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The COG is less than a generation away from decentralization or extinction
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Post Oh boy! spartanfan
This is starting to get way off track. Now it’s about where the tot comes from? Golf Cart Mafia Underboss
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8/25/19 6:52 pm


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Post My opinion? roughridercog
Our church will be dragged into a more congregational form over centralized form, but it will be done kicking and screaming. Our older ministers who are used to being granted transfers by an overseer will be horrified at the prospect of having to interview at a church and many of our churches who are too dependent upon our respective state headquarters will either fade away or be merged into other congregations for the security of finances.
Plus we will see more of our newer works continue to meet in rented facilities and eventually refuse to deed properties to the general church.

Just my opinion.
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8/26/19 6:26 am


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Post Re: My opinion? Da Sheik
roughridercog wrote:
Our church will be dragged into a more congregational form over centralized form, but it will be done kicking and screaming. Our older ministers who are used to being granted transfers by an overseer will be horrified at the prospect of having to interview at a church and many of our churches who are too dependent upon our respective state headquarters will either fade away or be merged into other congregations for the security of finances.
Plus we will see more of our newer works continue to meet in rented facilities and eventually refuse to deed properties to the general church.

Just my opinion.


You said what I was trying to say with more grace. I wasn’t taking delight in the downfall of the COG. I’m saying things have got to change. That’s true of every local church. The message never changes but the methods have to. You’d be amazed at how many of our ministers still don’t use computers or smart phones. I’m an old curmudgeon but I learned if I want to talk to the young people in my life I need to text and be on social media.
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8/26/19 8:44 am


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Post Re: My opinion? Darrell Garrett
roughridercog wrote:
Our church will be dragged into a more congregational form over centralized form, but it will be done kicking and screaming. Our older ministers who are used to being granted transfers by an overseer will be horrified at the prospect of having to interview at a church and many of our churches who are too dependent upon our respective state headquarters will either fade away or be merged into other congregations for the security of finances.
Plus we will see more of our newer works continue to meet in rented facilities and eventually refuse to deed properties to the general church.

Just my opinion.


Thank you for stating it so well RR. This is it and it will happen or it will die. Of course, by saying this, pastors (who OF COURSE, never read this site) have sat in their church board meetings and accused me of "trashing and trying to destroy the COG." I didn't know I had such power! The people leaving your church cannot be blamed on me. I've not invited nor enticed one person to leave. They told you why they are leaving, and it is exactly what has been stated in the original post here. Learn... or face the alternative.
Hon. Dr. in Acts-celeratology
Posts: 5292
8/26/19 9:24 am


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Post Re: Oh boy! diakoneo
spartanfan wrote:
This is starting to get way off track. Now it’s about where the tot comes from?


It always boils down to economics. That is why I brought the ToT issue into the mix. At one time the Church of God offered a very tight fellowship. It was something not found in other churches. There was, for lack of a better term an "us against the world" attitude. People were glad to pay their tithe because they believed in the system that pulled us all together. This cohesiveness has very slowly eroded over time. There are still pockets of "old school" out there but they are few and far between and most congregants don't see the benefit of paying a centralized government that could possibly close them down and put the money in the state office on what they see as a whim.

So, many people(who know how the system works) refuse to mark "Tithe" on there check or envelope. All that money stays in the local church.

How will the centralized system be maintained without the ToT?

That is why I brought it up.
Golf Cart Mafia Consigliere
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8/26/19 1:01 pm


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Post sheepdogandy
How about it Sparty and Mrsippi?

Out of the mouth of two or more witnesses.

Start calling these folks trolls and liars.

Sheesh! Rolling Eyes
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8/26/19 5:52 pm


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Post MrSippi
sheepdogandy wrote:
How about it Sparty and Mrsippi?

Out of the mouth of two or more witnesses.

Start calling these folks trolls and liars.

Sheesh! Rolling Eyes


Ok You’ve got me convinced. 3 people on a message board settles it. Rolling Eyes
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8/26/19 9:15 pm


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Post The Church of God as we have known it...will soon be extinct Aaron Scott
By “extinct,” I don’t mean there will not be a Church of God anywhere. Rather, I mean that you may find one here and there, but not only will it become less and less used (who wants to be known as part of some seemingly failing denomination?), but any COG distinctives will have largely vanished. This applies mainly to USA churches; I don’t know how other nations will respond—they may be fully vibrant.

BUT WHY?

I submit that it arose from the best of intentions. Very simply, in an effort to expand, to not become some “denomination” with only four churches (so to speak), we began to dilute ourselves. Sometimes, this was done intentionally and even justifiably, as when we eased our Practical Commitments. We know we were too strong on some of these things. But it was a shibboleth that, to a significant degree, ensured that the church remained faithful to our roots, even if we didn’t have it just right.

We did the RIGHT thing and changed them to be in greater accord with the scriptures. If that had been all we had done, all might have been well. But we went further. We slowly began to decentralize. NOT in terms of leadership and such, but “Cleveland” stared mattering less and less, as churches began to function, for all practical purposes, as independent churches under an umbrella organization. They paid their TOT, went to the conferences they wished to attend, etc., but beyond that, not much. Case in point: the other day while visiting the hospital, I learned a woman was Church of God. I asked her if it was the one headquartered in Cleveland. She didn’t know (it was).

That’s not the pastors fault. But as our churches have found other, better(?) Sunday School literature, have slowly deemphasized district meetings/fellowships, have perhaps toned down our overtly Pentecostal stylings and worship, we have, in some cases, it seems, become more Baptist, while Baptist’s have been trying to attain the sort of worship that once seemed to belong exclusively to Pentecostals.

And eventually we find ourselves with relationships that are closer to other churches than the Church of God. We call it “Kingdom minded,” and there is some truth there, I suppose. But it never seemed to me that it was a mutually exclusive choice—I.e., we should have still kept out Church if God souls, while being happy to reach across boundaries.

We stopped being the Church if God in a significant way when we stopped emphasizing evangelism. I used to see revival statistics and a list of state evangelists and State Team evangelists. I can name ONE full-time Evangelist in my state (btw, this is not a state issue, but a denominational one, I believe...at least as it relates to the USA).

Can it be fixed? I am not hopeful, but I plan to be here until I die.
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8/28/19 8:03 am


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Post Cojak
REading Aaron's comment, I smiled. Thinking I too will be here until I die. But at almost 81 I don't have long to stay. YES Aaron is right. This is not the denomination we were raised in. My dad never took a church larger or paid more than the one he pastored. But when he left it was larger than when he arrived. Revivals were REAL. One revival was 8 weeks. that was 7 nights a week in a cotton mill town and the church was packed. I remember the Sheriff driving up to the parsonage and asking to see dad. He wanted to know it it was true that 'Carswell' had been saved? Dad assured him that Yes, the bootlegger was a changed man. His whole family came to church and he sure had a good looking daughter.
Yep, at least three-four times a year I gave up my bed for a few weeks to the evangelist. I cannot remember an evangelist I did not enjoy being around during the day. I do remember they prayed a lot. Cool

Yes we have changed, Our churches were grown from kids whose parents may not have attended, but sent their kids to Sunday School.

I do not have an answer, but we have definitely changed. Crying or Very sad
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8/28/19 11:51 pm


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Post Darrell Garrett
It's very sad to me that the COG is headed the way that it is. I've been accused of being bitter over leaving the COG. Bitter is the wrong word. Heartbroken, yes. Bitter, not at all. Now that I've been gone for 9 months I have no regrets and honestly, I am thankful I'm out. I won't even go into my reasoning for that. If anyone wants to know, contact me and I'll be happy to tell you why and why I regret not making the move back in 1999. As for the COG, I was born and raised in the COG for 60 years. My father and grandfather before me were COG ministers; so yeah, it breaks my heart. But I'm good. What is truly bothering me though is the way I see AB's running roughshod over ministers and churches. Take Illinois. In the last 6 years, how many men with 15-30 years (or more) as COG pastors have either left on their own or had their credentials revoked because of the "do it my way or you're out" mentality? Far too many. And you will see it happening more and more. I have been contacted several times by ministers both in Illinois and other states as well asking me about how I did it, how it affected me and do I have any regrets. Just this weekend I had a pastor from another state asking me if I am set up to credential other ministers and he will be making the move away from the COG right after the first of the year. Another Ordained Bishop in the COG spoke with me yesterday afternoon and we are beginning his process of credentialing with my ministry. It's not my intention to hurt the COG in any way. I wrestled for hours before deciding to make this post. I chose to do so because I know that there are higher-ups in the COG who do read here and I really hope they read this and rather than get mad, they stop and survey the landscape and ask themselves why these seasoned men of God are choosing to walk away. I pray that someone gets a clue before the COG is but a shadowy realic. Hon. Dr. in Acts-celeratology
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11/26/19 11:18 am


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Post Let me ask a tough question roughridercog
Is our decentralization necessarily a bad thing or will it instead empower our local churches more? Your thoughts and comments?
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12/2/19 9:28 am


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Post Re: Let me ask a tough question Cojak
roughridercog wrote:
Is our decentralization necessarily a bad thing or will it instead empower our local churches more? Your thoughts and comments?


I see more openness and a local challenge. Loosening some of the lines of central gov't should be a 'Go Forth' blessing. I do not know of an example of a denomination where this has happened, is there a precedence?
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12/3/19 11:29 am


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