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Church of God International (United States) facts for kids

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Church of God International (United States)
Classification Christian
Leader Ministerial Council
Region International
Headquarters Tyler, Texas
Founder Garner Ted Armstrong, with others
Origin 1978
Tyler, Texas
Separated from Worldwide Church of God
Separations Intercontinental Church of God; Christian Educational Ministries (Ronald L. Dart); Churches of God Outreach Ministries (CGOM)
Congregations 61

The Church of God, International (CGI) is a denomination of Christianity. It is one of many denominations to come out of the Worldwide Church of God (WCG). The Worldwide Church of God was started by Herbert W. Armstrong.

Beginning

CGI was started in 1978 by four members of the Worldwide Church of God, with minister Garner Ted Armstrong (1930-2003) Garner Ted was excommunicated from the WCG by his father, Herbert W. Armstrong. They argued about beliefs and about how the church should be run.

CGI began in Tyler, Texas. Garner Ted also started the Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association.

Faith and worship

The CGI believes and worships like many other Christian churches, except:

  • The CGI believes that some Christian beliefs have been wrongly changed long ago, only a couple hundred years after Christ. It believes they were changed by people who tried to mix their own ideas with Christian beliefs. It believes they did this because they hated Jews, or were pagan, or Gnostics, or Greek philosophers. These wrong ideas turned into traditions. CGI tries to worship the way they believe Christ wanted. CGI believes that the pagans worshipped demons without knowing it. So, they don't worship holidays that started out as pagan, like Halloween and Christmas. This also includes Valentine's Day and New Year's Day.
  • CGI does not believe in the Trinity. It believes the Holy Spirit is the spirit or power of God and of Jesus Christ. It does not believe the Holy Spirit is a person. It believes God "the Father" and Jesus Christ are two spirits in the "God family". It believes this was how the early church believed and worshipped.
  • Why mankind: CGI believes Christians can become part of the family of God. When they die, they will become spirit and a son or daughter of God. They believe this is because God is making spirits like himself.
  • CGI does not believe the soul stays awake after a person dies. They believe the dead sleep until woken up by God at the resurrection. God will give them a new body. CGI believes this is how the early church believed.
  • CGI believes Christ came to teach about his future kingdom. CGI does not believe people will go to heaven when they die., but will be resurrected to live and rule with Christ. This will happen during the Millenium, when Christ returns. CGI believes they will rule the universe with Christ in time, as part of the "God Family".
  • CGI believes Christ came to pay the price for sin, but the law must still be kept. For example, if a judge says you do not have to pay a fine, you still have to keep the law afterward. They believe laws in the Old Testament still must be kept, because the Bible says these laws are from God, not from the Jews. So they do no work on the Sabbath on Saturday, from Friday sunset until Saturday sunset. They also do not eat pork or certain fish which they call "unclean". They also observe Old Testament holidays. They do not obey laws in the Old Testament which were about how God was to be approached then (through animal sacrifices). They believe Christ makes anyone able to approach God. CGI does not follow Jewish traditions which it does not believe is in the Bible. It does not believe physical circumcision is important spiritually. CGI does not believe that God replaced the Jews with the church. CGI believes the law of God is good, and make men good. It believes the law of God can teach and make life happy and full. But they believe salvation is a free gift which cannot be earned. CGI believes this is how the early church worshipped.
  • CGI believes that the Ten Commandments were given by God to man long before Moses.
  • CGI believes Hell is a pagan idea. They believe the Bible says the wicked are destoyed forever by God.
  • CGI believes in more than one resurrection. It believes that those who die and do not know or understand the truth about God will be given time to learn after a Second Resurrection to a new physical life. If they continue to reject God, He will destroy them forever in the Lake of Fire.
  • Like many Christian churches, CGI believes in tithing as an act of worship and to support the work of the church. CGI believes another 10 percent should be used to observe holidays, especially the Feast of Tabernacles.

Message and media

CGI has churches in the United States, Canada, Jamaica, Ireland, Australia and the Philippines. CGI has a television program called Armor of God. It also has Prevail Magazine, which discusses Christian living. The church also has a newspaper which comes out every three months called The International News. This newspaper discusses beliefs, worship, prophecy, church news, and world news. The church also supports a program for young people ages 18–30 called Infuse. This includes a quarterly magazine, a website, and service activities for local churches and communities. The program is run by volunteers and includes older people who support the program. It is also open to young people in other churches.

In 2013, the church decided use the internet more to reach people, and is building a new studio to begin broadcasting in high-definition television.

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