Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Case Study: United Church of God - David Hulme et al


The history of the United Church of God, originally established by David Hulme, is one very different from other parts of Armstrongism in one key area. Where almost all splinters from the WCG had very strong leadership from the top down - in an effort to claim this should be "theocracy" - then the UCG tried to establish a form of democracy. This democracy was claimed to be in effect through the Council of Elders.

David Hulme was somewhat offended when he was removed from office of President as you can read in Ambassador Report, issue 68 from April 1998 in the article entitled "United Dethrones Hulme".

David Hulme went off to establish his new magazine Vision, and apparently has a teaching assignment as "lecturer in Middle East Politics at the University of Southern California" [source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Hulme]besides presiding over Church of God, an International Community.

Recent Events
When you read the paragraphs under the subheading "History" on Wikipedia, you get a feel for the fact that the people on the Council of Elders could need a course in communication.

All the leaders were instructed in the authoritarian leadership style so widespread in Armstrongism, and it is therefore no wonder that seniority and jealousy befall people who have been used to being tails that moved as the dog wanted. Now that each tail tries to wag the dog, confusion comes.

If these people had been trained in what many of them tried to identify as "servant leadership" they would have discussed the points instead of insisting on their own little petty points. In such an environment they could have cooperated instead of fighting against one another.

In Comes David Pack on the Scene
If you read the article "The Resurgence of (Herbert W.) Armstrongism" you can see that David Pack, in an effort to get more donors for his Restored Church of God, has started an offensive to get more members and donors.

It is rather logical - when seen from his Armstrongite perspective - that he now wants to claim that all would have been well if only they had chosen his "theocratic" form of government. His dedication to Armstrongism is so deep that he would never even consider if there was something wrong with humans trying to define what would be "the government of God" when all groups have been so big sources of disagreements, strife and envy.

The history of Armstrongism is filled with people being expelled/excommunicated/disfellowshipped for speaking their minds. Instead of carefully assessing whether there was validity behind the arguments laid forward, it was often called rebellion by leadership - and consequently the impression of many is that they should just "Shut up, pay and pray"...

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