There has been some organizational activity recently in Church of God, the Father's Call (COGFC), the fellowship that came out of COGaic (David Hume) and is currently led by Mr. Brian Orchard. COGFC has formed a corporation, and this was announced in a sermon by Mr. Orchard given on December 12, 2015 entitled, "Review, Refresh, Reaffirm". A couple of weeks before that he gave a sermon entitled, "The Importance of the Identity of Israel", on November 28, 2015. I want to comment on both sermons before I discuss the incorporation.
Links to both sermons can be found in the COGFC sermons page, link:
The Importance of the Identity of Israel
Why did Mr. Orchard and several other ministers and some members separate from David Hulme and COGaic a couple of years ago?
There have been a number of issues that were voiced as contributing reasons:
1) In the matter of governance, many of these ministers seemed to feel that Mr. Hulme should have submitted to their views on certain issues, though the exact issues on which Mr. Hulme failed to submit to these ministers was not necessarily clearly articulated. But in discussions and explanations, there was heavy emphasis on the need for "mutual submission", with the implication or assertion that Mr. Hulme should have been more submissive to these ministers while they were in COGaic (even though Mr. Hulme had authority over them).
2) There was an issue about the doctrine of the identity of Israel. Ministers and members leaving COGaic seemed to feel that Mr. Hulme was de-emphasizing or abandoning the doctrine of the modern identity of the lost ten tribes of Israel and that this doctrine was important and should be retained and taught.
3) Many members, and some ministers, seemed to be concerned with Mr. Hulme's failure to effectively preach the gospel to the world and the Ezekiel warning to Israel.
I don't say these were the only issues, but these three seemed to be important to many people at the time.
Many lay members in particular, if not many of the ministers, seemed to have a strong desire to preach the gospel to the world, and they knew that Mr. Hulme was not doing that to any significant degree. They had hopes that this new group would allow them to finally do that.
But the lay members did not have to deal personally with Mr. Hulme very much. The ministers did, and any personality conflicts or offenses over the leadership style of Mr. Hulme loomed larger in the minds of the ministers than the members.
And of course, when pastors left COGaic, it was common for many members of their congregations to go with them simply because the members wanted to continue to be pastored by them.
At that time, around January 2014, nine leading ministers formed a council of elders. They had a conference and came to some agreements. They agreed to try to develop a new model or form of governance, something they said would be based on the family model and "mutual submission". They also seemed to agree to postpone the preaching of the gospel and just feed the flock for a while till the Church was spiritually strengthened, but with the implication that they agreed that the preaching of the gospel should be done and they wanted to do it, but not right away. No time frame was decided on how long they would feed the flock only, whether a month, a year, or ten years. They said that the Holy Spirit led them to reach their agreement.
They began giving sermons and Bible studies to the membership of their congregations, and in many of the sermons there was a focus on the importance of the identity of Israel, the preaching of the gospel, right governance, and drawing closer to God. But a few months later, four of the nine left the fellowship for other groups, three going to Living Church of God (LCG), which does preach the gospel, and one going to United Church of God (UCG).
During the rest of that first year, the primary leaders of COGFC seemed to be Mr. Brian Orchard and Mr. Steve Andrews. They seemed to work in agreement, and both regularly gave sermons and Bible studies. COGFC was not incorporated but functioned as an association. Then around the beginning of this year, Mr. Steve Andrews no longer gave sermons and Bible studies. The fellowship was led by Mr. Brian Orchard with the support of the remaining three of the original nine leading ministers besides himself.
I have gotten the impression that since COGFC formed, some COGFC members have been unhappy with the fact that COGFC is not preaching the gospel to the world.
I give this background because it may be important for understanding the reason for and content of Mr. Orchard's sermon on the importance of the identity of Israel.
At the time COGFC came out of COGaic and started to function as a Church of God fellowship, I sensed, and I think many members sensed, a close connection between the doctrine of the identity of Israel and the doctrine of preaching the gospel to the world. They seemed tied together. To me, the identity of Israel doctrine helps us focus on the way we preach the gospel, to whom, and why.
But I found no such strong connection between those two doctrines in Mr. Orchard's sermon. He said that the identity of Israel doctrine is important, but he seemed to give reasons other than preaching the gospel, primarily. You can listen to the sermon and form your own opinion.
The sermon is presented as explaining why the doctrine of the identity of Israel is important, or why the doctrine of Israel in prophecy is important. To me, that means explaining why it is important to know that the United States and other English-speaking nations are descended from Joseph, one of the sons of Israel, and are thus part of the lost ten tribes of Israel, along with several other western nations in Europe that are descended from many of the other tribes. That, after all, was one of the issues that many thought was a cause of separation from David Hulme two years ago.
But Mr. Orchard really didn't talk about that. Instead, he seemed to talk about why Israel's role is important, both anciently and in the millennium. He also made a comparison with the Church. He said that Israel was to be an example, a role model, for the rest of the world, and that this job of being an example is now passed on to the Church. He talked about how important Israel is in God's plan for salvation.
But he never said why it is important for us to know that the Jews are not all of Israel, that the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and several other European nations are all part of Israel in addition to the Jews.
That is what the "identity of Israel" doctrine is. Not just that Israel is important in the Bible or in ancient history, or that Israel is important for God's plan of salvation, or that the Church should set a good example as ancient Israel was supposed to do but failed, but that the Jews are only part of Israel, and that the United States, Britain, and other major nations are Israel.
That is what the term, "identity of Israel doctrine" means to me. That is what the term, "United States and British Commonwealth in prophecy doctrine" means to me.
We English-speaking people are Israel, not just the Jews. Why is it important to know that? Mr. Orchard didn't explain this. Yet, this was apparently a reason for separation from David Hulme.
He certainly talks about the doctrine. He gives some interesting background about it, including the similarities and differences with British-Israelism. But he doesn't really explain its importance.
In other words, just about everything he says about the importance of Israel can apply just as well even if you think that all Israel is only the Jews.
I will tell you why I think the doctrine that the United States and many other modern nations ARE Israel is important. It is not that the Church is to learn the lesson that we need to set an example for the world which ancient Israel was supposed to set, but didn't. It is not just the lesson that Israel will be important in the millennium as the model nation. You can learn those lessons just as well even if you think that only the Jews are Israel.
The identity of Israel doctrine teaches us that we have to WARN the people of the United States, Britain, Canada, and several other nations of the coming of the great tribulation if they do not repent of their sins, because the tribulation falls first and foremost on those nations. Not China. Not Russia. Not Japan. Israel, that is, the English-speaking people.
"Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it" (Jeremiah 30:7). "Then Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh’s head....and said....'The Angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; Let my name be named upon them...' " (Genesis 48:14-16).
Jacob put his name on the sons of Joseph in a special way, and God says through Jeremiah that the great tribulation will fall on Jacob. It is important for us to know who Israel is today so we can warn them.
Jesus also placed emphasis on preaching the gospel to the "lost sheep" of the house of Israel when He sent out his disciples (Matthew 10:5-6).
We need to know the identity of Israel today so we know who to primarily preach the gospel to, who to warn, and what to warn them about.
Mr. Orchard does make the point that God in His mercy warns, and if the warning is not heeded, He punishes. But he does not connect the dots to say, that means we need to deliver God's warning to the people of the United States and Britain.
The identity of Israel doctrine is important also for proving that the Bible is inspired by God. The very prophecies that prove that the United States and Britain are Israel also prove that God inspired the Bible, for no man could predict these things thousands of years in advance.
But being able to prove that the Bible is God's word may not seem important to those who think that God's Holy Spirit is leading them apart from and contrary to the Bible.
Finally, he repeats his past teaching (and wrong teaching) that you have to preach the gospel by example first, because your example and teaching have to be consistent, or as I might word it, you have to practice what you preach.
Why do I say that is wrong? You should practice what you preach and set a good example. But there is no excuse for waiting till you are setting a better example before you preach the gospel and the Ezekiel warning, as I have made clear from the Bible in many previous posts. You have to do both at the same time. You have to preach the gospel from day one even while you are working to improve your example. This is proved by examples in the Bible, which I explain in my previous posts.
Jonah was a carnal man who ran from his responsibilities, hated his neighbors, and was angry with God for showing mercy. But God sent him to warn Nineveh. Judas was a thief and became a betrayer, but Jesus sent him to preach the gospel.
It is God's warning, anyway, not ours. We are only the delivery boy. And God's example is perfect. He does not need to wait two years before He gives a warning until He, God, learns to set a better example. And He can use us as tools to get HIS warning message out, not ours.
Yes, it is important to set a good example and to live what we preach. And if we do, our preaching will be more effective than if we don't. But failure to even start to preach the gospel is itself a bad example. COGFC is showing the world, and the rest of the Church, that they do not believe the Bible and they do not love their neighbors as themselves.
Mr. Orchard didn't say anything like this, and I didn't expect him to.
You can learn the lesson that the Church should set a good example, which Israel failed to do, even if you think that the Jews are all of Israel, not the United States and Britain. But for giving a warning to those who are going to go through the tribulation, you have to know that the United States and British nations are Israel so you know who to give the warning to. Otherwise, we would warn the Jews, but not our own nations.
Review, Refresh, Reaffirm
In the sermon, "Review, Refresh, Reaffirm", Mr. Orchard first reviewed certain principles that COGFC stands for in a general way before he went into details of incorporation.
He said that their basic foundation is family-style governance. He said it takes time to develop this because, while it is easy to say, "family-style governance", it is not easy to implement. He said that all members of the Church must have full access to Christ. He also talked about submitting one to another, quoting Ephesians 5:21, and referred again to governance in the Church.
He said that it doesn't matter much what the structure or form of governance is - it is the attitude that is important.
I will only comment that the structure of governance AND attitude are both important. Attitude is certainly important, but the choice of the structure of governance reflects the attitude of the people who choose that structure of governance. If ministers organizing a structure of governance choose an unbiblical model, this reflects a bad attitude towards God and His word.
I agree that every member should have full access to Christ, and we do. I believe that the principle that every member must have full and direct access to Christ and to the Father is one hundred percent compatible with top-down governance. Some see a contradiction. They may ask, if Christ is the head of the ministry and leads the members through the ministry, how can we have direct access to Christ, since our access to Christ is through the ministry?
The answer, as I explain in my book, Preaching the Gospel (see chapter 8, "Government in the Church of God", section "Organization of the Church and Limitations on the Authority of the Ministry" - see organization chart in that section, link: http://ptgbook.org/government.htm#org ), is that Christ leads the Church through the ministry only in matters of the administrative work of the Church - teaching, setting official doctrine, resolving disputes, disciplining members for open sin or creating division, distributing to the poor, preaching the gospel, etc. In those matters, Christ indeed governs the Church through the ministry. But in matters of the personal salvation of every member, such as Christ interceding for us with God and helping us to understand God's word and God's law by the power of the Holy Spirit, the access of each member to Christ and the Father is direct, not through the ministry. We all have direct access to Christ and the Father through prayer and Bible study.
Sometimes it is hard for me to understand what Mr. Orchard is saying when he refers to "family-style" governance and submitting one to another. He rarely uses examples to illustrate his points. Perhaps he himself is not fully clear in his mind what he means by "family-style" governance, which might be one reason why he finds it hard to implement it.
What Mr. Orchard is teaching about having a right attitude of governance, what he may call "submitting one to another", may simply be loving authority. The term "loving authority" is not new in the Church of God. This term was used in the Church when Mr. Armstrong was alive. Not every minister in Worldwide practiced loving authority, but some tried to, and even those who did not practice it at least acknowledged the principle in their teaching. Today, Living Church of God uses a term with a similar meaning, "servant leadership".
What "loving authority" and "servant leadership" mean is that those who have authority exercise it for the good of those under their authority. They have an outgoing concern for those they govern, and they make decisions for their long term good. They serve the people, and not themselves. It is the way God the Father and Jesus Christ exercise authority over the members of the Church. They love the Church, and They use their authority for our good. Jesus Christ set the example, and He gave His life for us. "You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you" (John 13:8).
Mr. Orchard often quotes Ephesians 5:21 about submitting to one another. Ephesians 5:21 is really talking about submitting to each other's needs, as Christ submitted to our needs when He gave Himself as a sacrifice for our sins.
Submitting one to another can also include the principle of humility - the humility of realizing that we are human and sometimes need the good advice and counsel of others.
If this is what Mr. Orchard means when he talks about family-style governance and submitting to each other, then there is nothing new about it. It is the same as "loving authority", which Mr. Armstrong taught, and "servant leadership", which Dr. Meredith teaches, perhaps with the added concept of humility to listen to the advice of others.
But if he means a kind of consensus building as a form of governance, where no one man has the authority to make decisions without the consent of the others, then he is talking about something very different. And a structure of governance that does not allow the one in an organization who reports to Christ to make decisions without the agreement of others is NOT biblical as a structure of governance for the Church.
Incorporation and Bylaws - Actual Governance Structure (finally)
Towards the end of the sermon, about the second half or the last third, Mr. Orchard explains some of the details of the new corporation. Here are some points he made.
The legal structure of COGFC has been changed from an association to a corporation. One reason this has been done is to provide stronger liability protection. The corporation is legally a church and a 501(c)(3) corporation.
The bylaws of the corporation are on the Father's Call website, link:
The bylaws can be changed.
The corporation will have a "governing body", which is the same as the "board of directors" and the "council of elders" - all different names for the same thing. At the present time, there are four members of that body. I presume that includes Mr. Brian Orchard as the senior pastor plus three other leading ministers.
Decisions of the council of elders must be unanimous. If they cannot reach unanimous agreement, no decision will be made until they can reach unanimous agreement.
There will be a business management committee to manage and conduct the day-to-day business affairs of the Church. There will be linkage between the council and the business management committee in that the senior pastor on the council of elders will also be on the business management committee. He will be the channel of communication between the two groups.
Mr. Orchard said that requiring decisions of the council of elders to be unanimous is based on Acts 15. He also said there will be no voting. I will comment on this later.
The previous weekend there was a conference to discuss how to effectively work within these bylaws to function as a Church. That conference also focused on website development.
The main tool of any work must be the Internet. The Website will be the primary means COGFC communicates with the world. COGFC plans to build a more reliable and professional website.
They will begin to develop separate material oriented specifically towards the world.
He reminds us that no person can come to Christ unless the Father draws him (true), and unless the Father draws someone, there is nothing we can do. This last part is wrong, and I will explain why later in this post.
He said that COGFC has the opportunity to represent unity of spirit, and that their goal is to offer a place where Christ can bring His sheep where they will receive good food and clean water.
The Bylaws on the Website
After listening to Mr. Orchard's sermon, I read the bylaws from the website, and here is what I have found.
The exact title of the corporation is "Church of God, The Father's Call". Their main address is 261 Oakhurst Lane, Arcadia, California.
The fourth paragraph of the Preamble says that individuals serving in administrative positions cannot at the same time serve as part of the governing body of the Church.
The first paragraph of section 6.1 says that the Business Management Committee will be composed of corporate officers.
Ok, maybe I am missing something, but if the Business Management Committee is made up of officers, and officers are administrative positions, then this seems to be saying that a member of the Council of Elders, which is the governing body of the Church, cannot also be a member of the Business Management Committee. But I thought I heard Mr. Orchard say in his sermon that the senior pastor on the Council of Elders will also be on the Business Management Committee. But how can this be if the Business Management Committee is made up only of administrative positions (corporate officers) and someone in an administrative position cannot also be on the Council of Elders?
I am not a lawyer, and maybe there are subtleties here I am misunderstanding. But on the surface it seems that Mr. Orchard's statement to the Church is in contradiction to the bylaws. Perhaps someone can explain that to me.
But if this is a contradiction, I would think this could be a problem. I assume that the "senior pastor" on the Council Mr. Orchard said would also be on the Business Management Committee would be himself. If the Business Management Committee can only be composed of officers, this would exclude Mr. Orchard from being on that committee. The purpose Mr. Orchard gave of someone from the Council being on the Business Management Committee was to facilitate communication, or in other words, prevent problems from occurring from miscommunication and the two groups going in two directions. This was no doubt said to reassure the membership that this will not be a problem and that it is safe for them to send their titles and offerings to the main office because the Business Management Committee (President, Secretary, Treasurer) will handle the funds properly according to the will of the Council.
But if only officers can be on the Business Management Committee (which the bylaws seem to say), then no one from the Council can be on that committee, and Mr. Orchard's assurance to the members to the contrary is in error. Is it not legally dangerous to make a statement to your tithe-paying financial supporters to assure them that there will be good oversight over the funds if that statement is not true?
Perhaps the answer is that an "officer" is not necessarily an "administrative position", and additional officers can be defined as described in section 7.1. But it seems strange to me that an "officer" of the corporation would not be an "administrative position".
The only other matter of importance in understanding the governance structure defined in the bylaws is in section 6.2.4. A Council member can be removed by the unanimous decision of the other Council members. So, since there are 4 Council members, 3 of them can remove the fourth.
A few minor matters I noticed. There may be a general sloppiness about the bylaws that should be corrected. I have not carefully proofread them, but even with a quick read I noticed typos. Section 7.1 has a grammar error. The last sentence of the first paragraph of section 7.1 says, "Other officers as may be appointed..." As written, this is a sentence fragment. The word "as" should be removed.
Section 6.5.1 paragraph (e) has the word "repeatable". This is a misspelling of the word "repealable", which is clearly the intent given the beginning of the sentence (maybe someone left auto-correct on in the Microsoft Word processor, and it changed "repealable" to "repeatable" thinking "repealable" is not a word).
"Council of Elders" is sometimes capitalized and sometimes not. This no doubt is inconsequential, but the inconsistency gives the impression that the bylaws were put together in haste.
Perhaps the next time these bylaws are revised, minor errors will be corrected and ambiguities will be clarified.
There are a number of places in the bylaws where statements are made that there will be no voting, and I am going to comment on that next.
Is this a system of voting? Yes, I think it is. Why? The Council can only make decisions by unanimous agreement. How do you know if a decision is unanimous? You have to get agreement from each member. And it has to be clear, definite, official, and recorded in the minutes because it is legally required. That is a vote.
It doesn't matter if the agreement is in writing, verbal, or a simple nod of the head. It can be a hand gesture, a simple "ok" sign made with the thumb and forefinger or a "thumbs up" sign - whatever the form of agreement, it has to be clear enough to be recorded in the minutes, and it is a vote.
A vote does not have to be on a paper ballot to be a vote.
My Merriam-Webster's Dictionary and Thesaurus gives a definition of a "vote" as "the choice or opinion of a person or body of persons expressed usually by a ballot, spoken word, or raised hand". I would add, in the context of the way we use the term "voting" in our Church of God conversations, we are talking about expressing a choice or opinion in a way that is legally binding in some way. We don't think of opinion polling as voting when it carries no authority. But when people agree in advance that the expression of choices by people in a group will carry authority based on the number or percentage that agrees, that is voting.
To make decisions, every Council member must express his choice clearly and definitely. That choice must be recorded in the minutes. And it carries legal authority. That is a vote.
But just as United Church of God (UCG) never called their voting "voting" (they called it "balloting"), so COGFC does not want to call this "voting". Statements that there will be no voting are in various places in the bylaws and Mr. Orchard's sermon. But it is voting nevertheless.
In routine matters, a vote of 100%, or 4 out of 4, on the Council of Elders in COGFC is required for every decision. But for extremely important matters, in practical terms, the required vote may be 75%, or 3 out of 4. Why? Because if Brian Orchard and 2 out of the other 3 members of the Council are determined to do something, and one member refuses to go along, they can kick him out and replace him with someone who agrees. And every Council member knows this.
There is nothing about this governance structure that is biblical. Acts 15 is not the model.
Acts 15 does not say that everyone there came to unanimous agreement on a decision. But they knew Peter had authority, and James formalized and summarized Peter's decision, and after that no one opposed it because they respected the authority of Peter. They submitted to the decision even if they did not agree with it in their minds. They supported the decision because they accepted the top-down authority of Peter. This is at least possible from the account.
Up to Peter's decision, it was discussion time, and everyone could voice their opinion. But once Peter made the decision, it was time for everyone to obey, and they did. They did not even come together for the purpose of making a decision, but to "consider" the matter (Acts 15:6). There is no indication that unanimous agreement was a requirement for resolving the issue.
The model of governance in the Bible, as I prove in chapter 8 of my book, is 100% top-down. That is the structure that will be practiced in the kingdom of God. The Father is the head of Christ and Christ will be king over the whole kingdom of God. David will rule over all Israel and the twelve apostles will each rule over a tribe. The twelve apostles will not have to agree unanimously to do what David tells them to do.
Is this hierarchical governance I have described "family-style" governance? Yes it is, because it is based on God's family, which is 100% governed from the top down.
Suppose Christ, through the Holy Spirit, guides Mr. Orchard to make a certain decision. Does Mr. Orchard have the authority to implement this decision according to the bylaws of the corporation? No, not without the consent of two or three other members of the Council. He cannot obey Christ unless two or three other men agree that he can obey Christ. That is a problem because each man on the Council has free moral agency. Christ cannot and will not FORCE any member of the Council to obey Him. Allowing the other members of the Council to have veto power over Mr. Orchard's decisions is a placement of trust in man that the Bible does not teach. By allowing these bylaws, Mr. Orchard is trusting in the other members of the Council to let him obey God, assuming he is trying to obey God.
A godly structure of governance, true family-style governance based on the God family, would give Mr. Orchard full authority, under Jesus Christ, to make decisions for COGFC. He would then not need the permission of men to obey God.
But he would have a problem. If he had full authority, some people might ask him, "Why did you leave David Hulme? I thought you said the governance model under David Hulme wasn't working and you wanted to develop something new. I thought you left David Hulme because you wanted to preach the gospel."
Website Development and Preaching the Gospel
Mr. Orchard made the statement that this new corporation and bylaws will work if COGFC leaders and members submit one to another. He also said that they have an opportunity to represent unity of spirit.
But unity of spirit will not "work" if the direction is wrong. It will not work if it is not truly of God and according to God's word, the Bible. Members of a group headed in the wrong direction can submit one to another. Members of false Christian groups can submit one to another. Members of a football team or a business organization can cooperate and help each other for the good of the team. Even the Nazi party had a certain "unity of spirit" in that they agreed on certain things, such as hatred towards the Jews and the desire for Germany to be militarily great and to conquer surrounding lands.
But COGFC is not heading in the right direction when they teach and practice a policy of not giving the warning to Israel and preaching the gospel to the world as a witness.
It has been TWO YEARS since COGFC began to form, and they are STILL not preaching the gospel or planning to do any more than make their website more professional and add some material developed for the world. I wonder how many members who left COGaic to go with Mr. Orchard, hoping to be a member of a group that preaches the gospel (because David Hulme was not doing it), expected that two years later he would still be doing nothing to preach the gospel to the world. I wonder how many of them would have stayed with David Hulme if they knew that Mr. Orchard would not be preaching the gospel for two years.
Mr. Orchard said that they wanted to provide a place where Christ can bring the sheep to receive good food and clean water. But COGFC is not that place and will not be that place till they repent of their disobedience towards God and Christ in not preaching the gospel and the Ezekiel warning to the world.
Right now, the spiritual food that COGFC provides the flock is poisoned and the water polluted. They feed their flock a spiritual poison - the poison of thinking they can ignore and postpone God's teaching to preach the gospel and the Ezekiel warning to the world.
In rejecting the preaching of the gospel to the world, they are rejecting the second greatest commandment, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:39). By focusing inwardly on themselves, they are rejecting the very principle of outgoing love itself. And as God makes clear in Ezekiel, the blood of the people will be on their heads. To put it bluntly, God will count us as murderers if we neglect getting the Ezekiel warning out to the world. And this is the way of life that COGFC teaches its members by their sermons and by their example.
COGFC plans to improve the Father's Call website and start to build material for the general public. But that is a small part of preaching the gospel to the world. Without spending money for advertising, the world and the general public will not come to the website. The message will be lost in the general clutter and maze and volume of material on the Internet.
One advantage of incorporation is that it may be easier for COGFC to publish their financials openly. They should do this, not only for their own members, but openly for all who are interested, as Living Church of God does.
The real key to know if they are serious about preaching the gospel to the world is how they spend their tithe and offering income. If all or almost all of it is spent on minister salaries, I say they are not serious about preaching the gospel to the world and the Ezekiel warning to Israel.
I said before, that Mr. Orchard was right in saying that no one can come to Christ unless the Father draws him, but mistaken in saying that if the Father does not draw someone, there is nothing we can do. There certainly is something we can do, even for those the Father does not draw to Christ, and God commands us to do it. We are to WARN. Whether they listen or not, we are to warn them. That is something Mr. Orchard and COGFC seem not to want to accept.
And according to God's message to us in Ezekiel chapters 2, 3, and 33, if we fail to warn the people, we become guilty of murder in the sight of God.
List of COGFC Related Posts in this Blog
Below is a list of posts with links on the subject of "Church of God, The Father's Call" (COGFC). These include all the posts I have published before now about that group, so it is a pretty complete list.
There is a reason why I have posted so often about COGFC. As I explain in one of my posts listed below, COGFC is a kind of experiment or case study of the fruits and consequences of certain approaches in the Church of God. God uses experience to teach us lessons, and we can learn from our own experiences as well as the experiences of others. God is teaching the whole world a lesson in the fruits of Satan's way of life by allowing Satan to deceive and rule mankind for 6,000 years. Likewise, God can teach us lessons about the Church and about certain spiritual principles by letting us see the good fruits that come from good choices and bad fruits that come from bad choices. We can learn lessons from the good or bad choices, and their consequences, of COGFC.
Some of these are not directly about COGFC, but are about issues they discuss or things they teach that tend to separate them from much of the rest of the Church of God, such as not preaching the gospel to the world and the Ezekiel warning to Israel, the structure of governance, and assuming that the spiritual influence in one's mind is from the Holy Spirit but without testing that influence against the Bible to see if it is really from God (that is my wording and interpretation of their position, not theirs).
These posts are listed in the same order I posted them, with the earliest first. You can thus check them out in the order listed and get a bit of the history of how this group has changed since they first formed after leaving COGaic (David Hulme) and where they stand on certain issues.
In some posts, there are links to COGFC sources in their website that no longer exist or now require a password to access.
Be aware in reading these posts that this fellowship consisting of Brian Orchard and various ministers who left COGaic together have not had a permanent, clear, and distinctive name of their fellowship during the last two years, so at various times in past posts I have called them "Church of God, a Family Community" or "Father's Call Church of God" or possibly other names. But they now seem to have settled on the name, "Church of God, The Father's Call", at least for the corporation they use, and this can serve as a distinctive name for their fellowship in writing about them on the Internet from now on. I will abbreviate their name, COGFC.
"Peter Nathan and Other Ministers Leaving Church of God, an International Community?", dated December 28, 2013, link:
"New Website of Ministers Leaving COGaic", dated January 4, 2014, link:
"New Church Coming out of COGaic and 'Mutual Submission' ", dated January 5, 2014, link:
" 'Beam in the Eye', and Preaching the Gospel to the World", dated January 14, 2014, link:
"Decision Time for Ex-COGaic Ministers and Brethren - Where Will they Stand?", dated January 17, 2014, link:
"Will the Nine 'Mutually Submit' to Some among the Fifty?", dated January 22, 2014, link:
"What Is Your Church Identity?", dated January 26, 2014, link:
"Fasting to Know God's Will and Isaiah 58:6-8 ", dated February 6, 2014, link:
"The Importance of the Identity of Israel Doctrine", dated February 8, 2014, link:
"Has God Made the Church an "Ezekiel Watchman" for Israel?", dated February 13, 2014, link:
"Peter Nathan Is Going with Living Church of God", dated February 15, 2014, link:
"Update on Church of God, a Family Community (COGFC)", dated February 19, 2014, link:
"What Good Does It Do to Preach the Gospel If We Do Not Live It?", dated February 22, 2014, link:
"Heart-to-heart to Mr. Brian Orchard and Ministers of COGFC", dated February 24, 2014, link:
"Philadelphia Must Come Out of Laodicea", dated February 25, 2014, link:
"What Is the Church of God's Greatest Sin?", dated February 27, 2014, link:
"Update on Church of God, a Family Community Open House", dated March 3, 2014, link:
"COGFC's Governance Structure and Model", dated March 6, 2014, link:
"Does the Ministry Stand between Us and God?", dated March 8, 2014, link:
"Brian Orchard's Bible Study on Repentance ", dated March 16, 2014, link:
"LCG Announcement of Hiring former-COGFC Ministers - Wrap-up with COGFC", dated March 18, 2014, link:
"Human Reasoning", dated March 24, 2014, link:
"False Repentance Movement in the Church of God", dated March 28, 2014, link:
"Do Our Choices Really Affect the Preaching of the Gospel?", dated May 16, 2014, link:
"Avoiding a Spirit of Hostile Competition / Church of God, a Family Community at Six Months", dated June 26, 2014, link:
"Suggestion for COGFC Members Contributing Articles for a Website to Preach the Gospel", dated July 25, 2014, link:
"Philadelphia's Open Door - Does It Apply to Individual Members?", dated September 17, 2014, link:
"Church of God, a Family Community (COGFC) at One Year", dated January 1, 2015, link:
"How Do You Know God Leads Your Understanding of the Bible?", dated January 4, 2015, link:
"COGFC Direction", dated January 13, 2015, link:
"New Development in COGFC Governance Structure ", dated February 5, 2015, link:
"Herbert W. Armstrong Taught Loving Authority", dated February 20, 2015, link:
"Two Approaches to Understanding the Bible", dated March 10, 2015, link:
"Is Matthew 24:14 a Command to Preach the Gospel to the World as a Witness?", dated March 26, 2015, link:
"Did Worldwide Go "All Out" to Preach the Gospel?", dated March 28, 2015, link:
"We Need to Respect the Office of the Minister", dated March 30, 2015, link:
"Showing Mercy", dated April 9, 2015, link:
"What Is Wrong with Preaching the Gospel Only by Example?", dated May 3, 2015, link:
"Paradigm Shift from Herbert W. Armstrong to the Father's Call - a Case Study in Progress", dated June 21, 2015, link:
"Oral Tradition in Israel and the Church of God", dated November 12, 2015, link:
Here are links to related chapters or sections in Preaching the Gospel:
CHAPTER 3 - THE EZEKIEL WARNING
CHAPTER 4 - WHY PREACH THE GOSPEL? - A LESSON FROM THE HOLOCAUST
CHAPTER 5 - SHOULD THE CHURCH FEED THE FLOCK ONLY?
CHAPTER 8 - GOVERNMENT IN THE CHURCH OF GOD