The Painful Truth About The Worldwide Church of God

Tkach Reply's To Dick and Dot

Since sending you a copy of the letter we wrote to Joe T., which you posted on the Cult Horror Page, we have received an answer. Thought you might like to read it. Our feeling after reading it were that the abuser is blaming the abused for the abuses. Joe seems to intimate that we are angry & bitter, which we are not.... we are just relieved & thankful to be free of the grip of Worldwide Church of God. If there is any anger it is at our selves for being so gullible for so many years.

Please feel free to post Joe's response along with any comments you may have.

Regards, Dick & Dot Browne.


To: Mr. & Mrs. Browne

From: Joseph Tkach

Dear Dick and Dot,

I have offered a brief reply below, within the text of your message.

Dear Mr. Tkach,

You may know that we are no longer members of Worldwide Church of God. Before leaving, we expressed our concerns in a letter to you, dated Aug11/97, over the direction Worldwide Church of God was taking. Your reply failed to address the issues we mentioned. In fact, you completely ignored some off them, e.g. the Christmas question.

In the Barrie congregation, Christmas, the day honouring the birth of our Saviour and celebrated world wide was completely ignored. And yet, we heard from friends in Pasadena that congregation there celebrated it in a very moving way. There truly is no unity in Worldwide Church of God.

"It appears to me that you are mistaking uniformity for unity. The Worldwide Church of God does notrequire or mandate a celebration of the feast of tabernacles nor on Christmas.

To require it would be legalism. In concert with the pastor, each congregation determines it's calendar of worship."

As time went on, we saw headquarters back tracking on the tithing issue, putting more and more guilt on members. Legalism is still rampant. The emphasis is still on rules, regulation & behaviour.

"I believe this is a misperception on your part. The Worldwide Church of God teaches that tithing is a biblical pattern for worship and stewardship. This is not a position of legalism; however, some will choose to label it as legalism in order to deal with their own guilt for not being better stewards of their time, talent and treasure. If a member feels guilty, then it behooves him/her to ask if it is the Holy Spirit convicting them of their neglect."

You, Mr. Tkach, have been visiting other Christian organizations, literally bragging about how wonderful Worldwide Church of God is because they made all these changes. You talk about grace but fail to extend it to the members.

"Once again, you have misperceived and in this case, attribute a motive to me that is not present. My comments to our membership and ministry about the invitations I have received from other Christian organizations are received as encouraging by the majority. Bragging is when one blows his own horn about his own accomplishments. This is not the same as reporting the warm reception and prayers given for us by others."

One of the major flaws we see, Mr. Tkach, is the lack of remorse and apology to members who have suffered abuse over the years. You and hierarchy of the church have never experienced the hardships of the members.

"Apparently, you have missed my articles in which I have offered such apologies. In fact, other denominations have commented that the apologies were appropriate and complete. It seems from reading your message that you angry because things are going the way you would like for them to as quickly as you would like things to happen. Please recall, the counsel of James in chapter 1:2 where we are encouraged to remember that the testing of our faith produces patience/endurance. In the last few years, it would be easy for me to be angry and discouraged because nothing has changed as quickly or as orderly as I would like for it to. It would have been easy for me to simply leave, especially since I have had some offers to do other things."

When we really began to analyze Worldwide Church of God we realized that the whole concept is wrong. A congregation shouldn't be made up of members who are isolated in areas where they must travel many miles to meet together, when there are grace filled groups meeting locally near their homes. Add to this the corrupt actions of the leadership in the past {many of which still continue}, the whole organization is sick. Isn't it time to disband and let those poor souls who are still hanging on find a truly Spirit led group to meet with ?

"Please do not make such general assumptions that condemn people who you have never met. I hope you do not mind me saying that it is not fitting Christian behavior to claim fatal sickness for healthy Christians simply because things are not the way you would like them to be in your area."

For over 20 years our friends have been Worldwide Church of God members. After we left we thought we could continue these friendships; therefore we attended a small group meeting of these friends{incidentally, we personally started this group}. Following the meeting we were asked not to attend anymore, even though we never spoke against the church or said anything derogatory at any time. The comment was, "Well, if they don't attend services, why would they want to go to a small group ?" This sentiment was also expressed by the pastor, Dennis Lawrence. We are presently meeting with a group of ex Worldwide Church of Goders who have also been shunned.

"This is something that I am not able to give very much comment upon, since I am not there and have not been party to the all that has occurred. It may be that you are unaware of how others have taken your comments. It may be that some view them as divisive. And, then it may be that the small group and Dennis Lawrence are simply acting in an inexplicably negative way toward you. I cannot label them all as sick since I am not party to the ongoing interactions that have occurred. I can say that it never hurts to call Dennis Lawrence and ask him why it seems that you are being excluded. Just because someone is attending another church fellowship is not a reason of itself to be excluded. We have people from other fellowships included in our small groups all over the world.

Personally, the two scenarios I gave above seem to be the extremes and inaccurate. The real story lies somewhere in-between. If you are making comments to others like the ones in this e-mail message, then I can easily see that there are other reasons that such has occurred."

Mr Tkach, we could go on and on, detailing abuses, but you must know they are there. We just hope and pray that positive changes are forthcoming. With deep concern, Richard and Dorothy Browne

Enjoying freedom in Barrie !

"We can detail abuses from every denomination in church history, but I agree with you that such action would not solve the problem. If reconciliation is really to occur, then it is appropriate to talk with Doug Smith. I will send a copy to Doug and to Dennis Lawrence and pray for healing and for your interactions with Doug Smith."

In His Grace,

Joseph Tkach


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