For well over 80 years now the members of the Church of God have been told over and over to never question the ministry, doctrines or visions of the leaders. To do so was equated as rebellion against God.
Healthy faith involves questioning, doubt and anger. Armstrongism has always made these qualities to be tools of Satan to deceive the brethren. Any look through Hebrew and Christan scriptures quickly points out the men and women who questioned God, argued with God, and got angry with God. COG members would never exhibit or admit to these qualities to other COG members. To do so would make them feel "weak in the faith" in the eyes of others.
That's part of the reason so many in the COG's get angry with the "anti-COG" sites. They feel their faith, their beliefs and understanding are being questioned. It is easier to sit there week after week and be spoon fed than it is to dare to step outside the box and use critical thinking. Being bombarded by booklets, magazines, taped sermons, bible studies, TV programs,and members only chruch activities allows them to do the thinking for you which is much easier than daring to doubt.
I know many who sit in COG services week after week, even though they do not believe it anymore, because all their friends are there. They know full well that if they were to leave they would be shunned. It is better to "suck it up" and suffer for a couple hours each week than it is to step out and fly free.
Steping out and questioning does not mean you have to loose faith. Many find their faith grows even stronger. Others, need a break from religion all together. That is good too, especially after what we have all been through while being part of the COG.
The Silenced blog has a great posting today about this very topic.
In fact, COG leaders are abusing your belief, taking advantage of your faith for personal monetary gain. Ron Weinland’s conviction, David C. Pack’s constant hustling, UCG’s insistent demand for newer, bigger toys built on the backs of the brethren and decades of WCG’s golden flatware, mansions and private jets are evidence of this systemic abuse of your beliefs. Without your faith and support, including that of tithing and offerings to the organization, the COG’s senior leadership wouldn’t have jobs, their numerous unearned perks or be in a position to abuse their power.
By associating personal beliefs with loyalty to an organization, you are providing fuel for an engine of dishonesty, something we know so many of you don’t want or intend. We know these aren’t your wishes based on all of the splits and schisms in the church whenever there’s alleged corruption or a doctrinal change. Most of those passing through UCG’s exits to join COGWA did so because they realized the vile way their former organization had been conducting itself.
Check out the article here: The Appeal #1: Beliefs vs. Affiliation