Sunday, February 23, 2014

UCG John Elliot: UCG is Struggling With Keeping West Africa Members in the Church and Says There is Another Split Coming to UCG

The United Church of God is facing more issues in it's struggle to keep its self unified as one body.

John Elliot, in his sermon on February 15, says that UCG is struggling to keep disillusioned church members in West Africa in the fold.  There are UCG members there that are seeking to be more strict in their sabbath keeping and are starting to swallow the "new moon" baloney that some in the COG are trying to imprison members with.

It seems that other COG legalists, who are intent on holding members in bondage to the law instead of letting them live in the freedom of Jesus and grace, are influencing the UCG members in West Africa.  Armstrongsm has always had a segment that worshiped the law more than the Giver.  Living under a task master is more safe than being free in Christ.  They conveniently forget that...

  • One cannot be justified or saved by the law of Moses (Acts 13:39).
  • A Christian who seeks to be justified by the old law has “fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4).
  • One who desires to keep the law of Moses is obligated to keep not just part of it, but all of it! Such a person is “a debtor to do the whole law” (Galatians 5:3). Under the old covenant the Jews were commanded to offer animal sacrifices to God, travel to the place that God appointed (Jerusalem) to keep annual feasts (Passover, etc.), stone to death those who blaspheme the name of the Lord, every seventh year (the “Sabbath” year) refrain from planting crops and do many other things. Again, if we say that we ought to follow the old law, then it ought to be 100% or not at all!

James Malm, one of Armstrongism's biggest legalists has this up today:

I have been holding back on certain UCG news about West Africa, but since John Elliot has now revealed this issue I feel able to publicly report on issues in West Africa.

While UCG was keen to portray West Africa as in full unity with Cincinnati, John has admitted to his Phoenix East congregation in the first few minutes of his Feb 15 sermon that the recent tour of West Africa was to try and deal with a groundswell of discontent with UCG that has been rising there over the past year.  

In West Africa a substantial number of brethren are turning to the holiness and sanctity of the Sabbath and to the Biblical new moon calendar.  Another substantial number are eyeing leaving UCG for other COG Groups.  In short, UCG is having serious problems getting the West African brethren to toe their line.

Right after admitting this, John Elliot also announced in his Feb 15 sermon that they expect another split off from UCG soon.  This probably has to do with the coming changes in the organizational teachings and beliefs of UCG. 


Head Usher said...

After both the Hulme and COGWA fiascos, you would think all the air had been let out of the "United" brand image. Not to worry, we'll just hire more expensive marketing gurus to tell us how to keep "fixing rungs" and polishing the UCG turd until it's as shiny and lusterous as a turd can get. The question is, how shiny do turds get? I guess it depends on how many coats of wax you can get on 'em before it all starts to peel off. Now another split is coming to show just how disunited "United" is? What about all that talk about the rainbows and lollipops in UCG since they ditched all those troublesome COGWA people. They don't inspire unity, they decree it. Oh, wow, rainbows and lollipops all of sudden. And what's more, there's never been any negative energy in UCG, cause we're "united." Go on, let them give you a kiss.

When it comes to Judas' kiss, John Elliott is about as good of an example the self-serving, totally egotistical bastard, that's willing to hew to whatever agenda is going to allow him to keep his job and the revenue coming in.

Out of one side of his mouth he says he's focused on "the love of god" and the law of moses does not exemplify that love. Out of the other he says that the ministry of UCG are the one and only heirs of the mantle of authority of the "Levitical priesthood" and you have to do whatever they say as the "duly appointed" priests or else all hope for you is utterly lost. (UCG isn't "the one and only true church," except that it is. There could be "true christians" in other churches, except there aren't.)

In other words, when I need to abrogate the law to keep the money coming in, I'll abrogate it. When I need to venerate the law and bind it tightly upon you to keep the money coming in, then I'll venerate it.

Now he says that "doctrine" is "in the bible" (as if 42,000 different christian sects with all their contradictory "doctrines" weren't also "in the bible"). What does this mean? It means, that whatever your interpretation of what I and my cronies say to you, is as good as if god had said it to you, cause we're the one and only "duly appointed" representatives of god on the planet.

Now let him give you kiss.

Anonymous said...

Church of God Fire Sale:

Stay home from Sabbath Services this 10% or more...

Byker Bob said...

I'm just too shocked to comment. You mean there could be more discord, and further splintering? I mean, like how could this be, man?


(minus horny)old PCGhag said...

Hey that pic reminds me of Brian Davis and Andrew Hessong making plans on how they were going to go about giving me the boot!

Byker Bob said...

Seriously, you gotta hope that the changes John Elliott is anticipating would be closer moves towards the mainstream. They could surely keep their sabbaths, holy days, clean meats, and tithing if that's what they felt they needed to do, but shed the rest of the meaningless legalism/authoritarianism and urgent apocalypsism.

In a world where we often watch victims who are not even looking for solutions to the badness and willful ignorance in their lives, even modest corrections can be very encouraging.


Anonymous said...

Cue Joe Moeller's UCG whitewash...

Anonymous said...

"This probably has to do with the coming changes in the organizational teachings and beliefs of UCG."

In spite of those who falsely claim the UCG has practically forgotten all about HWA, I'll make the following comments-

Could the UCG's "coming changes" include a move to keep their "days" more as the Bible instructs, and less like the strange interpretations that HWA pulled out of his ass?
I mean, really! To give one glaring example, who in his right mind would think the way Armstrong's WCG -and now the UCG- observes the Feast of Booths is anything like how it's commanded to be observed in the Bible?
The overwhelming majority in the UCG like their teachings baked from HWA's recipe, like to think of themselves as spiritually special, and they miss the glory days of the WCG...... so they'd rather polish turds from HWA's ass than to read with an open mind what's actually in the Bible about how Sukkot, Sabbath, etc, are observed.

Anonymous said...

I listened to the sermon. He does acknowledge the trouble in Africa, but there really isn't sufficient evidence in the balance of his talk to suggest changes are coming. On the contrary, it sounded to me like a "reassurance."

Taking a more cynical angle, it could be that he is setting himself up as one of the "ones" with whom folks will want to stay true when some others try to change things?

But that interpretation is a stretch in my opinion, that folks like Malm will make.

Any existing or new version of a COG is to be avoided, in any case. Let's hope it doesn't happen, mainly for the sake of the regular people who just deserve to have a little peace. Or maybe .. a few of them can be awakened and liberated if it does happen?

What a constant mess.

Anonymous said...

Oh, the bad wounds betwixt those who LUV God in these splits!

What to do, what to do?
I looked so far for the answer, and it was like the Queen of Sheba coming so far to visit Solomon-
And behold, I sawest the answer!

Click here to see somethin that's thair last hope as they split and split and split and split.

Black Ops Mikey said...

The UCG could merge with the CoG7 and disappear but it wouldn't be as Lukerative.

Anonymous said...

Can't LifeNets (the UCG's so-called "independent" charity) just give those West Africans some cows, so that they'll "stifle"?

(Apologies to Edith Bunker.)

Anonymous said...

I am not saying that UCG is going follow in the footsteps of Joey Jr, although it would not surprise me at all if they did. I don't know exactly what the Tkach's reasons were for doing what they did, but given the enormous amount of deception and other un-christian behavior they had to use to get to "Jesus," I doubt their reasons were as pure and white as the driven snow. If UCG follows suit, it's pretty obvious it's for financial reasons, since they're so keen to bring new busin— er, sorry, I meant new cust— er, sorry, I meant new converts in the doors, if nothing else, to fill the empty tithepaying chairs vacated by the last major episode of disunity in "United." I think in their wildest dreams they fantasize about going well beyond that and becoming a franchise of megachurches bringing millions of dolla— er, sorry, I meant people to "Jesus." And I think they already know that they haven't got a clue how to sell the heretical doctrines that HWA made a living selling, and so they need to find some other set of doctrines they think they've got a better shot at selling to the unwashed masses.

IMHO, if there's anybody who's been itching to change doctrine in UCG for many years it's Robbin Webber. How did he get to be chief head honcho in UCG? Probably just coincidence. Itchy runner-up? John Elliott. And hasn't John Elliott been appointed chairman of the doctrinal committee? I'll bet that's just another coincidence, though, right?

But then, why listen to me? I'm so biased against UCG that I'll denounce them if they don't change away from Armstrongism, and I'll denounce them if they do. Is it possible that UCG can do no right in my eyes? Not necessarily. They could admit they're frauds who have been bilking their members for years in return for imaginary services they've known full well since before HWA kicked the bucket were 100% bullshit. Then they could put UCG in liquidation and return the proceeds to the members. Then they could go out and find legitimate gainful employment for the first time in their lives. That would be the christian thing for them to do. I guess christianity isn't going to be coming to UCG anytime soon though. Instead they're going to keep trying fix broken rungs and stuff like that. You ever wonder if perhaps those rungs are broken for a reason? Who knows, maybe Jesus is the one who made sure those rungs were broken in the first place...

James said...

If United wants to hold together it will take the "iron hand" approach.

Abusive, authoritarian cult like churches use fear as the glue of the bond of brotherly love to hold the whole ball of shit together.

When the psychological lobotomy has taken hold, the army of mindless insects will obey their every command, follow in goose step fashion.

Anonymous said...

Byker Bob said...

"They could surely keep their sabbaths, holy days, clean meats, and tithing if that's what they felt they needed to do, but shed the rest of the meaningless legalism/authoritarianism and urgent apocalypsism."

Surely you meant to say, "They could surely keep their tithing and offering and fundraising if that's what they felt they needed to do, but shed every other teaching."

Anonymous said...

Head Usher said...

"What about all that talk about the rainbows and lollipops in UCG since they ditched all those troublesome COGWA people."

Maybe the rainbows and lollipops all went over to COGWA, and the UCG was left with all the tares.

All the talk about how the UCG can grow now that they got rid of the better people is just the sort of thing one would expect to hear from tares.

These same UCG tares who helped the Tkaches to destroy the WCG will only destroy the UCG too. There are already enough tares in the UCG that Satan does not need to send any more, so where will their growth come from?

Anonymous said...

"I think in their wildest dreams they fantasize about going well beyond that and becoming a franchise of megachurches bringing millions of dolla— er, sorry, I meant people to 'Jesus.'"

People can sin all they want to in other churches without going to the UCG to be taught how to do it even more sneakily, maliciously, and wilfully. There is no reason for them to be attracted to the UCG's godlessness in large numbers.

The UCG micro-cult will have to be content to "bring people to Satan" in small numbers.

Joe Moeller said...

I think what is written at the SILENCED blog is insightful here on the situation...

"What we don’t know is whether this is an actual problem or one blown out of proportion. The thing about African congregations is that there are a fair number of scammers who like the support and attention of outside groups with money, but aren’t necessarily the most faithful adherents in their personal lives. Anyone who has seen a UCG FOT video boasting about recruitment in Ghana and other African countries has seen members with multiple wives, or those who still go to church on Sunday, or eat pork, or whatever, and the ministers in the video try to downplay it as “well, they’re still learning the truth.” That might be the case for some, but there are a number who just like the congregational subsidies and the social interaction. And who could blame them?"

Im well connected in the UCG United States and I hear of NO movements or rumors towards any splits here. Doctrinal changes, again, cannot be made without 75% of the general council of elders voting for such, (approximately 300 out of 400). Not going to happen.

An individual here or there leaving is bound to happen, but a major corporate rupture is not in the cards.

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Anonymous said...

Won't someone PLEASE think about poor Jelly!

Who will Jelly jam with?
Last I heard, Jelly was strapped to the underbelly of a LifeNets cow who's now wandering aimlessly in West Africa, looking for the True Church that preaches the Truth that was lost for over 1,900 years.

Anonymous said...

Just curious, Joe Moeller-

Since you're self-described as being "well connected in the UCG United States" I'll ask the following question.

Before the UCG's last gigantic split that halved the UCG, did you hear of any movements or rumors of any splits? And if so, did you write about them beforehand? If so, a link would be helpful in verifying such a journalistic effort.