By Dixon Cartwright
A member of one Church of God has "marked" a member of another Church of God.
The unusual action, which in most COG groups amounts to a step more drastic than the act of "disfellowshipping" an errant member, came after a split from the Living Church of God, based in Charlotte, N.C.
Seventy-six-year-old Sydney J. Hull of Johannesburg South Africa, marked Robert Thiel of Arroyo Grande, Calif., because, said Mr. Hull, "my sheep have been affected by this man's efforts."
Mr. Hull, a pastor and evangelist-ranked elder who says he was ordained as a member of the Worldwide Church of God 35 years ago, recently left the Living Church of God, presided over by Roderick C. Meredith, and joined the Restored Church of God, pastored by David Pack of Wadsworth, Ohio.
In a "letter to brethren" dated Sept. 27, Mr. Hull said he left the LCG over differences of "doctrine."
He summarized the doctrinal differences as "altering the scriptural structure of government, setting dates for Christ's return, permitting marriage outside the church, use of cosmetics, inappropriate dress, Sabbath wear and hair too long for men and too short for women, denying Mr. [Herbert] Armstrong's role as the prophesied Elijah, and so much more, as seen in the list of 60 changes found on RCG's [the Restored Church of God's] website."
Before marking Dr. Thiel, Mr. Hull stated that the lay member of the LCG from Southern California errs by having his own private Web site dedicated to Church of God matters.
"Among other attacks, this site lists a host of invented reasons why one should not go with RCG," Mr. Hull said. "The shallow reader will be taken in, but those with common sense will see the utter falsehood of this man's misinformed confusion."