Sermon summaries are from an LCG source:
Gerald Weston has deep issues with LCG members who talk to COG members in other groups and who might even attend one of their Feast sites for a day or two in order to be with friends. Weston even has a derogatory label for those who do this, they are travellers on the "Highway Church of God."
One of the reasons for this sermon by Weston is that COGWA is starting a congregation in the Charlotte area n June. Many LCG members will be visiting it. LCG members are already visiting COGWA and UCG Feast sites if they are close by LCG sites. Weston is loosing control and he is not happy. Thus, he has to lecture LCG members on tithing, government and baptism. To be real baptized LCG member one must SUBMIT to everything that the leadership says and requires, which is far above anything Jesus ever required.
There were seven churches in Asia Minor. Can you imagine Philadelphia and Laodicea, which were at the opposite ends of the valley, that Paul is saying that, ‘Boy, if you’re on one end and you are mostly (because it wasn’t everybody in the congregation, but this was the attitude in one congregation), you can’t fellowship with those people over there,’ how foolish; they’re all the Church of God.
Now, we do need to understand that there are differences out here and we’re not all the same. But to say that one should never, uh, you know, sit down with somebody and have a meal with somebody because they’re of a different group - I don’t think we should just be going back and forth, and this church and that church, and be a, uh, oh this one fellow described it, he was in the, what, the “Highway Church of God” or the uh, something like that. Uh, one week he’d go one place, one week he’d go another place. That’s confusion, and it certainly doesn’t help brand new people who don’t understand all the history and so forth. But we’re just talking about the fact that you can’t even be civil to someone who might be of a different group. I think we need to know why we’re here and be strong in why we’re here, and not go back and forth and to different festival sites and that sort of thing - I think that that shows a lack of understanding.
But at the same time, the point is that it’s talking about the world here in chapter 5 of 1 Corinthians, that we’re to forsake… well we’re, we’re… we’re not to go out of the… of, stop fellowshipping with anybody in the world, in other words, your neighbors. You can be friends with them even if they have a few problems, but as far as the Church goes, if someone is going to be sexually immoral, or an idolater, or covetous, or whatever, then he says those individual, if it’s, you know, a real extreme case there, you put ‘em out. The point I’m trying to make here is that we have to decide where our loyalties are. And Christ says you must put him first above all else.Anyone who has loyalties to
Another part of the whole counsel of God is that there are ranks in the ministry. Ephesians 4:11, first apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, etc. Do we have every one of those at all times? We don’t think so. Mr. Armstrong certainly didn’t think we had prophets at that time. Will there ever be a prophet in the future? Sure, probably. The two witnesses I’d say would be probably prophets. But, right now we understand that there are ranks in the ministry, but because people are so adverse (sic) to GOVERNMENT, they want everybody to be equal. And as, uh, somebody told me one time that was a part of a group that split off from us back in the Kansas City area that first year - another church started, so some people went that direction, and then they split - um, as he said, they have two forms of government. [said with smirking expression] The minister is in charge of the congregation, but on the ministerial level they were all equals because no one wanted to answer to anybody else. You know, this is part of the whole counsel of God. You can’t read Ephesians 4:11 and really do away with the fact that there are different levels within the ministry. And they say, “Well, those are just (what, uh) functions.” Well, you have to decide that, you have to look at it objectively.Weston then seeks to chastise LCG members who do not tithe in amounts he thinks is required. Even though it has been proven over and over that tithing is NOT a new covenant command, the current iteration of COG groups DEMAND that their followers tithe in order to keep the hierarchy in its privileged lifestyles. Apparently, some LCG members are waking up to the fact that the new covenant does not require tithing. Good for them!
Tithing, as a law, not just a nice principle. I remember going out on the internet - the CompuServe forum, that shows how far back it was. I haven’t been back on any of these forums ever since that time, but for a period of time I was on that and I realized I couldn’t sleep at night because I (always) checked it just before I went to bed, and I’d be so angry that I couldn’t sleep, so I finally had to get rid of it and ditch it. But it was amazing how many people, how many ministers were out there saying that tithing is a nice principle, a good principle, “And oh, I tithe, by the way,” you know, is the way they’d put it, “but it’s not a law of God.” We need to prove these things for ourselves. You need to know WHY you are where you are. And I think that most of us in this room KNOW why we are where we are. That’s why we’re here, that’s why we’re not someplace else. But we need to know those things. These three pillars - knowing that God exists and knowing that the Bible is the Word of God and knowing where the Church is will serve you well through trials, disruptions, and times of confusion. And I’ll be the first to tell you I’ve had to go through those pillars time and again. You can’t be in the Church of God for 50 years or more and not, at times, have to go back through it. And I’m not afraid of going back through it because I know the answer’s going to be the same. But at some times I have to remind myself, and maybe you’ll have to remind yourself someday.
So why should you be baptized? [proceeds to discuss repenting of “wrong religion”]