Worldwide Church of God is Now Known as Grace Communion International

 

Worldwide Church of God stated that their WN’s1 are “not available before September 1995.” What was it they didn’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, blame and lies. 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.

Note: There are WN online from the very early years up until 1986 but none after that especially for  1994 or 1995. (More about these years with WCG can be found in our OIU Newsletters in PDF.)

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

Comments in rose color in brackets are by ESN. All bolding in quotes is ours for emphasis.

Also see: Video Sermon by Tkach to Worldwide Church of God Members, January 1995

Update: Joseph W. Tkach, Sr., died September 22, 1995 of cancer at the age of 68. Worldwide Church of God changed their name in 2009 to Grace Communion International in the United States. (Some local church areas and countries may still carry the former name or a different one.)

 

1994 WN:
 1995 WNs 
February 15, 1994August 9, 1994May 23, 1995May 23, 1995
March 15, 1994October 25, 1994January 24, 1995June 6, 1995
April 5, 1994November 8, 1994February 7, 1995June 20, 1995
May 3, 1994November 29, 1994February 21, 1995July 4, 1995
May 17, 1994December 13, 1994March 7, 1995July 18, 1995
May 31, 1994December 27, 1994March 21, 1995August 1, 1995
April 25, 1995August 15, 1995
May 9, 1995August 29, 1995

GO to 1995 WNs

1994

1994 WNs:

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)

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.]

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.]

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: Grace Communion International and Their Heretical Beliefs (November 2019 letter to ESN)]

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)

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)

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.”]

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)

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)

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.]

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.]

“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)

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.]

Back to 1994 WNs


1994

1995 WNs:

January 10, 1995, The Worldwide News, VOL. XXIII, NO. 1, Personal from Joseph W. Tkach, “Understanding the Covenants”:

Note from ESN: What WCG printed in this issue (it covered their entire paper) did not give the unedited version of this blame-filled, shouting sermon given by Tkach, Sr. For excerpts from this three hour sermon, read our transcript with comments: Video Sermon by Joseph Tkach, Sr. to Worldwide Church of God, January 1995.

January 24, 1995, The Worldwide News, VOL. XXIII, NO. 2, Personal from Joseph W. Tkach:

“New light on the Sabbath, Holy Days, unclean meats”:

[The Sabbath]:

“But the physical keeping of the Sabbath is not part of our new covenant obligation (Galatians 4:1-31).” (p. 1, 5)

“The old covenant is not applicable to Christians.” (p. 5)

“Does this mean that we should stop keeping the Sabbath? No, it doesn’t. We will continue to keep the Sabbath. To set aside the Sabbath every week to assemble together and to devote to congregational worship is appropriate and fitting.” (p. 5)

“But to say that the Sabbath is a binding command on Christians in the New Testament, and to forbid employment as a requirement for membership, is to misunderstand and misapply the Scriptures. (On the other hand, to play golf or go to sports stadiums instead of assembling for worship is wrong.) (p. 5)

“The Sabbath does not appear in any of the ‘sin lists’ in the New Testament. Nor does it appear in any of the commands or lists of virtues in the New Testament.” (p. 8)

“We therefore, keep the Sabbath voluntarily, recognizing it as a biblical pattern for worship.” (p. 5)

“But just because we suffered in the past with certain misunderstandings doesn’t mean Christ would forgive me for just continuing to bind that on everyone else. That would be wrong.” (p. 5)

We will continue to assemble on the Sabbath and on the Holy Days. And we will continue to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.” (p. 5)

[Comment: By 1998 the WCG was calling the Feasts “optional” and by 2005, they were already phasing them out, only having “special worship festivals during the summer and fall of the year” by certain local congregations. In 2006 their “worship calendar” included Roman Catholic / Lutheran observances such as Maundy Thursday (also known as “Holy Thursday”), First Sunday of Advent and Last Sunday of Advent. They have also referred to Pentecost as “Whitsunday.” However, some WCG congregations overseas (i. e., Philippine congregations) still observe a “festival” or “grand celebration” either immediately before or after the Feast of Tabernacles. (Worldwide Church of God Philippine Update, October 6, 2007)]

“The Sabbath and the Holy Days become holy time for us as we devote them to God, but they are not holy time in the sense that the old covenant is still in force.” (p. 5)

[Comment: Can you see the many contradictions?]

[Annual Festivals]:

“Yes, we will [continue to observe them]. These are major highlights of our pattern of worship and have rich mean for us.” (p. 8) [This was in answer to a question about whether members would continue to observe the annual Festivals.]

We are, and will remain, a Holy Day-observing church.” (p. 5)

“But we will do it in the understanding that observance of the annual Festivals is not a requirement for salvation.” (p. 8)

“The Bible has to be our guide in these things, not our tradition.” (p. 8)

“You seem quite upset that we choose to meet on the Sabbath because it is our tradition. You state, ‘Something so important as the day of worship should have a biblical basis!’ However, I would like to point out that your statement is an assumption, without a biblical basis. … Since the Bible doesn’t command us to change, we have continued our tradition (Worldwide News, January 16, 1996, Personal from the Editor, “Christ is the foundation of our faith” from HQ letter sent to WCG member.)

“What about saving second tithe? Members are certainly free to save a tenth of their income for expenses at the Feast of Tabernacles, and many, if not most, will continue to do so.” (p. 8)

“But it is only necessary to save enough to keep the Feast. Second tithe is not commanded and not a matter of obedience or sin under the new covenant.” (p. 8)

“In order to help with the costs of operating the Festival sites, we still ask that members contribute a portion of their Festival savings to the Festival Fund (formerly called the tithe of the tithe).” (p. 8)

[Third Tithe]:

“I cannot stress enough the need for the Assistance Fund for the purpose of helping the needy in the Church.” (p. 8)

[Comment: Third tithe fund was also called the Assistance Fund. Read: Third Tithe: Where Did it Really Go?]

“However, the three-tithing system is not part of the new covenant.” (p. 8)

Nevertheless, the admonition for Christians to help those in need is every bit as great.” (p. 8)

[Unclean Meat]:

Voluntarily abstaining from unclean meat, when not used as a spiritual yardstick, can help us remember that we are made spiritually clean through faith in Jesus Christ and that we are called out of the world to serve him.” (p. 8)

“But there is no scriptural requirement for Christians to abstain from unclean meat.” (p. 8)

[Spoken by Tkach, Sr. in his January 1995 Video Sermon to members]:

“Am I encouraging anyone to eating unclean foods now? I couldn’t even if Christ came down and told me like Peter. And I don’t think any of you would either. I look at that lobster. I never had a lobster even before I was converted. I had certain standards as far as my rearing was concerned. Who the heck could eat a lobster??? And if they’re happy, God bless them.”

February 7, 1995, The Worldwide News, VOL. XXIII, NO. 3, Personal from Joseph W. Tkach: “Our agreement with God”:

“When we were baptized, we made an agreement with God. We accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, and we agreed to obey him in everything he commanded. … We would have to make sacrifices for our Lord and Master. … It was not just a one-time sacrifice, but a lifetime commitment. Our allegiance is given entirely to God.” (p. 1)

[Comment: How many at their baptism were told they were “accepting Christ as their personal Savior?” Weren’t potential members asked if they had repented of their rotten, human nature that was “in rebellion to God’s Law”? Wasn’t their “allegiance, lifetime commitment, and sacrifices” to be given to the WCG government?]

“Some people…worry about the past, as if previous sacrifices were all for nothing. And I say, absolutely not!” (p. 1)

[Comment: Try telling that to those who gave up their retirement, pension, college education, jobs, families, friends, health, etc. for the WCG.]

[Church Employees]:

“I would like to guarantee incomes and jobs for all our employees, but I simply cannot. Nor can I maintain the doctrinal status quo simply for the sake of mammon.” (p. 5)

“To keep our income up, it might be temporarily useful to continue teaching our old doctrines—but it would be unethical for me to teach traditions as requirements when the Bible does not require those traditions in the form we have become accustomed to.” (p. 5)

[Those who were leaving WCG]:

“How sad that these people [who leave WCG] are looking to humans and not to Christ!” (p. 5)

“There will always be critics and skeptics, and there will always be people who leave. That’s because some people have been among us for the wrong reasons.” (p. 5)

“Some people psychologically want a religion of rules and rigor.” (p. 5)

“Some people want religion for selfish reasons—to save their skins from coming tribulation, to get power and glory for themselves in the world to come, to feel wiser or better than other folks in this life, etc.” (p. 5)

“Some of our doctrines appealed to these human desires, and it is no surprise that some people drop out when the personal appeal is gone. Of course, God will add others to take their place…” (p. 5)

[Comment: The above statements do not, in the least, admit to the fact that people were deceived into believing they were obeying God, and fear was used to keep them staying and obeying this “religion of rules and rigor.” The “place of safety,” becoming a member in the “God family,” and “ruling in the Kingdom” was held out as the reward if they did. Furthermore, HWA taught members to look to him as Christ’s Apostle who spoke for God.]

“It’s not easy to admit that we were wrong, and it’s even hard to admit it when we vigorously defend as true what we now see was not.” (p. 5)

[Comment: Tkach does not admit that it was THEY–the leaders at Headquarters– (not “we”–the members) who were wrong. Blame (used in religious cults) is being placed on the members here for only believing what they were taught.]

“But we cannot bury our heads in the sand—we must let the truth change us and direct our lives.” (p. 5)

[Comment: Before joining, members were told they had “the truth” but now that “truth” is being changed 180 degrees.]

“We were wrong before, so isn’t it possible that we are wrong again?” (p. 5)

[Comment: This makes no sense when you realize that members were made to believe that HWA had “God’s truth” and the other churches were “counterfeit Christianity.” Why would the truth bounce back and forth?]

[Tithing]:

“I am thankful for the continuing faithfulness of many members. Some are giving more than ever…” (p. 5)

“These doctrinal changes are upsetting, in part, because of our failure to help our members focus on the true foundation. And I am partly to blame for that, and Christ now holds me accountable for helping correct it whether everybody likes it or not. The only viable option is to go forward!” (p. 5)

“I would like to do more work with less money, but I don’t always know how.” (p. 5)

[Sabbath-keeping Groups]:

“The reason that Sabbath-keeping groups are prone to schisms is that some people put more emphasis on their own interpretation of the Sabbath than they do on love for one another.” (p. 5)

 [Comment: More blame is placed on the members in this sentence, since they were taught by HQ to “keep the Sabbath,” or else end up in the Lake of Fire.]

[Continue On]:

“Christianity is a costly faith. It demands all that we have.” (p. 5)

“The Sabbath will always be important to us…” (p. 5)

“We do not want anyone to be less zealous than they were before.” (p. 8)

“I will close with Hebrews 13:16-21:” ‘Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. … Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you. …’ ” (p. 8)

[Comment: In other words continue to kept the Sabbath, tithe, observe all the Holy Days, and do not leave the WCG–but if headquarters tells you something different, then obey because they represent the government of God!]

February 21, 1995, The Worldwide News, VOL. XXIII, NO. 4, “Tithing”:

“There is a good precedent for tithing before Sinai, but no proof that it was required. And without proof, we cannot bind requirements on God’s people.” (p. 5)

“We can point to Abraham’s good example, but we cannot make it a requirement when the Bible does not authorize us to.” (p. 5)

“However, there continues to be a financial need within the new covenant, and there continues to be a financial obligation on the part of all Christians.” (p. 5)

“The new covenant makes astonishing demands on us—it demands all that we have…” (p. 5)

“Wealth is often an enemy of faith. It can ‘choke’ people and cause them to be spiritually unfruitful. … He [Jesus] warned us about the dangers of greed and warned about the danger of storing up wealth for self without being ‘rich toward God’ …” (p. 5, 6)

[Comment: Why doesn’t Tkach bring up the subject of the greed of Herbert Armstrong? Read: Herbert W. Armstrong: The Rich Apostle]

“When the wealthy give banquets, they should invite the poor and the handicapped.” (p. 6)

[Comment: Did HWA? Did any of the WCG leaders do so when they entertained and/or were being entertained in the finest of surroundings?]

“Money competes for our allegiance…” (p. 6)

[Comment: Wasn’t our “allegiance” always to the WCG government?]

“If disciples of Jesus Christ can give, but do not, they are falling short.” (p. 6) [emp. ours]

March 7, 1995, The Worldwide News, VOL. XXIII, NO. 5, Personal from Joseph W. Tkach: “Headquarters role: help members and congregations rise to potential”:

“The Church must instruct and train members for active service in God’s army.” (p. 1)

“Until very recently, our members have not been called on to enter into the work of the gospel. Therefore, they need preparation and training. They need education and instruction.” (p. 1)

“Therefore, another one of our primary goals is to set up a system by which members can raise funds locally to buy or build local church buildings.” (p. 10)

“As we prepare to set up such a program, I must stress that it is important that building fund donations not replace the much-needed contributions for the general work of the Church. Our financial priorities include ministers’ salaries, general church administration, youth programs, members assistance programs (formerly called third tithe assistance), the Plain Truth, The Worldwide News and other publications and support for Ambassador University. These must be paid for my members’ faithful contributions to Church headquarters. I want to encourage you not to diminish your regular donations in order to contribute to the local building fund.” (p. 10)

God has seen fit to give us a financial crisis, and that crisis is going to affect many of our faithful employees in a very personal way.” (p. 10)

“Becoming prepared to effectively share the gospel message” by Joseph Tkach, Jr., p. 1:

“Further, some people want to believe that Mr. Armstrong did, indeed, receive new and special instruction or new truth directly from God, even though he said he did not.” (p. 3)

“This does not disparage Mr. Armstrong. We believe that he was a minister of Jesus Christ. … Mr. Armstrong was devoted to Christ in spite of his errors, and placed the Bible above his own ideas.” (p. 3)

Mr. Armstrong disclaimed special revelation, as well. He never claimed infallibility when it came to preaching and teaching. He only claimed to understand what the revelation of Scripture teaches us. … This is no disrespect to him. He was always willing to make a change when he could see the error. Of course, while he was still alive, neither he nor any of us saw these errors.” (p. 4)

[Comment: Read: Worldwide Church of God History and Robert Gerringer Letter to learn about what happened in the `70s to know whether or not it is true that neither HWA, nor any of them, “saw these errors.”]

[The Local Church Building Program]:

“As most of you are aware, finances at this time are tight and we will only be able to fund a limited church building program for the foreseeable future.” (p. 4)

“We know we have a lot to learn about constructing and owning church buildings. In order to avoid creating future problems for ourselves, we need to go slowly, see what works and what doesn’t, and gain some experience before trying to implement the goals of this program on a churchwide scale. (p. 4)

“…it [the decline in income] is happening at a time when we are trying to acquire our own church buildings and establish a retirement program for Church employees.” (p. 4)

[Comment: Did church members ever get their own buildings? See August 9, 1994 WN comments.]

[Those who are leaving WCG]:

“God also prunes the vine.” (p. 4)

[Comment: Readers are made to associate the WCG with being the “vine,” but it is Christ, not WCG, that is the Vine. Leaving WCG does not mean one has left the true Vine.]

“Sadly, there are those who are led away to follow false teachers who have desired to have preeminence. These false teachers…do violence to the Scriptures by refusing to repent from heresy and misinterpretation.” (p. 4)

[Comment: While this refers to the leaders of the splinter groups at that time, doesn’t this apply foremost to Herbert Armstrong and the WCG?]

[Rumors]:

“Endless rumors are not a hallmark of Christ working in us.” (p. 9) “For example, it is not true that we plan to change the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday. … It is not true that we promote the celebration of Christmas or Easter.” (p. 9)

“Generally speaking, people will be healthier if they do not allow themselves to be merchandised by rumors. … Some ministers and members misunderstand the doctrinal corrections as taking away from their devotion to honor God on the Sabbath. Such is not the case.” (p. 9)

[Comment: Isn’t this trying to control one’s source of information? Read how Joseph Tkach, Jr. was denying “rumors” in a sermon back in April 1993.]

March 21, 1995, The Worldwide News, VOL. XXIII, NO. 6, “Questions & Answers From the Pastor General’s Report,” p. 7:

[Sabbath]:

“We will probably always have strict Sabbath-keepers in our fellowship. … It’s good for people to discipline themselves, and it’s good for them to give time to worshiping God and doing godly works of service. This can help keep them mindful of God.” (p. 7)

“Most of our members are able to continue setting aside the Sabbath, but we hope they do it freely rather than thinking they’ll go to the lake of fire if they don’t or can’t.” (p. 7)

“We will have to explain why we worship on the Sabbath, and the honest answer is that we used to think that we absolutely had to. (p. 7)

We receive blessings from keeping the Sabbath and festivals, just as we would receive blessings from keeping every Wednesday devoted to study, prayer and fasting.” (p. 7)

April 25, 1995, The Worldwide News, VOL. XXIII, NO. 8, “Why These Changes?” by Paul Kroll, p. 3:

“One understandable reaction has been: How could we have been so wrong when we thought we were so right? After all, we had proved these things to ourselves.” (p. 3)

“Of course, we’re not the only Christians who have been in such a perplexing situation. As it turns out, some of the same changes we’ve made; some of the same attitudes we’ve had toward Old Testament practices; some of the same concerns we’ve had about our self-identity–were experienced by the earliest apostolic church.” (p. 3)

“The fact is, we are fighting the same general theological war as the apostolic church itself fought.” (p. 3)

“We were, in effect, a Jewish Christian church!” (p. 5)

[Comment: The apostolic church was never a deceptive group that used “church” as a front. To compare it with WCG is ridiculous, to say the least. Wouldn’t it be more truthful for Kroll to admit that WCG was, in effect, known as a Bible-based cult that exploited people?]

May 9, 1995, The Worldwide News, VOL. XXIII, NO. 9, Personal from Joseph W. Tkach: “Holy Days rekindle individual, collective commitment to Christ”:

“…these are trying times in God’s Church. … They are times of new learning and new understanding, and letting go of long and dearly held assumptions.” (p. 6)

“If there was ever a difficult audience to reach, it was the corrupt hierarchy and the religious zealots of first-century Jerusalem.” (p. 6)

May 23, 1995, The Worldwide News, VOL. XXIII, NO. 10, Study papers on the Sabbath: “Sabbath: Jesus’ example is liberty,” p. 9):

“We have always known that it is permissible to flee for your life on the Sabbath. The reason that it might be difficult to flee on the Sabbath, however, is because unbelievers are keeping the Sabbath, not because the fleeing people are.” (p. 9)

[Comment: This is not what WCG taught members. Members were taught to pray that they “wouldn’t” have to flee on the Sabbath.]

“In the Worldwide Church of God we meet on the seventh day of the week for several reasons:

“It is our tradition. … there is no biblical reason why we have to change our day of worship even after discovering that our original reason was mistaken.” (p. 11)

“Since our members have arranged their work schedules to avoid Saturday work, Saturdays are the day on which almost all of us can meet regularly.” (p. 11)

[Comment: What about those who have always had a hard time holding down or obtaining a good paying job because they were required to take Saturday off?]

“Since we welcome Sabbath-keepers into our fellowship and do not demand that they change their custom, we meet on Saturday so they can worship with us.” (p. 11)

“Because of these reasons, we will meet on the Sabbath for a long, long time.” (p. 11)

It is wrong to add requirements to God’s law and makes things more difficult.” (p. 12)

“Many people have refused medical treatment and have been healed … ” (p. 12)

[Comment: No mention of the thousands that refused medical treatment and died.]

“In times of sincere ignorance God may wink and help… In maters of health and employment sincere people have suffered for years and years because they thought they had to do something that was neither wise nor required.” (p. 12)

“Many godly men and women have kept the Sabbath and inspired others to follow their example–people like Stephen Mumford, Ellen White and Herbert Armstrong.” (p. 12)

[Comment: Why is HWA listed as a “godly man”? And why is Ellen White (a false teacher and co-founder of a group that is known as a religious cult) listed? WCG implied that their “church” could be traced back to Stephen Mumford, who was part of the “true Church of God.” This has been documented as pure fabrication.]

“Those who neglect worship time stunt their spiritual growth.” (p. 12)

However, we have no biblical authority to mandate that everybody set aside the same time that we do.” (p. 12)

“Those who remove themselves from the vine wither and die.” (p. 13)

[Comment: Tkach is implying again that the “vine” is the Worldwide Church of God. However, Christ is the Vine, not WCG.]

“We must continue meeting together, and Christians should make reasonable efforts to meet weekly with the fellowship God has placed them in.” (p. 13)

[Comment: Translated in the members’ minds, this meant: “Stay where God has placed you; do not leave the WCG.” See Nov. 29, 1994 WN for quote.]

“Christians are free to keep the Sabbath to the degree they wish…” (p. 16)

June 6, 1995, The Worldwide News, VOL. XXIII, NO. 11, Personal from Joseph W. Tkach: “Sabbath and Holy Day observance: an issue of form, not of substance”:

“I am both grieved and dismayed by the unethical actions of some of our former ministers. Where is the love for the people of God when a pastor uses his office to upset, confuse and divide his flock?” (p. 1)

[Comment from ESN: Why no mention of the 1970s? Read the OIU Newsletters (PDF) to see if Tkach upset, confused and divided his own flock?]

“He [Christ] has shown us…through duly constituted authority in the Church, that we need to change.” (p. 1)

[Comment from ESN: When all else fails, use the “government of God” to get people to change.]

“All I can say is that if I had been working from a prearranged agenda of changes, I certainly would have chosen a slower pace of introducing them to the Church. What I did was to teach what Christ led me to see at the pace he led me to see it… (p. 5)

[Comment from ESN: WCG’s original plan was undoubtedly to go slowly, but the whole story isn’t being told here. For starters, read: The Earl Williams Factor (after the P.S. P. S. it will give a link to a part in OIU 3, Pt. 2 on how David Hulme said Joseph W. Tkach, Sr. told him Earl was getting in front of him and that couldn’t go on)]

“Brethren, at the time Mr. Armstrong died, I believed fully that what he had taught was fundamentally true. I had absolutely no idea that we had been wrong about the role of the Sabbath and Holy Day observance.” (p. 5)

Questions and answers, p. 7:

[Feast of Tabernacles]

Q. There’s been talk of the name: “Festival of Faith.” Have we changed the name of the Feast of Tabernacles?

A. “No. ‘Festival of Faith’; is merely a theme statement. … Future years may have other themes.” (p. 7)

[Comment: “Future years” phased out the Feast of Tabernacles.]

June 20, 1995, The Worldwide News, VOL. XXIII, NO. 12, “How I came to understand the new covenant” by David Albert (p. 1):

“I didn’t know and nobody had ever taught me in my 35 years in the Church that the Ten Commandments were the old covenant…” (p. 5)

“This [the New Covenant teaching] came as new truth to me.” (p. 5)

“But now, based on the Bible, we are updating our theology to come in line with our practice…” (p. 5)

[Comment from ESN: Albert gave a sermon in 1993 where he said if members left the church or questioned his teachings, they would suffer strong consequences–even death (lake of fire?) Read Worldwide Church of God History which shows how these same doctrines were introduced to the WCG leadership in the 1970s. David Albert was in at that time.]

July 4, 1995, The Worldwide News, VOL. XXIII, NO. 13, “All Christian behavior built on Christ” (Personal by Joseph Tkach, Jr.):

“There are numerous false reports circulating about my dad’s health condition, doctrinal corrections and people. Most of these false reports come from people who belong to dissident organizations, and it becomes very difficult to warn our members about their false reports.” (p. 1)

[Comment from ESN: Is this why members were accused from the pulpit, especially in Canada, to not listen to outside sources such as ESN who were trying to get the facts out? Notice the repetition of the words “false report.”]

“My dad is steadily improving…The doctor [said] he has years ahead of him.” (p. 1)

[Comment: Joseph W. Tkach died September 22, 1995 of cancer.]

“It is because we are one body in Christ that we are to quit lying and speak the truth.” (p. 3)

“Sad to say, there are people who have ignored these biblical commands [not meeting together; quotes Heb. 3:13]. What is their excuse? Is there any excuse for disobedience? Encourage one another, it says. Are we doing that? Or do we repeat the negatives, the anxieties, the fears? Encourage one another–and we can’t do that if we are not meeting with one another!” ” (p. 3)

“…it saddens me to learn that some members have not been acting responsibly with the freedoms that the new covenant gives us. For example, some people have eaten meats that offend the people they are with. … I am disappointed that a few have deliberately eaten it in a way that disturbs their brothers…” (p. 3)

[Talks about how it’s not true that Christians can do anything they want to; quotes I Cor. 10:23]

“Some things are simply not good for us. … We are to be slaves of righteousness, not of selfishness. We are given the Holy Spirit to serve others, not our own selfish pleasures.” (p. 6)

Questions and Answers, p. 2:

[Tithing]

Q. If God doesn’t require Christians to tithe, why does Mr. Tkach still talk about tithing in the co-worker letters? Why does he still thank people for their “tithes and offerings”…

A. “If people send in a 10th of their income (which is the practice of most of our members), they are sending in their tithes. It is appropriate for Mr. Tkach to thank them for doing so. (p. 2)

“They imitate the faith of Abraham, and therefore also imitate his example of tithing. As we become more like Christ in our thoughts, we become more generous with the physical things God has given us.” (p. 4)

“Most members are able to donate a 10th of their income. Many can give more… God leads us to give all we responsibly can. For Christians, 10 percent is a minimal guideline. If we can give more, we should.” (p. 4)

“…his Spirit motivates us to give all we can to further his work of the gospel. (p. 4)

[More doublespeak was given in this Q&A section concerning the holy days and the Sabbath]:

“Since we have designated these days for worship meetings, designating them for a sacred purpose, we can legitimately call them Holy Days… The word Sabbath, like many other words, has more than one possible meaning. When we say that we meet on the Sabbath, we refer to a day of the week.”

“…we can continue to use the same familiar terms we have always used. They are useful tools of communication.”

[Comment from ESN: In other words, “we will continue to use loaded language” (also known as buzzwords). The following looks like WCG HQ still receives offerings from members:

“Scott [Wertz ] is also responsible for maintaining church literature inventories, printing and sending offering envelopes and mailing monthly and annual donation receipts for congregations who use headquarters’ donation processing services...” (Excerpted from, “New offices help church employees serve local churches,” Together, July-August 2006)] [bolding ours]

“Recalling the final sermon of Herbert W. Armstrong” by Clayton Steep, p. 4:

“Especially worth remembering in this present time of turmoil in the Church is the following admonition Mr. Armstrong gave: ‘Your faith must not be in me; it must be in Jesus Christ. He is the Head of the Church. I am not. And if I were not here there would be another who’d become the pastor general. And if that should ever happen, if you want to get into God’s kingdom, you will follow that pastor general. And you will remain united, and you will remain one. And your eternity depends on that. Everyone of you. Don’t you forget it.” (p. 4)

“Mr. Tkach was chosen directly through God’s government in his Church.” (p. 4)

“Here I am, still in the Church, 40 years and counting!”

Note from ESN: Clayton Steep died 8-30-95 of congestive heart failure. He was 57.

July 18, 1995, The Worldwide News, VOL. XXIII, NO. 14

“When you have trouble getting to church on time” by Paul Krautmann, p. 1:

“Have you ever found it hard to get to Sabbath services on time? Have you made excuses for not attending services or for showing up late? Maybe after you’ve read this article about some brethren in Guyana, you won’t find it hard to get to services on time anymore.” (p. 1)

“So next time you find yourself making excuses for not going to Sabbath services, or not getting there on time, remember the example of these hardy and dedicated Amerindian brethren, and be thankful!” (p. 6)

“Pastor general gaining strength, undergoing chemotherapy” by Joseph Tkach, Jr., p. 1:

“We try to ignore rumors that we are not leveling with people about my dad’s condition.” (p. 1)

“Hurting close to home” (What can young people do when their parents decide to leave our fellowship?) by Neil Earle, p. 4:

  1. “You must always respect parental authority.”
  2. “Establish for yourself more than ever where God is working.”

[Goes on to talk about the youth activities, trips, sports, S.E.P.]

“The Worldwide Church of God did all this and gladly because it cares about young people. That caring concern was motivated by the love of God… That hasn’t changed; it never will.”

President pro tem writes to AU students (Russell Duke’s June 20 letter to new and returning Ambassador students), p. 5:

“We will continue to gather to worship on the weekly Sabbath (Saturday). Students will be assigned to the morning church service where they will be expected to attend except when they travel out of town for the weekend.” (p. 5)

“Outdoor activities will be allowed on campus except during Saturday morning chapel service.” (p. 5)

“Students may not attend churches that we deem to be dissident to the Worldwide Church of God and remain a student of the university.” (p. 5)

[Comment from ESN: Russell Duke (still a member of WCG) was formerly in Azusa’s theology department and responsible for putting together training courses for WCG ministers. Read letter from one who phoned Azusa and talked to Russell Duke in OIU 6, Pt 5; scroll to “UPDATE on Russell Duke and Azusa Pacific University.”]

August 1, 1995, The Worldwide News, VOL. XXIII, NO. 15, Personal from Joseph W. Tkach: “Becoming good stewards while showing willingness to change”:

“God has always allowed his people to make mistakes–even serious mistakes that endure for many years. … We can be confident that our labors have not been in vain.” (p. 1)

“Many members have wondered, ‘How could we have been in doctrinal error for so long?’ And a few have wondered, ‘If we were wrong on a point we thought so vital, were we Christians at all?’ … Yes, We were Christians, and we still are Christians.” (p. 6)

“We obeyed what we thought we had to obey, and that is good. We misunderstood a few things…but that didn’t thwart our salvation.” (p. 6)

“…we do not always understand the things of God. … When it happens, we need to patiently wait for God to reveal more to us.” (p. 6)

“It may be difficult at times to change our ways, but that’s what we have been called to do.” (p. 6)

“Steering clear of potholes on the information highway” by Neil Earle, p. 5:

Rumors fly along the Internet at the flick of a cursor. Never has it become more imperative for the membership and ministry of the Church to be wary of misinformation and false rumors.” (p. 5)

“Don’t be a victim of someone else’s misinformation campaign; don’t slip and fall along the information highway.” (p. 5)

“…slander and misinformation…” (p. 5) “…subversion and misinformation.” (p. 5)

“…slander and faultfinding…” (p. 5)

“…gossip is five times around the world before the truth can get its boots on. The Internet proves the truth of this saying every day.” (p. 5)

“Let’s not be deceived; let’s not be victimized…” (p. 5)

[Comment: During the time, the WCG tried hard to keep others from knowing what was going on with all the changes, but the information was still getting out, especially on the forums and through the OIU Newsletters and other research letters.]

August 15, 1995, The Worldwide News, VOL. XXIII, NO. 16, Personal from Joseph W. Tkach: “Responding to the dynamic leadership of Jesus Christ”:

“Mr. Armstrong taught the Church to put the Bible ahead of tradition and to let the bible correct us.” (p. 1)

[Comment: Really? Or did members, instead, believe that they were to obey everything HWA told them (including how he interpreted the Bible), since he was “speaking for God” as “God’s Apostle.”]

“It hurts me to see that reaction to the truth. Mr. Armstrong was noted for saying, ‘It’s harder to unlearn error than it is to learn the truth.'” (p. 1)

“Feast fever: a time of joy and learning for all” by Mark McCulley, p. 3:

“At those sites, some services will be conducted in the evening to allow those God is calling to the Church to attend more conveniently.” (p. 3)

“We hope everyone has saved sufficient funds to attend the Festival this year. … ‘It would be a shame to miss it because of not having saved the funds to attend.’ ” [last quote by Tkach, Jr.] (p. 3)

“Festival fund contributions [tithe of the tithe] are still needed to pay for meeting halls, setup expenses and sending speakers to sites. Earlier this year, we suggested a donation of $95 per family. … we’d like to encourage any who can to give above that amount.” (p. 3)

August 29, 1995, The Worldwide News, VOL. XXIII, NO. 17, Personal from Joseph W. Tkach: “Treat people in splinter groups with patience, understanding, concern”:

“The vast majority of these people are not disfellowshipped. We can maintain our friends with them just as we do with our Baptist or Catholic neighbors.” (p. 1)

“If they ask doctrinal questions with a desire to learn, we should answer them as wisely as we can. If they ask doctrinal questions with a desire to criticize, then we can bring the conversation to an end, just as we would with a Baptist or Catholic who tried to pressure us.” (p. 1, 5)

“If the people bring us rumors and accusations, then we should refuse to listen, just as we should refuse to listen to rumors spread by current members.” (p. 5)

[Comment: This has always been an effective way to squelch the truth about the organization from surfacing and is known as “milieu or environmental control.” “Rumors” is another word that is loaded, as far as the language for members.]

[Tkach, Sr. begins quoting from something he wrote in the Nov. 17, 1992 WN]:

“…it is not wrong to fellowship with people whose doctrinal positions are not the same as yours–as long as such fellowship remains positive…” (p. 5)

“In most cases, the Church cannot publicize all the reasons for disfellowshipping a particular person. We do not document all their divisive activities and words. … So it is sometimes easy for them to claim that they have been treated unfairly…” (P. 5)

So what should members do? Ask them to present their side of the story, give them sympathy, listen to their complaints and division? Of course not. That is precisely the reason they have been disfellowshipped, so our members will be warned that such people may attempt to win their loyalty.” (p. 5)

“People who decide to leave the Church do so for various reasons.” (p. 5)

[Comment from ESN: Notice how he uses the words: “the Church” (and capitalizes it) whereas in later articles he uses the words: “our fellowship.” “The Church” is a trigger word and reminds members that they are in “God’s true Church” and are not to leave or talk to those who have left (and who might know too much). Other such words are highlighted below:]

“Some people leave the Church because they are angry and bitter.” (p. 5)

“Some people leave the Church because they are in bondage to a sin they don’t want to confront.” (p. 5)

“Some people leave the Church because they are looking for greater opportunities for leadership or advancement, which they hope to find in another church.” (p. 5)

“There is a different kind of spirit, though, that we do have to take note of and avoid in fellowship: Those who are contentious, divisive and malicious.” (p. 5)

“Paul wrote: ‘I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother, but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater, or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat’ (I Cor. 5:11)” (p. 5)

[Comment from ESN: Wouldn’t that last paragraph refer to Herbert W. Armstrong and Garner Ted Armstrong?]

“Our brethren are committed, faithful people. They believe what they believe because that is what the Church has taught.” (p. 5)

“There can be a certain, very real, emotional barrier that gets in the way even though the actual explanation may make perfect sense.” (p. 5)

“As I say, if they decide they need to attend elsewhere, then let them go as friends, not enemies. God’s way is not the slanderous, antagonistic, contentious, belligerent or bitter way.” (p. 5)

“I am grieved to see anyone become upset, confused or disenchanted with what God is doing in his Church.” (p. 5)

Quotes compiled by AJW
Exit & Support Network™

Related Articles:

Video Sermon by Tkach to Worldwide Church of God Members, January 1995
This transcript shows confusion, double messages, shouting and blaming of members (especially in Part Two).

Fun With Prophecy
Ron Kelly shaming and blaming members for believing in HWA’s prophecies (transcript of his sermon with comments by ESN).

Footnote:

1 The Worldwide Newswas first published in 1973. In February 2005, The Worldwide News in the United States was changed to WCG Today. In May 2006 it was changed to Together. A few years later Together was no longer available Then from 2005 to 2015 they had Christian Odyssey. Today it is Equipper.

 

Back to Worldwide Church of God Expose` (many articles)