Question: "Is the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) a good, biblical church?"
Answer: The Church of God in Christ (COGIC) is an historically African-American Holiness-Pentecostal church. The church has congregations in nearly 60 countries around the world. With a membership of over 5 million in 2007, it is the largest African-American and largest Pentecostal church in the United States. The Church of God in Christ (COGIC) was formed in 1897 by a group of Baptists, most notably Charles Price Jones (1865–1949) and Charles Harrison Mason (1866–1961), who broke fellowship with the Baptists over the doctrine of Holiness. Mason became associated with a group of men who would become the early African-American leaders of the Holiness movement in the late 19th century.
An examination of the statement of faith from COGIC’s official homepage reveals that the group holds to many of the traditional doctrines of Christianity such as the inspiration and infallibility of Scripture, the triune nature of God, repentance and faith in Christ for the remission of sins, the rapture of the church, and regeneration of the Spirit necessary for salvation. However, other doctrines held by COGIC are at odds with traditional, biblical Christianity: healing of the body in answer to believing prayer; the baptism of the Holy Spirit in response to prayer separate from salvation; and the ability to live a holy and separated life in the present world. Each of these beliefs is contrary to the revealed Word of God, as explained in the articles on the Got Questions site linked above.
There is no doubt the COGIC churches and headquarters are involved in many wonderful ministries, to the African-American community in particular, including global outreach, prison ministry, urban outreach and health/wellness. But, as with all groups in the Holiness movement, they adhere to Latter Rain teachings which depart from Scripture. We do not question the faith of COGIC members, nor do we doubt the sincerity of their love for Jesus Christ. Due to some important doctrinal differences, though, we cannot recommend COGIC churches as good, biblical churches.
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