[Updated 28 December 2010]
One recent commenter wrote: “The LCG needs people it can control.” Well, apparently, so does UCG these days. I’ve heard that Dennis Luker gave the sermon during the United WFW, but it appears to not be true that he called those leaving and/or criticizing UCG as dissidents.
I’d like to get that video to see if that is true, but Unfortunately, given his past sermons on rebellion and messages about dissenting sites, it is was readily believable he would make disparaging comments about those who disagreed with him. Apparently, Dennis Luker called everyone who is leaving and/or criticizing United these days “dissidents”. He did make one general comment about some comments not being Christian, but not only was it vague but it is true that some have said some things (like calling certain people “evil”) that are questionable.
To be fair, when I listened to an audio of his sermon, it was obvious that there were accoustical issues at the WFW, which is not out of the ordinary. Under the circumstances described to me, it would have been easy for someone to have misunderstood portions of the sermon (there still is one where I still don’t know what was said).
Hogwash! Doesn’t he get tired of driving the wedge of division further down? Doesn’t he get tired of causing dissension and creating concerns within the church? How much more of the beating of fellowservants must continue?
In reality, it was the comment on control that made me want to post this article. The misquoting of Dennis Luker was only a reminder to me of wanting to post it. Yet, still, I apologize for the error.
That blog commenter missed one thing. There are many xCGs that find a need to control people. So much so, in fact, that “government” becomes the top doctrine in their little world.
In the Book of Judges, people did what was right in their own eyes. What was God trying to show them? What was God’s message to them?
10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
12Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:10-12, King James Version)
However, what did the people do? What conclusion did they come to?
4Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah,
They wanted someone between them and God. They wanted a king to exert external control over them. This was not something new, either.
Even people today are placed into God’s Church, and it seems they want a man to stand between them and God, to tell them what to do, to tell them right from wrong, instead of working out their own salvation with fear and trembling.
Jesus, however, told His disciples not to lord it over others, but to be a servant of all.
1The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
2Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
3Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.
What could be clearer?
Are you looking for a shepherd or a taskmaster?
I fear that just as Israel ignored Samuel’s warnings about how a king would treat them, many in the Church will ignore the warnings about men who crave power and want to control them.