As a young person in high school I began listening to The World Tomorrow broadcast of the Worldwide Church of God. Herbert W. Armstrong and his son, Garner Ted Armstrong, said many things that made sense.
For example, they indicated that Jesus spoke in parables or stories to hide his meaning from the crowds. He did not want to make his meaning clear. They said that most of Christianity claimed just the opposite--that the stories he used helped make his meaning clear. The information they offered was knowledge that most people did not have.
Their style of presentation left me wanting to hear more. Just like being hooked on modern TV soap operas, I looked forward to hearing each broadcast.
I subscribed to their magazine, The Plain Truth, to get more of this "insider" information.
Eventually I became a baptized member of the church and began attending church on the Sabbath and took off work to attend "God's annual holy days".
Many of the "old" Worldwide Church of God's beliefs revolved around the Old Covenant and Jewish beliefs. Here are some of the "old" beliefs:
I enjoyed listening to short wave radio broadcasts from foreign countries. The propaganda of various government stations was interesting to hear, especially Radio Havana, Cuba during the Vietnam conflict.
After some time I began listening to Dr. Gene Scott on short wave. I enjoyed his scholarly and in depth presentation of Biblical topics. He presented a different message about the grace of God than I heard in the Worldwide Church of God under Herbert W. Armstrong. I began to embrace this understanding of grace.
In time, Herbert W. Armstrong died and Joseph W. Tkatch took over the reigns of the church. He came to see that Mr. Armstrong's teachings were not in keeping with the New Testament. A video of one of his sermons was shown to every congregation. He indicated that beliefs such as tithing, clean and unclean meats, and the holy days were specific to the Old Covenant and were not pertinent to the New Covenant.
After that video I literally felt a weight lift from my back. It was a refreshing, uplifting feeling to know that grace and freedom from Old Covenant laws was being discovered by ministers at the Pasadena "headquarters".
Others, however, were bewildered by this new, divergent teaching. It seemed to place a weight on their shoulders. I remember one person asking, "Well, what do you think of that?"
As additional teachings came out of the Pasadena headquarters that transitioned from "old" beliefs to more traditional Christian doctrines, the dissatisfaction of many members grew.
As the scope of this reformation grew so did the dissatisfaction of many old-time members. Slowly, over time unhappy members left to form splinter groups, then the splinter groups split again until there are now more than a hundred church organizations that are composed of former Worldwide Church of God members. Perhaps a third of the old Worldwide Church of God members remain.
Though I am no longer in the Worldwide Church of God, I remember with fondness the members struggling to learn about and adhere to more accurate teachings of Jesus.
I constructed this site as an effort to help others who are caught up in a non-Christian cult. I hope they can use some information on this site to help them embrace the grace of Jesus Christ and to realize the freedom he brought us.
I welcome your comments:
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