The WMSCOG says that ALL God's commands must be obeyed in order to gain salvation.
- "Even though this regulation [the veil] seems minor, it cannot be neglected. None of God's commands were instituted meaninglessly. All of the regulations were given to God's people because they are necessary for our salvation and allow us to enter the kingdom of God." (from Fundamental Truths: Veil)
- "There are numerous people in the world who claim to believe in God. However, only those who fully obey God's word can be said to truly believe in God. We often see many people say they believe in God but deny Him by their actions." (from A Hesitating Faith and an Entrusting Faith)
- "Christians must always live according to the word of God. God told us not to add or take away from the words of the Bible because He put all the means for salvation together in the Bible.... Salvation is based on obedience." (from According to Your Word)
Yet the experiences of myself and my friends show that in practice, they do NOT follow ALL God's commands. I'm not talking about the ones they say changed with the New Testament, but regular commands for our way of living. For example, here are a few that we've seen...
- They accept, and even encourage, members pursuing marriage with unbelieving non-members. However, the Bible says, "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers..." (2 Cor. 6:14).
- They accept a member's divorcing an unbelieving spouse, even though the unbeliever does not wish to divorce. However, the Bible says, "...if any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her...." (1 Cor. 7:12-13)
- They (at least in the congregations we know) do not preach to certain kinds of people, such as the elderly in nursing homes, the very poor, the mentally handicapped, and those in prison. However, the Bible says we have a God who is "not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Pet. 3:9).
But the moral law doesn't seem to matter--life choices (like marriage and divorce), behaviors and attitudes (like disdain for certain classes of people).
That's opposite of the mainstream Christian churches who consider the moral law priority, and the ceremonial law unimportant. No wonder we have such a hard time talking to each other about obedience! We have radically different ideas of what to obey! Why is that?
In reading Ahn Sahng-Hong's book, The Mystery of God and the Spring of the Water of Life, I finally realized why. Here it is, are you ready?....
Ahn Sahng-Hong said that keeping the moral law is not necessary for salvation! That means he believed you must keep the ceremonial law (such as the Sabbath and the Passover) to be saved. BUT if you did not keep the moral law (laws against such things as stealing, lying, adultery), even though you'd get in trouble with society, you would still have your salvation. Those types of sins don't really matter in regards to salvation. Here's exactly what he said on pages 431-433 (chapter 32),
"As long as we do not break the new covenant, we are set apart from sin. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? Not at all. Although a sin is not taken into account under the new covenant, it may be counted under the law in human society. In order not to be condemned or punished by society, we ought to observe the old law or the law of the world. Moreover, we ought to do what the people of the world regard as good, for the sake of the gospel....
"Moral law is not directly related to salvation. However, if there were no moral law, the church would be in disorder and the light of the gospel would be hindered from shining in the world. It is not by keeping the moral law that those who preach the gospel in this world can become God's children and be saved. Even though they keep all the law, it cannot lead them to the kingdom of heaven but just helps them keep their present status while they live in this world."Does the World Mission Society Church of God really mean what they preach--that ALL God's commands must be obeyed for salvation? No. In this case, they seem to agree in practice with their founder Ahn Sahng-Hong who taught that obedience to the moral law was not required. In doctrine, though, they disagree with Ahn Sahng-Hong when they teach that all God's word must be fully obeyed.