Continuing Church of God

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Singalphile
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Continuing Church of God

Post by Singalphile » Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:40 am

Yet another denomination. The "Continuing Church of God", http://www.ccog.org. Apparently, it was declared 7 months ago (12/28/2012). I forget how I came across the website. I was interested in a bit of what I read, but as I read more, well, there are certainly troubling indicators (the least of which being that it's really hard for me to follow the reasoning or points of a lot of the articles). It kind of seems like a mix of various groups, e.g., JW, LDS, and 7DA.

Anyway, they claim that these were the teachings of the early Christians, and it seems that they base their views on all of this (see the site for specifics, if you care to):
  • Baptism of Christians was by immersion and did not include infants.
  • The complete Bible with the proper Old Testament and New Testament was relied on by the true Church in Asia Minor.
  • A Binitarian view, that acknowledged the Holy Spirit, was held by the apostolic and post-apostolic true Christian leaders.
  • Birthdays were not celebrated by early Christians.
  • Born-Again meant being born at the resurrection, not at the time of conversion.
  • Celibacy for Bishops/Presbyters/Elders was not a requirement.
  • Church Governance was hierarchical.
  • Christmas was not observed by any professing Christ prior to the third century, or ever by those holding to early teachings.
  • Circumcision, though not required, was long practiced by original Nazarene Christians.
  • Confession of sins were not made to priests and did not require penance.
  • Deification of Christians (which begins after the first resurrection) was taught by the early leaders of the Church.
  • Duties of Elders/Pastors were pastoral and theological, not predominantly sacramental–nor did they dress as many now do.
  • Easter per se was not observed by the apostolic church.
  • The Fall (and Spring) Holy Days were observed by true early Christians.
  • The Father was considered to be God by all early professing Christians.
  • The True Gospel included the kingdom of God and obedience to the law of God and was so understood by the faithful.
  • Heaven was not taught to be the reward of Christians.
  • Holy Spirit was not referred to as God or as a person by any early true Christians.
  • Hymns were mainly psalms, not praises to Christ.
  • Idols were taught against, including adoration of the cross.
  • Immortality of the soul or humans was not taught.
  • Jesus was considered to be God by the true Christians.
  • The Kingdom of God was preached.
  • Leavened Bread was removed from the homes of early Christians when the Jews did the same.
  • Lent was not observed by the primitive church.
  • Limbo was not taught by the original church.
  • Military Service was not allowed for true early Christians.
  • Millenarianism (a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth, often called the millennium) was taught by the early Christians.
  • Monasticism was unheard of in the early Christian church.
  • Passover was kept on the 14th of Nisan by apostolic and second century Christians in Asia Minor.
  • Pentecost was kept on Sunday by certain Jews and was observed then by professing Christians.
  • Purgatory was not taught by the original apostolic church.
  • The Resurrection of the dead was taught by all early Christians
  • The Sabbath was observed on Saturday by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church.
  • Salvation was believed to be offered to the chosen now by the early Church, with others being called later, though not all that taught that (or other doctrines) practiced “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).
  • God’s Six Thousand Year Plan for humankind to rule itself was believed by early professors of Christ.
  • Sunday was not observed by the apostolic and original post-apostolic Christians.
  • The Ten Commandments were observed by the apostolic and true post-apostolic Christians–and in the order that the Church of God claims they are in.
  • Tithes and Offerings were given to support the ministry, the churches, the needy, and evangelical travels and proclamation.
  • Tradition had some impact on the second century Christians, but was never supposed to supercede the Bible.
  • The Trinity was not a word used to describe the Godhead by the apostolic or second century Christians, though a certain threeness was acknowledged.
  • Unclean Meats were eaten by the early allegorists, but not by true Christians.
  • The Virgin Birth was acknowledged by all true ante-Nicene Christians.
I haven't looked at them all (and I don't necessarily care much what a few early Christian writers thought), but it's an interesting list.

Anybody know anything about the CCOG? Any thoughts on all this? The Dr. Bob Thiel, one of the prominent writers apparently, was "cited by MSNBC and The Washington Post" in some way. Don't know what that means.

Like most of these types of groups, they seem to have some good stuff that probably draws people in, but on the whole, it seems a bit cult-like, I'm sorry to say.
... that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. John 5:23

steve7150
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Re: Continuing Church of God

Post by steve7150 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:23 am

Anyway, they claim that these were the teachings of the early Christians, and it seems that they base their views on all of this (see the site for specifics, if you care to):





Were the early Christians monolithic in all their beliefs and could they have been mistaken in certain things? For example the very early church was largely Jewish and may have mostly kept the Sabbath out of tradition or habit or culture but did Jesus or Paul teach keeping the Sabbath?

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Homer
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Re: Continuing Church of God

Post by Homer » Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:28 pm

The Dr. Bob Thiel, one of the prominent writers apparently, was "cited by MSNBC and The Washington Post" in some way. Don't know what that means.
Most likely it means they quoted something he said.

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Paidion
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Re: Continuing Church of God

Post by Paidion » Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:40 pm

The "Continuing Church of God" is one of many groups which were once associated with "The Worldwide Church of God" founded by Herbert W. Armstrong.

Armstrong taught that "The Worldwide Church of God" was the only true Church. He emphasized that the true church had to go by the name "Church of God." He specialized in making prophetic statements about the future, especially on the "World Tomorrow" broadcast, and a magazine called "The Plain Truth". He believed Christians were to keep the Sabbath (from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday) and also the various Jewish feasts. He also taught British-Israelitism (the notion that the people of Great Britain, Canada, and United States were descendants of "the lost ten tribes" , and therefore should keep God's law as revealed to Moses. However in practice this was limited to observing the ten commandments and keeping the Jewish feasts. He considered the European Union to be the "ten nations" mentioned in Revelation.

Armstrong predicted that Christ would return in 1975. But the fact that this didn't occur made no difference to the faithfulness of his followers.

When Armstrong died in 1986, Joseph Tkach, a senior minister, replaced him as leader of the organization. Somehow Tkach became an evangelical and a Trinitarian, and led the Church in that direction. As a consequence, the Worldwide Church of God became accepted by the mainstream evangelical community. So those who followed Armstrong and his beliefs had to withdraw and form other "Churches of God".

Here is a list of "Churches of God", other organizations, and publications that were at one time related to "The Worldwide Church of God"

http://www.cogwriter.com/COGlinks.htm


Here is a website: "All About Armstrongism" where you can read about the history of the group, its teachings, etc.

http://allaboutarmstrongism.wordpress.com
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

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Singalphile
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Re: Continuing Church of God

Post by Singalphile » Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:36 pm

Paidion wrote:
When Armstrong died in 1986, Joseph Tkach, a senior minister, replaced him as leader of the organization. Somehow Tkach became an evangelical and a Trinitarian, and led the Church in that direction. As a consequence, the Worldwide Church of God became accepted by the mainstream evangelical community. So those who followed Armstrong and his beliefs had to withdraw and form other "Churches of God".
Ah, I've heard of that. Yeah, the name Armstrong pops up on the ccog site here and there. Thank you.
Homer wrote:
Most likely it means they quoted something he said.
:) I meant that I didn't/don't know what they cited him about. I was curious about that but couldn't find it. Dr. Thiel doesn't say.
steve7150 wrote:

Were the early Christians monolithic in all their beliefs and could they have been mistaken in certain things? For example the very early church was largely Jewish and may have mostly kept the Sabbath out of tradition or habit or culture but did Jesus or Paul teach keeping the Sabbath?
I know very little about the early church. Perhaps I ought to listen to Steven's church history lectures for a start. (Actually, I think I did once, but I started at the Reformation or something.) I don't know how many Christians were also Jews in the 2nd-5th centuries.

I do feel badly for people who get caught up in these kinds of sectarian groups. It's the same way I feel about big conspiracy theory type people.
... that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. John 5:23

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