The Apostle has spoke, AGAIN! You rebellious brawling cantankerous women had better SUBMIT!
A reader of Apostle Malm's blog had this to say about women's hair coverings in church:
A reader of Apostle Malm's blog had this to say about women's hair coverings in church:
A wife’s function is to be a HELP MATE for her husband. She is to ask her husband; to cut down on the discussion in church service and help maintain order; to keep her husband “in the loop” so that he knows what is going on and also learns the question and answer; and out of respect for him. He is the one she should be loving and putting first in her life and thoughts; to whom she should be looking. It is not right for her to go over his head without his consent to ask another.
This is called “Chain of Command” and it is the major cardinal sin in any organization to go over the head of one’s boss. That is a major sign of DISRESPECT.
Wives are not to provoke their husbands and are to faithfully fulfill their role regardless of what the husband does. They are to set a godly example even if the husband does not.
Paul tells us that a woman’s hair is given to her as a crown of glory and they she is not to pray or prophesy without covering her glorious crown of hair with a veil as an act of humility; so as not to outshine her husband, her head. before I go into this further I would like to make the point that Paul here clearly says that a woman may prophesy.
Were not Deborah judge in Israel? And Miriam a prophetess? Was not Anna a prophetess, Luk 2:36 ? There is plenty of room in the faith for our women to shine! Let them do so decently and in order; remembering that their first priority is their husbands and children until they be widowed and their children be grown. Then let them become guides and wisdom for the younger women; and through the younger married women [who will influence their own husbands] they will influence the whole Ekklesia.
Now women are to cover their crown of glorious hair whenever praying or prophesying [in public or private] out of respect for the authority over them. And if they refuse to do so, they should have their heads shaved and their glorious hair cut off [shorn]. Why? So that they do not wax proud and become vain, as so very many have become today. So that they do not outshine their husbands in their glory. So that they come before God in the beauty of true humility; and not in the emptyness of proud, vain, transitory physical beauty [vainglory]
You husbands who are domineering, how do you know: Whether in God’s Kingdom your wife will be greater than you?
We could recount many stories in the Bible that illustrate politics at work and its destructive consequences for individuals, nations and the entire world. Would we dare be so naive as to think it could not exist in the Church today?
How does it manifest itself? Just to give a few examples, we can see politics at work when people:
- Ambitiously strive for personal goals and put themselves and their interests first in trying to advance themselves.
- Use their power or position to obtain their own will over what is best for the whole body.
- Advance certain other people due to friendship, reward or payback for favors.
- Manipulate situations to get close to those in positions of authority, either to influence them or perhaps just for the prestige of being in some kind of “inner circle.”
- Shift blame when they’ve done something wrong in order to avoid accountability and responsibility and thus try to protect their place or position.
- Manipulate others, such as through controlling the flow of information or slanting of information.
Let me leave you with this thought. Where I live is in a part of the country where one of the nastiest and filthiest of insects—cockroaches—commonly invade and infest houses, and virtually everyone has a battle on his hands to keep them out. Worldly politics is one of the nastiest creeping sins that can infest the house of God as well. There are basically three things to do to prevent cockroaches: You don’t bring them in from the outside, you stop them from coming in by repairing the cracks in your house, and you keep your house clean so they don’t have anything to feed on. Brethren, preventing politics in our spiritual house is no different—let’s not bring it in, let’s not give it openings, and let’s not give it anything to feed on in our hearts and minds! July 7th Member Letter
There is a power struggle going on in COGWA between the split leaders who want power and those who had followed them believing that a new and better way was on offer. Clyde and friends must be deeply frustrated to resort to this level of dirty politics.
The genius of this missive is that it does not name anyone, rather it takes the more generic approach of attempting to link the concept of any type of dissent, as somehow being evil and in need of being eliminated. The use of innuendo, inference and double talk to make his faction appear righteous and any dissent appear evil, is the very classic dirty politics which he is railing against.
By making this link in people’s minds, people are united in support of his factions policies and any dissent is thought as an unthinkable evil. This is “Power Consolidation” at its worst, and is the very thing that they complained about in UCG. This is the very reason some left UCG and here it is; right back in their face.
The HWA WCG was a very political organization that was in a constant state of political intrigue which resulted in regular splits. The brethren were kept ignorant of most of this through the control of information. Even so several major splits in the 1970s could not be kept secret.
As the Tkach changes took place over a period of about five to sight years, most of the elders fully supported the changes [some did not]. Many of those who did not support the changes either resigned or were fired by those surrounding Joe T. Only when a large segment of brethren began to understand what was going on and began to leave, did a large group of Tkach supporters decide to leave and set up shop for themselves.
You can read the rest of Malm's missive here: COGWA Member LetterThese people cared little for doctrine and cared mainly for power, a paycheck and personally belonging to a caste system that elevated them above the brethren. Within this group of elders was division over how to proceed, but the main division was over which clique of friends could gain and maintain control.
The really big issue with them was that Joe would no longer be able to afford to pay them with so many leaving, and there would be many layoffs and pay cuts. They acted to leave Joe and lead the leaving brethren; for the primary purpose of saving their jobs and pay checks! Doctrine was never a real issue for most of these folks. The elders who had doctrinal questions had already left long before. They come close to admitting as much on the UCGAIA website when they said that they left for administrative reasons and made no mention of doctrine!
Today, neither UCG nor COGWA has any real interest in doctrine; the split was all about control and power as Denny admitted. It is about the success model that they want to follow and the control to follow their agenda. To them doctrine is a means of keeping the brethren happy and contributing and it is really only lip service with little practical application.
It finally became clear in 09 that the Franks Kilough group would lose control and be forced out. As soon as the balloting for the new CoE took place the new president Dennis Luker invited the losing group to an amicable separation. This was a mutually agreed divorce. This then took some months to effect as both groups vied to maintain control over as many brethren as possible.
The new group called COGWA was then set up with the split leaders in charge temporarily; followed by those who would naturally follow them, as well as many who were motivated by disgust over the treatment of the Latin American brethren and the rhetoric concerning the UCG Council’s unethical behaviour.
Council member Roy Holladay replied that the situation in Latin America was fluid, or, as he put it, "progressive."
"Over a period of time,"he said, "we had gotten a number of E-mails from various areas of Latin America but especially Chile, where there were members appealing how they were being treated [by church leaders], how they were being suspended, how they were being dealt with. And we were being asked to intervene."
"What we had discovered in Latin America," Mr. Holladay continued, "is that this is not necessarily totally as it's been painted: one happy family, everybody working together [under Mr. Walker's leadership]. There have been a lot of problems, a lot of difficulties."
He said that, contrary to rumor, about "a quarter of the members" in the region are "still--very much still--with United."
John Elliott of Phoenix, Ariz., speaking from the audience, changed the subject. Mr. Elliott wanted to talk about "servant leadership."
In the old WCG, the ministers were unquestionably the boss over the lay members. The members were subject to the directives of the ministry in many significant aspects of their lives.
Servant leadership, on the other hand, turned that concept upside down. Ministers--the very word minister in English and other languages comes from a root that means servant--were to be, in a much more real sense than in the old WCG, servants of the church, servants even of the lay members.
"I'd like to know where this is going to go, what your plans are, and the relevance of Christ-centered servant leadership to the ministry of the United Church of God," Mr. Elliott said. "Could you [the council] update us on that, please."
President Luker stated to Mr. Elliott that he likes the term "servant leadership."
"All it means is that we look to Christ, our leader, to set the example for us in love and humble service, and those are the kinds of leaders we should be. The emphasis is on servants of God's people."
(In other words, same old, same old. Don't expect many ministers to become servant leaders. They are more concerned about control. It's a power trip for many of them. They like the prestige, the notoriety that it brings and the fear that it brings to others.)
Mr. Dean said the church is "obviously taking a big hit financially." On the other hand, expenses are down because fewer people--the departing ministers--are on the payroll.
He said income is down for the first half of the year 12-15 percent from last year at the same time.
"For the year we're obviously down much more than that. In fact, I would say we're probably 35 percent.
"But then again it's the widow's mites that are blessed by God ... We just have to step out and realize that this is His work."
The events connected with the split and the terminations and resignations could cost the church "seven or eight million dollars," Mr. Dean said. "That's a lot, but then our expenses have dropped," although "we want to replace people."
Yes, Mr. Berg said, but there is also the matter of prophecy.
Prophecy, he said, "has been a big problem in the church ever since 1844 and onward."
That year marked the Great Disappointment of William Miller and his followers in New York state. The Rev. Miller had prophesied specific events that were supposed to lead to the end of the age. But things did not work out that way. Nothing Mr. Miller prophesied came to pass.
Similarly, the old WCG lost "thousands" of members in 1975 at the time of that church's great disappointment when predictions that centered on the year 1975 failed to materialize.
"We lost thousand and thousands of people," Mr. Berg said.
"Some of us have been trying to open up discussions in the last 15 years with our past administrations here [in the UCG], and we've just been rejected continually when trying to open these things up and to really reexamine things in a way that will not hurt the church."
The understanding about prophecy in the Churches of God, he said, "most of which has been generated from the 1930s era, has discredited the church, and it has disillusioned many of our people."
The United Church of God has a problem, and it's "systemic," Mr. Petty continued.
"We spent years bragging about what we do for Him. It's a core problem that I started to realize that not only I have. It's part of our culture, and if we don't change it [the phenomenon of church splits] will just happen over and over and over again and it will never stop."
The second problem Mr. Petty mentioned came to his attention in an E-mail. The E-mailer wondered "how can God do any work of reconciliation through a group of teachers who cannot even model reconciliation in their dealings with one another?"
The E-mailer's question "has haunted me," Mr. Petty said, because somehow "we failed at reconciling."
As a result, he began an in-depth study of the subject of reconciliation.
"I realize that not only do I not know what it is, I can honestly say in my life I've met only a handful of people who do: ministers, members, only a handful. Yet we are ambassadors for the ministry of reconciliation.
"I believe we've failed. I have failed."
Reconciling with God
In the midst of what he perceives as his and others' failure, Mr. Petty is "trying to be reconciled back to God in a way that I haven't been for a long time."
If Church of God members cannot bring themselves to reconcile with God, they will "plant the seeds for having another conference like this one."
Mr. Petty is "trying to reach out to the ministers who have left and be reconciled to them on a personal level, and I've spent many hours with them, because that's what's required of us."
He described a movie starring Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones that came out in 1989.
"When United started, remember the analogy of Field of Dreams, the movie?" he asked. "We talked about it all the time. Build it and they will come. Remember when we said that" about the 1995 start-up of the UCG?
"I liked the movie, and I liked the analogy."
In the movie the Kevin Costner character hears what Mr. Petty called a "supernatural voice" that told him to build a baseball stadium.
And he does. He builds the stadium, and at the end of the movie thousands of people visit it. The Costner character builds the facility, and, sure enough, "they" come.
Mr. Petty rewatched the movie a couple of years ago and concluded that he, and UCG elders in general, had misunderstood and misinterpreted the movie's message.
Attracting thousands of people to baseball games was "not what the movie's about at all." Rather, "the movie's about a man who had a broken relationship with his father, and he was tormented because his father died before they could be reconciled."
We took it wrong
The movie is not about attracting new members to a baseball stadium, or, by analogy, new members to a church.
"The movie's about reconciliation," Mr. Petty said. "If you go back and watch the movie, it--the supernatural voice--does not say build it and they will come. It says build it and he will come.
"The whole point of the movie is that the supernatural help doesn't build a facility. But that's how we took it. We thought if we built churches and we built camp programs and we preached the gospel and we ... did all this stuff, the people would come."
But "the analogy's about reconciliation. Build it and he will come."
At the end of the movie, the man's father, played by Dwier Brown, "comes back from the dead to reconcile. That was the purpose. We missed the meaning of the analogy then, and we're paying for it now. We didn't learn it, and we didn't do it."
Mr. Petty talked with a church member who, counting the current split, has experienced six of them since 1995.
"He's gone from church to church, and we just plant the seeds again," Mr. Petty said.
"So I simply ask all of you to join me as I plan on spending the next few months praying and fasting and asking God to help me understand the ministry of reconciliation."
Mr. Berendt spoke of two horses: a couple of large, solid-footed herbivorous mammals that humans employ as draft animals or beasts of burden or for riding.
In his equine analogy, Mr. Berendt, who mentioned that he's 80 years old and has served four and one-half years on the council, described a "strong" horse and a "humble" horse.
Ideally, he suggested, a humble horse is preferable. However, riding only a humble horse can lead Mr. Berendt and his fellow ministers to "beating ourselves up."
Of course, a minister, an elder, should humbly serve. But there is a time and a place to seat oneself solidly in the saddle of a strong horse.
Violence sometimes appropriate
Mr. Berendt's analogy expanded to include a shepherd, a spiritual shepherd as in Acts 20:28.
A shepherd much of the time rides a humble horse, but a shepherd must carry a big stick because a shepherd "protects the sheep."
The stick is not meant "to hit the sheep with. It's to hit wolves with. It's to protect the sheep."
Because of the existence of wolves, in this case of the human church-leading variety, shepherds must sometimes wield sticks while riding strong horses.
"We have a responsibility, as a council we have the responsibility, as ministers we have a responsibility, to take care of God's people, and sometimes that means getting violent."
Lesson on forgiveness
Remember, Mr. Berendt admonished, "God does not forgive until a person repents."
Accordingly, he seemed to be saying, it is not appropriate for elders and other church members to forgive someone who has not repented.
He concluded: "Let's try to be Christlike. Let's quit beating ourselves up. If you prayed and fasted and turned to God, then you are His child, His servant, His person. And, when you move forward, get on the bold horse sometimes too."