Saturday, January 4, 2014

New Website of Ministers Leaving COGaic

As I have reported previously, a number of ministers or employees of COGaic including possibly Peter Nathan, Brian Orchard, Steven Andrews, and others have left or are leaving that organization.

As far as I know, they have not yet organized or incorporated as a new Church of God. As far as I know, they have not chosen a name of a new Church if they intend to organize one. I do not know if all those leaving intend to form a new organized fellowship or may yet join with an existing fellowship.

But they have a transitional website for communicating with the brethren.

The new website is called, "The Father's Call". Here is a link:

The domain for this website was set up late last Thursday or early last Friday.

The website contains an audio message (sermon or Bible study) by Mr. Brian Orchard on the subject of government in the Church, a transcript of a message on government (in Word doc format) also by Mr. Orchard, an audio message by Mr. Steve Andrews on mutual submission, and three audio messages by Mr. Bob Rodzaj. It also contains a short article by Mr. Peter Nathan and a short article by Mr. Matt King. There are also pages for contacting the group to ask questions and a page for listening in to Sabbath services each week through the Internet, by telephone, or in person in Pasadena.

They have had a ministerial conference going in the last few days, and they have short reports about the conference. In these reports are short letters to Mr. Hulme and to the brethren. Apparently, Mr. David Hulme was invited but did not attend. Those listed as attending include: Steve Andrews, Ted Budge, Stephen Elliott, Bill Hutchison, Peter Nathan, Brian Orchard, Bob Rodzaj, Marshall Stiver, and Cliff Veal.

My impression of this website and this group-in-embryo (if I might call it that) is that they are at the very beginning of decision making about what they will do and are trying to study and learn God's will in this matter. If some of these men (or all of them) were fired and disfellowshipped rather than quit COGaic, then the initiative to leave COGaic at this time was not primarily theirs. If that is the case, it is understandable that they did not go out of COGaic fully prepared to know what they will do in detail. When someone quits an organization to start a new group, he usually has a plan all prepared for what he will do, but when people are fired or forced by circumstances to resign, such an advance plan may not exist and it takes longer to make decisions.

But their website, though simple and not large, seems to function well for providing messages to those who can benefit from them. I'm sure it will grow over time.

These people have many decisions and choices to make. Each person must make his own choice as an individual. These individuals have this in common - they are coming out of COGaic and have been less than completely satisfied with the leadership in COGaic. That sense of facing a crisis together draws them together. The test of whether they remain together will occur over time, and as time goes on, their differences in viewpoint will become more apparent to themselves. Till recently, some of those differences may have been submerged because they were all under the authority of Mr. David Hulme. Now, as they have hopes for the future and as each man expresses his views and hopes with his associates, those submerged differences will begin to surface.

This can be a good thing because it provides an opportunity for men to learn from each other.

Nevertheless, when it comes to following God's way of life, no man can make the decision to obey God and do his will for another man - each of us has to make his own choice. And we have different backgrounds, different viewpoints, and different levels of knowledge and understanding. Thus we can make different decisions. Men can make decisions collectively, but even then each man must decide whether to support the collective decision or to decide otherwise.

The decisions these men need to make, individually or collectively, include: Should we (or I) join with an existing group, and if so, which one? Should we form a new group? If we form a new group, how shall we organize and what will be our priorities, our doctrines, our policies? If we form a new organized fellowship, what will be its name and where will it be headquartered? What will be its governing documents? Who will hold what positions and offices? And if individuals are not able to agree, will they form more than one new group?

Some of these decisions may have been made, but many of these things will take a bit of time to work out in detail.

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