Banned condemns COGWA’s advice not to marry unbelievers

Newlywed Couple and supporters (Jean-Pierre Dalbéra)


The anti-COG site, Banned by HWA has condemned COGWA for advising people not to marry unbelievers:

COGWA: Christians Should Be Considered Unbelievers If Looking To Marry Outside COGWA

One of the great myths of Armstrongism is that COG “believers” are special and set apart from the rest of Christianity. The rest of Christianity apparently is too stupid to understand God, Christ, and scriptures unlike COG sects located here and there in the United States. … none of these groups are in a position to tell members who they can or cannot marry.

In an article on whether a COGWA member should marry outside the COGWA belief system there was this:

What, then, is an unbeliever? In brief, an unbeliever is the opposite of the person above. Regardless of his academic knowledge of Bible instruction, he does not believe the truth and does not follow Christ with commitment and action. Again, the Scriptures must be our guide.

John 3:36: “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

Acts 14:2: “But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren” (emphasis added throughout).

Romans 4:20: “He [Abraham] did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,”

1 Timothy 1:13: “Although I [Paul] was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.”

Hebrews 3:12: “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.”

Unbelief is thus described as a lack of belief or faith in God and His Son Jesus Christ. An unbeliever will not always worship idols or be hostile to God, but may simply not know or believe God and His truth. What about the millions today who “believe” in Christ? There is more to being a believer than just claiming the name of Jesus—one has to understand and follow Jesus, as preached by the apostles. Notice Paul’s words:

2 Corinthians 11:4: “For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!”

Today many preach “another Jesus”—for example, one who came to abolish God’s law by “nailing it to the cross.” Those in God’s Church are begotten through faith in the gospel of Christ, while others are attracted to a gospel about Christ. The point is that a person who does not share that same belief in (understanding and desire to obey) Jesus is not spirituallycompatible with one who is a believer. So a professing “Christian” is not necessarily a believer in biblical terms. Only those who are called by God can become believers (John 6:44). Marrying Within The Faith

While normally I would not have gotten involved with this type of matter here, the marriage post was of interest as I added the following this afternoon to my article on the Thyatira Church Era before I saw the Banned condemnation:

Notice also:

Monsignor de Vigne, 40 years a Waldensian pastor says, ‘We live in peace and harmony with one another, having intercourse and dealings chiefly among ourselves, never having mingled ourselves with the members of the church of Rome by marrying our sons to their daughters nor their sons to our daughters.’ (Blackwell D. A HANDBOOK OF CHURCH HISTORY. A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the Ambassador College Graduate School of Theology, April 1973, p. 151).

Waldenses … They were acquainted with French, so far as was needed for understanding the Bible and the singing of Psalms. (Cook H, et al. The true psalmody; or, The Bible psalms the Church’s only manual of praise. J. Gemmel, 1883, p. 117)

So, certain doctrines consistent with those of the Church of God were held by some of the Waldensians: We in the Continuing Church of God do not authorize our ministers to marry people outside the faith and our Bible Hymnal is mainly from the Book of Psalms.

Yes, throughout history, those with COG doctrines were separate from those without them and were opposed to marriage outside the COG.

That being said, no, we in the CCOG do not consider that Greco-Roman-Protestants are stupid at all. But we believe that if God was calling them in this age, they would become COG (see also Is God Calling You?).

Nor do we in the CCOG practice Armstrongism, which is a pejorative term from those who do not wish to practice original Christianity in this century.

That being said, many have questions about dating and marriage.

The Continuing Church of God put together the following animation related to dating:

Should a first date be between two experienced pickup artists interested in fornication? Or should it be between a man and a woman who would like to actually know each other better? Does the Bible give any guidelines that Christians who date should pay attention to? If so, what are some? This brief animation shows a worldly pickup date at a bar, and an inelegant, but appropriate request for a date in a more open environment. Dating should be fun and involve communication, and not regrets. So, check out our animation on worldly vs. Christian dating. A free online book with more information on dating is available and titled: Dating: A Key to Success in Marriage, a practical guide for Christians.

Here is a link to our video: First Date: Worldly vs. Christian.

The Continuing Church of God also has this sermon from its ContinuingCOG channel:


Dating is a key to success in marriage. Should Christians have different dating standards than those who are not real Christians? How are men and women different? Can people fall in love? What should people do on a date? What about getting physical? Who should pay for the date? What should a man expect from a date? What should a woman expect from a date? What should be the authority for morals? What should a date be like? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more. This is part one of a two-part series.

Here is a link to the sermon: The Art of Christian Dating. Here is the second part:


This is the second part of a two-part sermon on dating for Christians. In it, Dr. Thiel covers subjects such as what do you do if there is no one to date, if Christians can date or marry someone not part of the Continuing Church of God, dating for marriage, and pre-engagement counseling. He also provides answers to questions that teens have had about dating. He goes into the use of ‘social media’, avoidance of trolling, sexting, and some other matters somewhat unique to the 21st century. Dr. Thiel goes over factors such as cultural, racial, financial, age, mental, education, family, and other factors Christians should consider. He also discusses dating for those who have been married before, as well as if married couples should still date.

Here is a link to the sermon: No One to Date? Teen Q&A? Engagement? 2nd Marriage?

We also have the following sermon on marriage:

God created marriage, but many do not seem to know how to make their marriages work. How are men and women different? What should happen in the first year of marriage? What about love and selfishness? Why are there divorces? What can be done to make your marriage work? Why is there marriage? Is marriage part of a God-plane relationship? In addition to going over scriptures, Dr. Thiel goes over a list of five ways to rebuild your marriage and a list of eleven keys to a happier marriage. You can make your marriage work if you truly have faith and believe God. A related written article is titled: Making Your Marriage Work.

Here is a link to the video sermon: You Can Make YOUR Marriage Work.

Having been married for over 39 years, I agree that those in the COG should only marry someone else in a COG.

COGWA should not be criticized for that.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Is God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is a link to a related sermon: Could God be Calling You? A short animation is also available: Is God Calling You?
What is Armstrongism? Did Herbert W. Armstrong raise a new faith or promote the original Christian faith? Here is a link to a related video: What is Armstrongism? Are Some Dismissive of Original Christianity?
Making Your Marriage Work Marriage is not also easy, but it pictures a divine relationship. How can you make your marriage work? Here is a link to the video sermon: You Can Make YOUR Marriage Work.
Here’s the Plain Truth About OLD TESTAMENT POLYGAMY by Herbert Armstrong. Here is a related article in the Spanish language: ¿Es la poligamia una senda de Dios?
Love, Marriage, and Sex It is important to get them in the right order.
Husbands Love Your Wives An article written by the late Selmer Hegvold.
Ceremonies: Marriage, Funeral, Baptismal, and Laying on Hands Called ‘sacraments’ by some groups, what are the ceremonies in the Bible that Christians may be involved in? A related sermon is available online and is titled: Church of God Ceremonies.
The Bible Condemns Homosexuality “Same-sex marriage” for “gays” and lesbians is becoming more acceptable to many. What does the Bible teach about homosexuality? Can homosexuals change? A related video sermon is titled What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?
Pornography: A scourge on society Is pornography harmless fun? Does the Bible teach anything about it? What are the views of some involved with it? A related sermons is titled: Pornography, False Comfort, and False Religion. Here a shorter YouTube video Pornography: Harmless Fun or a Scourge on Society?
Five Rules for Effective Parenting Do you know that there are five simple rules that can make you a more effective parent? There is also a 12 1/2 minute YouTube video on this, also titled Five Rules for Effective Parenting.
What Psychologists do not Know About Child Rearing This is an article by Herbert Armstrong that was used as the introduction to the pdf booklet The Plain Truth About Child Rearing.
The Plain Truth About Child Rearing This is a pdf booklet that the old WCG put out.
The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught? For a more detailed discussion of the first four commandments, please see the video The Ten Commandments: Loving God. For a more detailed discussion of the last six commandments, please see: The Ten Commandments: Loving Your Neighbor. Here is a link to a related article in Mandarin Chinese 十条诫命显示爱,违反诫命的就是邪恶的
Was the Commandment to Love the Only Command? Some have stated that John’s writings teach this, but is that what the Bible really says?
The Ten Commandments and the Early Church Did Jesus and the Early Church keep the ten commandments? What order were they in? Here are quotes from the Bible and early writings. A related sermon is titled: Christians and the Ten Commandments.
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how early professors of Christ viewed them, and how various ones, including the Beast of Revelation, will oppose them. A related sermon is titled: The Ten Commandments and the Beast of Revelation.

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