I have made reference to my rather eclectic religious background as some of my source material for Christian doctrinal discussion. Since the WorldWide Church of God was a fringe sect in the 1980s and 1990s, its teachings were more than a little off the beaten track with respect to mainstream Christianity. Obviously I have long since stopped believing in any of it, mainstream, fringe, or otherwise.
However, I find that the old material I used to devour provides me with some very illuminating analogies that I can draw upon when discussing the Edge of Apocalypse book.
To give you an idea of how “fringe” it used to be, they used to circulate an odd theory of “British Israel“, which was quietly soft-pedalled and removed.
- Saturday was deemed to be the Christian Sabbath.
- The WWCOG rejected the concept of an immortal soul. Instead, immortality would be granted to all who were saved in Christ at the Resurrection – even the dead.
- As a consequence, or perhaps for doctrinal consistency, the concept of a Hell that burns people forever was denied. People who did not repent of their sins would simply cease to exist, period.
- They laid heavy emphasis on the idea of the seven-day week mapping onto a total period of seven thousand years. This is why I sometimes make reference to lines like “for six thousand years man was left to go his own way”, because they hammered on this theme so much.
- Their discussion of the End Times rested on some fairly literal interpretation – such as the idea of the 200 million horsemen being actual armies of 200 million human beings.
- The rapture was pooh-poohed quite strongly; while this is not the sole province of the WWCOG it is worth noting that they went to some extent to debunk this theory being put forth by other End Times scholars and writers.
If you’d like to see for yourself, check out this archival website.