The Legacy of the Worldwide Church of God

What it was like growing up in a cult and its impact on my life and others like me.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Respecting Authority versus Good Values

I left the Worldwide Church of God in my early twenties, as a young adult. So I guess my version of the church is from the childs eye view. I have children of my own now so I am often pondering how to teach my children in the best way possible so that they have happy successful lives.

When I was a child, in the church and my home life, there was a big emphasis placed on respecting authority and respecting adults. You did not question adults in the church. It wasnt done. And the members of the ministry were beyond approach. Their word was law if you were to be a part of the kingdom of God and chosen to go to the place of safety to escape the soon coming tribulation. Sermons with repeated euphemisms were common. "There is a way that may be seem right to a man but there in lies death." Translated meaning: if you arent toeing the line you will suffer. "Many are called but few are chosen." The ministry had many select bible quotes to keep the members afraid of losing their salvation. Being a member meant giving till it hurt, complying with all the strict laws, offerings, and holy days, and long suffering.

But I often wonder about what the church did for the good and benefit of its members. I try hard to remember a feeling of a community that was doiing good deeds and its a hard stretch. The church was definately not a community that helped others outside the church at all. I remember selling doughnuts for our youth group but that went back into church expenses to my knowledge. But there was no emphasis in our church to better our community at all inside or outside the organization. We were preparing for another world and suppose to forsake the world we were in because it belonged to and was ruled by satan.

In todays world, I find I do try to teach my children to respect authority but with that comes another lesson. Not everyone in authority is honest and decent. There ARE those that take advantage of others with their positions. Be it a predator in a fake policemans uniform or a televangilist scavaging for donations. I want my children to look for the good in people. Does this person in authority give of their time and effort? Are they making a credible difference in someones life regardless of race, religion, and background. Is their help unconditional? Does the person expect things in return or are they truly giving of themselves? I hope my children learn to be givers. I hope they learn that a community that helps its members is better than one that persecutes its members when they make human mistakes.

I have respect for the "givers" in this life. We are all in the human race. I call no man God. Maybe if people stopped trying to play God the world would be a better respectful place.

1 Comments:

  • At 11:17 AM, Blogger Felix Taylor, Jr. said…

    I wish the ministry of the WCG and some of its members listened to a great sermon I heard today about treating young people. The problem with the WCG it had difficulty as seeing children as autonomous individuals. They were just to be controlled like, let say, little puppies to be obey every single command without any thought or reason. WCG's shabby treatment of children tells you that they had a poor view of the love Jesus Christ.

     

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