I have always understood the Worldwide Church of God (WCG) to be a cult. Living in Utah makes one very suspicious of people 'claiming' to be Christians. When Ravi Zacharias came to speak in Salt Lake City at the Mormon tabernacle, November 14, it was for a gathering of Christian evangelicals and Mormons. A gathering where a dialogue could begin, a sharing of one another's beliefs in a civilized manner. We are sitting in the pews through the announcements etc., when Pastor Greg Johnson of Standing Together announced that Mr. Tkach ( I believe that was the man's name) from the WCG would lead us in the opening prayer. I have to admit, I was very uncomfortable and wondered if this whole thing was just a huge mistake. I looked at my husband and my friend, Lana, as they looked back at me. We bowed our heads in prayer. I listened very intently to his prayer. There was nothing wrong, doctrinally, with his prayer.
However, my alarms were going off in my head. Having lived around and dealt with a false religion for over 24 years I decided to do some checking. My first query began with Standing Together and it was there that I first heard that the Worldwide Church of God had renounced their past teachings and come full circle to believe as evangelical Christians. I got a little excited, for this would be the first known cult group, that I was aware of, coming to Jesus Christ and rejecting their past doctrinal stances. I was cautiously excited.
It always intrigues me to see the Lord work. A few months ago, a couple with several children moved to our area and began attending our church. He had attended seminary for a couple of years before deciding that the Lord was leading them in a different direction, whereas, he left seminary and finished getting his degree in mechanical engineering. My husband and I met with them and began to get to know them. Imagine my surprise when he said he "had come out of a cult" and that cult was WCG (before he became a Christian). In fact, he had been born on their college campus in the infirmary. He was very open about how the church leadership had begun to see doctrinal errors and how they had decided to meet it 'face on', so to speak. They were not going to hide or cover up their past doctrinal errors but would move forward, instructing and explaining why the 'old' had to be discarded (because it did not line up with biblical teaching) and the Truth embraced. This man went on to explain that there were a number of people who did not see 'the Light' and chose to break off from the Worldwide Church of God. If you are interested in reading about their history and their transformation to an evangelical church read this.
There are days, I have to admit, when I get discouraged in my witnessing with mormons. So many times I feel like I am hitting my head on a brick wall. I have to stop and remind myself of people like Michelle and Phyllis (my November archives have their stories). As I have pondered the changes that have taken place in WCG I am again encouraged that there is not anything that is too big for God! His power is limitLESS!!! There is nothing He can't accomplish! So, fortified anew, I press on, always looking for opportunities to share the Good News with whomever the Lord pleases to put in my path.