GCG & UCG Leaders Meet
The message was sent to all UCG elders on November. 17, 1998 (emphasis added by SN):
Dear Fellow Elders,
On October 29, 1998, a meeting took place in East Texas with old friends from Global and United. We met for lunch and discussed old times as well as the issues which have been raised about the two organizations since their inception.
It would be difficult to summarize several hours of discussion, but our conclusion was that a lot of the brethren want to know what the differences are between the two groups. Our meeting could not answer this question completely, but we both agreed that we needed facts instead of generalizations and perceptions. Therefore we agreed to recommend to the two Councils (UCG and GCG) that they consider reviewing each other's doctrines and if necessary challenging them, in an effort to answer the question to everybody's satisfaction. A proposal to consider such was presented to both Councils by the six participants. Nothing further has been planned.
Nothing more can be said at the present time, but it seemed important to let everyone know that such an informal meeting did take place. In the day of rumors, one can only guess what may be said. It is also fair to say that because of the many overlapping relationships among members of the two organizations, many old friends have continued to fellowship. For this we are very pleased. The untimely death of Colin Adair this past Sunday has made the time we spent together even more meaningful. All those in United are deeply saddened over the death of Mr. Adair and we offer our deepest sympathy to his wife, Margaret, his family, and loved ones.
The six participants in the meeting were: Carl McNair, Colin Adair and Larry Salyer from Global; Doug Horchak, Roy Holladay and Jim Franks from United.
Norman Edwards comments:
This meeting, and the public acknowledgment of it, is a good thing. These leaders are acknowledging:
1. That each group contains true believers and that the brethren are right in their desire to seek closer ties with other groups.
2. That each group is a part of the work that God is doing and therefore tithes and offerings sent to that group are accepted by God.
3. That the Eternal can work through more than one human leader and more than one human organization at the same time.
If the above were not true, why would these leaders have bothered to meet in the first place? We hope that these organizations will continue to review the other’s doctrines and practices. We hope that they realize that each group has almost as much variation in internal practice as there is variation between the groups. (For example: Some ministers teach British Israelism extensively, others do not teach it at all. Some ministers remove all duties from members who visit other groups, some encourage visiting.)
Unity will not come because the two groups agree on nearly all doctrines and all practices—they cannot agree on that within their own group. Unity will only come by recognizing that the Eternal plans His work, not organizations of men. Unity could begin now if organizations would aree to:
1. Not discipline members or elders for attending other groups.
2. Encourage local groups to participate in combined activities
3. Allow local groups to combine services with other groups.
Leaders may feel like they are losing control, but is not Christ in control? Their current practices are actually dividing people (see letters, page 18). &
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