ESN has a two letters up for a young man who grew up in the WCG then left it during the changes to join the United Church of God.
Here is a quote from his letter:
My wife and I moved to another area. I still felt a tug to go to UCG. I wanted familiarity. So we would attend a living room fellowship a couple times per month, and attend UCG a couple times per month. The UCG area was large, so this arrangement went virtually unnoticed.
This was about the time I first got DSL internet. I was able to do a lot of research in a short period of time. This was the first time I learned about the scandals in Pasadena and the moral corruption of HWA, GTA, and Stan Rader. I mulled over this question that changed my life forever: "Can a good tree bear bad fruit?" And the answer was "No." This raised a credibility issue with me and exposed these unique doctrines to cross-examination. Like the Bereans, I was going to open the Scriptures and see if these things were true. HWA taught that the first centuries of the early church were undocumented, yet he was restoring the Truth believed by them after 1900 years. But within minutes I was able to find a lot of early church writings from that time. It gave a clear indication about the things the Christian Church believed and taught at that time. I read my Bible and prayed fervently for guidance. I read the writings of the Early Church Fathers. I read writings like the Didache. I met with pastors from several denominations in order to see how they viewed the Gospel, Jesus Christ, and the End-Time. Some of the pastors I met with were Lutheran, Anglican, and Baptist. In so many words I asked each of them, "What does God expect of me? What must I do-- where should I go to please Him?" The response was unanimous: It was not what I had to do to please God, but I had to realize what God had already done for me!
I wrote in to UCG with specific questions about how they saw the ministry. This was regarding a strange comment they made in one of their booklets. A UCG pastor told me that the UCG ministry were in effect, the "representatives of Jesus Christ Himself." I thought to myself about what that implied. What they are claiming is that they are a priesthood--new Levites if you will--not a ministry. But I contrasted that statement with the pastors of other denominations, who seemed to have a humble attitude, seeing themselves simply as people who wanted to love and serve Jesus Christ. Furthermore, UCG's teachings on the Sabbath, Holy Days, and the nature of God did not add up. Also their paranoia and hostility towards Christmas was hypocritical, inaccurate, and completely unjustified. British Israelism is patently false, and I have a suspicion that many in the UCG ministry know that, but teach otherwise. Plain and simple, UCG and groups like it teach heresy and their fruits show it. I found that when you impartially read Scripture, have a good grasp of church history, and compare UCG's doctrinal statements against the doctrinal statements of other denominations, the Truth will certainly come out. UCG and the other offshoots rely on ignorance.
Read the entire letter here: Why I Left United Church of God
From his WCG letter he writes:
WCG emphasized money. This was core to their message. It wasn't reflecting the love of God in Christ to the world, feeding the hungry, or caring for the poor. WCG considered that "false" Christianity. This should have raised a red flag right there, but it didn't with us. Where was all this money going? Although we were so poor, when I was older my dad sold some recently inherited land and was able to scrape up enough money to go to the Feast in Pasadena. I saw items such as a gold-foil ceiling in the Auditorium, and carpet made from the wool of an extinct species of sheep. Was that preaching the Gospel or materialistic self-glorification?
As a very personal case in point, I'll explain how raising money was so important to the WCG. My uncle and aunt were members. Their son (my cousin) contracted HIV at the age of two because of a blood transfusion he received. Distraught, they asked the local minister to pay them a visit for counseling. The associate pastor came by their house but did not appear to be the least bit concerned about my cousin's fate. On the contrary, he was shocked and dismayed upon learning that my uncle and aunt were unable to tithe. My uncle now had huge medical bills to pay and he did not have health insurance. From what I heard, my uncle threw him out of the house. My mother disputes that part of the story and said that my uncle was just extremely upset. Either way, my uncle left WCG that very day and has not expressed any interest in religion again. My cousin survived for several years before succumbing to complications from AIDS at the age of twelve.
Another story that comes to mind is how one evening our pastor and associate pastor was over at our home. As they were finishing up their visit, my dad asked him why God was not blessing our family despite his obedience over the years. My dad was often working to 10pm so he could have enough money to both support the family and "the church." He would always say that he had to "support two governments." The pastor, leaving, partially turned around to my dad and shrugged his shoulders. He casually said, "I don't know. Maybe you're under a generational curse." Then he turned right back around and walked out the door. My dad took him seriously. I did too. Maybe we were. This influenced a lot of my decisions in life having that in the back of my head. I would tell myself, "I'm prone to fail anyway because of the curse my family is under. After all, that came out of the mouth of one of God's ministers."
Later I found that this same minister did not have a lot of credibility. He had been arrested for DUI on the evening of the "Night To Be Much Observed." A teenage girl was in his minivan at the time and he claimed to be taking her home. He announced at services how he was suing the Police Department because they left that girl in his van when they arrested him. I don't think that anything came out of that though--or whether in fact that he followed through on this lawsuit threat. Later he was abruptly transferred to another WCG area. He had been was accused of molesting young boys and Headquarters quietly transferred him to another congregation, where it is alleged that his behavior continued. This sounds not too different from the scandals in the Roman Catholic church. But when you place faith in a clique of elite "ministers," you always run the potential for abuse.
Read the rest of the letter here: Childhood Memories of Growing up in Worldwide Church of God