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 CONGREGATIONBY 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.