This Sabbath we need to cover some basics regarding the Church operations and its administration as some people are either not aware or misinformed as to the basic procedures of the Church.
As we should all be aware, CCG doctrine is set by referendum of the Church. There is no mystery about it and it is freely published both on the web site and by the CCG booklet. It is titled The Statement of Beliefs of the Christian Faith (No. A1) and is on the CCG Internet site. Similarly, our Constitution (No. A2) is available on the Internet site.
To enter into fellowship, each prospective member of, or person wishing fellowship with, CCG has to sign a form and abide by these doctrines. They have to do so demonstrably for three years to be considered for and be accepted into membership after that three-year trial period.
If, in the process of their three years, they find themselves in disagreement with the doctrines of CCG, they are duty bound to leave the Church peacefully without attempting to damage the Church or disrupt those in its body.
As we all know by hard experience this does not always happen.
There are set procedures for dealing with matters in the Church. These must be followed no matter who you are in the Church but especially if you are still under trial and even if you have been appointed to office or traineeship within that period.
If you have a suggestion regarding the administration and especially the web sites, then send your comments to the Secretaries for forwarding to the web team in consultation with the World Conference Executive.
If you have a matter that concerns doctrine, then the Constitution is specific and the Church has accordingly developed specific procedures to deal with those matters.
The steps are basic:
This procedure is part of the governing procedures of the Church and is not open to the whims and fancy of those who think they have a new idea or some new truth that they seem to have been inspired to do by some “independent” study and in spite of the historical evidence. In the same way, no one person can stop a review of any serious matter before the Church, and the World Conference must know of all matters raised before the national conferences.
No person is to circulate his/her ideas to the brethren and within the body of the Church until these procedures have been followed correctly and due process has been observed resulting in the acceptance of the matter.
No person, and especially no officer, is to publish doctrines contrary to adopted CCG doctrines on any forum or media whatsoever outside of the procedure listed herein. No person or group in CCG is to operate a separate theological website for any reason without the express written permission and licence of the World Conference, and only as an official CCG regional site published in conjunction with the CCG official site.
Now that should not be all that difficult or hard to understand but we experience the breakdown of these procedures often. Recently there have been attacks on the tithing doctrines, Church procedures and the Church Calendar published on forums or within “discussion groups” in the Church designed to attack our doctrines and procedures. People leave CCG often because they do not follow procedures and are carried about by every wind of doctrine. Do not be ready to believe gossip about officers of the senior administration and particularly if some anti-doctrinal matter is being advanced.
Appointed ministry are in a position to affect the way people think and deal with issues. They have a serious ethical responsibility to follow procedures and to abide by ethical standards in all instances and, particularly in this type of issue, until their matter has been resolved.
Make sure you, as a member, are not sucked into the process of attacking the administration to advance the agenda of some person who has managed to survive within the fellowship for a year or two until they disclose their agenda. Usually it is never fully disclosed until the end and they disappear in a flurry of venom.
The Coordinators and the General Secretaries make themselves available to the Church generally. We try to serve all of CCG and we have an open door policy on emails generally, but that does not negate this procedure. It does not mean that anyone can use that liberty to set up an attack against the Church and its administration.
If someone says they wrote to me and did not receive a satisfactory reply on any issue, you will know that it was not done in accordance with procedures. Usually the full story is never told. Usually we are in possession of the proper information and sometimes we cannot tell the full story for legal reasons. Like any organisation, the members have to place a degree of confidence in their elected officers
Recent attacks on the Church have taken the following forms using false doctrines. Most often there is no historical position for it, but the people do not seem to acknowledge that fact or even consider it important.
We have even had people join us and try to advance their ideas, and finally hand out cigarettes to people in the Church before they left declaring they were the only ones converted.
We don’t mind if people smoke, only don’t do it with us. We don’t take offence at the strange calendars anyone might keep. However, they must do it with somebody else.
If we don’t tithe, then we rob God (cf. Mal. 3:8-9). That statement seems clear enough.
Our doctrines are clear and we all agree and we all defend them. If you don’t agree, then find someone that agrees with you and fellowship with them. We don’t mind and we won’t try to hurt you. Don’t attack and hurt us, or anyone else either.
Paul said that we should not be going to law with one another. The Christian way is to go to your brother and explain your case and, if he does not hear you even before witnesses, then go to the Church and if they do not hear them then they are basically not of us. They are infidels.
The reason that we have to go before unconverted judges is because people do not follow Christian principles and do not follow the ethics of even the stricken societies in which we live. We have to obey the law. If someone has wronged us, then we go two miles, if they ask us to go one, in rectification of our wrong. If they rebuke us then we turn the other cheek to be rebuked again. No one in any civilised nation has to be a doormat for unscrupulous and unethical people who abuse the proper process of law and ethics. If they unlawfully use you, then ask that they be rebuked.
One day we will be in a position where the law will misuse us. We will be unable to obtain justice and we will be persecuted. However, where one can obtain redress, then do so. Firstly seek justice in the Church where we must follow the process of going to our brother, and, if they do not listen, take a witness, and then take them to the Church. The Church is bound by the Constitution to convene a body of the Church to hear the matter and pass judgment. If the parties do not obey then they are no longer of the body.
Do not go to law against a brother. However, if they are not, or no longer, part of the body of the Church and what they do is against God’s Law, and the law of the land, then go before the courts and seek redress, as it is necessary. You do not sin by so doing. Do not bear false witness in any matter, as a false witness will not go unpunished. It is useful to remember, however, to keep clear of litigation except where absolutely necessary.
These are the procedures for redress in the Church, either of doctrine, or of administration, or of injury and damage. Remember you are God’s people but you are not doormats.
Love one another, and protect one another, and do wrong to no one.
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