Living Church of God

A Christian denomination emphasizing the original teachings of Jesus Christ and the observance of Old Testament laws.

Religion: Christianity
Denomination: Armstrongism
Founder: Roderick C. Meredith
Founded: 1998
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
Size: Approximately 10,000 members

The Living Church of God (LCG) is a splinter group from the Worldwide Church of God that formed after the death of Herbert W. Armstrong, under the leadership of Roderick C. Meredith; one of several groups that formed during a period of significant doctrinal changes and division within the original church.

LCG places a strong emphasis on adhering to what it views as original Christianity, as taught and practiced by Jesus Christ and the original Apostles. The church’s beliefs include non-participation in politics, military service, and serving on juries, adhering to the dietary laws mentioned in Leviticus, observing the biblical seventh-day Sabbath, and celebrating annual festivals as Jesus and the original apostles did. The church also promotes British Israelism, the belief that Anglo-American people are descended from the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel​​, and distances itself from the celebration of mainstream Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter, which it sees as later additions by the Catholic Church and some Protestant denominations​​​​.

LCG engages in various media projects to spread its teachings. Shortly after its incorporation, LCG began producing “Tomorrow’s World,” a weekly half-hour television program accessible to millions worldwide. Alongside its television outreach, LCG also publishes a free bi-monthly subscription magazine, also titled “Tomorrow’s World,” focusing on Bible prophecy, current events, and Christian living. In addition, the church has ventured into online education with Living University, although it was never accredited and eventually closed in 2018, replaced by a new program called “Living Education”​​.

LCG’s stance on doctrinal issues and its practices have led to its classification by some as a cult. Critics accuse the church of incorporating elements of Jehovah’s Witness and Mormon doctrine, and promoting apocalyptic fear. The church’s emphasis on legalism, the binding nature of Mosaic Law on New Testament Christians, and its unique interpretation of biblical prophecies and doctrines like the Trinity and the immortality of the soul, also differentiate it significantly from mainstream Christianity​​.

LCG has a global presence, with members on six continents and in more than 350 local congregations. The church sees itself as continuing the work of the original Jerusalem Church, and highlights its mission as preparing its members for their roles as “firstfruits” in the Kingdom of God, focusing on a life of adherence to biblical commandments and the example set by Jesus​​.

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