GIVING & SHARING NEWSLETTER July, 1991 No. 15
Doctrines Under Attack
During 1991, attacks against “the faith once delivered” have risen to a fever pitch. While many within and without of the Worldwide Church of God (WCG) remain sinfully silent, a wholesale shift of belief is taking place. As reported in our last newsletter, Michael Snyder, WCG Assistant Director of Public Affairs, has openly announced that all doctrinal teachings are under review, and many have actually been changed, including born again, importance of the Sabbath, faith and works, etc. These changes appear to be geared toward making that organization more politically acceptable to the world.
Our Bible Studies address some of the doctrines under attack. “History of the Trinity Doctrine,” shows how the teaching of the Trinity doctrine among Sabbath-keepers has changed over the years. Because the Nicene Creed (Trinity belief) is the foundation of Catholic and Protestant dogma, those of us who are anti-Trinitarian are often labeled as being members of a “cult.” The Worldwide Church of God, the largest Sabbath organization outside of the Seventh Day Adventists, appears to be following their SDA cousins in abandoning anti-Trinitarian teachings. At the very least, they appear to have placed the teaching of the nature of God outside the realm of doctrine and into a supposedly unimportant philosophical question. We felt that our readers needed to be warned, so that we can reinforce our faith.
The philosophical framework for these doctrinal changes, as well as our society’s moral toboggan slide over the last five decades, has the same source. Satanic teachings against the Bible have permeated the world’s thinking. Our book review of Seven Men Who Rule the World from the Grave, by Dave Breese, lays bare how Satan has blinded the eyes of so many during this age. Although Mr. Breese did not have the doctrinal changes of the Worldwide Church of God in mind, what he describes is a “dead ringer” for what is happening.
The WCG is promoting a very sophisticated advertising program to “sell” their doctrinal changes to their membership, and make their church more attractive to the world. One aberrant justification for their doctrinal changes is a false teaching that the early New Testament Church “changed” their teaching about circumcision in Acts 15, after supposedly being “in error” for decades. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Our article, “Truth About Circumcision,” explains what the Bible says about this often-misunderstood topic.
Israel Identity Doctrine Questioned
Another doctrine under attack, that of Israel identity, called “Anglo-Israel” or “British Israel” teaching by some, has been ably defended by a number of other organizations. As Michael Snyder reports, there is a two-year research project underway examining the Church’s beliefs on the modern identity of Israel. It will produce either a summary confirming the historical and theological evidence of the belief, or clarify the belief, or repudiate it altogether.
As in the subject of the Trinity, few realize just how important the Israel identity teaching is to our overall understanding of prophecy, Biblical Law, and the role of the Church in these times. Dr. Walter Martin, Protestant expert on “cults,” classifies the Worldwide Church of God as a non-Christian cult primarily for two reasons: Anglo-Israelism, and anti-Trinitarianism. By softening up the Trinity teaching, and pulling the mainstay book on the United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy, the WCG is poised to escape the “awful” label of “fundamentalist cult.”
Many “Israel Identity” believers (almost all of whom are Protestant Sunday-keepers) have racist and anti-Jewish beliefs. One of the leading groups, Destiny Publishers of Merrimac, Massachusetts, led by Howard Rand, publishes the book, In the Image of God, which purports the repugnant “beasts of the field” theory that nonwhites are not in God’s image and cannot be saved. It is said that Howard Rand attended the Feast of Tabernacles with Herbert W. Armstrong in 1945. However, the Anglo-Israel teaching of the WCG has never been racist.
To study or re-study the doctrine of the identity of Israel, you may wish to order these books: (1) Europe and America in Prophecy, by Garner Ted Armstrong, from Church of God, International, P.O. Box 2530, Tyler, TX 75710, (2) The Migrations of Israel: History and Purpose, from Church of God, The Eternal, P.O. Box 775, Eugene, OR 97440-0775, (3) In Defense of David’s Throne, and Dan—He Was a Serpent’s Trail, by Keith Hunt, over 200 pages and 150 pages respectively, available from Keith Hunt, c/o The Truth of the Matter, 4955 NW 47 Terrrace, Tamarac, FL 33319, (4) Britain’s Royal Throne, and “What Happened to the Lost Tribes?” by Brian Williams, Summerlands, 38 Hill Head, Glastonbury, Somerset BA6 8AR, England.
Giving & Sharing has long distributed the standard pro Anglo-Israel text, Judah’s Sceptre and Joseph’s Birthright, by J. H. Allen, written in 1902. Other good books on this subject are: St. Paul in Britain, by R.W. Morgan, and St. Joseph of Arimathea at Glastonbury, by Lionel Smithett Lewis. The historical evidence for the identity of the Anglo- Saxon peoples as part of Israel is very substantial. Ω