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Letters to the Editor

It has been brought to my attention that, in the first issue of In Transition, my name was included in the list of ministers who have left the employ of the Worldwide Church of God.

The title of the box, as I recall, was "resignations." Even though the text block mentioned that some of the ministers had been retired, those in this category were not singled out. Also, the text mentioned that "most" of the ministers had left for doctrinal reasons. Those who didn't, like myself, were not so designated. As a result, some members of the WCG have wondered about my status.

To clear this up, I must point out that I did not resign but was asked to take early retirement because of the sharp downsizing of the WCG editorial services, the result of declining church income.

I remain a member and minister of the Worldwide Church of God, in good standing. Please remove my name from subsequent lists of departed WCG ministers.

Gene Hogberg
Pasadena, Calif.

We appreciate your approach. Oh, how I wish United, Global and International could all get together. The article on Ellis Stewart was right to the point. How about printing Mr. Hulmes' letter of resignation?

Sandra Dreaden
Crestview, Fla.

In Transition had hoped to print the resignation letter of David Hulme from the Worldwide Church of God. Prior to his appointment as, interim chairman of the board, United Church of God, we approached Mr. Hulme about running his letter, which was widely circulated via Internet and other online services. Mr. Hulme expressed his objections to our reprinting the letter. Out of courtesy to him, we did not print it.

We were given a copy of the In Transition newspaper to read. We too are former members of WCG and at first couldn't believe this was happening in God's Church. But, we are the Church, each and everyone of us who want to obey His law. We have not left God. This is just another step in His plan.

We find the information in this publication helpful and hope it will be straightforward and honest. We are tired of lies.

Enclosed is a check for a subscription to In Transition and we would like to request an issue of May 5, 1995, if possible.

We are looking forward to the next issue. Thank you very much.

Mr. and Mrs. Frank Hawes
Jamestown, Ky.

I am subscribing to In Transition and enclosed is my check for $10.

My family of 14 just came out of WCG this past February after 28 years and we were devastated, needless to say.

Thank you for providing this much needed service for us "walking wounded."

We are attending a study group of the CGI in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Charlotte Farley
Dunlap, Tenn.

I just read the first issue of your new news magazine on the churches of God. I would very much like to have a subscription. I am enclosing $10 for a six-month subscription. Please keep up the good work. Ex-members of the WCG deeply appreciate your news. We know that we are not alone in our dismay at events that are beyond our control. Thank you.

Mr. and Mrs. Paul Byrd
Lynden, Wash.

I'm in receipt of your new publication In Transition. It appears to be everything you said it is: A publication to help furnish church members unbiased information to help them make informed decisions.

Thank you for stepping out to "fill the gap" with accurate and timely information. Who would have ever thought we'd be faced with such a crisis within the church.

Ben Whitfield
Rawlins, Wyo.

Thank you for seeing and filling a very real need for many of us during this time of dramatic change! I appreciate the professional style of reporting in contrast to the gossip sheets that some have tried to promote. You have produced an excellent product.

Enclosed is a check for $20. Please enter our subscription, beginning with Vol. I, No. 1. Please use the remainder of the money to cover expenses which certainly are not covered by the subscription fee.

Thank you again for shining some light during a very dark time.

Beverly Butler
Rancho Cordova, Calif.

I am a member of the United Church of God in Portsmouth, Ohio. We have approximately 150 members. We all enjoy your newspaper In Transition. I appreciate your unbiased viewpoint toward all the churches of God.

I would like to pass on some information that I found to be very informative regarding the doctrines of the Worldwide Church of God. David Pack, a minister with Global Church of God, has written a book with over 230 changes of the Worldwide Church of God. The name of the book is "Except There Come a Falling Away."

Enclosed is a check for a few gift subscriptions. Keep up the good work.

Bill Bratt
Portsmouth, Ohio

Hello! We live in rural northwest Kansas and had a wonderful Feast of Pentecost in Ft. Collins, Colo. We had 158 in attendance I believe. We saw someone else's copy of your publication In Transition, and want to request our own copies, including the past editions. So please begin our subscription with the May 5 edition if that is the first one. Enclosed is $10. Please send them as soon as possible as we weren't able to finish reading the one we started. All of the articles were top quality. Good job!

Thanks for providing something for everyone. We are quite rural and are the only ones out of our congregation who are holding fast to the truth of the Sabbath and Holy Days, so we don't have a congregation, but plan on being a part of UCG when we can attend. Thank you for providing good information for not only UCG but the other Churches of God as well.

We urgently look forward to receiving our copies soon!

Craig and Annie Doll
Rexford, Kan.

We have been in the Church of God for over 30 years. The wife and I are affiliated with Fred Coulter. I understand that you are looking for news of different Churches of God.

We don't know anything about you, but hope that you are a fair and friendly publication. Please send me information about who and what you are and what views you embrace.

Ron Kurtz
Milton, Fla.

I'd like to subscribe to your paper and keep in touch with like-minded individuals.

Since the trouble began, I started a review on the 10 Commandments, the Law and the Feast of Tabernacles. I discovered verses that I hadn't really realized existed. I started with the first commandment and checked it from Genesis through Revelation. Also the other nine commandments.

Personally, I believe that is the church's weakest point. That is, ignorance about the full scope of the commandments and their meaningful status in everyone's life.

Please begin my subscription with the current issue. A friend has loaned me Vol. I and II.

I would be glad to send all of these research papers if requested.

Odis C. Shaw
Webbers Falls, Okla.

Totally consumed the first issues--great job! Keep up the good work. You're filling a big gaping hole--really appreciate it.

Maybe you can run a listing of who's with which church somewhere along the way. Who's on what boards, administrations, etc. Thanks again!

Don Miller
Blaine, Wash.

As a former member of WCG for 26 1/2 years, I am interested in reading publications that faithfully hold fast to the truth God revealed to His Church. Please send the first issue dated May 5, 1995. The subscription price of $10 is enclosed. Thank you.

Sally K. Gallo
Davidsonville, Md.

Thank you for the article In Transition May 26 about the Sabbath and Dr. Bacchiocchi's book "From Sabbath to Sunday."

Are you aware that there is another book by that name by Carlyle B. Haynes copyright 1928 by Review and Herald Publishing Association? Do you know anything about this author? His religion, Etc.? It seems to be very convincing and true. We would like to see you comment in the paper on this book if you want to.

Mr.. and Mrs.Edwin Saha
Houston, Texas

The doctrinal differences between the CGI, PCG, GCG, UCG and Bill Dankenbring's outfit appear largely insignificant. All seem to share in common the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, the Holy Days of Leviticus 23, tithing and certain aspects of church government. Most, of course, do not support the doctrine of the Trinity or the traditional doctrines about heaven, hell and the immortality of the soul. Other, lesser known, spin-offs offer variations on those themes.

If all these groups are so close in doctrine, why different organizations? The issue can only be that of leadership.

Which leader, or group of leaders, can I have confidence in? After all, a lot is at stake. If the blind lead the blind, both fall into the septic tank. "When the wicked bear rule, the people mourn." As its leaders go, so goes the Church.

Trust is a multi-faceted thing. I must be able to trust a leader morally, ethically and intellectually. I must believe that he practices what he preaches that he lives his life by conviction, not convenience. I must know that he will be willing to follow truth wherever it leads, no matter the cost in dollars or following. I must believe that he will be exegetically honest that he will not distort the plain meaning of Scripture in order to reinforce some status quo upon which his financial security depends.

Finally, I cannot follow an authoritarian leader. By that I mean one who exercises authority for its own sake. This is not to say there should not be authority in the body, but no godly leader should be an autocratic despot. The Jim Joneses of the world are not the kind of Joneses I want my leaders to keep up with. Leadership must be accountable, not just to God, but to the congregation. No one should be above censure.

I will also be impressed with leadership when it is carried out "in demonstration of the Spirit and of power " (I Cor. 2:4), not just in the force of microphone volume. When will we see that type of leadership manifested in the Body of Christ?

Brian Knowles
Arcadia, Calif.


Enclosed is $10 for six issues of your publication.,

I hope you will be able to publish the WCG California articles of incorporation and bylaws that the 1987 document superseded. Thank you.

Esther Maybury
Preble, N.Y.

Letters from the Internet or other online services:
The following are some of the messages we have received electronically.

In the first issue of In Transition [May 5] you printed the WCG California bylaws, but you omitted the paragraphs in Section 5. I was particularly interested in a couple of those paragraphs because they are referred to elsewhere as specifying the conditions under which members of the board could call a meeting. I presume the conditions would be the incapacity or death of the pastor general since normally only the pastor general could call a meeting. I was hoping someone would catch the omission and you would print the missing material in your second issue, but no such luck. I would appreciate seeing this material in your next issue.

By the way, Linda Moll Smith said in the second issue that the traditional toast was offered at the AU graduation in May. I was there and I didn't hear any toast, even though I was waiting for it. I think Dr. Herman Hoeh either wasn't aware of the tradition

Things I would like to see in the future would include in-depth interviews with major figures from all groups and audited financial statements. Comparisons of doctrinal statements by the different organized groups (United is still too unsettled in its doctrines) would be interesting.

Your list of booklets by CGI was very helpful; I am going to request several of them.

Material on the Church of God (Seventh Day) would, I think, also be very interesting, as would material on the Seventh-day Adventists. (I have been told that they have greatly modified some of their doctrines in recent years, including placing much less emphasis on Ellen G. White.)

There are also some good human-interest stories out there from both ministers and lay members. If someone could go back through old issues of The Worldwide News and prepare an income chart for the past 10 years or so, it would answer some questions that many of us have. These are just a few ideas.

Stephen Richards

Note that on page 10 of the May 5 In Transition, in "Article VIII, Amendment to Bylaws," paragraph 8.1, the document refers to "Section 5.4 and 5.5 of Article V . . . of the Articles of the Association." The "Articles of the Association" are not to be confused with the "Articles of Incorporation," which are reprinted in that issue.In Transition has not been able to locate the "Articles of the Association." The association is defined in Article I, paragraph 1.1, of the Articles of Incorporation (page 3): "This corporation is chartered by and subordinate to the Church of God, a/k/a Worldwide Church of God, an unincorporated association, of which Joseph W. Tkach is the Pastor General, which Church is hereinafter referred to as the `Association.' In Transition would be interested in printing a verifiable copy of the articles of the association, if they exist.

Regarding Dr. Hoeh's toast, writer Linda Moll Smith stands by her account.

I may be wrong in this assumption, but I thought the paper was going to be somewhat unbiased or neutral. I felt the issue was heavily weighted against the WCG. If being neutral is not your goal, then this is acceptable. Here are some examples:

  • Giving virtually equal treatment to WCG Texas as to the WCG. The Texas group is so insignificant that to use "WCG California" is almost an insult. Can't you just use "WCG" and add "Texas" only if referring to them? Adding "California" is your own invention as that is not the name of the church.
  • The five sermon summaries, essays and statements were all from UCG. Again, if this is to be a UCG paper, that's fine. If you have a sermon summary or essay from UCG, why not have one on the same topic by WCG?
  • While all the stories on the offshoots had positive titles, one of the few stories on the WCG had a title which was not very positive: "Pasadena Reps Pitch New WCG Doctrines." The word "pitch" is negative and set the stage for the story.

Thanks for a good newspaper.

John Pirog

In the first two issues, to avoid confusion for our readers, we used WCG California and WCG Texas for clarity. Now that the WCG Texas has fewer references, we have dropped "California" from WCG.

Concerning WCG participation, we contacted spokesman Tom Lapacka, who said Joseph Tkach Jr. did not want to cooperate with In Transition at this time.

I especially enjoyed the article by Sasha Veljic on the Ukrainian brethren [May 26]. It would seem that God's Spirit is definitely working with those people.

Allan Anderson
Salem, Ore.

I know that, being in the WCG for the past 18 years, I had always viewed offshoots from the church as different and always had somewhat of a distrust about them. I knew that somehow they must be wrong, or a bad influence, because they weren't part of us.

This is why I have appreciated your editorial slant so much. It's because it isn't slanted. Your frank representation of the various Churches of God has been with an underlying respect. My feeling toward the Global Church of God has been changing anyway as I've realized that I was being lied to and, hence, the GCG was misrepresented by headquarters also.

I was even more surprised to see you bring the Church of God International to the fore. I initially had a kind of revulsion due to fear, and then I realized that I had placed them in a box too and didn't even deign to respect them with the title "brother." I've since repented of my views and am eager to hear more of our brothers and am even more desirous of uniting us all.

Lee Page
Winter Park, Fla.


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