Exit and Support Network

Lamb With Wolf-Like Jaws!

This testimony exposes the deceit, abuse and hypocrisy of the Worldwide Church of God. Written during their new doctrinal changes, and mailed to Exit & Support Network™, former WCG minister David Covington, counter-cult apologetic ministries, and WCG local members.  

UPDATE: In April 2009 Worldwide Church of God changed their name in the United States to Grace Communion International. (Some local church areas and countries may still carry the former name or a different one.)


I have recently cut ties with a cult, with the Worldwide Church of God, after twenty years in its spiritual concentration camp. After surrendering twenty years of my early adulthood to this false church I am coming to terms with the expected regrets, repercussions and the inevitable journey of healing in Jesus. Thank you for being there for myself and others whose minds have ironically been opened by the rhetorical overtures being made by the WCG to pursue acceptance by mainstream Christianity.

Let me assure you that I have thoroughly and assertively proven that its rhetoric is a hoax; its changes are cosmetic, if anything; and it is as much an abusive cult toward its members as ever. It still engages in "spiritual" double talk in order to maintain control, and pathetically, substantially clings to the old covenant while purporting to embrace the New Covenant. It continues to execute the abusive administrative practices which are engendered by such a legalistic system. (E.g., while admitting that Christians no longer have to keep the old covenant festivals, during these same festivals they are preaching that we prove our passion for Jesus by keeping them. This implies that those in its fellowship who opt not to keep these days must somehow lack passion for Christ. This is typical of their pervasive double talk. And on it goes.) I have proven this as objectively, systematically and biblically as possible until there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever.

In fact, I have been as systematic about determining its hypocrisy and abuse as the WCG has been in persecuting true Christians both within and without its walls since its inception. It has been able to successfully dupe such cult-watchers as Hank Hanegraaff and Ruth Tucker--and that is a bit unsettling to know. Honestly, I must question the discernment and integrity of these individuals who have swallowed the blather of the WCG's historically abusive leadership because of the apparent historic magnitude of these organizational "changes." However, the WCG can't fool me anymore. Naturally, I am now what they classify as a disgruntled former member, who must obviously have mental problems. Because I dare to ask questions and expose their hypocrisy, I am labeled negative and rebellious. Nothing has changed except their rhetoric--and this is absolutely no proof of repentance whatsoever. I have provided innumerable opportunities for the WCG to prove that my conclusions about it are wrong, but they cannot because my conclusions are correct.

The spiritual abuse I have endured while proactively seeking healing from spiritual abuse within the WCG has been reprehensible. Members are still no more welcome to ask questions, pursue their ministries and develop their spiritual gifts than before these theoretical changes. While there was some lukewarm reaching out to members who left to go backwards into old covenant splinter groups, there has been no attempt to reach out to those who depart to go forward into Jesus and New Covenant churches. In fact, those with a spiritual reawakening to Jesus are not even remotely encouraged to stay and are practically blamed for leaving in order to be fed and nurtured in Christ-centered fellowships in which their gifts will be used and in which pastors are accountable for the way in which they deal with their flocks.

My most recent local pastor, presumably for self-preservation, has lied to Headquarters about reasons for people leaving and has even skewed the local attendance roster, maintaining names of those who have no attended services in over three years. (Yet he was very quick to remove my name. Furthermore, he has never called to survey me for my reasons for leaving, although he has for others.) He has a strategically misplaced, spiritually abusive local elder and a lay crony of extremely questionable morals and integrity running the local show for him; all the while abusing or neglecting the needs of the flock and attributing local attrition to anything but that from which it really stems. After I responsibly and biblically attempted to expose him and his wife for what they are and have done to me, they rallied a ready-supply of "yes men and women" to their side in true WCG cult fashion. It's an incredible sham that Headquarters seems quite pleased to knowingly allow to continue and pay for, while claiming to be a spiritually healthy organization to its cult-watch friends.

The pastor-general [Joseph Tkach, Jr.] himself is blind-sided by the fact that he has grown up in the WCG and has never had another church experience. He has publicly questioned why those who had left previous fellowships for the WCG "in order to seek a closer relationship with God" would now depart for whence they came. Since I am not handicapped from having grown up in this cult and am not limited in church experience, let me shed some light on it for him. In twenty years in the WCG, I have never met anyone (myself included) who had come to this fellowship from a previous church experience who did not come for only one of the four reasons below:

  1. Intellectual vanity: This is the One True Church and all others are false. We are special in God's eyes because only we have the plain truth.

  2. Unique point of doctrine: Seventh-day Sabbath, Old Testament Festivals, "unclean meats," etc. This goes hand in hand with salvation by works--attempting to somehow earn salvation and God's favor.

  3. Prophecy: The WCG has the only true view of prophecy and those who embrace it will be protected from physical harm during the coming Great Tribulation in a place of safety that the appointed apostle will make known.

  4. Spiritual immaturity: Need a charismatic leader such as Mr. Herbert Armstrong was. Need for structure and control offered by cults.

It would have not been possible for anyone to become a WCG member for a closer walk with Jesus because they would not have found him there. Mr. Armstrong influenced us all for years with his anti-Jesus remarks. I attempted to address these issues with WCG Headquarters personnel, especially in the past three months while seeking redress for blatant spiritual abuse (a la` pages 71 through 76 and 96 through 116 of Healing Spiritual Abuse) from my then current pastor and his wife. There has been no response to the former and no resolution on the latter concern. I did them a favor by walking away, because I was the perceived trouble-maker anyway.

[THE DREAM:]

I was standing in a lovely green meadow. I was aware of a number of members of my local WCG congregation standing nearby. Along came the sweetest, little lamb anyone could imagine. It wandered over to me as if to allow me to reach down and pet it. I did so and it immediately snared one of my fingers in its jaws. It clamped shut, locking my finger with its razor-sharp teeth. The pain was enormous as I attempted to pry my finger loose. I cried out for help from the crowd, but no one stepped forward. I tried shaking off the lamb, whose eyes increasingly took on a look of evil. I tried to lead the lamb over to a high wooded gate, on the other side of the field from the crowd, hoping to shake it loose and shut the door behind it to keep it from attacking me further. I made it to the gate, but could not manage to dislodge it, so I gave up and tried again to move toward the crowd to seek help there.

Halfway back across the field, I tried one more desperate measure. I flung the lamb straight up toward heaven in attempt to free myself. On the way up, the lamb let go of my finger. I looked down at my finger to find a huge gaping wound, yet it wasn't bleeding. And there was an immediately cessation of the pain. A moment later, the lamb came crashing back to earth, landing on its neck. As it lay dead of a broken neck, its mouth was opened wide to reveal its wolf-like jaw and fangs.

Although that is the end of the dream with its obvious implications, might I add an additional observation. It was not until after my finger was out of the false lamb's grip and it was lying dead on the ground, that those in the crowd were able to clearly see the lamb for what it really was. During the course of the entire incident, all that was evident to them was that I was mistreating this sweet, little lamb.

I'd also like to clarify, it was not until after I had walked away from the WCG that God gave me this gift of the dream. It was not the catalyst for my leaving. That decision was founded on much more substantive experience, research and prayer than the dream offers. Yet, it is profound in its significance for me and I praise the Lord for it. I awoke from this dream with a serenity I would not have expected, given the brutal nature of it. For sure, the peace of Christ does pass all understanding!

Thank you and may God bless your outreach. May your ministry be a blessing to many more. I'm not sure where the Lord is leading me at the moment, but I know that His grace is sufficient for me and I am complete in Jesus. It's been utter joy to visit many churches in my area, while I continue to research many different Christian denominations. My husband remains a WCG member, who is an enabler (as Toxic Faith identifies) and naïvely expects his continued presence can be a catalyst for real change1; so, I expect a battle that he can actually continue to throw his support to something that has clearly abused me and he needs prayers for intervention and understanding. Please pray for me and my family. Please pray for those in the WCG whom I already know have the eyes to see the same things, but lack the courage to act and depart.

By Cathy Chase
1995

cc: Hank Hanegraaff, CRI
Ruth Tucker, Trinity University
David Covington,2 WCG
Craig Bacheller, WCG
Peter Ditzel,3 Personal Freedom Outreach*
Exit & Support Network™

UPDATE: Today (post 1995) the WCG (GCI) is not only a member of the NAE but are involved with new evangelicals and the Charismatic movement. Read: Grace Communion International - New Age and Ecumenical Connections. In 2009 WCG changed their name to Grace Communion International; however, they still whitewash Herbert Armstrong and are ambivalent on several of his doctrines. Read: Is Grace Communion International Still Holding to Some of Herbert Armstrong's Doctrines?

Related Articles:

Dropouts See Hucksterism Where They Once Saw God

Grace Communion International History Revision

Footnotes by ESN:

1 For an example of this, read ESN writing: Those That Know the Truth, Yet Still Attend.

2 David Covington left the WCG in 1996. Read his exit letter to Joseph W. Tkach.

3 Peter Ditzel is no longer with PFO. Personal Freedom Outreach (PFO) is a member of Evangelical Ministries to New Religions (EMNR), a Lausanne-covenanted organization. EMNR has, in fact, been instrumental in mainstreaming the Mormon religion as a Christian denomination. WCG has given their approval to the Lausanne Movement, calling it a work of God. (History of Mission Spokane - as of 2-13-00, "What is God Doing?" / "What on Earth is God Doing?" by Gary Roberto.) Worldwide Church of God joined the Evangelical Ministries to New Religions in 1998. For more information, please see this offsite report:  Evangelical Ministries to New Religions (EMNR).


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