[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,
5And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. (1 Samuel 8:4-5, King James Version)
They wanted someone between them and God. They wanted a king to exert external control over them. This was not something new, either.
19And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. (Exodus 20:19, King James Version)
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.
4And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. (1 Peter 5:1-4, King James Version)
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.
Any possibility you could do the honorable thing and at least listen to the sermon before spreading vicious gossip? I am at WFW and the information you are stating was in the sermon was not.
I would love a pointer to the sermon.
John, actually the word "dissident" is simply one who disagrees with the established authority.
So whether he said it or not–it would be true and that is why these men are being driven out of UCG—they cannot follow or agree to go in the same direction with the same frame of mind as the existing authorities of the organization;ie the Council, president and present admin.
However it seems to me that they fail to see how they are the dissinters when it comes to actually following Christ and the apostolic church examples. (I personally don't want to hear the sermon. I am sick enough of this already.)
I hope the new organization has a better plan and comes up with a more Biblically based system.
"Submit, You Rebellious Dissident!"
Well, I suppose it is all a matter of, uhm, (will you forgive me?) perspective! It is not necessarily authority that is wrong, but the wrong use of it that is wrong.
TOMORROW'S RIGHT RULE:
"They came to life and REIGNED with Christ a thousand years" (Rev. 20:4, NIV).
"To him who OVERCOMES and DOES MY WILL to the end, I will give AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS–'He will RULE them with an IRON scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery'–just as I have received AUTHORITY from my Father" (Rev. 2:26-27, NIV).
Jesus, and the saints who rise in the first resurrection, will RULE over the whole earth. They will use FORCE when necessary, but it will be used PROPERLY, to support what is right and good, and to oppose what is wrong and evil.
TODAY'S WRONG RULE:
The problem today is that too often too many COG leaders do the exact opposite. They use any authority that they claim (often falsely) to have IMproperly. They misuse it and abuse it. An extreme example of this is the PCG cult, where some leaders in the PCG try to pair up people they don't like with sex maniacs two or three times their age, and pretend to be trying to help them, and kick them out if they do not go along with it! Each local PCG leader does what is right in his own eyes–and what is shocking and evil in the eyes of any decent person. People actually get counseled to divorce and remarry wrongfully. GRF himself ended up teaching his followers to break up friendships and families, to abandon their own children, to dishonor their own parents, and to worship him! After pretending to have inherited HWA's authority, GRF now uses it to edit and change HWA's own writings and teachings!
It is not necessarily authority that is wrong, but rather this sort of horribly wrong misuse and abuse of authority that is wrong. Also, there is the matter of the PCG claiming for itself authority that God clearly never gave it in the first place.
All the evil in the WCG and its various splinter groups over the years might have terribly distressed some people. That is understandable. However, just read in the Bible where it says, "And there was WAR in HEAVEN" (Revelation 12:7, NIV). If that is what it can be like in heaven, how much more so on earth, especially when "the devil has gone down to you!" and "he knows that his time is short" (verse 12).
"Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring–those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus" (Rev. 12:17). Perhaps that is why even some posters at this Blog, unwittingly serving as the enemy's agents, try to mock and criticize the idea of keeping God's commandments.
Regarding: Submit, You Rebellious Dissident!
I suppose you realize that your days in the UCG are probably numbered. Possibly countable on one or two hands. Might not even have to take off your socks to add up the days left.
If you have read enough history, you will understand that whether someone is a rebel or a freedom fighter, a villain or a hero, a good guy or a bad guy, all depends on how you view things.
As A. Hitler supposedly pointed out, whoever wins the war gets to write the history books.
Here's a link to Mr Lukers sermon.
I'm with anony jon on this one. Even if he used the word dissident, that's an accurate term for being against the authority in the organization.
I don't see how a post like this from a member of UCG is healthy for the organization. When I made my move out of WCG it was Dr. Albert's comment in a sermon that helped me. Lead, follow or get out of the way.
From an outsider's perspective I don't think leading in UCG would be your best move and I don't think this kind of post contains the values needed in healthy leadership.
I don't think you're much of a follower of the current leadership either. So, what does that leave us with?
I do wish you the best, whatever decision you make in the future. Sometimes focusing on the wrong so much blinds one to any right. As in a marriage, sometimes there becomes so much hurt and pain, no matter what the partner does the motives are always questioned. Separation at that time can be healthy.
Hello, Anony Jon: Out of curiosity, I looked up "dissident" on Google prior to posting this. Wikipedia says, "A dissident, broadly defined, is a person who actively challenges an established doctrine, policy, or institution."
There is so much in that definition. "Established" should stick out like a sore thumb amongst some other words. "Doctrine" is an interesting on, seeing as most people weren't paying any attention until that Sabbath paper came out.
Anonymous wrote: "As A. Hitler supposedly pointed out, whoever wins the war gets to write the history books."
Not sure it was Hitler, but I've heard that quote before. Who wins in the end, though? I think that is the One Who matters most, and He will write the history books.
Anonymous wrote: "I don't see how a post like this from a member of UCG is healthy for the organization."
Maybe you are assuming it is healthy anyhow? Consider it a challenge to know the reasons you stay or go. Consider it a challenge to know what a Church of God should be and examine what comes closest to that.
Didn't Ronald Reagan say one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter?
I feel a need to help my brothers and sisters in the UCG, those who are asking the question, “What do I do?
A sincere, prayerful reading of Ezekiel 34, paying particular attention to verses 11 – 16, would be my suggestion to you.
After reviewing and analyzing carefully the cogs religious organizations of the wwcg era of which I was a congregant for many years, and being informed of all the mess that is happening nowadays, I came to the conclusion that they all are dissidents in our Messiah's sight. Its like the pot cursing the kettle and the kettle curing the pot. So I wondered, which side can label the other with that character description.
Kevin wrote: "A sincere, prayerful reading of Ezekiel 34, paying particular attention to verses 11 – 16, would be my suggestion to you."
An excellent suggestion! Thank you.
We have all been taught certain things about the Beast of Revelation and the image of that Beast, but have we really understood? Have we mistakenly thought that the Beast or its image was an end time thing and not something occuring in our life?
The Beast represents the civil governments of man, all coming to a head in one world government in the end time. We are now under the Beast, whether US government, or Canadian government, or Japanese government, etc. Yet we know the full Revelation Beast will be a major world ruling civil government.
Do we think the image of the beast is any different? The image of the beast are the many church governments, which mirror civil governments.
These church governments exists in most all religious roganizations.
The Catholic church, the Methodist church, the Baptist church, the Worldwide church, and all their daughters.
The Catholic church has daughters and yes, the WCG has daughters, and all these daughters have incorporated a form of the image of the beast in their government.
We are told to come out of here. To not worship the Beast and its image, but if we don’t recognize that Beast and image today, how will we know in the future what not to worship?
We have worshipped at the feet of church government of men for way too long.
It’s time the virgins wake up, quit worshipping at the feet of the image, and come out of her “my people”!
OK, if Dennis Luker said, "dissidents", I didn't hear it on the audio. I updated the article to reflect this.
That link (www.realpageslive.com/guide/OH/Cleveland/Residence.) does not work. I went back and listened… and I think this may be edited… http://cincinnati-east.ucg.org/sermon/beware-satans-devices-destroy-us
Listen to 27:10-20. There is a change in the audio. My wife and I were there live, and we recall Mr. Luker saying that no men are being forced to resign. Yet I cannot find it now. You might ask a few others who were there.
Looks like something happened to the link when I posted it. I'll remove the comment. The link you posted, http://cincinnati-east.ucg.org/sermon/beware-satans-devices-destroy-us is the correct one.
It may well be edited. Sermons go through a review process, and sometimes they are edited when something misleading or incorrect is stated.
@Anonymous: I listened to both versions again at that point, and I think what you hear as a change in audio at that point is simply Luker correcting himself, "Peter-people". If it is edited, I don't think it's at that point.