Be sure and investigate further into the inner workings of Living Church of God because they won’t tell you up front what you’re getting into.
Living Church of God is an offshoot of Worldwide Church of God (WCG), founded in 1934 by Herbert W. Armstrong (HWA). WCG was known for decades as a destructive, authoritarian religious group, which claimed to be the “one and only true Church of God” with Herbert Armstrong considered “God’s apostle” who was said to have received revelation from God. LCG continues the teachings of HWA.
Roderick C. Meredith left the WCG and founded Global Church of God in 1992. In a sermon on May 17, 1997 entitled “Where is the True Church Today?” he stated that the “true church” was none other than Global Church of God.
Meredith believed God chose him to “re-establish the true church.”
In November 1998, Meredith was fired from Global Church of God and in December of that year he founded Living Church of God (LCG).
Meredith stated that LCG is carrying on the teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong “more than any other group on earth.” Similar authoritarian groups say the same thing. Such boastings are common in totalistic, controlling Bible-based cults.
In 2007 Meredith founded Living University (LCG’s college) in Charlotte, N.C., which is designed to train ministers and lay members into the belief system of Herbert Armstrong. Since the college is not accredited by any agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, getting a “theological degree” from LCG’s Living University is not worth the paper it’s printed on. Living University was founded on February 27, 2007.
LCG produces a weekly half-hour TV program called Tomorrow’s World with Richard F. Ames and Gerald E. Weston as the speakers. [Update: Richard Ames had a stroke in March 2017] They also put out a magazine by the same name. Both avenues are used in recruiting potential members for LCG. The burdens that will be expected of the member is never shown upfront until they join the organization. By that time, they believe they are in the “true church of God” and to leave is to “turn your back on God” and lose out on eternal salvation. Headquarters (and what they say to do) is always correlated with God. Therefore, to disobey LCG is to disobey God.
Tomorrow’s World Bible Study Course is what prospective members and visitors to the site are encouraged to enroll in. It is taken online or through the mail. This course is based on Herbert Armstrong’s Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course where the reader would look up certain scriptures which were furnished (usually taken out of context) so they would come to the conclusions the WCG wanted them to. (Read: How Did Herbert W. Armstrong Recruit People?)
Living Youth Camp is LCG’s camp for their youth and is patterned after HWA’s Summer Educational Program camps (S. E. P.).
LCG teaches that there is only one true gospel which is “about the Kingdom of God,” but this gospel is centered on “God’s government,” to be enforced upon the entire world when Christ returns, and which members will have a big part in. The word “government of God” is also associated in members’ minds with LCG headquarters.
According to the Word of God, Meredith’s “faith plus works of the Law” belief system is clearly “another gospel” and “another Jesus.” (II Corinthians 11:4; Galatians 1:8) It does not point others to the Person of Christ and allow them to rest in what the Lord Jesus has already accomplished for them through His death and resurrection. LCG’s teachings are in direct conflict with the gospel of grace as presented in the N.T., especially in the Epistles of Paul. (Read: The Law of Moses and the Grace of God)
While LCG will say there are “branches” to the true church today (referring to WCG splinters that teach HWA’s dogma and which call themselves “churches of God”), in Meredith’s booklet, “Where is God’s True Church Today?” he asks the reader, “How can you recognize God’s true Church? This booklet will help you understand!” He continues on throughout, throwing out the word “true” over and over again. This kind of repetition of a word is common in Bible-based cults. He finally brings the reader to the point of thinking, “Yes! There must be a true church somewhere and Living Church of God is it!” This kind of black and white thinking can lead one to becoming deceived and exploited.
In December 2012, a new splinter group named “Continuing Church of God” was founded by Robert Thiel (former member of LCG). Bob Thiel said he no longer believes LCG is the Philadelphia remnant in Revelation 3 and that CCOG is now leading the “final phase of the work.”
Roderick Meredith died May 18, 2017 of cancer and was replaced by Gerald E. Weston. Weston follows the same belief system.