What's in issue No. 11, Dec. 18, 1997?

  • The Church of God International's ministerial council votes to remove church founder Garner Ted Armstrong. The Journal's December issue came out two days before a Dec. 20 meeting of elders at church headquarters in East Texas called because of the situation involving Mr. Armstrong. The Journal plans to report on results of the meeting in the January issue.

  • In a sidebar to the main CGI article in The Journal, a CGI elder remembers GTA.

  • The front-page photograph is of the new president of the Church of God (Seventh Day).

  • In an exclusive interview with The Journal, Joseph Tkach Jr., third pastor general of the Worldwide Church of God, gives his latest views on heaven, hell, the soul, the resurrections, accusations that he hijacked the WCG, and his hopes for other Sabbatarian churches. He says Messianic Jews are good examples of tolerance on the Sabbath-Sunday issue, and he hopes the offshoots of the WCG will "move closer to Christ."

  • United elders from the Pacific Northwest, during a conference the weekend of Dec. 6, signed a document they titled "Statement of Support and Call for Council Action." Almost 40 elders signed the document in a call for United's council of elders to implement measures that would affect communication, commitment, governance, stewardship, finances and relationships in the church. The three who were present at the conference who did not sign were Mike Regan, a nonpaid elder from Salem Ore.; Robert Dick, chairman of United's council of elders; and Richard Pinelli, director of United's ministerial services. The other council member present, Dennis Luker, along with about 37 other elders, did sign the paper. The Journal's print version gives more details and quotes in full the text of the document.

  • A historian tells facts about Thanksgiving vs. Christmas. In America, says history professor Melissa Weinbrenner, Thanksgiving has a long history, but Christmas is a relative newcomer.

  • Letters from our readers in the Dec. 18 issue include a continuing discussion on the nature of God and Jesus; another response by Melvin Rhodes to Maxwell McFeat, who took Mr. Rhodes to task in earlier issues about his Anchor magazine for homosexuals; David Roe of Landau Germany cautioning the brethren regarding the adopting of Jewish customs in the Churches of God; and a compliment from Leonard Cacchio to Paul Felton for his bridge-building parody in a previous issue.
  • Dave Havir, in his regular column, asks: When it's all over, will you have made a difference?

  • In his regular column, Melvin Rhodes asks what part prophecy should play in the Churches of God.

  • Journal writer Ellis Stewart, in an editorial, says a recent New Beginnings article, "The Issue of Governance in the United Church of God" by United chairman Bob Dick, misses the mark. Mr. Stewart offers suggestions that he says could help stop the splits in the United Church of God.
  • "Herbert W. Armstrong was not the end-time Elijah," writes Wade Cox, coordinator of the Christian Churches of God. Mr. Cox's essay is in response to an article The Journal ran in its Sept. 25 issue that offered seven proofs Mr. Armstrong was the end-time Elijah.

  • "But who is or was the prophesied end-time Elijah?" asks Steven V. Thomas. Mr. Thomas's essay is in response to the same article Mr. Cox is responding to. Mr. Thomas gives an answer that may surprise you.

  • Scripture gives the ultimate challenge: Be perfect. So writes James McBride of the Churches of God U.K. "Let each of us converge our energies on becoming Christlike, and divisions will heal," he says.

  • Wheelchair-bound Kentucky member Debbie Witt lets readers know what it's like to go to the Feast as a quadriplegic. She is interviewed by frequent contributor longtime Church of God member Bill Stough.

  • The Journal wraps up Feast of Tabernacles reports with this issue: a follow-up article about music at the Kissimmee Feast site and a report on the Sunriver site in Oregon.
  • Campers group near Lake Livingston, in Texas, for Sabbath fellowship. This was an outing planned by elders Ken Giese and Tom Kirkpatrick of the United Church of God for Nov. 21-23.

  • Sasha Veljic, our man in Belgrade, reports on a new brother in Yugoslavia and gives his views on conditions in Europe.

  • You can agree to disagree, but don't drop your brother down a well, writes John Havir. Mr. Havir draws an analogy between the modern Churches of God and the Joseph of the book of Genesis.

  • Doesn't everybody have something to be thankful for? asks 14-year-old writer and aspiring columnist Jamie Cartwright.
  • An Ohio pastor, Ron Weinland, warns of the "spirit of idolatry" in the Churches of God.

  • In a related article, Mr. Weinland reports on the Toledo congregation of the UCG Toledo, which is not affiliated with the United Church of God, an International Association.

  • Rick Beltz, who provided information in the Nov. 21 issue about the separation in Hartford, Conn., writes that misconceptions and misstatements still separate the brethren.

  • Longtime elder Bill Bodine dies. Mr. Bodine, from Van Buren, Ark., was 96 and was one of "the 70" back in the 1930s in Church of God (Seventh Day) history. Another of "the 70" was Herbert W. Armstrong.

  • From "Notes and Quotes": CEM founder Ron Dart plans to speak in Southern California Jan. 9-10 as guest of the Orange County Fellowship of God. His theme will be "Grace and God's Law for the Christian Today." The Two Babylons is available for downloading on the Internet. More information for singles is provided. Mr. Dart has a tape available that addresses the validity of the New Testament. Jim Rector has available a new edition of Cornerstone: A Journal of Biblical Research. The CGI's December Twenty-First Century Watch newsletter highlights prophecy. The November issue of Ken Westby's New Millennium journal is out. The Clovis congregation of the Christian Church of God has a new meeting hall. The Worldwide Church of God participates in Stand in the Gap in Washington, along with hundreds of thousands of Promise Keepers. The WCG helps the Luis Palau evangelistic campaign in Kansas City.

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