Why The Church? WCG’s J. Tkach Gets A Couple of Points Right

 TRANSFORMED FROM TRUTHWorldwide Church of God Transformed from Truth to Fairy Tales


This morning, WCG sent out an email that linked the following written by its J. Tkach.  Instead of quoting where he gets the specifics wrong, here are some selective quotes of what he got at least partially correct:

Not long ago I was sitting in an airport lounge...

The couple seated next to me…told me they believed in Jesus, but that they just did not want to be part of organized religion.

I could not resist asking if they preferred to be part of disorganized religion. We all laughed, but their interest was piqued, and one of them asked me: “Why should I be part of a church?”

I told them that being in relationship with God includes being in relationship with other Christians. I shared our church motto with them – “Living and Sharing the Gospel.” And I went on to explain that our motto doesn’t mean we knock on people’s doors or interrupt them on the street to force our views down their throats. Rather, “Living and Sharing the Gospel” reminds us that Jesus lives in us and that our lives are to be a reflection to others of God’s love…

Sin certainly needs to be addressed…

Ephesians 5:1-2 says: “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”  (NIV).

Of course, he left various things out and specifically indicated that one did not actually have to live according to God’s rules–even though “sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4).  Also if  if one actually were to love God and imitate God, one would keep the commandments according to what Jesus taught:

If you love Me, keep My commandments (John 14:15). 

But the main reason for bringing this up is to remind people that the Bible shows that you really are not supposed to be “independent Christians”.

Notice what the Book of Hebrews teaches:

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:24-25).

Those who understand biblical prophecy realize that Zephaniah warns people in the last days not to be “independent”.  Notice:

Gather yourselves together, yes, gather together,
O undesirable nation, 
Before the decree is issued,
Or the day passes like chaff,
Before the LORD’s fierce anger comes upon you,
Before the day of the LORD’s anger comes upon you! 
Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth,
Who have upheld His justice.
Seek righteousness, seek humility.
It may be that you will be hidden
In the day of the LORD’s anger (Zephaniah 2:1-3).

Thus, those who hope to be protected from a variety of negative end-time events are being told NOT TO BE INDEPENDENT, but to GATHER TOGETHER BEFORE the decree is issued–which means those who think that they will simply get protection at the last minute without being gathered together would seem to not be among those who “will be hidden in the day of the LORD’s anger”.  More about protection can be found in the article There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra.

Furthermore, Herbert W. Armstrong wrote that the first “purpose of the Church” was to proclaim:

…the coming kingdom of God to the world… The ‘loner’-the individual Christian’ who wants to climb up into the kingdom some other way than by Christ and His way through His Church-is not being trained in Christ’s manner of training, to rule and reign with Christ in his kingdom!… The person who says, ‘I will get my salvation alone, outside of the Church’ is totally deceived (Mystery of the Ages. 1985, p. 270).

Herbert W. Armstrong asked,

Is the Church of God merely a scattered, isolated, number of professing Christians, each going his own way to get out the Gospel – or, as many believe, to get his personal salvation and eternal life? (The Incredible Human Potential. 1978. p.123).

Sadly, a lot of people today seem to think so. Of course, since we seem to be living in the time of the Laodicean Church era, this was expected.

Here is how Herbert W. Armstrong answered the question he asked:

“The Church…It is not only a spiritual organism – it is a well-organized physical organization! Notice I Corinthians 12: …brethren I would not have you ignorant (I Cor. 12:1). But now are they many members, yet but one body (verse 20.)

And it is a well-organized body (verses 4-6, 11-12): Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all… But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For the body is one–united, organized into cooperative team-work – not scattered individuals, each claiming to serve God in his own way!

Continuing: For… the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one spirit are we all baptized into one body… That there should be no schism [division] in the body; but that the members should have the same care [that is, outgoing concern and love] one for another (verses 12-13, 25).

Continuing: And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

Now back to Ephesians. What about the member who goes out of the Church, to have his own relationship with Christ – to GET his own salvation? He is outside the body of Christ!

Notice, again, the “household of God” – the Church – is built upon a foundation. Would one build a building on a foundation of shifting sand? God’s Church is built upon the foundation of the apostles [the New Testament], and prophets [Old Testament, whose prophecies are for us today (I Cor. 1O:11)], Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone(Eph. 2:19-20).

How well organized?

In whom all the building [the Church]fitly framed together, groweth into an holy temple in the Lord.” (verse 21.)

Further: From the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love(Eph. 4:16).

Yes, Christ organized His Church.

And his gifts were, that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers(Eph.4:11, RSV) [continuing in KJV:] For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ(Eph. 4:12-13).

What about a single member, “a joint, or part,” going off by itself – or following a man instead of the Church of God that is in direct continuous succession from the apostolic Church founded by Christ, in A.D.31? He is like a joint or a piece of wood or stone, entirely outside of, and therefore no part of the body of Christ that shall marry Christ! (The Incredible Human Potential. 1978. pp.123,124-125). “

Thus it is clear that Herbert W. Armstrong did not believe members should be independent or part of small groups.

Please do not be “transformed FROM truth” yourself.  Please study into to this to see that these things are so.

Several articles of possibly related interest may include:

Independent Members of the COG: Herbert W. Armstrong Comments, Plus Questions and Answers What did Herbert W. Armstrong teach about being independent of the organized Church? Should independents who claim to accept Herbert W. Armstrong’s teachings be part of LCG?
Being Separate: What Did Herbert W. Armstrong and the Bible Teach About Where Not to Fellowship? Some believe that it is acceptable to attend groups called COG, but who are not actually. What did Herbert W. Armstrong and the Bible teach about this.
Getting the Gospel Out is More than a Local Job Discusses Biblical rationale for doing an international, and not just a local, work.
How Much Did You Cost? Some have complained that the total costs spent to proclaim the gospel as a witness is too high since it does not (in their opinion) result in enough conversions. Is that how God sees it?
The Temple and the Work This article discusses the two temples of the Old Testament and gives insight as to their possible relevance to the situation which has impacted the Church during this past decade or so.
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?
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?
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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