Saturday, 2 May 2009

Baptists take note of name change

The following appears on the Texas-based Baptist Standard website.

Worldwide Church of God changes name. The Worldwide Church of God, which re-examined and later rebuked the teachings of founder Herbert W. Armstrong after his death in 1986, has changed its name to Grace Communion International. It’s the second name change for the denomination that Armstrong founded as the Radio Church of God in 1934, and church leaders say it’s a better reflection of a move toward more mainstream evangelical theology. Armstrong denied the Christian belief in the Trinity and took Old Testament law to heart. He urged followers to abide by ancient dietary restrictions, to observe traditional Hebrew festivals, to mark the Sabbath on Saturday and to reject Christmas, Easter and birthdays as pagan holidays. The Glendora, Calif.-based denomination says it lost half its members, 95 percent of its 1,000-person staff, millions of magazine readers and its college in Pasadena, Calif., when it officially repudiated Armstrong’s teachings and “prophetic speculation” in the mid-1990s. Grace Communion International claims 42,000 members in 900 congregations worldwide.


What's the Tkatch? said...

The way "Worldwide Church of God" is used, the writer made it sound like the change in teachings and name was a group effort - "the Church did it". That almost sounds like we had some say in what happened.

Purple Hymnal said...

They're regurgitating the church's press release. Shocking, how Junior and Weazell have so completely pulled the wool over the bible-thumpers' eyes, just because they're mouthing the right words, and publishing the right doctrines.

Anonymous said...

"He urged followers..."

He urged? I think think a more correct way to describe it is "He commanded on pain of death in the Lake of Fire."

The Apostate Paul

Corky said...

How long was ol' Joe an anti-Armstrong before HWA died?

I lost all touch with the WCG and its members shortly after I left in 1975 but I knew there was big trouble brewing even then.

Of course, there was a big split in the mid 70s but I didn't go out with those folks. I wasn't interested in being involved with any splinter group, I was already sick of the whole thing.

A name change means nothing and neither do doctrinal changes because it's the root of the tree that is bad. No matter what branches are grafted on it, the fruit will still be bad because of the bad root.

Actually though, the original root was bad too and started out with the false prophecy of the then soon coming of the kingdom of God about 1,980 years ago.

It was all a Jewish experiment that failed miserably and has since ran amok.

Tkach's $wiss Banker said...

"Only lost half its membership"? It gets more rosy all the time.

"42,000 members"? Or tenants paying rent to Russian cult slumlord ?

The Tkach family took me down for thousands of dollars. Where's the money now? Being spent by those spoiled recession-proof Tkach kids driving exotic imported cars?

Richard said...

I don't often say this about posts on this blog -- but yawwwwn.

The commenters finding fine points in this release truly have their microscopes out.

Anonymous said...

Richard, if we don't write something, people will think we don't care. We have to sift the minutiae to avoid boring repetition of the obvious or reduce our comments to Hitler analogies.

Richard said...

OK, Anonymous. I think I understand. It's a bit like therapy, right? :-->

nuclearsmile said...

I'm just cringing at the thought of how many more apostolic autobiographies the world has to endure before the TW's finally decide to show up. Naturally, all of the godless heathens were just glued to their computers awaiting the posting of Pack's "fascinating," "extraordinary" life story ("with photographs"!!) Just one more way to mimic his idol, I guess...

jack635 said...

I've got a motto for the newly minted Grace Communion International:

Emptying Bank Accounts and Creating Atheists Since 1934

Unless of course, they have turned over a new leaf and have stopped collecting "tithes". In that case they should get one of those old signs from a 1970's era McDonalds:

No Tipping Allowed

Anonymous said...


I remember a radio talk show where the moderator was anticipating a lively discussion on his topic du jour. When the phone didn't start ringing, he finally begged his audience to phone in and talk about anything at all.

Therapy? In a way, I guess it is. COG-related matters are not water-cooler chatter where I work.

Anonymous said...

Nuke, I'd like to see more tithe dollars spent on bios [not BIOS] of the COG chiefs. Then we can do some serious research, like a disharmony of the COGspels.

Anonymous said...

Actually, they have stopped collecting "tithes". Been about 15 years. I realize most of those who follow this blog have been far removed from the WCG for a decade or more and only know what has happened through "reports" such as these.

There's no 1st tithe, 2nd tithe or 3rd tithe. People give offerings to their local church for local expenses and outreach. There is no percentage encouraged or requested. The local congregation gives a full reporting each year of its income and expenses for any in the congregation to see. 15% of a local church's income does go to the denomination for insurance, publications, accounting support, etc. (pretty typical of just about any denomination.)

Purple Hymnal said...

Anonymous Mon May 04, 01:01:00 PM NZST,

That's great. Now point us to those financial reports you claim exist. (The church's alleged accounting firm, Capin Crouse, has still not responded to my request for financial transparency.)

And pray tell us, why are there "international charities" set up at the local congregational level, that still require all donations to be "sent to Headquarters"?

And we can plainly see the 15% sent in to Junior is going for HIS world cruises, and beer factory tours. How come the membership can't?

Oh, that's right, they still believe they're in god's true church. But shhhhh, don't tell anybody, or you'll be "asked to leave".

Anonymous said...

A local congregation is free to give its funds to any charity or outreach project it wants.

There is a general "international relief" fund administered by HQ that a person or congregation can donate to if they want which gives money in significant ways when there are natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, wildfires etc. It is certainly not required at all that someone send their offerings to HQ for these types of things.

And the church has dispelled the "God's true church" myth almost 20 years ago and has continually repeated it. That was in part one of the reasons for the mass exodus. People who remain do so because there is a sense of community where they are gathering to worship. I don't know of any in WCG/CGI who believe they are the "true church".

larry said...

Anonymous 01:01,
Yes, I am personally involved in the finances of our local church congregation. That is why I find these discussions about "millions of dollars" very amusing!

Mel said...

Has there been any official change in Junior's decree that although tithing is no longer "required" by the Tkachurch, that it's still seen as a "minimum" to show how much the members are willing to lick his lying butt-hole?

I can't think of a better test!


Anonymous said...

Larry, the "Millions" you mentioned is small potatoes compared to how much is unaccounted for.

I know, I know!
How could a lowly schmuck like me EVER think she should be privy to the financial records of anyone so GLORIOUS as Mr. Tkach.

The fact that upstanding churches normally release such information is MOOT!
Especially since Mr Tkach is busy on the golf course, touring beer plants, and even stopping by the office as much as twice a week!

Poor poor Mr Tkach!
He's SO persecuted!

How dare people ask such ORDINARY AND CALLED-FOR things from him.

Poor baby Joe!

What does baby Tkach have to say?



Purple Hymnal said...

"There is a general "international relief" fund administered by HQ"And still, no sign of any paperwork. My question, for the church apologists: If a new prospect approaches a minister about joining, are they or are they not provided with full financial accountability of the organization? And why or why not?

Additionally, is Capin Crouse the external auditor for the church? If so, why do they refuser to answer requests for documentation on the church's finances, if said finances are really as innocuous as you would like everything to think?

And, pray tell us, if the "free will donations" are such slim pickings, just where is Junior getting the money to fund nultiple cruises and brewery tours each year?

You can hand-wave and try and distract us all you like, Anon & Larry (now there's a sitcom in the making); but you still refuse to provide any solid, tangible proof, that the church is no longer misappropriating funds.

I'm only going to say it one more time.


Cotton Hill said...

But why not let the WCG offshoots use te WCG name ie Philadelphia WCG,
United WCG, Intercontinental WCG, WCGI etc. It's kind of like that phrase: "xxxxxxx" between the sheets.

Purple Hymnal said...

Speaking of millions, check out Plain Truth Ministries' Form 990 for 2007; Five guys are pulling in over a million dollars every year? That's nice work, if you can get it......

Aaron said...

42,000 members?

Only if they broaden the definition of a "member" to where it loses all meaning. They probably do have 42,000 records remaining in a database, but the vast majority (75%?) haven't actively participated in a WCG/GCI congregation in years.

It would be far more honest to pare their church roll down to baptized members and their minor children who have attended a worship service in, say, the last two years. But I won't hold my breath.

Mel said...

>>>>42,000 members?<<<<

Yes, this is one of Joey's lies.
The number is more like only 15K.

Joey's the name, and deception is his game.

Many have left, but few still brown-nose Junior's stanky lying butt-hole.

Purple Hymnal said...

42,000 sounds right, since PTM (Greg and Mont's little piece of the action and the church's main tax shelter) is pulling in a cool million a year, or so they declare.

42,000 @ 3 tithes each, plus "special offerings" (taken up during the pagan holidays no doubt, instead of the seven annual holy days), sounds spot on the money.

larry said...

the plain truth appears to be that wcg saw the opportunity to acquire azusa pacific university.
the small trailer park school was in shambles and the bright idea of dissolving ambassador and re-emerging as azusa paciific appears to be the place all the cash settled.
today, apu is booming.
wcg is just a short walk down the street.
2+2=ambassador was too expensive to upkeep, no room to expand, where apu was ripe for the pickings.
the fight for accreditation wasn't about ambassador, it was about acquiring apu!
today russel duke is dean of apu school of theology, former ambassador faculty are at apu and there are at least two board members of apu have direct spielberg connections.
too bad a good private detective can't run it all down.