Cartwright’s Journal out: UCG governance dilemna, LCG’s Beyersdorfer, and the Brexit


The latest issue (says #185, print date June 30 2016) of The Journal was sent out electronically and just received. This was another relatively short edition.

Items covered included UCG governance issues, information on LCG’s Karl Beyersdorfer, and the Brexit vote.

Here is the article on UCG governance matters:

Some elders of the United Church of God an International Association for years have favored a constitutional amendment that would make it easier for the elders to amend an official doctrine of the church.

The problem has been that, even if a clear majority is in favor of a doctrinal change, it is almost impossible to change it, because to do so requires a three-fourths majority of “the General Conference as it is constituted at the time of a duly called meeting of the General Conference.”

Would change the base the majority is based on

A proposed amendment voted on at the May 14-16, 2016, conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, would retain the three-fourths-majority requirement but base it on the number of “valid ballots cast by the General Conference in attendance at a duly called meeting of the General Conference” rather than on the entire general-conference membership, including elders who were not participating in the meeting.

The elders defeated the proposal, and several of them stated their reasoning, some for the amendment and some against it.

Would be vulnerable to false doctrine

Elder John Elliott wrote in the “Statements of Concern and Support” document that, “ “while I appreciate suggestions intended to make systems operate effectively, this has the potential to create an unanticipated vulnerability” to false doctrines that could stealthily lead astray the church.

Consensus more valid than votes

Elder Robert Dick likewise was not in favor of the proposal. He said he was “strongly opposed to the direction this amendment would take the Church.”

The UCG, he noted, was formed primarily to preserve the traditional doctrines taught by Herbert Armstrong at a time “when leadership in our former affiliation” (the Worldwide Church of God) “was abandoning our core beliefs and refusing to hear the pleas of the ministry not to do so.”

Mr. Dick said the amendment focuses ill-advisedly on “ballot percentages” when elders should rather be concerned about “spirit-led consensus.”

The proposed amendment, he said, “has the unintended effect of diminishing the value of our doctrines.”

As is, nearly impossible to make necessary changes

Nelson Arnold, one of the few elders supporting the amendment proposal, said he liked the wording of the proposal. It is something that I believe needs to be approved. “It’s only logical that the elders who care enough to vote should be included in the 3/4 majority of eligible voters, otherwise it would be nearly impossible to make any necessary changes at all.”

Another elder who expressed support, but without elaboration, was Grady Selph.

Current council configuration

Another item on the conference agenda was the election and/or reele tion of elders to sit on the council of elders.

The current list of council members is follows:

Scott Ashley, Bill Bradford, Jorge de Campos, Aaron Dean, Robert Dick, John Elliott, Mark Mickelson, Mario Seiglie, Rex Sexton, Don Ward, Anthony Wasilkoff and Robin Webber.

Dr. Ward is council chairman. Victor Kubik is church president.

Council members are elected by the elders of the general conference.

The president is selected by the council.

(Cartwright D. UCG elders vote down measure that would have made it easier to make important doctrine changes. The Journal: News of the Churches of God. June 30, 2016, pp. 1, 14)

There were certain errors in the old WCG literature and UCG also is in a difficult place to correct them. The work of God needs to be done in truth (Psalm 33:4). And the truth is that UCG’s governance structure is not optimal for that–and many in its leadership realize this. For more information on governance, check out the article The Bible, Peter, Paul, John, Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, Roderick C. Meredith, and Bob Thiel on Church Government.  To this day, many in UCG do not trust its leadership to remain faithful to doctrine without highly restrictive rules.

The Journal had some articles about Karl Beyersdorfer, who was a minister in the Living Church of God, who committed suicide on May 27, 2016:

By Warren Zehrung (Pastor of the Sabbath Church of God in Little Rock)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.—Karl Beyersdorfer died May 27, 2016, only days before his 50th wedding anniversary. Karl was planning an anniversary trip with his wife and friends to Arizona and New Mexico to see the Decalogue Stone and other artifacts that bear ancient inscriptions carved into rock . . .

Zest for life

Karl had a zest for life and living it that few possess. Somehow toward the end of his life he became disillu- sioned with where the church was headed. His life was spent in building the church, adding to the numbers, raising up new congregations. In the end it seemed to Karl that his best efforts were producing little or no growth. Karl came to the point where he felt he had become ineffective as a minister. He could not see God’s hand in the work he was trying to do. Karl began to question his past decisions, wondering if somehow God had become displeased with him, even thinking that perhaps he had committed the unpardonable sin.

By John Sash

JOPLIN, Mo.—Karl Beyersdorfer, age 73, a longtime pastor of the Worldwide Church of God (WCG) and later of the Living Church of God (LCG) of Joplin, took his life on May 27, 2016. Karl was a good friend for many years. I attended the funeral. I also obtained the CD of the sermon given in the Joplin Living Church the day after his death. I called Gene Hilgenberg, the Living pastor who gave the Sabbath sermon as well as the funeral sermon, for details of dates for this article. Gene did not return my call. I will give the dates the best I can recall. Who knows why? I don’t know why Karl took his life, and neither does anyone else. I have some ideas, or parts of ideas. Karl confided in me. He was always honest with me and always treated me kindly and as an equal. I knew what he was thinking. He was a friend and brother even when we had opposing views on theology. …

Karl’s independent streak Karl was a workaholic his whole life. We were both window washers. He would do more than I could do in a day before I ever got out of the house. In 1994 when Karl left the WCG he started his own window-washing business. He told me he never wanted to have to depend on a church for a paycheck again. He expanded his business and kept splitting it off to help dozens of other church members have their own businesses. …

I could see the stress in Karl’s life. Karl’s whole life was devoted to spreading the gospel as he knew it. Somehow he managed to visit prospective members, do more window washing than me, pastor several churches and take care of a hundred projects around his house. He started probably a dozen churches in the area.

Elusive source of Karl’s stress

Some months ago Gene took over as the pastor of the Joplin church and Karl was relieved as pastor. The Living Church sent Karl and Gene back to Oklahoma for a second evaluation.

The doctor again went through everything. He still said it was stress. He asked if Karl had postbattle stress from the military. Karl had never been in the military. The doctor asked if Karl grew up in an abusive home. Karl replied no. The doctor was perplexed. What possible stress could you possibly have, he asked. Both Karl and Gene could think of no possible cause for the stress.

The doctor gave up. He was convinced it was stress, yet he couldn’t pinpoint its source.

Passports to Petra

When Gene said these words in his sermon I was amazed. No stress? Duh. What about if you gave your entire life to a belief system, were a pastor teaching and believing it, and nothing turned out like it was supposed to.

By Jan A. Creusere

Help during litigation

My wife and I went through many years of suffering as a result of litigation I brought against a public-school system for religious discrimination and an unbelievable series of events caused by neighbors and a city that refused to allow us to keep the Sabbath in peace on our own property.

Without going into detail, I will say only that Mr. and Mrs. B. supported us in ways no one else ever has.

Not only did they give us tremendous support when we went to court, they also offered us an opportunity to move to Joplin, giving us a place to live and even offering me training for a new job. In effect, they gave us the opportunity to start our lives over.

Put the stone down

Eventually things worked out for us at home so we didn’t move to Joplin, but I wonder if anyone else has ever been given so much as they gave us. Mr. and Mrs. B. lived what they believed, and they put their money where their mouth was. No one else, including churches, helped us.

I reported a little about Karl Beyersdorfer at the News of those once affiliated with the Global Church of God last month. But I will add that I met Karl Beyersdorfer in person (he came to our house and office in California to see me) and sometimes spoke with him over the telephone. LCG has integrity issues and, in my opinion, this affected Karl Beyersdorfer.  As far as the unpardonable sin issue that he brought up with Warren Zehrung goes, check out the article What is the Unpardonable Sin?

The Journal had the following related to the Brexit vote:

By Brian Harris

OCEANSIDE, Calif.—On June 23, 2016, by a slim majority the British people voted in a national referendum to leave the European Union. The next day a jubilant Nigel Farage, leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party and a 17-year British representative to the 750- member European Parliament, proclaimed “Independence Day for Britain.”

Immediately world markets began to slide, down by 600 points in one day in the United States. The British pound fell to a 28- year low, and within days the ratings agency Standard & Poor’s had reduced Britain’s triple-A credit rating to AA, which will cost the British government more than the standard 2 percent to borrow the money needed to pay the interest on the huge British national debt. Three months’ delay Prime Minister David Cameron immediately announced his resignation and announced that his successor would be chosen at a party conference in three months, rather than immediately as is normal after a prime minister’s resignation. …

Overly dependent on Europe Little is understood of how much the nation relies on Europe for mil- lions of jobs and much more as its leaders for the first time in British history have made the economic col- lapse of Britain possible by over- dependence on European trade. British industry and economy depend on the EU to accept a massive 44 percent of British manufactured goods, and, even more shockingly, Britain is dependent on the EU nations to ship 50 percent of the British people’s daily food supply to the British Isles. Duality in prophecy, which continues its relevance to German and British history, warns the British leadership it is faced with a situation where it must go to Germany cap in hand to ask the German chancellor, who controls the decision-making process, to please save the British economy by convincing the EU Parliament not to cut off British trade.

While there is duality in certain prophecies, it is my view that the ultimate fulfillment of those indicating that Britain will go “cap in hand” to Germany, will get fulfilled AFTER the United States has been destroyed.

The Bible shows after problems happen, the UK peoples will try to make another deal with the Europeans, prophetically sometimes referred to as the Assyrians (cf. Isaiah 10).  Notice that in Hosea 12:1, Ephraim tries to make a deal with the Assyrians:

1 Ephraim feeds on the wind, And pursues the east wind; He daily increases lies and desolation. Also they make a covenant with the Assyrians. And oil is carried to Egypt.

And in Hosea 7:11-12 Ephraim also tries to make a deal with Egypt and Assyria. This deal seems to be made after the USA has been eliminated or is on its way out.

11 Ephraim also is like a silly dove, without sense—They call to Egypt, They go to Assyria. 12 Wherever they go, I will spread My net on them; I will bring them down like birds of the air; I will chastise them, According to what their congregation has heard.

There is nothing that I am aware of in world history that shows that Ephraim calls to Egypt after Hosea was written in a manner to fulfill that prophecy. Since this is a prophecy that must come to pass (this is one more reason why I believe the Bible supports the concept that the King of the North invades the U.S.A. and its English-speaking allies before it invades the King of the South).

Notice that Ephraim will eat unclean things in Assyria:

3 They shall not dwell in the Lord’s land, But Ephraim shall return to Egypt, And shall eat unclean things in Assyria. (Hosea 9:3)

These verses in Hosea suggest that the Ephraimites (United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand; see Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel) and the Jews (modern Israel) think they should get some protection from Assyria (Germany), probably because the U.S.A. (Manasseh, Israel?) was the primary reason the King of the North attacked the strongest fortresses and/or because they have made various treaties.

Furthermore, it shows that one of the reasons that Israel, including Ephraim, is swallowed up is because they trusted Assyria. Assyria is a people who Isaiah 10 shows will destroy nations.

In the Bible, Ephraim, Manasseh, and Judah are also prophesied to turn on each other to some degree (Isaiah 9:21).

Hosea 10:9-11 suggests that Ephraim and Judah will be forced into hard labor, perhaps around this time as well; while 11:1-8 says that Assyria will be the king of Ephraim and Israel, because they refused to repent, and that the sword will devour their cities.

The last verse in Hosea (14:9) begins with:

9 Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? Let him know them.

Note that the word translated as “prudent” above is the same Hebrew biyn that is in Daniel 11:33/35 as understanding. Since I believe that the Philadelphian portion of the Church is to have the wise and prudent, I believe that Hosea is giving more insight as to why it may be tied into Daniel 11.

Amos makes it clear that a sinful nation will be destroyed and its people scattered:

8 “Behold, the eyes of the Lord God are on the sinful kingdom, And I will destroy it from the face of the earth; Yet I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,” Says the Lord. 9 “For surely I will command, And will sift the house of Israel among all nations, As grain is sifted in a sieve; Yet not the smallest grain shall fall to the ground. (Amos 9:8-9)

Amos 9:10 makes it clear that those who overlook these prophecies will suffer:

10 All the sinners of My people shall die by the sword, Who say, ‘The calamity shall not overtake nor confront us.’ (Amos 9:10)

But although many will be killed, this scattering and captivity will end:

47 Save us, O Lord our God, And gather us from among the Gentiles…(Psalms 106:47)

11 For I am with you,’ says the Lord, ‘to save you; Though I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you, Yet I will not make a complete end of you. But I will correct you in justice, And will not let you go altogether unpunished.’ (Jeremiah 30:11)

10 “Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, And declare it in the isles afar off, and say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, And keep him as a shepherd does his flock.’ 11 For the Lord has redeemed Jacob, And ransomed him from the hand of one stronger than he. (Jeremiah 31:10-11)

16 Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Although I have cast them far off among the Gentiles, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.”‘ 17 Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I will gather you from the peoples, assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.”‘ 18 And they will go there, and they will take away all its detestable things and all its abominations from there. 19 Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, 20 that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God. (Ezekiel 11:16-21)

33 “As I live,” says the Lord God, “surely with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out, I will rule over you. 34 I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out. 35 And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will plead My case with you face to face. 36 Just as I pleaded My case with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will plead My case with you,” says the Lord God. (Ezekiel 20:33-36)

25 “I will make a covenant of peace with them, and cause wild beasts to cease from the land; and they will dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. 26 I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing. 27 Then the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase. They shall be safe in their land; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke and delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them. 28 And they shall no longer be a prey for the nations, nor shall beasts of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and no one shall make them afraid. 29 I will raise up for them a garden of renown, and they shall no longer be consumed with hunger in the land, nor bear the shame of the Gentiles anymore. 30 Thus they shall know that I, the Lord their God, am with them, and they, the house of Israel, are My people,” says the Lord God.’” (Ezekiel 34:13-30)

21 “Then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; 22 and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again. 23 They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God. 24 “David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. (Ezekiel 37:21-24)

22 The punishment of your iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of Zion; He will no longer send you into captivity. (Lamentations 4:22)

The passages from Ezekiel were never fulfilled by the Jews returning to the Middle East. It is a prophecy for the future. And it will come to pass.

The time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7), also known as the Great Tribulation, is coming.  The UK will be affected by it.

The UK will one day be taken over by a European power and its peoples made slaves.

But God will end that captivity when He establishes His kingdom. That last part is the good news of the Kingdom of God.

Here are links to two videos related to the Brext: Post Brexit Prophecy and Forbes’ Brexit Monster is the Beast of Revelation.

The following was on the front page of The Journal:

THE JOURNAL is listing contact information, locations and dates of Feast of Tabernacles observances for 2016 in several issues this year.

Those associated with the Continuing Church of God, and we submitted them to The Journal can be found in the article Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2016.

As far as The Journal goes, it also had the usual letters to the editor and other advertisements, various comments, and opinion articles. The advertisements mainly seem to be from possibly Laodicean groups and/or individuals (not all seem to be COG) who seem to think that the ads are somehow doing the work. More of the real work the COGs should be doing are in the article The Final Phase of the Work.

The Journal itself is available by paid subscription (though Dixon Cartwright says some subscriptions are free to those who cannot afford it). It tends to have a non-Philadelphian approach to many matters.

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