... as the UCG's Council of Elders gathers at Home Office, beginning tomorrow (Sunday). With the Holy Day season approaching (Trumpets kicks of the cycle on September 19) the lads should presumably be eager to bring everyone together in a group hug and move on, linked arm in arm. Somehow, though, one suspects things might be different to that. Council goes all the way through to the thirteenth, a long time to keep up appearances.
Will the new council try to force through its initiatives on shifting the balance away from church maintenance (salaries) to propaganda and recruitment (preaching their version of the gospel using mass media)? Will the aborted Texas move resurface? Will the two factions engage in horse-trading to save face? Will disgruntled COE members toss their toys out of the cot? Will el presidente resign?
Only time will tell.
Here's what I think will happen.
The Council of Elders will convene. Viktor Kubik will turn into a giant bus and run over everyone. But then another elder will turn into an airplane and start roaring around, yelling "gas turbines for christ!". He'll shoot bibles at the kubik-bus, who will return fire using +1 Lances of Hypocrisy.
And then it'll get weird.
+1 Lances of Hypocrisy are notoriously unreliable, only doing credible damage on a natural 20 and snapping in half on a roll of a one. I suggest that this duel will instead be fought with the far more predictable Wands of Wonder. My prediction: Both with shoot moths at each other.
In all seriousness, it looks like splitsville for UCG. After the Feast season has ended I predict a massive defection to the LCG. Thus crippled, the UCG is going to have to devolve to local minister control. Not that I have any access to insider information nor are in any way rooting this on, but the writing has been on the walls for some time now.
It would be nice if one of these COGs was actually controlled by its membership. But that has never been the case with these “Playing Armstrong” groups. No religious organization of the UCG’s size would bother with a television or outreach ministry. Instead, scarce resources would be husbanded towards sharing purchasing power for materials that all of the churches need.
Aaron's new boardroom hardware must have really worked.
Every room, phone, and PC in Milford isn't so private!
Massive defection to LCG? Come on, you've got to be kidding. There's no way most of the membership would want to subject themselves to Spanky Merry-Death's crazy ramblings.
But perhaps a good chunk of the ministry in UCG would......
A little musical interlude, for those in United with the ears to hear.
Too Many Hands
Too many hands
carving up the sky
and leaving their mark in the sand.
Our destiny moves
no matter where we stand.
Too many hands.
There's dust in my eyes
poison in my brain
an ocean that runs through my veins.
But here in my chest
there's a feeling I don't understand.
Too many hands.
Here on the highest ground
you can see how far we've gone.
One voice cries echoes on and on.
Far away gone
I'll be hiding from the plans
of too many hands.
Traces of history
appear across the sky.
Lay down now and let your spirit fly.
Too many hands
fade away with time.
they're losing themselves in the plan.
I offer my voice
hear me if you can.
Too many hands
Too many hands.
(Copyright Jim Cuddy. No infringement intended.)
Russell Miller said...
"He'll shoot bibles at the kubik-bus....."
Rolling-on-the-floor-laughing-out-loud-with-milk-shooting-out-my-nose!!!! Oh we can have fun with that moniker! The Kubikubus.
That moniker is a stroke of genius. The perfect tag for someone who is a master of the nom de plume!
I wonder why that name didn't show up on MALNET years ago? ;)
Two things I have never trusted:
1) Preachers and deacons who advertise their good works.
2) Married couples who over-express their affection in public forums. Arguing couples often have healthier long term relationships.
Its usually about diversion.
Roy Holliday and Doug Horchak are decent guys. As a matter of fact, so is Victor Kubik. I've never met the Franks fellow, but what's all the hubbub over changes in the board? Boards change, and will continue to do so.
None of these gentlemen can muster the years or the gravitas that once made HWA the center and power source of the old Church of God. My prayer is that the United leadership will find it within themselves to hang tough, to stick together despite their differences. In fact, freedom of expression should be encouraged, with respect for differences of opinion. No two people will ever see things precisely the same, so why pretend otherwise?
With that determination they should be able to advance the doctrinal understanding of the church, and eventually find courage and motivation to advance the PR functions that once enabled steady growth, dedicated to a viable and Godly work.
Alas, another in a series of events designed to resolve the problems engendered by the Armstrong movement.
UCG falls into the general category of people who have persistently failed to acknowledge and correct flawed theology. So, in a sense, it really doesn't matter what they decide to do, or not to do. All of their members will continue to be enmeshed in various degrees of error, their "religion" continuing to be a placebo.
I was recently analyzing possible ways in which the Armstrong problem could have been resolved and corrected. Yes, the Tkaches were right in admitting error, and attempting to right decades of wrong doctrine, bad fruits, and ruined lives. But, as teachers of falsehoods, the ministers of Armstrongism have permanently disqualified themselves from the ministry, and none of them should be regarded as authentic spiritual guides. WCG should have disbanded, with the members encouraged to attend any one of hundreds of church groups which are Bible based, and exhibiting the fruits which grow naturally in the lives of all true Christians.
WCG should have disbanded, with the members encouraged to attend any one of HUNDREDS of church groups which are BIBLE BASED, and exhibiting the FRUITS which GROW NATURALLY in the LIVES of all TRUE Christians.
Why? Don't you think that the members of the WCG could have become a bible based church and exhibit the fruits which grow naturally in all true christians?
How would changing to a second church change the members of the first church?
I thought all churches were "bible based" churches ... if not, what's that black book they are all totin'?
I just love the way people talk about "true christians" - meaning themselves - which means all other christians are just, what? Chopped liver? Road kill? What?
BB, just like the fruits you're showing. I'm sure that's something to aspire for.
Yes Bob, but under that scenario Joe Tkach and his henchmen would have stopped getting their paychecks. What other church would have hired any of them at any level, let alone the salaries they receive? Much better for them to keep their paychecks coming in by continuing to collect the dwindling contributions their church receives, while making up the difference with sales of assets built up under HWA.
Byker Bob said, "WCG should have disbanded, with the members encouraged to attend any one of hundreds of church groups ..."
I said that years and years ago. WCG should have been dissolved, period. Those who were addicted to religion would have found other groups to be part of.
Mark Lax says, "In all seriousness, it looks like splitsville for UCG. After the Feast season has ended I predict a massive defection to the LCG."
I sincerely hope he's wrong.
Tolerance for intellectual freedom will have been abandoned and replaced with the Meredith version of papal authority.
Mind you, anything Meredith doesn't understand or embrace will not be tolerated, ostensibly "in Christ's name," and his sycophants will not challenge him so long as they are part of that mind-numbing clump of comfortably paid, authoritarian power mongers. Even discussing new ideas will produce warnings, and eventual shunning.
These men rely on conjured authority because they have neither the knowledge nor the intellect that would enable them to challenge and eradicate error. They will always be threatened by questing minds and viable scholarship.
Brilliant scholarship cannot be tolerated in an authoritarian group like LCG, based on the oft-stated theory that God wouldn’t reveal new truth except through "His chosen leaders." But if that's true, who are they and where's the proof? At worst the best minds will be drummed out for excellence like so many others before them.
If there is a mass migration of UCG ministers and congregants to LCG, then it will be a matter of steady paychecks for the ministers, and gullibility for the laypeople. The laypeople will have merited leadership that serves a paycheck, that will not tolerate free thinking -- and all in the name of sacred ministry.
Could anything be less promising?
"Mark Lax says, "In all seriousness, it looks like splitsville for UCG. After the Feast season has ended I predict a massive defection to the LCG.""
IF there were to be a split...not too many (if ANY) of these guys (and I know several of them) would go to LCG. BECAUSE when these splits have happened it is usually because someone wants to ba head hauncho---thinks they know better than everyone else, and is not willing to stay and go along with the majority if the decision is not what they wanted. I cannot predict if there will be a split, but if there were...I think another new group would be started.
Byker Bob said,
"Yes, the Tkaches were right in admitting error, and attempting to right decades of wrong doctrine, bad fruits, and ruined lives. But, as teachers of falsehoods, the ministers of Armstrongism have permanently disqualified themselves from the ministry, and none of them should be regarded as authentic spiritual guides."
By this criteria, the Apostle Paul would have been disqualified. Don't you realize that God always does His greatest works through flawed individuals?
As a member of United, I simply can't imagine that there are even a few who would be interested in the LCG; those who assembled at United's formation back in 1995 specifically chose, as Rod Meredith is painfully aware, not to join up with the then existent Global Church of God, LCG's predecessor. Those in UCG who worked under Dr. Meredith or knew him want nothing to do with him.
Yes, Larry, I am aware that God works through flawed men. But, He's usually somewhat selective in the types of flaws. By the way, I'm perfectly content in the knowledge that our flawed former teachers are brethren, and will be in the Kingdom. We simply can't trust them as teachers, if for no other reason than that the evidence on some of their own blogs and forums indicates that they are floundering along on a rather lengthy learning curve. I'd much rather listen to and read materials from some who are more advanced, and whose beliefs are solidified.
Don't you realize that God always does His greatest works through flawed individuals?.
Yep, Joseph Smith must be his greatest modern work. From 6 souls to 20 million in less than 200 years. Beats the hell out of the apostle Paul.
"Don't you realize that God always does His greatest works through flawed individuals?"
Hmmm, judging from WCG/GCI's membership trends, Joe must be less flawed than I thought.
Somehow larry's logic strikes me as Through-the-Looking-Glass reasoning. If Charles Dodgson is looking down, he must be amused.
I've been cogitating upon some of the points made by Larry. One truism regarding those of an Armstrongite background is that there are large numbers of people, who in the aftermath, still do believe in God. Their approach is to correct error, or to make adjustments, as opposed to erecting a huge wall to separate themselves from a God whom they may feel "burned" them.
Now, I've read quite a number of books on Christianity, the New Covenant, and the Holy Spirit, mostly within the past five years. These do provide some understanding, but more depth is needed for those who once believed the classic Armstrong doctrines. None of these books deconstruct such teachings, and show the error behind the beliefs. Knowledgeable WCG insiders, with intricate familiarity with the doctrines and the basis for each, and who have made a subsequent and detailed study of scripture and classic Christian doctrine are the only ones who would be properly equipped to perform such a deconstruct and reconstruction. While not all of the WCG ministers or members were brilliant scholars, there were a handful of WCG insiders capable of performing this task. Whether or not people would pay any attention, or allow the information to sink in is quite another issue.
Of all the deconstructs I've seen or read, the best (in my opinion) has come from the pen of Mike Vinson. I don't agree with everything he writes, but much of what he's written on the New Covenant appears to be bulletproof.
That thingy about "flawed individuals" reminds me of how some use reasoning that goes something like this:
"God said the righteous would be persecuted, so your arguments against me and what I say are PROOF that I'm righteous, and that God is on my side- and not yours!"
And heck, using Hitler as an example of a "flawed individual"(I'm assuming all here would agree he was flawed), EVEN if you think he was 'used by God' in a mighty way, doesn't mean that he should be respected, trusted, or followed.
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