I have returned from travels this Sabbath. Over the period we have had some developments in educating our members in the faith as they approach us from other associations. Many do not fully understand the teachings of the faith and are confused. This year is the Sabbath Year and we are required to teach and help each other in the faith. This year is dedicated by God for each of us to learn and to grow. It is a Sabbath Year and, as the Sabbath Day is set aside to be used for instruction and the worship of God, so too is the Sabbath Year to be set aside for instruction.
This year we will need to send missionaries to various locations and some of us will be asked to go to places that are quite remote from the more exciting locations that we have set aside for the Reading of the Law.
We should not be discouraged by the fact that some people do not fully understand the doctrines of the faith or who are showing confusion in dealing with the Church doctrines. We saw the disintegration of some elements of the Churches of God, and we have had approaches from some of them in Asia and other parts of the world. They seem to be confused and in one national group, while seeking association with us, they also seemed to be being held up as staunch bastions of the WCG system in their new Sunday worshipping roles. They were widely reported in this vein in the recent WCG news items. One might ask how these people can seek association with us and still be in association with a Sunday worshipping organisation? The answer is that they do not fully comprehend the problems and are unsure as to what is happening in the various Churches of God. They seek help and funds and resources and do not understand the disintegration of the organisations with who they once were in communion.
On my travels I came into contact with the concepts that somehow the Church of God established by Herbert Armstrong was correct and that the ministry that took it over and altered its doctrines had to be opposed and removed. The people who left were held to be those who should have stayed and opposed them. The few “faithful” left were doing that even now.
The problem is that these people who are left do not understand the theology involved and are not in agreement even among themselves as to what is the correct view of such things as the nature of God and the Calendar.
The fact is that the dedicated students were confronted with the errors years ago and moved to reorganise when it was obvious what was happening. This process of gradual change and education is ongoing and we will see many people slowly come to realisation and education. Many will come at their own pace. In some cases God works with groups, but that is seldom the case.
Over the last few months church groups have approached us from many different origins. We will find that we have many tasks ahead of us this year over the Reading of the Law at the Feast. In Asia we have a few different areas that need missionary instruction. The most significant area of concern is East Africa. In that area we will need missionary support covering three nations and some thirty-seven church areas and involving many thousands of people.
Some of these people came in from old order Sabbatarian churches that have had nothing to do with the US based Churches of God. In some ways that is a blessing, and in some ways it is a problem in that they will need a deal of assistance and we cannot assume any basic core with which we are familiar. They do however appear to understand the nature of the One True God in a sounder way than might have been the case.
If you are able to assist in this process, please let us know of your interest. We may have enough people or we may need more people. We do not as yet know the full situation.
One of the problems we face is that we have to be solidly grounded in the faith and able to support one another as we face the many problems thrown upon us. It is a saying that “whatever does not kill you makes you stronger.” Sometimes that is not true, in that we are often given long-term weaknesses from our trials. But it is true that we learn lessons from each trial and we often fail, but in each failure we grow and develop.
God has placed each one of us in positions of trial and error where we grow and develop from our failures. CCG is like the members within it. The body grows and uses the knowledge and resources available to it. Our aim is not to re-invent the wheel but to build upon the body of material built up by the people before us.
If each of us sees a problem or thinks that something can be improved, then please document the problem and provide a reasoned solution using the most efficient means of correction possible.
Remember also that each work has many translations and many
translators. Each correction means costs and time and effort.
The effort required of us to re-educate the Churches of God and the world in these Last Days is very great. Our resources must be harnessed and used to the best of our abilities in the most cost-effective way.
People in poorer nations must remember also that resources are limited. Joining CCG is not a licence to print money. Each nation has to be self-sufficient and has to assist the missionary effort. It is to place the least possible drain on resources. Translation is the main effort. Translation is the basis of the means of communication. It has our priority of resources.
Remember also that national programs, which cross national borders, require the consent and participation of each national conference and also World Conference approval.
Each of us is asked to determine how we can work smarter. Plan for all activity. Remember that the General Secretaries are all very busy and need your cooperation and not abuse. The same goes for the International and National Coordinators. If you can’t help, then don’t hinder. Do as you are asked. Plan ahead and make sure that you have all the necessary approvals for all your proposed activities. It is not the administrations responsibility to hold your hand. They will help and plan but need input and cooperation.
Work out how you can help the work within the tasks and responsibilities given to you. Look at what you have to do and plan to work on achieving those activities. Plan for your activities and keep your coordinators informed. Get necessary approvals for what it is you have to do.
Each of us depends on the work and assistance of others. No one is an island. No one works alone.
This year we have much to do and many to instruct. Let us see what we can do in the overall planning and administration. Let us see how many we can assist and how well we can assist them to grow in the faith.
Love one another.
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