I deal with a lot of our brethren who have been damaged by ministers who do not seem to show a sense of love. This kind of problem was surely prophesied in Ezekiel 34 and Jeremiah 23, and yet I speak to others who seem to believe that the Governmental Structure that was implemented in the “WCG”, IS THE CHURCH.
Obviously the bible says that the body of Christ constitutes the church not the organization. Mr Armstrong said that as well.
Yet because the “Church” paradigm that we grew up with in Philadelphia required a large single minded group of members to do the “work” that was given that ERA of the church, we as individuals tend to feel safer in an organization that presents those same trapping as the “WCG”.
- Massive Global Outreach
- Central Control of the Organization under one man or a small group of men
- Authoritative Church administration
- Large membership scattered in small congregations worldwide controlled by the central organization with little or no input by the local congregations.
- Primary Training focused on the ministry rather than the congregations.
So was this the correct way or lets say only way to run the church of God and does it solely reflect what the church of God should or should have looked like? I don’t pretend to have the answers. But I have provided two links here from two different brethren who have studied the situation at length. I believe they both give us much food for thought.
The first treatise I want to present looks at the Government of God as a Family Model:
By Stuart W. Fricke
The model of Church governance has been debated continuously and we have numerous types from theocratic, hierarchical, congregational, democratic, and world dominating universal types (see HWA, Mystery of the Ages page 247). All these types of government are borrowed from the world. Some have copied different forms of man’s government and others have adapted a military type of organization. Our recent and past history has shown various church corporations establishing pyramid structures to govern the brethren. The problem is that the pyramid confers rank and power to those within the structure. The power increasing as you rise higher in the pyramid. The system was designed for ruling armies and nations and is not suitable for the Church. Rank confers power because those at the top are empowered to hand out authority, responsibility and money to those below. Those at the bottom of the structure receive their limited power from those above. In most cases the system chosen by various groups is selected to support the power base of the founders. In other cases, scriptures are ‘proof texted’ to justify and substantiate that the chosen style of governance is Biblically based. However, it seems that through the simplicity in Jesus Christ (2Cor 11:3) the method of governance should be clearly seen. The plain scriptures do show us the model that has always been before us.
by Richard Traver
Much has been said to this point regarding what was wrong with “Government” as it was practiced in the Worldwide organization. We now should investigate what the New Testament sets forth regarding this important subject.
It is a common conclusion that there must be government in the church. True to a point, but what matters is the kind of government. There are those forms which elevate those governing, while others place the governed in higher regard. There are approaches which totally subjugate the ecclesia 1 while others have the membership be in control of their own concerns. Our challenge is to determine which approach is the more biblical.