Funny how things work sometimes. I fully intended this morning to write about Latin America and Leon Walker. Leon Walker’s insistence that he and his followers are still part of UCGia, even though he and the ministers under him were all fired, was baffling to me. I mean, I was laid off from YRCW some time back. I don’t claim somehow to still be part of YRCW. The lack of their name on any check I’ve received recently is a huge hint.
I should insert here that UCG recently put out a letter that there is only one UCGia organization in Latin America. It is speculation as to whether or not they pursued legal means to protect the name.
Walker’s attitude really was a puzzle, but now no more! Google Alerts came to my rescue by informing me that the Church of God – America, Anchored in Scripture has now been formed. On their home page, they state their purpose, which in part reads:
As we look to see what God intends for the future, we will go forward as the scripture reveals a church should function. Because it is impossible to set up a perfect church, we will function in the biblical model of a healthy church. By starting from the scriptural model, we acknowledge that unless the “LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it” (Psalm 127:1).
We encourage one another to follow the Ephesians 4 template for the pastor, members, and congregation. In Ephesians Paul lays out the characteristics of a healthy congregation. We will practice what Paul preaches and not rush into another system of organization that inadvertently puts human reasoning before scripture. We have begun discussions on how to work together without a physical corporation, but with a commitment to learn from Paul’s experience.
Actually, the truth of the matter is that I think he may be closer to the model we see in Scripture than anything else we see today in the COG world. In today’s world, we tend to view companies and charities as global behemoths or even financial empires. However, that would not have been the case in the 1st century. Back then, empires and global reach were attained through political means backed up by a strong military. The Church, however, was often scattered and cut off from one another. They were persecuted and so were often underground. They just didn’t have nice neat org charts, budgets and parliamentary rules.
And, really, isn’t that the crux of the problem? Politics?
At any rate, it will be interesting to see just what the “Ephesians 4 model” turns out to look like in practice.