Worldwide Church of God

Worldwide Church of God

       Adventist church founded in 1933 as the Radio Church of God by Herbert W. Armstrong (1892–1986), an American newspaper advertising designer. Until the mid-1990s the church taught a non-Trinitarian theology, held Saturday worship services, and preached the imminent return of Jesus Christ.

      Armstrong's study of the Bible led him to conclude that it was the inspired word of God, that Jewish holy days, festivals, and dietary restrictions (Leviticus 11) should be observed, and that the Sabbath should be honoured on Saturday. He joined a branch of the Church of God (Seventh Day) that practiced Sabbatarianism (Saturday worship), and soon afterward he adopted British Israelism, the notion that the Anglo-Saxon people are the descendants of the biblical Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. In 1933 he established an independent radio ministry in Eugene, Ore., the Radio Church of God, and a magazine, The Plain Truth, to disseminate his ideas.

      In 1947 Armstrong moved to Pasadena, Calif., where he oversaw the continued growth of the church and changed its name to the Worldwide Church of God. Along with British Israelism and anti-Trinitarianism, Armstrong also taught that members of his church should not vote, serve in the military, remarry after divorce, or celebrate Christmas, Easter, or birthdays. In the 1960s he established a television ministry, The World Tomorrow, which specialized in biblical interpretations of contemporary events and featured his son, Garner Ted Armstrong. Although Herbert Armstrong offered the magazine and all of his teaching literature for free, he accepted donations and expected his followers to pay a tithe for the general support of the church. His financial supporters formed the core of the church, which grew to more than 100,000 members by the time of Armstrong's death.

      Problems plagued the church during the 1970s. Garner Ted Armstrong left the church after being accused of sexual immorality. Church ministers advocated an easing of strict dietary rules and fiercely debated the question of marriage after divorce. Authorities in California briefly turned the church over to a receiver following accusations of financial mismanagement, and critics branded it a cult.

      Joseph Tkach (died 1995), Armstrong's appointed successor, became head of the Worldwide Church of God following the founder's death. Tkach began to move the church toward mainstream Christianity, a process that his son and successor, Joseph Tkach, Jr., carried to its logical conclusion. By the late 1990s the church had dropped all of Armstrong's unique doctrines, including his British Israelism and his non-Trinitarian theology. After adopting orthodox Christian beliefs, the church was admitted to the National Association of Evangelicals in 1997. The change caused several of the church's leading ministers to found rival churches based on Armstrong's original teachings. In the early 21st century the church claimed some 64,000 members in 90 countries around the world.

John Gordon Melton

Additional Reading
Herbert W. Armstrong, The United States and Britain in Prophecy, 9th rev. ed. (1986), describes the church's British Israelist teachings; and Joseph Tkach, Jr., Transformed by Truth (1997), defends the new teachings of the church. Larry Nichols and George Mather, Discovering the Plain Truth: How the Worldwide Church of God Encountered the Gospel of Grace (1998), surveys the transformation of the church under the direction of Tkach.John Gordon Melton

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно решить контрольную?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Worldwide Church of God — The Worldwide Church of God (WCG), formerly the Radio Church of God, is a Christian church currently based in Glendora, California, United States. Founded in 1933 by Herbert Armstrong as a radio ministry, the WCG under Armstrong had a significant …   Wikipedia

  • WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD —    a NEW RELIGIOUS MOVEMENT founded by Herbert W. ARMSTRONG in 1933. It preachers a FORM of BRITISH ISRAELISM supported by a ARIAN CHRISTOLOGY and denial of such TRADITIONAL CHRISTIAN doctrines as the TRINITY. The success of the movement began… …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Evangelists of the Worldwide Church of God — Historically, an evangelist was the highest ranking minister in the Worldwide Church of God under the pastor general, Herbert W. Armstrong from 1934 to 1986, and Joseph W. Tkach, from 1986 until 1985. The term evangelist is no longer used as a… …   Wikipedia

  • Worldwide Church of God —  Всемирная Церковь Бога …   Вестминстерский словарь теологических терминов

  • Church of God International (USA) — For other uses, see Church of God (disambiguation). For other organizations with the same name, see Church of God International The Church of God, International (CGI) is a seventh day Sabbatarian Christian church currently headquartered in Tyler …   Wikipedia

  • Church of God — United States Christian bodies v · d · e …   Wikipedia

  • Church of God, an International Community — The Church of God, an International Community, is a Christian organization based in Pasadena, California with members worldwide. The church was founded by a group of ex United Church of God members who did not agree with the principle of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Church of God Preparing for the Kingdom of God — The Church of God, Preparing for the Kingdom of God (COG PKG) is a small Christian church that claims to provide support, education and warning to the scattered Church that was formerly united in the Worldwide Church of God .[1] It is one of many …   Wikipedia

  • Church of God (7th day) — For other uses, see Church of God (disambiguation). Part of a series on Adventism …   Wikipedia

  • Church of God in Christ — Classification Protestant Orientation Pentecostal Polity Episcopal Leader Charles E. Blake Geographical areas Worldwide Founder Charles Harrison Mason Origin …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”