I think it's safe to say that things haven't changed much since I left the COGs. I recently read the March-April edition of the United Church of God's “Beyond Today” magazine and, predictably, saw these regurgitated claims and more in Darris McNeely's article, “What Easter Doesn't Tell You.”
Here are the downright absurd things McNeely claims Easter fails to teach:
1. “Only God coming in the flesh could open the door of salvation for the human creation.”
2. “What's missing is understanding the way to eternal life through Jesus Christ, the Son of God!”
3. “Jesus Christ tasted death for every man so that God might give eternal life to those who call on His name.”
4. “You are missing out on the wonderful meaning of Passover and the death and reconciliation of Jesus Christ. Jesus suffered, died and was resurrected once for all time so that men might have the opportunity to enter into eternal life. Easter obscures the truth about that.”Some other things mentioned that are worth conversation are:
2. Physical acts don't factor into your salvation.
Try as the modern COGs might, it's hard to get around the fact that the Days of Unleavened Bread focus on the physical. For days, weeks, and sometimes months, you focus on getting physical leaven out of your home. You pause to celebrate the Passover, and then the Night to be Much Observed – a lavish celebration not observed by Jesus' disciplines and AT LEAST as extra-biblical as Easter – then continue avoid leavening for the next seven days. Do you do it because you WANT to, because it's time to clean out the house, or because you want to try a low-carb diet? NO!!! You do it because you believe that not doing can keep you out of God's Kingdom. Yes, it was commanded – for Israel – and we have record of a few New Testament congregations like Corinth keeping it. It's likely that Christians like Peter and Paul observed it, although they certainly knew that doing so neither secured nor disqualified them. I get the distinct feeling that's not the impression members of UCG, COGWA, LCG or PCG get.
3. You will never be good enough – and that isn't the point, anyway.
You must put leavening out of your house, your minister tells you, because it symbolizes sin. In fact, those that don't put out leaven are sinning. But don't go overboard, because it's not possible and your focus should be primarily spiritual anyway. Also, laugh it off when you find a sandwich crust wedged in the bowels of your recliner next week, because God knows how hard you tried and will give you a pass. That one wasn't really sin because, you didn't know it was there. Or you forgot. Or whatever.
Huh? NOW who doesn't understand the gravity of sin?
Read the rest of the article here: What the Days of Unleavened Bread Don't Tell You