I have listened to the presentation Mr. Dennis Luker gave to the Council of Elders on Monday, August 9 prior to the meeting between the Council and Mr. Leon Walker to explore reconciliation.
Here is a link to the UCG blog posting giving the link to the presentation:
Here is a link to the page that has the presentation. You can view it on this page or download it in .mp3 format:
I found the message to be very good in terms of teaching right principles of loving our neighbors and living at peace with one another. He points out that God will make sure that the job He wants His Church to do will get done, and if we are not faithful, He will use someone else. He challenges us to examine ourselves to see if we love one another enough to resolve differences peacefully and if we love God enough to seek God's will more than our own. He points out that we should love even our enemies, have humility, and work to be peacemakers.
The presentation is 26 minutes long, and is a good admonition for focusing on right spiritual principles of love towards God and neighbor and having an attitude and approach that leads to peace.
Will there be a reconcilation?
I think a true and complete reconciliation will have some important characteristics. You can look for those characteristics, and if they are there, a reconciliation is in progress and that reconciliation is likely to be real, in my opinion. But if those characteristics are not there, I think there will be no reconciliation, but rather, the division will increase. Those characteristics will be based on actions, not words.
Now if these characteristics are not present, and there is no reconciliation, that does not by itself indicate which side is at fault. One side might be at fault, or the other side, or both sides. It takes only one side doing the wrong things to create division but it takes both sides to create reconciliation. If you are seeking to judge which side may be at fault, or if both sides are at fault, you have to look at all the facts.
But the characteristics that will be present, in my opinion, for there to be a real and complete reconciliation, are these.
A reconciliation would include a restoration of salary, a re-hiring or a canceling of the decision to fire, towards Mr. Leon Walker and the ministers under his supervision and a restoration of financial aid to the whole Latin American region including the ministers and members under Mr. Walker's supervision.
Secondly, there would be a reinstatement of Mr. Walker and all the ministers under his supervision to their status as ministers in UCG eligible to ballot on issues that come up before the General Conference of Elders and to elect or remove members of the Council of Elders.
If both sides, Leon Walker and the ministers under his supervision, and the Council of Elders and Dennis Luker, all do the right thing and behave with godly love towards each other, such a complete reconciliation is possible. But if one side or the other does not do the right thing, there may be no reconciliation such as what I just described.
And I think if there is not a complete reconciliation, after hopes have been raised and reconciliatory words have been said, it is likely that positions will harden on both sides, and then any reconciliation will be more difficult and more unlikely than ever. It is easy to forgive people for what they do when their emotions have been high, because all of us can understand that when we are angry, our judgment might be impaired. But if in the cold light of morning, when we are calm, we still cannot live at peace with each other, if one side or both coldly and calmly and with eyes wide open, not being under the influence of anger or high emotion, make decisions that severe relationships, how can that be reconciled?
This may be the last chance both sides may have to avoid long lasting division.
More to come...
Here are links to related sections in Preaching the Gospel:
The Weekly Sabbath Day, Chapter 2
The Days of Unleavened Bread - Repentance, Chapter 2
God's Purpose for Mankind, Chapter 2