Friday, May 6, 2016

Letter to a Church of God Minister

Excerpts from a letter to a Church of God Minister:

What many of you in such vaulted, authoritative positions never seem to understand, is that we’re not leaving the Body of Christ, but rather an imperfect, often misguided, confused or arrogant leader or organization, that have become more “hireling types” or now miss or abuse the point of their perceived calling on some or even many levels.

Quite simply, people are desperately looking for someone whose proper servant’s voice and life they recognize, who is a true, well rounded, serving shepherd, as designed and dedicated as Jesus Christ, revealed and showed through his own exemplary life and the subsequent apostle’s example.

What we’ve gotten instead, are many Korah, self-aggrandizing types, who’ve become almost papal like figures that one dares not question anything they say or do, as though God only fully answers their prayers and, anyone who follows them, must recognize they do so, in great trepidation, within God’s full authority.

I never thought I’d see in the aftermath of the demise of WCG such a menagerie of misguided and self-serving individuals, who seem to clamor for so much personal attention, as though they individually are the cream of the crop, and the absolute apple in God’s eyes.

Yet the focus is to continue to blame the members for their indiscretions and lack of faith, and not a self-serving ministry who treat the people like merchandise, usually for their own personal use or benefit.

In essence, we are seeing naked emperors, pseudo apostles, prophets, witnesses, trainer of witnesses or other “look at me” roles, which must have the fawning few who worship their every word or deed.

Select few seem to fulfill the complete “job descriptions” given in Titus and Timothy; instead they seem to see it as a buffet of sorts, picking and choosing what they best like to do, rather than honoring the “complete and God centered calling”, even going above and beyond it, like a profitable servant should.

But even more sad, is most members can’t for the life of them ever see any of you who are in these prominent authoritative roles who demand our total loyalty, compliance or acceptance of all things taught or believed by you, ever coming under someone else’s human control or influence again, in true humility, because each in your own way have become a pious authority unto your selves.

I guess what’s good for the goose (us) isn’t what’s good for the gander, figuratively or physically or especially spiritually speaking. What a mockery of the responsibility, actually required by God!!

We hear many excuses, threats and convoluted reasoning’s why the average Joe Christian should remain faithful to you or men or groups like yours (where you hasten to include or infer God’s presence or his authority given to such an esteemed group when threats of disloyalty are often felt by you).

But I guess a taste of ultimate power (as we are often accused of desiring) is such a strong aphrodisiac, that many excuse your own behavior with misguided, often self righteous objectives and viewpoints.

I have been told numerous times over my XX years in the church, that just being right on a given point MUST always be tempered or proven with an appropriate and right and humble attitude.

Most likely, this letter could very well be a waste of my time writing it, as I’m sure there’ll be a collective collaboration to pick apart my “misguided and misrepresented” points (shared by more people out here than you know) with your more “learned, converted, closely related group”, you rely on for approval.

My question is, must we out here, be the only ones that must have the right attitude in receiving or accepting something from you or do you in your collective mindsets also share in that responsibility, to have the right attitude in giving it or even broaching such a subject, especially when it can cause confusion, doubt or even angst on people’s part?

When even, might something perceived or taught as new or non-salvational, become salvational for someone, becoming a stumbling block or a point of needless confusion and you are held accountable?

The ultimate question is; what do you and men like you really owe to the flock God has seen fit to give (and take) from you?

I’ve often said there are 3 things you hardly ever hear a minister affiliated with the church of God over the year’s state or admit, are “I’m sorry”, “I’m wrong” and “I don’t know”. That mold is certainly still intact.

I know as members we have been taught, almost ad nauseam, that we are the weak of this world and might barely make it to God’s Kingdom if we don’t fall in line behind the authority of God (via the ministry). But I’d have to say, the ministry as a whole, has certainly led the pack, backwards.

But I really do wonder how God perceives today’s “ministry”, who can’t seem to find any common spiritual ground with fellow, “well trained???”, extensively experienced men who should be able to rise above it all; especially with the double portion of help that everyone feels they have, directly given by God…..

Maybe the tares aren’t exactly who we have all thought they might be, but those who have done more of a disservice to God’s calling and accountability, because they merely have lost sight of the goal themselves or they have simply been ordained of men, but never of God.

I truly wonder if any of the various COG group’s leaders understand exactly what God does want and expects, not just from the lowly member, but doubly more from those who relish in authority and supreme governance, who have picked up the mantle of a minister or leader of one of these various, fractious groups, that now make up the church of God today?

And please spare me/us the dire warnings and the “minister is always right” proclamations that so many ministers over the years have used to neutralize the not so enlightened or rebellious member.

Maybe for a change, it’s time to look in the spiritual mirror your selves instead of always imputing motives toward everyone else.

I think I am really starting to understand, why God said in Matthew 24, that his love would wax cold.

Certainly it has to do with all of us disobeying his laws, but since Christ clarified it as the two great commandments (loving God and in essence, loving each other as we would God), we see the results we see today, when we lose that agape focus for all of God’s people.

Unfortunately, with the lack of real, true, humble Godly leadership all these years, with so many people following their leaders missteps or self-serving beliefs and actions, they will unfortunately start acting and reacting exactly as we see today.


Byker Bob said...

Why, how rebellious!

But, then again, rebellion against Armstrongism is not only totally warranted and appropriate, but also kind of "cool"!


Retired Prof said...

“A society that gets rid of all its troublemakers goes downhill.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

Connie Schmidt said...

When there is no accountability, review, feedback mechanism or removal process, how can the ministry possibly know if they are doing the job or not?

Membership must have enfranchisement and the ability to vote and review the leadership. Ministers need a system where they can lose their job, or at the very least, their current assignment. There needs to be evaluation surveys, with grading on many different aspects and job functions. Ministers who consistently score in the bottom 5% of the whole need to be let go.

Ministry are supposed to be servants. What we have is a system where those who supposedly are "to be served" and be the "master" have the roles reversed! Absurd!

Until such a system as proposed is implemented, you will have continuous splits, as this is the only escape mechanism or economy that is allowed... voting with ones feet. Embrace the vote and choice internally and you will see a far greater harmony, embraced creative destruction, renewal and progressive forward looking leadership.

Anonymous said...

It's really not all that hard to understand when the god that is being worshipped is pictured as jealous and veangful, supposedly orders the indescriminate massacre of hordes of people, even innocent infants, just because of who they are, proclaims, through prophets who set themselves up, judgements and curses willy nilly. Of course, much of that is total fiction. The conquest of Canaan never happened as fictionally recounted after the Babylonian captivity. These guys are just carrying on a time honored tradition of manufacturing authority for themselves out of thin air and counting on gullible people to bow down to it. Herb did. They are doing exactly the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Go to a good or expensive restaurant, and you are treated like royalty. By contrast, give 10% of your income to a church, and it's representatives treat you like dog crap, and walk all over your rights. Where else does this exist in society? This is scandalous. Yes, another trading issue. You can't escape it. And not forgetting, expressing gratitude by thanking God, is a trade for what He gives us.

Regards. TradingGuy.

Byker Bob said...

We get it. Person A gives X. In exchange, person B gives Y. In a perfect situation, each has received what he wanted or needed. And, it is good.

In Armstrongism, members gave the entire alphabet to the ministry, yet suffered detrimental consequences in return. To the wonderful Hebrew people who gave us the concept of trade, Armstrongism is just plain meshugaas! It presents another example of goyim being incapable of understanding!


Anonymous said...

+1 BB
Cults like PCG try to get salvation through authority, controlling others, entitlements, and their need to fight with others over their beliefs. There is no room inside their box. They will only hear the challenges to their little box.
It's not about authority, it is about learning and succeeding through our experiences. Could that be the true church of god?