UCG’s May Elections

Ruins of Ancient Laodicea


The Journal reported the following:

MILFORD, Ohio—United Church of God elders have nominated nine fellow elders to fill four open seats on the 12-man council of elders.

Voting for the four spaces will take place in May 2009 at the general conference of elders in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area.  For the open “international” position, elders will choose between David Baker of Honeoye Falls, N.Y (who serves in Africa, even though he lives in New York), and William Eddington of Melbourne, Australia.

For the three spots open to U.S. elders serving in the U.S. ministry, fellow elders will choose from Gary Antion, Batavia, Ohio; Scott Ashley, Arvada, Colo.; Jim Franks, Milford, Ohio; Doug Horchak, Plano, Texas; Richard Pinelli, Batavia; Melvin Rhodes, Lansing, Mich.; and Richard Thompson, Eustis, Fla.

UCG had some internal dissension last year when Aaron Dean was re-elected to this Council (for details and related links, please see UCG Having More Dissent).

The Council of Elders essentially is the top governing body in the United Church of God.  All members of the Council were once members of the old Worldwide Church of God when Herbert W. Armstrong was alive.  UCG essentially has a presbyterian form of governance.  In UCG,  ministers nominate and vote for the Council members, who in turn control UCG.  The ultimate power in UCG resides in its ministry, although the Council is the one who approves future ministers.

Herbert W. Armstrong taught the following about governance:

The government of God is of necessity government from the top down. It cannot be ‘government by the consent of the governed’ …

The Presbyterian Church is organized with the presbyters or ministers in control. The Congregational Church delegates top authority to the congregation–“government by the consent of the governed.”

And so it goes. The churches of this world of Satan are organized according to humanly devised patterns. But the Bible gives explicit directions in regard to Church government. Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church. God’s form of government is, indeed, hierarchical. God the Father is head over Christ–the sole Lawgiver and supreme authority…

To administer these many operations, God–not a vote of the members–“hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers.” (Armstrong HW. Mystery of the Ages, Dodd & Mead, 1985, pp.49, 242, 244).

The United Church of God, like nearly all groups that had origins in the old WCG other than the Living Church of God, has adopted a differing form of governance than  Herbert W. Armstrong taught.

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?
Should a Christian Vote? This article gives some of the Biblical rationale on this subject. Would Jesus vote for president? Is voting in the Bible? This is a subject Christians need to understand.
6. The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now basically the Living Church of God.
7. The Laodicean Church Era was predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. Non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.
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 members or any interested in supporting the faithful church. It also explains a lot of what the COGs are all about.

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