D. Luker: UCG Being Severely Tested

Ancient Laodicea


UCG just posted the following from its new president, Dennis Luker:

What must it sound like to God to hear each of us and our perspective on the trials and conflicts we are presently having in the Church? We each have our own understanding and point of view. But what is God most concerned about, and what is He planning to accomplish through this trial?…

God also hates those who do “violence” to the brethren by spreading lies and rumors. “These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue…a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren” (Proverbs 6:16-17, 19).

So, God makes it clear that He is always testing us, especially those of us in the ministry, to find out what is deep in our hearts…

I believe that all of us as elders, called by God to serve His people and do His work, are being severely tested by God in order to reveal the true depth of our conversion and Christian conduct. Are we setting an example for the brethren in everything we say and do? I don’t think so, when you look at the fruits of what is happening.

What can we do? What should we do? The answer is given in these scriptures: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place” (2 Chronicles 7:14-15).

I hope and pray, as you do, that we will all humble ourselves and seek God’s forgiveness for our sins and mistakes that He might heal our church.

The above hints that Dennis Luker believes that some are spreading lies about what happened.  Since he is not providing facts and details himself, he may be spreading some type of rumor himself.

But I do agree with him that UCG is being tested.  And that it has made mistakes.  Amongst other things, its form of governance, as well as lack of gospel proclamation evidence, continues to be found wanting.

In LCG’s update, read at services yesterday, Dr. Winnail wrote:

Humility—Key to Unity: David wrote, “How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133:1). The Apostle Paul urged Christians to “walk worthy” of their calling “with all lowliness and gentleness… endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3). He stated that the work of the ministry is to edify (build up) the body (the Church) “till we all come to the unity of the faith” (Ephesians 4:12-13). Paul also told contentious Corinthians that they should be “perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10). But what causes contentions that disrupt unity? The Scriptures reveal that pride is an underlying cause of contentions (Proverbs 13:10) and that pride will contribute to a person’s downfall and destruction (Proverbs 16:18). Insisting on doing things our own way also causes dissentions and strife (James 4:1). However, humility will eventually bring a person honor (Proverbs 15:33; 29:23) and will promote peace and unity (James 3:17-18). Jesus Christ was of “one mind” with His Father (John 10:30), and He was exalted because He humbled Himself and followed His Father’s instructions (Philippians 2:5-9). As Christians, we are encouraged to be subject to government (within and without the Church) and not to resist authority (Romans 13:1-2), to treat each other with respect, to be humble and not conceited about your own opinions (Romans 12:10-18). As we develop and learn to exercise this kind of humility, we will promote unity.

And pride is one of the main reasons that the COGs are not unified.  And this is one reason why adherence to biblical governance is essential.  Without it, people think they change priorities, etc.  But because of pride, many will not admit that they erred when they went with groups like UCG.

Here is something that LCG’s Dr. Meredith just wrote in his latest coworker letter about right government, and then Laodicea:

We will—with God’s help—reach this world as “a witness” with the true message of Jesus Christ regarding the “Kingdom of God”—the great Government which He is now preparing and which will soon be set up on this earth.

Just the other day, I was given the results of my latest television program which was aired this past weekend. We received more than 5,200 responses—even during this normally “slow” summer season. So we are very thankful for the results that God is giving us…

Around the world and around the country, the Work of God is increasing in power. We also have a great deal of unity and loyalty because we practice the “way of God”—including the correct form of Church Government which Jesus Christ and the apostles clearly taught and practiced continually. So we are blessed. God has been good to us in spite of our human faults and errors. So we have much to be thankful for…

However, dear friends and brethren, one of the most powerful warnings God gives all of us at the end of this age is the clear warning not to be “Laodicean.” What does God condemn the Laodiceans for, primarily? He does not condemn them for wrong doctrine. He does not condemn them for big personal sins. He states in His inspired Word, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16).

So the last Church Era of this age is Laodicea. And this age is therefore dominated by the “Laodicean spirit”—a spirit of apathy and lukewarmness. Often, even God’s people reflect the attitude or spirit of those around them. This must be even more so now because of the pervasive influence of television and the Internet. People in most of the world are becoming more and more “worldly” in many ways. They are distracted by their focus on wealth, prosperity and “things.” God seems “far off” to them. So they are apathetic. They do not get excited and truly zealous about serving the Creator who gives them life and breath.

Yet, throughout God’s Word, He tells us over and over that absolute zeal and total commitment to serving Him are some of the characteristics He most looks for in His true servants.

5,200 responses (these are people who basically telephone in as the result of a single telecast) in one week is a number that those not part of LCG should think about.  It is about four times as much as all the other COGs (including UCG) combined.

Laodicea is made up of two Greek words that basically mean “people decide”–the implication is that they decide that their own criteria are more important than those in the Bible.  Because of this, they reason around placing the proper emphasis on the public proclamation portion of the work of God.  What about you?  Will you follow the criteria of the Bible or your own?

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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