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All Brethren are invited to our Sabbath service on March 31st at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Tennessee, located at 212 McClellan Rd. Please come to worship God and meet new friends in Christ.
Speakers will be Ray Bankston (Last Ages Church of God), Dwayne Hopper (independent) and Ray Wooten (United Christian Ministries). A potluck supper will follow. Let us honor God by meeting together and putting aside our differences on this Sabbath day. For more information contact: Ray Bankston, 901-549-9643; Bill Shults, 901-427-8099; Joe Shafer, 901-427-1255
You can listen to United Christian Ministries services anywhere in the USA by calling 1-918-222-7424 at 2 PM Eastern, 1 PM Central, 12 Noon Mountain or 11 AM Pacific Time. Enter the code 3325 to be connected.
The IBLC will sponsor another Women’s Conference during 2001 to provide women with an opportunity to relax, gain new insights on Christian living, and make new friends. This year the conference will take place at a larger facility and will also include a full series of seminars and activities designed for girls aged 10-17. Women are encouraged to make the event a special mother-daughter outing.
During Women’s Conference 2000, attendees focused on the valuable role they have held within the Sabbatarian community and their responsibility to teach the younger women of the church. The theme for Women’s Conference 2001 will be Grace under Pressure: Meeting the Challenges of an Imperfect World.
The purpose of Women’s Confer-ence 2001 will be to share experiences and receive practical advice on how to meet life’s challenges and still retain a sense of balance, equanimity, and spiritual well-being.
The conference will kick off at 7:30p.m. on Friday evening with a reception, get-acquainted activities, and special Sabbath music presentation. Seminars will begin at 10a.m. on Sabbath morning, lasting until 5p.m. After dinner on Saturday evening, attendees will enjoy a social with door prizes. On Sunday morning, the conference will include open forum discussions on dealing with problems such as physical and mental illness, aging parents, divorce, and alcoholism. This will provide an opportunity for the attendees to share their own learning experiences.
The conference will be held June 8–10 at the elegant Omni Hotel, Park West, 1590 LBJ Fwy. Dallas, TX. The beautifully appointed hotel features amenities such as spacious rooms with refrigerators, jogging trail, outdoor heated pool, on-site exercise room, and the state-of-the-art Texas Learning Center, where the seminars are scheduled to be held. The Texas Learning Center, which seats 300, is one of only two such specially equipped conference centers in the Dallas area.
Conference fees for women 18 and over will be $65; for girls 10-17 the fee will be $50. This fee covers admission to conference seminars, all activities, conference materials, a gift bag, and snacks; breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Sabbath, June 9th, and breakfast on Sunday, June 10th. After April 30, all conference fees will increase by $20 per person, so register early!
This year, hotel reservations must be made separately. To reserve a room, call the Omni Hotel—Park West at 972/869-4300 and ask for the IBLC Women’s Conference 2001 event rate. Cost is a discounted rate of $69 (plus tax) per room per night for 1-4 occupants. This rate must be guaranteed by a credit card or advance payment and is in effect only until May 28, 2001. The Omni has a 48-hour cancellation notice.
Once again, IBLC encourages local congregations to financially sponsor deserving women who would otherwise not be able to attend the conference. Already congregations in various states are lining up their resources.
For more information or a registration form, call IBLC toll-free at 877/444-IBLC or 972/492-3305; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Equal to Serve, a dynamic conference for Christian Women is scheduled for Friday through Sunday, May 25, 26, 27, 2001, Pentecost/Memorial Day weekend, in Atlanta, Georgia. Pastor John H. Currier describes the purpose of the conference as seeking to empower and encourage Christian women to use all the spiritual gifts that God has given them. He explained:
For hundreds of years the misunderstanding of Paul’s words has limited Christian women. Are women allowed to give Bible studies, teach, preach, anoint, prophesy, exhort, comfort, and use any and all Spiritual Gifts that God may give? Are there examples in the Bible of women doing any of these things? Did Christ preach and teach against women participating? Does God consider women “second class” Christians? In Matthew 28:19-20, does it say that only men are to follow Christ’s instructions? Come and hear what Christ really has in mind for women!
Dianne McDonnell, pastor of The Church of God, Dallas-Fort Worth, adds that the conference will be:
• Biblically based, and dedicated to helping each woman discover and develop her full potential!
• A time to learn to serve enthusiastically and well, in whatever role Jesus Christ has called you.
• Featuring guest speakers who will cut through the prejudiced traditions that have bound women and prevented them from growing into the full calling that Christ has given them.
The conference will be sponsored by the Church of God, Dallas-Fort Worth and the Douglasville Community Church in the Atlanta area, and will be held at the Ramada Inn Six Flags at Atlanta, call 404-691-4100 for reservations, and mention the “Equal to Serve” Conference. Both men and women are welcome. There will be a registration fee of $20.00 per person. To register, or for further information contact The Church of God, Dallas-Fort Worth, P. O. Box 152544, Arlington, TX 76015, or call 972-601-9032 ext 3777 or 770-947-9080. Information is on the church web site: www.ChurchofGodDFW.com
—John Currier & Dianne McDonnell
Persecution of Christians around the world is at an historic and all-time high. While there is great cause for concern for their plight, one thing we can be quite confident of is that the Christian religion will live on. Christianity has outlived every tyrannical regime, stretching from the Roman Empire, to the Soviet Union. It will also outlive the murderous Islamic regime of Sudan, and the totalitarian Communist oligarchy of China.
History has repeatedly shown that brutally attacking the Christian, whether through imprisonment, torture, or execution, has never served to undermine faith. Persecution only serves to strengthen the Christian faith.
Every time in history, and in every culture, when Christianity has been assailed, the faith of its victims is bolstered, and the gospel then spreads like a wild fire. A contemporary example of this is China, where perhaps the greatest expansion of the gospel in history is taking place, under the constant harassment of a brutal Communist regime.
Modern enemies of the church are not altogether ignorant of this phenomena, and at least some have recognized that much more effective means are available for curtailing the expansion of Christ’s kingdom.
In his seminal treatise on the political doctrine of the separation of government powers, The Spirit Of the Laws (1748), Montesquieu notes:
Therefore, one does not succeed in detaching the soul from religion by filling it with this great object, by bringing it closer to the moment when it should find religion of greater importance. A more certain way to attack religion is by favor, by the comforts of life, by the hope of wealth; not by what reminds one of it, but by what makes one forget it; not by what makes one indignant, but by what makes men lukewarm, when other passions act on our souls, and those which religion inspires are silent. In the matter of changing religion, State favors are stronger than penalties.
This is precisely the formula that has been followed by our own government, in recent years, as it grows ever more hostile toward Christian values. Rather than attack Christianity through various “penalties”, the modern method is to render the church “lukewarm” by doling out “State favors”. The most prominent of “favors” today is the tax-exempt license. But in reality, the granting of a tax exemption to the church is a monumental con job.
Churches are not merely “exempt” from taxation because they make application to the IRS for that legal “privilege”, they are non-taxable because of the First Amendment. It’s a matter of jurisdiction. The government may only tax that which it has jurisdiction over.
Interestingly enough, even the IRS acknowledges that churches are tax-exempt and tax-deductible without ever applying for that status. In their words, it’s “automatic” (Pub. 557 and IRC Sec. 508). Furthermore, contributions to churches are also “automatically” tax deductible (Pub. 526). Why then do churches subordinate themselves to the IRS, and thereby waive many important constitutionally guaranteed rights? Why do they agree to the numerous restrictions imposed on them by the 501c3 status? Certainly not because they were well informed. It only happens out of ignorance.
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hos 4:6).
Many a preacher is getting fed up with having their tax-exempt status held over their head, and used as a mechanism for restricting their speech. The 501c3 is a huge liability to all but the most politically correct of churches.
Churches generally organize as 501c3 at the advice of their attorney; but those who did so only got one side of the story. Just wait until you hear “the rest of the story.”
Looking for some real freedom to speak to the vital issues of the day? Then you definitely won’t want to miss the National Unlicensed Church Conference, April 16-17 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. For more information on the conference, call 262-675-2804, or on the internet, go to: www.mercyseat.net
For materials on how to unlicense your church, or to organize a “free-church”, call 417-337-7533, ext. 1, or on the internet, go to: www.hushmoney.org.
You may also request to have a conference brochure e-mailed to you by e-mailing: email@example.com
— Peter Kershaw
Conference topics include: Unlicensed Clergy: America’s True Founding
Fathers; Is Christ or Caesar Sovereign Over the Church?; Tax-exempt or Non-taxable?;
Corporate Limited Liability: A Misguided Idea for Churches; Organizing a Free-Church
or a Free-Ministry, Dissolving the Corporation; Terminating the 501c3; Dumping
the Tax ID Number; Banking w/o an EIN or SSN; Holding Church Assets, Ministers
Are Marriage Licenses Biblical?; Marriage w/o the State License; Zoning/Building Code Issues; Preaching w/o a License, Social Security: Contrary to God’s Way; Occupying for Righteousness; Question and Answer Session.
Many attending the conference may believe in Sunday-keeping, church hierarchy, and other doctrines not held by Servants’ News readers. But this is the best source of information that I know of about operating congregations and ministries like the first century church did. Brochures are also available from Servants’ News. — NSE
The theme of this Sabbath Conference is The Hebraic Roots of the Advent Faith. It will be held at Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, May 25-27, 2001. Many doctrines thought to be distinct to Adventism actually have their roots in Hebraic teaching and traditions. Foremost among these distinctive truths that resonate uniquely with Biblical Hebrew concepts are the Sabbath and Sanctuary truths. The unfolding of these areas of truth have led many Adventists to a greater appreciation of the Hebrew roots of our faith. The inculcating of Biblically Jewish celebration of the Sabbath and the festivals have enriched our understanding of our faith and the plan of salvation.
Many are discovering that the ante-Nicean church maintained a substantially Hebraic approach in worship and doctrine that has since been buried under the anti-Judaism of post Nicean Christianity. This has resulted in a distinctly anti-Judaic bias that is most visibly symbolized by the church's abrogation of Sabbath holiness for Sunday sacredness.
This Sabbath conference is convened to celebrate the Hebrew roots of our teachings and the restoration of the primitive faith and practice of the apostolic church which is prerequisite to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in these last days. When properly understood and practiced these elements will provide a powerful witness to the proclaiming of the Sabbath more fully.
This conference will coincide with the date of what many believe to be the Biblical Day of Pentecost.
The program for this conference is still in the planning stages. Andrews University will provide a web presence for this conference as well as arrange for the registration of participants. We hope to have the programming details finalized very soon, but we wanted to release this notice to enable those interested to mark your calendars and to plan accordingly.
In His Service,
— Dr. Sidney L. Davis, Jr.
proclaiming the Sabbath more fully
[I believe the main value of these conferences is two-fold: They help those attending to realize that there is not just one group in the world with all truth, but that truth has been learned and preserved by a variety of groups, and the Eternal works with whom He will. One of the greatest impediments to learning is being a member of a group that “has a doctrinal explanation for all of the necessary truth of the Bible”. Secondly, conferences are a great place to meet and learn from other believers. —NSE]
The biblestudy.org web site has added a music page (go there directly: www.biblestudy.org/music). It contains old Christian standards, modern Christian music (some by Sabbatarians) and classical standards. Sheet music is available for some selections. These are all available for download—there are no copyright problems. There are links to other music sites.
The Western World is divided between two opposing worldviews: that of the relativistic M’n-M culture (the culture of materialism and meaningless) and that deriving from the divine narrative preserved by the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. A personal journey in living, this book contrasts these two ways of thinking, shows the way out of the human dilemmas common today, and encourages us to take up the challenge to Walk a Straight Path in a Crooked World, the path leading to happiness and a hope that lasts longer than a lifetime.
The above was taken from the back page of Walk a Straight Path in a Crooked World, subtitled Discover House Rules for Humanity, by Isaac and Rebecca Stewart. These are pen names for Jeff and Carolanne Patton, long time Church of God members. Jeff worked in the French Department of the WCG and then edited The World Ahead magazine for the Global Church of God. My family got to know their family very well during those years.
The book speaks to today’s issues in today’s language, but from a Biblical perspective—containing over 500 scripture quotations and references. It is designed to be read by a person with no background in the Bible, but contains wisdom, insight and many personal stories that would help the long-time Bible student.
This is an ideal book to give to someone, young or old, who is searching for truth, but is not interested in traditional “church religion”. It deals with life’s problems and the biblical solutions; it is not a “doctrine” book. It flows well as a whole, but a person could read just the chapter(s) that pertain to their immediate situation.
The table of contents:
Walk A Straight Path in A Crooked World by Isaac and Rebecca Stewart (ISBN 1-55212-510-6) is illustrated by Mavis Stucci, 355 pages; paperback; $22.00 US (approx. $33.85 Canadian) published by Trafford Publishing, Suite 6E, 2333 Government Street, Victoria, B.C. V8T 4P4, Canada; Tel. for Canada & US: 888-232-4444.
The book can be purchased from the above, from amazon.com, or from www.trafford.com/robots/00-0175.html. The latter web site has pictures and sample excerpts. You may contact the authors at: House Rules for Humanity, PO Box 775, Sooke, BC V0S 1N0 Canada or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you interested in helping to preach the Gospel in a non-denominational way? The founding documents of the Evangelistic Association of the Churches of God show a well thought out and promising start. While many “Church of God” constitutions start by talking about how Christ began “the Church” and then go on to refer to their own organization as “the Church”, this Evangelistic Association clearly recognizes it is not “the Church”. After summarizing several clear truths from the Bible, their constitution says:
Recognizing that the forgoing truths are fully substantiated by both Scripture and History and that their importance is wholly independent of all organizational, sectarian and denominational tenets; and…
This document continues with more general organizational information, then states the groups specific objectives:
a. To increase and to SHARE our knowledge of the Kingdom of God, its origin, purpose and value;
b. To encourage a similar study and sharing of the Kingdom of God truth among all mankind throughout the world;
c. To promote a spirit of cooperation among all believers in the Gospel of the Kingdom of God on earth for the sole purpose of spreading hope beyond this present world;
d. To teach and foster observance of the Commandments of Exodus 20 as amplified by Jesus Christ;
e. To devise ways and means for accomplishing these ends through the Evangelistic Association of the Churches of God, representing the total membership;
f. To establish and maintain such Association so that it shall be non-sectarian and inter-denominational and, therefore, inherently shall not constitute a church or denomination, but an association of Christians who espouse the principles contained therein.
The Association is a volunteer effort—members and officers are not permitted to be compensated for their services (though expenses can be reimbursed). Anyone can become a voting member by paying the $25 per year individual dues. For more information or to become a member write the Evangelistic Association of the Churches of God, PO Box 691499, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74169.
It’s hard to believe that our association, The Churches of God Outreach Ministries will be five years old in February 2001. Wow! How time flies. As some of you may remember, CGOM was formed on a Sunday afternoon, February 26, 1996 in Tyler Texas. It was further organized in our ministerial/steward Conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma on the week-end of April 12-14, 1996. It started as The Churches of God and at our 1997 Spring Conference we decided to change our name to The Churches of God Outreach Ministries, or CGOM for short.
In writing this letter I began to reflect on our association’s history and the reason it was formed. I went back through some of our earlier Newsletters. The first issue was dated March, 1996, and I was reminded of the enthusiasm, commitment to form this association; an association with a fresh concept: a non-hierarchical structure (no headquarters to “report” to), an unpaid ministry and all local churches remaining autonomous and independent, yet interdependent in pooling our resources and efforts together for preaching the Gospel and providing love, encouragement and support to our scattered brethren around the world.
The focus of our attention and commitment is not towards an organization but to the Head of the church, our Saviour Jesus Christ. The centrality of Jesus Christ has remained our focus throughout these years; what a beautiful and Biblically oriented concept. What a unique opportunity God has given to work together in such an association as CGOM.
We have not been without our growing pains, but much has been accomplished during these almost five years of existence. For example, we have the CGOM web-site, distribute a variety of literature including New Horizons, Fountain of Life, Bible Basics, several booklets, T.O.D.A.Y. for our youth, and recently we mailed out over 4,200 copies of a new Bible Course made available by the Church of God, Sabbath Day of Springdale, Arkansas [PO Box 1645, Springdale, AR 72765]. We have sponsored Feast of Tabernacles sites in the USA, Canada, England and Australia. We have also sponsored several outreach special projects such as the USA Today ads and the Y2K postcard distribution.
By the close of 2000 we mailed out over 45,000 pieces of literature and other mailings free of charge. This compares with the previous year when we mailed out a little over 29,000 pieces. Besides the United States and Canada we have regular mailings to: Australia, Bermuda, Central America, Colombia, Denmark, East Africa (Kenya), England, Finland, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Holland, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, New Guinea, Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, South America, Spain, Vietnam, Wales, West Indies and Yugoslavia.
All of this was done with limited finances and lots of volunteer hours. However, much more needs to be done. We need to continue to grow, continue to raise the bar of activity as we advance our mission of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ through our Outreach Ministries. This makes our next conference scheduled for March 9-11 in Tulsa Oklahoma a very important one.
Please pray for the success of this Conference.
— Julian Cruz
Church of God, San Antonio, Texas
To find out more about The Churches of God Outreach Ministries or to receive their publication, New Horizons, write CGOM, PO Box 54621, Tulsa, OK 74155-0621; tel: 800-611-8080, e-mail: email@example.com.
What used to require volumes of large books can now be done with a few CD-ROMs and a computer. When searching the scriptures to find out exactly what the Eternal said on a particular point, it is often perplexing to find several Bible translations that vary considerably in the rendering of a specific verse. This problem is usually caused by variations among the original language manuscripts or by translators using their own doctrinal bias to write what they think the original author meant.
The solution to these kinds of problems is usually for us to look at the original language manuscripts ourselves and, with our limited knowledge of Hebrew and Greek, use study aids to help us determine what the original text meant. This can be done to a limited degree by using a concordance or interlinear to find the “Strong’s numbers” of the Greek and Hebrew words, and then looking up their meanings in a dictionary. But much information may be passed over in this process. Words can be singular or plural; masculine or feminine; subjects or objects; past, present or future; etc. These things can make a great difference in the meaning.
But the average Bible student does not have years to spend mastering every portion of the ancient Hebrew and Greek languages. He or she wants to understand the meaning of the few Greek or Hebrew words in the verses they are studying right now. Computer databases now exist to help the English-speaking person do that.
I have used Hermeneutika’s Bibleworks for five years (800-742-4253, www.bibleworks.com). It is used by professional Bible translators and others in the academic world.
Another producer of Hebrew and Greek study software is Gramcord. They have a variety of programs that will work on Apple, IBM-compatible and even hand-held computers (877-853-8963).
The prices of these software items are in the $100 to $300 range. Obviously, they are a wise purchase only if you use them. But I cannot help but think about what other Bible students throughout history will say in the resurrection: “What? You could have that in your own home for only a few day’s pay? We had to go to the university library.” And even Bible translators of most eras will say: “We never had anything that good.”
—Norman S Edwards
The PBS web site has transcripts of all of the Nova shows from Jan. 1997 to the present. A list can be seen at:
This includes the “Mysterious Mummies of China” 1998 show that described the discovery in the Takla Makan Desert of central Asia of mummies dated to at least 1000 BC, with blond and red hair, European features, buried with fine woolen material in colorful tartan patterns. That program and a few pictures are located at:
The transcript collection also includes last year's story on the “Lemba”, a tribe of Black Africans whose DNA shows a link to the Levitical priesthood of Israel:
For an interview with the author:
A new church history section was added to the Bible study web site:
[If you do not personally have access to the Internet, a local library or a friend can easily find this site for you—just copy the name as is.]
Bible studies and sermons given in the 1950s by Herbert Armstrong, Richard David Armstrong and Herman Hoeh are now available! These messages, accessible on the Internet in RealAudio format, pre-date the current oldest copies of commonly available church of God audio material by 25 years!
While visiting Dixon Cartwright in Big Sandy, Texas in early December, I was contacted by Ed and Cindy Burson of The Faithful Word. A friend lent them around 100 reel-to-reel tapes of Bible studies and Holy Day messages given in the 1950s and 60s by the then Radio Church of God. They tried playing the reel-to-reel tapes but were unable to hear a clear voice. Upon request they graciously offered me a few of these reels to see if someone else could retrieve a good audio signal. I was confident one of my best friends, Mike Summers (editor of Your Choice magazine who knows a lot about audio/video) could help recover the audio. And he did!
Mike set up and taught me the basics of how to retrieve the audio using his special equipment. After feeding the audio into the computer and digitally cleaning it up a little bit (which was a P-A-I-N due to voice fluctuations, background noise and other issues with the reels) the messages were almost ready for distribution. After some historical detective work to pin down dates for the messages and David Williams creating opening/closing tags for the audio files, the historical materials were ready to go!
You can find these rare sermons and studies in the new church history section at:
Materials of historical significance to the church of God and aids to understanding church history in the world will be added as time permits. Garner Ted Armstrong’s first message (dated August 5, 1978) explaining the events surrounding his expulsion from the Worldwide Church of God in 1978 will be added to the site this weekend. Ronald Dart's first message (dated Sept. 23, 1978), given after voluntarily leaving the WCG, will be added as well. In the future a CD of these study aids will be created.
Here are the audio messages (all given at Big Sandy, Texas) currently available on the Internet from the Bible Study Web Site:
Audio messages by Richard David Armstrong: (Richard David Armstrong, son of Herbert Armstrong and brother of Garner Ted Armstrong, died in July, 1958 due to injuries sustained in a car accident while on a baptizing tour. He was almost 30 years old when he died and had been married for only thirteen months. Audio messages from Richard David have never before been circulated.)
Daniel’s Prophecy, June 4, 1954 (Friday Night Bible Study) Pentecost Weekend.
Why Trials?, June 5, 1954 (Saturday) Pentecost Weekend.
Child Rearing, Oct. 13, 1957 (Sunday) during Feast of Tabernacles (One of the last Holy Day messages given by Richard David).
Audio Messages by Herbert W. Armstrong:
Offertory Message and Status of “The Work”, Oct. 1, 1955 (Saturday) First Day of Feast of Tabernacles. (HWA started broadcasting on TV in the summer of 1955. In this message leading up to the Holy Day offering, he discusses the move to TV and the new program's ratings compared to others. He also states that from June 1954 to June 1955, it cost $394,328.66 to operate Ambassador College and $630,323 to operate the church.)
The Plan of God, Oct. 1957 during Feast of Tabernacles.
Audio Message by Herman Hoeh:
Why Keep the Holy Days? Given Oct. 1, 1955 (Saturday), First Day of Feast of Tabernacles
—Alan Ruth, Barnabas Ministries
PO Box 3393, Farmington Hills, MI. 48333, USA www.biblestudy.org
The HWA & Church of God Library (Australasia) USA site: www.coglinks.org/resource/servingthecog
Other HWA library sites are being established and will be linked together.
Everyone is invited to participate in a forum to discuss and promote the old doctrines of WCG (Original WCG Theological Apologetics—pro-HWA Forum). As there are so many anti-HWA and anti-old WCG forums and lists around (as well as individuals in CoGs), anti-HWA and anti-old WCG statements will not be allowed on this forum. Please follow protocol and if you are anti-HWA, do not post here.
Here are some ideas for papers or comments:
• Man’s destiny is to be in the God Family.
• We are born again in the resurrection.
• Salvation and conversion are processes in 3 stages.
• What will happen in the Millennium?
•The race question.
•There are 7 church eras.
•There will be a physical place of safety.
• Christian living without true doctrine is a form of protestantism.
• Laws of God sometimes forgotten (eg land sabbath, mixed fabrics etc).
• We should try and understand Laws such as Jubilee, Year of Release etc).
• Table of Nations (Genesis 10) is important to understanding world events.
• Germany is Assur in prophecy.
• The Turks descend from Edom.
• Judah is the Scots and Jews; Ephraim is the English; Manasseh is the Anglo-Americans.
• Other tribes of Israel can be specified.
• Who and what is the Beast.
• the NWO [New World Order], New Age ideas, etc are not the Beast or the Babylonian religion, but the old Holy Roman Empire is.
• USA & UK are Israel and the NWO is an attempt by them to bring democracy and capitalism to the world.
• Social conservative views on abortion, euthanasia, surrogacy, same-sex marriages, homosexuality/lesbianism, male-female roles, no women ministers etc.
• Should CoGs honor HWA or ignore him? And if they ignore him, what is the real motive behind that?
• The fruits of HWA.
• What HWA said about a host of issues which we have forgotten.
• Should doctrinal changes be announced like HWA used to do, or just quietly dropped without any discussion?
For more information on this Internet forum, contact:
—Craig White, firstname.lastname@example.org
[Most of these issues are worth discussing, but the requirement that they be discussed without saying anything against HWA or the old WCG greatly reduces the chance of arriving at the truth. How much shorter would our Bible be if the writers were not allowed to say anything bad about the kings, prophets or disciples that God used? How much less truthful would it be?
There are publications that print virtually nothing positive about HWA and the old WCG, but creating an opposite forum where nothing bad can be said about them is not likely to improve the situation. All forums need to encourage factual truth to be stated, to allow those with other views to bring forth their evidence and to let people make a decision based on the facts. If there are separate “pro” and “con” forums/publications, it is too easy for people to just read the one that they like and ignore the evidence that they disagree with. Even though I believe that HWA taught significant error, I am willing to help provide access to pro-HWA sites because I believe my views are based upon truth, not based on keeping selected facts away from my readers.
“The first one to plead his cause seems right, Until his neighbor comes and examines him” (Prov 18:17).
The WCG suffered greatly by preventing “his neighbor coming and examining him”—neither brethren nor outsiders were permitted to openly express opposing points of view. “Papers sent to headquarters” were often ignored for years—sometimes forever. Brethren did not develop the skills of finding truth between opposing points of view, but were taught to accept truth “from the top down”. They did not grasp the many Bible examples of error coming “from the top down”—from kings, false prophets and false apostles. It is no surprise that the WCG broke into so many pieces. I hope everyone will learn from these mistakes, not repeat them. — NSE]