Subtle Change at CGG

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 (Matthew 24:14).


This morning, I noticed that at John Ritenbaugh’s Church of the Great God (CGG), that one subject at its last elder’s conference was public proclamation of the Gospel.  Notice the following statement:

…David Grabbe updated them on CGG’s efforts to preach the gospel and feed the flock through its Internet sites and email newsletters.

And while that certainly should be an important topic, this was a surprise as CGG has tended to minimize this subject in the past.

For example, notice what John Ritenbaugh published in 1993:

Feeding the flock was always the first function of the priesthood of the Old Covenant church, and continues as the first function of the ministry of the New Covenant church…

A subtle danger lurks when preaching the gospel to the world is the main focus…

I have repeatedly said that I am not against preaching the gospel to the world. However, apart from brief historical spurts, it has always been secondary to feeding the flock. It must be…

God does not seem to be blessing the attempts of others to preach to the world. Maybe the next effective public preaching will be that of the Two Witnesses” (Ritenbaugh J. Statement of Purpose. Forerunner magazine, June 1993).

It should be noted that Matthew 24:14 is supposed to be fulfilled BEFORE the arrival of the two witnesses.

Also, notice the following, first from around 2006:

How do CGG’s beliefs and practices differ from what Herbert Armstrong taught and practiced?

Very little, although we have made a few refinements, which are listed below:
We seek more input from the membership than was the practice of the WCG in times past…

Compare that to what is stated this 13th of April 2008:

How do CGG’s beliefs and practices differ from what Herbert Armstrong taught and practiced?

Very little, although we have made a few refinements, which are listed below:

We place a greater emphasis on “feeding the flock,” that is, instructing our members in “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). We proclaim the same gospel of the Kingdom of God that Jesus did (Mark 1:14-15), primarily through our various Internet sites…

Thus, CGG is finally realizing that it needs to do more with public proclamation than it did originally.  This subtle change is good, but in my opinion, it has not gone far enough.

In that respect, CGG is similar to David Pack’s RCG as he also originally did not believe that public proclamation should be the top priority (he listed it as third), but then later decided that the Internet was a place for his group to try to have some type of public impact (for details, please see the article Why Not the Restored Church of God?).

This morning, Quantcast reported the following about CGG:

  • US Reach: 26,662

  • Rank: 62235

To put that in perspective, Quancast reported the following about the COGwriter website this morning:

  • US Reach: 22,337

  • Rank: 72313

And while those numbers are similar, I am simply a lone member of LCG, and mine is NOT one of its official websites.  LCG itself has several official websites, and Quantcast ranked its Tomorrow’s World website this morning as follows:

  • US Reach: 58,652

  • Rank: 31503
  • So, while it is good that CGG is wakening up to the fact that it needs to do public proclamation, its total impact seems to be limited.  And, unlike LCG, CGG does NOT maintain a strong television, magazine, nor even radio presence. 

    CGG simply does not have a Philadelphian work, but now its work is not as “cold” as it once was.

    Several articles of possibly related interest may include:

    Church of the Great God This group says the bride must first be made ready. Might this lead to a selfish bride?
    The Laodicean Church Era was predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. Non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.
    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 Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about? True religion should be based upon the true gospel.
    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.
    There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God? This is an article for those who wish to easily sort out the different COGs. It really should be a MUST READ for current and former WCG members or any interested in supporting the faithful church. It also explains a lot of what the COGs are all about.

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