“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.” Mt 5:11-12
As Christians we are used to having people talk distortedly about us . It shouldn’t disturb us, then, that various “cult-experts” have made us into an object of their investigation, especially since some of what they have written about our life and teaching can provoke people searching for the truth to think more deeply.
As some reproaches are in direct contradiction to the reality, we consider it appropriate to supply a counter-representation, which provides people who are interested with the possibility to get to know both sides. The structure of our apologia (definition: formal defence or justification) holds to that of the article by Mr Kluge in order to allow the reader an objective comparison. In our comment we will, however, place the main emphasis on doctrinal arguments and won’t go to the trouble of refuting each and every absurd reproach. The truth speaks for itself.
During the preparation of this comment (2000/2001) Mr Kluge has made some changes to his work. Thus some of what we have written refers more strongly to an earlier version of his work. Nevertheless we retained these passages, as many people are familiar with the older version which deals with some long-standing accusations. Later updates of Kluge’s work remain largely unaddressed.
Because the apologia sticks closely to the structure of Kluges article, some points are addressed several times, as in his work. It may be hard to understand some references without knowledge of the discussed work. But we hope that despite some uncertainties, even someone who doesn’t know Kluges article can gain clarity about the church of God, which has been written off as a sect.
Who are “we”? As mentioned repeatedly in Kluge’s article we are strictly against having any special name for the simple reason that we don’t want to be anything other than Christians (Acts 11:26), disciples of Jesus (Acts 6:7), saints (Romans 1:7), brothers (Acts 1:15), church of Christ (Romans 16:16), children of God (John 1:12)… That is what the Bible calls the people who follow Jesus. To follow Jesus… that’s what we want, nothing more, nothing less. This is our life and our goal. Every special title separates us from our Lord. We follow Jesus and no one else. The only thing that binds us together is the common desire to live as Christians. Our legal status is that of a circle of friends, not a club or an association, nor an official religious community or any other type of organisation. Nothing but the love for God and for the brothers binds us together.