A Good Alternative, or a Bad Compromise?

Recently I went with my wife to Ramona, California, in order to attend our annual Church Conference, where we discussed, among other things, different church organizations in the body of Christ. It was very nice to see many brethren again and to once again have the chance to welcome them with open arms after such a long time. For some, it had been over 13 years since I had seen them in person, for others a little less. And yet, it is always a great feeling to be able to reunite with brethren and their families.

In August 2008, the Church of the Eternal God broadcasted the program “AufPostenStehen” in Germany for the first time, and my initial contact with the Church took place in October of the same year. Then, in September 2009, we were baptized in Ramona and had our Church wedding at the Feast of Tabernacles in San Diego in October.

The Church of the Eternal God, operating as the Kirche des Ewigen Gottes in Germany, grew steadily with new members, and each year more and more were baptized. This means that God has called some out of this terrible world to bring them as firstfruits into the Family of God. Not only was it a wonderful feeling to see the growing membership; it was overwhelming to understand the power with which God is working in us, leading us and revealing His Truth to us.

But being a member of God’s Family means having responsibility, sincerity, faithfulness, sacrifice, consistency, love, humility and fear of the Lord our God. This implies that we all have a task to fulfill and to do it steadfastly until the return of Christ, exactly in the place where God has planted us. Thus, if we have been called into the Church of the Eternal God or its affiliated international organizations, then we have an obligation to it— unless the Truth would no longer be fully preached there!

But in the nearly 15 years that my wife and I have been in the Church of the Eternal God, we have repeatedly seen brethren leaving us and resigning from the Church. Some left because of selfishness, pride, wrong ideas or resentment towards other members, and even because of personal disputes with the ministry.

Some of them have left for other church groups that emerged from the [now defunct] Worldwide Church of God after the death of the human leader, Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong; or they have left the Way of God altogether.

It must be understood that many different groups have arisen because they no longer agree with the doctrines of God’s Truth. Some leaders and their members have developed their own ideas and no longer teach the plain truth. They have become lukewarm. Others have formed church organizations out of pride, greed and job preservation, looking for members, or acting for other nonsensical reasons.

Why would one do that? Why do people leave the part of the body of Christ into which they were baptized, even though the Truth of God is still taught there without compromise? Quite possibly, to avoid having to deal honestly with their underlying personal problems!

Or could God have made a mistake? Is it simply no longer fashionable to remain faithful to the part of the body of Christ that is endowed with the Spirit of Philadelphia, to which God has called us?

Would it actually be a good alternative to simply walk away from one’s commitment of remaining faithful to one’s God-ordained place and instead move on to another church organization—one that may be part of the body of Christ but does not manifest the same enthusiasm and love for the Truth; that has compromised with the Truth; or that does not fulfill the Church commission of proclaiming the gospel as a witness? Or would it be a bad compromise?

Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 12:13, 24-25, 27: “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit… But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another… Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.”

And Christ tells us in John 15:1, 5: “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser… I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

Personally, I see these statements with a very special emphasis.

If we cut ourselves off as a branch from the sweet vine of God for personal reasons or problems and try to cling to “another vine” that does not bear the same fruit, or if we move to an opposite vineyard, we may produce fruit, but it will never be the same as it was before and was expected of us.

So, leaving the Church organization that has remained faithful to the Truth is, in most cases, a bad compromise!

We must understand that God does not make mistakes. God is perfect in everything He does.  David, inspired by God, wrote in Psalm 18:30: “As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.”

In Mr. Michael Link’s Editorial from October 29, 2020, he said: “We must NEVER leave Him out of the picture, but put matters into His hands (Jeremiah 17:5-8). This is very difficult to do at times, especially in the heat of the moment. We must keep our heads high and look to God for help.”

And finally, let us remember one thing: “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).

We must therefore ensure that we remain faithful to God’s assignment to the part of His body that He has ordained for us, provided that the perfect Truth from God’s Word continues to be preached there!

Initial translation from German: Daniel Blasinger

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