Exit and Support Network

WCG Took Jesus Away From Members

Herbert Armstrong was ashamed of Jesus*, the One who is the theme of the entire Bible. HWA took Him--who came to give us the gift of eternal life--away from the members. He twisted His character and polluted His words. He also endorsed WCG's tampering with the words of sacred hymns. (See: How the WCG Changed the Words of Sacred Hymns for our first article on this subject and also The Songs in the WCG.)

Although the Worldwide Church of God today has replaced their hymnal with a screen on the wall for their Charismatic, praise music1, their new hymnal (which was supposed to have many new hymns of the Christian faith) was published in 1993 at the time leaders in the WCG were going to the media, ahead of time, to announce their "new changes" that God supposedly revealed to them2. The very fact that they tampered with these sacred hymns of the church and continued singing them for several years after the new changes, spoke loudly of WCG's aversion to Orthodox Christianity's view of Jesus--the Jesus that they said they were turning to.

Let's take a look at this hymnal and how they left out many hymns about Christ. In their Topical Index under "Christ, Our Lord, Savior and King," none have "Christ" in the title. No other heading has the word "Christ" in it. Instead, the songs in this section focus on "our commission," the Kingdom, and service. The rest cover such things as "Christian Living," "The Church of God," "The Family of God," "God's Plan of Salvation," and other topics on "God." Wonderful songs such as "When We See Christ" and "Christ Receiveth Sinful Men" are missing.

Under the section on God's Love, Mercy and Patience, their new song "God So Loved the World" has the chorus saying:

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son; That all who trust in Him, shall eternally live as one."

This is not what the last part of John 3:16 says (which the song was patterned after). It says:

"...that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Why would the WCG attempt to cover over this all important verse?

Since there isn't even a section for Peace (which is usually included in other Christian hymnals), "Wonderful Peace," a very beautiful hymn which has been sung for decades by the Christians, is silently omitted.

As we go to the Alphabetical Index, under the "J" section there are no songs listed that have "Jesus" in the title. Therefore, comforting songs such as "More About Jesus," "Jesus is the Sweetest Name I Know," "I Must Tell Jesus," and "Jesus! What a Friend for Sinners" is missing.

In contrast, hymnals from Christian churches consist of topical indexes such as: Comfort, Assurance; Encouragement; Grace; Mercy; Forgiveness; Refuge; Everlasting Life; Holy Spirit; Inner Peace; Testimony; Witness and Evangelism, etc.

Hymns about Jesus Christ are often listed under the following headings in their hymnals: 

Jesus Christ-Friend
Jesus Christ-His Love
Jesus Christ-His Name
Jesus Christ-Savior
Cross of Jesus Christ
Blood of Jesus Christ
Atonement, Crucifixion and Death of Jesus Christ

Even most of WCG's new songs in this hymnal were all focused on what we needed to do instead of what God, through Christ, had already done for us.

WCG wouldn't have wanted us to sing sacred hymns like "I Surrender All" because it included the words, "All to Jesus I surrender" instead of "all to God's 'Way' I surrender." Yet, Jesus is the Way. Listen to some of the words of this hymn (taken from the first and third stanza):

All to Jesus I surrender, All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust him, In His presence daily live.
All to Jesus I surrender, Make me, Savior, wholly Thine.
Let me feel the Holy Spirit, Truly know that Thou art mine.

WCG wouldn't have us sing, "His Name is Wonderful," because this hymn puts the emphasis on Jesus, instead of on where they wanted it: "the church."

They hated songs like, "Jesus is All the World to Me," because WCG's focus was on "the Kingdom" and on ruling.

They wouldn't sing, "O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go" because WCG taught that if we didn't obey "God's Apostle," God would let us go.

We weren't allowed to sing "Jesus Paid it All" because WCG wanted members to think that Jesus really didn't pay it all and that He still had something extra we must do in order to gain His acceptance. How tragic and how evil.

No wonder many members leaned on each other in times of discouragement instead of Jesus. God was only there to give members "trials," to "build character," or to "punish if one didn't obey." No wonder we found it very hard after leaving to even speak the name of Jesus, especially in regard to His true character and love. We were taught it was "too sanctimonious."

No wonder many members leaned on each other in times of discouragement instead of Jesus. God was only there to give members "trials," to "build character," or to "punish if one didn't obey." No wonder we found it very hard after leaving to even speak the name of Jesus, especially in regard to His true character and love. We were taught it was "too sanctimonious."

WCG's goal was to make us as different from Orthodox Christians as possible. This was part of their control. It also was satanic because, at the same time, we were being removed from Jesus, His love and His true gospel of grace.3 The same thing is continuing today through authoritarian WCG splinter groups, such as the Philadelphia Church of God.

WCG's hymnal was talking about a different God and a different Jesus. It fit in perfectly with their "other gospel." 

Notice the last words on each stanza in this American Folk Hymn, "Jesus Lives, and So Shall I":

...Jesus is my hope and trust

WCG may have taken that hope--the only true hope of the Bible--away from us. But those of us that have left WCG (or any splinter group that suppresses the true gospel) can find the true Jesus who is truly the Light of the world.

By D. Woods
Exit & Support Network™
April 4, 2003

*The name Jesus means "Savior." (Matthew 1:21)

 

"The major theme of the entire Bible is the Lord Jesus Christ."
~J. Vernon McGee

 

Footnotes:

1 Modern church music is continuing to evolve. Much does not have substance or proclaim the Gospel, and the words are soon forgotten. Some of these songs that formerly would only use the word "God" (eliminating almost entirely the words, "Jesus," or "Christ,") are now starting to just say "You." This will appeal to a variety of religions, including a one world religion. Christian contemporary music is usually worldly, ecumenical and charismatic. More information on contemporary music is found in the book Apostasy and Deception in Christian Music by Gordon Sears. Also, see our Links for websites that offer conservative Christ-honoring Christian music tapes and CDs.

2 Michael Snyder and Ruth Tucker Radio interview, December 13, 1990, WMUZ, Detroit.

3 Herbert W. Armstrong stated, "Christ is not the gospel. Believing on Christ is not believing the gospel." (Voice clip of HWA giving a Bible Study and marking Buck Taylor; heard on pt. 2 of: "My Story" by C. Wayne Cole, 5-19-79; CD/audio tape with ESN).


Comfort in Music (Reading through the words of sacred hymns can speak to us of Jesus and His love. Let these words comfort you) 

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