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."
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 churchofgodbigsandy.com.