Byker Bob’s “common sense revolution” for the UCG

bikerman

(Editor’s note: You may have looked at my reforms for the UCG but here’s Byker Bob’s ideas for reform excerpted from Gavin’s blog. Yes, I will admit  my ideas a lot more theoretical, whereas Byker Bob’s ideas are more on the side of  being the practical nitty-gritty. A lot of people can relate to that. Not to forget, his ideas for UCG reform are truly full of common sense. As I said on my previous post, times are a changing and at least there some in the UCG know that. We can only hope that can spread further)

 

 

Quit putting obstacles in front of people who want to attend. Advertise your address in the Yellow Pages with the other churches. When curious people show up, don’t have the gestapo give them the first degree starting in the parking lot, try instead to create an environment so that they feel welcome and actually want to come back, and maybe learn something more. Remember, Jesus and John the Baptist didn’t tell people who wanted to be baptized that they had to quit smoking, start tithing, split from second or third marriages, so in maybe six months they could qualify for baptism and the Holy Spirit. They baptized the people the same day so the the Holy Spirit could come into their lives and help them bear fruits.

Drop the dress code. Of course, the congregation should not take advantage of this, but what’s wrong with some dude showing up in Levis, a Harley shirt and Tevas? If his attitude is right, why focus on the physical (Editor’s note: Just like Bruxy Cavey’s The Meeting House. There, you MUST throw away your suit!) .

Dump the Purple Joykiller. Appoint a worship leader, and have him put together a band with contemporary instruments. Need a clue as to what constitutes inspiring praise music today? Listen to Christian radio, or tune in JCTV. There is some awesome and very inspiring music being produced these days, and the ACOGs are out of the loop on it.

Quit treating Herbert W. Armstrong as if he was equal to the priests, Kings, prophets, or apostles in the Bible. Question his models, his methods, and above all, some of the speculative and extra-Biblical doctrines that are antiquated and obviously not working. Remember, the church started by Jesus Christ is about Jesus and God, not about Herbert W. Armstrong. 

Get accountable! Have a third party evaluate your finances to ensure that everything is within typical accounting guidelines for a modern religious organization, so that you can make a case for broadcasting on TBN(Editor’s note, it is time for them to embrace trinitarian thinking for them to be palatable for TRINITY Broadcasting Network). That’s where the greatest harvest is happening today! With the Messianics and the Prophecy related teachers, believe me, your message might fit in better than you could possibly imagine.

Learn to preach in love, and not with an angry, growling tone. Your message gets across much better to a broader cross section of the general public when they know that you are preaching out of love, rather than from a position of Pharisaic condemnation. 

Learn how to deal with dificult personality types, and how to assist in their spiritual development without using the disfellowship tool. Reserve that tool only for sexual predators in the congregation, and other extreme cases.

Get involved with your community. Give back. Help in disaster relief, and do volunteer work. Contribute to charities. Interact, don’t cloister yourselves, that just hides your light! Armstrongism has a despicable history of being the most selfish and self-absorbed religious movement in the history of the USA (Editor’s note that is sooo true!!!).
Work hard to obliterate that perception.

Those would be my recommendations in a nutshell. I am sure others could add to the list. I must say, though, that I seriously doubt that any ACOG leader, or aspiring leader would be capable of acting in this fashion. You’d probably actually need God’s guidance to behave in such a converted and Christlike way.

Editor’s note: They make sense to me Byker Bob!

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Are times are-a-changing for the UCG???

 

Go to Russell Miller’s blog Holy Mighty Atheist (his May 4,2008 post among others) and there are suggestions that this may be the case. The question is, will the UCG have their own version of events of what happened in the WCG (now GCI) back in 1995? It probably can be safely assumed that this is not the case.  What are my feelings about these suggestions? I hope somebody big in UCG have read my suggestions for  reform which was both in my old blog http://lifeafterwcg.blogspot.com/2007/03/if-united-church-of-god-wants-to-live.html and  Gary Scott’s old blog XCG at http://xcg.kingary.net/index.php?id=882, which I also directed on an older post here of May of last year when I angrily lambasted UCG minister Mr.Meeker’s complaints. Frankly, I don’t think the UCG is neither ready nor I think it’s desirable to have it’s “1995”. Yes, I would like to see the United Church of God at some point embrace the essentials of historic Christian faith. I would like them at some point to join the “Protestant Revolution”. I firmly believe that is their ONLY ticket for survival and trying to be another Armstrong-lite group will no longer do. That may be a dream but I am standing by Byker Bob that I (and others rightly concerned) should be praying about this situation. One person on Gavin’s blog was hoping that they would re-unite with the GCI. A respondant believed that they burned their bridges with the WCG (GCI) that it would be impossible. Actually, I would like to see more members in the UCG form a movement from the lay members for a mass exodus to the Denver-based Church of God (Seventh Day) led by Conference President Whaid Rose. I have mentioned that I have met the man 9 years ago this summer and have endless spoken positive things about the man. I have once called him “The anti-Armstrong”. I believe this is best solution for the membership, ever.  It might not be best for the UCG ministry. Just as my workplace at Home Depot we are having campaign of putting our customers first, that’s the way I see it for the UCG members, they come first and foremost among others. Some members actually did make an exodus to CG7 and I think the more, the merrier. I tried to encourage one person who was malcontent with the UCG to try the CG7, even to point to encourage him to take the next step in forming a home church or at least a home Bible study in his area (because there was no church in his area) but he wasn’t willing to take that step. At least this person has at some occasions came into contact with them, which I  believe that includes attending their services. At least this person was impressed.Yes, we all know the world as we know it is changing. At least some in the UCG are recognizing that they cannot be in their own little shell anymore. To continue to do so will have grave and unimaginable consequences. May that message ring louder and louder over the coming days, months and years to come.  I leave you with some good ol’ Bob Dylan with his song, Times Are A Changing, courtesy YouTube.

FYI Speaks his mind on the XCG Splinters

This was excerpt from the Worldwide Church of God Alumni message board, posted by FYI during January this year in relationship to a child abuse/custody case that involved an XCG couple.

[T]he COG’s themselves ARE changing – some more, some less, but they are changing. Aside from the ultra fundamentalist groups like David Pack’s “Restored” COG and Gerald Flurry’s “Philadelphia” COG, most of the COG groups out there are drifting further and further away from Armstrong and many of his more outlandish (and obviously wrong) teachings. Even Rod Meredith’s “Living” COG – which I was an active and enthusiastic part of for many years, and which is considered by many to be one of the most conservative groups – has been downplaying Armstrong and moving away from some of his doctrines. The nut cases like Pack and Flurry constantly point this out – it’s how they manage to siphon off tithe payers from the larger groups. And they are correct – these changes are happening. I saw it first hand. I’ve cited a number of examples of this over the years, not only in LCG but in other groups which I have knowledge of.

During the years prior to my complete departure from the COG’s, I carefully investigated many different COG groups. I wasn’t happy with LCG and I was searching for some other group where I might feel more at home. I did my homework. I read their literature, listened to their sermons on the web, spoke to members – and even ministers and elders. I visited their congregations, sometimes only once or twice, sometimes more. I checked up on them on the web, looking to see what people were saying about them – good or bad – and tried to objectively evaluate them.

I’m not saying all this to brag, I’m just trying to show that I KNOW the COG’s of today quite well. Probably better than most people. I certainly know them a lot better than those who only ever experienced WCG during Armstrong’s nightmarish dictatorship. When people who only knew that era speak of today’s COG’s, they are nearly always speaking of things they know little or nothing about.

As I’ve said before, I’m no longer a part of any COG and want nothing further to do with any of them. But I also don’t like to see them judged unfairly based on the actions of a few nut cases, nor do I like to see the sins of Herbert Armstrong unfairly branded on their foreheads like some kind of scarlet letter. This kind of mentality is dangerous – it’s how pogroms get started. When people start saying things like “Somebody should DO something about these people”, sooner or later sombody WILL do something about those people, and it WON’T be pretty. You could ask the Jews who once lived in Germany. Oops, sorry, you can’t, most of them are dead. Or maybe you could ask those black folks who were lynched by the KKK… oops again, you can’t. Too bad.

And the worst part of it is, most such talk is based on ignorance. It’s easy to do, just take a handfull of extreme cases and then draw the false conclusion “they’re all like that”.

Even though I no longer have a stake in the matter, I will fight such ignorance as often as I notice it and am able to do something about it. No doubt some will igorantly consider me an “Armstrongite” for doing so. That’s their problem, not mine. Such people can kiss my shiny hiney. [Editor’s note: “Shiney Hiney???” FYI Again if you are from the isles say “arse” and if you are from North America—say it “ass!”]