The Church of God says that people cannot be saved without keeping the Sabbath and the Passover, and their family members who do not go to the Church of God are controlled by Satan. The church controls members’ thoughts by frightening them. Then, the church forces them to study the Bible and go preaching, so that they can be away from their family.
1. Did the Apostle Paul frighten people and manipulate their minds?
Apostle Paul kept the Sabbath and the Passover of the new covenant according to the gospel of Christ, and he taught people that if they do not obey the gospel of Christ, they will be cursed and eternally condemned. Then, did Apostle Paul manipulate people’s mind by frightening them? Answer this! Those who oppose us who encourage people to obey the gospel of Christ are the wicked who slander all the gospel workers including Apostle Paul.
- Gal 1:6-9 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel? which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!
- 2 Th 1:7-9 . . . and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.
2. Our church members have compassion on their family members and try to lead them to salvation
The Church of God understands the mind of Christ, so that we want all of us to come to repentance and be saved. We try our best to save other souls as well as our own family members that we love (2 Pe 3:9; 1 Co 7:16). Even though we are mocked by our family members who do not understand the truth, we still pray for them and try to lead them to salvation. Then, how can opposers accuse us to be scared of our family members? We are not scared, but we take pity on those who do not receive salvation.
Opposers criticize us whatever we do. Nowadays, opposers ignore our earnest mind to save our family members but they accuse us of being manipulated by the church.
Opposers of 2,000 years ago were the same. Jesus took pity on those who were demon-possessed, but the Pharisees accused Him of being a follower of Beelzebub, the prince of demons (Mt 12:24). When Jesus was with tax collectors and “sinners” to give them salvation by having compassion on them, opposers criticized Him to be a friend of tax collectors and sinners (Mt 11:19). Therefore, those who oppose us who try to save our family members through the will of God are like the Pharisees who criticized whatever Jesus and His disciples did (Lk 11:53-54; Mt 23:33).
3. Is it wrong for church to encourage members to study the Bible and preach the gospel?
Parents always want the best for their children, so they discipline their children. Does that mean parents manipulate children’s minds? As physical parents encourage their children, gospel workers also lead new members to receive more blessings. Therefore, it is very natural for church leaders to encourage them to study the Bible and preach. However, opposers try to make our church leaders look bad even though it is what they are supposed to do. How are they any different from the Pharisees who tried to oppose whatever Jesus did?
How many times did Apostle Paul encourage the early Church members to study the Bible and preach the gospel 2,000 years ago? According to their insistence, Apostle Paul also brainwashed the church members. Was he really a brainwasher? Absolutely, not! Therefore, their claim is all false.
- 1 Co 4:15-16 Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me.
- Eph 6:17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
- Col 3:16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another . . .
- 1 Ti 4:13-16 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching . . . Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
- 2 Ti 4:2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.