My experience accosted by the World Mission Society Church of God

To others, this is offensive. To me, this is beyond fun. I was at a gas station with a friend at 12:30am with a friend when a man dressed in a suit and tie power walked in our direction. My first thoughts were that this guy might need something or wants money. Instead, he asked me if I had read the Bible. Great, I like the Christian street preachers, I’m still waiting to hear the whole “Have you ever told a lie? Then you’re a liar” bit. but unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, this was not that kind of encounter. zhang_gil-jah

This man, whose name is Keith, immediately went on to tell me that just as there is a “God the Father”, there is also a “God the Mother”, and showed me a picture of her. This was the picture to the right.

Right off the bat, I realized that he was not a normal Christian. Second, I wanted to get technical with him and say “God created gender and therefore he could not be subject to gender”, but then thought that might be too much for the moment. He got his iPhone and started showing me that God created humanity in his name, suggesting male and female, and since every living being has a gender God must also have a gender. He then said that because God refers to himself as “we” in Genesis, that it must mean that there’s a plurality and that Ellohim means “Gods”. I am still not certain if he meant plurality of Gods or plurality of parts of God within the hypo-static union.

At that point, and after several attempts, I finally got him to listen for a moment. I asked him if he was familiar with Semitic languages, which he said no. I said Hebrew and Arabic are in a family of languages and since I speak functional Arabic, I can speak about this with a degree of authority. In Semitic languages, there is such a thing as a “royal plural”. But as I was explaining this to him, it seemed like he was so excited, he was just waiting for his turn to speak and was not really listening.

Now, around this time I mentioned to him that I am a Muslim. Almost by definition, that means that the Christian Bible is not a primary source of guidance for me. But he entirely used the Bible as his basis. But I ignored that problem for now. He randomly went into the Sabbath being Saturday. I don’t disagree with him, but what did that have to do with me? He made another point about Isaac haven been given the covenant, but I did not follow him. He said something about how Jerusalem refers to his “God the Mother” figure.

A funny moment was when he randomly jumped to how the “Bride of Christ” is his “God the Mother”. I said the Christians interpret the Bride of Christ as the Church. He immediately said that they are wrong and worship Satan. I said they would say you are wrong, upon which he immediately said “yes, but they are wrong”. I said again “right, but they would say you are wrong and you worship Satan”. This back and forth happened 4 times, but it did not sink in for him.

At this point a good 10 minutes had passed and I did not want to leave my friend waiting around as I talked to this crazy guy, so I said I had to go. He said he wanted my number upon which I very bluntly said I was not going to give my number to a person I just met, but would like his email address or website. He flatly told me that he is not interested in hearing opposing views because when a prophet comes, you do not listen to Satan. I tried to tell him that there is a difference between “listening to Satan” and entertaining valid questions. But that fell on deaf ears. In the end, he told me that the only way to heaven was through his faith. If I was not in “polite mode”, I would have told him that he’s a polytheist and idol worshiper. I also thought this morning that his faith must be weak if it cannot even hear reasoned criticism. But it did not occur to me.

One thing I could see in his eyes was his absolute conviction of his faith, an impatience with hearing others, inability to stay on topic which suggests that he is so convinced of his faith that there are multiple thoughts going on in his head at the same time and he cannot control himself. He did not want to listen, understand or know his audience. I went to their website and there are a few observations I have:

  • They focus on pushing forward their specific doctrines based on the Bible, rather than general topics that might appeal to non-Christians;
  • They are big on self-promotion and pointing out their awards, their community service and how much people love being in the faith, work with the UN, etc;
  • Their videos use a lot of “constructed emotion”, through background music or showing smiling faces, etc. Its more image than substance.

I do not know much more about them, I am not certain if they are a cult or not. But I want nothing to do with them.


About Nahraf
Providing interesting insight into the world of Economics, Theology, Computer Science and Social phenomena.

2 Responses to My experience accosted by the World Mission Society Church of God

  1. Lidia says:

    I apologize that you didn’t have a good experience. I am certain there was a big misunderstanding. Most of us do not know how to articulate our thoughts properly but I have been a member of this church for many years and we do not run around telling people that if you are not in our faith that you will follow satan so again I apologize for the misunderstanding. I am familiar with the Semitic languages and the term “royal plural or Royal we”. The term was created to be utilized by people in high positions Kings/Queens. In western systems, when royalty speak on behalf of their office, they tend to refer to themselves as if they were more than one person. In Latin, this is known as Pluralis Maiestatis — the Majestic Plural. In English, this is known as the Royal We. The origin of this tradition is the idea that the monarch in question is speaking for the nation, although in times gone it was also used by religious officials speaking on behalf of the Church. Sometimes other characters will reinforce this by referring to the monarch by the name of their country; in Hamlet, for example, Claudius and the dead king are both referred to as Denmark, and another king is only ever called Norway. Also, some languages use the plural to address other people formally. Even English does this, in a way — originally, “you” was only used as a plural objective; the nominative was “ye” and the singular equivalents were (nominative) “thou” and (objective) “thee”. However, using “you” as a formal term for a single person, even as subject, became so commonplace that it replaced “ye” and “thou” entirely. “You” was once more formal than “thou”, regardless of how it sounds to the modern ear. However the term was created after royal kingdoms were established not 6000 years ago. This term later began to get used in attempt to explain Elohim because people can’t fathom that Elohim is plural meaning more than one God. Elohim is a formation from eloah or el (which means God, singular form(אֵל, ʾēl). To understand how many Gods…mankind was created in the image of God…male and female. So two creators exist…God of male image and God of female image. The male created was Adam and the female created was Eve.

    Your observations you made on our website are not accurate. 1. We only follow and teach what is in the bible…no more no less. As Christians we are not trying to be appealing to anyone by making up general topics. The Word of God for our salvation is already written in the bible so that in itself should be appealing to people who desires salvation. 2. We are not a cult and that’s a fact but people who make those accusations are trying to bully (cyber bullying). Our church is one of the most recognized worldwide which is why we receive so many awards. I really doubt that any country, nation or organization would award our church if we were a cult. It is like me saying that muslims are a cult because ISIS is trying to wipe humanity if not converted to muslim…it would be unfair for me or anyone to make any statement like that towards your religion and beliefs so in the same way it is unfair to us that you post a picture of my Heavenly Mother with a negative response and went out of your to create this site just for that. 3. It’s not about image or substance but the truth for people who want salvation. Again I am so sorry you feel this way but I hope that you can find it in your heart to take down the picture of my God even if it’s just simply out of respect for our religion. Thank you so much.

    • Nahraf says:

      Hi Lidia, thanks for your comments. I genuinely appreciate hearing from someone from the Church. Please note that I do not associate people of your Church with any negative feelings, I met one person and am not going to base my experience on one person.

      About the Royal Plural, I am not familiar with its history in English, but I am referring to its use in Semitic languages, of which Hebrew is one. English’s royal plural equivalent is somewhat irrelevant, because the Bible was in Hebrew. In Hebrew a proper greeting would be “Shalom Alaichom”. The final “chom” ending is plural for “you all”, even if you are referring to an individual. Singular would be “Alaicha”. Why? Because sometimes a plural verb/noun is used as a subtle form of respect – We do this in Arabic as well. In the Qur’an Allah refers to himself as “We” (نحن) several times.

      I cannot imagine anything more polytheistic than worshiping multiple human beings.

      I didn’t visit anti-Church websites. To be honest, I am not interested in such sites for any faith tradition. Instead, I went to the Church’s several websites. I searched for theological points I could understand, read and interpret. I wanted to know *what* they believed, as distinct from other churches or mainstream American protestant Christianity. I couldn’t find it. Instead, I got general messages as you wrote, that they “believe in the Bible” – but which Christian sect would claims otherwise? They all claim they are “only upon the Bible, nothing more” and claim that every other sect is not?

      What I noticed was that everyone was smiling and they were focusing on their awards and charity work. Why is that odd to me? Because it seems artificial, as if they are putting on their best face for the world. Because people’s lives are never 100% good. All people go through pain, the good and bad. When I just see happy people with near zero explanation of their beliefs, I question it.

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