Most will be aware of the changes that have taken place in the Worldwide Church of God. As an organisation, we have been cautious but not hostile. We have no doubt that cultish doctrines had been discarded and no doubt that some if not all the American leadership came to know Jesus Christ as their personal saviour. However, the question that needs to be answered is, “how far do the changes go?”
The change to their statement of faith is reflected in the fact that they have now, rightly, been accepted as members of the Evangelical Alliance. This of course indicates a change of belief on paper but, it seems to us, that there are still three types of people within the Worldwide Church of God.
1. Those who have really found Christ as their saviour.
2. Those who have had a change of head doctrine but not heart doctrine.
3. Those who are still fighting a rear guard action to hold on to some of the old ways.
We believe we need to know which group we are dealing with in our area. If they come under 1 above then there are no problems, but the others could give some cause for concern in certain circumstances, such as evangelistic outreach.
This change means that we no longer distribute our notes, which reflected the position in the church several months, if not, years ago. It is also true that many other denominations will have people in category 2 above, but we do not call them a cult; it is simply something that we need to be aware of.
Beyond this we conducted an interview with John Halford Editor of Plain Truth and Regional Director for the church, to find out how he sees things. This can be seen by clicking the link below.
While mentioning the Plain Truth magazine, please be aware that since 2003 it is not longer published by the Worldwide Church of God although John Halford is still the Editor. It is run by an independent charity that:
“… is a non-denominational magazine, aimed at readers of all faiths – or none – to inform or educate them on issues affecting everyday lives from a Christian perspective.”
Our only regret, as we have told John, is that they kept the same name and still say in every magazine, “The Plain Truth began publication in 1934.” Thus, they link it back to the heretical doctrines of Armstrong, without any explanation that things have changed.
In the end, each one of us must make our own decisions as to which category a local group comes into, but above everything else, I would encourage those who feel able to reach out to any local groups. Talk with them to see what they believe today and find out just where they are on the scale of change.
For the interview press INTERVIEW