Sunday, May 7, 2017

Does God want the UCG to flourish?

The United Church of God just finished its annual Council of Elders conference. As usual, there has never been a more unified group of men to meet together in the annals of human history.  The problem when leaders of UCG make such claims, trouble is always on the horizon.

The UCG propaganda publicity department had this to say:

Mr. Kubik expressed his appreciation for the spirit of fellowship among the elders of the general conference. He also welcomed those elders watching the webcast from home who were not able to make it to the meeting this year. He said that he was asked again what the purpose was for the recent church-wide fast we had. The Church hasn’t fasted together in anticipation of the meeting of the general conference for some time. In Isaiah 58 the prophet seems to be answering questions about fasting at that time. He then lays out the spiritual purpose of fasting: to humble ourselves before God and draw closer to Him and to make His purpose our purpose. Fasting is not to get our way; it is to orient ourselves to God’s way. Through this fast he has come to understand who and what we are. He sees how small we are but how much potential there is for growth, both spiritual and in numbers. God wants the Church to flourish.
Why is it that COG leaders seem to be constantly "finding out" who they are as a church?   It has been over 22 years since UCG apostatized from their mother church and decided they knew how to do things better.  At that time they claimed to know who they were and what they were doing.  In the proceeding years, we saw one issue after another hit the church as they were constantly "finding" themselves.  The church imploded with huge numbers of ministers and members jumping ship to form yet another splinter group who in turn claimed that they had found themselves in order to justify their existence.  As all of the COG's shrink smaller and smaller, just how are they to "flourish?"
Though we’re small we’re at a place where we can be united like Gideon’s army in performing God’s purpose for His Church. We’re working on a video to show the Church’s work in fostering and developing relationships across the generations that make up the Church. It’s important that we develop strong relationships among all God’s people. The younger generation coming up is very engaged in the Church and its work. We need to be ready to “hand the keys” off to those who will be the next to do that work.
United has never been united and they most certainly will NEVER be a "Gideon's army" into performing some mighty purpose.  Just HOW can the United Church of God be "fostering and developing relationships" when the leadership of the church has split families and destroyed marriages over it ongoing in-fighting.  This has been the sad legacy of the entire Church of God movement for 80 some years.

Just how can the "younger generation" ever be engaged in the church when the old guard continue to be elected to the Council of Elders?  Four spots were open on the Council and look who is back, yet again:

Council of Elders Seats
Rainer Salomaa (international)
Aaron Dean
Don Ward
Mr. Seelig announced that the last Council spot on the ballot was too close to call. Auditors are reviewing to confirm the General Conference of Elders’ choice, which should be announced tomorrow, May 8.
UCG goes on to say this:

He said there have also been questions about the structure and function of Ministerial and Member Services. He says it’s functional very well, and what he would like to do is put together a chart for the ministry to express how the department works and functions. Mr. Kubik is the acting director of MMS, and Chris Rowland is the administrator, and this situation has worked well. He has a lot of respect and appreciation for the work Mr. Rowland has done in that role. Kathe Myers was also hired to help Mr. Rowland administer the department, and she’s been a big help in the day-to-day function of MMS.
The bandages they continue to put on everything only cover the rot underneath.  After 22 years ministerial services now needs a chart for the ministry to understand what it does. After suffering huge hemorrhaging of members, the church has never recovered to be anything truly outstanding, as hard as they try.


Anonymous said...

“God wants the Church to flourish.”

After 22 years of godlessness, the UCG is not about to flourish. More likely, the UCG is about to get flushed.

Anonymous said...

“The Church hasn’t fasted together in anticipation of the meeting of the general conference for some time.”

Sounds like they are concerned about something. Are their paychecks in danger?

Byker Bob said...

We'll know if God wants UCG or any of the splinters to flourish by whether or not they actually do. Seems like God isn't particularly pleased with any of those who have been spewed from His mouth!


Anonymous said...

I've given up reading the occasional UGC article since the contents are so flat. At least Malm by contrast, has some drive.

Regarding apostasy, didn't HerbIe apostatise from the Sardis era, then Joe apostatised from Herbie, and UCG apostatised from Joe.

Ed said...

Plain and simple, what made the old WCG mildly successful was that it was a personality cult headed by HWA. Since his death the org. that he founded has splintered into many small groups and has declined greatly in numbers. This commonly happens when a cult leader dies. The UCG is nothing but a tiny, diluted mini-cult that has split off of a larger cult.

Anonymous said...

"God wants the Church to flourish."

So, UCG's propaganda department is reporting that Pope Victor I is able to read the mind of the deity? Of course! Can't every pope?

As for MMS, it was created in the wake of the discovery of conspiracies within the Council of Elders and a rash of scandals that led to the departure of hundreds of ministers and thousands of members in 2010-11. MMS was created to replace the regional pastor system that was scrapped in the ensuing consolidation of power. Apparently, the council didn't think it could trust even the regional pastors that remained. So Victor created an extra bureaucracy to administer a function that used to be accomplished with minimal effort by local ministers who knew the local situation. Now it's done by a bureaucracy, which, if you're not a part of it, it's impossible to discern a reason for it's existence? Sounds like either the regional pastor system itself was just a hold-over of the old WCG model and, at least in UCG, was just an unnecessary extra layer of management, or else the regional pastor system represented a vital function that MMS has never been able to fulfill?

Chris Rowland used to have a real job. Then the pastor of his congregation at the time (Vic) asked him to come work for the church. Unfortunately, he said yes. Now he reportedly has a fake job as administrator of a church bureaucracy with no discernible output. The same thing is true of Clay Thornton who worked as an editor in Hollywood before being convinced to end his career by moving to Cincinnati to become technical director of the terrible "Beyond Today" programs.

DennisCDiehl said...

So many gun few bullets left.

DennisCDiehl said...

BB said: "Seems like God isn't particularly pleased with any of those who have been spewed from His mouth!"

There are lots more reasons religion fails to thrive and produce it's intended growth and compliance to this or that one true belief besides a god spewing them out of his mouth. That's what the opposition says to shore up their own views as ones which, of course, could never, being the correct views, suffer spewage.

Assigning meaning to knowing the mind of a higher power, as if one could know, is also a form of magical and fanciful thinking.

UCG and all the splinters will fail because built in factors that will lead to their demise such as mistaken notions about the meaning of scripture, lack of appeal and the one man church which will die with the man or at least suffer the fact that the first generation founds it, the second generation maintains it and the third loses it.

Anonymous said...

Presuming to "know" that there is NOT a Higher Power is the ultimate example of magical and fanciful thinking. . . . I'm just sayin'

Connie Schmidt said...

United seems to be in serious need of "Term Limits".

Byker Bob said...

God spewing out the splinters is a satirization of their doctrine of church eras, taking their present condition and throwing it back in their faces to show that the people who point the finger and call one another "Laodiceans" actually appear to be a fulfillment their own prophecy mold.

I can't take the credit for originating it. Some anonymous poster on the old Painful Truth Forum came up with it probably over ten years ago. Still, I like to repeat it from time to time because I believe it is a piece of reasoning that has great potential to open some peoples' eyes on their own rhetorical terms. And, I didn't expect everyone to "get" what I was doing.


Lake of Fire Church of God said...

NO2HWA said, "After 22 years ministerial services now needs a chart for the ministry to understand what it does".

MY COMMENT - So laughable about a Church that has no real function in the real world other than perpetuating itself in order to provide safe employment and secure retirements to a few hirelings who couldn't make it in the real world if their lives depended on it.

I can hear Herbert Armstrong saying in his loud thunderous voice to the UCG splinter from his own Church, "In vain do they worship me teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Matt. 15:9)


Retired Prof said...

Anonymous May 8 at 7:30 AM declared, "Presuming to "know" that there is NOT a Higher Power is the ultimate example of magical and fanciful thinking. . . . I'm just sayin'"

No, Anon, it is not the ultimate. It shares the same rank as presuming to know there IS one and to know what it thinks. Call it the co-ultimate.

Retired Prof said...

Blogger DennisCDiehl said..."So many gun few bullets left."

Dennis, since the pistol that announced the beginning of a gun lap was loaded with blanks, there never were any bullets in the first place. Just a lot of attention-getting noise.

Anonymous said...

I heard recently that a small sliver (average 24 in attendance)in Barrie, Ontario, will likely be joining United (the current pastor has health issues), so perhaps United will grow a smidge in that area.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous on May 8, 2017 at 1:00 AM said...“I've given up reading the occasional UGC article since the contents are so flat. At least Malm by contrast, has some drive.”

The crazy prophetic theories that crazy guys like Malm make up will always seem more exciting to some people than the boring stuff that the UCG produces. Nevertheless, it would probably be better to listen to the flat-heads in the UCG than to the fat-head behind the Shining Blight blog. Would you rather listen to semi-sane but boring snakes in suits and their smooth talk, or to an exciting but crazy demoniac spouting off his wrong prophetic guesses? Some people would not like either choice. Do yourself a really big favor and give up reading Malm's garbage too.

Questeruk said...

"After suffering huge hemorrhaging of members, the church has never recovered to be anything truly outstanding, as hard as they try."

However, both UCG and COGWA both show a small but steady increase in both groups, since their split in 2010/11.

Since that time attendance has increased by around 750 to 1000 in both groups. Of course in that time there would have been a number of deaths, and a few dropping out - so there is new growth from somewhere.

Anonymous said...

2.38 PM
Church numbers always go up temporarily when a church lowers its standards.

Anonymous said...

As my bible expresses it as 'work out your salvation with fear and trembling.'
A 'exciting but crazy demoniac' is motivating. I believe they call it contagion.
Whatever works, I'm not 'religious.'
PS I'd listen to Hitlers recorded rants (if I could understand German) if it helped me.

Questeruk said...

2:16 AM

Are you suggesting that UCG and COGWA would be better off adopting the style of Pack/Flurry/Malm?

Anonymous said...

7.53 AM
What I believe is that these churches should teach and practise living by every word of God. This rules out church tyranny or Pharisaic morality. According to posts on this site, UCG is morally lax. This attracts 'Kenneth Copeland' religious types, so a increase in membership is nothing to write home about.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 9:54 comments, too much emphasis is put on numbers and not quality of character. UCG is morally lax.

Questeruk said...

Maybe it can appear more lax when the incentive is put on the individual to run their lives.

Personally I feel that is far better than obeying a dictator such as Pack or Flurry. Personal responsibility develops a person far more than fear of a dictator.

Anonymous said...

Rubbish questeruk it is a modern UCG license to sin. Godly standards set by God Himself on marriage and homosexual relationships openly defied in UCG. Those who are in with the in crowd of UCG do what they like when they like it. That's not even touching the double standards going on over unleavened bread.

Retired Prof said...

Wait, 10:47, you say the modern UCG issues a license to sin?

Interesting. I get licenses to hunt, fish, and drive a car from the state where I live, but the state Web site makes no mention of a license to sin. How do I apply for one?

Is there a sinner's test, like the driver's test at the DMV? Or does the applicant have to take sin safety lessons like in the gun safety course required for hunters? Considering your phrase, "do what they like when they like it," either one or both would be worth the trouble as long as the license is available by mail for a reasonable fee.

However, if I have to join UCG to qualify, or if the license covers no sins except those involving unleavened bread, forget it. Not worth the hassle.

Questeruk said...

So what, 10.47 AM, are these "double standards going on over unleavened bread"?

By your own words in your comment you rate that as more important than God's standards on marriage and homosexual relationships.

Just curious what this most major problem would be.

nck said...

Standards on marriage or unleavened bread?

What are the requirements for leading a team of man through enemy territory under fire? What would be the requirements for a semi-god to rule a part of the hostile universe versus centrifugal forces beyond control?

Perhaps check the car once again for that fallen bread crum. Still haunting me after 25 years and 6 lease cars.


Anonymous said...

I'm always fascinated that such a high ranking UCG person is on here, and you've been on here for years. Does your high ranking Husband know ? Do you take it in turns to comment ? Do you use UCG computers to blog on UCG time ? Is this why the gift aid was late been sent in ? Fascinating what you do.