(An Ungodly Experience Nobody Should Have To Endure)
This story will detail the cowardice, lies and manipulation that Fred R. Coulter of Christian Biblical Church of God has perpetuated.
Point 1: Fred Coulter came up with his own Bible. Although he professes to be a Greek expert, he knows no Hebrew.
Point 2: When translating the Old Testament, Fred decided to use a low grade translator (only a few years in school learning Hebrew which I understand it takes a 10-year or longer study of that language in order to come close to having the knowledge to translate it well).
Point 3: Fred Coulter was warned by another Hebrew scholar NOT to use his chosen translator as he was very elementary in his studies and nowhere near qualified to translate scripture. Fred Coulter ignored this warning as this translator appeared to go along with “whatever Fred wanted the Hebrew to say to make his points.”
Point 4: Fred claims that God in his infinite wisdom left nothing to chance with his Word. Well, except for the order of the books. God got sloppy there because Fred decided to rearrange it in its supposed original order (a point he never proves). In reality, Fred pushes any teachings of “grace” to the back of the book so that by the time the reader gets to it, he can be “brainwashed” into believing Fred’s interpretation of the law–particularly tithing.
Point 5: Fred’s Bible was 100% paid for by the tithes and offerings of his church members. Fred preached (off tape, but I was there as a witness) and bragged that he was able to get the Bible bound, printed, and finished for an unbelievably cheap price per book by farming it out to China. He then goes 180 degrees against his constant pounding of the scripture “…as you have freely received, freely give…” and then sells his Bible for an outrageous amount. Fred happens to own a publishing company. Although he supposedly has an independent accounting of his church, there is nothing known about the tremendous profits he makes off of church members by funneling his book sales through his publishing company. He even charges anyone in the congregation for a copy of the Bible if it is more than two copies per family or for anyone not currently contributing.
I was a steady, tithing church member in Christian Biblical Church of God (Fred Coulter’s group) for roughly 13+ years. I even gave sermonettes on Sabbaths and Holy Days. All was great until…
After all of the years of attending CBCG, and being bombarded with tithing tapes at the start of every new year (Fred makes it seem like it is a “promise he gave to the congregation to teach about tithing once per year”) it was apparent we really knew not much about tithing as Fred’s sermons were purposely vague and covered no important new material year after year. Those tapes were always very disappointing. I fully believe that was done on purpose.
One day, a relatively new member of the CBCG asked myself and a few others some questions about tithing and how he could figure out what was a legitimate tithe since he owned his own business. He wanted to make sure he wasn’t “robbing God” as Fred constantly pounds out. With a combined 40 years of church going experience between three of us, we could not adequately answer his questions. We decided to do our own study to help him.
It did not take long to discover many things related to tithing that we had never heard about before from Fred. At first, we didn’t put any of the missing puzzle pieces together but we were soon discovering something was wrong. Fred’s logic with tithing was slowly being torn apart by our own studies.
While we studied, we had no malice toward the CBCG and were actually delighted that we were discovering new truth. Other members of the congregation were also interested in our studies and were anxious to hear our report. Fred always preaches to study the Bible yourself and if we find he is wrong, just show him and he will change it. With this attitude, we continued.
After weeks of exhaustive study, it was becoming clear to us that tithing may not be required. As we continued to report these findings, we continued to receive support from other church members. In fact, we were told to “write up a report on this and show it to Fred!”
Then, we discovered, with no doubt, that not only was tithing not required today, but we also found out that Fred appeared to have manipulated, stretched, twisted, and omitted many passages of Scripture. We still did not know this for a fact though and we continued to approach it in a positive manner as the report was being completed. We were certain that the ministry in Fred’s group would be quite intrigued and maybe even pleased at the truth that was extremely obvious to us now. We thought Fred must have just missed it. At least, we were still at that point giving him the benefit of the doubt.
We emailed the report to a few ministers in the group and mailed a hard copy to Fred Coulter. What resulted was an immediate shock to all of us.
We were immediately told to stay away, stop writing such ignorant things, and leave the members alone. We were even told “HOW DARE YOU!”
Fred Coulter was not interested in the truth or even discussing the truth. Hate was spewed upon us. Fred then went on to lie about us in one of his weekly tapes where he said that “we never gave a dime to the church.” Fred had just cashed a check for over $1000.00 from me personally just a few weeks before and the other members who co-wrote and studied together were still tithing or giving offerings up to the day of that tape. Fred made up lies about us as well as other “ordained” members.
The congregation was also “whipped” into shape immediately as the “plunge protection team” (two elders) were sent to the local congregation to fix-up the damage. Of course we were told not to come back. What we thought would be accepted gleefully (because that was the spirit of it in our heart) was instead treated as first rate treason.
There is so much more but suffice it to say that Fred R. Coulter has had MANY, MANY witnesses over many subjects to change and correct. However, it appears all Fred is interested in is control and mostly, the mighty dollar. He cares not for souls! I guarantee you this.
In my opinion, because Fred has this attitude and has chosen to write his own version of the Bible himself in order to make sure it fits into his twisted teachings, that he may fall under the curse of changing the Word of God. For this Fred should have prayers made on his behalf in order to hopefully intercede and that God may have mercy on his soul. This is our duty as Christians.
For those thinking about being in Fred Coulter’s Christian Biblical Church of God or are in his group and want to know the truth–seek it in your heart and you will find it.
By Richard Hopkins (former member of CBCG)
May 19, 2011
Update:In 2004 Fred Coulter wrote: The New Testament In Its Original Order. Then in July 2008 he wrote: (which according to him was) “The Original Bible Restored.”
NOTE: Almost all of the ministers of the WCG controlling offshoots will say “study the Bible yourself and if I am wrong, show me and I will change it.” These words were first stated by Herbert Armstrong. But, as many have testified, it becomes a whole different story when anyone attempts it, as they soon find themselves out of the organization. Controlling leaders cannot stand confrontation and must receive absolute obedience.
Understanding the Tithe (Excellent study that explains why the tithe has no application in the Church today. The first message covers using religious extortion in order to coerce people to tithe. Covers the history of tithing; Malachi 3 and Hebrews 7 are also addressed; 8 MP3 messages; free download) [offsite link]
Answers to 60+Tithing Arguments [offsite article]