UCG's Camelo Anastasi has an article up attacking various Christian groups that seek to find common ground. It is funny to see a Church of God member condemn "ecumenicism" and people who want to have unity, when its own house is one massive cesspool of disunity and division.
Anastasi's article delighted Bob Thiel too. Bob, the world's foremost authority upon EVERYTHING has been slamming Catholics and others for their desire to have some unity and common ground in their churches.
The Churches of God, from its very first start has been one of division, manipulation, and backbiting. With Herbert Armstrong's rebellion from the Church of God 7Day, to the decades of hundreds and hundreds of Armstrognite splinter groups forming, the Church of God's own history is one filled with people who could not and would not worship together.
Various COG's have wanted to seek to find how they could be unified together again as one church. Some have tried and nothing happens because certain COG leaders feel they are God's instruments through which he only is working. If they joined up with other COG's to worship then who would be in charge?
In practice ecumenicalism is an inter – religious movement involving many different churches claiming to work together in order to overcome their organizational divisions and other doctrinal differences at the expense of the biblical truth. Their motto is “unity in diversity.” But the question is: Can there be real unity in diversities? At what cost?
Can you imagine "reciprocal cooperation" and "respect" in the Churches of God? It is an absolute IMPOSSIBILITY! It will NEVER happen! Not even the pipe dream of them all eventually meeting in Petra in a few years will produce any unity. Hundreds of different splinter groups will be fighting over who is in charge, who gets the hotel rooms in the Hilton and Marriott for their HQ's and which COE leaders get the choicest caves. It will be a spiritual and physical bloodbath. Can you imagine Bob Thiel getting a better cave that Rod Meredith? Or, Rod being in charge and sending little Bob off into the nether-lands of Petra to set up camp under some rock ledge! What about Jim Franks getting the better cave while Kubik has to share a cave with Wade Cox? The Tower of Babel fighting will pale in comparison.
Reciprocal cooperations and respect are imperative and transparent values in a civilized society. However, the ecumenical concept contradicts itself by attempting to achieve “unity in diversity” through the exercise of a kind of “love” that is not God’s love as found in the Bible. Let us examine ecumenicalism more closely.
Anastasi then goes on to claim that unity should be in TRUTH, not in diversity. It's pretty hard to take Anastasi seriously when his own church has been ripped apart by numerous divisions since it was conceptualized by divisive ministers still employed by the Worldwide Church of God. Every single on of the 700 some splinter groups ALL feel they have the CORRECT version of truth. How can "truth" be found in the Church of God when it is soooooooooooo divided? How can it be a beacon of "truth" to a hurting world when it is soooooooooooo fractured?
Unity is desirable, but Jesus clearly commanded His disciples to be united in the truth, not deception. God’s people are sanctified in the truth, not by unity at any cost (John 17:19). Since the beginning of biblical history human beings have united themselves through deception, not in the truth, only to pay bitter consequences!
Since the beginning of Herbert Armstrong's decision to form his own group the COG has been united in deception, intrigue, guile and manipulation. Even in the "glory years" of the 1950-1960's the COG was NOT truly unified. Since the beginning of biblical history and the modern day COG movement there has been little unity and truth. We have all seen the bitter consequences of this disunity and many have paid a bitter price with their lives.
They have already overturned the order of priority of the two most important commandments: “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself ’” (Matthew 22:36). Sadly, the “first” or “greatest” commandment—the one that summarizes the first four of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20)—is no longer important to them.
How can the Church of God love the God the claim to follow when they are filled with so much bitterness towards each other. UCG brass are still bitter at COGWA leaders. Meredith is bitter towards every other group. Pack and Flurry are bitter towards ALL the COG's and the world around them. They continually break the first great commandment they claim to follow. Because they are bitter towards the world and do NOTHING to help alleviate pain and suffering show everyone that they care little for the second great commandment as well. Why is Anastasi lecturing the world when his own house is in horrible disarray?
Anastasi then heads off the favorite knife that COGers love to throw at Christians. They follow a false Christ is the label they seek to smear everyone outside of Armstrongism. Yet, the COG's cannot talk about Jesus Christ, grace, justification or anything else that really is at the core of the message Jesus brought to the world. Its always is focused upon the law. They prefer the taskmaster over the yoke-bearer. Who really has promoted the false Jesus more than the Church of God! That is why they know him not.
“We do worship Christ,” they say. But does Christ bless those who have changed or abolished the law of His Father? Jesus said: “Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).
Anasatais then smears Christians again by saying this:
This is hilarious! What does he think the Church of God has done for the last 30 some years? They connived and plotted behind the backs of the WCG while still employed by them. They smeared other break away groups maligning those leaders. They continue to force a taskmasters law upon their followers enslaving them. Everyone does what they think is right with their idolatrous practices and can can never come to a consensus upon anything.Unfortunately ecumenicalism boils down to people telling God, “We do believe you and pray to you, but don’t tell us how to live!” It speaks of unity and love, but it offends God by enslaving naïve people into idolatrous practices!
Anastasi ends with this:
So where is the "genuine love and real unity" in the United Church of God? Where is it in any of the other COG's? Each one feels they are better than the other. Each one is the truest and most loyal
Genuine love and real unity can only come from God’s Spirit, and this is given “only to those who obey Him” (Acts 5:31; 1 John 5:2-3). God’s people are kept united in one mind, one baptism, one Spirit, one doctrine, one voice, one attitude, and one purpose (1 Corinthians 1:10; 12:4,13; 1 Ephesians 4:14; Philippians 2:2). This is God’s way. This actually works and leads into God’s Kingdom. Blessed are those who walk in it.
COG to ever exist. Each one is doing a better work than the other. The disharmony that exists in the UCG is rampant throughout the COG. Living Church of God is ready to implode. Another faction is working behind the scenes in United plotting to break away over upcoming doctrinal changes. Dave Pack has slithered into his hole in Wadsworth after being publicly humiliated and mocked for two years worth of failed prophecies. Gerald Flurry is ripping families apart and lying to his members.
Where is the union of COG members with "one mind, one baptism, one spirit and one doctrine?" Every single one of these splinter COG's formed their own groups because they could NOT agree on the doctrinal stances of their previous church. Unity will never happen in the COG. There is no unity. They do not speak with one voice or purpose any more.
The next time Anastasi or UCG want to lecture the world for their foibles please clean up your own mess first!
Read the entire article here: May/June United News 2015