IS THERE JUSTICE IN THE CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST?

August 26, 2012

TURN FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT

To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”  (Acts 26:18, AV)

 

BY BRENDA STIDHAM

An overwhelming majority of COGIC leaders (particularly bishops) systematically covenant to embrace esteem and exalt the government of the Church of God in Christ, above the written Word of God.  During the consecration ceremony bishops covenant to uphold, obey and defend the Constitution, (COGIC governmental system), even though the Constitution (Church Of God In Christ, Official Manual. 1973 edition, pgs. 1-39) is completely void of the written Word of God.  The Constitution these men covenant to uphold, obey and defend contains provisions that are diametrically opposed to the written Word of God and enshrines the biblical evil respecter of persons, only bishops and pastors have constitutional rights (see Internet website, http://www.reportcogicabuse.com, Constitutional Rights Expose/Critique, pgs. 2-3, 6-7 & 12) The Word of God furnishes light in darkness, yet the Church of God in Christ Constitution lacks light.

“The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes” (Psalms 19:8).

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path(Psalms19:105).

“The entrance of thy words giveth light…” Psalms 119:130

 

Darkness is the absence of light.  The absence of light in church government authorizes men to conduct, perform, and execute ecclesiastical matters in darkness.  Government is ‘the continuous exercise of authority over and the performance of functions … laws and customs through which the function of government is carried out” (Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 10th ed.  Merriam Webster, Incorporated, Springfield, Mass.  1993, pg. 504).  Under the current government, church affairs are often conducted in a selfish, prideful manner.  Some men conduct the affairs of the church, as if the church particularly at the jurisdictional level is their own personal, private, regime.  The Word of God gives light, no Word, no light.

Where does guidance come from, that directs and guides men to establish and enact church government that completely leaves out the written Word of God?

The Bible states:

“…Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name”.  Psalms138:2

“If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself”.  II Timothy 2:13.

God exalts His Word above His name.  He cannot deny Himself.  The Church of God in Christ, carries His name, yet completely leaves His written Word out of its Constitution, government.  No Word, no light.  Those who defend the Constitution, defend that which is void of light and when the Word of God (light) confronts that which is void of light, those who defend the Constitution choose to fight against light.

“…God is light, and in him is no darkness at all”.  I John 1:5.

Church government void of the Word of God (light), enslaves and takes captives, Jesus tells us that:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,  because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at libertythem that are bruised”.  Luke 4:18  (bold emphasis added)

Colossians 2:8 tells us:

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ”.

This same verse in the NIV reads:

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ”.

Where there is an absence of light (darkness), leaders are license to coerce, goad, and intimidate parishioners into obedience or silence.  Members are taught to obey leadership, not to fight or question their leader(s).  Members are taught that all wrongs will be made right in heaven and not to speak out against wrongs.  Parishioners spend the majority of their Christian lives uncertain if heaven is their ultimate home, even though what Christ has done for us is sure.  They are repeatedly told to obey leadership, not to fight or question leadership, even Jesus questioned church leaders of His day, Luke 2:46.  Many do not want to risk increasing the perceived difficulty to making heaven their home, by disobeying or questioning their leader.

Unfortunately, when COGIC leaders act contrary to the written Word of God, far too often members are expected and required to support their leader(s) with a loyalty that defies the written Word of God.  It is not difficult for leaders, particularly bishops who uphold and defend the Constitution to demand and extract such loyalty from members, particularly those who serve under them.  Bishops know that in the church, those (except pastors) who serve under them are without constitutional/governmental rights.  Some of these men demand and extract loyalty in the name of the church, they esteem the covenant to defend that which is completely void of the written Word of God.

There are a few bishops who dare to exalt the Word of God above the Constitution.  Unfortunately these courageous men can be and are often singled out as defectors from the brotherhood of bishops.  This system of church government takes captive all who exalt that which is void of the Word, light and seeks to destroy or silence those who refuse to do so.  It attempts to take captive bishops who refuse to exalt that which is void of light.  Bishops, are expected under penalty of disciplinary proceedings to kneel at the altar of the Constitution, church government, even though the Word of God is completely left out; brethren this should not be.  Members must be free to exalt the Word of God within the church, all institutional customs, laws, and provisions that leave out, shut out, or contravene the written Word of God, must bow in the name of Jesus.  Philippians 2:10.

Each of us must renew our mind with the Word and study to show ourselves approved unto God.  Romans 12:2 & II Timothy 2:15.  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, helps to renew the mind and exalt the Word.  Thoughts that come to attack the promise(s) of God and the high thing that attempts to lift itself above the Word of God must be cast down.  The Bible tells us to cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.  II Corinthians 10:5.  This scripture addresses our thought life, as Christians we must take captive every thought and make the thought obey Christ.  Christians must not be ruled by that which is void of the Word of God, particularly within the church.  The Constitution has no Word. No Word, no light.  When an imagination, thought, or high thing comes from a place absent of light, we are instructed to take the thought captive, put it in jail by speaking what God says about it.  Boldly cast down that which exalts itself against the knowledge of God.  God and His Word are one,

Proverbs 3:6 instructs us:

“In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths”

Again, where does guidance come from that directs and guides men to establish and enact church government that completely leaves out the written Word of God?  Who and what is the church imitating?  Those who choose to embrace, esteem and exalt the Word of God (light), must establish and enact church government that refuses to leave out or depart from the written Word of God.  An awakening to God, is what changes men and government, His written Word cannot be left out

“The entrance of thy words giveth light”.  Psalms 119:130

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August 20, 2012

Is your Pastor/ Bishop a hireling? How can you tell?

Wouldn’t it be a good thing if you could tell if your Pastor or Bishop was a true shepherd or a hireling?  Did you know the Word of God lets us know?  Here is how you can tell.

 1)  How you can discern if you have a good shepherd sent by GOD.

Jesus said the “Good Shepherd” gives his life for the sheep;
“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11, AV)

The WORD of The MOST HIGH GOD says he will give you Pastors according to His heart;
“And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” (Jeremiah 3:15, AV)

When the people have a shepherd like this, sent from GOD they rejoice.

2). How to spot a hireling:

The hireling will be more interested in your money than your soul.  Don’t be confused if he feeds you the things of GOD, it is correct that he should reap a portion from your material things; “If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things?” (1 Corinthians 9:11, NKJV)  However, he will not slaughter the sheep because a shepherd sent from GOD loves his flock, not just in word but in deeds also

A good shepherd does not have to thump his chest like Tarzan and cry “obey leadership”.

I have heard it said some were not sent, they just went.

Does he walk around and act like the “CEO”, does he demand to be served instead of serving the flock.

Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” (1 Peter 5:3, AV)
But what does it mean to “lord over God’s heritage”?  Here is a list of qualities of a hireling found in Ezekiel 34:2-6;

They do not feed the flock
They eat the fat and wear the wool
They slaughter the fatlings , but do not feed the flock
They do not strengthen the weak Ezekiel 34 :2-6
They do not heal the sick
Nor bind up the broken
They do not bring back that which was lost
They rule with force and cruelty.
Exercise dominion over the flock  like Gentiles Mathew 20:25

They scatter the flock

Sheep are some of the most vulnerable creatures on earth.  Sheep must be led, because they will scatter when they are driven.  Without a Shepherd sent from GOD, they are easy prey for the wolf, lion and other predators

If your Pastor or Bishop is found in that list, he fits GOD’S description of a hireling.  Here is GOD’S judgement for them;

“Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them.”” (Ezekiel 34:10, NKJV)

The Bible also says;  “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” (Proverbs 29:2, AV)

“There is a growing cry of oppression across the land.  The saints are being oppressed in an unprecedented manner.  To quote from the Presiding Bishop, Bishop Charles E. Blake’s book “Why I Testified For the Defense In Orlando”;

“The Church of God in Christ” does not belong to leaders. On the contrary, leaders are given to, and belong to the Church. They exist for the “perfecting of the saints”, and for the “edifying of the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:11-12). If these offices exist for the saints, then the saints cannot exist for, or belong to, those in these positions. Jesus said to Peter, “If you love me, feed my sheep.” Sheep do not exist for shepherds. Shepherds exist for the well-being of the sheep.

Since this is the case, from whence come this arrogant use of power and this obsession with wealth?  Where does this abuse of people, and this disregard of their wishes come from?  Why do men wish to lord over that upon which they have bestowed no labor?”

To those who are oppressed by or have been scattered by a hireling, GOD has not forsaken you, remember;

“Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.” (Luke 17:1–2, AV)

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:” (1 Peter 4:12, AV)

If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan? (Jeremiah 12:5, AV)

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9, AV)

“Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6, AV)

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” (Ephesians 6:10, AV)

THE BATTLE IS NOT YOURS, ITS THE LORDS

August 19, 2012

TO SOW THE WIND, AND REAP THE WHIRL WIND

Due to the efforts of the Church of God In Christ, Inc. and Kansas Southwest Jurisdiction, at the direction of its prelate Bishop Joseph C. Gilkey and under the guidance of the General Counsel, in a lawsuit filed against the living, charter members of a local church, Emmanuel Church of God in Christ, Wichita, Kansas.  The Kansas Appeals Court has made a finding that the Church of God in Christ, Inc. is the owner of the local Churches of God in Christ.  Even if your church is incorporated, it does not matter.  Here on page 17, paragraph 2, of Kansas Court of Appeals number 104859 is what they said;

This decision has the foreseeable possibility of requiring the National Church to purchase liability, fire, and all insurances required for a corporation on each local Church in every state of the union.  Since the local people are not the owners the owner is the, Church of God in Christ, Inc., the only entity required to purchase insurance.  As the owner, they now have liability for every crack in every sidewalk on COGIC property all across America.  As the owner, they are now responsible for every chicken dinner at every COGIC in America.  These are some of the thorns, in the bouquet of roses the General Board, Bishop Gilkey, and the General Counsel picked when they sued the remaining charter members of Emmanuel Church of God in Christ, Wichita, Kansas.

The Church of God in Christ Constitution requires the National Board of Trustees to “preserve, protect, and maintain all property of the church, not otherwise provided for.” This now includes all local churches.

Do insurance companies know who they have insured?  They think it is the local church, how many insurance policies could be canceled or not honored because of this?

August 16, 2012

TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY: IS THERE DECEIT IN THE HOUSE?

What do you call a farmer who clears the ground, plows the field, plants the seed, kills the weeds, and reaps the harvest.  He then loads the grain and takes it to the mill.  After receiving the going rate he walks out of the office with the fruit of his labor.  However the person who owns the land is there to claim his agreed upon share.  That farmer is a sharecropper. When the sharecropper dies, the landowner, as the legal owner can do whatever he wants, he owns the land.

Sharecropper:
: a tenant farmer especially in the southern U.S. who is provided with credit for seed, tools, living quarters, and food, who works the land, and who receives an agreed share of the value of the crop minus charges (Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary)

There are similarities between sharecropper and the COGIC  Pastor and members.  The farmer has one advantage over the Pastors and members of the Church of God in Christ, he knows he is a sharecropper.  The COGIC Pastor and members do not!!

Don’t Be DeceivedANY!!!  LAND TRUST, IN THE NAME OF THE NATIONAL CHURCH, IMPLIED OR EXPRESSED MAKES YOU A SHARECROPPER.
You the Pastor and members get to work the land, but  THE LOCAL PEOPLE NEVER OWN IT. Read this excerpt from our appeal

During the April call meeting, the General Counsel, at the request of Chairman Hunt, offered an explanation regarding property as it appears in the Official Manual, p. 16,  paragraph 9; He stated “taking of property requires a transfer of title” He further explained  proposed changes which would involve clearing the   language so that  title to the property would belong to the local church with the national church having an expressed trust interest in that property”. (Minutes to April 2012 call meeting pg. 8 paragraph 2

That is double talk and legal speak; in the Emmanuel COGIC , Wichita, Kansas case, the local church was taken from the local members who bought and paid for the land, constructed the building, maintained the Church all with no national or state monies, without a transfer of title.  The local members were barred from ever holding any office and were effectively ousted as member. Just as the King of Assyria in 2 Kings 17:24 removed the people and brought in others.  The original members were displaced.  AND THE GENERAL COUNSEL HELPED.

THANKS TO BISHOP GILKEY, THE GENERAL COUNSEL, AND THE GENERAL BOARD, WE ARE ALL SHARECROPPERS, the national owns all the churches”.  The General Counsel knows what an “Express Trust”  is (See page 1176, column 1,paragraph “P-Q”).  He knows the words, “Express Trust”  wipes out the part about “title to the property would belong to the local church”.  It sounds good but you would still be a sharecropper!  The difference in an “Implied Trust” and an “Express Trust” is the express trust is done in writing and the Implied Trust  (page 1176 column 1, paragraph “S”)is one implied or presumed by circumstances.
The circumstances; since the “civil court” finds (believes) the Church of God in Christ is “hierarchical”, the civil court presumes the National Church owns all the property, to quote Bishop Enoch Perry III “akin to the Catholic Church” (2009 CV 3960; pg 129,  line 25, pg. 130  line 1).

Express Trust: A trust created or declared in express terms and usually in writing, these are done on purpose

We must understand we are at a disadvantage when we,talk to people with legal training who often use words unfamiliar to us.   Words may have a different meaning to the layman than they have in a court of law.

The General Assembly must decide if it will  condone the National Church, taking  property when it has put nothing into it.  No one knowingly agrees to be plundered and beaten, in Jesus name.

If the local church belongs to the local members, the property must be held in Trust for the Local Members exclusively.  That the local church as grantee as named on the deed, is the exclusive owner of the local church property. Property acquired by gift or device must create to the local church the same right of exclusive ownership as purchased property.  The local church shall have the right to defend its right of ownership against any and all others.

August 13, 2012

To The Members of The Church of God in Christ, everywhere

Here is the latest letter written by Bishop Samuel P. Nesbitt;  To the Members of COGIC.

August 7, 2012

THE NEW TASKMASTERS

Whenever the church tries to operate using the world’s system, it always comes under oppression.  This is because they are trying to operate outside of the “will” of God.  In the scripture, “Egypt” is synonymous with the ‘Worlds System”.  When the church allowed itself to be defined by the court as “Hierarchical”, it opened the doors to things which lead to destruction.  Just as with Abram; when he left the promised land, and went into Egypt because of a famine.  It was a practical thing to do as a natural man, but spiritually it was disastrous.  Yes he acquired cattle, and other riches, but he also acquired Hagar.  From Hagar he reaped Ishmael, the world is still reaping a harvest from Abrams venture into Egypt.  Ishmael was born of the flesh, as was the hierarchical system.  It came from the civil court system and was embraced by the church.  The body of Christ is reaping the fruit of governing itself through the world’s system, many of our leaders have become taskmasters just as the Egyptians were to the children of Israel.  If you read this Chronology of Events you will see the fruit of the Hierarchical System.

It is foolish to think you can “take your brother to law” and not expect to reap lawsuits.  We are reaping what has been sown;

“For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up. Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein is no pleasure.” (Hosea 8:7–8, AV)

The poll below has consistently shown results of; (1).  approx. 60% were not told the local church would loose ownership of their church. (2) 20% believe their property is protected (read this article). (3). Only 20% knew they held  their property for the National Church.  We should be very concerned, with the plethora of sexual abuse cases that now exist, the possibility exist one will be so egregious or a pattern of coverup will emerge, and COGIC will take a large financial hit and all the churches would be viewed as assets.  That is one of the unforeseen side effects of the hierarchical system.  Bishop Westbrook had his,  Washington Jurisdictional headquarters  put up for sale possibly because of a sexual abuse case (as reported on Gay Christian Movement Watch Nov. 16, 2010)

                                                                                                                                                                    

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