Monday, August 9, 2010

Conflict of Interest?

United Church of God has published an "Update on the Situation in Latin America and with Leon Walker" from Mr. Melvin Rhodes and Mr. Dennis Luker as a pdf file dated August 6, 2010. Here is a link to the file:

One thing in this update caught my attention. Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Luker describe a document Mr. Leon Walker talked about entitled "The Administrative Structure of the Spanish Region of the United Church of God, an International Association." This document expresses the wishes of the Spanish ministry on how the Spanish Region of UCG should be administered. Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Luker criticized this document. According to Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Luker, this document states that the regional director should be appointed by an administrative board consisting of pastors under the authority of the regional director, who can be removed by the regional director, and only by the votes of two-thirds of those pastors may the regional director be removed. Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Luker then state that there is a conflict of interest for the director to be able to remove the subordinates with the subordinates having the power to remove the director (page 5). Later Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Luker say that no organization in its right mind would allow a supervisory employee to be selected or removed by employees under the authority of the supervisor (page 6).

But isn't that exactly how United Church of God governance works on the larger scale? It is the pastors and elders under the authority of the Council of Elders who select and remove members of the Council. There is indeed a conflict of interest, but this is built-in to UCG governance, and you cannot remove the conflict without changing the governance.

It also raises a question about the governance that will be set up for new organizations by those separating from UCG. Will they also have governance by balloting? Or will they have top-down governance? And if they have governance by balloting, what will they have learned? How can those who leave UCG or are forced out explain how this happened? As UCG leaders often point out, the governance in UCG was agreed to by the UCG ministers 15 years ago. So why isn't it working? Is it a mistake to have governance by balloting or not? If not, why is there such division in UCG? And what will those who separate do differently to make sure the division that has come about in UCG will not also come about later in any new organizations that are formed?

Here are links to answers to the Melvin Rhodes / Dennis Luker update.

This is a response from Mr. Leon Walker:

This is a response from Mr. Larry Roybal about things said about him in the UCG update:

More related links:

UCG posts from Melvin Rhodes and Dennis Luker:

Here is the UCG post giving the link to the update pdf document:

Links to recent posts about the UCG crisis in COGwriter:

More to come...

Here are links to related sections in Preaching the Gospel:

Government in the Church, Chapter 5

Following the Bible -- Pattern of Government, Chapter 6

Church Government, Chapter 7

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