I don’t know what to call this, as “resignation letter” seems a little too dignified. After all, I’m not an elder, let alone a paid minister. I’m not even a deacon. I’m just a regular guy trying to make sense of it all. However, I treated it like a resignation letter. I kept it high level rather than rehashing all that is already known.
John D Carmack
December 30, 2010
United Church of God, an International Association
P.O. Box 541027
Cincinnati, OH 45254-1027
To Whom It May Concern:
Please accept this as official notice of my intent to leave United Church of God, an International Association. It has become evident over time that we have had many differences of opinion regarding how church leadership should conduct itself in various areas including the lack of following proper processes governing resolutions, communications and doctrinal oversight. I was disheartened by the tone and attitude portrayed in the papers on Sabbath observance and fasting, and I was even more disheartened that the latter continues to be available on your website to this day. This conflict has left me and other brothers and sisters feeling uncertain about the future direction of the church organization and its ability to properly feed the flock and preach the Gospel.
It is clear to me that I will not be able to continue due to our differences. Therefore, I feel that leaving UCGia is the best option for everyone concerned.
Please consider this effective immediately. You may remove me from the membership rolls at your earliest possible convenience, to include subscriptions to the Good News Magazine and Vertical Thought.
John D Carmack
[Member number deleted]
John, hopefully this means that you will never again become a "member" of any of the organizations.
A member of the body of Christ need not place membership labels upon themselves other than the fact that "WE" are members of the body of Christ.
We are not of UCG, COGAW, CGI, ICG, PCG, etc.
"WE" are members of the body of Christ!!!!!!!!
wow, didn't see that coming
@Kevin: I consider membership in an organization to be mostly symbolic anyhow. In practical terms, it supports a ministry, especially that of preaching the Gospel. However, not all in a given organization will be part of the Church, while the Church supersedes any of man's organizations.
@Anonymous: Yep! That's me! The master of surprises! ;->
You'll find that Kevin doesn't believe in a ministry nor any need of doing a work. He usually just pops his head up at times like these.
Hmmmmm, sounds like a topic for a blog post.
Wow. I called up this site asking to myself, "Who left the church today?" — and sure enough….
But the magazine subscriptions are free. Isn't the material helpful enough that they're still worth having around?
P.S. Will you take Dr. Thiel up on his offer to move to Living Church of God? Or do you know yet where you're going?
If Anonymous knew what he was talking about he wouldn't have to be anonymous.
He's correct that I don't believe in "a ministry" or "the ministry" or "a clergy class".
The concept is not biblical.
We are all to minister or to serve.
I certainly do believe in spiritual gifts, such as the gift of teaching. But said gift is not a position.
As far as my not believing in a need for "a work" that depends on ones definition of "a work" or "the work".
I believe 100% that we are to spread the gospel, but the idea that that requires a tv program or a magazine is one of those lies we were taught by HWA.
Imagine what we as a church could have done if everyone did his part in spreading the gospel rather than just cutting a check, expecting someone else to do the job.
HWA belittled the COG7th day for being a dead church, but their membership was always more than the W.CG's.
Oh that's right, they didn't spend millions of dollars on a paid group of men trained to keep people loyal to "headquarters". They didn't spend millions of dollars preaching about a "strong hand from someplace" bringing his kingdom to this world.
Come on folks are you too blind to see we were duped into supporting HWA's ego. It was never God's work. It was a miniature Roman Catholic church.
If you don't see this, you'll continue to get burned.
If you continue to believe the bible teaches a Roman Catholic style government, with a Roman Catholic style clergy class, and a Roman Catholic style church, just in miniature form, you'll continue to be a one of the sleeping virgins.
Wake up people!
Richard wrote: "Will you take Dr. Thiel up on his offer to move to Living Church of God?"
Actually, Richard, I might just go to PCG. 😛
OK, you can quit laughing and get off the floor now.
Curiosity has the best of me, and I want to see what the new organization will be like. Peopel I really respect will be attending there, so I'm sure to feel at home. However, I want to at some point at least attend one of the local CGI services to see what goes on there as well. For now, though, I'm inclined to attend with COG-WA (or however the initials are supposed to work).
@Kevin: Does having a "ministry" require "a Roman Catholic style clergy class"?
@John, yes John, the false "ministry class" comes from Roman Catholicism who got it from Babylon.
Try reading the book, Pagan Christianity.
The whole model stems from paganism.
Have you ever read HWA's 1939 article on "Did Christ Reorganize the Church"? If you have in the past, you might want to take another look at it.
PCG…hum well you can say one thing for PCG. Flurry knew what he wanted to do with the church and he built 'that' church. I won't get into the problems with it. But considering the train wreck of the rest of the spinoffs from WWCG got to give him an "A" for effort.
As for LCG, we will see what happens when Mereidith is gone. RCG, when Pack is gone, CGG, when Ritenbaugh is gone. Will the brethren in these groups be ready to preserve and endure? Aren't we all going to have to face that test? No matter what group we attend with.
@Anonymous: Well, I cannot ignore the problems with PCG. They are too large and numerous. The god they worship is not the God I worship.
This Anonymous is with Anonymous above (12-30 at 7:18 PM), IMO Flurry has done the best of all the offshoots as far as capturing the HWA / AC spirit – can someone say "Tradition!"?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand Pack literally believes he has HWA's spirit (who knows, maybe Flurry thinks that way too). I'm actually impressed with Flurry's organization although I don't believe he's as significant or important as he claims himself and PCG to be. But then again, who is, really?
It seems to me most of the breakoffs (larger ones especially) have giant pride or ego issues. I've struggled with the pride sin, too, and wondered for years why people on the "outside" thought I was so prideful. I found out where I was learning it – from a big emphasis on self and my own ideas, with some help from certain religious leaders. LCG is no exception re: pride. I don't see how Dr. Bob sleeps at night in light of Luke 18. My own glaring sins I can't see – being judgmental is one (which results from pride, so I'm still working through it – thank God for His patience).
I have always admired Richard Ames. I knew him at Ambassador, but haven't conversed in years, however. Got to know him real well on a Choral trip to San Jose area. Neat man, but can be a stickler (ouch!). While he has a streak of pride here and there, no doubt humility seems to have been a trait of his for years, although he can put you in your place quickly when he wants. He did in my homiletics class – I deserved it though.
Ah, to reminisce. Good times, and learned much about God and WCG theology, but I'm glad I'm out. Haven't regretted leaving. As I exited I prayed sincerely, honestly and carefully about where God would have me go. I fully expected tremendous correction and discipline – even prayed for it fervently as I exited. God floored me with grace, patience, love and mercy.
That more than anything in my life got to my heart. I re-committed to Him over and over and He just continued to bless in many different ways. Wish I had time for the stories. Jesus is just amazing.
I wish you all the best, especially you John, wherever you end up. Keep trusting Jesus. He is faithful.
Anonymous wrote: "Correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand Pack literally believes he has HWA's spirit (who knows, maybe Flurry thinks that way too)."
I've not heard Pack say that. Flurry, though, thinks he's "that prophet". When I found that out, I realized it was time to stop listening to him.
From what I've heard, both run their churches on fear and intimidation. That to me is a sign to stay away. God has not given us a spirit of fear.
I know people with relatives in Flurry's bunch, and it is a whole lot of heartache. Flurry is even paranoid enough to have sermon tapes destroyed after playing them in congregations. Widows of ministers are sometimes left to fend for themselves. Do I even have to go into the whole shunning thing?
That's just the verifiable stuff. Even at that, it fits the definition of a destructive cult all the way down to fear and intimidation and the risk of being cut off for not conforming.
Sorry to go on, but I've seen too many people hurt by PCG. It makes what is going on in UCG look like a preschool scuffle. Otherwise, thank you for your comments, and it really is about Christ in the end.
My wife and I also "resigned", sort of, in a much less formal way by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org politely asking to be removed from all subscriptions, member letters, HDO envelopes, etc.
@John S: I thought about doing that, but I didn't know if it would work or not. I later heard on FB that it does work though.
Speaking of envelopes, I've never understood why they send so many of the white ones when you send in tithes through online banking. I actually thought about using one to send the letter in, but then thought that didn't seem like a good idea.
"Flurry, though, thinks he's 'that prophet'. When I found that out, I realized it was time to stop listening to him."
Gerald Flurry started off by claiming to be holding on to all things HWA. However, over the years, Flurry has continued to make all sorts of gigantic doctrinal changes to what HWA had taught. Buying the copyrights to 19 of HWA's writings does not help when Flurry just uses this to edit and change HWA's writings. Those who have invested so much time and money in Flurry's PCG cult are now forced to go along with whatever doctrinal changes and weird new ideas he comes up with, or else get kicked out of the PCG and cut off from any "friends" and relatives in the PCG. PCG members who thought of themselves as such brave heroes for rejecting Joseph Tkach's doctrinal changes in the WCG are now literally trapped in Flurry's much stricter PCG cult, and no longer dare even to say so much as a word against any doctrinal changes, or errors, or evil, in the PCG.
"From what I've heard, both [PCG and RCOG] run their churches on fear and intimidation. That to me is a sign to stay away. God has not given us a spirit of fear.
That sums things up quite well. These cult members have had it literally shouted into their heads for years that the leader is God's representative and that God will be angry with anyone who does not totally submit to the crazed screamer. After attracting people by pretending to be the one, true, faithful splinter group, these deceptive and abusive cults behave so wickedly and repulsively–and all in God's name–that their victims often feel forced to reject God and turn to atheism. The cult victims, who once trusted and supported these leaders, and who sincerely wanted to do what was right, often still cannot grasp the frightening reality that these characters are Satan's representatives, and not God's. Cult members get totally betrayed and robbed by these fraudsters and get left in a daze wondering what went wrong, feeling rejected by the cult they had believed in and by God. Absolutely brutal!
The idea that Satan sent Joseph Tkach to trouble the WCG and its people is just the first small part of the story. Satan also sent alcoholic false prophets like Gerald Flurry–and a whole lot of others. The satanic attack on the CHURCH and the TRUTH was far more massive and cleverly orchestrated than most have realized.
When you sift something you use a mesh or grate, a tool to sift things through. On each side of the tool is something to firmly hold in place the tool. You could say PCG types on one side and (GCC -WWCG)Protestant types on the other side. Each having a grip. The 'tool' is the church. What's being sifted is those whom God is testing. Each of these two sides are trying to sift the church their way. Rocking people back and forth. Some are desperately trying to hold on to each side to avoid being shaken loose. Avoiding the testing. But the gleaner, God our Father will see that the process of sifting is completed. What will be left will be useable and honorable to Him. Those willing to be sifted will no longer at that point be tossed to and fro. Each day that passes brings us that much closer to the final product. Be strong and of good courage little grains, it won't be long now.
Flurry's baptismal policy is that a person cannot get baptized unless they "confess" that HWA was the end time Elijah. Now, I've looked in the Bible and confessing anything about any man just isn't scriptural. We were in PCG for 6 months–horrible experience. What a bunch of wack-a-doos.
And 20 million dollars for Armstrong Auditorium. Horrendous. God does not need a building. God is not impressed with man's never-ending building projects. And Armstrong Auditorium is nothing more than a monument to HWA–okay, in HWA's next moment of consciousness he's going to receive his reward, but he hasn't received it yet and therefore should not be worshiped as God or put up on a pedestal. That is Flurry's legacy to the brethren who are in his organization. When are people going to stop letting someone else do their thinking for them? Our potential is going to be kings and priests under Christ-not under Flurry, Holladay, Meredith, Pack, or any other person. Christ is our King and High Priest. He is our big Brother and the One we should be looking up to and admiring and adoring, not some insignificant human being who's drunk with his own feelings of importance. In God's Kingdom, you better believe there's not going to be any of this politicking and backbiting–which reminds me, look up roman holiday in the dictionary–see how it compares with what's going on in UCG. Interesting, isn't?
I would suggest that every one read the book, Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola.
Just to be clear, he's not saying that Christianity is pagan, but that many of the customs and traditions stem from paganism. The clergy, the sermon, baptism (as in the minister is the only one who can baptize), etc.
We in the COG have long understood of the mixing of Christmas and Easter into christianity, and we've understodd that God is a jealous God and doesn't want us worshiping him using those customs. But for whatever reasons we have aloud these other false pagan traditions to become a major part of our worship.
Traditions that have led to basically man worship. Placing men between us and God.
Many of us have been in denial of this for way too long. Many have thought that the problems in WCG in the 90's stemmed from doctrinal changes, but I submit to you that doctrinal changes was merely a symptom of a much bigger problem.
We placed a church organization, a man, and a ministerial class between us and God. That my friend is idolatry. How many times were we told that our job could become an idol? Or our hobbies could become an idol?
We neglected to see that a false understanding of "the work" could become an idol. Or the church and its "ministry" could become an idol.
Believe me or not that's up to you, but we have been worshiping a form of the image of the beast for way too long. It's time to:
Come out of her my people!
Read Pagan Christianity and re-read HWA's article "Did Christ Reorganize the Church".