The latest issue of The Journal is out and there is an article by Lonnie Hendricks (an occasional contributor here) concerning Ian Boyne venturing into the lions den of this blog and Ambassador Watch.
The post that Ian contributed to was this one: LCG Preaches The Godly Love Is The Most Important Quality the evolved into a discussion of the policy of the COG when it comes to disfellowshipping members, Ian had this to say:
The response of Anonymous 12:23 is a perfect example of my thesis that the elephant in the room is the Bible---at least if one is applying a conservative hermeneutic to it. The Bible clearly gives the ministry the right to excommunicate for doctrinal reasons.Does Anonymous disagree with that? Even liberal scholars would admit that ,while saying one might choose to ignore those passages in favor of a higher principle To say that Winnail was unloving simply he applied a tool which we all knew upon becoming members was a part of the church's toolbox is, respectfully, nonsense. All organizations have rules of association and dissociation.I don't know the particular case It might well have been an abusive disfellowshipment But to suggest the act itself is contrary to Doug Winnail's pronouncement of love is a non-sequitur.
I personally as a minister choose not to disfellowship for doctrinal disagreement I consider most of the doctrinal disagreements my congregants have to be inconsequential and even those which might be significant I don't disfellowship for because I have the pulpit to counter them I don't doubt my ability to do so. In my congregation I have a group of fellows who routinely on the sabbath discuss all kinds of doctrinal ideas and freely disagree with what is taught from the pulpit They pose no threat and they are going nowhere for they can find no better alternative and fully see the bankruptcy of orthodox Christianity. This another Jesus, another Gospel that Anonymous refers to seems to be coming from that foolish, reactionary view that any emphasis on Christ is Protestantism through the back door. The same obscurantist nonsense that caused Charles Bryce to leave Living. Some of the fanatics will leave Living to go elsewhere because of the small reforms taking place there which Chief Pharisee Malm deplores.But the ministry has the right to withdraw the hand of fellowship Look at the harsh, strident words Paul had for those teaching a different doctrine. While Armstrongism continues to accept the Bible as its rule book, you can continue to expect disfellowshipment In my view it ,is used far too frequently and carelessly and often is a mask for the theological incompetence of ministers Here in Jamaica I offer a platform for those who disagree and I use the pulpit to proclaim the tenets of Armstrongism so that the membership is firmly grounded in Biblical truth Yes, in my view Armstrongism represents Biblical truth I hold that provisionally and tentatively ,fully aware that I could well be proven wrong. I keep reading widely so if I am wrong,I will, hopefully, find out and then renounce Armstrongism. If there is any book anyone wants to recommend or any scholarly material which might prove useful in opening my eyes ,please recommend it And yes I have already read all the scandal-revealing books like Tangled Web, as well as those by Marion McNair, John Tuit, William Hinson --every single one written by every ex-member And ,yes ,every issue of Ambassador Report .Give me some intellectual arguments now.
But, please ,let's not talk foolishness about disfellowshipment automatically and necessarily indicating a lack of love Ian Boyne
Because I want people to freely comment, I rarely contribute to the conversations. I feel the people should have the ability to express what they need to say, though I will delete an occasional post from obviously nasty people. What this has allowed is scores of LCG members and other COG members to find a place here that they can comment and express their frustration at the current state of affairs of their respective churches.
Ian and I did however have several email exchanges which were rather pleasant. I think he was surprised that I was not an atheist with a chip on my shoulder. I also told him that if we ever sat down to talk about things that we would probably have more in common than he imagined.
It is quit obvious though that he and I both do not agree on some things.
I find his take on "reimagining Armstrongism" interesting, though I see no way imaginable that it could survive in the long run. There are too many bodies scattered along the road over the last 80 some years to make preserving Armstrongism as a viable belief system.