I cannot even read this all the way through, as it absolutely makes my blood boil. I have never seen such a shameful example of a minister to excuse, justify and explain away bad behavior!
He could have summed it up more concisely thusly: “The COE is right, they will always be right, and anyone who disagrees with them is wrong and needs to repent.”
Dear members of the GCE,
In Numbers 12, God openly demonstrated the process of reconciliation for His people. He then repeats it over and over throughout Scripture. Will we listen to Him, or demand that He follow our ill-devised processes?
God recorded a bona-fide issue with someone in top leadership.
Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman (Numbers 12:1).
We might all take issue with what Moses did. But notice that in being justified with righteous indignation, they transitioned into rejecting the authority in the Church.
So they said, “Has the LORD indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us also?” (Verse 2).
Some have created a similar situation in UCG today by saying, “Since we have painted Church authorities as imperfect, careless, cowboy-ish, doctrine-changing, bloc voting, illegals, we certainly don’t have to submit to them! Let them come reconcile with us.”
Is calling an “Acts 15-style” conference (which rendered a judgment about circumcision) what God intends for reconciliation? Or, is our “ministry of reconciliation” based on something else? Let’s see…
So Aaron said to Moses, “Oh, my lord! Please do not lay this sin on us, in which we have done foolishly and in which we have sinned” (Verse 11).
Reconciliation in Scripture always begins with an individual recognizing that he or she is in a position of error. Biblical reconciliation is always initiated by the separated individual. Biblical reconciliation is always prompted by that offending individual repenting and seeking forgiveness and restoration. No instance of reconciliation in Scripture involves compromising with the rejection of authority, or with rebellion to it. Rather, God simply removes such people (Genesis 2:23, Numbers 16:32-33, Matthew 7:23, Titus 3:10, 2 Thessalonians 3:6, Rev 21:8).
You and I are invited to reconcile with / “be healed” with God. We have been like sheep “going astray” and the process for our reconciliation is laid out in Scripture.
…who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed (reconciled). For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls (1Peter 2:24-25).
We are to be a “ministry of reconciliation.” But, let’s also note that the context describes the process.
we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:20).
Offenders are called on to repent and seek forgiveness and be reconciled.
Here is yet another example:
Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).
The solution is simple: do what Aaron did, do what new converts are to do, do what Christ and His bride will teach in the Millennium — See the sin, apologize, repent, and thereby be reconciled. The process begins and ends with each individual humbly seeking reconciliation with the Authority above:
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded (James 4:8).
That is the only way for reconciliation, restoration, and healing division (James 4:1).
Ministers of UCG bound themselves to submit to the governing documents and the authorities instituted by them (Ministerial Code of Ethics). A requirement in being one who will dwell in with God is he “swears to his own hurt and does not change” (Psalm 15:3-4). Our troubles spring up when we do not submit to the authorities and the processes which we agreed to follow.
We ministers have always taught submission to God, His Word, His Church, its governing documents, its leaders, its policies, and its directives. Some have made it easier to follow than others, but submission has always been an integral part of the test.
Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good (1 Peter 2:13-14).
Mr. Armstrong said, “Your salvation boils down to one thing — Will you submit to authority?” Trashing authority so one doesn’t have to submit to it is as old as the Book (Genesis 3:5). Do you think God changed His mind about that lately? Or is that a trait of something quite different (Jude 1:8)?
Should you or I decide to rebel against authority, a big conference won’t bring reconciliation. Rather, that comes when we individually repent, apologize and seek to be re-attached. Such can be avoided in the first place by just learning to say, “Yes, sir” to those over us.
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God (Romans 13:1).Technorati Tags: cog,church of god,ucg,ucgia,united church of god,john elliot,church splits,division,repentance,reconciliation
God is upholding the authority of our current Church leaders and we should follow Paul’s instruction “that you also submit to such, and to everyone who works and labors with us” (1 Corinthians 16:16). Each individual who chooses to do so is reconciled with the Body that is working and growing together (Ephesians 4:16).
Wishing everyone personal repentance and reconciliation with the governing authorities,