UCG Loses in Kansas

Ancient Laodicea


As I mentioned yesterday, I received email about UCG losing people in the MidWest.  I also got a couple more.  Here is some of what the emails stated:

2/3 of the UCG members in Kansas (excluding KC Metro) have broken off to form COG-KS…All of Kansas EXCEPT the KC metro area was involved in
this split.  This encompasses Salina, Wichita, and everything West in KS…

This split off was done without the pastor, Mr. Ed Dowd…

The local church area is pastored by Ed Dowd–son in law of John Elliot–who is seen by a substantial number of the “dissidents” as part of the problem.

While things have been brewing for quite a while, the immediate catalyst was the suspension of one of the deaconesses and the removal of one of the speakers from his duties because of a facebook post (actually one of my facebook posts).  The details and fallout can be seen at http://ucgcurrentcrisis.webs.com/lettersfrommembers.htm

The above link had several letters.  The precise number who left, however, is not clear to me.  Here are comments from a couple (David and Sarah Yee) who apparently wrote to UCG Pastor Dowd:

For many years, the leadership of the UCG has lacked prophetic vision—and it is only now that the questions and accusations of not keeping the Law have become the divisive issue. Unfortunately, the leadership of UCG has the causation of this problem backwards. The lack of vision has caused the confusion and disagreement about keeping and interpreting the Law—and not the other way around.

For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. (Luke 6: 43-44a NKJV)

Where is the fruit of the UCG? The church has had fifteen years to be a part of the “plentiful” harvest (Matt 9:37-38), but the results and fruit have been less than plentiful. In the Book of Acts, there were three thousand people baptized in a single day (Acts 2:41)—excluding those “marrying into” the church, have there been even three thousand new baptisms in the fifteen years of UCG? Numbers have never been seen as the sole source of validity, but the lack of harvest is noteworthy nonetheless.

While the cause of this current upheaval is a lack of vision and fruit—the actions and reactions of the administration and supporting ministry cannot be ignored.

As regular readers of this page are aware, starting over 15 years ago I was convinced that UCG would not have the fruits it should have for a COG of its size because of its rejection of what I consider to be biblical church governance.  And since that time, I have repeatedly written and warned people that UCG had its priorities in an other than “hot” manner.

Normally, I would not post about the loss of part of one congregation in UCG, but there seems to be a major trend in UCG for some of its members to open their eyes and see that UCG is not truly united, not having the right focus, and not producing the amount of biblical fruits that a Church of God should.

As I reported last month (see UCG 2010 Financial Statements Show Income Drop), UCG continues to spend what I believe to be an inordinate amount of its income on its form of governance and administration.  And despite its relatively massive amounts of spending in this area, UCG continues to have major problems with its form of governance.

I would add that while not all the fruits of UCG’s governance have been particularly good, not all the fruits have always appeared bad.  Others may disagree, but a more important point is that UCG simply has not had the fruits from its public proclamation of the gospel (including its telecast) that LCG has had.  In UCG’s entire 15 1/2 years of existence has gotten about the same number of respondents to its telecast as LCG gets every three or four months.  Considering that UCG has more money, more members, and more ministers, this should set off alarms in the minds of those who believe that the focus of the Church of God should be to fulfill Matthew 24:14 as well as follow the order of priorities that Jesus listed in Matthew 28:19-20:

14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:19-20)

What about you?  Do you believe that you should support the group better fulfilling Matthew 24:14 in proclaiming the gospel of the world as a witness or a group with a form of governance that has been relatively ineffective in that mission?

Will you follow the criteria of the Bible or your own?  Please look at the UCG fruits, look at what the Bible teaches, and pray and ask what God would have you do.

UCG has long had issues. And governance and administration have long been part of them.

Any interested in supporting the remnant of the Philadelphia era of the COG should prayerfully check out LCG.

Those not interested will either remain part of UCG (or where ever they are), go with one of the former UCG break-away ministers/groups, go somewhere else, or drop out. God will hold all accountable for what they do and do not do.

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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