Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Is Grace Communion International a trusted theological voice?

Grace Communion International recently moved its world headquarters to Charlotte, North Carolina.  It is a time of opportunity for another fresh start and that begins with a new web site.

Here is one of the things they posted:

Grace Communion International places great emphasis on the gracious triune God (Father, Son and Spirit). Our pastors and the people they serve point others toward the Triune God so that union and participation with Christ happens.
We are inclusive informers, teachers, and pastor-theologians who pursue God’s Word (the written Word, the Holy Scriptures and the Living Word Jesus). It’s our quest to follow where He leads.
We are passionate about equipping, training, and proclaiming the relational nature of God. Our goal is healthy churches who want to be a part of God’s renewal.
We are intentional about developing leaders; and new, growing, and multiplying churches. We lead with belief into the liberated love and life of the Father, Son, and Spirit. Our consistent effort is high support, high challenge, and grace always.
Grace Communion International is a trusted theological voice, who has proven that we are willing to lose it all so that we may gain Christ. We see our people, and others who join us, embracing and sharing the love of God in genuine ways.
While GCI was certainly willing to lose it all, I just wonder about the "trusted theological voice" can really be trusted?
Many ask—“What are your distinctives—what makes you different, or superior?” The bottom line is that we aren’t in competition with other Christian churches. We are simply striving to be the healthiest expression of Christian church that we can be.
"Healthiest expression of Christianity?"
By the power of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit we seek to proclaim the Good News in all of our communication and in the way we interact with others. The Gospel about Jesus really is good news and that’s what you will hear and experience in Grace Communion International.


Anonymous said...

GCI was not "willing to lose it all."

Joe Jr. chose to keep the single most toxic "doctrinal distinctive" of Armstrongism, the Pastor General's unilateral theocratic control of the corporate church.

Had Joe ceded control to a board of directors, there's a reasonable chance that GCI might have emerged as a healthy new expression of the movement from law to grace. Maybe it would have merged with an older and healthier denomination, or maybe it would have encouraged individual believers to flourish in the unique context of their ex-ACOG status.

Instead, Joe kept his fist tightly gripped on his church's property and other assets. Instead of selling all he had, and giving it to the poor (whether members or ministers or both), he chose to trust in his control over his riches.

Flurry and Pack and Weinland and some others are terrible exemplars of what Armstrongism can do to warp a mind and a spirit. Joe Jr., however, is the true villain of the piece, and has probably hung more millstones around more necks (and acquired as many for himself) than any ACOG figure other than HWA himself.

Dennis Diehl said...

We have proven the willingness to lose it all to win Christ...well accept all the millions we kept for ourselves from the fire sale

Byker Bob said...

They’re infinitely better and more spiritually advanced than any ACOg, but still have a long way to go as compared to many of the long-term Christian churches with experience rooted in the gospel. It’s always best to seek the highest sources possible, and these guys haven’t quite made it yet.


Anonymous said...

"It's our quest to follow where He (Christ) leads."

This sounds similar to the JWs position that God communicates exclusively through their seven man governing body. There is no mention of Christ leading individual church members. This is nothing more than a lustful power grab by the church leaders. The equivalent of Satan trying to knock God off his thrown. I have never heard a sermon in Herbs church on following Christ's lead, or read in church literature (since the mid 1960s) on this topic. This is a deliberate sin of commission.

The splitting of the veil in the holy of holies on Christ's death means that everyone has direct access to God. No middlemen are required and He leads every Christian individually. Christ used the word "follow me" 23 times in the NT. In fact it's part of the baptismal vow to follow Christ. Its not optional. Again hidden and ignored by power hungry ministers. Their insatiable lust for power knows no limits.

Anonymous said...

Quite a stretch to say they are "trusted".

I don't trust them for a second.

How many years did Tkach Sr say he was going to retire ago, and then FINALLY appears to be doing so? Could you trust his word?

Could you trust them in the methodology they used to make the changes?

Could you trust them as not being deceptive then? Can you trust them as not being deceptive now?

Can you trust that with even further changes now, that more won't follow along the way to an already change-weary congregation?

What is it about them you can trust? And did they really "lose it all"? Seems to me if they are willing to say they "lost it all", they'd come clean about what happened with all the money they got out of the campuses (Orr, Pasadena, Big Sandy, Etc.)

On a scale of 1 to 10 in trust, what do I give them?


Anonymous said...

Why does GCI need a big beautiful headquarters? Why is there a need for corporate control of CGI? Joe jr was never transparent about what was done with the money from sale of assets. It has always been about control and they will never give that up. Rejecting HWA’s dogmas was good. But it makes me very suspicious about why there is no accountability by the leaders at CGI. Last time I saw Joe jr he was driving a 911 Porsche Carrera. Seemed to be living rather well. I have no issue with what he or anyone else drives. But I find it interesting how the leaders always live ten higher up the ladder than their members. I am not interest in organized religion anymore. When I die my hope and desire is to leave my friends and family better off, that I tried to do some good in this world.

Anonymous said...

Joe probably can't help it. He was raised in Chicago by Al Capone

Near_Earth_Object said...

What you are seeing concerning GCI is not a problem with theology or even personal intentions. What you are seeing are the evils of denominationalism. People organize. Someone becomes the leader. Then they try to accomplish something. Then resources have to be acquired and allocated. It is easy for this process to go astray. And usually servant leadership dies a miserable death.

Remember that show called "Viva, Zapata." Marlon Brando was Emiliano Zapata. I saw it when I was a kid and the lesson was not lost on me even then. Idealistic revolutionaries can easily begin to fly the same banner that they once tore down.

I favor GCI but I have always maintained an arms-length relationship with them. This is a part of my general dislike of denominationalism of all stripes.

I would like to know if Joe, Jr. took everyone to the cleaners. I have heard nothing about this.

Anonymous said...

'Last time I saw Joe jr he was driving a 911 Porsche Carrera.'

Humble theologian or another modern-day fear-religion huckster?

Anonymous said...

A "trusted theological voice" is akin to a "trusted astrological voice." Sort of oxymoronic?

Just because you could trust someone, that doesn't mean you should. Everyone makes mistakes though. There are some mistakes that can't be helped. Then there are mistakes which are totally needless. Putting your trust in a theologian would be of the latter variety.

DennisCDiehl said...

Anonymous said...
'Last time I saw Joe jr he was driving a 911 Porsche Carrera.'

That's disgusting if true after all the misery Joe and his father inflicted on sincere people "because Jesus performed a miracle."

I've also been told by one who would know that Joe has collected Rolex watches in the past.

Anonymous said...

Joe Jr. a theologian? That's a stretch. I wouldn't trust this guy with my dry cleaning!

Anonymous said...

Porsche. Rolex.

This would not surprise me one bit. HWA had his kingly fortunes, Tkach Sr got his (remember the "rider" he had whenever he'd visit areas of what he expected?, so I'm sure Jr got his too. Don't ever let anyone tell you it's not about the money.

DennisCDiehl said...

and too....I am seeing the 911 Porsche Carrera starts at $91,900 Thank you Jesus!

RSK said...

I'm surprised GCI has adherents at all at this point. Seems like even those who appreciated "the changes" would have moved on to greener pastures by now. Surely their cited 50,000 members arent all rabid COGlodytes waiting for fire to rain down on the GCI leadership.

Anonymous said...

GCI is for airheads. They are a lot more dishonest than HWA and his crew ever were. Way worse.

Anonymous said...

Changes? What changes?

Anonymous said...

Wake up suckers. The WCG was infiltrated and turned into GCI. The Catholic church also seems to have been infiltrated. So has the US government and media. What HASN'T been infiltrated? Europe is being infiltrated by millions of fake "refugees", almost all of them fighting age young men. These are not conspiracy theories, it is just the way the world works. The deceitful people just lay low and pretend to go along until they get the chance to wreak havoc from within. There is no end of proof of conspiracies, you just have to look for it.

Anonymous said...

Joe JR was well-known to smoke a lot of pot back in his Phoenix days. Perhaps he carried the habit with him all these years, or maybe he was brain-damaged and delusional. I didn't read, however, in smarmy Greg's letters published here recently about pot becoming the sacred herb for GCI.

Anonymous said...

If they REALLY feel they can be trusted. I know Joe and Greg read this.

I CHALLENGE one of them to come on here, to this blog, which I know they read, and tell us why we should trust them. I DARE them. So Joe and Greg:

WHY should we trust you? What is it about your group that we should attend with you? Would you dare write an article as to the reasons why we should consider you as a trusted organization?

My bet is one of you two won't take the challenge. Not to speak for NO2HWA - but I would bet that if you emailed the webmaster at his email from GCI's website with the answer, so we know it's you, Greg, or Joe, he'd allow you to tell us why you think you are trusted.

Anonymous said...

Herbert W. Armstrong had founded the Worldwide Church of God to teach his own doctrines. That is what the WCG people were financially supporting when they went there. Shortly before HWA died in January 1986, he appointed Joseph W. Tkach, Sr. to succeed him. JWT, Sr.'s son Joseph Tkach, Jr. and his accomplices immediately went to work scheming and plotting to change everything. Joseph Tkach, Jr. and his accomplices did this while collecting paychecks from HWA's followers in the WCG and telling them that they were not making any doctrinal changes and that they did not know about any changes.

Then in January 1995 they openly wrote up in the WCG's newspaper that they were throwing out virtually everything that HWA had taught. The only thing that Joey, Jr. ever repented of throwing out and brought back was tithing. JWT, Sr. got about a hundred spots of cancer on his bones and died about 40 weeks after the Great Apostasy. His son Joey, Jr. then took over running the WCG and changed the name of what was left of it to Grace Communion International. The Great Apostasy caused the WCG's income to plummet and the ministers were losing their jobs. The ministers who still believed some of what HWA had taught had to be “wise as serpents and harmless as hirelings” under the circumstances as they collected their severance packages before starting the United Church of God splinter group that retained some of the teachings of HWA.

Ronco said...

Perhaps Giant Eagle could rent out some unused storage space so that GCI could start a pocket congregation in Wadsworth!

Anonymous said...

Herbert was wrong wrong wrong, but at least he could sound logical and put together an intelligent argument, though he had to use facts selectively to do it. The GCI loons can't even put together an intelligent argument. All they have is sloppy headed trash. You don't have to do any research to prove them wrong, as many of their arguments are self-refuting.

Anonymous said...

How many people did Herbert bring in from the world? Half a million? Most of them eventually left, but at least he made enough sense to reel people in. How many has GCI reeled in from the world? All the people they have now probably came from the old WCG, which means they haven't pulled in ANYBODY (okay, maybe a few). All they could do was hijack what Herbert built. So, Herbie, despite his grave faults, was way smarter.

Anonymous said...

Under Herbert there was a band of rebels who laid low until he died. Under Tkach, they came to the surface and the old guard now had to lay low and preach the changes or loose their pensions. They did not dare to preach the old stuff until LCG and UCG etc split away. So there are always people who are fake. Apparently, a LOT of them. Just like the neocons are really "reformed" commies. Yeah right. They are STILL commies, you can bet on it. That is the world we live in. Conspirators everywhere.

Anonymous said...

It's confusing: At first it looks like Joe has retired and Williams runs the show, which indeed he does, because if you expand the 'Leadership' portion of their new website, you see Williams is "Director of Church Administration"

But...you also see Tkach is "President" and, better still, "Board Chairman"!
So what does he actually do now? A clue appears a bit further on: "He attends yearly regional and international conferences with leaders of the Grace Communion"

That sounds like the perfect job: Still taking the largest salary and just dropping in on occasional annual board meeting and international travel junkets!?!

And how much does the Board pay themselves? They are not saying, but there is still a large number of fearful, programmed donors.

Anonymous said...

5.28 MP
There many examples of conspiracies in the bible. Both in the old and new Testament.

Anonymous said...

7:11 says "Herbert was wrong wrong wrong"

Yes Herbert and his son had wrong attitudes but they were right, right, right about - the immortal soul, no one goes to Heaven, the Kingdom of God, no ever burning Hell, the Sabbath and Holy Days and the Salvation Plan, the second resurrection, the Law was not done away, God is a family not a Trinity, Christmas and Easter are pagan, etc..

Anonymous said...

Yes Herbert and his son had wrong attitudes but they were right, right, right about - the immortal soul, no one goes to Heaven, the Kingdom of God, no ever burning Hell, the Sabbath and Holy Days and the Salvation Plan, the second resurrection, the Law was not done away, God is a family not a Trinity, Christmas and Easter are pagan, etc..

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, AND NO. How you equate the greatest "truth" ever to be preached in 1900 years with some of the worst attitudes and lives of sin, extravagance, temper and conceit as juxtaposed is the biggest "mystery of the ages" you'd ever have. You shall know God's people by their fruits. The fruits of HWA are not godly, and neither were his doctrines - because they were solely physical, and not spiritual at all. JESUS said HE was the Way, the Truth, and the Life. HWA downplayed Him for his own version of "truth".

Anonymous said...

9:20 AM "No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, AND NO"

Again, I acknowledge the deep flaws of the Armstrong cultish behavior and the lack of focus on Christ's examples. But as usual, you can not give any counter argument on the doctrines mentioned, just personal hate for the Armstrongs.

Anonymous said...

@12:58, There are problems with Herb-sabbatarianism, see http://www.bible.ca/7-lying-for-god-Kerry-Wynne.htm

Byker Bob said...

Unbelievable, 12:58! These counter arguments you say are missing have been given and discussed exhaustively on these sites over the past twenty years, and exposed for the twenty years previous to that by John Trechak in Ambassador Reports. You’ve got 40 years of reading material to catch up on!

I’m guessing that you must be a newbie who has just become aware of “dissident” sites. I can’t imagine how, but I guess it could happen that some person could have missed the massive debunking. Back in the seventies, once in a while, an occasional lone Japanese soldier would be discovered in some cave or remote area in the South Pacific and would be shocked to learn for the first time that the Japanese had lost World War II.

If you are as hungry for truth as you seem to be implying, get over to the Painful Truth website and research through the archives of Ambassador Report. Another excellent resource is the “As Bereans Did” blog, where xHWA and Martha have been lovingly and respectfully countering the old Armstrong heresies with the truth, complete with the scriptures for which you may hunger to support their theses. The most exhaustive and systematic treatment of British Israelism ever published is in the archives of the old Silenced blog.

So there you have it. Everything you are looking for just a couple of mouseclicks away. Truly no excuse for ignorance these days.


Anonymous said...

7:43 PM "There are problems with Herb-sabbatarianism, see http://www.bible.ca/7-lying-for-god-Kerry-Wynne.htm"

I find it almost humorous of the lame arguments attacking the Sabbath question.

Your paper you pointed to spends most of it's time attacking Ellen White. I don't support Ellen White or do give excuse for HWA or GTA's short comings. And when the paper tries to use scriptural arguments it points to Ephesians 2 v 14 that Christ death abolished the "law". All Bible Commentators explain this was the ceremonial laws the separated the Jews from the Genitals and separated the Israelites from having direct access to God as symbolized by the tearing of the Temple curtain at Christ's death. This is another example of cognitive dissidence on this blog.
You have to ignore all the scriptures that talk of Christ not coming to destroy the Law and that the Law was Holy and not one jot or title would be changed.

The paper also brings up the old argument that the Law was nailed to the cross, when with little effort one can find that the language used was referring our debt or bill of what we owed for sinning was removed and paid for by Christ sacrifice.

Do have any better material. I'd love to see it.

nck said...

"laws the separated the Jews from the Genitals"

Excuse me. Just a small part is required.

I do remember the "taskmaster" part of the law 7:42, you don't hear the "blogs" much about that, good you bring that up.

Continue as you were............


Anonymous said...

Anon 7:42 AM wrote:

this was the ceremonial laws the separated the Jews from the Genitals

Maybe you are thinking of the Essenes or a similar fringe group? It is a peculiar anti-Semitic myth that says that Orthodox Jews are required to procreate through a bedsheet. Most Jews have very normal sex lives.

Anonymous said...

Too funny! First, they are gentiles, not genitals. Secondly, it is cognitive dissonance, not cognitive dissidence. Thirdly, the minute you use “all” regarding the commentaries, you introduce error into your argument. A quick search on the internet reveals a variety of commentary opinions on Eph 2:14, which describes Jesus destroying a barrier or dividing wall between Jews and Gentiles. The overall theme of Ephesians 2 is salvation by grace and faith. Most of the Ephesian church was gentile.

One can actually tell where you learned what you know about the Bible from your nearly illiterate approach. If this is typical of what you have to offer, I’d suggest exercising your right to remain silent. Although I am sure your intentions were honorable, you do more damage to your cause in your attempts to defend it.

Finally, there is a much better paper floating around out there on the topic, written by Bill Hohman.

Anonymous said...

"Separated the Jews from the Genitals"

I'm surprised you didn't have the foresk - er, I mean, forethought, to realize that if you had examined your post with a little length you would have noticed how flabby your argument has become. I would seriously consider doing some real honest study about the subject you are trying to defend. I'm sure the study would be very stimulating.

Anonymous said...

paper you pointed to spends most of it's time attacking Ellen White

It actually doesn't, but, granted, there is a lot on EG White.
Anyway, any exhaustive analysis of the origins of Armstrongist-sabbatarianism can't ignore EGW; they were both plagiarist frauds who twisted/ignored Pauline theology.

Joanie said...

0, cheaters, and manipulators !

Anonymous said...

Cheaters on their wives, and manipulate women.