Dennis Luker: Spirit of Rebellion Brewing in the United Church of God

Ancient Laodicea


UCG just posted a letter at one of its official websites from its president Dennis Luker that contains the following:

Sadly, I must state that there is a spirit of rebellion that has been brewing in the United Church of God for some time—but which is now rising to the surface. Some ministers and members have taken it upon themselves to hold meetings to undermine the authority in the governing structure of United, that all of them once endorsed. They are disseminating false information designed to discredit those in authority, and favor others that they desire to have as leaders instead.

Some pastors and elders are defying direct orders, withholding letters, videos and other communications sent from the home office. Instead, they are proliferating information on Web sites where they claim members and ministers can “get the facts.”…

I hope and pray that discontent has not been sown in your area, and that your congregation and ministry are at peace. However, because it is so easy to spread rumor and accusation, I am writing to the entire Church to warn you in case you hear things that are not supportive of the United Church of God and its duly appointed leadership…

I also want to remind you of the official links and Web sites where accurate and uplifting information can be found…

Brethren, spiritual wolves are in our midst, and this now-open rebellion on the part of some demonstrates this fact.

Well, in all due respect to Dennis Luker, most of what I have posted at COGwriter has come from the official links at UCG (all of which there is not uplifting on these matters).  My commentary, which does not, is based upon the facts of history and my understanding of scripture.

Now there is one particular statement in Dennis Luker’s letter that I wish to focus on:

Some ministers and members have taken it upon themselves to hold meetings to undermine the authority in the governing structure of United, that all of them once endorsed.

Thus, Dennis Luker is implying that those who are now rebelling against UCG’s form of governance are or were disingenuous or perhaps hypocritical.  What I wish to emphasize is that ALL OF THE TOP MINISTERS IN THE UNITED CHURCH OF GOD WERE ONCE PART OF THE OLD WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD.  AND AS SUCH, THEY ALL DENOUNCED THE TYPE OF GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE THAT UCG NOW HAS.  INSTEAD THEY ALL SUPPORTED A GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE MORE CLOSELY RESEMBLING THAT NOW IN PLACE AT THE LIVING CHURCH OF GOD.  Perhaps Dennis Luker may wish to consider that it was he and people like him who earlier rebelled against a governance structure that all of them once endorsed.

On related UCG matters, from a couple of sources, I saw the following:

Today, Thursday, November 4, 2010, I officially tendered my resignation as an employee of the United Church of God. I can no longer in good conscience support the current administration or the overall direction of the council majority…

Should it become necessary for me to provide additional information about my situation, I will do so. Thank you for your care, your concern and your cooperation.


Ken and Kathy Giese

UCG’s problems have really expanded in 2010.  So in addition to losing Leon Walker, much of its Latin American brethren and ministry, changing presidents, changing chairmen, and eliminating regional pastors, it is also losing some of its leadership in the USA.

As I reported yesterday (see UCG 2010 Financial Statements Show Income Drop), UCG spends an inordinate amount of its income on its form of governance and administration.  And despite its relatively massive amounts of spending in this area, UCG continues to have major problems with its form of governance.

The “chickens are coming home to roost” (to cite an American cliche) as far as UCG’s governance is concerned.

I would add that while not all the fruits of UCG’s governance have been particularly good, not all the fruits have always appeared bad.  Others may disagree, but a more important point is that UCG simply has not had the fruits from its public proclamation of the gospel (including its telecast) that LCG has had.  In UCG’s entire 15 1/2 years of existence has gotten about the same number of respondents to its telecast as LCG gets every three or four months.  Considering that UCG has more money, more members, and more ministers, this should set off alarms in the minds of those who believe that the focus of the Church of God should be to fulfill Matthew 24:14 as well as follow the order of priorities that Jesus listed in Matthew 28:19-20:

14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:19-20)

What about you?  Do you believe that you should support the group better fulfilling Matthew 24:14 in proclaiming the gospel of the world as a witness or a group with a form of governance that has been relatively ineffective in that mission?

Will you follow the criteria of the Bible or your own?  Please look at the UCG fruits, look at what the Bible teaches, and pray and ask what God would have you do.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, and Roderick C. Meredith on Church Government What form of governance did the early church have? Was it hierarchical? Which form of governance would one expect to have in the Philadelphia remnant? The people decide and/or committee forms, odd dictatorships, or the same type that the Philadelphia era itself had?
Unity: Which COG for You? Why so many groups? Why is there lack of unity in the Churches of God? Has it always been this way? What can/should be done about it?
Differences between the Living Church of God and United Church of God This article provides quotes information from the two largest groups which had their origins in WCG as well as commentary.
There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God? This is an article for those who wish to more easily sort out the different COGs. It really should be a MUST READ for current and former WCG/GCI members or any interested in supporting the faithful church. It also explains a lot of what the COGs are all about.
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from evangelists?
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. These are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.

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