We received the following fax shortly after we mailed the June Servants’ News:
July 4, 1995
I am faxing you this message because in reading Servants’ News I have become a little upset at what I see as a double standard. You wrote an article titled “Your Paper Said it, But Is It True?”
In the article you are complaining about false things being written about you—all which is fine, I have no problem with that.
But on the other hand in the section “News from Local Congregations” you are making allegations about the United Church of God which I find distasteful. You even admit that some of it is hearsay, you state that “we have even heard several stories of men contacting multiple ‘Church of God’ organizations.” Hearsay to me is nothing more than gossip, and if you want to print negative information than I suggest you better take a look at your own house. There seems to be a bit of hypocrisy evident in this last edition you have published.
I hope you are converted enough to apologize and print it. Up till now I have felt you were doing a good job, printing unbiased articles, but now I am not so sure. Hope you will make the necessary corrections and get on with doing a good work.
I have enjoyed reading your News up until this time. I look forward to reading it in the future, but with a more positive approach to what is printed.
—G.H., New Mexico
Thank you very much for the correction. Upon rereading our United Church of God article (page 5), we see that it seems to be condemning some in United. That was not our intent, but that is what it says. We apologize for our mistake. We should have discussed the problem in a separate section and not mentioned any organization names. Indeed, some of the problems we had in mind were with other organizations.
Although we characterized these things as “stories”, we do have either first hand knowledge (a “minister” told us he was primarily looking for a job), or information that was heard by many people (a “minister” attended and promoted one organization for two weeks then suddenly was hired by another organization). This is a great contrast to the article in the other paper about “Friends of the Brethren” which contained statements directly opposite of the observable facts.
We did not name these people because we hope that they will repent, change, and become good servants. While the Scriptures do identify a few people as evil (Acts 8:23, 1Tim 1:20, 2Tim 4:14), the Bible authors most often just identify the nature of a sin and let others determine who is doing it and how to avoid them (2Pet 2, Rev 2 and 3, 2Thes 3:6, 1Tim 6:3-5, etc.) We do not believe it is our task to judge.
Please notice that we did use nearly two whole columns to discuss the good things about United and to give the locations of their services. I have personally attended United congregations and was pleased with much of what I heard and saw.
In the future, we can do a better job of dis cussing difficulties in the congregations without giving names of individuals and organizations.
—Norman S. Edwards
At least two people did not have as much difficulty with the June issue:
July 9, 1995
I have received my first [June issue] Servants’ News and am very pleased with it.
I am attending the Ft. Worth United Church of God services and a great cloud of relief has been lifted since I’ve left the Worldwide Church of God.
—R. T. C., Ft. Worth, TX
July 6, 1995
[I] am finding your publication Servants’ News most helpful in sorting thru the confusion as a former WCG member. My focus of study now is centered on the type of government that God’s church should have. WIth respect to that subject, please send your article titled “How Does the Eternal Govern Through Humans?” [other literature requests not printed].
That may very well be the problem. I had pretty much just accepted whatever came out of Headquarters as the “Gospel” with no particular incentive to prove it. WIth the massive doctrinal changes, however, it’s back to basics for me and an intense distrust of any human government—church or otherwise.
Please accept the enclosed contribution to help defray your expense.
—E. D., Texas
The Scriptures indicate corruption in both religious and secular governments in the end (Ezk 34:, Hos 7, Rev 17-18, and many others). “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man” (Psalm 118:8). Don’t give up!
—Norman S. Edwards