The United Church of God is facing more issues in it's struggle to keep its self unified as one body.
John Elliot, in his sermon on February 15, says that UCG is struggling to keep disillusioned church members in West Africa in the fold. There are UCG members there that are seeking to be more strict in their sabbath keeping and are starting to swallow the "new moon" baloney that some in the COG are trying to imprison members with.
It seems that other COG legalists, who are intent on holding members in bondage to the law instead of letting them live in the freedom of Jesus and grace, are influencing the UCG members in West Africa. Armstrongsm has always had a segment that worshiped the law more than the Giver. Living under a task master is more safe than being free in Christ. They conveniently forget that...
- One cannot be justified or saved by the law of Moses (Acts 13:39).
- A Christian who seeks to be justified by the old law has “fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4).
- One who desires to keep the law of Moses is obligated to keep not just part of it, but all of it! Such a person is “a debtor to do the whole law” (Galatians 5:3). Under the old covenant the Jews were commanded to offer animal sacrifices to God, travel to the place that God appointed (Jerusalem) to keep annual feasts (Passover, etc.), stone to death those who blaspheme the name of the Lord, every seventh year (the “Sabbath” year) refrain from planting crops and do many other things. Again, if we say that we ought to follow the old law, then it ought to be 100% or not at all!
- It is impossible to keep both the law of Moses and the teaching of Christ at the same time. There are just too many differences! Should Christians Follow the Law of Moses?
James Malm, one of Armstrongism's biggest legalists has this up today:
I have been holding back on certain UCG news about West Africa, but since John Elliot has now revealed this issue I feel able to publicly report on issues in West Africa.
While UCG was keen to portray West Africa as in full unity with Cincinnati, John has admitted to his Phoenix East congregation in the first few minutes of his Feb 15 sermon that the recent tour of West Africa was to try and deal with a groundswell of discontent with UCG that has been rising there over the past year.
In West Africa a substantial number of brethren are turning to the holiness and sanctity of the Sabbath and to the Biblical new moon calendar. Another substantial number are eyeing leaving UCG for other COG Groups. In short, UCG is having serious problems getting the West African brethren to toe their line.
Right after admitting this, John Elliot also announced in his Feb 15 sermon that they expect another split off from UCG soon. This probably has to do with the coming changes in the organizational teachings and beliefs of UCG.