UCG’s President Complains About Sabbath Issue

Ancient Laodicea


Today, the  “United” Church of God (UCG) posted the following from its president:

Let me come to the point of this letter: A highly vocal few, particularly in online forums, have raised imaginary issues about the current administration and Council of Elders. These false issues center on recent letters published from Melvin Rhodes and me about the Sabbath day and about fasting. One of our letters, published shortly before the Festival season, confirmed the inviolate sacredness of the Sabbath day, but also discussed how one family in Chile was seeking counsel and resolution for a specific and nonroutine issue regarding Sabbath observance.

That church family had endured a shocking level of slander, particularly in online forums. The specific issues (which should have remained confidential according to the traditional process followed by the Church), were wrongly and tragically elevated by some from a personal to a public level. Some were trying to force these personal issues into an organizational context and hurl accusations against the Church itself. Since that tragic breach of confidence occurred and began to take on a larger element of a direct attack on the Church, we published our Sabbath letter to try to help set the record straight…

Let me speak plainly: Some of the online comments that have been forwarded to me are devoid of any civility, much less representative of anything the Church teaches about Christian conduct!…

May God help us all through this present trial and lead us all to a deeper repentance, so that He may finish, through us, the wonderful work He has given us to do.

Sincerely, your brother in Christ,

Dennis Luker—President

FWIW, I have not gone to any of the UCG forums so have not seen the lack of civility that Dennis Luker is referring to.  I have mainly reported excerpts from a few letters from current and former UCG’rs on this matter (for the two previous reports, see UCG’s President Withdraws Sabbath Letter and Leon Walker on UCG’s Sabbath Controversy)–and much of my reporting has been quoting Dennis Luker.

But apparently this matter, which Dennis Luker was somewhat part of,  is causing him and UCG more problems.

In UCG’s 15 and 1/2 years of existence, it has had a variety of governance and doctrinal problems.  And since the Spring of 2010, including the resignation of its then president, Clyde Killough to the current loss of most of its Latin American members, it seems to have had more problems than usual.

Now in his letter, UCG’s Dennis Luker also included the following:

Even now we are beginning to see deepening and encouraging fruits of the Church’s proclamation of the precious gospel on national TV using WGN America. New contacts, reflecting real spiritual curiosity and an inspiring hunger for God’s truth, are coming with more frequency. As we move into the fall television season when viewership increases, we pray for and expect to see more of these types of responses.

And two days ago, UCG’s Peter Eddington once again urged UCG members to drop their broadcast on local access stations:

As a consequence of the solid results on WGN, we are now in a position to ask our dedicated member-sponsors if they would like to end their participation in airing Beyond Today programs on cable-access television in their areas. By bringing cable-access to a close, the Church can save production and postage costs and our video editors at the home office can be shifted into helping advance the visual and graphic elements of our programs. The reallocated funds may also be a means of placing Beyond Today in the Chicago metropolitan area in the future—the 3rd largest media market in the United States.

However, if our sponsors would like to continue airing Beyond Today on cable-access TV in their areas, they are certainly welcome to do so. We mentioned this in a personal message to them last week. Our plan is to discontinue cable-access television for all others during the week of December 26, 2010 – January 1, 2011.

The media matter in UCG also does not appear to be highly “united”.  There is some discord in UCG about the value of being on station WGN.  LCG has been on that station for over a decade and went on it within a few weeks of its formation.  UCG did not gone on WGN until several weeks ago.  I suspect some in UCG are not convinced that UCG will remain on WGN.

UCG simply has not had a stellar track record when it comes to using television as a major part of its public proclamation program.  This combined with its governance issues, and now the Sabbath controversy, is problematic for many of its members and current leadership.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad Was the seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath observed by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church?
The Dramatic Story of Chinese Sabbathkeepers This reformatted Good News article from 1955 discusses Sabbath-keeping in China in the 1800s.
Is God Unreasonable? Some have suggested that if God requires Sabbath-keeping He is unreasonable. Is that true?
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.

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