(A post from Richard Burkard on Mark Tabladillo’s Jesus Loves Fellowship message board)
On page 31 of the June issue of the Church of God-Seventh Day’s Bible Advocate is an excellent essay by President Whaid Rose, which directly addresses some problems and “blind spots” many WCG spinoffs have.
He writes about “Crossroads” the church must face — such as:
….being light and salt to the culture or being against culture; being fishers of men or keepers of the aquarium.
I’d dare say nearly all COG spinoffs fit the latter descriptions. And that’s why their growth (in many ways) is slim or none.
….the Church still must decide along the way whether to base its identity on “being different” or “being in Christ.”
For instance, UCG seems to be putting more emphasis now on “branding” itself (pgs. 1, 5) based on “the distinct message we preach.” It will be interesting to see exactly what that means — a message that’s Christ-centered, Kingdom-centered, prophecy-focuses or whatever.
But where the primary focus is on being different from other churches, isolationism and “holier than thou” attitudes usually abound.
Wow — that sounds awfully familiar. 🙂
I get the impression from this article that COG-7 has faced these crossroads over the years. How recently, I do not know. But you certainly don’t hear about regular splits or tussles in that denomination compared to the WCG spinoffs. Maybe the other groups could learn something?!