Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My Latest COG "Olds" - UCG and LCG Meet

I can't call this "News", since it is about 3 weeks old, but I have fallen behind in my reading, and it is news for me. I like to chronicle what I feel may be significant events in the Churches of God, so even though many of you who keep up with COG news may already know about this, I will report it anyway, at least to provide anyone a chance to comment on this topic even though it is not "new".

On January 12, 2012, UCG reported in its Inside United: Realtime blog and LCG reported in its weekly updates that there was a meeting between leaders of United Church of God (UCG) and Living Church of God (LCG). The meeting took place January 9 and 10 at LCG headquarters in Charlotte, NC. Attending from UCG were Dennis Luker, Victor Kubik, and Peter Eddington. Attending from LCG were Roderick C. Meredith, Richard Ames, and Douglas Winnail.

They discussed subjects of mutual interest including disaster relief for Church of God members, strategies for preaching the gospel, differences of view concerning the structure of government, and matters of legal concern such as how the Church can help members get time off for the Sabbath and holy days. There was no discussion of any merger.

Here are links to the announcements:
UCG announcement:
LCG announcement:

I am a bit surprised because I would have thought it more likely that leaders of COGWA would first meet with LCG leaders. Several years ago, when they were part of UCG, COGWA leaders Jim Franks and Clyde Kilough had visited LCG headquarters and met with LCG leaders.

While leaders of UCG and COGWA have been willing to meet with LCG, I think it will be a while before there are similar meetings between UCG and COGWA.

Here are links to related sections in Preaching the Gospel:

Church Government, Chapter 7


MTCOGSM said...

Hello again;
in this post of UCG & LCG You said "I like to chronicle what I feel may be significant events in the Churches of God,---"
One thing that you may feel is not that significant, but has happened recently, not announced nor made any comment about that I know of is that LCG has changed their statement of beliefs under the heading "The Gopsel". I have been saying for years that it was wrong and not according to Scripture in order of priority.
You and I had a discussion about this last year and you agreed with them in the order they had this statement. It has been changed, though it still says the same thing, but they have now reversed the order and now put the kingdom first.
Of course there is no real need for them to draw attention to something like this--however--IF they had it right the way it was all those years, then why did they need to change it at all?
My booklet titled "The truth of the Gospel" has revealed this as being in error, which you said you have read.
I think it is a step in the right direction, even if they are still saying the same thing--at least the order of things is more in line with Scriptural revelation, now putting the kingdom of God first.
Just thought you might like to know and would like to hear your comment about it.

The Editor of said...

I agree that it seems to be a step in the right direction. Maybe someone at LCG has read some of your comments.

Just to clarify, I would not say that I ever agreed that their former way of stating their beliefs about the preaching of the gospel is the best way, only that it was not sinful or incorrect. To me, to state the kingdom of God first is a better way to explain it because it makes it more clear. A statement can be true and not sinful, yet may need improvement to make its meaning more clear. That may be the case in their former way of stating it.

I came into the Church of God in 1982, and I liked the way Mr. Armstrong handled the issue of the statement of beliefs. We had none at that time. A minister explained it this way. To have a statement of beliefs tends to "lock-in" doctrine that makes it harder to grow in grace and knowledge by learning new knowledge from the Bible and correcting past errors. Another explanation is that a statement of beliefs, by its nature, is a poor way to represent the truth because it cannot be a full explanation like a book or booklet - it is abbreviated in that sense, and so cannot prove step-by-step WHY we believe what we believe, FROM THE BIBLE. Mr. Armstrong knew that it was better for members of the public to learn what we believe from the books, booklets, articles, and correspondence course than from a statement of beliefs because in the literature we prove things from the Bible, showing not only why we believe what we do, but at the same time showing that it is the Bible that has authority for us, not our traditions.

Yet today, because there are so many Church of God fellowships, there are probably many more Church of God members that would look at the statement of beliefs than in Mr. Armstrong's day, and they look to see what each group believes in order to get the facts to help them make a decision about where to attend, so I can see that there is a greater need for that than there was in the 1980s. Still, I miss the days when Mr. Armstrong was alive and we weren't so divided.

MTCOGSM said...

@author; "Still, I miss the days when Mr. Armstrong was alive and we weren't so divided." Well, on this i can whole-heartedly agree--but perhaps you were not ever made aware that the old Radio COG did have a statement of beleifs which was discontinued when they changed the name to Worldwide in the late 60's. I was told, shortly after coming in, the mid 70's (don't even remember who told me, now) that they just had not gotten a newer set of beliefs put in place yet. Of course whoever told me that may not have known what they were talking about either, but thanks for your comments.

BTW, one of the council of elder members of UCG, just before the split, told me they (UCG) had patterned their statement of beliefs after the old RCOG ones--but then again, I am not too sure of that either.