Game of “Which Witch is Which?”
There once was a party of conservatives. Every so often, liberals would come around and pretend they were conservatives too. Eventually, they would cause trouble, and the liberals would be shown the door.
One day, however, there was a very good actor who was a liberal. He rose in power until he could start putting his liberal buddies in place. Eventually, they had all the power in the party, and they began making changes that made the conservatives very uncomfortable. In fact, some became so uncomfortable, they left and started their own party.
In time, the liberals had the majority, and they began putting the conservatives out. Finally, a large number were put out. So, the liberals won. However, they were very conservative. You could tell by their conservative liberal organization.
Now, these last conservatives to be put out were liberal conservatives. They created their own party which was setup in a liberal manner, even though they were conservative. However, what they did not realize was that there were still some conservatives in their midst who wanted to return to the way things used to be. One group of conservatives tried to take over, but they were eventually pushed out by the liberals.
Things seemed to be OK for a while in this liberally conservative party. However, being liberal, things changed a lot, which agitated the conservative conservatives. In spite of this, the conservative conservatives had the power, and so things limped along for a while.
Then, one day some of the liberals gained power. They began to make some changes, of which the conservatives kept pushing back. So, for a period of time, nothing moved forward or backward, which of course pleased the conservatives.
Since nothing was getting done, though, members of the party wanted change. So, some conservatives were kicked out and more liberals came into power. This was totally unacceptable to the conservatives, and so they went on a campaign to discredit and remove the liberals. They even accused the liberals of being liberal liberals, which didn’t make any sense since they were liberal conservatives.
Why the conservative conservatives joined a liberal conservative party in the first place is a matter of great discussion. Unfortunately, the conflict exists until this day.
I hope you took notes.
Liberal, Liberal or Liberal?
Perhaps now you can see why I spent a good deal of time on liberal vs conservative. These are labels that don’t tell you anything without context. Yet, they are used in slanderous ways, in political ways, to discredit an opponent.
One very conservative group is the Philadelphia Church of God (PCG). They were one of the first to come out of the liberalized Worldwide Church of God (WCG). PCG is conservative, at least in theory, in its theology by trying to maintain, again in theory, what Herbert W Armstrong (HWA) taught when he was alive. WCG is liberal because it changed that theology, abandoning the very unique doctrines it was founded upon. Organizationally, though, both are conservative because they both retain the top-down one-man hierarchy that existed during HWA’s time.
However, it might be appropriate to label UCG’s form of organization as “liberal” because it breaks with tradition and is run by a council rather than one man. That does not mean, however, that its theology is liberal.
Yet, labels of “liberal” have been pejoratively towards UCG for many years. The implication is that because its governance is liberal, then so is its theology.
It doesn’t help, either, that many insist upon confusing the two. In fact, far too many make a doctrine out of forms of government.
When speaking of forms of government, perhaps it is more appropriate to speak of the old guard verses the new guard. Otherwise, the muddle just continues on.
Old Still Amongst the New
David Hulme paid much lip service to governance, but it was his idea that the council really was their to rubber stamp his ideas. As president, it was apparent he believed he was in charge. He definitely believed in old guard government, but he play acted at being new guard. Eventually, of course, the council prevailed and removed him.
In spite of that, however, it has become evident over time that the struggle was not over. In fact, it has become much, much worse. Yet, why would the old guard remain in an organization they really don’t believe in? Why not simply start your own organization and run it as you see fit? Why not join one of the hundreds of others that already believe in one-man control?
To do otherwise is to be hypocritical. To say you stand for one thing yet work against that very thing for a very long time is insane, evil or both.
“This is the worst I have ever seen it,” one man told me recently. He recalled the 1970s. He recalled GTA being ousted. He recalled the receivership. Yet, this is the worst he has ever seen it.
Accusations of bloc voting, by both sides, abound. Interestingly enough, one accusation of bloc voting basically boils down to, “Because they could not have been elected otherwise.” That doesn’t even count as cirumstantial evidence, you know.
How far will some take it? Apparently, quite far. Fake identities, claiming to be members while not, posting venom, etc. Just doesn’t seem very Christian, does it?