The more I read on your website the more my suspicions and my decision to leave WCG are reaffirmed. I need to tell everyone what is still going on in Worldwide Church of God. Your Worldwide News excerpts from 1994 about “staying put” in WCG are exactly, almost word for word, what I was told by my pastor and other leadership when I left in 2005! They have supposedly come so far in the thinking and beliefs, but the fact that they are still preaching this garbage from 1994 shows that they haven’t.
I was told that I was having a “me-first” attitude for leaving the WCG congregation, otherwise referred to as Crossroads Christian Fellowship. I was told that I was selfish for leaving and that I wasn’t willing to stay and strive with the others. The reason I left had nothing to do with being unwilling to work hard or strive. It had everything to do with their cult-mentality and the excessively prideful attitude of Jim Valekis the senior pastor. And, it was far from a selfish choice! The selfish choice would have been to stay in my comfort zone in the WCG, which I had gone to my entire life; the “church” where my family and childhood friends still attend. Instead, I made the very hard choice to leave everyone and follow Jesus only. It was the opposite of selfish, it was a sacrifice made for Jesus. However, I now realize that it was the best decision I have ever made!
They still believe that WCG is somehow better than other churches because of what God has done there. Since they have changed their doctrine, unlike other cults in history, they believe that God has special favor on them. They are still self-righteous. Nothing has really changed! My husband was told by the senior pastor that God is doing something different in WCG than in other churches. And I was told that I owed it to the congregation to stay because that is the place where God showed me the truth.
I was also told that by leaving, I was sapping some of the strength of the church (which is exactly what is said in the 1994 Worldwide News article). Excuse me, but I am not the one who gives “strength to the church,” Jesus Christ does. I was made to feel like I betrayed everyone. In addition, they told me not to come back to services unless I realized that I was wrong.
I was told that God placed me in that congregation and I had no right to tell God that I want to be placed somewhere else. First of all, God didn’t and wouldn’t place me in a cult. I was born into it! Secondly, it was at the call of the Holy Spirit that I decided to leave, God was placing me elsewhere. I was also told that the only reason to rightly leave was if they weren’t preaching the true gospel of Jesus. So, basically, as long as they “preach Jesus,” they can get away with murder! They expect no one to question anything that they do as long as they preach Jesus. If you do question it, you are treated horribly!
I was told that the sole purpose of church is to serve. Again, nothing has changed from the days before change. Not only were all of these things told to me, they have been preached from the pulpit since I left.
Please keep in mind that these things I’ve described just happened in 2005 and even more recently to many other people I know who have left. People need to hear what continues to take place there. I pray that God will open the eyes of all who are still stuck in this cult!
By Kelly Case (real name used with permission) – Former WCG member/Child Survivor
Step-Granddad Was John Amos / Cult-Like Mentalities Still in WCG (Kelly’s first email to ESN)
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.)