First and foremost, I want to again thank Gavin Rumney for the tip. On the PDF, front and back edition only of The Journal, which compromises the news of the Churches of God, there is a clip that Church of God (Seventh Day) Conference President Whaid Rose is taking a leave of absence from his duties from his position for treatment for a vision impairment. Many of you know that I have met Brother Whaid when he visited my hometown in Toronto in the early half of 2000. I had high praise for the man at the time and at the end of this decade my high praise of him remains. At that time all called him “The Anti-Armstrong”. He seemed to me to be a very approachable man with a very good heart. I have a tape of him giving a sermon at Worldwide Church of God Feast of Tabernacles in 1996 in South Carolina and all is I can say, President Obama try to outdo this! I hope I’ll give you the chance to hear it on this blog someday. It is my hope and prayer that the treatment will be a success and his family will pull along through a very difficult time.
(A post from Richard Burkard on Mark Tabladillo’s Jesus Loves Fellowship message board)
On page 31 of the June issue of the Church of God-Seventh Day’s Bible Advocate is an excellent essay by President Whaid Rose, which directly addresses some problems and “blind spots” many WCG spinoffs have.
He writes about “Crossroads” the church must face — such as:
….being light and salt to the culture or being against culture; being fishers of men or keepers of the aquarium.
I’d dare say nearly all COG spinoffs fit the latter descriptions. And that’s why their growth (in many ways) is slim or none.
….the Church still must decide along the way whether to base its identity on “being different” or “being in Christ.”
For instance, UCG seems to be putting more emphasis now on “branding” itself (pgs. 1, 5) based on “the distinct message we preach.” It will be interesting to see exactly what that means — a message that’s Christ-centered, Kingdom-centered, prophecy-focuses or whatever.
But where the primary focus is on being different from other churches, isolationism and “holier than thou” attitudes usually abound.
Wow — that sounds awfully familiar. 🙂
I get the impression from this article that COG-7 has faced these crossroads over the years. How recently, I do not know. But you certainly don’t hear about regular splits or tussles in that denomination compared to the WCG spinoffs. Maybe the other groups could learn something?!