FYI Speaks his mind on the XCG Splinters

This was excerpt from the Worldwide Church of God Alumni message board, posted by FYI during January this year in relationship to a child abuse/custody case that involved an XCG couple.

[T]he COG’s themselves ARE changing – some more, some less, but they are changing. Aside from the ultra fundamentalist groups like David Pack’s “Restored” COG and Gerald Flurry’s “Philadelphia” COG, most of the COG groups out there are drifting further and further away from Armstrong and many of his more outlandish (and obviously wrong) teachings. Even Rod Meredith’s “Living” COG – which I was an active and enthusiastic part of for many years, and which is considered by many to be one of the most conservative groups – has been downplaying Armstrong and moving away from some of his doctrines. The nut cases like Pack and Flurry constantly point this out – it’s how they manage to siphon off tithe payers from the larger groups. And they are correct – these changes are happening. I saw it first hand. I’ve cited a number of examples of this over the years, not only in LCG but in other groups which I have knowledge of.

During the years prior to my complete departure from the COG’s, I carefully investigated many different COG groups. I wasn’t happy with LCG and I was searching for some other group where I might feel more at home. I did my homework. I read their literature, listened to their sermons on the web, spoke to members – and even ministers and elders. I visited their congregations, sometimes only once or twice, sometimes more. I checked up on them on the web, looking to see what people were saying about them – good or bad – and tried to objectively evaluate them.

I’m not saying all this to brag, I’m just trying to show that I KNOW the COG’s of today quite well. Probably better than most people. I certainly know them a lot better than those who only ever experienced WCG during Armstrong’s nightmarish dictatorship. When people who only knew that era speak of today’s COG’s, they are nearly always speaking of things they know little or nothing about.

As I’ve said before, I’m no longer a part of any COG and want nothing further to do with any of them. But I also don’t like to see them judged unfairly based on the actions of a few nut cases, nor do I like to see the sins of Herbert Armstrong unfairly branded on their foreheads like some kind of scarlet letter. This kind of mentality is dangerous – it’s how pogroms get started. When people start saying things like “Somebody should DO something about these people”, sooner or later sombody WILL do something about those people, and it WON’T be pretty. You could ask the Jews who once lived in Germany. Oops, sorry, you can’t, most of them are dead. Or maybe you could ask those black folks who were lynched by the KKK… oops again, you can’t. Too bad.

And the worst part of it is, most such talk is based on ignorance. It’s easy to do, just take a handfull of extreme cases and then draw the false conclusion “they’re all like that”.

Even though I no longer have a stake in the matter, I will fight such ignorance as often as I notice it and am able to do something about it. No doubt some will igorantly consider me an “Armstrongite” for doing so. That’s their problem, not mine. Such people can kiss my shiny hiney. [Editor’s note: “Shiney Hiney???” FYI Again if you are from the isles say “arse” and if you are from North America—say it “ass!”]

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One thought on “FYI Speaks his mind on the XCG Splinters

  1. FYI is right overall. I have also checked out many groups. There are more ultra-conservative splinters than just PCG or RCG. There are tiny splinters dotted around the U.S. who say they are the one true bastion of real Armstrongistm. But still, I agree with FYI for the most part.

    Take me for example. I came from an Armstrong splinter that was very much “liberal”. I never spoke much about them on my blog because I still see them as a shining example of the exception to the rule. The minister is very kind and humble. The leadership are very lenient. They never checked if people tithed. They went out of their way to be non-controversial. We all got together and went to the Star Wars exhibit at the museum of art for crying out loud. They accepted anyone who needed a place to fellowship, regardless of whether or not they came regularly, dressed up, or held all the “right” beliefs. I could go on, but you get the point.

    Even so, fundamentally, the splinters are still way off the mark. They still hold to much of what Armstrong taught about legalism. They still judge and condemn others. They still hold people through fear and pride. They still rely on their own righteousness. And in New Covenant terms, they are still in the Old Covenant (the Herbert Armstrong cherry-picked version anyway). And that makes them a thing to avoid.

    Condemn? Never! Criticize? Yes. Fairly, and cautiously. But never condemn. It can lead to what FYI warns against, and then some!

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