Worldwide Church Of God--Modern Day Cultby Van Robison
The original Worldwide Church of God,
founded by Herbert W. Armstrong no longer exists. It
can't exist because the founder deceased at the age of
about 93 or thereabouts in 1986. The Worldwide Church
of God that now exists is under different leadership
and espousing very different teachings from that of
the original WWC. The infamous son of Herbert W.
Armstrong is no longer living either. Originally, the
Worldwide Church of God was known as "The Radio Church
of God", which began broadcasting in 1934. Eventually
this organization grew into a worldwide empire, with
three "Bible" colleges, tens of thousands of church
members, and publishers of "The Plain Truth Magazine"
and also "The Good News Magazine." This church
organization looked upon Herbert W. Armstrong as an
appointed representative of God, much the same as
Roman Catholics look to the Pope. In fact he was
considered "the Apostle" of the Worldwide Church of
God and also the supposed "end times Elijah", who was
was suppose to restore all things, before the second
coming of Jesus Christ.
It is astonishing that many still bow at the feet of the deceased Herbert W. Armstrong as if he were God himself. There are websites by ex-members of the Worldwide Church of God, that have a great deal to say about their experiences within this modern day church organization. Some such websites are: The Painful Truth, Exit & Support Network, and there are many websites about the Worldwide Church of God on the Internet. There are innumerable personal stories by ex-members of this authoritarian hierarchy and tragically some ex-members are now "atheists", while some over the years have committed suicide. Others have fanned out into many different church organizations, while others no longer attend church, and others are members of various splinter groups.
Herbert W. Armstrong still has many followers, including splinter or offshoot groups who believe they are the "true church of God" on earth. From what I have read there are literally hundreds of splinter groups of the Worldwide Church of God, and since it was a church organization that spread out over the world into many countries, there have been many splinter groups formed. Some of the splinter groups have the following names:
- Philadelphia Church of God
- Living Church of God
- Restored Church of God
- Intercontinental Church of God
- United Church of God
- Church of God's Faithful
- Independent Church of God
- Church of God, An International Community
- Christian Biblical Church of God
- Many other groups
Being spiritually seduced by false teachers is a tragedy of life. Some human beings love to play the role of being God on earth and unfortunately often deceive many into following their deceptions. The Worldwide Church of God under the leadership of its original founder Herbert W. Armstrong, impacted the lives of well over a 100,000 church members worldwide. (I have read that at its peak, the membership was 145,000.) Many of those lives were spent in sorrow and tragedy, especially because of such teachings as "divorce and remarriage", and financially raping people through 1st, 2nd, and 3rd tithes, as well as pressure to endlessly donate over and above the three tithes. The doctrine about divorce and remarriage of the original Worldwide Church of God, was that if you had been previously married and wanted to become a church member, you had to divorce your current mate, no matter how many years your second marriage was, or how many children you may have had with your second (or third, etc.) mate. Tragically, the lives of many families were shattered by this doctrine, and the fear of losing salvation caused many of these families to develop serious mental and emotional problems. Ironically, when the first wife of the founder, Herbert W. Armstrong passed away, Herbert W. Armstrong conveniently broke his own rule, and married a divorced woman who had a son by her first marriage. No doubt he found an "excuse" for this conduct and as it turned out, he wound up divorced from this woman who was nearly half his age.
It goes without saying that the original Worldwide Church of God has impacted the lives of countless human beings around the world in many countries. The same can be said for many other church organizations. The common denominator for all these groups is that the "head" of all such groups is NOT Jesus Christ, but human beings who usurp the place of Jesus Christ in the lives of the people. The name of God, or the name of Jesus Christ, or the name of Jehovah, or other names that people associate with God, are always used as the source and "legitimacy" of these cults.
The great common error that millions of human beings make in life, is in following self-appointed "spiritual" leaders, who proclaim "authority" from heaven. It often results in such great disillusionment, that many turn from God altogether and become bitter atheists, while some even commit suicide, and many others go to their grave never knowing the freedom from spiritual bondage, that Jesus Christ proclaimed (Luke 4:18). It is a mystery of life as to why so many human beings are seduced by deception and yield their lives to magnetic personalities that rob them of the real truth in Jesus Christ.