Are you familiar with the United Church of God, and it's magazine?
Titled simply "The Good News"?
I suscribed [free] to see what they teach. Although less insistent in having the 'truth', and showing much greater interest in people and reality, the thinking is so similar to the doctrines of the Watchtower it is a little scary. Wifey opened the one I got yesterday and thought it was AWAKE. It looks like it a bit, but slicker and better laid out. Lots of stuff about current affairs in Israel etc, as they think much of Bible prophecy is tied to literal Israel.
Anyone know if this is an offshoot of former witnesses? ANyone ever read this?
I have to be gone for a while, but will be interested in seeing anyone who knows.
Their website is ; www.gnmagazine.org
They are an offshoot from the Worldwide Church of God, an organization that many consider a cult. There where many scandals in the Worldwide Church of God surrounding its leader Herbert W. Armstrong, the United Church of God is a splinter group that formed.
Those who followed Armstrong really felt they had the 'truth'. There is a video for sale at freeminds.org that goes through the entire history of the group. It is very JW like.
I find it interesting to see how many groups are able to pull the same mental tricks that JWs play. They lure you in with 'no hell', 'no trinity', and a few other teachings they feel the mainstream churches teach that are wrong and then they start to fill you up with their own nonsense. Their insistance on following the holdy days given to ancient Israel strikes me as quite strange but to be expected I guess.
From their Australian website:
What Are Our Origins? The UCG is a new church - founded in 1995. However the church history is much older than that. Our direct parent church was the Worldwide Church of God, founded by Herbert W. Armstrong in the 1930's. Before that, the church traces its history back for many hundreds of years. The UCG was formed when the WCG made major doctrinal changes to the core of the church's beliefs. At that time, many members and ministers worldwide resigned from the WCG to form the United Church of God.
I just looked on their site, and they have a lot of publications with titles like the jws, like "why does god permit sufferring" etc. The literature can be ordered free as well, though I didn't order any. It sounds too much like a cult for my liking.
I HAVE BEEN RECEIVING THEIR MAGAZINE SINCE ARMSTRONG WAS IN CHARGE!
ALSO RECEIVE PHILADELPHIA TRUMPET!
It looks like some cults will never die......... Armstrong died and that should have been the end of the religion since he was connected with some of his prophecies but a splinter group emerged and continues today.
There will be always a new generation that will be fooled with the teachings.
So it looks like even if some shocking event happens with the watchtower and many will leave, to kill a cult it's almost impossible, a new generation will step in because the message of living on earth has always been appealing.
Here's a link about them......they're an offshoot of Herbert Armstrong's original "Church of God" which has a zillion off-shoot churches. Years ago, I used to get that magazine "The Plain Truth". Some of it was interesting, but yes, many of their beliefs are very similar to the Witnesses. I read the story of Herbert Armstrong and his son Ted Armstrong who was DF'd from his father's church years ago, amidst much scandal, started his own offshoot called The Church of God International, got caught asking for sexual favours from his massage therapist, got kicked out of his own church (yet again) and died a couple of years ago I think.
Mayby I have the wrong group, but I think it was the Worldwide Church of God that decided to turn itself around. I bought the DVD, but loaned it out. I found out about it through Free Minds. Some of the guys at the top of the organization came to realize they were teaching false doctrines and decided to turn it around. Of course, I'm sure there were groups that continued with the old beliefs.
Greg Albright wrote a book called Bad News Religion. He is a former member of the Armstrong religion. The book mentions nothing about other religions, but you can draw some very similar, if not identical, parallels to the WTS. I wonder if a JW would read it, since it doesn't mention the WTS?
I kinda suspected that connection - thanx for the info all.
I was in shock at the similarities - though I must state that I do not see the perverse pressure to 'accept that we have the truth or die' that permeates the WTS magazines.
Funny thing is this group does not give me the 'willys' like the witness sh*t does now. I would never take it beyond simple reading of a few magazines though - as they believe too closely what the WTS believe to suit me.
though I must state that I do not see the perverse pressure to 'accept that we have the truth or die' that permeates the WTS magazines.
Have no fear Jeff----they also believe that they, and they alone have "the Truth", they practice disfellowshipping and some of their doctrines have been just as wacky and harmful as the Witnesses. Example? At one time the WCG took that statement that Jesus made about any man who divorces his wife except on the grounds of fornication and marries another commits adultery and took it 10 steps further. Any new converts who were on their second marriages with children were forced to split up because they were living "in sin" according to the bible and they said God didn't recognize the second marriage. It made no difference if they had been together 20 days or 20 years. If they were divorced from their first spouse, that was it. There were many, many families who were forced to split up because of this totally f*cked up interpretation of the scriptures. Can you imagine the harm that did?
This is a nice little tidbit that they don't annouce to anyone when they're in the process of converting them. Like when you join the Witnesses----you only find out all their dirty little secrets after you've joined.
The WCG also had sites on the internet for ex-members. I've looked at them. Man, those guys sound just like us.