UPDATE:  Email responses to the expansion announcements are coming in and I am informed that many people in UCG are deeply offended by the expansion plans.  In one case a person wrote:  “Most of our announcements yesterday in Garden Grove were on the home office expansion and it was offensive to a number of people.  With today’s technology, you do not really need a large “studio”.  Fred Coulter  manages to make decent presentations from an office in his house”.

I might add to that that I work out of my rental apartment living room.

THIS POST WAS UPDATED AT 11:27 PDT

PCG NEWS:   Gerald Flurry announced on December 24 that members worldwide are to fast on January 8. He said about 100 people a year for the past five years have been leaving PCG.  I have recently reported on a sharp decline in income for the PCG particularly for the building fund.

AMBASSADOR PASADENA NEWS:  

Ambassador West master developer City Ventures recently got permits for the first phase of site work on the lot on W. Del Mar Blvd, just east of S. Orange Grove Boulevard, and has begun making lot improvements, including tree relocations that comply with the project’s Urban Forestry Plan. The firm also hired a full-time construction manager, Ron Ewing, for the project.
This construction will destroy the Del Mar gardens, and will even eliminate the current driveway west of Manor Del Mar (359 West Del Mar).
Two building permits were obtained between 11/1/2011 – 11/30/2011
367 West Del Mar Blvd.  Construction of a new 4-unit condominium structure at 12, 316 square feet with subterranean garage at 16,895 feet.      Valuation  $2,714,134
363 West Del Mar Blvd. Construction of a new six unit condominium structure at 13,056 square feet. Valuation   $1,269, 957
Total valuation  $3,984,091
WORLD NEWS:   Israeli politics was ROCKED with a massive tectonic shift today as Yair Lapid leaves his News Anchor position to join politics.  Polls show him becoming the next Israeli Prime Minister; galvanizing the left and center to create a new PEACE coalition.  The suffering and terror of the coming war will increase the already strong present support exponentially.

See “Tomorrow’s news: Today”  for much more.

Prophetic events are lining up strongly for a peace and safety deal  [1 Thess 5:3] later this year.

1)  A regional war apparently scheduled for the near future.

2) Early elections for Israel expected to be called.

3)   A new government with a peace deal agenda coming in Israel.

This along with a frail elderly Pope and a crisis in Europe will make 2012 a very exciting year! 

Announcements:  There was a late addition to yesterday’s post on events in the Papacy.  If you havn’t seen that it is worth a look.

Many things are being said about me and what I am doing; to correct some of the many errors I will do a post tomorrow about myself and this effort.

I intend to also use this week to answer some of the questions that have been coming in, including the Pax Romana and the tribulation, the 144,000 and more.

1 Ti 5:17   Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

An elder who is faithful and diligent to teach obedience to all of God’s commandments labouring in God’s word and sound doctrine is to be respected, for he has earned the respect of men by his godly example.  A major part of that well doing, is even a prerequisite for  being ordained to such an office in the first place.

To justify high wages some of these groups and leaders appeal to the Roman Catholic  New Jerusalem Bible which says: “Elders who do their work well while they are in charge earn double reward, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching” (1Tim 5:17). Most other translations say “double honor”, but Greek dictionaries say that the word can refer to monetary value.

They appeal to the Roman church of Jezebel for their financial justifications.

1 Ti 3:2   A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

COG FINANCES

A few days ago I posted on the dangers of elders getting too deeply involved in non spiritual social activities and someone wrote to say that they are paid extra for such responsibilities and so some seek them out.  I made efforts to prove this matter and gained some information on the salaries etc in UCG.

Late Friday UCG published its plans for the new Home Office expansion  including a request for funds and I think that this is a good time for this subject.  I understand that when a building fund has been set up and sufficient funds have been pledged they will seek approval at the May GCE Conference.

For everyone’s information I would support this effort to expand the Home Office especially if it also helps to expand a true Godly Outreach Effort. 

I think this plan is far wiser than the major expense of buying property, starting from scratch and the cost of a relocation. 

That said, I remind everyone that you can Outreach and reach the entire population of the whole world and it is meaningless unless the content is pleasing to God!

If we do not have the example and the message: There is no profit in expanding or building another Headquarters!

As I said, I would applaud an increase in  GODLY Outreach which they claim this is designed to facilitate.  

The  fact this is that this is part of the apostacy agenda, which is designed to expand the new Outrach program into a watered down evangelical style Outreach Program, designed to bring in large numbers of shallow evangelicals in the manner of a Rick Warren Purpose Driven Evangelical Outreach to create a mega church. 

The behind the sceens agenda is to push an evangelical style Outreach FIRST, including doctrine that is acceptable and desirable to the evangelical community, in order  to generate a mega church and then tell the brethren that they are pleasing God as evidenced by the growth; while they apostatize into a “love love, tolerate sin, emotionally feel good social club” through changing the meaning of the doctrinal labels they use; without changing the labels. 

With an expected influx of evangelicals [in future when this agenda takes off] who will influence the existing brethren; the deceit of numbers will be perceived as a blessing for pleasing God;  the expanding peer pressure from these new unconverted “brethren” will result in many of the presently sleeping brethren falling completely away into this apostatizing agenda; and if some people leave they will not care, as they will still be growing.

These leaders have always been about; the Ernest Martin, Art Makarow, Joe Tkach teachings at heart, believing that the spirit of the law does away with the letter and that all we really need is “love” and an “emotional experience”.

That is the true aganda of the New UCG. 

For an overview of where the money goes in UCG compared to LCG here is a Bob Thiel post of  2010.

“Today, I noticed that the United Church of God just published its audited financial statements for its fiscal year ending June 30, 2010 (they are in the November 2010 edition of UCG’s United News).

For its fiscal year ending 6/30/10, UCG claims a gross income of   $23,870,107. It spent 5,368,289 (down from 5,649,925 the prior year) for ‘public proclamation’ (22.49%); it   spent 4,992,351 (up from 4,223,249 the prior year) for managing its meetings and ‘home office’ (20.92%); and   13,420,477 (down from 14,072,730 the prior year) for the field ministry/local   churches/FOT/International support (56.22%), and increased reserves by 88,990 (down from 789,795 the prior year) (0.37%).    For its fiscal year ending 12/31/09, LCG grossed 13,589,128 and spent   6,107,774 on public proclamation, 876,628 on HQ administration,  6,408,459 to ‘feed the flock’ (including Living University) and   increased reserves by 196,267.

In its prior fiscal year UCG spent $5,734,800 for ‘public proclamation’ and   apparently decided to decrease that even though it indicated earlier that it had   planned to increase that portion of the budget.

Based on the numbers in the financial reports of the two groups, if you gave $100.00 to the United Church of God or the Living Church  of God, here is where your money went:

.......................................United Church of God....Living Church of God
1st Commission to Proclaim the Gospel to the World....$22.49........$44.95 
2nd Commission to Feed the Flock (and Field Ministry)..56.22.........47.16 
Headquarters/Home Office...............................20.92..........6.45 
Change in Reserves......................................0.37..........1.44 
Total................................................$100.00.......$100.00"

THE DIFFERENCE

As you can see UCG paid more for its field ministry, yet the big difference was that LCG spent nearly double on its outreach; while UCG spent three times more on its Home Office and  leadership.

Now UCG is planning a Home Office expansion.

Despite any other criticisms I may have about LCG, I believe that their financial priorities are far superior to UCGs.

The majority of this discrepancy is due to the very high salaries paid to UCG CoE members and executives.

CoE  SALARIES

UCG elders receive a minimum salary based on years of service, then then get additional amounts for other added responsibilities such as  Camp Coordinators, Feast Coordinators etc.

Regional Pastors get more, as do administrative officials [president, treasurer etc] and  members of the CoE and the Chairman; who is the real head of UCG [the president being merely and administrative assistant to the CoE].

CoE salaries are in the $120,000 range although this is just the base minimum salary and other possibilities for income are available to them.  Added to this income is a generous expense account.

110,000 plus per year  plus a 9% bonus and a generous expense account with tax deductible housing and utilities makes for a VERY good life for men called to SET AN EXAMPLE FOR THE FLOCK.

And then they beg the brethren to sacrifice!  Remember the words of Jesus Christ:  Mat 23:4  For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

These men should be tithing fully and sacrificing and doing whatever they ask the flock to do.

How many of you get to deduct housing and utilities from your taxable income?  Factor that into the remuneration mix.

TITHING

Elders do not save or pay second or third tithe; instead they receive an additional 9% of their wages as a Feast subsidy.  They will explain that HWA decided to withhold ten percent of wages and give them 9% at the Feast, keeping for WCG a tithe of their Festival tithe.  So why do they not claim that HWA withheld FIRST TITHE too?  And then not worry about tithing at all?

This is either a Festival bonus as it appears, or it is stealing from these elders, since such matters should be entirely voluntary under God’s law.

I really don’t understand the reason for all this double talk about this being a withholding, instead of a bonus.  Why do they want to appear as commandment breakers, instead of as giving a bonus for added work?

That is actually breaking God’s law, since tithing is a personal matter between people and God and NO organization has the right to withhold such tithes.

TITHE OF A TITHE

Further there is no such thing as a tithe of a tithe in scripture for the Festivals; the Festivals were financed by the offerings presented at the Festivals.

Deu 14:22   Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. . . . v 25   Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: 26And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after [lawfully desires.

The Festival money is GOD'S MONEY which we are commanded to rejoice with, at HIS Festivals.  We are also commanded to make VOLUNTARY FREEWILL OFFERINGS which were historically used to put on the Festivals.

At that time Levites were a tribe in Israel with their windows and orphans, their sick and lame;  They were commended to share with them at that time because of these facts.  This has no relevance to sharing with well paid leaders today.  It has every relevance to US  sharing with unpaid elders, deacons and others who have served well for no physical reward.  Do not forget these very special people at the Feast!

To take what God has commanded and use it for another purpose [the so called tithe of a tithe] is STEALING from God, and it is stealing from the poorer among us who may have limited funds to begin with!

It would be much better to do this God’s way and then the poor would give a lessor offering while those blessed with much more,  could give more.  We should give as we are ABLE and not according to some non biblical humanly devised dictated percentage.

 

SALARY AND BENEFITS

The salary of an experienced elder, especially with an AC education is above $50,000 annually.

This minimum salary; plus 9% Feast bonus, plus a generous expense account, plus a parsonage [housing and utilities are tax deductible], plus a myriad of ways to increase wages; results in a pretty good income for many elders.

Bearing in mind that many wives also work hard for no compensation and that these men often work seven days a week and extensive hours, this compensation may appear fair and reasonable. However consider the major sacrifices of deacons, non paid elders and volunteers; who receive absolutely NOTHING for their endless hours of service.

CoE and Senior Administrative Personnel compensation may be reasonable for a worldly organization.  However we are not supposed to be serving for lucre, nor are we supposed to be infatuated with the physical things of this world that money can buy.

We are [and especially elders] are supposed to be fixed on spiritual matters and to be willing to sacrifice to do a work of service to God.  As long as the outreach of the church is suffering, as long as they are begging for money from the poor brethren: LEADERSHIP SHOULD BE SETTING AN EXAMPLE!

Ezek 34 comes to mind with these high level men feeding themselves with the physical produce of God’s Flock, while providing a Social Club environment for God’s Flock, as they starve for lack of real spiritual sustenance.

Eaek 34:2  Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?

Teaching tolerance for sin IS NOT feeding the flock.

In Isaiah 58 God speaks about the sins of the Church of God who are his people today; and he COMMANDS his shepherds to: Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

God Almighty COMMANDS his shepherds to Cry Aloud and tell his people; Yes, God’s flock; their sins: and for the most part today’s elders refuse to do so!  They neither preach the Gospel of warning and repentance to the world, nor do they even preach it to the brethren.

2Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.

The COGs take delight in declaring themselves to be godly and declaring how very righteous they are, and declaring that they keep God’s commandments, but the Flock of God have wandered astray; and is none of these things.

Therefore the Eternal COMMANDS the elders to:    Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

The elders gladly take their wage, yet they DO NOT; DO THE JOB!  Where are the sermons on what sin is and what we need to repent of?  Where are the exhortations to keep ALL of God’s commandments with zeal?  Where are the sermons on the sanctity of the Sabbath and how it is being regularly polluted by the brethren and the  elders themselves?

And the Outreach is even worse

 

ADJUST THE BUDGET

Obviously LCG can get along with a far more balanced budget, as apparently can COGWA.

If these men are really serious about their new construction and expanded Outreach; let them each publish their income, including detailed expense accounts for the last year; and then set an example by tightening their belts and taking a substantial pay cut.

Executive wages and benefits should be no more than 50% higher than the elders.

Maybe Dr Bob could weigh in on LCG salaries?   Tell us Dr Bob; just how does LCG manage its budget to place so much into its Outreach?  Let your light shine and show us the better way!

COGWA

COGWA elders receive $40,000 annually plus the 9% Feast bonus; with those having 35 years service getting $2,000 more annually.   At this time, those supervising camps etc get nothing extra.

 

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