UCG apparently has no members in Haiti, but they do have family of members there. Obviously, news has been slow in coming.
It turns out that UCG contacted LCG about its members. From what I gathered, there are about 30 members that are alive, but it sounds like there is damage to their homes. The details are a little sketchy, I’m afraid. Regardless of the details, we need to continue to pray for them and their families.
Of course, UCG did not have to ask, and LCG did not have to respond. This shows a spirit of cooperation I would think God would be in favor of.
Yet, it seems that often instead fear settles in. Fear that groups might merge. Fear of a particular minister that someone believed mistreated them in the past. Fear of influence. The list goes on.
Some COG groups rule by fear. PCG teaches that you can lose your eternal salvation by not shunning family members that are in other COG groups. You know something? I’m glad that my JW friends left me some literature. PCG is definitely the COG version of the Jehovahs Witnesses. They also teach you lose eternal salvation unless you are connected with their physical organization on earth.
What is “Philadelphian”? What is “Laodicean”?
Some want to continue to teach the self-contradicting notion of church eras. I would propose instead the idea of Zeitgeist, the German word for “spirit of the times”. There are general attitudes that prevail in times. These are not distinct eras, which have marked beginnings and marked endings, but times in which attitudes ebb and flow and one becomes predominant for a time.
When I look at the Church at Laodicea in Revelation, I see a materialistic attitude. I see an attitude of “I can do it – alone”. “Laodicea” means the “people judge” or “judgment of the people”. Indeed, we live in a time in which the Western world is filled with judgmentalism and materialism. They wallow in self.
When I look at the Church of Philadelphia, though, I see one that holds fast. Holds fast to what? Doctrine is important, obviously, but consider the name. “Philadelphia” means “brotherly love”. What was Christ’s criticism of the Church at Ephesus (Rev 2:4)?
All physical things eventually crumble, though. Manmade economies collapse. When a recession hits a materialistic, self-centered economy, what is the result? Fear! What is the opposite of fear? Love (Ro 8:15)!
Which attitude are we going to have when dealing with each other?
If you do believe in church eras, though, then you should already know that the temperature described by Jesus has everything to do with love.
12And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. (Matthew 24:12, King James Version)
And, just what is iniquity but a systemic lack of outgoing concern for our fellow human beings?
You dont really explain your comment "self contradicting notion of church eras". Why would it be a contradiction to see a prophecy of the COG thru the ages in a book of prophecy? History bears out the problems/successes of each era. Yes, each era contains the message "to the churches" but no doubt the main message is to the particular church age cited- the zeitgeist of the era. I believe in church eras and easily see the Philly Era under HWA was indeed the open door of gospel preaching. It is painfully obvious that the open door is now basically shut in this final Lao Era, to all COG groups. Despite what LCG says, it hasnt really grown in 15 years. UCG the same and other groups are stagnant. The primary problem (in the words of JC) is "because you say you are rich, but are not,etc.". Rich spiritually is what all COGs think they are- and most condemn one another in a spirit of competition. But JC says ALL the greater COGs are deluding themselves and yes I include my fellowship of LCG. Many times the delusion involves self righteousness and other times it involves apathy, contentment. No wonder this is a time of division and pointing of fingers and its worse in the leadership. The love of many has waxed cold but I believe a good chunk of Matt 24 has not yet been fulfilled (including preaching to the world as a witness). Its going to get worse and persecution awaits for those who will not compromise with the truth. But I do believe in a final church leader (Elijah to come) who will be necessary to bring God;s faithful together (from any and all corporate fellowships/groups) and prepare a people for JC coming in the same way John the Baptist prepared for his first coming. Without that final leadership the COG will wax worse and worse.
@Porky: I didn't try to recreate any previous articles about the Seven Churches of Revelation. As far as "self-contradictory" goes, it's a simple matter of many who want to have their cake and eat it too. If they truly are "eras", then either we are in the era of Philadelphia or we are in the era of Laodicea. It is blatantly contradictory to say "We are Philadelphians" and yet call others "Laodicean" and still cling to the notion of church eras. If all of the other churches are Laodicean, then, by definition of "era", you are too!
It seems more beneficial to realize certain attitudes have existed down through the ages. However, it is naive to believe they were equally balanced attitudes as well. During times of severe persecution, one type of attitude probably dominated while another attitude would probably dominate during the good times. However, all of the attitudes would also have probably existed somewhere in some group at all times.
Otherwise, why would Jesus continually say, "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches (plural)"?
Having said that, I don't view this as a salvation issue. Neither do I read that unless you do/don't believe in church eras, then you are doomed to tribulation.
"ALL the greater COGs are deluding themselves"? Certainly! To one degree or another, and often in different ways. Otherwise, this blog would have remained a private one off on some shared space that required a login. Essentially, there would be no need for half of the blogs out there if even one COG organization possessed 100% understanding, 100% love and 100% of the character of Jesus Christ.
I think there is good reason to believe that there is yet an Elijah figure to unite the churches in some way. I'll admit that part of me hopes so. If HWA was truly the end-time Elijah that was supposed to reunite the Church before Christ returned … well, you know the result thus far. Doesn't seem like what God would have intended if that were the case.
Some have expressed the opinion that the last Elijah is actually one of the Two Witnesses (evidenced by burning up their enemies). I dunno about that, though, as it seems like the last Elijah is a full-time job to me.
Thanks for the feedback. I agree that there cannot be a Philadelphian remnant" as LCG and others think if we are in the Lao Era. Thus I must conclude that we are all in the Lao Era and the message is for all of us. By saying "we are Philly" but "they" are Lao is the height of the problem of Lao- self righteousness! Is believeing in church eras necessary for salvation? Dont think so, but it has helped me tremendously to figure out where we are and what the real problem is so as to root it out in myself. Agree also that Elijah must be one man- John the Baptist was one man who fulfilled that Malachi scripture for the first coming. Elijah (the man) must come to the pathetic COG in end time before the tribulation hits to make them ready, then the 2 witnesses have their work during the tribulation versus the Beast, etc. Each has a different role. The good news is the faithful COGer will be made ready, but by the skin of their teeth.