Saturday, 11 April 2009

Get GIC'd

Tkach sect becomes GRACE COMMUNION INTERNATIONAL.



The bearded patriarch and unelected Pastor Generalissimo has climbed off the fence. WCG has been renamed.

http://www.wcg.org/events/new09/april2009letter.htm

Much good may it do him. The April letter is, IMHO, a manipulative, condescending piece of patronizing PR.

No announcement, you'll note, that Pope Joe is stepping down from his position and re-establishing the church on non-hierarchical lines.

34 comments:

Leonardo said...

Joey & Company needed a "name search team" and how many years to finally come to the new, and rather bland, name of Grace Communion International?

Well, you can call a putrid, decaying kettle of fish whatever you want, but it doesn't really change what it actually is, does it?

Anonymous said...

Looks like a split in WCG/GCI is definitely coming as it is well known that not everybody in that denominations agrees with this move. What will they do now?

Anonymous said...

Watching how all this played out actually says quite a lot.

This was not a doctrinal matter so a swift decision did not need to be made. Changing the church's many doctrinal positions was very unpopular and extremely costly but if leaders thought it was a matter of truth or error, it was admirable they would make changes they knew would have been so financially detrimental.

The original decision to change the name was unpopular so the leadership actually took the member's feelings into account and did not rename the church although they had every right to.

After a few years the majority of the members (over 80% from what they report) had decided that it was in the church's best interest to change the denomination name.

While I personally believe the WCG name is so poisoned by Armstrong that the church should have changed it almost 10 years ago. But I have to respect at least how it was handled.

I don't know many of the other groups where it would have played out that way.

Questeruk said...

'Grace Communion International' appears to be the chosen name, rather than your heading of 'Grace International Communion'.

But ho hum, what's the difference?

Anonymous said...

Slightly unrelated but definitely more masochistic: David Pack's biography is out.

We're all thrilled.

Anonymous said...

I have a prophecy for you Joe. Another "great falling away" will hit your balance sheet with many zero's!

tabodcp said...

Not a name change but namespotting - I've seen conjecture on the W in HWA, but according to Dave's Good Friday offering, The Authorized Biography of David C. Pack - Volume One it's David Crowl Pack.

ED said...

I think that the new name for the WCG is a strange choice. It doesn't seem like a name that is going to be easily remembered. It's almost like Joe Jr. wants it that way. It is a huge change from the old name. Even though the name is very different now, the structure of the GIC is very much the same as the old WCG, so whats the point?

larry said...

I didn't see anything manipulative or condescending in it.

Anonymous said...

Roman Catholics say they're Catholics; the word fairly rolls off the tongue. We immediately know who they are. But what will these former WCG people call themselves? Graces? Communions? Internationals? GCI? Grace Communion sounds Catholic, and Saving Grace sounds more like a TV show than religion.

Seventh Day Adventists or SDAs have a nice hook in their name; we immediately know who they are. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints can be called Mormons, but they prefer Latter Day Saints or LDS. That works, and Mormon seems here to stay too. We know who they are from what they call themselves.

There are Jehovah's Witnesses or JWs, and Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Church of England/Anglicans, and even the Shakers. The distinctions show in the names. But how does Grace Communion International create its own niche among established church monikers? Is a Communion founded on Grace in any way unique?

To my way of thinking, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God," should apply to everyone who accepts Romans as holy writ, including the Grace Communion Fellowship. This leads me to think that the name could be taken as a gentle hint to the present constituency that GCI offers little if anything new, and that its members should feel quite at home wherever grace is a pillar of belief -- unless grace will have unique emphasis in this fellowship. Otherwise one might surmise that the ultimate goal of the name, and of its creators, perhaps even subliminally, is the dissolution and dispersion of GCF into existing denominations where grace is already a mainstay.

But then who am I, and what would I know?

A WCGer by any other name said...

In my Catholic days, I remember being told to say grace, which meant repeating some prayer to give thanks.

Using the Italian word for thanks, we could call them Grazies.

redfox712 said...

And so now every time WCG will be mentioned we will always have add that they are now called Grace Communion International. Conversely whenever we talk of GCI we will always have to state that they used to be WCG.

Corky said...

The name sounds like one of those generic brands of non-denominational churchs that are springing up all over the country.

These days you can rent a building and put a sign on it that says something religious and people will flock to it.

Especially good locations are next to the Interstate between downtown and Wal-Mart.

Anonymous said...

"While I personally believe the WCG name is so poisoned by Armstrong..."

And yet, you don't believe the church itself is still poisoned by Armstrongism, anon?

SHOW ME THE MONEY.

I want full financial accountability for the funds generated from the sale of both campuses.

I want the church to submit itself to the Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability, to the point where they are members in good standing of same.

I want all new members to be fully informed of the church's past, both its former name and its former practices (something the church now wants to hand-wave away), before they are baptized into the church.

Junior and Weazell and Ron "the Serpent" Kelly can try and whitewash the church 100%, but it's not going to work. Not so long as I have breath to tell the truth.

We are the children of the church. Never forget. Never forgive.

Anonymous said...

"...members in the United States were invited to submit possible new church names to their pastors...."

"The word International identifies us as a unified body of believers who span the globe...."

"....we have now reached a point at which more than 80 percent of U.S. members favor a change to this name...."

Looks like Manasseh is just as much of a superpower in the church as it always used to be.....

"In some countries, it is even prudent for them to keep the name “Worldwide Church of God.”"

Presumably the countries where the church has been accurately tagged as a cult, and where local governance would rightfully go apeshit at this attempt to obfuscate on Junior's part.

Anonymous said...

they left the Church years ago, so does it really matter what they call themselves?

redfox712 said...

It is going to be so weird to not say WCG this or WCG that, and instead say GCI this and GCI that. Here is one sentence to show us the way of the future: 'Some Armstrongites are a bit uncomfortable with being linked by history to GCI.' This is so strange.

I have tried to sound off the initials and I think it sounds better to put the stress on the G and the I and (nearly) drop the C.

larry said...

The Church as it is today, is composed of people who are kind, honest, humble, thankful, generous, and merciful.
Now, you really can't put all that into a single name, but we accept that we live all our lives under "grace". So the name is appropriate.

You are right. It does not roll off the tongue, nor lend itself easily to a nickname. We will just have to deal with that.

Anonymous said...

Bill L. writes:

They should have named it more in line to what it really is....

Disgrace Communistic Intentionally

Baywolfe said...

I say, leave 'em be. If you're with one of the splinters, these people probably don't hardly believe anything that you do anymore. If you're not, they're just another church group.

I find it an interesting study how one could go from THE WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD to just another little church with Grace in the title.

MJ said...

As an organization they can do what they want...but, IMHO,they should not have referenced biblical examples to justify their actions... that was manipulative. After all, it wasn't God who changed their name.

Atrocious said...

Many years ago I was one who was pushing for WCG to have a name change because I thought they had truly changed and should reflect that change. But, now that I'm out of the organization, and have been for quite some time, I see the futility in the act. To me it's just another way to absolve responsibility for their actions in the past, and still in the present too.

Bamboo_bends said...

Maybe next they'll begin to be more graceful in their approach to "others", it's a big moniker to live up to.

Byker Bob said...

If they really wanted to be of service to God and man, (and frankly, I believe all of the splinters should do this as well!) they should disband, encouraging all of their members to seek a genuine and sincere personal relationship with God.

WCG was all a game, anyway, based on the pipedreams of a megalomanic narcissist and his toadies.

Hopefully, none of the splinters will call "ground-ups" on the old name!

BB

Vaughn said...

Maybe Clever Gerry could buy the old name from them for another $3mil.

Corky said...

larry said...
The Church as it is today, is composed of people who are kind, honest, humble, thankful, generous, and merciful.

I am so sorry to hear of this blind and deaf affliction. I had heard that you were sick, but, I had no idea . . .

You have my sympathies

larry said...

Corky, if I hear you correctly, then I can see that you are not really sympathetic. You're just trying to be funny, but I don't see it.

Aaron said...

"In the October 2005 issue of WCG Today, members in the United States were invited to submit possible new church names to their pastors. District superintendents collected the suggested names and forwarded them to us."

Someone above said he spotted nothing condescending in the JTjr letter. Perhaps not, overtly, yet the undertones remain. Even a simple task like running a suggestion box has to be properly managed by the right men, in WCG-land. One wonders which names got forwarded along, which ones didn't, and which submitters of names got their membership files updated.

Another problem with "GCI" is its easy confusion with "CGI," at least for commenters here.

Jared Olar said...

With apologies to those eager to forget the U.S. presidential race last year, this is nothing more than putting lipstick on a pig.

But whatever. In the grand scheme of things it has never really mattered what the WCG did or didn't do, and the more so in this purely cosmetic change of name. Let 'em call themselves what they like. Life is bigger than all that.

Corky said...

larry said...
Corky, if I hear you correctly, then I can see that you are not really sympathetic.No, Larry, I really am.

larry said...

Corky, I am glad to hear that. That means there is still hope for you yet.

Corky said...

Thank you Larry, I'm glad that you are allowing me some hope.

Anonymous said...

It's not a bad name. The Anglican/Episcopal church is officially known as the Anglican Communion or something similar. As for "pope" Joe, well actually he ought to overcome this issue at his earliest convenience. But you know, all churches are full of teaching errors and political rubbish like that. Pity, because the new GCI's doctrines are really quite balanced overall. However, I'm not in GCI for its human perfection, that's an impossible ask. I'm in it because I believe that Jesus is there, and because I can learn about him there just as good as any place else.

Gavin said...

Anonymous,

Thanks for your comment, I wish you well. I did want to offer a thought about one statement though.

"As for "pope" Joe, well actually he ought to overcome this issue at his earliest convenience."

Why at HIS earliest convenience? That's a remarkably passive attitude. Do YOU have rights and responsibilities? Back in the "good old days" ministers used to talk about riding on Herbert Armstrong's coat-tails. Can that honestly be said to have changed when everything still remains in the hands of a non-elected, non-accountable Pastor General?