There was an interesting comment on a Facebook page the other day about Church of God members and how they are dull to be around and how sabbath keepers are the biggest bores.
In another discussion someone brought up the fact that most COG members have an adolescent theology. They need to be told what to believe, how to act, and who they are to associate with. Free thinking is NOT a hallmark of the Church of God.
Just look at the latest hysteria over Easter, April Fools Day, Halloween, Christmas, Purim and other days that send some COG leaders into fits of hysteria. They trot out the same old silliness that Herbert Armstrong and others taught 60-70 years ago. Viewpoints dug up out of obscure books, poorly researched and never "fact checked" by church leaders. Prank someone on April 1st and you are part of the synagogue of Satan. Bob Amos Thiel can't stand April Fools Day, so he must really have been pushed over the edge to know that the younger staff at LCG HQ were pulling jokes on each other on April 1. How dare people have fun!
That aodlescent mentality carries over into the latest issue of Bob Amos Thiel's rag that claims to restore the "truth once delivered." It the latest issue he has to tell his very few members how they are to dress. These are adults, mostly in the 50-70 years of age range and mostly black African's. All people who know how to dress, yet apparently too stupid to know how to in Amos's sight.
Amos Thiel writes:
As far as dress for church services goes, basically, the historical Philadelphia era view has been that since we are to be God’s ambassadors and a royal priesthood, that the way one would dress as such is appropriate. This has had side benefits as well. Historically, this helped the church to be able to rent places for meetings as well as for the Feast of Tabernacles as communities feel better about those who dress in a more professional-appearing manner.
While the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) does not mandate suits and ties, that is the normal attire for those males who attend the Feast of Tabernacles or other services in Western societies. Women normally wear skirts or dresses, and of course should not be wearing ones that are excessively short, or otherwise be dressed immodestly (1 Timothy 2:9). Immodest clothing is clothing that tends to be sexually provocative (such as being too sheer, too tight, or not covering enough skin) or intended as an excessive display of wealth (like certain outrageously-priced custom-designer items or excessive jewellery). The Bible, in Deuteronomy 22:5, also forbids what is known as ‘cross- dressing.’
Again, we do not mandate a suit and tie for males in CCOG, but we do believe that such dress in certain Western cultures is consistent with the scriptures that I have quoted here.
Let it also be stated that some people WANT to look poor and unkempt. Notice also the following:
18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God. (Colossians 2:18-19)Church of God members have never been given credit that they know how to think, act, and dress. Some one mightier than they has always felt the need to tell them what to do and they do it, like adolesecents.
While no one in the CCOG could be a true member if they worship angels/demons, people also need to guard against false humility.
As far as dress goes, basically we expect people wear clean clothes (not improperly sheer or tight) and dress nicely, though not more nicely than they can reasonably afford. If you are doing that, you meet what the Bible teaches (though I would add that most can afford to buy used ties, which is part of Western culture).
Even the basic theology of most church members extends no further than adolescent theology. They rely solely upon booklets, articles and sermons to get their theology from. If the booklet or correspondence course said it, it HAS to be true. The church leaders and ministry are inspired directly by God and it is the only "truth." Just look at the hysteria that Rod Meredith and Richard Ames gets into when LCG Members what to have Bible studies in their homes with friends.
The problem is that almost all Church of God leaders have a theology that is adolescent in belief. They got their theological base from someone one who had it passed down to them and which ultimately came from a guy who sat in a public library for six months while not supporting his family. An entire belief system is built around books from a public library that was filled with tomes from the late 1880's. It's a well establish fact now that Herbert Armstrong was theologically bankrupt in his understanding. While many have been able to disprove his theology with a minimum of research, most COG members still do not do that. Its not right to question the leader because in doing so you are questioning God. Just as an adolescent isn't supposed to question their parents, COG members are not to question their leaders.