COGWA on Governance and ‘Politics’


In COGWA’s latest member letter, Clyde Kilough wrote:

As you know, we are nearing the end of the first phase of putting in place the long-term governance and administrative system for the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, Inc. We will, of course, keep everyone informed as soon as possible of the decisions made in each step along the way. Regardless of the final shape our system takes, however, our primary challenges will lie in other arenas. I believe that most of God’s people are well aware of that and are more concerned about how we tackle the spiritual enemies we face than we are about the structure of governance we adopt.

Someone recently wrote to me about one of those enemies. His observation was that we don’t need to reduce “politics” in the Church, we need to eliminate it! I’m sure we would all agree, and I’m sure we would likewise acknowledge that no structure of governance or administration can constrain the human nature that brings politics into our relationships. Eliminating politics is a spiritual task!

Before going any further, let’s define some terms. In its purest form, “politics” simply means “of, for, or relating to citizens.” It is “a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs” (Wikipedia). There’s nothing wrong with that; and by this definition, when Christ returns, we will see “politics” at its finest! He will institute an art of running state affairs that will be the greatest, purest governmental system humanity has ever seen!

When Jesus returns He will implement a clearly hierarchical form of governance.  Perhaps that should be the standard today?

COGWA was formed by a split from UCG (Clyde Kilough was president of UCG until April 2010.  The leaders in both UCG and COGWA  have taken stands against Herbert W. Armstrong’s teachings on governance and neither group has put the same priority on proclaiming Christ’s gospel of the kingdom to the world as a witness like HWA did, and the Living Church of God now does.

The main cause of the major split in the United Church of God (UCG) in 2010 was personality related.  Though I have tended to not be involved in the details surrounding the claimed causes for the split from UCG, it resulted in most of its paid North and Latin American ministry ending up, along with two of its former presidents, forming a new group which called itself Church of God a Worldwide Association (COGWA).

COGWA, though it officially formed (December 2010), is still writing that it is not through with its “first phase” of putting into place its long term governance system. Perhaps they may wish to read the article Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, and Roderick C. Meredith on Church Government.

I will simply close by stating that COGWA’s “work” seems different than that of the old WCG and the current LCG.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Attending the Church of Choice This article discusses whose choice is important to worship God; should you attend the church of your choice or the church of God’s choice?
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.
Concerns about Church of God, a Worldwide Association This seems to be the largest group that came out of the United Church of God. Here is some history and concerns about it.
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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