Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Church of God, The Eternal's Jon Brisby Sinks To A New Vile Low

One of the vilest teachings of the church that was brutally enforced over the decades was the "divorce and remarriage" doctrine/teaching.  Countless stories have been told over the decades of loving couples and families ripped to pieces by the Church of God's vile stance.  Most had probably thought those days were long gone, but it is not.

This letter was posted on Exit and Support and describes the vile and unChristian teachings of Jon Brisby:

I wanted to write and thank you for helping people who have left or will leave the "Armstrong cult groups." I was born into the WWCG. It helped to destroy my whole family--my parents, my siblings, and up until this year, even me. We all made some mistakes and bad choices on our own but Herbert Armstrong and his ministers, splinters, and even some members, helped destroy my family emotionally, just with the judgmental attitudes, being made to feel we were in "hot water" with God, telling us that outsiders were of the world, etc. My most recent minister Jon W. Brisby (Church of God, the Eternal) has even told me that my lack of financial comfort is the result of my "not living in a pleasing enough way for God." I was also told that my family is the "church" now and no longer my kids, since they are not members. Luckily, my kids grew up against the Armstrong teachings and have their own beliefs. As for me, I am finally what I consider to be "out of the dark" of these Armstrong worshippers. I emailed my minister two weeks ago and explained my decision to leave. He has yet to respond. 
Church of God, The Eternal (COGE) is a small group. The lead minister is Jon W. Brisby (age 55). He has some wild ideas. A married couple came to the group from LCG a few years ago. They had been married for about 18 years. Brisby soon found out that the man had been married briefly to someone else when he was a really young man. They divorced and his ex married someone else. Anyway, this married couple of 18 plus years were instructed to split up and live separately but not get divorced. Jon Brisby told him that if his ex wife happens to die then and only then can he and his current wife live as a couple again. The couple have remodeled their home and made it into a duplex. They each live in one of the side by side units. They are allowed to go back and forth to each other's apartment for meal times but not allowed to sleep, shower or linger at each other's place. At the Feast of Tabernacles and Pentecost they were not permitted to sit together for services. This couple is in their 50's also.
There is another man, a single man around age 60. This man was also married but years ago his wife left him and married a Seventh Day Adventist. Brisby told him he must never remarry. This man said God would not allow him to marry unless his ex died. Brisby stays in total control of the dating and marriage relationships in the group. He comes off as very intensely and genuinely kind, but if he feels you cross him, then he gets an attitude and can be very arrogant. 
--Kandice Cunning (Child survivor of WCG; Former member of COGE)
Church of God, the Eternal has on its page the following which is used as a weapon to stop members from writing such things as was done above.  They seek to create the myth that all of the things they teach are directly from Christ, passed down through the apostles to Bisby and others today.  To deny what they teach is blasphemy and denial of the truth which separates the "rebellious" from God.

What God gave to Moses, He gave to Christ. What Christ taught to the apostles, He commissioned them to proclaim in their designated areas. What Christ and the apostles taught was the same as was revealed to Paul. And what all those servants taught is exactly what was given to an end-time servant (Matthew 28:19–20). For those who will hear, our purpose is to honor and proclaim that same way of life—the faith once delivered. In that way is found no part of the way given to Gentiles—people of the world (Deuteronomy 12:1–3; 4:1–40, Acts 14:16). We want the ways of God. We are not interested in any of the traditions or customs of this world. God’s servant of these last days at no time made the pagan customs of this world a part of the doctrine. The spirit which introduces change, and/or a relaxation of the doctrine is as much at work today as it was in the past. The called of God must be on guard incessantly. That spirit is a deceiver. He will do anything to destroy.
One concluding observation seems to be necessary. Those who believed and loved the Truth of God have remained strong, loyal, and faithful. On the other hand, it seems that everyone who was “argued” into acceptance of the “faith once delivered” has failed ultimately. It, indeed, seems like God is separating those who believe and love the Truth from those who must surely have accepted only on the basis of their own personal intellectual prowess.
Satan and his demons hate the ways of God. They will do anything to disrupt, challenge, and destroy. Such behavior is a manifestation of who and what the true people of God are all about. They persecuted Christ. In like manner they will do the same thing to those in whom Christ lives. The faithful of God will count it a privilege to suffer for the cause of righteousness. They will be persecuted and lied about with abandon, but these chosen children of God will know who they are. They love the Truth and will for no cause allow themselves to turn from it. They are the ones who will endure to the end.
Who are we? We are estranged members—a remnant (Romans 9:27–33; 11:1–5, Isaiah 1:8–9, Revelation 12:13–17)—from the apostate body (2 Thessalonians 2:1–3) who sincerely love God’s revealed Truth from the heart (2 Thessalonians 2:10), willing to remain faithful to the end (Matthew 24:13). That Truth which was taught by Christ (John 14:6; 12:48–50), that Truth which Christ commissioned the Twelve Apostles to teach (Matthew 28:20). Which was the same message taught by the Apostle Paul (Galatians 1:6–16, 1 Thessalonians 2:12–14). Which was the same message taught by an end-time servant (Matthew 28:19–20). Which had significant beginning with Moses (Hebrews 4:1–3). The Truth which is now obeyed from a spiritual premise (2 Corinthians 3:1–11).
These are the people that God’s true ministry desires to serve. It is our purpose to give you our energy and our love.  Letter from Raymond Cole


Byker Bob said...

I’m not terribly surprised by this. Many people remember the early to mid ‘70s as a time when liberal ministers and members revolted against HWA, and left the church. And, this was in spite of the doctrinal changes that HWA had made, partially addressing some of the widely held concerns of the ministry. But, there was also a smaller and lesser-known conservative backlash. Raymond Cole would not allow visiting ministers to take the guest spot and preach on the sabbath in his churches unless they had brought along and would wear a white dress shirt. This was told to me by an elder who worked for Mr. Cole. When the D&R doctrine was modified, Mr. Cole believed that HWA had made a grave error, and had in essence left his own church. He stuck to the original teaching, and started COGE. Jon Brisby is adamantly sticking to the things that Raymond made a federal out of. For those who wondered, that’s where this happy horsecrap is coming from.


Anonymous said...

The bibles 'prove all things' does in fact mean "arguing" with at least ourselves in our own minds. It does mean "using our own personal intellectual prowess." These complaints of arguing and intellectual prowess is the minister claiming the right to lord it over members faith.
There's no 'love of the truth' in this grievious sin.

Reading the Bible, God punishes people for their physical behavior. King Saul being a good example. God condemned and replaced him with David by listing specific physical sins. God does not punish people for their beliefs ie, He is not a thought policeman. Unlike many ministers, God Himself respects the separation of church and state.

Opinionated said...

Evil bastards.

Alan Dexter said...

If you are going to be a member of some paticular church it would be best NOT to let the ministry know your private life. Keep your personal life secret & separate from church members.

Connie Schmidt said...

My advice to all six people who belong to this tiny dysfunctional group.... GET OUT!

What About The Truth said...

It is a disconcerting to hear of another example of people abiding by the directives of men with no understanding and foolishly not even proving them or there so called understanding.

The true understanding of D & R is very simply laid out by Christ and Paul. The main cause of all the problems was the putting away of a spouse who pleased to dwell. This was the causation of adultery when one or both then go on to marry another after the putting away action.

In a age when most of these churches believe they are in the peak of their enlightenment of all knowledge we have an example like the one in this letter where an 18 year marriage is broken up by a man under the false authority of Jesus Christ. The RCG causes division in marriages by their 50% money grab, which causes the breakup of marriages as well and is caused by a man who puts himself in place of Christ. And these wreckage of marriages are all justified by men who operate with corrupt theology.

God said; "My people are destroyed (Cutoff, ruined) for lack of knowledge Hosea 4:6. This happens when the membership (My people) trust in men with no basic understanding of scripture let alone the deep things (Mind) of God. This will continue to happen when people believe and obey a false government that is in no way shape or form, for their spiritual edification.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I have had my dealings with the man who heads up this organization. The lady who wrote the piece for this post is correct in her assessment of his character. At first, he is kind, cordial, etc..., but then begins to exude arrogance. If you get on his bad side, he is a totally different animal. Many times he has stated that he will always win when it comes to anything that arises in his church. I have seen this happen first-hand many times when he is in complete error. Some who may read this that attend there may think they have never seen this behavior, but they have. They have just not scratched far enough below the surface to see and choose to look the other way. Fear is a powerful motivator sometimes to keep people doing nothing. Afterall, have not many been indoctrinated to believe that the minister is always right, even though the Bible tells us contrary?

Since the time this man took the reigns in 2001 from Raymond Cole, there has been much error. My suggestion to any brethren currently attending there that is reading this post, if you have any doubts about anything that has come up during your time there; go back and revisit old material (letters, audio, etc...), and compare it the word of God. You were called and baptized. You have a measure of the Holy Spirit, and my Bible tells me that you have the ability to distinguish right from wrong.

Just because a group keeps a specific Holy Day different from others, is not a requirement to stay in an organization if there is error. Nowhere in your Bible will you find that requirement. You are however, tasked with knowing what is wrong, and what is right.

Kandice Cunning said...

From now on I am on my own as far as church. I read, pray on my own, not saying I will never set foot in a church again. But no more controlling groups or cults. I probably wouldn't even join any church officially. My church is the bible now. I left COGE as of March 31, this year, 2018.

Anonymous said...

Good for you Candice. I left in 2009 after spending most of my life in COGE. I have not changed what I choose to keep religiously, but like you; I will not be apart of a group that is under complete control being driven, instead of led. That is not the spirit of Christ at all.