Once again, the ugliness of the doctrine of church governance has reared its head in COG-land. When will people ever learn? Every time these ******* contests happen, I cannot help but think of a specific Bible verse in Judges:
8 The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us.
9 But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?
10 And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, and reign over us.
11 But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees?
12 Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, and reign over us.
13 And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?
14 Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, and reign over us.
15 And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.
In reality, this little story is a sermon unto itself. Perhaps, I should just let well enough alone and end this article here, but I suppose if it really were sufficient, then there would be no need for further commentary. In the end, this little story brings up so many more questions than answers to me:
- Why were the trees so desperate to appoint a leader?
- It appears that the ones worthy already knew their God given role, so why weren’t all the trees content, do what they were supposed to do and let it all be?
- If some trees were already appointed by God and knew it, then why not wait for God to appoint a king if one were truly needed?
- God already appointed a judge here and there to redeem Israel when that was needed, so why was it they could not keep the peace when one wasn’t appointed?
- Much like Israel in the time of the judges, could it be that God appoints kings when kings are needed, single rulers like Moses when an exodus is to occur, judges over judges like Joshua to complete a mission to conquer some difficulty, kings like David when it is time to conquer the land and vanquish Israel’s enemies and kings like Solomon when it is time for peace and prosperity? God raised up judges as He saw fit, after all, so maybe there was no king because it was not the right time to appoint one.
- How much shade does a bramble/buckthorn provide?
- How easy does a bramble catch fire in relation to a tree?
- Could there be a reason that only the most worthless want the power?
- Again, why were they desperately looking for a king? Wasn’t God supposed to be their King?
- Considering that last question, why look for a human head of a Church when Christ is supposed to be the Head?
- I have often compared this time period for the Church to the time that Israel was ruled by judges. You have a head here, a head there, some are just, and some are corrupt. Some are evil rulers, some are righteous rulers, some are crazy and grab the mantel, while others have leadership thrust upon them. In the end, though, isn’t everyone doing what is right in their own eyes?
One closing thought, though, as I just cannot let go of this one. David Hulme claims:
It may be like the father in your household taking a decision that everybody doesn’t agree with. He has to do it anyway–and some people won’t like it. That doesn’t make him an autocrat.
- Is it just coincidence that the copy and paste split “taking” so that the third line started with “king”?
- In all actuality, yes, the father is an autocrat when he does what he wants in spite of what everyone else wants, regardless of whether or not he wants it for the right reasons.
Mr Hulme, please invest in a dictionary, or at least learn how to use the free online ones.
au·to·crat [aw-tuh-krat] Show IPA
1. an absolute ruler, especially a monarch who holds and exercises the powers of government as by inherent right, not subject to restrictions.
2. a person invested with or claiming to exercise absolute authority.
3. a person who behaves in an authoritarian manner; a domineering person.
~ autocrat, Dictionary.com
A person who can overrule everyone else is an autocrat. A person with absolute power is an autocrat.
Let’s at least be intellectually honest in our statements, OK?
Also, it should be noted for the record that Church of God, an International Community uses “cogaic” in its website URL, so I view it as incorrect to call it COG-IC, COGIC or any other variation that ignores that, and will call it COGaIC for as long as it continues to exist, should it do so.