Sunday, November 7, 2010

New Review of Fasting Paper

UCG Current Crisis blog has announced and made available two papers reviewing the recent paper on fasting that UCG has published. Here is a link to the UCG Current Crisis blog from which you may download those reviews in .pdf format:

These papers help to explain why some UCG ministers have been concerned about the paper on fasting, and point out alleged errors in that paper. It was apparently because of criticism of that paper and the Sabbath paper on the part of Larry Salyer that led to his removal.

If the information presented in these review papers is accurate, it does indeed seem that the paper on fasting contains serious errors. The Sabbath paper contained errors, so this should not be surprising. Yet ministers are removed or threatened with removal for disagreeing with them and for speaking out against the Sabbath and fasting papers. When a minister is asked questions from members of his congregation about these papers, if there are errors in these papers, what does the Council majority want the minister to do? Refuse to answer questions? Lie and pretend that the papers are correct? Or tell the truth and be fired?

It may be that the Council majority prefers the last one. Speak out and be fired. A minister who is gone will not be able to vote against current Council members or their agenda.

Yet what cause has the UCG ministry for complaint? They have supported and endorsed ballot-box governance for years. The Council of Elders, the chairman Melvin Rhodes, and the president Dennis Luker were selected through ballot-box governance. The current UCG administration is the product of that structure of governance. It is what the ministry voted for, and now they have what they have chosen. So why complain? If they believe in ballot-box governance, then why not be happy with the result?

I have been reviewing UCG's doctrinal paper on Godly Governance. It states that when the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice, quoting Proverbs 29:2. In fact, it quotes or references Proverbs 20:2 several times. Here is the whole verse "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan" (Proverbs 29:2).

Are the members and ministers in United Church of God rejoicing today because of their leadership, or are they groaning? If the ministers are groaning, is it because they are unhappy with the leaders they have chosen by their votes?

Who chose the leaders in power in UCG today, God by appointment from the top down, or man by balloting from the bottom up?

Some will no doubt point out that they people can groan under the rule of men who rule from the top down, and that is true. But at least admit that choosing leaders by balloting has not prevented the kinds of problems it was hoped that form of selection would prevent.

You need right leaders and right governance structure, both, to have wise and righteous leadership.

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

How Is the Church Organized?, Chapter 7

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