Exit and Support Network

Unavailable! The Worldwide News
– Prior to September 1995

WCG says their WN's1 are "not available before September 1995." What is it they don't want others to read? Would some words prove embarrassing to their image today? Following are some choice quotes from these "unavailable" Worldwide Newses, along with some comments by ESN. Take note of all the contradictory and confusing statements by the leaders, along with the doublespeak, deceit and blame. Such tactics by spin doctors are common in deceptive, religious cults, which begin making new doctrinal changes in their organization and, at the same time, try to keep their members under control. These writers were experts at causing their readers to end up totally confused. This is what a dialectical message is all about.

We only give quotes from 1994 and 1995. Not all issues from 1994 are quoted.

Comments in blue in brackets is by ESN. All bolding in quotes is ours for emphasis.

For more details concerning what was printed in the WN's during this period of time, read:

Kelly Marshall's letters to Janis Hutchinson

D. M. Williams' letters to Janis Hutchinson

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.

Note: Joseph W. Tkach, Sr., former pastor general of the Worldwide Church of God, died September 1995 of cancer at the age of 68.

 

List of "unavailable" WNs (1994 and 1995):

1994 WN's:
February 15, 1994 August 9, 1994
March 15, 1994 October 25, 1994
April 5, 1994 November 8, 1994
May 3, 1994 November 29, 1994
May 17, 1994 December 13, 1994
May 31, 1994 December 27, 1994

 

1995 WN's
January 10, 1995 May 23, 1995
January 24, 1995 June 6, 1995
February 7, 1995 June 20, 1995
February 21, 1995 July 4, 1995
March 7, 1995 July 18, 1995
March 21, 1995 August 1, 1995
April 25, 1995 August 15, 1995
May 9, 1995 August 29, 1995

 

February 15, 1994, The Worldwide News, VOL. XXII, NO. 4, Personal from Joseph W. Tkach, "Mobilizing our Congregations":

"God does not keep us from making mistakes. He allows us to be what we are: imperfect human beings. But he dos not expect us to be content with imperfection, rather he expects us to strive for perfection. ..." (p. 1)

"But coming to Christ is a lifelong commitment, and a process of growth and development in the Holy Spirit that cannot merely take place alone in someone's apartment. It can only take place in the context of the Body of Christ. The people God needs to join the fellowship of the Church." [meaning WCG] p. 3)

"Headquarters must lead the way..." (p. 7)

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March 15, 1994, The Worldwide News, VOL. XXII, NO. 6,"Plans for new church buildings announced, priorities explained" by Rick van Pelt:

"Congregations able to raise sufficient funds to offset the difference between rent and future mortgage payments will also be a higher priority than those not in the same position. As income allows, buildings will either be purchased or built." (p. 1)

[Comment: See August 9, 1994 WN below and comments by ESN.]

"Three aspects of salvation are revealed by the Sabbath" by Joseph Tkach, Jr.:

"It is important to annually review certain topics and to help people understand the truth about the Sabbath in a balanced manner. ... When this is done properly, it is an effective way of dispelling silly rumors, such as that we are doing away with the Sabbath or doing away with the law."

[Comment: Read 1993 sermon excerpts where Tkach, Jr. denied rumors that later became facts.]

"It is sad that some have mistakenly thought that they were earning salvation by Sabbath-keeping. We have had ministers and members among us who did not understand the Sabbath appropriately." (p. 3)

[Comment: And whose fault is that? Members were taught by HWA and his ministers that they were to observe the Sabbath or be thrown into the Lake of Fire.]

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April 5, 1994, The Worldwide News, VOL. XXII, NO. 7,"Labels, power and coming to terms" by Joseph Tkach, Jr.:

"As we grow in spiritual maturity in God's Church, and to avoid the all-too-human tendency of 'biting and devouring one another with words,' ..." (p. 4)

"We need to practice more humility in our communication. ... Of course, our pride and desire to be right get in the way." (p. 4)

"Applying a label of 'pagan' to a practice or concept can become a form of self-delusion. ... highly opinionated and arbitrary or self-righteous." (p. 4)

"Resorting to emotion-charged labels fosters childish thinking." (p. 8)

[Comment: Notice the blame placed on the members for things they were taught for years by headquarters as "truth." Nothing is said about how HWA and ministers started this labeling of outsiders.]

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May 3, 1994, The Worldwide News, VOL. XXII, NO. 9, Personal from Joseph W. Tkach, "Sabbath and Holy Days are reminders of our salvation in Christ":

"As we celebrate the Last Great Day...--the time when all the dead are raised to life and judged, the time when all those who never knew the gospel will, for the first time have the choice of believing or rejecting it. This day pulsates with the joy and comfort of knowing that all who die never having heard the gospel will indeed, by God's grace, yet hear it." (p. 5)

[Comment: Read: Is Grace Communion International Still Holding to Some of Herbert Armstrong's Doctrines?]

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May 17, 1994, The Worldwide News, VOL. XXII, NO. 10, Personal from Joseph W. Tkach, "The true Church: what and where is it?"

"If there are converted people in other churches, does that mean we are not the true Church of God? The answer is that it definitely does not mean we aren't the true Church of God." (p. 1)

"It doesn't mean we aren't the true Church of God. It simply points out the fact that the true Church of God is not limited to any corporate entity nor any human organization." (p. 1)

"So, how are we to regard those who attend 'other churches'? With love. Does anyone think that God would approve of our ridiculing them, degrading them or despising them? Yet, that is just what many of us have tended to do over the years." (p. 3)

[Comment: That is what HWA did and also his ministers. But in this very confusing Personal, Tkach again blames the WCG belief system on the members.]

"To disagree is perfectly normal. We should hold our beliefs conscientiously, and in the Worldwide Church of God, we certainly do! ... Again, that does not mean we agree on every point. We certainly don't agree with most other churches on the correct day to observe the Sabbath." (p. 3)

"We have no right to become self-important, thinking that we have all the truth. Every truth we have, God has given us through his Word." (p. 3)

"On some things, we have even been wrong, not because God gave us error, of course, but because we misinterpreted his Word." (p. 3)

[Comment: In other words, "God" gave us that which was truth, but if it was error, then it was our fault.]

"And Paul wrote that any who bring a gospel different from what he taught are to be condemned (Galatians 1:6-8)."

[Comment: Then why doesn't Tkach condemn HWA who taught members what they came to believe?]

"Well, then. Why can't I just go to another church where I won't have the problems of Sabbath-keeping?" one person asked. First, because God commands Sabbath-keeping. Second, because God has called all his children to "deny themselves and take up their cross and follow him." The way of the cross is not the way of least resistance. It is the narrow and difficult path. Third, God expects us to be faithful with what we understand, even if he has not given that understanding to others." (p. 7)

"And let us thank him for the special heritage that he gave us through his servant, Herbert Armstrong, of deep commitment to the authority of the Bible as our continual guide toward faith and obedience. ... For this reason, we are also committed to upholding and walking in all the ways of God, including the observance of the Sabbath...as well as the annual festivals, during which we celebrate God's plan of redemption and salvation of humanity through Jesus Christ." (p. 7)

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May 31, 1994, The Worldwide News, VOL. XXII, NO. 11, Personal from Joseph W. Tkach, "Vision for the Future":

"We used to report that Europe was united and that Christ would return within 'x' number of years. ... But our predictions were often wrong." (p. 1)

[Comment: Were they "often" wrong or "always" wrong? HWA gave over 200 false prophecies (not "predictions") and these can be found on the Internet. Also read: Did Herbert Armstrong Set Dates?]

"When people become interested in the Church, they can best be nurtured if they are already near a [WCG] congregation and near a minister." (p. 6)

"And personal evangelism adds people almost for free." (p. 6)

"...I hope we will be able to build or buy some of our own church buildings." (p. 6)

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August 9, 1994, The Worldwide News, VOL. XXII, NO. 16, Personal from Joseph W. Tkach, "Honing our evangelistic tools":

"Now I want to comment a bit about our plans to build or buy meeting facilities for local churches, and I want to remind everyone of the purposes of these buildings ... before investing the large amounts of money involved." (p. 9)

"I announced the building program in the Feb. 15 WN as part of a five-point plan... I cautioned everyone to be realistic about the time necessary for implementing such a program. In the long run, Church-owned buildings can save us money. But it takes a lot of money to make the initial purchase." (p. 9)

"Our budgets are still tight. We do not yet have the money to start many buildings. But we have started some of the preliminary work needed: architectural plans, legal research, etc." (p. 9)

"Please remember that the primary purpose of Church-owned buildings is to support local evangelism. It is not primarily for our own comfort or our own prestige." (p. 9)

"The areas of greatest need and opportunity are not always the areas that have the most resources. So we will ask that donations come here to a central fund so we can balance out some inequities..." (p. 9)

"We should also be careful not to have unrealistic expectations about the grandeur of the buildings we will be able to afford." (p. 9)

"As we continue with our plan to build local meeting facilities, we want to remind you of the need for a great deal of patience." (p. 9)

"Of course, international areas have to evaluate their own particular situation and circumstances." (p. 9)

"Above all, I want to repeat the fact that these buildings should be used to serve the communities they are in. They are evangelistic tools..."

[Comment: What happened to all that money members sent in for new church buildings? In 1997 in Transformed by Truth, Epilogue, Tkach, Jr. stated: "Few of our congregations own their own buildings, but this is probably a good thing, since it means we are not saddled with mortgages for buildings larger than needed."]

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October 25, 1994, The Worldwide News, VOL. XXII, NO. 19, Personal from Joseph W. Tkach, "Love-all encompassing":

"Although total attendance [for the Feast] was less than last year, it is clear that those who have chosen to follow Christ as he strengthens and renews his Church are indeed devoted and faithful. God often chooses to do more with a few faithful, who listen to him and obey him, than with many who are set in their ways and seek their own righteousness." (p. 1)

[Comment: In others words, "Those who went to the Feast have chosen to follow Christ and those who stayed home are stubborn and self-righteous."]

"If we love God with all our heart and mind, we will live. If that occupies us 100 percent of the time, we will inherit eternal life." (p. 9)

"But the fact of having the perfect righteousness of Christ imputed to us does not mean we do not have to obey the commandments. They are not done away or abolished. They remain as standards that all Christians ought to strive to meet." (p. 9)

[Comment: The Law is not a "standard" for Christians under the New Covenant. Read: Are We Still Under the Law in Spite of Grace? and Doesn't keeping the Ten Commandments play a part in salvation?]

"Grace encourages us to keep the law." (p. 9)

"Love and law go together throughout the Bible." (p. 9)

"We accept him as an authoritarian Master whom we ought to obey." (p. 10)

"...Jesus' message does not stop with grace." (p. 10)

"God's grace comes with an obligation." (p. 10)

"...we have an unlimited obligation to God." (p. 10)

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November 8, 1994, The Worldwide News, VOL. XXII, NO. 20, Personal from Joseph W. Tkach, "Our work and our calling":

Note from ESN: In this Personal Tkach really lays it on the line in his correction of those members who did not show up for the WCG's Feast of Tabernacles. "Work" and "calling" are buzzwords used often by HWA.

"How sad that some among us were actually upset and angry to learn that there are true Christians in other churches besides ours. That in itself is an indicator of how far from Christ some of us have become--to the point that some of us find it unpleasant to know that God has called others besides us to salvation!" (p. 1)

"The fact that God has called us to salvation in his Son, that he has given us a place in the body of Christ and a job to do, is not enough! We want even more! We want to be the only ones who can have the Holy Spirit. We want to be the only ones who will stand in the first resurrection." (p. 1)

"Isn't that selfish, arrogant attitude one that pervades Christian churches? Many churches believe that they and they alone are the truly faithful and obedient fellowship of believers. And just like so many of the others, we have been guilty of the same sin." (p. 1)

"It is true that most people who call themselves Christian are not." (p. 1) "But that is certainly not true of everybody." (p. 1)

[Comment: Notice how the last two sentences contradict themselves.]

"That does not change our calling, relationship and responsibility to Christ one iota! We are called to repentance and faith and obedience to our Savior, and that is exactly what God expects of us! God has also given us understanding and respect for the seventh-day Sabbath and the annual Holy Days, something he has not given most other fellowships." (p. 1)

"The Sabbath and Holy Days point us to Christ and the plan of salvation in him...And that is why we keep them: to celebrate salvation in Jesus Christ, to fellowship with the Body of Christ...to worship and honor God--not to be the 'only true Christians.' 'Well, if that's the only reason we do these things, why bother?' someone (whose life does not revolve around Jesus Christ) might ask." (p. 1)

"Anyone who loves God, and whose life is wholly devoted to Jesus Christ, will not be absent (except for the proverbial 'ox in the ditch') when God's people gather to worship him, to fellowship in his name and to celebrate his great acts of love and salvation! It is the person who is seeking to do the very least God absolutely requires of him or her who would ask such a question. That is the difference between the old covenant and the new." (p. 5)

"The Sabbath and the Holy Days, rightly observed, help keep us mindful of certain things that should enable us to do a work that many churches are unable to do." (p. 5)

"But, true to human nature, some of us have allowed these blessings to become a snare by becoming arrogant and self-righteous about them. That is not God's way. ... That kind of self-righteousness is one of the very things God has caused us to see in ourselves--so that we can repent and turn from it. And, I'm sorry to say, it is one of the very things some among us have chosen not to repent of." (p. 5)

"What other fellowships do is between them and God. But God has called us here to do the work he has given us--and every single member has a vital part to play in that work!" (p. 5)

"Some among us have become spiritually weak..." (p. 5)

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November 29, 1994, The Worldwide News, VOL. XXIII, NO. 21, Personal from Joseph W. Tkach, "What identifies true Christians and where God is working":

"God has called us into his Church..." (p. 1)

"Although we recognize that there are Christians who are not members of the Worldwide Church of God, this does not give us an excuse to leave the Church where God has placed us." (p. 2)

[Comment: See Dec. 13, 1994 WN below for more on this subject.]

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December 13, 1994, The Worldwide News, VOL. XXII, NO. 22, Personal from Joseph W. Tkach, "Can we be zealous without being exclusive?"

Note from ESN: In this WN Tkach makes it very clear that one is to "stay" in the WCG.

"Since we avoid condemning other Christians and we recognize that true Christians can be found in other fellowships, does that mean that our members are justified in leaving this Church to join another? We said it before, and we'll say it again: No. ... This is the Church through which God is right now working..." (p. 5)

"...there are two basic reasons people leave the Church. One is because they are unable to accept the gospel for what it really is and want to retain the Church's former doctrinal errors. The other, and opposite, reason some leave is that they do now see the gospel for what it is, and therefore feel they have nothing in common with those who are behind them in understanding." (p. 5)

[Comment: What about those who left WCG because they realized they had been in a destructive cult (not a "church"), which had exploited and deceived them?]

"To leave the very fellowship through which God has brought us to this point of spiritual growth...is a 'me first' attitude--a spirit of rejoicing in one's own salvation and wanting to find a place where one's faith won't be challenged, without considering the fact that God calls his people not to individual salvation but into the community of the saved." (p. 5)

"Those who are growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ because of what God has done in this Church have an obligation to let their growth be used of him to help others in our fellowship. To leave the Church is to bail out on the God of grace and love, who is at work in his Church." (p. 5)

"We all know that God is not pleased with those who shrink back, who look back after beginning to plow, who seek an easier road, some imaginary path involving what we hope will be fewer sacrifices." (p. 5)

"...we still have obligations to the denomination into which God called us. We pledge to work within the group, that part of the Body of Christ that God used to lead us to an unconditional surrender to Christ." (p. 5)

"If we slack off on our support, we sap some of the strength of the Church. If we get tired of helping others and quit, we've betrayed the people we are supposed to serve. Instead of walking in the patience and commitment of true Christians, we have selfishly chosen what we expect to be an easier path." (p. 5)

"Beware the dissidents! They have flattering ideas, but their unvarnished goal is to cause division to gain followers, contrary to the teaching of Christ. Keep away from them; do not welcome them into your minds and hearts. ... Do not accept their diet of slander and innuendo--do not base your salvation on the rumors they spread! They may offer emotional comfort by teaching things you already agree with, but at what price? (p. 5)

"A few members have been poisoned by dissident ideas, but do not want to join a bunch of complainers, either. So they stay at home. This may be temporarily expedient, especially if they avoid divisive literature, but it is not a biblically valid approach to Christianity. ... isolating ourselves is simply not part of biblical Christianity" (p. 5)

[Comment: HWA was constantly using the word "surrender" but it actually meant surrendering one's will to the WCG organization. It is also interesting that Tkach, Sr. should use the word "poisoned" which is #10 in the article, "Identifying a Cultic Church."

"If our local churches are working effectively, they will provide the friendships and social supports that people do not want to leave. ... We want members to be part of invigorating networks of friendships...we need to stay in the Church..." (p. 5)

"...we need to focus our energies on doing his work, not worrying about whether other people are doing it or whether they have it easier than we do. We are the servants, not the masters." (p. 5)

"Instead of worrying about who we are, and who they are, we need to focus on what we should be doing. Our real identity is linked to our duty: ... We are doing the work he has given us..." (p. 5)

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December 27, 1994, The Worldwide News, VOL. XXII, NO. 23, Personal from Joseph W. Tkach, "The pace of change":

Note from ESN: More on "staying put" in the WCG.

"Some people seem to think this gospel is something we are preaching just so we can be 'accepted' by other churches." (p. 5)

"He called us here, into the Worldwide Church of God. It is here that he opened our minds to the gospel, brought us to repentance, gave us new life in Christ... It is here, in the Worldwide Church of God, that he has given us the task of doing his work, and it is here that he expects us to do it. ...it pleased him to place us here." (p. 5)

"God has brought us together for his purpose, and it is not up to us to say to God: 'I don't like where you've placed me. I'd rather do your work somewhere else, some place I'll choose for myself.' " (p. 5)

"Once a person becomes a converted Christian, there is only one valid reason to leave the particular fellowship into which God placed him or her--if that fellowship does not love, honor, glorify, praise, follow, worship, obey and preach Jesus Christ."

"Why do brethren leave the Church?" by Alan Dean, p. 4:

"Over the years the Church has made modifications to its understanding of doctrine and its application." (p. 4)

"In the 1970s people became upset over changing Pentecost to Sunday." (p. 4)

"They lost faith that Christ will lead the Church to a fuller understanding of truth. It takes time and it takes experience to finely tune truth." (p. 4)

[Comment: Much more happened in the 1970s to cause 70 ministers and 11,000 members to leave the WCG than just becoming "upset over changing Pentecost to Sunday." Read: Worldwide Church of God History to see how HWA and GTA refused to listen to those evangelists in the `70s who sincerely and earnestly tried to introduce many of the same doctrines that were later brought about by the WCG in the `90s.]

"When one's personal prophetic position is wrong it can cause disappointment, even cynicism. Some have left over the failure of dates. Others have left over the failure of their chronological list of end-time events."

[Comment: Wasn't it HWA who taught the chronological list of end-time events?]

"Some give up. ... It seems more attractive to float down the river, rather than swim against the current. Others really want to sin and just stop the pretense and let loose."

"The excitement that greeted them when they came to Church is gone. They have gone on autopilot. ... We need to stir up the Spirit to recapture our first romance with the truth." (p. 4)

"A few have felt superior to the Church. ... They forget that Christ works through his Church and not through lone rangers." (p. 4)

"Occasionally critics enter the Church. ...they herald opinions on how the Church should be run. Sometimes they are right, which only emboldens them to further attack. Soon they feel that they are more righteous than the Church. They leave to join other groups." (p. 4)

"We need to know ourselves and avoid being seduced into believing we are more righteous than the Church." (p. 4)

[Comment: What he is saying is don't ever question those in WCG who are in authority over you, because if you do you are being critical and self-righteous.]

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