With the neverending crises in the Church of God splinters groups that still subscribe to the major tenets of Armstrongism (this time is now the Living Church of God in the latest soap opera), this is can never be more so important to appeal to a people to stop letting others do their thinking for them and start thinking for themselves. Also, these are not the only rights XCG members have, they have a lot more than they realize or want to realize.
You have the unalienable right to read the Holy Bible without any man telling you how it should be read or understood. You have the right to read scriptures without any aid of any of the church literature. You also have the right to read study and examine scripture through any concordance, Bible helps, scholarly works, books by theologians and scholars far, far removed from XCG background. Yes, the late great Samuele Bacchiocchi had some great Adventist works—but try something different—let say N.T. Wright if you dare!
You have the inalienable right to read ANY and EVERY book that has been critical of the Church of God movement. You have the right to know that these people had legitimate complaints. They were not under satanic control but had enough of the hypocrisy, deceit, the manipulation and other non-(and anti-)Christian behaviours that the XCG executives portrayed.
You have the inalienable right to read ANY and EVERY book (The Armstrong Empire and Kingdom of The Cults for starters) that has been critical of Church of God doctrines. You have the right to examine your Bible and to prove whether the doctrines do hold water or not hold water.
You have the inalienable right to disagree with doctrines that are NOT essentials to salvation. It does not matter who or what is the prophetic beast or what country is mentioned in Bible prophecy when it comes to the great plan salvation. What matters is that Jesus Christ exists as God in the flesh and is coming again and will be looking for his saints. That’s important.
You have the right to not attend every Sabbath service. You have the right to visit other family members whether members or non-members. You have a right to sleep in, for married couples to have a special time for lovemaking, to spend extra time with children, a weekend at the cottage or just taking the whole family out in the woods just to have a walk until sunset. Attending Sabbath services does not make any one a Christian just as one person who stands in a garage makes oneself a car.
All ethnic and racial groups who attend and are members, have every right to be respected in front of other members as they are in public and private. This means no calling African Americans (Canadians)and Carribeans and/or anyone who is from the continent of Africa themselves as “blackies”, no tasteless ethnic jokes on the Chinese languages, or even teasing Germans or people of German ancestry as cruel bloodthirsty Assyrian warriors. The scripture of Colossians 3:5 is the Magna Charta for racial equality and should be treated as nothing less.
You have the inalienable right in a democratic country to vote for your government leaders. Of course, ministers do not like this because this erodes their power of the XCG masses. This is not rocket science. By the way, if you feel like voting a right of centre candidate, vote! Likewise anyone left of centre or radical middle: vote! It matters what you feel in your heart, not the typical propaganda of a minister who shouts, “Democrats in power—THE END TIME IS COMING! Republicans in power—MORE TIME FOR GOD’S WORK!!!”
You are entitled to the concept of that every believer is part of a kingdom of priests, a concept that every man, woman and child if they want to have free open access to their Creator and to freely read scripture as they see it. This is a concept from The Reformation (Oh, by the way you might want to study about The Reformation and forget the ‘60’s articles on The Plain Truth About The Protestant Reformation) and the irony is that the ministers like the Catholic position sooo much because they ALONE believe that they have access to God. How selfish!
You have the right to use any and social media without the approval any minister telling which to participate or not participate. You have the inalienable right to tell a minister who wants to spy on your regular routines on the internet that it is none of his business and he should spend his time on feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, housing the homeless and taking care of the poor. If he is doing absolutely none of these things, he is not a minister but a hireling.
You the unalienable to seek higher education. Get weary of one who speaks of “God’s college”.
You have the inalienable right to seek professional help dealing with issues of mental health. An issue of mental health is not necessarily 100% demon possession. Frankly, it has more to do with chemical imbalance than with demon possession. Yep, science triumphs over superstition. Any minister who wants to argue otherwise and says that it can be cured by simple prayer and study or vitamins is simply giving “quack” advice. Ignoring that kind of silly advice will not make you lose salvation one bit.