WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD
INCORP0RATED NAME: Worldwide Church of God, Inc. )lJlJ0N
DESCRIPTORS: Worldwide Church, WCG, Radio Church of God,
FOUNDER: Herbert W. Armstrong (1892-1986)
CURRENT PRESIDENT: Joseph W. Tkach
MEMBERSHIP: 80,000 worldwide, 68,000 United States
DISTRIBUTlON: United States, Europe, Australia
HEADQUARTERS: Pasadena, CA
PERIODICALS: Plain Truth magazine, Good News Magazine
TV & Radio: The World Tomorrow (sundicated TV & Radio)
PUBLISHER: Worldwide Church of God
EDUCATION INSTlTUTON: Ambassador College
Hwbert W. Armstrong, the founder of the Worldwide church of God
(WCG), began his professional life in :rtising. Soon after his
advertising business failed wife his wife 'discovered' that
obedience to the Ten Comdments was necessary for salvation. After
an exhustive study of his own, he came to agree with his wife's
position and began an evangelistic ministry in Eugene, OR, (1931)
where he was ordained by the Church of God, Seventh Day. In 1934
Armstrong incorported his church as the Radio Church of God and
launched both a syndicated radio program, "The World Tomorrow,"
and a magazine, The Plain Truth. The current name, Worldwide Church
of God, was adopted in 1968. The WCG grew yearly until 1974-75 when
Garner Ted Armstrong, Herbert W. Armstrong's son, was charged
sexual transgressions causing a major schism. At time 3,000
members and pastors were "disfellowshiped" and another 1,800
members exited on their own.
REVELATION: Believing that Jesus foretold "this very ," (the
Worldwide Church of God), the WCG claims "... no other work on
earth is proclaiming this true Gospel of Christ to the whole
world." WCC members belive that Herbert W. Armstrong was Christ's
only true apostle since the frist century. Armstrong taught that
only works through "one man at a time" and that was God's man for
his time. Consequently, his teachings are considered as
unapproachable as are the apostle Paul's teachings.
GODHEAD: Like the Jehovah's Witnesses, the WCG denies the Christian
view of God, One God in three persons. However, unlike the JW's,
Armstrong teaches that at the resurrection "...we shall then be
God...," little different from Mormonism. That is to say, you can
become a God yourself, just like Jesus did. They also deny the
personality of the Holy Spirit, asserting that the Holy Spirit is
merely "the love of God."
CHRISTOLOGY: Jesus Christ, to the WCG, was only a man who kept all
of God's laws and therefore, when He was resurrected, he was "born
again" and became God. The WCG holds that "Jesus, alone, of all
humans, has so far been saved!"
ATONEMJENT: The WCG teaches that if we work hard and long enough
(including the observance of the Old 7estament Jewish dietary laws)
"Then, and not until then, shall we be fully born of God." The WCG
also teaches that the wicked, those who do not keep the law, will
be annihilated (supposedly, hell does not exist). WCG members are
taught that law-keeping is a condition of salvation and that
baptism is valid only if administered by a WCG minister.
REVELATION: To accept Armstrong's claim that his church alone has
a monopoly on salvation, would be to deny that any person in any
other denomination, whether Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran,
Assemblies of God, etc., is a Christian. Clearly, it would be a
cruel joke if God made no provision for salvation between the death
of the apostles and Armstrong's creation of his church
in 1934. Likewise, It Is not the case that God works through only
one man at a time as Armstrong asserted. After the death of Jesus,
the eleven remaining apostles and Paul the apostle were all used by
God simultaneously. Even if it were the case that God only works
through only one man at a time, it is certainly not clear that
Herbert W. Armstrong was God's man for his time. Furthermore, who
is God's man today, now that Armstrong is dead? Does the mantle
automatically fall on the man who gains political control of the
church organization which Armstrong invented? If so, then God's
choice of mouthpiece becomes subservient to an organization.
GODHEAD: The Christian Church, in following the Bible alone, has
always taught that within the nature of the one God, there are
three persons. This can be historically traced from the disciples
through the Church fathers to the council of Nicea,325 A.D.
Scripture emphatically recognizes only one God (lsaiah 44:6). The
nature of this one God is described compositely (Deut. 6:4), as
opposed to a solitary nature. Scripture declares the Father is God
(lPet.1 :2), the Son is God (John 1: 1- 14) and the Holy Spirit is
God (Acts 5:3-4). The shorthand, technical term for this Biblical
doctrine is the "Trinity." The WCG heresy, that man can become a
God, clearly originated with Satan himself:
For God doth know that in the day ye eat therof, then ye shall
be as God, knowing good and evil. (Gen.3:5, KJV).
CHRISTOLOGY: WCG Christology, that Jesus was a man who became a
God, has never been held by any of the apostles, the early Church
fathers or any Church Council. In fact, the Bible teaches the exact
opposite, Jesus was God who "became flesh;"
And the Word (Logos) was made flesh, and dwelt among us jand
we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the
Father), full of grace and truth. (John 1:14, KJV).
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. Who,
being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal
with God. But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him
the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men;
God's word reveals Jesus was God (John 1:1), is God (Rev. 1:17),
and always will be God (Heb. 13:8).
ATONEMENT: In contradistinction to the WCG, the Bible declaees that
salvation is not obtained by works, rather:
For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of
yourselves, it is the gilt of God - Not of works, lest any man
should boast (Eph. 2:8-9, KJV).
The Christian Church, from Jesus time until today, has ' taught
that the new birth is obtained by our own works. Paul, the
apostle, denounces those who abandon grace of Christ for the law.
He clearly states that the law was merely a teacher pointing us
toward Christ (Gal. 3). The Bible teaches that our atonement is
based on God becoming flesh (Jesus Christ, John 1:14), living a
perfect life (the perfect paschal lamb, John 1 :29), and
surrendering his life in our stead, for our sins (without sheedding
of blood, there is no remission of sins, 9:22 cf. Lcv. 17:11).
Since the WCG is highly concerned with eschatology, the study of
the last times, it appeals strongly to those people who are overly
concerned with Biblical prophecy. WCG theology is eclectic, being
a mixture of Seventhday Adventism, Jehovah's Witness doctrine,
Mormonism, and Anglo-lsraelism (the belief that the Western
EuroAnglo-Saxons are the descendants of 10 lost tribes Israel).
Recognizing the voracious appetite that many people have for news
on current events, the WCG magazine, The Plain Truth is focused
primarily on urgent social and political topics. To guarantee its
ass, the WCG distributes The Plain Truth free of charge.
Additionally, this publication attracts many unsuspecting people
into the WCG, not through the magazine itself, but rather, through
the doctrinal booklets correspondence Bible Course' which are of
offered free of charge.