Friday, 31 July 2009

United - kamikaze season

From The Journal website:

Unconfirmed reports say Clyde Kilough and Richard Thompson are resigning from the United Church of God council of elders.

The Journal, as of July 30, 2009, was hearing unconfirmed but persistent reports that two members of the United Church of God's council of elders, Clyde Kilough of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Richard Thompson of Eustis, Fla., have resigned their seats on the council but that Mr. Kilough will continue in his role as president.
Both men are longtime Church of God members, and both are elders of the United Church of God an International Association, headquartered in Milford, Ohio.

The Journal has checked with UCG sources who would neither confirm or deny the reports.
The 12-man council of elders in recent months, especially since the recent election during the general conference of elders in early May 2009, has moved toward what some observers see as a more progressive position on several key issues that concern the church and its governance. For example, the council is moving toward a much less restrictive position on the topic of elders discussing among themselves how to vote concerning candidates for council positions and for church policies and whether participating in informal discussions by E-mail is appropriate for elders.


Mary Lane said...

This sounds alot like there may be some hidden conflict, because I know that Aaron Dean is a thorn in the side for the UCG hierarchy, esp after he was allowed back on the board of elders, after his counseling another church group.

And Robin Webber(his sidekick)is also on the board of elders now.

I do remember the Ambassador Report's reporting that the Dean brothers were supporting Tkach for the Pastor General because they were too young to take over the church at that time, according to some. But it was felt that they would eventually take over and get rid of Tkach.

Of course, they could probably have done this with Joe Sr., because he was not always aware of his surroundings back then. But Joe Jr. & Mike Feazell were,and when Mike took charge of the doctrinal board and made all those changes right under the noses of the old guard, there was no room for the Armstrong wannabes.

I do know that Aaron claims that HWA offered the postion to him personally. Not sure if that is true, or he just wanted others to think that it was true.

But we find him a stronghold in the UCG now, and those whom he defied are apparently leaving. Could it be....?

COG Observer said...

Very interesting development. Would be sad to see the last two men of integrity leave UCG's Council of Elders. Though maybe it should be called the Council of World News and Prophecy now...becuase the council is basically made up of a group of buddies who write together and travel together for that publication. Anytime a Board comes under the control of men who think alike and are such close friends, you have nothing but trouble. Discussions/deliberations mean nothing because the buddies automatically think alike, will not contradict each other, and have already determined the outcome informally.

VonHowitzer said...

The Horror! Letting ministers actually talk to one another before a vote!

Such a stupid restraint deserves a little Gilbert and Sullivan, as we hear from Sir Joseph Porter K.C.B., in HMS Pinafore:

"I grew so rich that I was sent
By a pocket borough into Parliament.
I always voted at my party's call,
And I never thought of thinking for myself at all.
I thought so little, they rewarded me
By making me the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!"

And of course, these are the same people that will get up and tell their congregations to come in and counsel, because in a multitude of counselors there is safety. (Except, apparently, when it comes to picking the next ruler of the Milford Navee).


Anonymous said...

Perfectly appropriate graphic.

Anonymous said...

Let the Great Divide begin!

Politics will destroy the UCG, so let's resound the UCG motto.

"Since we are not united on anything, we must tolerate everything and stand for nothing, for this is how we can keep our social club together and fool ourselves into believing we are united!"

At some point, UCG will have to own up to its governance policies and figure out that their form of church government promotes politics.

Happy Birthday Herb! said...

"Perfectly appropriate graphic."

It would be even more appropriate today if that were Herbert W. Armstrong sitting in that chair.

Anonymous said...

It is true as posted on UCG member site.

This is disturbing for us in UCG as the council has been "hijacked" and some of the men have done some unethical things over the past few years.

This goes back many years and because it was not dealt with we as members must now suffer. These new guys micro manage, have thrown out the strategic plan and have their own agenda and don't care what the results are.

As for talking about who to vote for, just ask the men on the alternate forum. They have coordinated a takeover. How else can you explain Scott Ashley being on the council.

Member of the body of Christ

Paco said...

"Member of the body of Christ" said at 6:33 AM,

"This is disturbing for us in UCG as the council has been "hijacked" and some of the men have done some unethical things over the past few years."

Actually, member, UCG is and has always been an organization founded and controlled by and for the benefit of the ministers. Regular church members have no standing, never have, and never will. The only legal members are those in the ministry. If there is any hijacking going on, it is just the boys fighting over the spoils. It doesn't really concern you unless you are a member of the UCG ministry. I'm sure they will tell you what you need to do after they get everything all sorted out.

Neotherm said...

We should be cautious about this.
It is a fact of history that various COGs divide and fragment
almost spontaneously. It is caused
by their inability to negotiate or
seek enlightenment from others.
Things that don't flex are broken.

But there was that hub-bub about
Tom Kirkpatrick having serious
differences in Cincinnati and the
outcome was simply that he was posted to Birmingham as a pastor. This is something he always wanted to do anyway. My guess is that the
hub-bub was just a little, meaningless charade. This may also
be true of Kilough and Thompson.

-- Neo

Byker Bob said...

This should be another gigantic red flag for the well-intentioned members who have sought a personal relationship with God, and believe that the best way to grow in this is by participating in the UCG (or any other ACOG for that matter).

When there is strife and splintering amongst church leaders, it's a pretty good indicator that the overall thrust and tone of the group is not being guided by the Holy Spirit. People have not recognized the need to switch their minds and agendas into neutral in order to allow the Holy Spirit to be their guides.

UCG is just another run of the mill man-made church. This latest news regarding their council of elders would seem to validate the theory that what has happened to Armstrongism is not dissimilar from what we read as having happened to those constructing the Tower of Babel. Further division and confusion is in all of their futures.


Anonymous said...


I trust that the bare-cheeked salute depicted in your cartoon is not common in the GOGs domain.

I suppose that this cartoon gets to the seat of the matter.



Questeruk said...

Hey, you know Clyde Kilough is still president; he has just stood down from the Council. Roy Holiday did this when he was president several years back.

Richard Thompson has stood down. But you all know that various others have done this over the years – Joel Meeker and Doug Horchek for example. They are still around. They didn’t pick up their toys and leave. No reason that should happen with this.

Still, what would I know?

Anonymous said...

It is true. It was announced today by Chairman Roy Holladay that Clyde Kilough and Dick Thompston resigned. Men of intergity, has left the council! Not sure about Dick Thompson but Clyde Kilough has a lot to be desired in the intergity department.

Anonymous said...

It should be noted that these two men, Ck and RT, did not choose to fulfill their term commitment and have stepped down. This is a first in UCG. The other men such as Joel Meeker and Doug Horchak did complete their terms, they just choose to not run again. That is a big difference!

Sounds like some boys got mad and decided to take their marbels and go home because it was not going their way.

Anonymous said...

The so-called United Church is already full of division if you consider what the people there actually believe and practice.

Why not do it openly and officially by formally splitting into another thousand different UCG splinter groups? They could be called UCG-001, UCG-002, UCG-003, etc.

And don't give me that drivel about those bums at the top being full of "integrity." Their past history does not indicate any such thing.

larry said...

Mary Lane,

Thanks. I guess we should all be glad then, that Mike Feazell took charge. It prevented some people from being in positions of some authority for the wrong reasons. Mike Feazell is a very intelligent, thoughtful, reasonable, educated, and insightful individual. And I consider him to be quite humble as well. It seems like he would be the perfect instrument to accomplish God's intended purpose in this matter. Who could complain?

Ned said...

Larry the pointscorer. Here's the reality Larry, Feazell should resign. As should Tkach. A church can't lean on its "leaders" if those "leaders" have no mandate and no accountability to those they allegedly serve. Feazell, Tkach and their cronies are there by the grace of a self-perpetuating hierarchic system. They have no mandate, and they suffer under the delusion that others should be accountable to THEM, not the other way round.

The truth is that UCG is further along the path to responsible governance - warts and all - than the GCI/WCG.

larry said...

Ned, Resign? To be replaced by whom? And how? It doesn't seem to matter to you that all those things I said about Feazell are true. You don't seem to care if the person in the position of responsibility is the right one or not. All that matters to you is how he/she got there! My suspicion is that he would not have been YOUR choice. That is probably a good thing then.

I asked who could complain. I guess I know.

Ned said...

Larry, you bet it matters how a leader gets to where they are. Legitimate leaders are there because of the two words you ignore: mandate and accountability. The president of the Southern Baptists may be a moron, but he has been placed in that office for a limited term by a procedure that is contestable. The same goes for the president of the LCMS, the Church of God (7th Day)...

Tkach has no MANDATE. He is not ACCOUNTABLE.

Can't you conceive of belonging to a church where the elected leadership has legitimacy, regardless of whether YOU PERSONALLY approve the choice, but because he (or she) has been chosen by the body as a whole?

The stark truth is that the membership of GCI has NEVER had that opportunity. Some "reformation"! GCI remains a dubious sect while that situation continues.

Mel said...

This just in!
Mr Weasel has been given the ultimate gift!
Junior the Pirate found Stan Rader's old sunglasses amongst his buried treasure and has let Mr Weasel wear them!

larry said...

Well Ned, this is where you and I part company. I prefer someone who considers him/herself directly accountable to GOD. This is far more important, both to me and to...God.

As for the Southern Baptists: because of their organizational structure and the fact that their leadership is accountable to the membership, that organization is rife with dissent and factions. They have all kinds of problems. Bad example.

Sue said...

Part 1

United Church of God, an International Association
Letter from the Chairman, Council of Elders
July 31, 2009

Dear Fellow Elders,

Serving on the Council of Elders represents a high-profile responsibility that is demanding and rewarding at the same time. This responsibility is demanding in the sense that most of our Council members are also church pastors or work full-time in other positions, which makes additional demands on a Council member’s limited time. It is rewarding in the fact that we on the Council have a humbling opportunity to render service in a unique way.

As a result of the last General Conference of Elders annual meeting, the Council has undergone some changes with new members being added. After serving on the Council for the previous two years, I was named as the Council’s new chairman. It is in that role as chairman that I am writing to you to openly inform you of two additional changes.

Effective Monday, July 27, Richard Thompson resigned from the Council for personal reasons. On Tuesday, July 28, Clyde Kilough, who of course serves as the president of the United Church of God, resigned from the Council for personal reasons. Clyde will continue in his role as president, and Richard will continue serving as a pastor for the United Church of God and as a member of the Church’s Ministerial Services Team.

Sue said...

Part 2

Both men have served faithfully and well on the Council in a multitude of responsibilities. There is no question that they have made and will continue to make important contributions to the work of the Church. Both contributed directly to the development of the Church’s strategic planning process, and that plan will go forward.

Knowing firsthand of the workload and commitment required to serve on the Council, we respect both their past contributions and their current decisions to step away and focus on other duties within the Church.

A natural question now arises: Who will replace them in the now-open positions on the Council? Thankfully, the United Church of God has an orderly process in place for such an occasion. The Church’s Bylaws stipulate that the next in line (as selected in the last General Conference of Elders’ ballot) be notified of their opportunity to serve. Given the weighty responsibilities that a Council member bears, it is logical that time be allowed for the potential new members to consider this new role before they agree to accept. This process is now being followed.

This is not the first time a Council member has resigned while still serving a term, and the orderly process of bringing in a new member has worked well. We believe that this time will be no different.

I should also point out that it was the Council’s original intent to announce both the resignations of the two men and the two new Council members at the same time. To rightly accommodate the required and wise process of notification and reflection by the potential new members, the Council thought it best to openly communicate these changes in a timely manner. It is said that nature abhors a vacuum, and I have found that the same can be true of speculative comments filling an information void. Hence this communication to you now.

For those of you who follow the Council reports, I might point out that the Council reporter was unaware of the resignations when he prepared the traditional report earlier this week. In his official report, he thus erroneously (albeit honestly in the absence of the current information) listed the two former Council members as not being in attendance. That honest error will be corrected.

I am personally grateful that the Church has in place an orderly process that addresses developments such as these. The United Church of God is growing and we will continue to execute on the formal Strategic Plan to which so many have made worthy contributions. We will notify you of the new Council members once the process is complete and they are confirmed. You of course are welcome to share news of this development with our members.


Roy Holladay

© 2009 United Church of God, an International Association

Sue said...

I am not a fan of UCG, but would like to note one thing...both men say they resigned due to personal reasons...maybe that is the whole of it. I have not seen one person mention that Richard Thompson's wife died a while back...perhaps he truly is resigning due to personal reasons. At least it is a possibility.

I WILL be curious to see who takes their places.

So far I haven't heard AS FACT that they resigned for any other reason. And I am only interested in FACTS.


Ned said...

Larry wrote: "Well Ned, this is where you and I part company. I prefer someone who considers him/herself directly accountable to GOD. This is far more important, both to me and to...God."

Earth calling Larry, we are ALL accountable to God. Not just Joe and Mike. As YOU are accountable to God, you have the responsibility to demand accountability of those in leadership roles. If they are genuine Christian leaders they will WILLINGLY accept that accountability.

It may come as news to you Larry, but Joe and Mike have no greater access to God than you do. You are simply throwing your hands up in the air and abdicating personal responsibility. That makes you complicit in their game-playing.

larry said...

Ned, that is absolute BULL!

You are right in one respect. I DO have access and accountability to God and I do take that seriously. From my limited interaction with Tkach and Feazell, I am fairly certain that they do also.

However, it is NOT my responsibility to demand accountability from them! That is just not Biblical. I am certainly open to hearing your argument, but I am unaware of any historical incidence where the leadership was instructed by God to be accountable to the membership. In virtually all situations where "democracy" prevailed in the decision making, either in Israel or the Church, the majority chose poorly. What does that tell you?

It is God's responsibility to hold leaders accountable, and I am certain that He does not need my help.

Anonymous said...

"this is a first in UCG. The other men such as Joel Meeker and Doug Horchak did complete their terms, they just choose to not run again. That is a big difference!"

Actually Joel Meeker resigned from the Council without finishing his term just after being elected on the council so that Leon Walker could re-join the council. Leon Walker did not get re-elected on to the council and Joel deferred his position on the council to Leon Walker who was next in-line to be on the council if there were to be resignation from a council member who represented the International area.

Mel said...

At least, "personal reasons" covers lots of territory.

When Ron Dart split from GTA's dealie, he gave 'heart problems' as being the reason.

Being that specific made it obvious that Dart's given reason was as unreal as the fake hair on his head, since Dart resigned at the very moment when video of GTA prancing around naked while masturbating and grabbing at his therapist's breasts was about to be broadcast internationally.

Questeruk said...

Anonymous (Sat Aug 01, 02:23:00 PM) said...
It should be noted that these two men, Ck and RT, did not choose to fulfill their term commitment and have stepped down. This is a first in UCG. The other men such as Joel Meeker and Doug Horchak did complete their terms, they just choose to not run again. That is a big difference!

Anonymous, whoever you are – just check your facts before you make statements like that. Both Joel Meeker and Doug Horchak have resigned in the past, and NOT fulfilled there term commitment.

Joel Meeker

“MILFORD, Ohio--Joel Meeker, an elder in the United Church of God and member of the UCG's governing body, the council of elders, resigned his seat on the 12-man board in a letter to church president Clyde Kilough dated July 25, 2007.
Filling the vacancy is Leon Walker of Big Sandy, Texas, who in May had lost his bid for reelection to the council.”

While Doug Horchak did step down in 2005, at the end of his term, what I had in mind was an earlier occasion, in 1997.

“In June 1997 The Journal reported the announcement that Doug Horchak would resign from the council and that Les McCullough would replace him.”

I don’t know why people don’t check the facts before they make misleading, inaccurate statements. It’s so easy to check these days with internet access.

I think there were a couple of other occurrences, but I will let ‘Anonymous’ check that out!

Anonymous said...

This is another indicator to me as to how much power and influence Aaron Dean has.

United is going to change and i dont think it`s for the better.

Anonymous said...

"However, it is NOT my responsibility to demand accountability from them! That is just not Biblical."

On behalf of cult leaders and despots around the world, thanks for checking your brain at the door. If it wasn't for such mindless obediance, HWA would have never made a dime.

Ned said...

Larry, let's take the heat out of this discussion; here is what it comes down to:

(1) God chooses the leaders, OR
(2) The people of God choose the leaders

You say (1), I say (2)

If it's (1) then we have a problem. There is more than one leader, and they all seem to think God tapped them on the shoulder: Tkach, Meredith, Flurry, Pack...

If it's (2) then there's a different scenario. Yes, a leader like Joe Tkach is certainly accountable to God, but that line of accountability goes through the members he serves.

In the tradition I'm now familiar with, a congregation calls (invites) a minister, who may either accept or decline. Church delegates meet annually to debate and vote on remits. The church president is elected at the conference. It's a system that works well (though obviously no system is perfect) and has stood the test of time over many decades and in many countries. Basic doctrine was settled long, long ago, so that's not in contention - but how it's understood and administered is vigorously debated.

That's the practical part of "the priesthood of ALL believers."

No church leader has a direct phone-line to God over and above what any Christian has. None has got to their position by divine selection.

Anonymous said...

These guys actually think they have access to God. Incredible.

The Skeptic

larry said...

Well Ned, we do indeed have a problem then. Because, historically (1) is the way that the proper leaders of God’s people have always been selected. And, it hasn’t always been pretty either. Leaders have come to the position a variety of ways, often reluctantly, but election by the people isn’t one of them. Democracy is fine for government, but doesn’t seem to be the way that God works in His church.

Please consider Moses, Peter, Paul, Samuel, Joseph, Solomon, David. All were selected by God, and were good leaders. NONE would have ever been elected by the people because they all had obvious flaws.

Now consider those that the “people” wanted: Saul, Absalom, Jeroboam. Need I say more?

What is the solution? Have faith, and be very skeptical of those who actively seek the top positions and/or proclaim themselves to be the leader because of their inherent talent, favor, or superiority.

larry said...

And Skeptic....

Yes, I/we do have access to God. He is the source of the awesome wisdom that I demonstrate here for you on this board somewhat regularly. Make a note.

Anonymous said...

"Democracy is fine for government, but doesn’t seem to be the way that God works in His church."

I thought WCG/GCI allowed voting now? Would explain a lot, if it's still banned, like why Junior is still in power when he was supposed to given up that ghost in 1998. (Read the quote on the sidebar at Stan's blog if you don't believe me.)


Anonymous said...


Interesting evidence you offer for your imaginary access to your imaginary friend.

I admit, I have often wondered about the source of the "awesome wisdom" that you demonstrate here on this board! Now it all makes sense to me - no source at all for no wisdom at all, LOL.

The Skeptic

Speakerbox said...

Larry.... with the names you listed (Moses etc), there was often (always?) some supernatural manifestation of power..plagues, fire from the sky, victory over armies etc.....not the division, controversy, abuses of power etc that we often see in some of the COG's. The sad thing is that sometimes ex-COG'ers, who are abused in some way by egotistic leaders, reject God altogether. God is a personal God, who seeks companionship with every individual on earth. A unique, special relationship that is not, and cannot be defined by a self-proclaimed leader. Prove all things.

Anonymous said...

"God is a personal God, who seeks companionship with every individual on earth. A unique, special relationship..."

If God's seeking a special relationship, he's not very good at it - we receive no communication ever from God, in any form. All we have is a book written by stone-age, bronze-age and iron-age men, to which you ascribe infalliblity. And we have the random occurences of every day life; you ignore the unfavorable ones, while you ascribe the favorable ones to God's intervention.

"Prove all things."

Yes, please do.

The Skeptic

Speakerbox said...

Dear Skeptic....the "prove all things" was mainly a pun directed at Larry, but.... to answer your question, I can't scientifically prove that God exists because science is based upon empiricism, which is based upon observation, whereas faith is based on revealed knowledge.

By definition, science and faith are not the same thing. I cannot prove an article of faith, else if I could, then it would cease to be an article of faith. The bible says that we are saved by faith and that faith is the subject/object of things not seen...i have often wondered if faith would exist (thereby salvation) if the 1st chapter of Genesis would have started out " in the begining all matter and energy in the universe was contained in one singularity, and then there was the big bang, and billions of years later galatic dust created the sun etc etc..." My point being...if the Genesis account fit with our modern day scientific observations, then faith would not be an issue. Those same "stone aged" people would have seemed very advanced.

Atheists, however, have a more difficult task: one can't prove a negative, e.g. one can't prove that God does not exist. I think the COG's have some serious problems....but i don't doubt that there is something greater than myself and I am not so egotistical to think (as some do) that I am smart enough to figure the meaning of life and the nature of existence.

I think Jesus stated it quite well: love God and love your neighbor. Sounds pretty reasonable to me.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, faith. A very clever strategy by the writers of the bible, and all religious proponents ever since. They can't prove their claims, the evidence don't support their claims. What to do?

I've got it! Faith! Let's make it "Holy" to believe what we say without evidence. Let's make it "Unholy" to ask for evidence. Do you think anyone will fall for it?

Yes, I am skeptical. I base my understanding of the world upon observation. I admit it.

Revealed knowledge? Revealed by whom? The Maharaj Ji claims to reveal knowledge. So does Reverend Moon. So did Mohammed. And Krishna. And Christ.

Faith? Each of these asks for, nay demands, your faith. And countless more like them. How do you decide in whom to have faith? (I'll bet you include evidence in your answer).

I don't have a difficult task: I feel no need to prove that God does not exist. Perhaps a being or beings more powerful than humans do exist, and perhaps they had a hand in creating our universe. I don't know. I don't see how I could know. And I'm comfortable with not knowing.

What I DO know is this. The universe was not created in the manner described in the bible and it was not created by the being the bible calls "God". THAT is easy to prove.

The Skeptic

speakerbox said...

Dear Skeptic…you have some great points. I teach psychology and on the very first day of class I point out to the students that college will challenge their belief system (that’s just part of the college experience); but I encourage them not to fall into a “faith vs. science” mindset, because it, in many ways, is a false choice.

Psychologically speaking, there are 3 modes (or types) of knowledge systems: Science (which is based on observation - empiricism), Reason (which is based on what “makes sense” - philosophy) and Religion (which is based on “what feels right” – faith). The interesting thing about these three knowledge systems (and the reason why faith vs science is a false choice) is that each knowledge system contains elements of the other two knowledge systems.

Science (empiricism) contains elements of faith: faith in one’s methods, faith in one’s observations, and faith in the work that preceded your own.
Science also contains elements of reason: if your observations do not “make sense,” then you’ve probably done your experiments and what-not incorrectly and if your data does not fit with an accepted theory, then you have no way to explain the data.

Reason (philosophy) contains elements of empiricism: no matter how well-reasoned an argument or idea may be, if it cannot be observed, then it will always be suspect. Reason also contains elements of faith: namely, faith in your own ability to figure out the nature of existence and the meaning of life (that’s why philosophers are usually arrogant snobs – they believe they are smart enough to figure this all out).

Faith (religion) contains elements of reason: a great deal of what the Bible (and Koran etc.) have to say is very reasonable, and makes sense (love your neighbor, do unto others etc). Faith also contains elements of empiricism: if you do unto others as you’d have done unto you, then it works out pretty well for you and society in general (the norm of reciprocity).

My point here, is that the three are not mutually exclusive: there is more than enough “room” for all three in a persons life; indeed, people of faith have been found to live longer, have happier marriages, better adjusted kids, etc .

How do I decide in whom to have faith? On one level, it’s a matter of parsing out the religious texts (and the various interpretations) with observation and reason.

Sometimes it’s easy: the Mayans thought the sun wouldn’t rise the next day without a human sacrifice. Well, they didn’t sacrifice anyone yesterday; the sun came up today…so they are out of the running. I will not be a Mayan Sun worshipper anytime soon!

All major religions have an explanation for creation, and none of them really fit with current scientific theories. So, if you discount creation explanations across the board, I find the bible to be the most consistent with my observations regarding human nature and relationships; and it fits with my expectation/understanding (reason) of what life should be like (especially the New Testament, which tends to emphasize forgiveness and love, both for self and others).

As I mentioned in the previous post, however, faith and science ARE two different things (although they contain elements of the other in each) and ultimately, one does have to make a “leap of faith.” How do I choose which religion? I could ask, “how do you choose whom to marry?” Ultimately, you have to say that it just feels right and makes sense.

BTW: there’s a very good book called “Psychology Through the Eyes of Faith” by David Myers, a well respected social psychologist. It’s a pretty good read and you can get it here ( if you’re interested.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for that reply! It was the most reasonable reply I've received in a long while. I think you and I are pretty much on the same page, except that we differ in one major respect. You say "I find the bible to be the most consistent with my observations regarding human nature and relationships; and it fits with my expectation/understanding (reason) of what life should be like" I have come to a different conclusion.

Part of the problem may be that I come from a WCG background, where the bible was considered god-inspired and infallible. The transition out of this background was gradual and painful. At some point, I got past questioning church doctrines and began to question the bible itself. Well, as you may know, an honest reading of the bible can only lead to the conclusion that it is not infallible and not god-inspired.

However, there are many "good" parts of the bible, which are an excellent guide to proper human relationships. If one picks out the good parts, and updates them for what we've learned over the past 2,000 years, that could be a good religion. And, in fact, that seems to be what many modern churches try to do.

I don't reject religion per say. I think it can be a good thing for lots of people. There are churches who aren't entrenched in a mindset of "the bible is god's infallible communication to mankind", and who have adapted to the modern age. I have no quarrel with these churches.

I still think they should pay taxes the same as everyone else, though. The idea of churches being tax-exempt is just plain wrong.

The Skeptic

speakerbox said...

H Skeptic...

"Part of the problem may be that I come from a WCG background, where the bible was considered god-inspired and infallible."

With my wasn't the teaching that the bible was infallible, it was with the parts of the bible that they emphasized (law, instead of grace, "you can't" instead "you can").

Beyond that, though, there seems to be something wrong with the culture of the COG's (and old WCG) that is outside, or seperate, from their theology (although I think its related); this "something" tends to alienate, divide and seperate their members, both from non-members, but also people within the church (cliques), and to a certain extent...i think the culture even forces one to divide the self; its easy to see hypocrisy in any church (unfortunately), but it seems to be easier to see it in the Cog's: maybe it is because they think they are so spiritually enlightened or more "Holy" than others. Maybe its because they "strain out a knat, but swallow a camel."

I don't know, but I really would suggest you get "Psychology through the eyes of faith" - it accentuates the positive aspects of religion (mainly christianity); old WCG/COG's tends to accentuate the negative aspects: "don't touch, don't eat, don't drink, thou shall not, no Christmas etc.."