other leaders in COGaIC left because they tend to feel that David Hulme misunderstands governance and apparently is too autocratic for them.  Some have also apparently raised concerns about lack of effective gospel proclamation efforts there.

What I would state here is that my original concern about COGaIC, which I told one of its supporters in 1998, was that I felt that David Hulme misunderstood proper church governance and did not seem to have the right priorities when it came to gospel proclamation (Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20).  I did not consider that it had the right vision, in terms of being Philadelphian, that the most faithful in the Church of God should have.  Sadly, events since its formation have tended to confirm this.

Someone I knew who went with in 1998 COGaIC told me that he felt that COGaIC would do better than other groups with public proclamation over the internet.  But that simply has not been the case.  According to the independent international internet popularity ranker Alexa, this morning COGaIC’s main website ( has an Alexa ranking of 846,369.  The Continuing Church of God (CCOG) has two websites that are more popular than any that COGaIC has.  And since this morning’s Alexa ranking of is 102,938, this suggests that CCOG-related websites are approximately 15-30 times more effective than COGaIC in internet reach.

COGaIC also has a magazine actually called Vision as apparently its main printed public proclamation tool.  While apparently intended to be targeted towards a more ‘intellectual audience,’ I have found that it seems very, very light when it comes to biblical doctrine and prophecy.  It has tended to lack prophetic and other biblical vision in my view–plus it has seemed to ignore Isaiah 58:1 about crying out against sin. etc.

David Hulme, himself, has an internet blog called Causes of Conflict: Thoughts on Religion, Identity and the Middle East. There was a one-line sentence posted on November 13, 2010 and then nothing until December 18, 2012.  Apparently the “Arab Spring,” Middle East protests, Iran, Israel, Syria, and the governmental changes during that time were not to the level for him to provide his thoughts and comments (I should perhaps add that David Hulme sometimes will tweet via Twitter an article on the Middle East from secular sources, and has made 4 posts in his blog during 2013). This lack of detailed coverage, however, is all the more puzzling as David Hulme is still referred to at the Vision website as “Middle East scholar David Hulme.”  At the Church of God News page which is what I write, I average 3 news posts per day–so his lack of attention to what is supposed to be his specialty has been a concern I have had about him.

All should be “zealous” as Jesus said in Revelation 3:19 and not be satisfied with something less than a Philadelphia type of work and Philadelphia form of church governance (see also Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel?).  Although COGaIC has a magazine called ‘Vision,’ when it comes to gospel proclamation, its vision has not been particularly effective.

It is my hope and prayer that any that are or were in COGaIC will carefully and prayerfully consider what has been happening.  It is my prayer that any who may be Philadelphian will decide to uphold Philadelphia-era standards on doctrine, prophecy, governance, love, and public proclamation.  Do you have the bigger vision?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Church of God, an International Community (COG aic) This is the group led by David Hulme. It seems to minimize parts of biblical prophecy and be restrictive on doctrinal statements.
Is There A Future King of the South? Some no longer believe there needs to be. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? Might this King be called the Mahdi? What does the Bible say?
The Arab and Islamic World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy The Bible discusses the origins of the Arab world and discusses the Middle East in prophecy. What is ahead for the Middle East and those who follow Islam? What about the Imam Mahdi? What lies ahead for Turkey, Iran, and the other non-Arabic Muslims?
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? What are some of the scriptural limits on ecclesiastical authority? Do some commit organizational idolatry? Here is a Spanish language version La Biblia, Policarpo, Herbert W. Armstrong, Roderick C. Meredith, y Bob Thiel sobre el gobierno de la Iglesia. Here is a link to a sermon titled Church Governance.
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: What about the Living Church of God? This is an article for those who wish to more easily sort out the different COGs.
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?
What is a True Philadelphian? Many claim to be part of the Philadelphia era of the Church, but is claiming enough? This article has biblical and historical evidence about who really are the Philadelphians.
The 18 Restored Truths: Do You Know What the First Changes the Tkach Administration Made? Some have said healing, others other subjects, but probably the first change had to do with eliminating being part of the Philadelphia era. This article documents what those changes were and compares the Tkach list of restored truths to Herbert W. Armstrong’s list of restored truths. It contains many quotes from Herbert W. Armstrong.
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 who hold to the beliefs and practices 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.

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