by Paul Kearns
Putting LCG to the Test!
In our first article, we discussed how you – as youth in the Living Church of God – could narrow things down to ensure you’re not just in “Mum and Dad’s Church.” We talked about the importance of proving which day is the Sabbath and whether the holy days still need to be observed, whether God is a Trinity, and what is the true gospel. It’s time to put your detective wear on again, grab your magnifying glass and spectacles, and narrow down the search even further! In this article, we will discuss the need for you to delve deeper into Church of God History, Church Government, and discern spiritual fruit. By putting in the effort to look into these matters, you can be laying a solid foundation as a member of God’s Church.
1. Church History
Every Church organisation has come from somewhere. Martin Luther started the Lutheran Church, King Henry VIII began the Anglican Church, Joseph Smith founded the Mormon Church; we could go on and on. Who started the Living Church of God? There are two ways to answer this. The primary answer is Jesus Christ. How can we claim this seeing that Jesus – the Founder of Christianity – died about 2,000 years ago? Matthew 16:16-19 is Jesus’ promise that He would build His Church and that it would never die out and Matthew 28:18-20 tells us that He would be with his followers “always, even to the end of the age.” The secondary answer is Roderick C. Meredith. After the demise of the Worldwide Church of God (WCG), Dr Meredith was used – by Christ – to continue to preach the Truth through the Global Church of God, which was later restructured as the Living Church of God (LCG).
Before Dr Meredith died, he appointed Mr Gerald Weston to be the presiding evangelist in the event of his death, which is why Mr Weston currently fills this role. Many individuals have claimed that God called them to start their own Church, yet very few had the ministerial credentials and longevity in the Work as Dr. Meredith did. Do you know details about LCG’s history? If not, read the booklet God’s Church Through the Ages written by Mr John Ogwyn or Ivor C. Fletcher’s more extensive book on Church history titled The Incredible History of God’s True Church and specifically study how the Living Church of God came into being. Understanding our history is important!
2. Church Government
There have been hundreds of “Church of God groups” that have emerged since the breakdown of the WCG. Although there are many points of difference, the main one is Church government. Should the Church be organised as a democracy, as a dictatorship, or a theocracy? We in the LCG subscribe to a theocracy; that Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, but that He – along with God the Father – appoint human leaders under them to make important decisions as they pertain to the Church (Ephesians 1:19-23). Indeed, this was the form of government practiced by the original Church (Acts 15; Ephesians 4:11-16), and will certainly be the pattern used in tomorrow’s world (Matthew 19:27-30), so it is right and proper that we use this form of government in the Church today!
3. Spiritual Fruit
Although we do believe we have both the historical validity and the proper governmental structure to claim to be a major part of God’s Church, if there was no spiritual substance to the LCG and its members, we would be nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). Indeed, God’s people should be bearing much spiritual fruit (John 15:1-8) and be allowing Christ to live in them (Galatians 2:20). Although no one in LCG is perfect and we do have challenges from time to time within the Church, there are many who exhibit godly traits and qualities. Perhaps you personally know several people that fit this description? There are individuals who have faced tragic circumstances, lost loved ones, become ill, but have continued to demonstrate spiritual fruit to glorify God. There is no other way to explain this other than God’s Spirit working mightily in them (Galatians 5:22-25)!
Okay, detective, you’ve been given evidence that is worthy of consideration. Will you now invest the time and effort to prove these things to yourself?