Recently, I finished reading a rather sad letter from the father of a son studying in Chile on the UCG Current Crisis website. It is titled “A Servant’s Plea for Chile – A UCG Elders Personal Visit”.
It is particularly interesting because of one of the ideas the author writes on:
In Japanese management, there is a foundational term and management practice called “Genchi Genbutsu”. It means go and see. If you are in a position of leadership and there is a problem of a magnitude that is reported which disrupts the unity of the organization in production, management or interpersonal relationships, the management team, and particularly the leader must “Genchi Genbutsu”, go and see, “getcha your boots on”. Not send a proxy, not rely solely on a report, not accept the words of one’s own manager, but go and see—not for the purpose of passing immediate judgment during the visit, but to ascertain the truth from the “Gemba” (the workforce), the on-site management, the workers, and others who have expressed concern or are involved with the situation. At the end of a Genchi Genbutsu visit, an observation report is rendered.
Grant it, my trip in October, was not all encompassing; it was taken for the love of my son and to see for myself evidence of his plea. However, in the wisdom of a Genchi Genbutsu visit, I render the following observation, comments, and plea…
Are you aware of the men and the history of the men that are being placed in leadership positions or provided funds or a source of income by UCG designated leadership in South America as a result of or as an answer to this crisis? Mr. Langarica’s phone rings several times a day from brethren throughout South America who are seeking guidance in this mass of spiritual confusion. Do you know what is truly taking place there? You are held accountable by God! The truth/stories that are known and reported in the United States are only the very tip of the iceberg. Do not rely solely on a report from those representing you. If you faithfully have the spiritual truth and welfare of the brethren at heart, Genchi Genbutsu…go and see and investigate for yourselves.
In contrast to what might be going on in Chile, Braden Veller gave a sermon on “Visits to Latin America" on the UCG St Petersburg, Florida sermon page. His visits to Columbia and Mexico seem to tell quite a different story. It is a story of how some brethren were neglected, even waiting six years for baptismal counseling. Previously, I reported on one area where when the pastor was gone, there were no services because there was no spiritual growth of people in the congregation. Veller adds some details to the story, where it was once a vibrant church that has dwindled down to the size of being held in a garage.
Veller talks about redeeming a very neglected area. He talks about assisting to succeed. He talks about sending apology messages to those who have been hurt.
Question: Is the present council capable of apologizing? To the brethren in LA who have been hurt? How about to those in the US who have been hurt and confused?
Does anyone want to prove me wrong about something? I believe the number of times that “apology” appears in Inside United: Realtime in an active sense is twice: the letter dated 15 October 2010 and the PS in the one dated 18 July 2010. Every other time, it is either in the sense of a past action or in one of the comments.
How do those two apologies stack up? Well, the second one is an inconsequential apology for not answering all the email and letters received. The first one is about the Sabbath paper. Apparently, that one wasn’t worth very much either, though, seeing as Arctic Circle Guy published his first (?) noted blog article after the paper was withdrawn and the apology offered!
Well, if they were to start apologizing, it would take a while. There’s quite a bit of arrogance to apologize for, after all.
In any event, I hope we can see that not everyone who is supportive of the council is incapable of reaching out and doing good. I have always felt, and still do believe, that the problem is at the very top.
By the same token, not everyone who is against the council is automatically working from worthy motives, either. However, considering the way some of them are being treated because they openly voice concerns, it is often hard to tell if they have truly been wounded or if they have other agendas.
Frankly, I don’t think it is time to pray for healing. I don’t think it is time to pray for unity. I don’t even believe it is the correct time to pray for the health and well-being of the leadership of the church.
No, I think it is time to pray for church-wide repentance. None of the rest will matter very much without that.