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Encouraging Communication among the Churches of God
 

Letters from
The Journal Readers

 

Revival of spirit

As a member of United, I perceive that some of those who have left have accused the current council of elders of being liberal and watering down the Commandments. Their latest attack deals with the Trinity.

I got a personal E-mail from a minister who left United that said Christ-centered servant leadership will lead to Trinitarianism. Yet, in all my years as a member, which is 30-plus baptized in the church, I have never seen such a revival of spirit and unity that is now taking place in United.

Because United is growing and is not misusing the concept of delegating as the former administration was doing (passing responsibility to someone else and not truly serving), the fear of the pastor questioning me about almost everything is gone.

United is directing people to have the attitude of real servanthood, and it is starting within the ministry.

To see, as in a recent ordination of an elder, that when you are ordained you become a slave and a servant of the congregation is refreshing.

There seemed not to be a problem in United until certain persons on the council of elders started losing their seats on the council and became upset. We now see those in the new organization have exactly the same positions they had in United. Is this just a coincidence?

I have never seen such unity within the congregations of United around the country. Everyone seems to be pitching in and serving one another.

I have noticed repentance among many members, and those who have ignored others are now coming up to them and apologizing for not being a better example.

This seemed rarely to happen under the former administration.

I encourage all to read Helmut Rudaj's post ("When They Ask Us Why") at edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/when-they-ask-us-why/.

Joel's Meeker's letter (which Helmut refers to) is at ucgcurrentcrisis.webs.com.

Della Mazzei
Chino Hills, Calif.

Liked the columns

Interesting issue No. 143. I especially liked the columns by you [Dixon Cartwright], Dave [Havir] and Ray [Wooten]."

Ron Masek
Strongsville, Ohio

Weirdest Feast ever?

In doing research for the Feast of Tabernacles, this came out and is definitely not a sound option: the Feast for California in Santa Maria. It will be held at the Santa Maria Inn.

Okay, so what? Well, it is quite well known as a haunted site. Just enter in "Santa Maria Inn" on the Net and there are videos and reviews from guests who commented on the "happenings" going on there.

Here are few of the links. There are plenty more: weirdca.com/location.php?location=78; youtube.com/watch?v=Q0igBRatjLI; legendsofamerica.com/ca-hauntedhotels5.html; santamariatimes.com/business/local/article_14cc9490-cb79-505a-b642- 3d45ea87e491.html.

By the way, it is not limited to just the hotel. The city and outskirts seem to also have these influences.

Wouldn't one think this is an inappropriate place for "God's" people to gather? Even if you don't stay there and just attend the meetings, one knows it's not a good thing. It's highly doubtful God would place His name for His people to congregate at this site!

Besides, with all this research, come to find out a lot of people were dissatisfied with the service, price, etc.

We do hope [the sponsoring Church of God] will take another look and move the site to another location.

Anne Cole
Valley Village, Calif.

Pastor Lazum Brang

Until today I had not heard of Kachinland, which lies between India, Tibet, China and Myanmar (Burma), with capital Myitkyina. It seems to be a dependency of Myanmar and its controlling military. My 2009 edition of The Times Desk Top Atlas of the World doesn't even show it!

Today I learned of Kachinland through an unexpected letter from Pastor Lazum Brang.

He pastors there a seventh-day-Sabbath-observing, Passover-observing, seven-holy-days observing and biblical-feast-observing church.

Kachinland may be economically backward but at least Christians live there who have not succumbed, as has mainstream Christendom since about A.D. 325, to pagan Sunday, Christmas, Good Friday and Easter worship, which are not even in the Bible.

Read about Pastor Lazum Brang and what he faces at biblesabbath.org/tss/479/leon.html. [See also articles in The Journal including "'Get the Big Picture' Is Lesson of Contact With Church of God brethren in Burma," issue No. 28, May 31, 1999.]

Pastor Lazum Brang wrote to me concerning my short article "Our Lord's Ascension Was Not From the Mt of Olives" that appeared at the left-hand bottom corner of page 24 of issue 143 (November 2010-January 2011) of The Journal.

On page 14 of the same issue appeared also my full-page article "How the OT Lord, Lord, God, God Relate to God's Name and His NT Identity." That issue is available at thejournal.org/issues/issue143/jx013111.pdf. That full-page article is also available as paper A13 at rightly-dividing.net.

When I compare Pastor Lazum Brang's efforts with the pitiable state of the current, much-divided (!) Church of God that came out of the former Worldwide Church of God, one can only wonder why no minister is able to (willing to) see and repent of our dreadful 1974 sin of saying amen to Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong's shocking rejection of God's Garden of Eden, No-Divorce and No-Remarriage Law (see my paper "P3").

As a result, we are repeating the very error that Moses felt compelled to make for Israel's "hardness of heart" and of which our Lord Jesus spoke so critically in Mark 10:4-9.

As a result, the Church of God is in no position to assist Pastor Lazum Brang, and when I read each issue of The Journal I can only wonder what spirit got into the former WCG during the 1970s and why so few seem even interested and permit their pastors to continue fighting among themselves over trivialities and over control.

Perhaps we should consider redirecting a share of our tithes to Pastor Lazum Brang.

At least we can be thankful how easy we have it compared to Pastor Lazum Brang and his spread-out flock. I think it may be far too easy for our spiritual good. That may change when the U.S.A. finally meets with economic collapse along with Great Britain, Australia, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Greece, etc., and when we won't be able to defend ourselves in a hostile world that bristles with armaments.

May God grant us wisdom, and may we remember Pastor Lazum Brang traveling around Kachinland on his mountain bike.

Henk Jens
Belmore, Australia

Lest we forget our brethren

The pain and anguish of the brethren as a result of the recent UCG split are tragic. Following are three examples that we are aware of here in the U.K.

We had a phone call from one member in the U.K. who turned up for Sabbath services to find that only two others besides themselves had come. The rest had left for the new group without telling them.

What made it tragic was that one of those who turned up had been attending for only a few weeks.

In another incident, a longtime COG member who had recently started to attend the UCG found out that the congregation had, overnight, changed allegiance.

The final incident was a conversation with a brother who said in some distress, "Who can I trust?" He had recently been in communication with high-ranking ministers in the UCG who are no longer with the UCG.

These incidents are related to the recent split from the UCG, but similar incidents have happened in the U.K. with previous splits. The UCG alone in the U.K. has suffered three splits since its inception in the U.K. so the brethren should be adept at weathering the storms, but it still hurts.

This is not to point a finger at the UCG-CGWA split but at all of us, including myself. If a split occurs in your group, don't "drop" your brethren. Communicate with kindness and compassion. Tell them by letter you are leaving if a phone call would be too difficult. Bear no ill will to those who have left.

When we left Worldwide I rang the Festival Office to say that we would no longer be attending the WCG Feast site, to ensure that they would not expect us.

The lady in the office, whom Kathleen and I knew well, said, "Oh, It's okay, but you are already on the DF list!"

Well, at least the lady knew we cared. (DF = disfellowshipped, for those not familiar with the practice.)

Just remember one day our hope is that we will meet our brethren again, so let's make that meeting easier. We don't have the excuse as the world does that those who have left will go to the "other place," namely hell, so we can forget about them.

Lewis D. McCann
Milton Keynes, England

CGWA and Abigail Cartwright

I'm sorry to hear they prevented you from attending the founding conference of the CGWA [see "New Church Says No to Reporter for The Journal," issue No. 143, dated November 2010-January 2011], although I kind of understand it from their point of view.

They weren't even sure what they were doing yet and who were friends and who were working against them, so they probably erred out of an abundance of caution.

But aren't you related to the Cartwright who puts out the notices on ucgcurrentcrisis.web.com? I figured you were, in which case you would have all the information you need without attending the conference.

G. Stuever
Via the Internet

The Web site Mr. Stuever refers to is operated by Abigail Cartwright. The Journal assumes Ms. Cartwright writes under a pseudonym and is not related to Dixon and Linda Cartwright, publishers of The Journal.

Is that true?

All truth is God's truth, no matter who says it or where it comes from. If it's true, it's from God.

Paul and Micki Herrmann
Metairie, La.

The Joseph Tkach interview

Re the "interview" of Joseph Tkach Jr. on page 10 of issue No. 143 [in the Feast reports], and the accompanying overview of Grace Communion International's "Festival."

I find it strange that 15 years later Joseph Tkach Jr.'s messages are still about "the changes" and why they are "right."

Are current members and the organization itself still not on the same page of the hymnal? If they have truly been so transformed by truth, why does Dear Leader still have to explain said transformation and justify his correct theology?

My jaw dropped when I read his "Abraham was not a Jew!" rhetoric. Abraham was the grandfather of the Jewish people. So he wasn't "a Jew"; he was the progenitor of all of the tribe of Judah.

I'm also unclear as to why the symbolic significance of the number eight was emphasized. Has the "transformed by truth" church not moved beyond the biblical numeracy they claim was one of the church's "false teachings"?

As for the "discussion" of law vs. grace (clearly James 2 is nowhere on GCI's reading list), I think the fruits very much speak for themselves. "Whoso readeth, let him understand."

For a church that claims to be brimful with the "love of [the person] Jesus," Joseph Tkach's manner appears to be brusque to the point of rudeness.

I guess that's why they admonish their members to love Jesus, not to love like Jesus--quite clearly on display there.

Velvet Delorey
Corner Brook, Nfld., Canada

Royal descent

To me the most inspiring thing about the royal wedding is that, 3,000 years after God's promise to King David, his family still sits on his royal throne over the House of Israel.

That should give us added confidence that God's promise to have Christ occupy this throne, from Jerusalem in the near future, is an absolute certainty.

An article from The Spectator (spectator.co.uk/essays/6766908/another-boleyn-girl.thtml) shows how even Kate Middleton, who married Prince William, is a descendant of King Henry VIII, who descended from King David--as, of course, Herbert Armstrong was, whom God sent to show us the connection of King David to the British royal family.

Geoff Neilson
Cape Town, South Africa

 
 

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