The End of the World As We Knew It
The Worldwide Church of God separated people into two very different groups: the “brethren” and “the world”.
To be of the world, to think worldly thoughts, to be worldly, to act in a worldly way, to have worldly friends, to dress in a worldly manner. These things were all the kiss of death. We were exhorted, constantly, to set ourselves apart from the world.
The world was the dominion of Lucifer and his demons, over which he had full control. Anyone not in the church, anyone in the world, was automatically a tool of the devil.
Especially if they belonged to a denominational church. Triple-especially if they belonged to the Roman Catholic Church. Nine-tenths of the time the worldly could be, and were, assumed to be demon-possessed. We had to pull ourselves completely out of the world, interacting with it only enough that we might bring in revenue to the church’s coffers.
We were set apart, we were special, we were among the numbers of the hundred-and-forty-four thousand who would survive the end of the world, which was always some unspecified date just around the corner, in the next decade or two.
Weinland’s group not only believes this, and acts even more insular and xenophobic than we did, they also believe that their world will begin to end, in April, 2008.