Beware of Fred R. Coulter!
I want to warn people about Fred Coulter. In many ways he is so much more dangerous than Gerald Flurry or Roderick Meredith. He "lovingly" calls his little group "the no hassle, recycle, last resort, Church of God." He sounds very sincere, humble, and honest, but he continues with abuse, and telling people "the door works both ways."
In the beginning Coulter taught about the false ministers in WCG. He said they never applied themselves to learn the Greek. He said he studied under Dr. Charles Dorothy for years and he was the only student that stuck with the course. The others dropped out. He said if they don't know the Greek, they cannot know the Bible. And he seemed to know it so well. He warned us over and over about false ministers. He also said the ministers should listen to their congregation, and that was the problem with the ministers. They would not take any criticism from any members and would lash out at anyone who would dare criticize them. Now Coulter is one of them, and he does it in a very mean-spirited way.
Fred Coulter teaches false doctrine, especially about tithing. We finally left his group a year ago after being in it for four years.
We were originally members of Worldwide Church of God for 25 years. We left when WCG started changing doctrine, and went with United Church of God-AIA for two years. However, we saw that they were not all that we thought they should be, so we left that and went with Fred Coulter's group, Christian Biblical Church of God.1 He seemed (at that time) to be teaching truth, but we left over a year ago (after being in there for four years) because of the false doctrine he was teaching, especially about tithing.
When Coulter sent his yearly taped sermon on tithing, "Your Financial Responsibility," we noticed that he was putting a guilt trip on people, and he was coming on stronger. A friend of ours told us that he didn't tithe because it was not scriptural. Since we had been taught for years it was scriptural, it came as a shock to us. So we decided to do a study on our own about the subject. We had never at that point read anything about tithing, other than what the ministers told us. We were surprised to say the least! Tithing is not required in the N.T. The tithing practice indeed does not even exist today. If a person wants to give, then call it what it is: Giving. Not tithing.
There is one very simple fact that no one has covered as far as we know that proved to us that tithing is not required now. The Scribes and Pharisees (religious teachers) were constantly after the apostle Paul about something. They even brought false charges against him. But they never once accused him of taking tithes that belonged to them. It is not likely that they would let Paul get by with teaching if tithes should go to the Apostles.
When we started questioning the tithing doctrine, along with some other things, Fred Coulter, of course, lashed back, put us down in his sermon tapes (not by name, but we knew who he meant), and he made more tapes, with stronger messages about tithing--all the time with fear and intimidation. He said he never knew it to fail. "Something will happen to people who stop tithing!"2
After we left Coulter, we sent for tapes from Ray Wooten and Dave Havir.3 And we found more of the same old Worldwide Church of God doctrines there. One sermon tape that we received from Ray Wooten was entitled "Hypocrisy In The Church." The subject was tithing. He quoted the same old worn out scriptures that were used for years.
Fred Coulter has written many things, including The Christian Passover and The Harmony of The Gospels,4 and they are filled with errors when you diligently check them out by the Scriptures. For us our experience with him truly was "the last resort" (of men).
It's very hard to break away from all that. But we have done it!
Since we have left those organizations, and discovered their false teaching, we now devote our time to studying the Scriptures to find if there are any more things that we believed are false. There are plenty of them!
These ministers sit in the temple (congregation) of God, claiming to be godly men, yet they are ravening wolves, devouring God's people. For many years they kept our noses to the old covenant grindstone. I hope many people will wake up soon.
What people need to do is check up on what these men are teaching. Is it true based on the Word of God? If not, then reject that teacher immediately. We sat by too long in Worldwide Church of God and listened to false doctrine. We were taught lies. The breakaway groups [are still teaching lies; that's all they know. They are Ambassador College taught. You can take the minister out of Worldwide, but you can't take Worldwide out of the minister.
By Emmett and Sonya (Former members of WCG, UCG and CBCG)
COMMENTS FROM ESN: Fred Coulter uses many tricks of deception and scripture twisting in order to bring others under spiritual bondage and into his exclusive organization. Unless one knows how to properly evaluate what someone is teaching in relation to the Bible, and to discern the methods of mind control and exploitation being used, they will end up deceived and financially exploited.
In Fred Coulter's booklet, Beliefs and Doctrines of the New Testament Church, "The Scriptural
Principle of Tithing" we find him engaging in double-talk. He claims that tithing is a "scriptural principal" but "each Christian is individually responsible to determine his or her true increase." He says, "Christians whose incomes are so limited that their entire net income is required to meet basic living expenses have no true increase in God’s eyes on which to tithe. The giving of money is not required for salvation," and then turns around and says, "However, if God has financially blessed a Christian, he or she should willingly give as led by the Holy Spirit" (this same Holy Spirit which he teaches is only a force) and that God has "promised to bless those who tithe and give offerings" to "support the work of Jesus Christ through His church" (which Coulter makes plain is none other than Christian Biblical Church of God), or they are "robbing God." [all emphasis ours]
Christian Biblical Church is only one of hundreds of splinter groups from Worldwide Church of God which claim to be the "true Church of God." Most of them revere Herbert W. Armstrong to this day, believing that he was used by God and/or restored the true gospel (known as "God's truth"). To learn if HWA was who he said he was see our section Questioning Herbert W. Armstrong.
We also recommend you listen to: Understanding the Tithe (In this excellent study, Aaron Budjen explains why the tithe has no application in the Church today. The first message covers using religious extortion in order to coerce people to tithe. Covers the history of tithing; Malachi 3 and Hebrews 7 are also addressed.) [offsite link]
~Comments by ESN updated December 30, 2013
Other related letters/testimonies on our site:
Footnotes by ESN:
1 Today Fred Coulter's group is called Christian Biblical Church of God (founded in 1982), which a split of Biblical Church of God (founded by Coulter in 1979).
2 It is a common cult tactic to say that "something will happen to those who don't tithe." [See: How Mystical Manipulation is Used in Herbert Armstrong Groups] and read about the lie: "The reason you aren't prospering financially is because you are robbing God of your tithes and offerings!"]
3 Dave Havir (former disfellowshipped WCG minister) founded United Church of God Big Sandy in 1995. Their group is now known as Church of God, Big Sandy.
4 Harmony of the Gospels by Frederick R. Coulter, copyright 1974, York Publishing Company, was, for many years, read by WCG members. Many who purchased the book never knew the author (Fred Coulter) was actually a former WCG member with his own splinter group.