Tuesday, August 21, 2012

UCG Says, We In The Church of God Are Our Own Greatest Enemy


UCG recently made an observation on the divisions and schism that continue to plague Armstrongism.  Too bad that UCG does not seem to want to fix the problem and how it continues to contribute to it..  How many splits and divisions does UCG need to go through before they realize they are weak and impotent?

Could it be possible that the shattering of the power of the holy people is caused from within? Are the divisions we’ve seen in the last decades fragmenting the Body of Christ? Each fragment is weaker than the whole. Could it be that following in the footsteps of so many before us, we are our own greatest enemies?

There was a great American statesman who once proclaimed that the United States was safe from foreign invasion, and if defeat was to be her destiny, it would have to come from with her own borders.

That seems to be what we are witnessing as the divisions result in more and more fragments of the Church. Each group seems to be working at odds with the others. Each little fragment that leaves become less able to preach the gospel strongly, and power certainly is lost. Is that part of the shattering/scattering that is foreseen? But God did promise Daniel that some would be purified and that the wise would understand (Daniel 12:10).

In the last 25 years, I have observed the Church change to the point that the former association no longer exists and the fragments left over that still strive to preserve the truth have a combined attendance of no more than 40,000 people. In almost every case, the splits, divisions and troubles came from within. Many ministers and members alike seem to have lost the powerful desire to be united and at peace. Paul’s words that there is one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and a measure of grace are words that do not fit what we see today (Ephesians 4:4-6). There are more than 300 splinter groups that believe they make up part or all of the Body of Christ. There is no logical way that we can reason that all of them are the Body of Christ when one group considers the others enemies or antagonists. One can only imagine where we would be today if the ministry and members who are entrusted with the truth could have remained together in one organization. How many saints would there be? What impact would the Church have on the population of the world?  

UCG is right when it talks about troubles originating within.  Look at how they kicked out COGWA members and ministers over disagreements.  Look at the numerous harlot daughters UCG has produced over the last 18 some years.  UCG has no desire to be united and at peace. It's all about power and control with that almighty paycheck waiting at the end of the day.

16 comments:

Douglas Becker said...

And yet... the CoG7D continues.

The real enemy was Herbert Armstrong who originally split from the CoG7 and started this trend decades ago.

It's nice though, to continue a legacy of the tradition that Herbert Armstrong started, particularly since the ACoGs have been so successful at it.

As for "the holy people", there are some doubts from various quarters seeing as how there is so much works of the flesh and so little fruit of the spirit amongst the rank and file Armstrongists, let alone the ministers and administrators.

"All one body" with body parts strewn the length of the highway of life....

Allen C. Dexter said...

"And yet... the CoG7D continues."

Let's not forget that the CoG7D was a split off the Adventists as were the Branch Davidians, etc.

Somehow, they have been able to retain a bit more organizational permanence, but HWA wasn't the only one to split off from them. There were others. Herb wasn't the only egomaniac and certainly wasn't the first or the last.

What we see as the aftermath of WCG is a bit more chaotic and extreme, but it's nothing new.

Anonymous said...

What it comes down to, in most cases, is that there are those people who think things aren't being done right and they leave. That and those individuals who feel they have some "special truth" to give. It's a cycle that continues on and on.

Anonymous said...

"UCG Says, We In The Church of God Are Our Own Greatest Enemy"


Actually, you unprofitable false prophets, non-sent apostles, hirelings, wolves, unconverted liars, frenemies, etc. are everyone's greatest enemy.


From Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary:

frenemy [blend of friend and enemy]: one who pretends to be a friend but is actually an enemy

Anonymous said...

I tend to agree with what Brother David Pack (Oops, I mean MASTER David Pack. Almost committed the unpardonable relationship sin there.) wrote about all the WCG splinters and slivers (emphasis his):

"No true Christian doubts that the apostates have been 'against God and His Church,' 'serving the devil'--and, in effect, the worst enemies of Christ and His flock, now for over 20 years (and maybe for all time). This is because the false ministers of this world are not yet very much attacking God's people."

"But the splinters have supplanted the apostates. These NEWER enemies--yes, Mr. Armstrong has, in effect, called the splinter and sliver leaders GOD'S ENEMIES--are more dangerous than most could believe. Over time, the gap between them and the apostates disappeared. When truly understood, by every standard, they are more dangerous to God's people today than anyone else. While the false leaders of the WCG are fading into the past, the deception, compromise and rebellion of the splinter leaders is PRESENT!"

"Best put: This danger is REAL--it is HERE--it is NOW--and it surrounds YOU!"

(From The Government Of God--Understanding Offices And Duties by David C. Pack, somewhere near the end of the book.)

Anonymous said...

"UCG has no desire to be united and at peace. It's all about power and control with that almighty paycheck waiting at the end of the day."

A COG minister's idea of peace is "pay, pray, do what I say, and STFU."

Douglas Becker said...

Let's not forget that the CoG7D was a split off the Adventists as were the Branch Davidians, etc.

Well, actually, no: It is a myth that the Church of God Seventh Day was a split off of the Seventh Day Adventists (which I believe is what is meant here).

A more or less common source was from William Miller (who was not a Sabbath Keeper until after "The Great Disappointment". The Armstrongists (both past and present) keep telling the same lies about the CoG7D without any background whatsoever -- not having access to the history that those in the CoG7D have [remembering that the WCG tried to sue the CoG7D during the 1970s for a bookelt the CoG7D wrote in the 1930s and plagiarized by that consumate liar and false prophet].

And today, there are more members and churches of the CoG7D world wide than all the combined Armstrongists.

What we see as the aftermath of WCG is a bit more chaotic and extreme, but it's nothing new.

A bit? What a master of understatement. In 26 years to have 700+ different versions of the same thing? And United itself had over 40 splitoffs in just 8 years. No, not a bit. It's about the most chaotic mess of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Anonymous said...

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Norm

Allen C. Dexter said...

What is the source of your statements, Douglas? I wasn't there, so I don't know exactly what the relationship between the SDAs and CoG7D was. I'm going with what others have published. It may or may not be accurate.

There has been much cross fertilization and subtle influence over the decades. I just want to be accurate when I write something.

Douglas Becker said...

Understood.

Since I know ministers in the CoG7D and have been to a wide variety of non Armstrongist churches (but never to the SDAs), I have had access to resources most people have had. One of the resources I have is a thesis from a COG7D minister, "A History of the Church of God Seventh Day", where he was able to secure access to the Seventh Day Baptist records that they withheld from the Armstrongist camp (and which had a precise accounting of what happened in the 1850s).

There are certain times in history when there are spontaneous movements which occur independently but represent a significant advance in development. For example, both Newton and Leibnetz developed the Calculus at about the same time (Sir Isaac got the most attention). There was a Russian who proved lightening was electricity by performing the very same experiment as Benjamin Franklin nearly half a world away the very same week (they didn't know each other and, unfortunately, the poor Russian was electrocuted).

It seems to be the similar case with the Sabbath keeping Christians which developed in separate groups in the 1850s. There were at least 4 different separate camps at the same time. The SDAs seem to have come out the winners, mostly, and the thesis outlines the politics of the Whites at the time. Nevertheless, there are parallel developments, such as the Sabbath keeping Mormons (which no one talks about, but seem to have very similar beliefs to Armstrongism and the CoG7D). A scant few decades later, Gilbert G. Rupert came on the scene and established congregations in various parts of the United States with 20 to 30 members and came up with the Feasts in 1919 (that church became the Seventh Day Church of God, not to be confused with the CoG7D).

To an outsider (not unlike someone looking at the 700+ Armstrongist churches), the whole movement seems to be a single amorphous blob of believers which have a common root, but it is not. It was just the time in history when such things developed (coincidentally with freedom and independence in the United States moving into the Western States).

The Armstrongists don't like to talk about this, because it messes with their "one true religion" (which is just rubbish, of course). Even those, like Ralph Orr of the GCI get some of the details wrong (and I discussed Orr's article with the CoG7D minister who wrote the history as his thesis).

One of the things Armstrongists don't seem to recognize is that they are noticed and the non Armstrongist Churches of God know what goes on. From their somewhat more objective view, they find the goings on amusing, but mostly irrelevant, since it is obvious the Armstrongists are a lot less stable (in so very many ways). The Armstrongists should be ashamed, but they never are. That doesn't matter because a lot of people know the results of their terrible deeds.

I had lunch this week in the Azteca Mexican Restaurant and mentioned something about the sentencing. The hostess asked me who it was and I told her it was about Ronald Weinland. "Oh," she said, "I heard all about him on the Christian channel".

Word travels.

And more and more people are getting a better and better picture of who and what the Armstrongists are: They have a public reputation -- and it is not a good one.

It the Armstrongists were smart, they would fall silent, particularly about prophecy, and reinvent themselves not unlike the GCI (not that they are any less sociopaths over there, but have a much better public image).

Byker Bob said...

These statements made by UCG might be relevant if God had ever had anything to do with Herbert W. Armstrong in the first place.

Somehow they just never seem to get around to pondering Gamaliel. Armstrongism is simply an imaginary, man-made religion, and a very bad and toxic one at that.
Why does one suppose they had to teach such extreme authoritarianism, as opposed to realizing that God works from the bottom up, transforming one Christian heart at a time through the power of the Holy Spirit? Armstrongism is simply out of the loop!


BB

Richard said...

I'm wondering what led to this article appearing on the front page of the United News.

Has there finally been some soul-searching about what happened with COGWA two years ago?

Or is another split looming, and this article is an attempt to prevent it?

By the way, check the minutes of the most recent UCG Council of Elders teleconference - especially the second day. It reads like there was some heated debate, over whether it's time for The Good News to change its name.

NO2HWA said...

Richard: The entire article is here:

http://www.ucg.org/christian-living/its-you/

Douglas Becker said...

The Good News?

The Good News?

Maybe the first three issues.

Suggested new name:

Death, Doom, Devastation

That should be real crowd pleaser (and maybe they can focus on something like the Columbine Shootings for eight months the way they did a few years ago).

Maybe not.

That would make them indistinguishable from Meredith's group.

How do you distinguish yourself?

Oh, I know!

Make videos with muppets!

Anonymous said...

My oh my! How the dysfunctional family tree of the WCG prove oh so true the saying that "the further back you look, the further forward you can see!" Then again ol'Herbie's church was born of rebellion now wasn't it? And what did the prophet Samuel say about rebellion? Oh yeah! "Rebellion is as the sin of witchraft, and stubborness is as iniquity and idolatry" (1 Sam 15:23). Good on ya' 'Bert it seems you hit it on both counts!

Anonymous said...

Yep, they have sown the wind and will forever reap the whirlwind!