Historically from the days of the first century many false teachers have crept into the Ekklesia, not understanding the scriptures and attempting to use God’s forgiveness of repented sin as a license to justify minimizing the law and Word of God.
Jude 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [license], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ [by denying the need to obey God in all things].
They generally teach that all we need do today is to keep the Ten Commandments and love others; which is the position of modern Evangelicals. UCG in practice if not in the present List of Beliefs, Grace Communion International, the Seventh Day Adventists and the Church of God Seventh Day also largely take this position.
While the above organizations have adopted or lean heavily towards the Evangelical teachings, Herbert Armstrong taught that we are to live by every Word of God, but in practice he fell away from that by accepting the Roman Catholic teaching claiming that he was above the Word of God and had the authority to bind and loose God’s Word as he saw fit.
Today the PCG, COGWA and LCG with others pay lip service to living by every Word of God while taking the Roman Catholic position that human leaders must be obeyed regardless of God’s Word.
Today the greater COG is full of both Evangelical and Roman Catholic teachings.
In the May-June 2018 issue of the Bible Advocate magazine, the doctrinal development of the theological outlook of the COG 7 with their final falling away into the same evangelical positions as the Seventh Day Adventists and UCG, is revealed from Robert Coulter’s ‘Looking Back’ article, pp.8-9:
“In the 1930s, the tithing system and the distinction between clean and unclean meats were being taught as an obligation of law in some quarters of the Church. The Church’s doctrinal statement, What the Church of God Believes, And Why in 1949, declared them an obligation.
But by the 1970s, the Church of God 7’s theology was undergoing a dramatic change from her legalisms [a change away from godliness]. It became Christ centered and grace based [read Evangelical with a false view of Christ and “a false concept of grace trumping law].”
Robert Coulter wrote, in the March-April 2018 issue, that formerly,
“the Church of God 7 placed greater emphasis on works in her doctrine of salvation than on the grace of God. However, by the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Church’s laity and ministry began to understand that salvation is received by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ. In recognition of this, the North American Ministerial Council of 1986 … adopted a Statement of Consensus, which acknowledged God’s grace but retained a works ethic …
However, as the Church’s understanding of God’s grace in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ became clearer, the North American Ministerial Council of 2006 adopted a doctrinal statement recognizing that salvation is by God’s grace alone.”
Within a decade after the death of Herbert Armstrong in January 1986, there were radical changes in the Worldwide Church of God as well – not just to “salvation by God’s grace alone” – but the abolition of all “Old Testament Law”, culminating in 2009 with the renaming of the church as Grace Communion International.
Reacting to the changes many brethren left the WCG in the 1990’s along with a small number of elders who were then joined by many of the very people who made the changes in the WCG who were being laid off do to the exodus of brethren. These apostates then worked to take over the new UCG and a power struggle raged until UCG split in Dec 2010 – Jan 2011 with the evangelicals taking over UCG and many brethren leaving to COGWA.
See our articles on COG History here.
The concept of law and grace has been a point of Satan’s attack from at least the first century. To truly understand the issue, please read the articles on Ecclesiastical Authority beginning with article 101 here.
I am presently taking the Sabbath Calendar book which is mainly about law and grace and splitting it into two volumes; one on Personal Salvation and the Way to Eternal Life and the other to focus on Ecclesiastical Authority including the job of the ministry. I hope to have both ready by early July.
Generally arguments that “grace” means that we need not keep the laws that God gave to Moses are based on twistings of the writings of Paul’s epistles.
On 4 May I began a series at the Biblical Studies site through the Epistles beginning with Romans and the series is now up to First Corinthians. This series is in bite sized pieces a couple of chapters a day. Those who want to study more at a time or share with others can download the full studies for free at our Free page or even buy their own printed books at the link provided on the Free page.
The very first step in perverting those who know that we are to live by every Word of God is to teach that: “We keep God’s laws because we decide we want to, and not because we must”. This LIE has been pushed by the evangelical types in UCG for many, many years. The truth is that God is in full authority and we must obey him regardless of whether we want to or not, or we will face the consequences of our disobedience.
Once people begin to believe that keeping the laws given to Moses by God are optional and up to our own discretion; those laws are continually minimized and set aside as we decide for ourselves whether to do them or not. This happened in many organizations in the past and is now underway big time in UCG.
In obedience to God the Father, Jesus Christ and Jude, I have taken a stand to fight this loathsome abomination of rebellion against the Living God:
Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints [By the writers of Holy Scripture and by Jesus Christ who inspired them].
Brethren we are to live by EVERY Word of God including the laws which God gave to Moses! Including such things as “Clean and Unclean” and the Festivals.