Friday, February 19, 2010

Was the Radio Church of God Democratic Before 1957?

Carl Franklin argues that before 1957 the Radio Church of God was not a hierarchical organization. The way he portrays it all was fine and well with RCG before 1957 when it was radically changed by Rader in order to comply with IRS regulations to gain tax exemption.

I do not find this argument very convincing.

Further evidence that such was not the case may be found in Raymond Cole's Open Letter.

Raymond Cole was one of the first five Evangelists ordained by HWA in 1952. He left WCG in 1974 because of disagreement with the changes of 1974, which affected the doctrine of Divorce and Remarriage and changed WCG from observing a Monday Pentecost to a Sunday Pentecost. He then founded his own COG sect, the Church of God, the Eternal, which he led until his death.

He reveals that there was great turmoil over the proper date of Pentecost in what he called "the traumatic years of 1948 and 1949."

Does this reveal that the Radio Church of God was somehow democratic before 1957?
Although the subject of Pentecost had become sensitive and divisive even in the 1940s the intensity of the subject was growing in the latter '40s and was also geographically spreading. Unrest had developed in as diverse areas as San Antonio, Texas; Wichita, Kansas; Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; as well as Eugene, Oregon. Satan was intensely at work. He hated the real truth about Pentecost. An alarming effort was made to destroy the fledgling church before trained and loyal ministers could be sent to the growing number of areas across the United States where the Truth was taking root. For a number of reasons, I was chosen by Mr. Armstrong, even before ordination, to go out to these troubled areas and quell the unrest about Pentecost. These defensive measures took me to Portland, Oregon for a year—prior to graduation. My matriculation from college was postponed for one year. These assignments necessitated my understanding the arguments being advanced as well as the premise of divine revelation and the proofs for a Monday Pentecost the church had taught over the years.
I see no evidence to suggest that RCG operated in a democratic spirit here. It seems that even in 1948 RCG had its dictatorial spirit.

This further shows that Carl Franklin's assertion that Rader changed the government in the RCG in 1957 to comply with IRS regulations to be untenable. Personally I find it unbelievable.

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