Arizona preacher decries
race and genocide beliefs

by Dixon Cartwright

BIG SANDY, Texas—Many people in the Churches of God, 18 years after the beginning of a major fracturing of the old Worldwide Church of God, still hold to racist beliefs.

So said a speaker in a Sabbath service of the Church of God Big Sandy on May 18, 2013.

An underlying acceptance of racism and the appropriateness, in some situations, of genocide are a factor in the alienation and disenfranchisement of some church members, said Dennis Mouland.

Mr. Mouland, 59, of Dewey, Ariz., said beliefs and teachings based on interpretations of Bible passages that focus on Moses, Joshua, Noah and others can in a worst-case scenario lead to genocide and have done so throughout the last 2,000 years.

Contrasting verses

Mr. Mouland contrasted parts of the Bible with each other. He quoted Galatians 3:28, which asserts that in Christ no fleshly classifications of Jew, Greek, male and female exist.

But he also cited Joshua 6 as an account of Scripture-sanctioned slaying of not only combatants in a war but noncombatant women and children. Verses 17 and 21 are explicit in their depiction of God as ordering the Israelites to commit "genocide," Mr. Mouland said.

Here are the two verses: "Now the city shall be doomed by the Lord to destruction, it and all who are in it. Only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent ...

"And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword."

Racism and genocide

"Today I want to discuss racism and genocide in the Church of God," Mr. Mouland said.

"I used to hear justification [in Church of God congregations] that the American Indians should have been wiped out just like Jericho, and I’m just telling you that that’s genocide."

God must have had "His reasons for Jericho," Mr. Mouland continued, and "He did it, He had Israel do it ... But I’m here to tell you that is not the normal procedure of God."

Because of the Jericho account in the Bible, Mr. Mouland is "nervous," he said, about the "American-Israelism" and British-Israelism teachings of the Churches of God.

Whether British (and American) Israelism is "true or not," he said, "it is not God’s will that we wipe out people now."

Even though, for whatever reason, genocide may have been appropriate in the time of Jericho, it cannot be God’s will for His followers today, he said.

Yet the old understandings and interpretations of Scripture, leading to doctrines that view genocide and racism as sometimes justified and necessary, are still with us.

Gentile church member

"This was pointed out to me by a member of the church back in Santa Fe, N.M., a couple of decades ago," Mr. Mouland said.

The member was an American Indian.

"He was from Oklahoma, and he was always bothered that he thought that the church believed in genocide.

"I heard a minister actually say to him, ‘Well, this was Israel’s land. You people were here before we got here.’ You know, like, yeah, it’s too bad they were trespassing on our land when we got here.

"I think often of that gentleman and what I think was a burden he carried because he thought the church didn’t care for him as much as it did others because he was a gentile."

Why get married?

Mr. Mouland was privy to another conversation years ago that he said still embarrasses him.

"I heard when I lived in New Mexico the minister, the pastor, say twice that the reason blacks marry whites is to make their children lighter.

"Dear God, what are we doing with that in church to begin with? How did he [the minister] think he could justify that? It’s a shame and it’s an embarrassment.

"There was always this cloud over brethren who weren’t of the perfect Israelite stock, if that even exists."

The latent racist attitude in the old Worldwide Church of God, Mr. Mouland said, could have been why, at the time of the big WCG split in the mid-’90s, "about 90 percent of the gentile [including black] brethren" went with the new WCG."

This was "even though that church made major changes in the Sabbath and other doctrines" and even though most white Church of God members left the WCG.

Generations of Noah

Mr. Mouland speculated that the reason for a hostile and racist attitude "toward so many people back in the old days" was the old WCG’s understanding of the "generations of Noah."

"Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God," says Genesis 6:9, according to the King James Version.

Some preachers in the old WCG, and some present-day pastors and elders in the splits from the WCG, take that to mean that Noah was not of mixed blood, that he was a full-blooded white man, and that God would not have been pleased with Noah had he been anything but white.

"I’m going to remind you," Mr. Mouland continued, "of the many times that we heard someone speak from the pulpit—sometimes it was via satellite—that verse 9 proved that Noah was white. Do you remember that?"

However, "the word perfect in the Hebrew means ‘entire,’ and it’s talking about integrity and truth," Mr. Mouland said. "It’s not talking about race. Generations there is from a Hebrew word that means ‘descent’ or ‘family.’ It’s more talking about history."

Several other Bible translations get it right, he stated, including the New International Version, which translates verse 9 this way:

"Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God."

"Clearly it was talking about [Noah’s] spiritual conducting of his life, not something else, especially genealogy," Mr. Mouland said.

He then mentioned a genetics-themed television program he saw recently.

The Jews of Ethiopia

"Two or three scientists showed that in Ethiopia there’s quite a Jewish population and they don’t look like any other Jews," he said. "They’re just as black as black can be."

DNA testing, Mr. Mouland quoted the scientists as saying, proved the Ethiopian Jews, even though they are black, are "closely related to the Jews who came out of Germany and Russia."

Bottom line

The scriptural bottom line, Mr. Mouland said, comes from Paul, one of the founders of Christianity.

"We must stop being white Christians," Mr. Mouland summarized. "We must stop being Latino or Hispanic Christians. We need to stop being gentile Christians, Jewish Christians, whatever Christians.

"Do we really believe what Paul said, that there’s neither Jew nor Greek?

"I just wanted to bring this up because it’s been on my mind for 20 years."

Mr. Mouland’s Big Sandy sermon and many other speakers’ messages are archived as video and audio files at


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