The Journal is Out


Even though it is near the end of November and November 2008 items are in it, the August 31, 2008 issue of The Journal just came out.

Probably the local item of biggest interest to the editor of The Journal, would be the following as The Journal originates from that same geographic area (plus Dixon Cartwright also wrote it himself):

BIG SANDY, Texas—Members of the United Church of God East Texas (UCGET) voted Nov. 12, 2008, to transfer ownership of its new building in Big Sandy to the congregation’s parent organization, the United Church of God an International Association (UCGIA), based near Cincinnati, Ohio.

United Church of God East Texas is the formal name of the UCG’s Big Sandy congregation, which conducted its first Sabbath service in its new building in December 2007.

The vote, a show of hands with 42 adult members of the congregation present, was almost unanimous. Pastor Ken Treybig announced that the vote was unanimous, although that was not quite accurate. At least one adult member of the congregation abstained from voting, although no one voted against the move.

Mr. Treybig had called the meeting on short notice by E-mail, so many of the congregation’s members were not present.

The United Church of God has had a variety of issues related to the fact that when it first formed, it indicated that local groups could be fairly autonomous–few if any such groups remain within UCG.

One group split from UCG a few years ago over a Winter weekend activity.  That group still exists, and according to The Journal is having its Winter activity this year:

Winter Family Tournament

LEXINGTON, Ky.—Billed on its Web site as the Original Winter Family Tournament, the Church of God Cincinnati and Church of God Lexington will sponsor their big winter event Dec. 24-28, 2008.

One of the organizers, Jim O’Brien of Liberty Township, Ohio, explained to THE JOURNAL a year or two ago that the Winter Family Tournament is not actually a tournament. It does, however, feature sports competition. It’s just that there are no playoff games and, therefore, no winner. But there is fun for everybody, says Mr. O’Brien.

Calling it the “Original” contrasts with the fact that UCG itself decided to have a similar activity at about the same time since the O’Brien one began.  The Journal reports that UCG will do that again this year:

Winter Family Weekend
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The United Church of God’s Winter Family Weekend will happen Dec. 23-27, 2008, in Louisville at the Galt House Hotel and Suites.

On other matters, there was an article in The Journal by Reginald Killingley promoting voting–which we in the Living Church of God do not do.  It contained such comments as:

My own view, which rejects the concept of voting as a sin, has evolved since leaving the WCG and now coincides with that of Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship.

Mr. Colson writes: “Voting is never an option—it’s both our civic duty and sacred duty. Voting is required of us as good citizens and as God’s agents for appointing leaders . . . We live in a democracy, so God entrusts us with the job of choosing leaders . . . That’s why not voting, or rejecting candidates because they’re not perfect on some biblical score sheet, is a dereliction of our trust.”

Voting is, in fact, an important responsibility laid upon us in Paul’s discourse on government in Romans 13…

However, what the article neglected to state is that the only reference in the Bible to voting was when Saul (before he became Paul) voted to get Christians killed (Acts 26:9-10).  Paul also specifically wrote that this present world is evil (Galatians 1:4) and recall that Jesus taught:

“My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight…” (John 18:36).

Furthermore, regarding the recent USA presidential election, both candidates endorsed evil (for one related news post, please see 2008 & Change God Approves).  Christians should not endorse evil.

Instead of voting in the election, I urged Christians to pray and fast (see US Election Tomorrow: Pray & Fast).  See also the article, Should a Christian Vote?

There was an article in The Journal that mentioned the late Bobby Fischer (who I covered here a while back, see Bobby Fischer Died).  An article essentially downplaying prophecy (which other groups do, please see CG7 Missed Revelation 12:14).  And an article by a non-COG writer on the New Testament canon (which, interestingly was the subject of a recent post (see Did John Finalize the New Testament Canon?).

On the last page an item was apparently posted by Dixon Cartwright tongue-in-cheek, and I was surprised that it was in The Journal:

In another poll conducted by Mr. Rumney, THE JOURNAL came in second among specifically named Web sites in the poll, although third overall because of the inclusive wording of the question.

The question: Apart from AW [Ambassador Watch], what other sources of COG news do you check at least once a month? The results:

*, a site operated by Living Church of God member Robert Thiel of Arroyo Grande, Calif., 30 percent, 53 votes.
* Official church Web sites, 28 percent, 49 votes.
* THE JOURNAL, 27 percent, 47 votes.
* Other, 6 percent, 10 votes.

THE JOURNAL congratulates Dr. Thiel on his superior standing in this Ambassador Watch poll.

Ambassador Watch is essentially an anti-COG website put out by Gavin Rumney (a former WCG member who no longer holds to COG doctrines) of New Zealand.

The Journal is available by subscription (though you can view the first and last pages online at and mainly contains articles by people who had some type of WCG connection (though none in the current edition seem to hold the same doctrines as those of us in the Living Church of God).

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