Well, a lot has been going on with me the past couple of weeks. I’ve been blogging and writing like crazy, and I still have been doing a lot of other things. I’m a little tired, so I’m going to tie up some loose ends and call it a week.
It seems that Dr Paul Kieffer in “The silent gospel” also asks “Can you really preach the gospel by not preaching the gospel?” I’m glad someone in UCG agrees with me, even though I have no illusions that he knows my position or posted it for my benefit.
UCG also sent out a letter to its members reminding them that local congregations have a responsibility for “providing a loving atmosphere for” those that respond to the Gospel. “We all have a hand in the process,” they wrote [emphasis theirs]. I would agree, but I’m not sure how that squares with what Dr Kieffer wrote. Making new people feel welcome is a necessary ingredient to our own calling nonetheless, and maybe some of my future blog posts will build on that idea.
UCG has also announced that “the Council has asked the ministry to become more united and work together for our common purpose.” I pray that they do. They have asked elders to set aside time this month for fasting. “This is Satan’s world, and he is our enemy,” a sentiment to which I agree. Collectively and individually, Satan will do what he can to divide people. It is not other people or even other peoples’ opinions that are the enemy for we war “not against flesh and blood”.
I still believe it would be a good thing, health permitting, for the lay membership of UCG to set aside time for fasting as well. “Unity” should be amongst all the brethren and not the council only!
On the media front, UCG has also announced that Beyond Today program will begin to be shown on “commercial television” in April. I assume that means stations like WGN or something, but at minimum it means that by the end of the year, it will be showing to a much larger audience. I suppose that will quiet the clamor about whether TV is more effective than the Internet somewhat, but I still see television in general as a dying medium. Windows 7 even has IPTV built into it, and I hope to find some time to explore that a little more in the very near future.
Speaking of media, Legacy Institute has sent out an update that they will stop sending entire videos through email and instead send links to videos on a web server. I’m all for that! Now, if I can just get some of my email friends to do the same!
Well, I discovered some more sites:
Church of God in Wales – Looks like another HWA memorial at first, but appears some original material is on the site as well.
brianlee – Has a list of UCG blogs, some of which I’ve never heard of. Beyond that, I’m not sure what his actual beliefs may be, although he seems to be politically conservative.
Faithful Church of God in Laodicea – a split of a split, which I believe was a split. It’s getting to where you need genealogy software to keep track of ‘em all!
I found a site with a bunch of video clips of HWA, GTA and JWT at Am I My Brother’s Keeper?
There is a site called wapedia, and it is part of the newer .mobi domain name scheme. Not really a COG site, but it has some articles on various WCG splits, including this one about UCG.
Speaking of sites, Ambassador Watch has posted its last, it seems. At any rate, there are already predictions of a successor of some sort by various parties it seems. We’ll see, I guess. I questioned long ago if it still had a purpose after all these years. I (really) want to be able to write down that it helped to keep some people accountable for their actions, but given the current situation in the COGs, I’m not so sure even that is true. After all, once you declare yourself a prophet, an Elijah or an Apostle, then who are you going to give an accounting to?
As well as tooting his own horn that he “expected” AW would fold (with the usual lack of links and references), Robert Thiel is also patting himself on the back about his book predictions coming true. Of course, it obviously has to be low hanging fruit to be coming true just a few months after the book came out, so I just glanced at the post.
When I view his book on Amazon.com, I get the ad “Psychologists and Therapists in Cleveland”. When I click on “What’s this?”, I get, “These ads feature third-party offers that complement the products [emphasis mine] you’re shopping for on Amazon.com.”
I wonder if he “expected” that one! ;->
I have just stumbled across your blog and find that you have some fine things to say. I gather you are a UCG member and I am a LCG member and it seems you are not afraid to question the errors that emerge from your leadership from time to time (as I do in LCG). I hear LCG is having a church fast in early March and part of the reason is to hope for "church unity" since "Satan" has impacted others (outside of LCG of course!). Personally, I dont mostly blame Satan. The bible says resist Satan and he will flee from you. The problem first and foremost is with the individuals not conforming to God and allowing Satan to influence them. No doubt LCG would love to get some UCG members with the divisional problems UCG is having and interesting UCG is asking some to fast. Is there more to it than meets the eye? There are many ministers/members in LCG that would jump off a cliff rather than merge with UCG. A question for you- do you see alot of right wing political philosophy/talk in UCG leadership? LCG is waxing worse and worse in this area to the point that it resembles an evangelical group, picking certain sins to condemn but giving a pass on many others. Herbert Armstrong never took political sides, he simply denounced ALL politics, etc. and rightly so. Would appreciate your thoughts. Thanks.
@Porky: Welcome to the blog! I don't advertise which particular COG I belong to, as it is my intent to keep the blog somewhat "denominationally" neutral (for lack of a better term). However, it isn't difficult to figure out, either. 🙂
This is the first I've heard of an LCG fast. I find that interesting, and the timing especially interesting.
You wrote: "Is there more to it than meets the eye?"
In either case, I hope and pray that there is not. While it is normal for religious organizations to desire to grow, it is certainly not a good thing to grow for growth's sake. WCG done did that, after all, and what was the result?
You wrote: "There are many ministers/members in LCG that would jump off a cliff rather than merge with UCG."
Is that because UCG is considered "Laodicean"? Is there really that big of a difference between the groups?
I find it pretty odd. I know some LCG members that regularly fellowship with UCG, although admittedly it is mostly because of a lack of LCG members in particular areas.
You wrote: "The problem first and foremost is with the individuals not conforming to God and allowing Satan to influence them."
I completely agree. Both Satan and God often use people to do their will, but One asks for willing obedience while the other just wants obedience.
You wrote: "A question for you- do you see alot of right wing political philosophy/talk in UCG leadership? LCG is waxing worse and worse in this area to the point that it resembles an evangelical group, picking certain sins to condemn but giving a pass on many others."
Usually not. I've noticed that many try to steer clear of politics to a large degree. However, some of the comments from UCG members in some areas seem to indicate there are some ministers that do. I think some of them need to get on the same sheet of music as their Home Office! I'd refer them to the GN Commentary: March 9, 2009 – "Liberal, Conservative, OR…"
"I still believe it would be a good thing, health permitting, for the lay membership of UCG to set aside time for fasting as well. “Unity” should be amongst all the brethren and not the council only!”
I think you must have read right over a sentence in the letter.
In my copy of the letter the relevant paragraph says:-
As we move forward, the Council has asked the ministry to become more united and work together for our common purpose. We have asked that every elder set aside time this month to fast to draw closer to God in a spirit of dedication, unity and seeking His guidance and will. We make the same request of every member of the Church.
I think the sentence ‘We make the same request of every member of the Church’ sort of covers what you are suggesting, that every member has been requested to fast.
Have you done a Robert Thiel on this – your predictions coming true! (Joke).
@Questeruk: Oh, wow! How'd I miss that sentence? Thanks for the correction!
Sorry, no predictions today. 🙂