There have not been any major UCG-related events so far this week, but there have been a few posts in other blogs I would like to mention that I have not posted about before.
The UCG Current Crisis blog posted a letter from Mr. Dennis Luker to many ministers in Latin America. The letter apparently has been sent to ministers Mr. Luker believes are affiliated with Mr. Leon Walker. The gist of the letter is that, for each minister receiving the letter, his ministerial credentials in UCG and membership in the General Conference of Elders will be revoked unless he informs Mr. Luker that he is accepting Mr. Luker's authority and that he is not affiliated with or assisting Mr. Walker and his group.
This puts the exclamation point on the fact that there will be no reconciliation.
Here is a link to the post giving the full text of the letter:
This is not a surprise, and it is a step towards the complete severance from UCG of those Latin American ministers accepting Mr. Walker's supervision. Once this process completes, those ministers will not be eligible to vote against current Council members in the next UCG election, coming I think next May (someone correct me if I am wrong about that month).
John Elliott, a pastor in UCG, has written a letter in his UCG congregation page, and it has attracted attention among a couple of bloggers. He has also published it in Facebook. Shining Light blog has published it along with James Malm's interspersed comments, and John Carmack has published it in his Church of God Perspective blog. The letter includes a series of questions about how to apply God's Sabbath law in various scenarios meant to illustrate difficult circumstances. The main point of the letter seems to be that there are many details about applying the law of God that require judgments to be made by the ministry. The letter seems to be written to support UCG's Council majority. It equates disagreement with the Church's judgments with rebellion.
I have read Mr. Elliott's letter, and I think it is seriously flawed. One big problem with it is that it says nothing about a Christian's obligation to obey God rather than man when there is a conflict. A Church member must obey God's law first, and the Church's judgment second. To allow the judgment of the leadership of the Church to override your obedience to God's law is idolatry. The authority of the ministry to make binding judgments is limited; God's authority is unlimited.
Here are links to that letter and comments about it:
The letter in Mr. Elliott's congregation page:
The letter in Facebook:
The letter in the Shining Light blog, with interspersed comments by James Malm:
The letter in Church of God Perspective blog with comments by John Carmack:
An official petition is being circulated to ministers who are members of the General Conference of Elders for signature, according to a post in the Shining Light blog. This petition is for a review of the conduct of the Council of Elders and UCG's administration for actions against the Latin American ministry. The petition is sponsored by Dave DeHart, Glenn Doig, Mike Machin and Frank Pierce. The results are being tabulated by a third-party CPA firm. For details, you can read the text of the petition in the Shining Light blog post, here is the link:
A minister in Latin America, Edward Hernández, has resigned from UCG. A letter from Edward Hernandez giving his reasons for his resignation is published in the UCG Current Crisis blog, link here:
The UCG Current Crisis blog has also published a letter from Mr. Leon Walker about Mr. Luker's letter to the Latin American ministers. Here is a link to the post with that letter:
It appears that most of those ministers who disagree with the current Council majority in their handling of the Latin American situation are making one last effort to stay in UCG and resolve the situation from within, and that such a resolution would result in the eventual removal from power of the current Council majority and the administration. If this attempt succeeds, there might not be a major split in the next 6 months to a year. But if it fails, I sure there will be such a split, with the current Council of Elders majority remaining in power and most of those ministers who disagree with them leaving UCG and forming new organizations.
The UCG Current Crisis blog has published an updated list of ministers in UCG who have resigned or been removed from their positions in the last year. Some items I have not reported before in this blog:
Paul Carter resigned from the UCG ministry.
Larry Salyer has been removed from UCG ministry. It was previously reported that he was relieved of his ministerial duties, but now it appears he is no longer credentialed as a minister in UCG, which I presume means he no longer receives a salary and is not eligible to vote in UCG's General Conferences of Elders elections, but this has not been clarified.
I also noticed that David Campbell (Canadian minister) resigned from UCG ministry in June 2010. I had not reported that before.
Here is a link to the UCG Current Crisis post:
UCG Current Crisis blog has published an open letter from Mr. Ken Giese in which he resigns from UCG and from the GCE and calls on the GCE to hold the Council accountable for their actions and to take steps to call for a special meeting for restructuring UCG with new leadership. A link to that post is here:
More to come...
Here are links to related sections in Preaching the Gospel:
Our Attitude and Approach Towards God's Word, Chapter 1
The Weekly Sabbath Day, Chapter 2
Government in the Church, Chapter 5
Following the Bible -- Pattern of Government, Chapter 6
Church Government, Chapter 7
How Is the Church Organized?, Chapter 7