Joy Wallace, who posted her story here in August is doing a really interesting sociological survey on people who have been involved with the WCG or its offshoots that you can take anonymously. I’ll post a link to her results once she’s gotten enough responses and produced her analysis. Please pass this on to anyone you think may be interested!
I grew up in the Worldwide Church of God (WCG) from the time I was five. Over the years I spent attending WCG, first as a child, and later as a baptized member, I made many friends, traveled to many different places for the Feast of Tabernacles, tithed on my income, and in general did the things that WCG taught us to do.
When I became an atheist in 1995, I left WCG behind.
But I didn’t leave my history behind: WCG, its people, government, culture, politics, scandals and changes made a lasting impression on my life. A number of my friends and family still attend WCG (since renamed Grace Communion International) or its offshoots. And despite my current view of Christianity and religion in general as false, I feel I share a sense of kindred spirit with those who attended (or still attend) WCG, and especially those who grew up attending.
Much has been made in discussions on the Net and elsewhere about WCG’s various splinter groups and where those who have left the WCG ranks worship these days. But until I started this blog (long before the term “blog” was invented) I saw practically no discussion about those who have not only left the parent church, but who have left religion entirely. As non-believers, they can draw upon the considerable resources of the Net to engage in discussion groups and consider the arguments of theology vs. atheism. However, as former WCG members they, like myself, had nowhere to turn for support and the knowledge that they are not alone; which is why I decided to create this blog.
Requirements for posters: I invite you to submit your own personal story for publication here, if you were once a member of the WCG, or grew up in the WCG but were never baptized, and you now consider yourself an atheist, agnostic, humanist, unbeliever, or freethinker (please click the links to make sure you understand these terms.) Simply e-mail me with any information you would like to see posted. (Please make sure the subject line of your message includes “WCG”.) You can include your name, your general geographic region, some kind of contact information (full address, e-mail, URL), and whatever short biographical information you like. To be considered for publication, clearly state that you meet the above requirements and that you’d like to be listed. I will never post anything you send unless you explicitly request.
Requirements for commenters: Comments on this blog are moderated. I will remove any comments that I feel disturb the supportive atmosphere of this site. This especially includes preaching, quoting scripture, proselytizing posters back to the faith, etc. Start your own blog if you want to do that, and welcome to the 21st century.
I get a lot of my news and entertainment through podcasts these days. I wanted to take a moment to recommend two I’ve been enjoying that readers of this blog might also appreciate. Both of these podcasts are nicely produced and include a wide variety of engaging guest interviews.
Pentecostal preacher-turned-atheist Rich Lyons and his wife Deanna Joy Lyons co-host this playful, often touching, and occasionally deeply personal show. Their podcast is designed to help you as you leave religion and move forward with your life. It is the official podcast of RecoveringReligionists.com, a recovery group founded by Dr. Darryl Ray, author of The God Virus: How religion infects our lives and culture.
Ted Meissner is an atheist and naturalist who also finds value in the study and application of early Buddhist thought to help find peace and meaning in everyday life. As someone interested in “inner practice” such as meditation and everyday mindfulness myself, I have long thought it would be interesting to explore the philosophical, psychological, and scientific aspects of Buddhism apart from supernatural assertions such as rebirth and karma. Ted and his guests make great guides in this journey.
Have you discovered a helpful podcast? Leave a comment and let us know about it!
I’d like to put an invitation out to interested readers of this blog to journey over to my personal blog, where I have recently called out a number of modern false prophets. One in particular, Ronald Weinland, has made near-term predictions for cataclysmic events of Revelation starting in April of this year. He’s attracted a lot of attention from people who are eager (or fearful) of seeing Revelation fulfilled this year, but who are also clueless to the fact that Ronald Weinland teaches a warmed-over version of Herbert Armstrong’s biblical interpretation— and they are also clueless of Armstrong’s failures. I’ve tried to educate them a bit, but you’re also welcome to observe or participate.
The original posting I did on Weinland is here. When it finally got over 250 comments I started a new thread to continue the discussion here. People are mostly arriving from Google searches on Weinland’s name.
You can see all my postings on false prophets here. (Be sure to click the post title to read the whole thing.)