Recent discussions make me think that it might be worthwhile to dust off some old studies on the Book of Judges. I’ll have to give it some thought.
Meanwhile, it us worthwhile to consider what freedom in Christ means. When you compare how God governs in comparison to the world’s methods (that is, the governments of Satan’s world), there is a definite difference.
More to come, I’m sure.
Yes, you are right John. There SHOULD BE a vast difference in the way the world governs and the way the COG governs. in this you and I are in agreement, however, you seem to be more supportive of the governance put in place by UCG–which is patterned closer to the worlds system that to God's Biblical system.
@the editor: Well, have you counted how many dictatorships there are in the world? How does that compare to the number of real democracies?
BTW, the above doesn't necessarily mean democracies are "Godly", either.
"Freedom in Christ" is something I would expect to hear coming from the administration of UCG these days. Dennis Luker has himself said that he has been accused of being a Protestant. UCG is reaping what it has sown.
@Anonymous: Just because a phrase has been abused does not negate it.
"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." ~ Gal 5:1
Of course, "the yoke of bondage" is defined in the very next verse by Paul, the context of which is ignored and distorted by many.
However, Paul goes on to describe what that freedom looks like (Gal 5:22-23).
The real question is whether or not we are going to heed his admonition "For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" (vv 13-14).
We need to think a little harder about what that means. Is there any area it should not be applied? If not, why do some seem to teach or behave otherwise?
John said; "Well, have you counted how many dictatorships there are in the world? How does that compare to the number of real democracies?"
No and I really have no interests to do so specifically, because dictators and democrasies are both going to be gone when Satan and his systems are banished. I am far more interested in how well I can bring myself to seek first the Kingdom of God and then have the faith that God will take care of the rest.
I think in applying that Scripture the way Christ intended would go a long ways at solving a lot of problems in the COG.
Are we not in training to learn how to judge the "smallest matters" even in the COG today?
If there is no set governance standard then you will be judging quite different than someone else–be on two different pages when it comes time for you to judged as to how you will govern in the kingdom.
Don't you think that is something worth giving some thought too? It would have been nice if those on the council in UCG had done so–maybe there would not have been another faction and now a new organization that just might not do that much better.
the editor wrote: "I think in applying that Scripture the way Christ intended would go a long ways at solving a lot of problems in the COG."
I agree. The Pharisees looked at the outside. Jesus pointed them to the inside.
The Pharisees were never criticized for a form of governance. Rather, Jesus criticized them for not governing themselves, making themselves out to be hypocrites.
If we were to learn to govern ourselves under the principles laid out in the Bible, there would be almost zero conflicts (and the ones that did occur would be pure misunderstandings and easily resolved.
Jesus made the challenge, "He who is without sin…." None of them were sinless, and whatever He wrote on the ground bore that out. They were accusing another person rather than examining themselves. They could not govern themselves, which disqualified them from governing others. Jesus, however, submitted Himself entirely to the Father, and therefore He was sinless and qualified to rule over all.
"If there is no set governance standard…"
Ah! But there is! Learn to govern yourself! Keep God's Law and utilize the Holy Spirit to ensure you keep it in Spirit and in truth! Once you learn to do that, then you can rule in the Kingdom.
The Pharisees looked on the outside, the "form" in everything. They did not look inwardly to see where the problems lie. When it comes to "government", I fear the COGs tend to do the same thing.