The winds are shifting among the COGs
The writer has a B.A. in communication and is the former editor of the newspaper Trail Blazer. He has attended Church of God services all his life.
By Rod Lewis
BURLESON, Texas--An ominous cloud is appearing on the horizon of the Churches of God. The cloud is the many independent groups that are taking responsibility for their own actions and their own salvation.
The groups of people are starting to make themselves known and their presence felt. Conferences are taking place in various places by various people and at various times by various groups. The only thing they have in common is a shared tradition and zeal.
Just such a conference happened in Big Sandy, Texas, April 23-24. Eclectic people came from many places to discuss how they could be more effective tools in Christ's hand.
One of the main things that I noticed about the people who were at the conference was their zeal. I don't agree with everything that everyone had to say, but the people were not desultory; they had a purpose, and it was refreshing to hear the different ideas and to hear people say things like: "Is that biblical, or are you just saying that because that is what you were taught to say?"
Out of all of the people whom I talked to I saw no perfidy there. Everyone seemed to be filled with faith and the conviction that he was contributing to a cause. Iron sharpened iron.
I was also impressed with the fruits that were shown. Individuals are doing great things with little resources. The Word of God is being preached. This new concept that everyone has to be responsible for his or her own salvation is catching on like fire. I had the opportunity to talk with one of the people at the conference who expounded that she had to produce fruit. I have known this person for many years, and her family definitely shows fruit.
I referred to this movement of God's people as an ominous cloud that is just appearing on the horizon, not because of anything that one man is doing. Most found themselves without a place to call their spiritual home for one reason or another and got together with others of like or at least similar mind.
What I refer to here is that, like a cloud that starts forming silently and quietly, then grows to a great storm, this movement will also grow and will be noticed.
Yes, I attended a conference with a group of independents, and I can take something home with a smile. I now display on the front of my car a license-plate holder that proudly proclaims: "The Seventh Day Is Still God's Sabbath."
I don't think I could have publicly made that statement even a few years ago or even would have wanted to. Now, however, the wind seems to be shifting.
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