I pretty much expected the pro “one man rule” types of posts. I have previously posted articles about the “Myth of the OT Hierarchical Government Mandate” and “What Should Church Government Look Like?”, so I am not going to re-write those.
However, there have been some interesting surprises along the way:
1. According to the resolution that perhaps started this firestorm, “Interestingly, leaders in the Seventh Day Adventist church, speaking from over a century of experience, warned three of our Council members in 1996 that while our governing documents were well constructed, our system held a singular inherent weakness and threat: it would be easy for our governance to turn political.” Well, let me remind you of another “interesting” item in that not long ago as part of the government series I posted the article on “SDA Organization”. In particular, I asked what could we learn from our theological cousins.
2. Not so much a surprise, I suppose, as much as it is an interesting argument that some that are pro “one man rule” are saying that this is an “example” of why that form of government is superior. Actually, the “one man rule” is just less messy, but I can cite a few examples of why it doesn’t work as well. The breakup and subsequent disintegration of Global and GTA’s breakaway from CGI are illustrations that politics happens even when one man is in charge. In fact, the succession of Joseph Tkach illustrates the very real danger of politics under the one man rule.
3. One of the most surprising is one of the COG critics asking about UCG being “[G]od’s government”. Um, say what? Does anyone, anyone, have a link where UCG makes this claim?
There is one more surprise, though, and it is not a pleasant one. I’ve actually been trying to think of a way to bring it up, but I suppose there is no good way to do so. That is the matter of civility.
You know, turn the other cheek … dwell on these (positive) things … not behaving rudely.
There have been some pretty unkind things written, particularly on Facebook. You can let the emotion get the best of you or you can control your heart with your head.
Not just that, however. Even before this started, there have apparently been some pretty rude comments directed at others in disagreement. It really isn’t clear to me what possible good is supposed to come from hurling insults at a perceived enemy. It isn’t clear to me how one is spreading grace by such conduct. It isn’t even clear to me in many cases how it can be stacked up against the teachings of Jesus. If nothing else this incident has shown me that some really are willing to utter things that a Christian should not be saying.
It’s difficult for me to write this. I’m guilty of anger myself at times. However, truer words have not been spoken:
It does not matter who you are talking to. It does not matter whose blog you are on. It does not matter what social networking site you are on. You are to “Love your enemies”. Not only that, but “do good to them which hate you.”
Get it? Got it? Good!