Sunday, June 11, 2017

Is the CGI Jamaica Showing the COG's How To Really Do Church?



Ian Boyne, from the Church of God, International based in Jamaica, has sent in the following story about his Jamaica congregation.

We have reported on many instances how many COG congregations are losing members.  Ian wants to demonstrate that this is not always true for some COG congregations.  He has stated in the past that he is preaching "Reformed Armstrongism," an improved way of doing church without all of the negative aspects that weigh down most all the various splinter groups today.

While many of us may feel that the best reform Armstrongism could have is to be totally disbanded, there are some who see otherwise.  If the legalism, abuse, and control of members lives are eliminated and true spiritual growth can be had that allows doubt and questions to have a place in members lives, then perhaps there is a chance for something good to develop.  If that is the case then it needs to totally sever ties to Armstrongism by acknowledging the past with all of the mistakes and pledging to never allow it to happen again.  Good fruit only comes from good trees.




317 ATTEND CAMPAIGN IN KINGSTON CGI CONGREGATION
BY IAN BOYNE

“Should You Keep the Sabbath?”  was  the campaign topic which brought out 114 visitors last weekend, in the Kingston  Church of God, International congregation, making it a total   attendance of 317.   I spoke for two hours(sure to draw comments here!)  with everyone sitting in rapt attention and  afterward I answered questions for another hour. 
We are certainly bucking the trend reported here of low  attendance figures at COG  campaigns. 
We went Facebook live with the campaign, pulling in initially over 2,000 views.   Much  interest had been generated in the campaign following the dramatic resignation of a former  high-ranking Seventh-Day Adventist  scholar , and professor ,Dr. Clinton Baldwin, who was  trained at the SDA’s leading seminary, Andrews University  in  Berrien Springs,  Michigan . He had announced his resignation on my popular television show Religious Hardtalk, which features controversial religious topics. 
Baldwin, an Adventist for over 50 years who pastored 33 churches,  had challenged Adventists on the issue of the Sabbath and stirred quite a controversy in the SDA church, which is Jamaica’s largest  denomination.  We  used the opportunity of this interest to arrange a campaign which drew out  many prominent Adventists,  including ministers and elders who wanted answers to counter Baldwin. It was also an opportunity to present the holydays to this audience,  as this Sabbath (June 3)  there will be a follow-up presentation on “Why you Should Keep the Holydays”. 
On Monday night I  had  a follow-up to the Sabbath presentation going into Col 2: 16, Galatians, (particularly Galatians 4), Romans 14 as well as arguments about the Resurrection appearances of Jesus and  the first day  in  Scripture. I quoted from a number of scholars, all non-Sabbatarians,  to  to question traditional anti-Sabbatarian exegesis.   
Last  Sabbath I dealt with  the main lines of arguments against Sabbath-keeping, providing a detailed reply to them and making a  strong  case that the use  of Sabbatismos in Hebrews 4 argues convincingly for the continuity and restatement  of the seventh-day Sabbath. Many commented to me that they were very impressed with the quality of the argumentation. 
On Pentecost we will also have another campaign and  will host an entire congregation of Church of God 7th Day believers  for them to  hear  the case for why this is not  the only day of salvation and  how the feast days  picture  God’s plan of opening up salvation to all. CGI Jamaica  is excited about  its  evangelism  thrust    and  the bretheren are on fire  to share  the true  Gospel.  









31 comments:

Anonymous said...

What an indictment against UCG and LCG which spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on failed campaigns that produce negligible results.

Anonymous said...

keep in mind that religion is a hobby in Jamaica...but if Ian is preaching the truth and gaining converts I wish him well.

Byker Bob said...

I've come to understand that the doctrinal approach and government of Armstrongism produce all of the bad fruits and problems which we discuss here. I appreciate that someone does not wish to blind himself to the symptoms, and is actively attempting to treat them, but why not make full warfare against the disease itself?

Having said that, we often comment that none of the splinter leaders possess the skill set which made the Armstrongs successful in their heyday. It appears that Mr. Ian Boyne not only has those skills, but is also well known in the market area served by his ministry. This partly accounts for his successes where others are failing.

If indeed the SDA religion is the #1 faith in Jamaica, we can all understand that the general population would not find the CGI to be the radical stretch that it is here in the USA, and this might account for the more receptive audience, presenting a higher success rate for the evangelistic campaigns.

If we look back over the past twenty + years since the Armstrongism implosion, the overall trends have involved splintering and contraction of the churches, flamboyance, hyperbole, and title-taking by certain of the ministry, and an additional string of failed prophecies by others. What is true of emerging trends is that they must be observed over a period of years before one can realize with some surety which way they will actually go. I would say this one bears further scrutiny. Currently, it may be the only positive trend in all of Armstrongism.

BB

nck said...

I think COG-ism hearkens to an ancient strain of Christianity.
HWA was only one exponent of that 2000 year old strain. The strain may or may not have been in "continuous succession", probably not. But every now and then someone with business accumen and a practical, modern, contemporary approach succeeded in reviving that strain temporarily.

HWA particularly rode the wave of 20th century societal change, the age of the dictators and isms, the cold war, american ascend to power, modern inventions in communications and the newly invented management style and marketing techniques not previously available to the strains of that movement. That's why it grew so big and impactful.

Peter Waldo had been a merchant of Lyon. Other leaders in the movement had business skills.
The people however mostly hailed from the "agricultural" parts of the nations it thrived in.

Particularly Adventism thrives in many agricultural parts of the world, especially those linked to the Western World through multinational corporations serving the world with tea, grain, fish and spices. It is no coincidence that it started in Battle Creek Michigan and that the Kelloggs were adherents to such movement.

It is good to see a pastor being an asset to that movement now that the "american" strain of cog'ism has been under scrutiny. Although even on this blog COG 7th day has had a good rap. They however lack the particular dynamism and communication skills that was so typical of the Armstrongis strain for evangelical purposes.

It is a surprise to see it alive on remote islands interjected with a fresh aproach. But hey it pops up in the places you least expect it, among the weavers of lyon, in the walnut orchards of piemonte, the carpathian mountains, along the border guards making the last stand at the edge of the Byzantine empire, and now among the kind descendants of the people that brought us sugar. Even if the bible speaks of being the salt of the earth. That would not be contradictory.

nck




Anonymous said...

Re Byker Bob's usually insightful intervention that the CGI growth in Jamaica should be analyzed partially from the fact that it operates in a favourable religious market and another comment here that religion is a hobby in Jamaica,the obvious question to ask or the point to ascertain is whether the other COG groups here are also benefitting from this favourable market among this religion-obsessed people.Ian Boyne

Anonymous said...

10.02 PM
The warnings of Jeremiah and Ezekiel and Isaiah produced negligible results as well. You claim of failed campaigns is debatable.

Connie Schmidt said...

It is an easy market in Jamaica. Something like 15% of the Island are already Sabbath Keepers , primarily the SDA church.

Byker Bob said...

No slight intended by my analysis, Ian. We really don't have any news or statistics pertaining to the activities of other COG groups in Jamaica. My assumptions would be that some of them are making an effort, but that the results would be similar to what they produce in the continental USA, in other words, minimal and disappointing.

BB

nck said...

Ian,

The only pastors not benefitting from favorable circumstance were the first missionaries descending on the isles of Ireland, the Viking nation or inserting the Saxons and other tribes on the European mainland from Iona or Lindisfarne.

The current trend would be "Local Brands". The lesser succes of other COG's goes with the rapid demise of the authority of the American empire from which its 20th century missionaries hailed bringing a "foreign" brand. Although the philosophy of the British Empire and its worldwide humanistic perspective e pluribus unum, worldwide community of man, which is so characteristic of the philosophy of the COG movement, is no stranger to the Jamaican people.

But as I said the American brand and in particular the "armstrongism" brand is under scrutiny. Therefore as it has always been since the romans and the byzantines on the edges of the current empire the cog revives amongst the former gentiles, being celts, langobardi, burgundian tribes or the particular tribed that took shape in the 17th century on your beautiful island.

Oh yes. The British Empire. The Lion of Judah, Ethiopia Rastafari and the COG. The perfect mix under the American (christian) nuclear protective shield.

nck



Byker Bob said...

The stats on the SDA church indicate that of the 62% who are Protestant, 11% of that are SDA. There is also a large group (24% of the 62%) called "Church of God", but that is a Wesleyist group, dissimilar to what we here commonly call the Church of God, or Armstrongist Church of God.

Prevalence of Adventism is not an explanation for CGI's acceptance or success.

See Wikipedia article: Religion in Jamaica.

BB

Anonymous said...

Ian should call his lectures "Why You Should Reject Grave and Use the Law to Gain Your Own Salvation".

Anonymous said...

Jamaica is full of superstitious people who fall for this kind of mumbo jumbo. Of course they are attracted to religious nonsense.

Anonymous said...

BB, you are exactly right re my fellow believers in the other groups:"The American COG rate of growth" is what they are experiencing. Connie's implicit assumption, therefore, has to be assessed against this background.

Also, it is important that I mention this for I anticipate the thinking of some on this forum: Jamaica is BY NO MEANS similar to the situation in Africa. First, for those who don't know, Jamaica is an highly Americanised, cosmopolitan society. American culture is highly influential here. Our people are very materialistic, atomistic and addicted to Western notions of "success". We are also increasingly secular, with many abandoning Christianity, just like the American phenomenon with the Nones.
Jamaica is a middle-income country, unlike many in Africa. In my congregation, for example are several people with MBAs. We have professionals who are doctors, lawyers(like my daughter who is an assistant Director of Public Prosecutions), accountants, IT specialists, business owners etc. And, most importantly, WE ARE NOY SUPPORTED FINANCIALLY by our headquarters. There is no financial benefit to Jamaicans from being a part an American-headquartered CGI. We are self-supporting. People don't join, unlike the situation with some in Africa, because of American dollars which they can get. They know we are only supported by booklets from America. At Feast time we get some assistance to help the poor to attend ,but again the bulk of that social assistance is paid locally. We don't require financial assistance as we run an efficient, well-managed organization.
So I know some might say, "Oh yeah Jamaica is Third World, the people are starving and they are flocking to CGI for the money like in Africa". Some with their implicit racism and ethnic chauvinism will tend to detract from CGI's growth in Jamaica vis-a-vis Armstrongism's sharp decline in North America. First, they should ask why Jamaicans are not flocking to other COGs, here, too if their simplistic cultural analysis holds true. And ,incidentally, I am paid not one cent by either Tyler or Jamaica fo rmy ministerial services. My secular jobs support me. Ian Boyne

Anonymous said...

Ah, I had already anticipated chauvinistic and racist statements like the one from Anonymous 11:01 before I even read it. So predictable--and ignorant. That person probably believes Jamaicans live in trees, too! It's interesting that people are very "enlightened" in rejecting Armstrongism, but culturally-enslaved and wedded to the racist culture fostered by Armstrongite practice. Sensible people on this forum should condemn such backwardness. Ian Boyne

Minimalist said...

The heresy of seventh-day-sabbatarianism is popular in countries that are behind the times, like old former British Island colonies such as Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, New Zealand, Australia, Pitcairn Island(100% SDA), Jamaica...

Thus we have that awful movie about Seventh-day Adventists (in disproportionate numbers) in former colonial island nation of Australia, starring Meryl Streep as Lindy "a-dingo-took-my-baby" Chamberlain.

Those in disadvantaged countries such as these don't have access to competent scholarly libraries and are subject to draconian postal rates for Amazon and other book sources.

Thus their citizens are easily bewitched by what the Apostle Paul calls the 'weak and beggarly elements' of stealth Judaism diverting the christian's focus on Christ.

RSK said...

Well, Ian, Armstrongism probably made a few racists in its time, but it also attracted a number of them too - they were such before the Armstrong experienc. We see it rather regularly on the comment threads, and I recall Gary saying that he only approves some of them for posting.

Anonymous said...

Jamaica is full of superstitious people who fall for this kind of mumbo jumbo. Of course they are attracted to religious nonsense.

He did not say "blacks are superstitious" just Jamaica. But, if we look at the facts, Africans are also highly superstitious, so, since the black guy played the race card, if the truth be told, being superstitious is, to a large degree, a black thing, so they need to own up to it, rather than play the game of moral supremacism that they are so good at.

Anonymous said...

"That person probably believes Jamaicans live in trees, too!"

Strawman argument. Where did he say that?

Anonymous said...

The COGs think it is their job to warn Israel. And they don't think Jamacians are Israel. So that might help explain why they "ignore" Jamacia.

On the other hand, anyone can go to the COG web sites if they are on the internet, so I guess God just isn't calling those people over there because their browsers aren't pointing in the right direction. Good for them.

Anonymous said...

"Ah, I had already anticipated chauvinistic and racist statements like the one from Anonymous 11:01 before I even read it."

Yep, he was prepared for the racist comments before anybody made any, which is why he read racism into comments that weren't racist.

Anonymous said...

Ian
I hate it when writers use expressions such as 'western notions of ... (whatever). Often included are concepts such as freedom, reason and rejection of homosexually. What they are really rejecting is what God has created. They think they know better than God.

nck said...

An entire posting of my didn't make it over the internet.

It rambled something about remnants of the british empire and rastafari lion of judah, lost tribes in Ethiopia consciousness. Then it went on about the American empire and the Western hemisphere. COG being a missionary church from that empire whereas Lion of Judah and Israel connections are rooted in Jamaican culture also.

ramble ramble. Most points have been made on this thread in one form or another.
I don't know if COG7 are teetotallers, SDA are to some extent. Armstrongism allows for the occasional rum during the feast.

nck

Anonymous said...

I recall Gary saying that he only approves some of them for posting.

The weak must be protected from truths they can't handle or they will act like animals, go berserk, trample on their shirts, burn down their own neighborhoods, or whatever childish prank that gets them media attention and intimidates civilized people.

Anonymous said...

Since when does the West reject homosexuality? The have gone full trans. Hopefully the blacks in Africa are too smart for that. As for cosmopolitan Jamacia, I'm not so sure.

Minimalist said...


In Ian Boyne's 2nd video, he states at 1:00:44 mark:
"In Colossians..the scholars are agreed..the majority position..the problem here was a Gnostic.."
It's a bit more than that: Paul here, and consistently elsewhere, is coming out as a radical supersessionist, overthrowing key Mosaic legislation! Baldwin is just the latest of a string of SDA intellectuals to align with what is the true majority scholarly position!

Later at the 1:35:00 mark Boyne quotes scholars having Jesus upholding the Torah in the Gospels. Well yes, the NT canon is schizophrenic on the subject, that's why multiple versions of Christianity coexisted for its first few hundred years. It's just that Paul's (radical) position is more explicit and eventually won out against the James/Peter version of early-Christianity.

Byker Bob said...

The guy who brings us the occasional public service spots on behalf of Hitler obviously didn't grow up in my neighborhood where peoples' grandparents and parents still had the numbers tattooed on their arms from the death camps.

As John Lennon once sang ".......you ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow!" Lennon sang those words about the hippies that tended to admire Chairman Mao, but they apply to Hitler as well!

BB

Byker Bob said...

Do you even know what the term "monolithic" means, 3:47?. It is something that collections of individuals are generally not.

Issues, issues, issues, people. Not stereotypes based on pigmentation!

BB

Anonymous said...

I must say that I really appreciate the fact that Minimalist has taken the time to listen to at least sections of Part Two of my presentations. His comments are reasonable , though I would, of course , differ. I am really looking for an informed critique show and I get the impression that he is prepared to offer just that. If he can endure the two hours I would really appreciate it. I would also like Byker Bob to give a response if he can spare the time to listen. I know it's asking a lot, but if possible, I really crave the critique from informed people. Ian Boyne

Anonymous said...

I meant critique, not "critique show". Ian Boyne

Minimalist said...

I am really looking for an informed critique
There is a way out of CGI's dilemma of trying to bridge NT contradictions:
- Jettison either the Christianity or the Judaic component -
Prof. James Tabor has taken such action, jettisoning Christianity/embracing Judaism.
This would make sense in Jamaica as Christianity is too competitive there.

Anonymous said...

4.23 AM
My point is that condemnation of homosexuality is often portrayed as purely western construct.
What this ignores is that reality is defined by God rather than western civilization.
Western civilization is often used as a whipping boy, when people fail to conform to someone's vision of utopia. I try to avoid such nonsense by carefully observing what God has created. Scientists sometimes spend years studying a animal species. Do they turn around and say that the animal behaviour is wrong and that their notions of how the animal should behave is right? If course not. Yet this foolishness permeates left wing thinking. It's obvious that 'materialism' is part of Gods creation. Materialism is good. People wanting more is good. Left wingers can go weep and gnash their teeth.
PS left wing Obama got payed 3 million dollars for his speech in Italy. These people don't practise what they preach. Three million buck, the Devil looks after his own.