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Evangelist leaves one Church of God, then marks a member of another Church of God
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Evangelist leaves one Church of God,
then marks a member of another Church of God
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."


Mr. Hull wrote that the LCG "plainly teaches a false gospel," and the RCG "is the only organization that preaches the true gospel to the world" and is better equipped, with "far more material to do God's Work than any other group."

Dr. Thiel, who declined to divulge his age for this article, responded that it is impossible for him to be disfellowshipped from a fellowship he was never a part of.

"Nor was I marked by anybody who has the authority to mark me," he said.

"For the record, I have never been disfellowshipped from any church. This is the first time I am aware that I've ever been marked. I was a member in good standing of the Living Church of God before Syd Hull's actions and remain so afterwards.

"Thus I do not accept being marked by a parting individual who has turned against several of the beliefs that he supported. I don't believe this counts as a legitimate marking."

Regarding Mr. Hull's charges of doctrinal error, Dr. Thiel said he believes "that the charges brought by Syd Hull are in error and I am sad that Mr. Hull turned his back on policies that he himself personally approved of as a member of LCG's council of elders until September 2006."

The LCG has, in turned, disfellowshipped and marked Mr. Hull.

"Regrettably, the Hulls had to be disfellowshipped and marked because they have been attempting to pull people out of LCG," announced Doug Winnail of the Charlotte area, the Living Church of God's director of church administration.

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