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Reply to the “Open Letter”

[The following letter was sent to the United Church of God, an International Association, ministry on December 13.]

Open Letter to the Elders of the United Church of God

December 13, 2010

Dear Fellow Elders of Jesus Christ,

An “open letter” addressed to me was submitted on Saturday night, Dec. 4, carrying the names of a number of ministers. It restated various allegations, many with roots in past issues considered resolved by the Council of Elders, but which appear unresolved by some signers. Since the letter was addressed to me personally, I wish to make a few comments.

Let me give the only answer available to any elder—from Scripture inspired by Jesus Christ and written by the apostle Peter:

The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:1-5).

Let’s face facts: the ongoing struggle within the United Church of God over the past months and years has been about power and control. It’s been about not having the humility and faith to accept our duly elected and appointed governing authorities. We will never have perfect governing documents that will erase all disputes and turmoil from this or any organization. But we can achieve peace and unity, if we are willing follow the teaching and example of Jesus Christ.

I have received verified factual information showing activity of a number of men that was unbecoming of any minister of UCGIA. Consequently, Ministerial and Member Services notified each man of his error providing him time to reconsider his actions. Good-faith exchanges occurred where accepted. Some came in to talk. Others chose little or no response. A few decided to resign. Others proved by words and actions against, or in competition with the Church, that they do not wish to be part of UCGIA. Would you continue to credential ministers who have chosen not to work with us, but against us? I think not.

I would that we were all at peace together, working hard to serve Christ and preach His gospel of the Kingdom. But since the signers of the “open letter” asked, here is what I would have you to do:

  • Would Jesus Christ have said the things that have been said—even perhaps by some of you? Bring back your loyalty to the governing structure that Christ has built in United since 1995. Give positive, supportive, healing sermons and faithfully “shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers” (1 Peter 5:2).
  • Are you taking the authority of Jesus Christ to yourselves? Step back from stoking the fires of our Church’s crisis and truly believe that Jesus Christ is “head over all things to the church” (Ephesians 1:22). Think about what that means.
  • Is a minister’s job to be a politician or a spiritual healer? As elders in the faith you are to “be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).
  • As president of the United Church of God and an elder with you in the faith, I would have you “to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men” (Titus 3:1-2).

From the heart before God and man, how will you personally respond to these questions and requests? Can you support your spiritual mother, the Church of God, as Christ Himself has organized us within United?

With all my heart I sincerely hope and pray that you will rethink and re-pray your position and truly unite with us. But if not, then we are at an impasse.

Fellow elders of the “open letter,” you know where I stand from my president’s message given to the Council of Elders last week. Where do you stand?

Your fellow elder,

Dennis Luker

December 14, 2010 - Posted by | President's Office |

57 Comments »

  1. Thank you, Mr. Luker.

    Comment by Benny Butler | December 14, 2010 | Reply

  2. Can anything be more plain than this? Godly discernment shows us this “response” is God-inspired, sincere and truthful. I pray that the signatories of the “open letter” take heed and humble themselves and submit – in LOVE! Praise the God of Peace. Thank you Mr. Luker.

    Your Fellow Servant,
    Ray Roberts

    Comment by Ray Roberts | December 14, 2010 | Reply

  3. Dear Mr. Luker,

    Be assured that we are praying for you. God who knows the hearts will take care of His church. He will take care of you who carry the burden of leadership.

    My favorite scripture is Josh 1v9: ‘ Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neithre be dismayed; for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.’

    Mike in Zimbabwe.

    Comment by Mike Mukarati | December 14, 2010 | Reply

    • I used this scripture recently in a sermonette at church. It applies to all our ministers including those who are in the firing line, striving to point out areas of concern, so that we can fulfill our Father’s will on earth at this time.Let’s encourage all of our ministry. You never know who the true King Davids are at this time. I guess that when the dust settles we would then know.
      Sincerely and in true Christian love under governance, Colin Naidoo ( UCG, Durban, South Africa)

      Comment by Collin Naidoo | December 16, 2010 | Reply

  4. Dear Mr.Luker, I was baptized 03/27/66, therefore, I have been in the Church for a while. Please do not bend over backward for those who do not want to be under the authority of the Church leadership. They will take what ever members that wish to follow them and go. By all means let them go.

    Comment by Mrs.Richard Zornes | December 14, 2010 | Reply

  5. Thank you Mr. Luker for your faithfulness to God,to Jesus Christ, and to the Church.”Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake,for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”.

    Comment by Farris Bowen | December 14, 2010 | Reply

  6. It would be helpful if we could see the original “open letter” addressed to you.

    Comment by natalie | December 14, 2010 | Reply

  7. Denny:
    Thank you for getting rid of the deeds of the nicolaitanes which Jesus Christ said he hates. That harlot has her presbytery which are “conquerors of the lay people”.
    We are to love God and love each other, we love the truth, the word of God. We are sealed with his spirit. Lets examine ourselves to see if we are tares and hirelings as Passover 2011 nears.
    Tom

    Comment by Tom | December 14, 2010 | Reply

  8. I’m concerned. Are you implying that the members of the bride of Christ themselves have a mother? Or that we are not members of that bride?

    Comment by Member in TX | December 14, 2010 | Reply

  9. I pray that you don’t have to write a letter like this again. I really wish there were no “Open Letters” to the council/president to begin with.

    Comment by Jenny | December 14, 2010 | Reply

  10. The most amazing thing I find about this crisis is how God knows each one of our hearts. He obviously saw many men and women who weren’t truly serving him righteously, but had deep underlying problems. He saw that MANY (including myself) if not all of us have not truly been EXAMINING our hearts as thoroughly as possibly asking God to show us our hearts as HE sees our hearts. As a consequence, He knew EXACTLY how to bring these problems to the surface to see what each one of us are made of. Now He is watching and waiting to see what our final decisions will be.
    God placed a governing body within His church. David gave us an example of how to handle that, “a man after GOD’S OWN HEART.” Are any deceiving themselves by thinking they have this same heart? A heart after God (Jesus Christ)??? Would Jesus Christ NOT SUBMIT to authority within the church? Did David submit to Saul and ALLOW GOD to deal with the problem in HIS own time? (A day is as a 1000 years as a 1000 years is as a day to God. So His time table is different from ours.) I fear greatly for these men and women. They have forgotten how to tremble before the word of GOD. To FEAR GOD.
    There is ONLY ONE WAY:
    2Ch 7:14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin…
    This applies to EVERYONE (including me). If not, this could soon be the end of United as we know it.

    Comment by Randall R. Foshee | December 14, 2010 | Reply

  11. We are all praying for you, Mr Luker and that God will give these ministers wisdon and meek and humble hearts. We pray that they will stop this constant struggle and uphold the government they themselves chose.
    It is sad to see ministers we love and respect signing such a heavy-handed open letter. They say they are concerned that the members are not being served. As a member I can say United is doing it’s best to serve us and if there is a hostile climate affecting us it is coming from ministers who refuse to submit to authority, as we are all commanded to do. The “dire crisis” they speak of is caused by their constant bickering and undermining of the church’s government.
    We can all have sincere disagreements but once an administrative decision is made we should uphold it. Yes, loyalty to God’s government is reflected by the way we submit to earthly government, especially that of the church. Now is the time to grow in humility, meekness and submission. Maybe that will be the ultimate test for us.
    We live in a society that promotes “speaking your mind” and “thinking for yourself” instead of prudence,discretion and humility and that seems to be permeating the church.
    As a Spanish speaking member, the situation in Latin America has saddend me but we all make choices. You cannot force someone who wants to go another way to walk with you. The ministrs in Latin America decided to follow a man and defy UCG authority. That is the truth. It is not the Sabbath issue or Mario Seiglie. They will not come back unless the regional director is reinstated, a man that preferred to hang on to his seat than to humbly step down and avoid this split. I think the key word for this end time is HUMILITY and that’s a tough one, as it goes to the core of our being.

    Comment by gnieves | December 14, 2010 | Reply

    • Yes, all of my comments have been removed from this site. They don’t want any real discussions or comments, only those that would be supportive of the administration.

      Comment by Robert | December 15, 2010 | Reply

      • Robert,

        I mean these things kindly.

        The obvious fact is that this comment has been on this blog since Dec 15 without being deleted. There are many posts with questions and suggestions allowed here. In contrast, other forums that are adverse to the Council do not even allow any degree of support for the Council and are competely one-sided!

        The purpose of this forum is NOT a platform for public debate but rather to inform the brethren and any others interested in the current events going on in UCG. We have the opportunity to express support AND disagreement BUT NOT public debate. Nothing is wrong with suggestions and constructive critism but if you desire a debate, you will be better served on a differnt site.

        For an example of how the Council should respond, study Christ and the way he handled those opposed to him. When they came to him (he did not go to them), he gave an answer that was quick and decisive. He did not engage in a long, public debate.

        Just something to think about.

        Comment by Gary | December 17, 2010 | Reply

  12. Why are there only positive comments posted here? Are they removed? There were 126 elders (not including our Latin American elder) which signed the open letter which would indicate that there should be some hard questions posted here.

    Comment by Deanne Howell | December 14, 2010 | Reply

    • Yes they are removed as my post and another one are no longer posted.

      Comment by Doug McKee | December 15, 2010 | Reply

  13. Well spoken, Mr. Luker. Thank you for posting this.

    Beth

    Comment by Beth Williams | December 14, 2010 | Reply

    • Like.🙂

      Comment by Darla Moody | December 15, 2010 | Reply

  14. As a long time member of the Church, we appreciate your “open letter” answer. We feel your answer could not have been said more clearly. This, in our opinion, had to be said. Hopefully, it will be received in the manner in which it was intended. You have our support and prayers.
    Lloyd and Carol Syvret, Winnipeg, Canada

    Comment by Lloyd and Carol Syvret | December 14, 2010 | Reply

  15. Good letter! You have our full support as you set about to get this work back on track. Greg and Kathy Sanny

    Comment by Kathy Sanny | December 14, 2010 | Reply

  16. tiempo de callar….

    Amen.

    Comment by JAIME DIAZ | December 14, 2010 | Reply

  17. “But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him…. That there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care one for another.” — I Corinthians 12:18, 25

    Comment by Richard | December 14, 2010 | Reply

  18. If we are to submit to authority then why was there a rescind vote on the move to Texas made?

    There are many questions and allegations floating around from both “sides”, Mr. Luker and the council mentioned many of them in their Dec 9th letter. However, nothing more was said about them. As with any issue there are three sides: yours, mine, and the truth. Much of our problems come from one side stating there are issues, one side stating that anyone saying there are issues are dissenting yet the issues themselves are not hashed out. There are some matters that we the flock(or common members in any organization) just don’t need to know. However, at this point with so much floating around it would be best to keep the flock informed so that misinformation isn’t all they have to go on.

    Rest assured that there are good men on both “sides” of this issue that wish to see peace and resolution that doesn’t involve a split, but they are all men and men have egos and desires that can get in the way and foul things up when we don’t even realize it. There are also wolves and tares mixed in(as was stated), people who have had issue for years, those who wish to stir up trouble or settle old vendettas with specific ministers etc. These are the real ones stoking fires, and the gossips with wagging tongues, ones who are looking for power or to make their own “CoG”, we are to avoid such as these.

    It is a sad state of affairs when we have members attacking members and people going off half information and emphatically stating it is fact. I agree with the statement made in the “Open Letter” about 1 Tim 5:19, however I also support the council based on v20 of that same chapter, HOWEVER one should make sure this is the case before they jump on that righteous band wagon(we all can do it at times without realizing).

    I know that I don’t have all the information but I am saddened, disgusted, and angered by the information I do have. It is us, all of us, who are going to be hurt by this(while I agree with the concept of “if they want to leave let them go” I think it should be a last resort), God will bless the church as long as it is doing the work but isn’t loving our brother the second greatest commandment? Stop and think about all we stand to lose if we split, I’m not talking about just things like feast sites and camps and louisville etc, I’m talking about brothers and sisters. Sure it’s easy to say let them go but they are just as convicted as you are else they would not do it(I speak not regarding tares and wolves). I do believe that(as one person brought out) we are being shaken, we have to examine ourselves and I too am not liking what I am finding. The question yet remaining is: How will we react to this trial, are we going about this the right way?

    If both sides genuinely want reconciliation that they state they do then it’s not too late. Readdress the issues, be willing to listen to each other, go before God with humility and ask for His guidance and show the the flock by example. The churches bylaws are not cannon, “hang the rules” and find some common ground if that’s what it takes. There is a difference in your God ordained authority to lead the flock and dogmatically holding a position that you are in charge and no one should disagree.

    Lastly, we are all to work out our own salvation and in charged times such as these people will question such statements like the “spiritual mother”(which I am sure is just a misstatement), and other remarks in other papers, all raise peoples alarms. We are to stand fast that no one take our crowns. I also agree that if your going to post an “open reply” to an “open letter” that it might* be a good idea to at least post a link to the “open letter” you are referencing. Just a thought.

    I will be continuing to pray for the ministry and for discernment for us all as I have been for some time.

    Comment by Nick | December 14, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks for your points and your prayers!

      Comment by Heather | December 15, 2010 | Reply

    • Well said Nick. Let’s all continue to pray for reconciliation and humility and love.

      Comment by Member in TN | December 15, 2010 | Reply

    • I strongly agree with the need for all of us to be praying for ALL the ministry and ALL the members because ALL need a good deal more discernment. (Sign me up!!)

      You began your comment with a question as to why the vote to recind the move to Texas. There has been an explanation given. There were two different documents posted.

      One dealt with the general legitmacy of a recind motion and its prior use and application by UCG. The link is http://members.ucg.org/files/Rescind%20White%20Paper.pdf

      The other dealt with the reasons it was done and how it was done. The link is http://members.ucg.org/files/Rescind%20Resolution%20Explanation.pdf

      I think (and hope) there are good men on both sides, as in most “issues” of this type. And yes, as always, there are those who strive to stir and stoke the fires for a wide variety of reasons. (Where does God say that He desires for His children to behaive this way?)

      When it is God’s will, this trial will pass. Not until it is and not delayed after it is. Meanwhile we have the blessing of a real, live situation for each and every one of us to learn how to better and more faithfully be God’s begotten child. Let’s all make the most of this special opportunity God created just for us to learn!

      Comment by Gary | December 17, 2010 | Reply

      • Thank you Gary, I found that information very helpful. Happy Sabbath

        Comment by Nick | December 18, 2010 | Reply

    • Amen!

      Comment by Rachel Johnston | December 21, 2010 | Reply

  19. you know when honest comments are deleted, that tells members the true story,of world governments,control the media,and you can direct your mission,but truth always wins out.no point in making a opposing comment.thank you

    Comment by ron yost | December 15, 2010 | Reply

    • Ms yost,
      I am supportive of the council and yet my comments have been deleted too.

      Comment by Jenny | December 17, 2010 | Reply

  20. Dear Mr. Luker,

    Thank you for being willing to serve God’s people. Obviously, it is not an easy job, and no doubt the retirement option would have been a lot more peaceful for you and LeeAnn.
    It grieves me greatly to see men I love and respect be willing to cause another split among the body, over non-doctrinal issues. We can preach the gospel so much more effectively as a whole.
    I’m praying for a miracle!! We need one…

    With Love,

    Darla

    Comment by Darla Moody | December 15, 2010 | Reply

  21. Mr Luker must speak with credibility or not speak at all. Silencing those who have questions is not a solution. We are all family

    Comment by Anona Ningun | December 15, 2010 | Reply

  22. “…if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it…”

    Acts 5:38-39

    All attempted works not started by God or led by Jesus Christ will come to nothing. Even the great mother church and her protestant daughters will be obliterated at Christ’s second coming. God’s one true church is built on a rock and will remain (Mt. 16:18).

    Mr. Armstrong said that all the churches that broke off from WCG (in his time) kept splitting and dispersing until there was nothing left. “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” (Psa. 127:1)

    UCG is just one of many COG splits that have formed since WCG went off track after Mr. Armstrong’s death. Let’s not forget the many other groups. The true Church is ALL individuals filled with and led by God’s Holy Spirit.

    DON’T WORRY – God is still on his throne and Jesus Christ is still the head of the collective body of Church members that will be gathered at Christ’s second coming. Col. 3:1-3

    Comment by Andrew Disher | December 15, 2010 | Reply

  23. I agree that we must all be subject to righteous governance. I sincerely believe that all of our ministers are subject to the government of God with Jesus Christ our Lord as the head of this Church.Part of a minister’s duty is to point out wrongs, so that we could better fulfill God’s will on earth, for this time.If ministers fail to point out wrongs or unrighteous acts then they have failed in their duty of being good shepherds and overseers of the church of God.
    Consider this scenario:
    Imagine that more than a hundred ministers wrote an open letter to the Tkatch administration in 1995, pointing out wrongs, unrighteous acts, and areas of concern.Will they be rebellious and spiritual wolves for doing that? Will they be in rebellion to God’s Government for doing that?
    I know that a number of men did try to speak to those in authority in our former association. They mostly worked alone or in very small groups.I guess you know what happened to them. However those were the true heroes of that day, who put their names in the firing line,in a good faith effort to save a church.Yes ,our former association did call them rebellious, and did question their lack of submission to authority. But were they in rebellion? Are we not thankful today for what they did?
    If a husband / wife pointed out to his/her spouse that something he/she had done was negatively impacting on the family:would that person be in error for doing that? Would the family not benefit if the error or unrighteous act was corrected.
    I work for a major company in South Africa.It’s pretty difficult in our company to terminate an employee’s services, unrighteously.We have HR policies in place, that prevent that.If higher management tried that, a number of employees will come to the aid of the dismissed worker.The employees’ action at that time will be an act of love, necessitated by the circumstances.Their action won’t be because of rebellion to governance. In that scenario, our company / firm can only get better when the unrighteous act is corrected and they learn from that.
    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do the right thing at this time. Jesus Christ the true head of this church is watching us, and want us to correct that which needs to be corrected.
    Shakespeare wrote, quote: ‘All the world’s a stage,And all the men and women are merely players…’.
    Let’s act out the greatest words in the English language: ‘I am sorry, please forgive me’
    Then follow that up by getting our church back on tract.
    The ball is in your court.
    Sincerely and in true Christian love under governance, Colin Naidoo ( UCG, Durban, South Africa)

    Comment by Collin Naidoo | December 16, 2010 | Reply

    • Thank you profusely for this comment!!! So glad it was approved.

      Comment by Mary Henderson | December 16, 2010 | Reply

    • “Imagine that more than a hundred ministers wrote an open letter to the Tkatch administration in 1995, pointing out wrongs, unrighteous acts, and areas of concern.Will they be rebellious and spiritual wolves for doing that? Will they be in rebellion to God’s Government for doing that?”

      Imagine if that had been done during HWA’s reign, especially after 1978! HWA would make Tkach seem gentle! Mr. Luker’s letter reflects a positive, conciliatory spirit that was beginning to come about in the mid-1970s but was quickly squashed when HWA resumed full control (with his false “primacy of Peter” doctrine and claim to be “God’s Apostle” and the one man through whom God was working, and the reinstitution of the “closed doors” policy). The Tkach regime continued with the episcopal form of governance but backed off from HWA’s “government of God” doctrine (i.e., church government = the government of God on earth).

      I realize there may be factors in the present crisis I don’t know about, and that the disgruntled ministers may well have some valid points, but from what I have seen here and on other sites, it certainly appears to me that the present COE is moving in a positive direction.

      Comment by Alan | December 16, 2010 | Reply

      • Thanks Alan. That is an appropriate response.

        Comment by Jenny | December 17, 2010 | Reply

    • I work in the field of HR as a consultant doing exsecutive recruitment for heads of agencies and departments. We also do promotional testing for managers and supervisors. Among our clients are police and fire departments. In our part of the U.S., most departments are heavily unionized. It is nearly impossible to fire someone unless it involves a major criminal offense! Even then, it is a long, slow, expensive process. There is one exception. That is insubordination. The facts are checked carefully, but that process is short, complete and final.

      Show me in scripture even one occassion where God said to one who obeyed Him, “Go start a rebellion.” Show me one person who started a rebellion and God stated His approval. God had Satan rebel. No one qualifying to be in His Kingdom will think any form of rebellion is right. Consider the example of David. Even when David was fleeing for his life, the High Priest did not have the slightest idea that there was any problems between David and Saul. That is the example of scripture.

      Consider carefully. What is it that the dissenters really want. Make a specific detailed list. It is revealing. Do the same for the Coluncil. It, too, is revealing.

      Comment by Gary | December 17, 2010 | Reply

      • I completely agree with you about rebellion. Maybe that is why Christ asked, “Will there be faith?” when He returns. How many will not want to submit to Christ when He returns?

        Comment by Hope | December 17, 2010 | Reply

      • In response to: “….even one occasion where God said to one who obeyed Him, “Go start a rebellion.” Answer: Elijah

        Comment by Kate Caruso | December 18, 2010 | Reply

      • Elijah was not the one in rebellion. The King was. Elijah was acting with the specific authority and instruction of God and after he delivered the message he assumed no leadership nor ruling position. As a matter of fact, he was acting in an authority the the King understood and recognized even though he disagreed with it.

        Comment by Gary Jacques | December 19, 2010 | Reply

    • Last night I was talking to another member about this situation and the subject of insubordination came up. She is a teacher (and for those outside the US this is probably the most protected positions possible) and her response was, “Never, never, never get caught in insubordination.” If you do, you’re history.

      Comment by Gary Jacques | December 18, 2010 | Reply

  24. Andrew Disher, you have made a profound observation in referring to Gamaliel’s councel in Acts 5:34-39 ‘..refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this councel or work be of men, it will come to nothing. But if it be of God you cannot overthrow it; lest haply you be found even to fight against God’. This to me suggest being careful not to be rash in judging and condemming those who’s work might be acceptable to God.

    Regarding the responsibility to point out mistakes as noted by Collin Naidoo, is it not important HOW those mistakes are pointed out? On the question of accepting error and apologising, does this not apply to both parties – not just the one perceived as the offenders?

    And reconclliation? Does it not require making concessions? What would be the effect of a high ranking official accepting re assignment – symbolically laying down his life for the sake of the Church. It seems there is more to these issues than meets the eye.

    Comment by Mike Mukarati | December 16, 2010 | Reply

  25. 50 years ago I was in the 4th grade and the teacher wrote a math problem on the black board. The students were to determine what the correct answer was. After we all did our tallying, we wrote down our answer. The teacher then asked for everyone to raise their hands if their answer was such-and-such. To my dismay, everyone in the class raised their hands! That’s not the answer I had! Not to want to look foolish with the wrong answer, I crumbled unwittingly and rose my hand as well. The teacher then explained that we were all wrong, and then wrote the correct answer on the blackboard. I looked at my paper – I had the correct answer! Isn’t it interesting that incident left such an impression on me all my life. I recognize that experience in today’s situation in the church. We have to know the Bible, understand the Words, study, meditate, pray, fast. It’s the only way each of us individually will know how to see the big picture and know God’s direction in times like these. We have to think this thing thru and follow the lead that Christ directed us. We have to be a decisive people. If we can’t recognize what’s going on and can’t recognize our course of action or inaction, then we must get out the Book and read just the red letters. Sit down and review everything Christ said and focus on that only. It’s extremely important to clear the mind and heart and focus. This situation is not happening for no reason. We each need to go back to the basics and listen. Read the red letters and think. Really think.

    My humble two cents worth.

    Comment by Karen | December 16, 2010 | Reply

  26. Well stated Mr. Colin Naidoo. We believe this would be the right solution.

    Comment by David & Sarah Hofer | December 16, 2010 | Reply

  27. I am so thankful for many of the aforementioned comments spoken from the heart whose actions seek to preserve the unity of the faith to which we have all been called to preserve, and yet, it is the preservation of our glory which has been given to each of us through the Holy Spirit which is an earnest manifestation of the glory which each of us shall receive at the appointed time of the return of our GREAT SHEPHERD, THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL AND OF ALL FLESH, JESUS CHRIST OF NAZARETH, and a whole host of other marvelous names ascribed to His glory and attested to by our Abba, the Ancient of Days. As you know, the Son of man is the true light who lights every child coming into the world and He knows our innermost heart and mind and through Him we have our very life and nothing is hid from Him and He expects us, His sheep, to walk in the LIGHT as He walked in the LIGHT when He walked the earth 2000 years ago with that same Holy Spirit which enabled Him to do marvelous and wonderful things and which He promised His Church that we also would do the same through faith in His name. IT IS A LIVING JOY TO BE A PART OF THE SHEEP WHICH OUR ABBA CALLED AND PLACED EACH OF US UNDER THE GLORY OF HIS SON, HIS KING, HIS AND OUR SHEPHERD, WHO WILL NEVER FAIL US WHO HUMBLY WALK BEFORE HIM.

    I am reminded of the glory, the might, the power and strength of the Son of man, when He Himself declared in a certain place, saying, “WHY, WHEN I CAME, WAS THERE NO MAN? WHY, WHEN I CALLED, WAS THERE NONE TO ANSWER? IS MY HAND SHORTENED AT ALL THAT IT CANNOT REDEEM? OR HAVE I NO POWER TO DELIVER? INDEED WITH MY REBUKE I DRY UP THE SEA. I MAKE THE RIVERS A WILDERNESS, THEIR FISH STINK BECAUSE THERE IS NO WATER, AND DIE OF THIRST. I CLOTHE THE HEAVENS WITH BLACKNESS, AND I MAKE SACKCLOTH THEIR COVERING……..LOOK, ALL YOU WHO KINDLE A FIRE, WHO ENCIRCLE YOURSELVES WITH SPARKS, WALK IN THE LIGHT OF YOUR FIRE “AND IN THE SPARKS YOU HAVE KINDLED – THIS YOU SHALL HAVE FROM MY HAND, YOU SHALL LIE DOWN IN TORMENT(ISAIAH 50:2-11).”

    We are not of those who walk in darkness but we all must humble ourselves and walk in the LIGHT to which EACH OF US have been called and RELY AND TRUST on the SON OF MAN who walks among us and KNOWS each of us. I LOVE YOU MY BRETHREN AND MINISTERS OF THE MOST HIGH AND OF HIS HOLY ONE, JESUS OF NAZARETH. PLEASE DO THE RIGHT THING TO WHICH YOU HAVE BEEN CALLED TO DO.

    Stan Stewart (San Antonio Congregation)

    Comment by dwight s. stewart | December 16, 2010 | Reply

  28. I AM ADDING TO THE AFOREMENTIONED LAST PARAGRAPH: “AND LET US ALL MOVE FORWARD IN THE FAITH OF THE SON OF MAN AS WE KNOW AND ARE PERSUADED THAT THIS AGE IS NOW DRAWING TO A CLOSE AND THAT WE MUST BE UNITED AS ONE AS WE KNOW OF THE HORROR OF THE TIMES WHEN SATAN WILL UNLEASH HIS DESTRUCTION UPON HUMANITY – LET’S BE ABOUT OUR FATHER’S BUSINESS AND WARN HUMANITY WHO IS ALSO HIS SONS AND DAUGHTERS AND THEIR GLORY WILL BE REVEALED IN THEIR APPOINTED TIMES.” AMEN. AMEN.

    Comment by dwight s. stewart | December 16, 2010 | Reply

  29. Estamoscomo los ISRAELITAS EN EL DESIERTO …. DIOS NOS SACO DE EGIPTO ,,, CON MANO PODEROSA,,,, A TODOS …. EN ALAS DE AGUILAS … CON SUS GRANDES MARAVILLAS …. HA PERO NO FALTAN LOS ,,,, PEROS…. como losDE amalec nos atacan la retaguardia ( EXODO 17:8 ) y son heridos ancianos , niños, jovenes mujeres Matrimonis, viejos pobres , emfermos ministros , diaconos ete etc . etc. ( Deuteremomio 25:17 Satanas es muy astuto … hermanos no se dan cuenta lo que esta pasando … y el lider donde esta , porque no defendieron la retaguardia y porque no usaro el art. 3.2.2.3. defender la iglesia que se destruye y se divide .. M uchos intentaros levantarles las manos a nuestros lideres. como a moises sus brazos para luchar por el pueblo para defenderlos. pero ellos no quisieron … por eso la retaguardia perecieron…. pero aun es tiempo… no estamos en un callejon sin salida esta es la IGLESIA DE DIOS… DIOS nos salvara a quien el quiera salvar

    Comment by danieldel | December 16, 2010 | Reply

  30. Being as I am a “little one” in the church…baptized in September 2009, I can only express my disappointment and sadness in regards to the current situation.

    I want “mommy and daddy to stop fighting” is how I feel.

    I would like to ask the 126 men who (did not sign) the last three letters using UCG letterhead…if you stand in the light, do you not want to be seen? Scripture says righteousness walks in light and wickedness walks in darkness. If you truly feel that you are in the “right” then why not sign your name? Why not claim authorship of the letter if you crafted it with a few others? Being anonymous or “one of the 126” to me…seems unlike what Christ taught. It has the “appearance” of evil…don’t you think?

    How can we even authenticate that all 126 men with names on a previous letter…have agreed to the wording of every letter after that?

    If they are all willing to abide by the system of governance in place…why not wait until the next election and vote for council members THEY want to have in office?

    What happened to the ideas of forgiveness, long-suffering, patience, faith and love…the very thing ALL those men who signed the letter have been preaching to the congregations over the years? Why can’t you “practice what you preach?”

    Patience and long-suffering and love really COUNTS…when you don’t get your way. That is sacrifice and truth of character. Even when you feel in your heart you are RIGHT…you give in to the other party out of love. Is that also not what Jesus taught?

    Again, I’m just a “little one” and my discernment isn’t as developed as all 126 men of past letters…but to me, I am seeing our leadership (on both sides) forgo the very values and “fruits of the spirit” that all you learned men have been teaching for many years.

    I wonder out loud if men on BOTH “sides” have asked God honestly, “Am I a wolf or am I a sheep?” Wolves don’t know they are wolves. (I am not accusing anyone of this, nor am I “picking sides” – I’m just asking.)

    How many times are we to forgive? Seven times? Or seven times seventy…?

    Are things so disagreeable…so terrible in the UCG leadership that we must take a stand…right now…voice opposition and write anonymous letters to make a point? Again, why not WAIT until the legal vote comes around again? — That, I do not understand.

    One thing that I find very confusing is why both sides have not LISTED YOUR DEMANDS?

    126 men…WHAT DO YOU WANT?
    Men in Latin America…WHAT DO YOU WANT?

    Why not spell these things out in a list…for all to see…and let Mr. Luker and the COE address the one at a time? Let all the congregations know WHAT YOU WANT.

    Both sides should be eager to offer forgiveness, reconciliation, and a spirit of love.

    The hardest thing in the world is to give up your position…when you KNOW you’re right. Jesus wants us to forgive and love when it’s difficult. Not just when it’s easy or when we agree. The strength of a man’s character shines with the Holy Spirit as a guide when, out of love, he steps aside for the benefit of his neighbor.

    I am not sure I am seeing this attitude on either side. And that makes me sad.

    But then again…what do I know. I’m just “a little one.”
    🙂

    Marc

    Comment by Marc Cebrian (Oakland Congregation) | December 16, 2010 | Reply

  31. Dear Faithful Ministers Of UCG; Would like you to know that I’m convinced that all who really look to God and Jesus for instruction see this struggle for power from the ministers (that for whatever reason are not in agreement) as coming from the arch enemy. May they seek repentance and God ‘s mercy show them their error. Let’s just get on with the job. With love; Armida

    Comment by Armida Eljoke | December 16, 2010 | Reply

  32. Dear Mr. Luker,

    Thank you so much for your unwavering resolve to lead us under Jesus Christ.

    Thank you for not surrendering to false accusations and attempts to undermine the lawful leadership of UCGaia!
    My family and a vast majority in Minnesota stand in support of you!
    Please never ever let anyone discourage you! As UCGaia finds itself under attack by a minority of malcontents, we are given, in Scripture, the assurance of certain victory as long as we persevere!

    May our Father and Jesus Christ to His right hand richly bless you, your wife along with the entire leadership team!

    Your brother in Christ,

    David

    Comment by David W Morker | December 17, 2010 | Reply

  33. Jeremiah 23 and Ezekiel 33. They are prophecies about the shepherds of Israel. Ministers and elders, please don’t let it become a prophecy about you.

    Comment by David | December 17, 2010 | Reply

    • ZACARIAS 11:l6,17

      Comment by danieldel | December 18, 2010 | Reply

      • Proverbs 16:2

        Comment by Ucg member | December 19, 2010 | Reply

  34. […] Reply to the “Open Letter” December 2010 54 comments 5 […]

    Pingback by Inside United: Realtime —2010 in Review « Inside United: Realtime | January 3, 2011 | Reply

  35. “The good Captain of the boat, should be the last one to leave the Sinking Boat”. Is leaving the Church/UCG, an action to Reconciliation or was it a big step towards Rebellion (vs. Peace), Insubordination (vs Submission to Authority), Self-righteousness (vs God’s Righteousness), Pride (vs Humility), Separation/Split(vs. Unity). We will know the tree by its fruit. Do we bear the good fruit? (Gal 5:22 ..love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…) Also, let’s remember King Solomon who because of his Humility, God was so pleased with him and gave him, not only an understanding heart and discernment which he prayed for (and became the wisest man who ever lived), but also riches, glory and long life. (l Kings 3:6-13)
    All these I learned from those Ministers and Elders who left. Was this one of the reasons why the Bible says…Do what they say or preach, but do not do what they do?

    Comment by Gloria Lorenzo | January 3, 2011 | Reply

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    Comment by Immigration Lawyer in Barking | January 18, 2013 | Reply


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