Do You Believe That You Are, Or Are Part of, the True Church of God?
Over many years, we have been asked if we are, or are part of, the true Church of God. We have answered this a number of times; please see:
Q&A – Why Does CEG exist? This is in our weekly Update number 96 on 6th June 2003.
Q&A – Are You the True Church? This is in our weekly Update number 479 on 11th February 2011.
There have been many other references to this, which have been included in our new booklet “How to Find the True Church of God”, where we state the following on pages 1 and 2:
“Even though God’s true Church—the body of Christ (Colossians 1:24)—is a spiritual organism, consisting of all who have received the gift of the Holy Spirit, it is nevertheless physically organized. Organizations that are divided among themselves need to strive to come to the unity of the faith (Jude 3) and to embrace the unity of the Truth.
“It is the responsibility of every Christian to ascertain where the Truth is being upheld and taught; and this can only be accomplished by comparing the teachings and practices of a particular Church organization with the requirements of the Bible. We read in Acts 17:11 about the people in Berea: ‘These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.’
“We do believe that the Church of the Eternal God and its international affiliates in Canada, the UK and German-speaking areas are part of the true Church of God. While we are not saying that our organizations comprise the entirety of the Church of God, we are saying that we differ remarkably in many areas from other Church organizations, which all claim to represent true Christianity.”
To try to elaborate on this (hopefully, once and for all), let us give an analogy.
Suppose that you had received excellent grades in your “A” level studies at school and were going to make an application to attend a university in the UK. In the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018, a UK university league table revealed the 93 best UK universities and colleges. Of these, the universities of Cambridge and Oxford came out as the top two. The credentials of these two universities are outstanding.
According to Wikipedia, “The University of Cambridge (informally Cambridge University) is a collegiate public research university in Cambridge, England. Founded in 1209 and granted a royal charter by King Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s fourth-oldest surviving university. The university has educated many notable alumni, including eminent mathematicians, scientists, politicians, lawyers, philosophers, writers, actors and foreign Heads of State. Ninety-seven Nobel laureates, fifteen British prime ministers and ten Field medalists have been affiliated with Cambridge as students, faculty or alumni.”
According to Wikipedia, “Oxford university has no known date of foundation, but there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s second-oldest university in continuous operation. Oxford has educated many notable alumni, including 28 Nobel laureates, 27 Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom and many heads of state and government around the world. Oxford is the home of the Rhodes Scholarship, one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious international scholarships, which has brought graduate students to study at the university for more than a century.”
There are 127 other universities listed, with some being very good indeed, and with an impressive history and some which were only created in more recent times. How would you choose if you wanted the very best chance of getting the most valuable education that was available and would equip you to achieve excellency in your chosen career? Would it be the academic teaching that would attract you; or the one that was nearest to your home or the one with the best social life? What about going to the one where your school friends were also going to enrol? Would you be influenced by the decisions of others? What criteria would you use?
Those who wanted to become the best educated and the most successful in their field would surely choose the university that would offer them the greatest chance of success. They would check up on the courses and the teaching that they would receive to ensure that they would be able to achieve their goals. Anything less than this might mean that they may do well but not as well as they could have done with a little more care and research.
If we apply this analogy to the true Church of God, it can be seen that there are those who have chosen a particular Church of God organization to attend, based on the wrong criteria. Areas of consideration can be given to which Church group is closest to them, where the biggest congregation may be, what the social life is like, whether it has facilities for children, and whether their friends are there. They might like it best where they feel most comfortable. These are interesting decisions to make, but the basic, most fundamental question can be overlooked; that of where the Truth is best taught without fear or compromise.
Any serious prospective university undergraduate would surely focus entirely on the education that he would receive and that same yardstick must be used by those within the Church of God.
After the spiritual mayhem of the 1990’s when false teachers altered the true doctrines that the Church of God had taught for nearly 2,000 years (compare 2 Peter 2:1-3), those who would not submit to such heresy had to make a choice of where to attend. There were those who seemed to make decisions based on reasons other than doctrine. However, the answer is to find the Church of God organizations which teach the biblical truth without fear of favour. Those who choose for other reasons might still make it into the Kingdom of God after perhaps having to endure serious pain and suffering; but those whose main focus is on doctrinal fidelity will certainly make it into God’s Kingdom subject to staying faithful until the end of their lives.
Attending where the whole Truth of God is taught will give members the best chance of making it into the Kingdom of God. Choosing where a person attends based on criteria other than doctrinal teaching could be a dangerous approach. It is much better to attend where the Truth is taught without compromise, political expediency or any other consideration than to be where a more liberal view may be taken.
The question was “Do You Believe That You Are, or Are Part of, the True Church of God?” The answer is simple. Yes, we believe that the Church of the Eternal God and its international affiliates in Canada, the UK and German-speaking areas are part of the true Church of God, and, most importantly, certainly fit into the category where doctrinal fidelity is at the very heart of the Truth that is taught boldly, fully, and without compromise.
Lead Writer: Brian Gale (United Kingdom)