Church of God International (United States)
The Church of God, International (CGI) is a denomination of Christianity. It is one of many denominations to come out of the Worldwide Church of God (WCG). The Worldwide Church of God was started by Herbert W. Armstrong.
|Church of God International|
|Founder||Garner Ted Armstrong, with others|
|Separated from||Worldwide Church of God|
|Separations||Intercontinental Church of God; Christian Educational Ministries (Ronald L. Dart); Churches of God Outreach Ministries (CGOM)|
CGI was started in 1978 by four members of the Worldwide Church of God, with minister Garner Ted Armstrong (1930-2003) Garner Ted was excommunicated from the WCG by his father, Herbert W. Armstrong. They argued about beliefs and about how the church should be run.
CGI began in Tyler, Texas. Garner Ted also started the Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association.
Garner Ted Armstrong led CGI until 1998. Church leaders tried to start a church where the ministers acted as servants to the people. They thought the ministers in the WCG had abused their power over the people. In 1998 Garner Ted Armstrong himself was forced to leave CGI by church leaders. He was accused of sexual assault. Mr. Armstrong left CGI and started the Intercontinental Church of God. Ronald L. Dart, an important leader in CGI also left to start a church called Christian Educational Ministries (CGI). After this, leaders in the CGI tried to move forward and continue "the work". Now, leaders and ministers share power with a "Ministerial Council". The chairman of the Council is elected every three years. Charles Groce served as Chief Executive Officer for the church until 27 June 2015. Then he retired. Vance Stinson is now chairman. The Council also started a program to train new leaders called MAP (Ministerial Apprentice Program). CGI tries to keep a good relationship with many of the other churches that left the Worldwide Church of God. It is a "Ministry Partnership" with a some of them.
Faith and worship change
The CGI believes and worships like many other Christian churches, except:
- The CGI believes that some Christian beliefs have been wrongly changed long ago, only a couple hundred years after Christ. It believes they were changed by people who tried to mix their own ideas with Christian beliefs. It believes they did this because they hated Jews, or were pagan, or Gnostics, or Greek philosophers. These wrong ideas turned into traditions. CGI tries to worship the way they believe Christ wanted. CGI believes that the pagans worshipped demons without knowing it. So, they don't worship holidays that started out as pagan, like Halloween and Christmas. This also includes Valentine's Day and New Year's Day.
- CGI does not believe in the Trinity. It believes the Holy Spirit is the spirit or power of God and of Jesus Christ. It does not believe the Holy Spirit is a person. It believes God "the Father" and Jesus Christ are two spirits in the "God family". It believes this was how the early church believed and worshipped.
- Why mankind: CGI believes Christians can become part of the family of God. When they die, they will become spirit and a son or daughter of God. They believe this is because God is making spirits like himself.
- CGI does not believe the soul stays awake after a person dies. They believe the dead sleep until woken up by God at the resurrection. God will give them a new body. CGI believes this is how the early church believed.
- CGI believes Christ came to teach about his future kingdom. CGI does not believe people will go to heaven when they die., but will be resurrected to live and rule with Christ. This will happen during the Millenium, when Christ returns. CGI believes they will rule the universe with Christ in time, as part of the "God Family".
- CGI believes Christ came to pay the price for sin, but the law must still be kept. For example, if a judge says you do not have to pay a fine, you still have to keep the law afterward. They believe laws in the Old Testament still must be kept, because the Bible says these laws are from God, not from the Jews. So they do no work on the Sabbath on Saturday, from Friday sunset until Saturday sunset. They also do not eat pork or certain fish which they call "unclean". They also observe Old Testament holidays. and forbid all sexual sins. They do not obey laws in the Old Testament which were about how God was to be approached then (through animal sacrifices). They believe Christ makes anyone able to approach God. CGI does not follow Jewish traditions which it does not believe is in the Bible. It does not believe physical circumcision is important spiritually. CGI does not believe that God replaced the Jews with the church. CGI believes the law of God is good, and make men good. It believes the law of God can teach and make life happy and full. But they believe salvation is a free gift which cannot be earned. CGI believes this is how the early church worshipped.
- CGI believes that the Ten Commandments were given by God to man long before Moses.
- CGI believes Hell is a pagan idea. They believe the Bible says the wicked are destoyed forever by God.
- CGI believes in more than one resurrection. It believes that those who die and do not know or understand the truth about God will be given time to learn after a Second Resurrection to a new physical life. If they continue to reject God, He will destroy them forever in the Lake of Fire.
- Like many Christian churches, CGI believes in tithing as an act of worship and to support the work of the church. CGI believes another 10 percent should be used to observe holidays, especially the Feast of Tabernacles.
Message and media change
CGI has churches in the United States, Canada, Jamaica, Ireland, Australia and the Philippines. CGI has a television program called Armor of God. It also has Prevail Magazine, which discusses Christian living. The church also has a newspaper which comes out every three months called The International News. This newspaper discusses beliefs, worship, prophecy, church news, and world news. The church also supports a program for young people ages 18–30 called Infuse. This includes a quarterly magazine, a website, and service activities for local churches and communities. The program is run by volunteers and includes older people who support the program. It is also open to young people in other churches.
- White, Wes. "Over The Years, Church of God, International Moved Away From Authoritarianism". The Journal: News of The Churches of God. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
- ""Garner Ted Armstrong", National Obituary Archive". Archived from the original on 2012-07-20. Retrieved 2016-02-11.
- Armstrong, Garner Ted. "Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association". Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association. Church of God International. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
- "Garner Ted Armstrong and CGI Parting", The Journal - News of the Churches of God, Issue No. 12 (Jan. 30, 1998)
- Rivera, Geraldo. "Garner Ted Armstrong Sexual Assault". The Painful Truth. Geraldo Rivera Show. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
- ""Garner Ted Armstrong and the Masseuse"". Archived from the original on 2016-02-02. Retrieved 2016-02-11.
- "1998", The Journal - News of the Churches of God Archived 2007-08-14 at the Wayback Machine, Timeline 1998
- Reed, Jeff. "Charles Groce Retirement". Church of God, Internatonal website. The Church of God, International. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
- "Church of God, International Home Page". Retrieved 2013-11-10.
- Armstrong, Garner Ted, They Might As Well Say: O, How Despise We Thy Law, Twentieth Century Watch Magazine, September/October 1995, p. 2-6, 24-27.
- (1998) Should Christians Observe Easter?, The Church of God, International, pp. 1-8.
- Cary, Lloyd W., (1998) Is Christmas Christian?, The Church of God, International, p. 4-22.
- (2000) Trick or Treat?, The Church of God, International, pp. 1-2.
- Marmero, John Jr., Valentine's Day: Where Did It Originate?, Twentieth Century Watch Magazine, Feb. 1995, p. 11 & 30.
- Ellis, Willam H., Is There Anything Christian About New Year's Celebrations?, Twentieth Century Watch Magazine, Dec. 1994, p. 19-21, 27-28.
- (2001) Statement of Beliefs, The Church of God, International, p. 1, No. 4.
- Stinson, Vance A. (1993) Who, What Is God?, The Church of God, International, p. 3-63.
- (2001) Statement of Beliefs, The Church of God, International, p. 1, No. 1; p. 4, No. 22
- Stinson, Vance A. (1993) Who, What Is God?, The Church of God, International, p. 43-45.
- (2002) Do You Have An Immortal Soul?, The Church of God, International, p.1-4.
- (1998) Is Elijah In Heaven?, The Church of God, International, p.1-8.
- (2001) Statement of Beliefs, The Church of God, International, p. 2, No. 13
- (2001) Statement of Beliefs, The Church of God, International, p. 4, No. 23.
- (1992) The New Covenant - Does It Do Away With God's Law?, The Church of God, International, pp. 3-20.
- (1998) Sunday, Saturday - What Difference Does It Make?, The Church of God, International, pp.1-4.
- (2001) Statement of Beliefs, The Church of God, International, p. 5, No. 27.
- (2001) Statement of Beliefs, The Church of God, International, p. 4, No. 24.
- (2002) The Fall Festivals, The Church of God, International, pp. 1-4.
- (2002) Paul And The Law - Understanding The "Hard Sayings", The Church of God, International, p. 4
- White, Wes, Hebrew Roots Vs. Church of God, Sermon delivered in 2015
- (2001) Statement of Beliefs, The Church of God, International, p. 2, No. 8.
- (1998) Was Moses The Lawgiver?, The Church of God, International, p. 1-6.
- Stinson, Vance A. (1996) Hell, You Say?, The Church of God, International, p. 22-23
- (2002) What Does The Bible Really Say About The Millenium?, The Church of God, International, p. 1-4.
- (1999) Does God Love The World Enough To Save It?, The Church of God, International, p. 1-6.
- (2010) The Restoration of Sodom, The Church of God, International, p. 1-4.
- (2001) Statement of Beliefs, The Church of God, International, p. 5, No. 26.
- "Church of God International Home Page". Church of God International. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
- ""Armor of God", Christian Tuner". Archived from the original on 2008-07-05. Retrieved 2016-02-12.
- Groce, Charles. "Feast of Tabernacles 2013 Presentation: News of The Work". Retrieved 24 November 2013.