Well, once again today’s post is being directed towards current events rather than what I planned.
Let’s see, there were 355 elders and wives in attendance at the last GCE. Let’s assume that only 2/3rds of the wives were able to travel. That means there are about 296 elders. Now, let’s assume that only 2/3rds of all elders were able to attend, due to distance, expense, etc. that means there are about 444 elders worldwide. I have good reason to believe that the actual number is much lower, but I suppose it’s as good of an estimate as any. I’m being *ahem* conservative in my estimate.
As of today, AC’s site shows about 126 signatories on the Open Letter to Dennis Luker. That means at least 28% of the elders have signed the letter. Again, if there aren’t 444 elders, then the ration would be much higher.
I have to wonder what a corporation would do if 30% of its management were to openly question the direction of the company.
Would they tell them to submit or else?
If it did, would it survive?
If the world knows how to deal with such things, why does the Church (yes, capital; it isn’t just UCG that has these types of problems) seem to have such an issue with it?
Insanity is trying the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result.
The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.
~ Lk 16:8 (NIV)
Dennis Luker asks:
- Would Jesus Christ have said the things that have been said—even perhaps by some of you? Bring back your loyalty to the governing structure that Christ has built in United since 1995. Give positive, supportive, healing sermons and faithfully “shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers” (1 Peter 5:2).
As is typical these days, it is a vaguely worded question. I can say that Jesus called hypocrites what they are, ran money changers out of the Temple and was not well-liked by many because He confronted them with their sins.
- Are you taking the authority of Jesus Christ to yourselves? Step back from stoking the fires of our Church’s crisis and truly believe that Jesus Christ is “head over all things to the church” (Ephesians 1:22). Think about what that means.
I cannot speak for the ministers who signed the petition, but one thing I can tell you is that I will follow men only as they follow Christ.
Mr Luker, if you are a man of God, then why is it that men who have been faithful pastors up in arms? Why do other men meanwhile go around without any recriminations whatsoever with statements that seem to water down the Sabbath? Why is it that I can look at the “doves” page and not see vicious attitudes towards anyone questioning the actions of the current leadership?
Most of all, why are constant calls to meet about the situation rebuffed for superficial reasons? How is wanting to resolve problems “taking the authority of Jesus Christ to yourselves?”
Furthermore, are you following the example of Christ Himself? Did Jesus start a following for His own benefit? Did He point to Himself as the ultimate and supreme authority? NO! Jesus continually pointed to the Father. He did not have the attitude of “do what I say just because I say so”. Read John 5:
I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.
~ vv 30-31
Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.
~ v 33
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
~ v 39
If Jesus truly is in charge of the Church, and of course He is, then we have an obligation to follow Him, wherever that may lead. If that contradicts the head of a company, the head of a city or the head of a country, then we are to disobey men and obey God.
29Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. (Acts 5:29, King James Version)
Who are Peter and the apostles addressing here? Who? The head of state? The mayor? Pontius Pilate?
27And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,
28Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. (Acts 5:27-28, King James Version)
That’s right! The religious authorities!
It isn’t a right or a privilege to oppose unrighteousness. It is an obligation.
- Is a minister’s job to be a politician or a spiritual healer? As elders in the faith you are to “be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).
Sir, what about truth? What about doctrinal integrity? What about treating members with love instead of allowing them to be disfellowshipped for hitting “Like” on a Facebook post? How about the appearance of impropriety when you not only send someone with a conflict of interest into an area to take control of a situation, but leave him there even after a conflict of interest is pointed out?
Is this the type of humility that you seemingly want to force down everyone’s throats?
- As president of the United Church of God and an elder with you in the faith, I would have you “to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men” (Titus 3:1-2).
I have to ask if respect is required or earned. Is an iron fist the way of God? If so, when, how and to whom is it applied?
One thing I keep hearing over and over again is how the old guard is causing such division. Great lengths have been travelled to give the impression that it is all about a selfish power grab. Dennis Luker, I seriously want to know if you can look in the mirror and state that when letters came out early on (e.g., the “Fasting paper”) that blamed the previous administration and their supporters for all of the perceived problems in the church. Can you seriously state that when “papers” that seem to be prepared to water down doctrine, even including the Tkachian wording that we are not changing doctrine.
You know, speaking of Tkach, he wanted everyone to submit to his governance as well. Ultimately, it drove a wedge between sides and split the church apart. Have you learned from your past?
To be quite frank, if the church was a company, it would have disintegrated by now. It is obvious that worldly leaders know more about leadership than UCG does. Why do you think this is? Could it be because worldly leaders understand something about loyalty and service that you are missing? Could it be that “submit or else” usually ends with “or else”?
You are supposed to be leaders: Scott Ashley, Bob Berendt, Aaron Dean, William Eddington, Roy Holladay, Victor Kubik, Darris McNeely, Melvin Rhodes, Mario Seiglie, Robin Webber and Dennis Luker. If you have one ounce of integrity left in you, you will be honest and admit to yourselves that you are responsible for ending this crisis. You, as leaders, hold the responsibility for the health and well-being of the entire church organization. The question that remains to be answered is whether or not you really are worthy of that honor or if you are going to continue to flush the trust given you down the toilet.
Thank you for your insightful comments. Very thought-provoking.
One thought that occurred to me whilst reading:
-QUOTED FROM MR. LUKER'S LETTER-
As president of the United Church of God and an elder with you in the faith, I would have you “to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men” (Titus 3:1-2).
However, after having listened to the Q&A the COE conducted at ABC exhaustively, I can't help but recall that they made extraordinarily clear, to the point of eye-rolling redundancy, that the PRESIDENT is the third-tier of governance in UCG, and that…
-QUOTED FROM ABC Q&A – MR SCOTT ASHLEY SPEAKING-
The President isn’t the one in charge, he answers to the Council. The Council is the active, highest authority within the church, there.
So, while it is ALWAYS edifying to quote the Bible, one would think, in the context of their recent comments, Mr. Luker would in fact direct Verse 2 toward his audience, and Verse 1 toward himself.
Yes, and on the heals of this letter 3 more letters from the elders have been posted.
The end is near I fear, I fear; for each side had told the other to…..nope, won't go there!!! (I've got to stop reading Seuss!)
"But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him…. That there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care one for another." — I Corinthians 12:18, 25
(Posted to Realtime, as well as here.)
What is the "Doves" page? I've heard of this but still don't know what it is.
That is the Facebook "United Church of God-Resolving Issues" page, which features a dove as it's profile pic.