UCG and Sabbath Keeping: Legal Precedents About Holy Days In Chile?

OK, I have a burning question.  It seems to me to be a logical question.  It certainly would be a question I would ask in the same situation.  We should obey God rather than men, but doesn’t it make sense to reconcile the two whenever possible?

The situation I’m referring to is the couple in Chile who run a daycare center, where we are told that they must be open the hours dictated by the school calendar.

I have worked in a few positions where challenging assumptions is part of the job.  It’s not an attack upon someone to validate that their assumptions are true, but it is necessary to validate that a given solution is required or even appropriate.  If your assumptions are wrong, then it becomes much more likely that your subsequent plans and actions will also be wrong.

So, here is my question: Are there no practicing Jews in Chile?  If so, don’t any of them run daycare centers?  If so, do they not keep the same holy days?  Is there no legal precedent for this?

OK, maybe you don’t know the answer, but maybe someone can tell me:

1. Why is this question inappropriate for a comment on Inside United: Realtime?  While UCG has every right to moderate comments as they desire, it would be nice to know the guidelines.  It would also be nice to have a point of contact to ask if there is one like this where you don’t understand why a comment is not being approved.

2. Why is there no direct method to contact the blog moderator?  I am not the only one who has complained about comments not appearing.  With no one to contact and no guidelines to go by, we can only assume that comment approval is arbitrary.  If that is the case, then the blog really only obscures transparency rather than promotes it.

3. Isn’t this exactly the type of situation where Church legal counsel is appropriate?  I mean, the Church has given people limited advice in the past on things like the draft.  There seems to be no hesitation in using legal counsel prior to presenting information to the membership, but when it comes to helping out someone with a legal situation, the silence about it is quite evident.

The UCG membership is made up of some very sincere, hard working and loving people, but I am forced to once again ask if UCG leadership has lost touch with its membership.  There is confusion, and it seems that some of the explanations that have come out during the past few months and the delivery of those explanations have sometimes created more confusion rather than reducing it.

According to UCG Current Crisis, even Leon Walker has the same question in “Mr. Walkers Reply to the Sabbath Letter”:

At any rate, the only evidence regarding the governmental regulations and decrees regarding this issue is from the [couple being discussed]. Should there not have been an independent investigation to determine whether or not the regulations have been correctly and fully provided? Furthermore, is it not possible that the government allows for exceptions based on religious belief? Has anyone attempted to determine whether or not day care and school calendars can be changed according to religious belief? I know an individual in another country in Latin America who operates a day care center and she provides a calendar at the beginning of the year that takes into account the Sabbath and Holy Days. Could that not have been done in Chile? It seems to me that Mr. Luker and Mr. Rhodes have not been diligent in seeking an independent confirmation of the facts regarding this very important issue.

Perhaps the tone of the above comment would be approved on the Inside United: Realtime blog?  Without any guidelines, I guess we’ll never know.  I do know that heavy moderation of comments on one blog will result in comments not under their control to appear in other places.  This is especially true when the explanations seem to cause more unanswered questions – even more for unanswered and unpublished questions.


  1. I believe your questions, "So, here is my question: Are there no practicing Jews in Chile? If so, don’t any of them run daycare centers? If so, do they not keep the same holy days? Is there no legal precedent for this?", can offer some practical help in such a situation the brethren in Chile are facing.

    As to why some things are censored, even those who moderate that blog are trying to work out their own salvation. They too as you also said, "The UCG membership is made up of some very sincere, hard working and loving people", are included. They too have to give an account.

    Certainly everyone should try and improve their communication skills and I'm hopeful everyone is doing that. It's just that it may take a life time to fully accomplish.

    So when others seem to be falling short of my expectations, I am reminded of the great patience God is having towards what He expects from me. So I try and do likewise.

  2. This is where UCG needs a real legal defense team, to back up the membership. The SDA's would have attorneys deployed to Chile over something like this.

    But then, I guess short staffing is a hindrance at all COG's in this era.

    Oh yes — and shouldn't Leon Walker know about the rules for such things in Chile, given all his years of experience overseeing Church of God matters in Latin America?

    P.S. Wikipedia says Chile has about 75,000 Jews.

  3. John D Carmack

    @Norbert: As I replied to someone yesterday via email: UCG needs "more Godly leadership from the top and more Godly patience amongst the membership. UCG needs our continued prayers – from everybody."

    Patience is only one key here. The other is that leaders need to lead.

    BTW, one leadership key is listening to input. Stifling communication does not add to that either.

    I actually do know that there some leadership experts that are part of the membership of UCG (not me, BTW). Perhaps one of them could be persuaded to give some seminars at a reduced fee.