UCG Clarifies Sabbath Position

Ancient Laodicea


UCG‘s President Luker made the following in an official announcement today:

The leadership of the Church has been accused of subtly watering down the observance of the Sabbath day. Papers have been written and circulated among the ministry and membership purporting this change, and Internet blogs and Web sites have run rampant with these write-ups and discussions. Some have assumed these claims must be true because the Church has not officially responded to these documents.

On October 15, in a President’s letter, I did address this subject. Quoting from my 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 non-routine issue regarding Sabbath observance…To be absolutely clear, nothing concerning the established teachings of the Church about the Sabbath has changed, nor is any change being considered. Further, given the established procedures set forth in the Church’s governing structure, it is impossible for the administration or the Council of Elders to make any doctrinal changes…”

Unfortunately, the inaccurate documents now circulating in some areas only selectively quote from either the original letter…

It is obvious that the title could be taken two different ways and would have been clearer if it had stated: “Facts Concerning a Chilean Family’s Personal Sabbath Situation.” The family from Chile was hammered, slandered and vilified over a period of weeks on the Internet concerning how they had handled this situation with the observance of the Sabbath. The implication on the Internet was that the leadership of the Church had given approval of how they handled the family’s situation. Consequently, the leadership was likewise being attacked on this issue.

Our letter went to great lengths to explain that no attempt is being made to change doctrine; yet, this is the charge.

UCG has had many problems.  Some believe that the letter to the family highlights a change, whereas Dennis Luker seems to believe it is not.  While I do not intend to get into the details of this, I will simply state that UCG has made various doctrinal changes that its official system supposedly was intended to prevent.  And that is partially related to its form and style of governance.

UCG’s form of governance has gotten strained and tested quite a bit in 2010.

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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