Here is a new publication which I have come across which discusses COGIC current events.
The Federal Lawsuit has been revised to include members of the General Board. Those included are, the Presiding Bishop, first and second Assistant Presiding Bishop, the Secretary, and the Assistant Secretary of the General Board.
“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’ (Revelation 3:1–6, NKJV)
There has been a lot of controversy over the message Evangelist Earl Carter preached at the 107th Church of God in Christ Convocation. Many letters have been written, many opinions have been expressed. Bishop Blake apologized because “one of the more than fifteen speakers used terms and spoke in a way that was offensive and inappropriate”.
I have included the apology as well as all the letters I have found on the internet concerning this issue. You can view the apology and click on the links below to read the letters.
There has been a call for a forum at the Leaders Convention January 2015 concerning this controversy. Bishop Talbert Swan has written a letter refuting the need for a forum on this subject. Click on the link provided to read that letter, then you decide.
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” ‘ (Joshua 24:15, AV)
“It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22–23, AV)
There has been another lawsuit filed against COGIC. This time however it has been filed in the UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION. Read the first page below,
When the scales of Justice are no longer balanced, and the wolf is valued more than the sheep, justice is denied.
Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, to shed blood, to destroy people, and to get dishonest gain. (Ezekiel 22:27, NKJV)
In the Judicial System of the Church of God in Christ, it is almost impossible to receive Justice from the Board of Bishops, unless you are a Bishop, and have not “fought leadership”. If you are a Bishop and have offended the leadership, you are treated worse than an infidel. The fear, and stigma of this treatment, paralyzes and prevents most from speaking out against it.
When you have been wronged, you take comfort when you discover you may file charges against a Bishop if he has committed any of the offenses found in Article VIII, Section D of the Official Manual of the Church of God in Christ. You believe the National Church must not know about this behavior, there is no way it would tolerate this type of behavior, especially when the Word of God calls some of the things sin.
You soon realize the scales of justice are not balanced. There is the appearance of justice, but make no mistake, if the offender has “friend in high places”, the scales of justice are not balanced. The system rewards the Bishop for “obeying leadership” by placing him in something similar to what I will call, the “Bishop Protection Program” in which some of the leaders make the charges go away by ignoring them or intimidating those who file them. That Bishop is then in debt, and because of fear, he will go along to get along.
One man makes the decision to move forward, dismiss, or ignore cases when they are presented. Even when the Grievance Committee recommends sanctions and or trials, his is the final voice, and he has been known to show favoritism. This is a corruption of the process and makes the favored ones almost untouchable. The majority of people become frustrated and say just forget it with many of them leaving, wounded, hurt, and offended.
It is exactly this type of thing, which the Word of GOD condemns, and calls sin;
“As I live,” says the Lord GOD “surely because My flock became a prey, and My flock became food for every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, nor did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock”—therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the Lord! 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 34:8–10, NKJV)
With all that is happening, I thought I would re-post this article written in 2010 by Brenda Stidham.
Click this link to read the full article GOD CALLS LEADERS; NOT DOMINATORS.
Praise GOD. The link above will let you read the update on the struggle of Mt. Olive Church of God in Christ located in Muncie, Indiana. We praise GOD and I think King David said it best:
1 Chronicles 29:10–13 (NKJV)
10 Therefore David blessed the Lord before all the assembly; and David said: “Blessed are You, Lord God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. 11 Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, And You are exalted as head over all. 12 Both riches and honor come from You, And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great And to give strength to all. 13 “Now therefore, our God, We thank You And praise Your glorious name.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY
The other day I heard someone say, the Church of God in Christ is a “hierarchical church”. The word “hierarchical” is used in more than one way.
One meaning is as the person said, the power is vertical, meaning the Presiding Bishop is over the Jurisdictional Bishop, who is over the Superintendent and the Pastor.
The other and most devastating usage is that used by the civil court. The civil court does not care about the leadership structure. They deal with property ownership. To the civil court, in a hierarchical church, the National or parent organization OWNS the property and the local people purchase it and maintain it as a gift to the National Church. The US Supreme Court used the labels Congregational and Hierarchical for the first time in the infamous case WATSON Vs JONES, and since it benefits the National Church, they all said Amen.
A Hybrid would use parts of both systems. For property ownership, it could use aspects of the Congregational system. Combining the two systems would give you the HYBRID
The General Assembly of the Church of God in Christ can define itself. You can say what type of Government or as a lawyer would say “polity” your church has.
Concerning property ownership, The Church of God in Christ lets it’s members believe the local church owns the property: (Congregational). Concerning the leadership structure, I think Bishop Blake in his wisdom said it best
“Thus, the structure is not a pure hierarchy; it is a “hybrid structure” in which power flows both upwards and downwards. Power flows upwards (not downwards like a hierarchy) from the delegates of the General Assembly to the General Board and Presiding Bishop. And then it flows downwards (as in a hierarchy) to the bishops and to those under their charge. It is episcopal in that it affirms the authority of the bishops who are those above. At the same time, it is governed by a constitution, and thus the constitutional rights of the pastors and congregations, who are those who are below, must not be abused or alienated from them.” (page 4, paragraph 2, of the book “WHY I STOOD FOR THE DEFENSE IN ORLANDO” ) Click this link to read the complete book by Bishop Charles E. Blake.
To see how the court views this word click this link THE HIERARCHICAL CHURCH.
For additional information or if you have questions contact me by using the contact form shown below. No question or information will be posted from this contact form.
In case you think this can’t be true, here is a copy of the opinion of the Kansas Appeals court. KANSAS COURT CASE involving a church in Liberal, Kansas
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” (Hosea 4:6, AV)
The Church of God in Christ like many other deliberative bodies, has chosen Robert’s Rules of Order as its parliamentary law.
Knowledge of these laws empower the average delegate and will help them understand how to conduct the business of the General Assembly. These rules and knowledge of them, enable the average delegate to become a knowledgeable participant. The following rules are from the 11th Edition of Roberts Rules of Order which can be obtained from your local bookstore. Here are a few of the very important ones. For emphasis I have added the bold and underline type.
The way you would read these would be Chapter 1, section 2, page 11, lines 30-34
Chapter I, §2, p. 11, ll. 30-34
In an incorporated organization, the corporate charter supersedes all its other rules, none of which can legally contain anything in conflict with the charter. Nothing in the charter can be suspended by the organization itself unless the charter so provides.
Chapter I, §2, p. 16, ll. 21-31, p. 17, ll.1-3
Rules of Order
When a society or an assembly has adopted a particular parliamentary manual—such as this book—as its authority, the rules contained in that manual are binding upon it in all cases where they are not inconsistent with the bylaws (or constitution) or any special rules of order of the body, or any provisions of local, state, or national law applying to the particular type of organization. What another manual may have to say in conflict with the adopted parliamentary authority then has no bearing on the case. In matters on which an organization’s adopted parliamentary authority is silent, provisions found in other works on parliamentary law may be persuasive—that is, they may carry weight in the absence of overriding reasons for following a different course—but they are not binding on the body.
Chapter I, §2, p. 19 ll. 1-18
In some organizations a particular practice may sometimes come to be followed as a matter of established custom so that it is treated practically as if it were prescribed by a rule. If there is no contrary provision in the parliamentary authority or written rules of the organization, the established custom should be adhered to unless the assembly, by a majority vote, agrees in a particular instance to do otherwise. However, if a customary practice is or becomes in conflict with the parliamentary authority or any written rule, and a Point of Order (23) citing the conflict is raised at any time, the custom falls to the ground, and the conflicting provision in the parliamentary authority or written rule must thereafter be complied with. If it is then desired to follow the former practice, a special rule of order (or, in appropriate circumstances, a standing rule or bylaw provision) can be added or amended to incorporate it.
Chapter VIII, §25, p. 263, ll. 1-14
RULES THAT CANNOT BE SUSPENDED. Rules contained in the bylaws (or constitution) cannot be suspended—no matter how large the vote in favor of doing so or how inconvenient the rule in question may be—unless the particular rule specifically provides for its own suspension, or unless the rule properly is in the nature of a rule of order as described on page 17, lines 22-25. A rule in the bylaws requiring that a vote—such as, for example, on the election of officers—be taken by (secret) ballot cannot be suspended, however, unless the bylaws so provide ( see also Voting by ballot, pp. 412-413)
No applicable procedural rule prescribed by federal, state, or local law can be suspended unless the rule specifically provides for its own suspension.
There is a lot of confusion as to what the ‘Trust Clause” found in the COGIC, Inc constitution really means. The COGIC Trust clause found in the Official Manual, Article III, Part II, Section D paragraph 9 on page 16 states;
“The said property is held in trust for the use and benefit of the members of the Church of God in Christ with National Headquarters in the City of Memphis. Shelby County. Tennessee, and subject to the Charter, Constitution, Laws and Doctrines of said Church, now in full force and effect or as they may be hereafter amended, changed or modified by the General Assembly of said Church”
How many people really know what that means? To put it bluntly it gives the National Church ownership of your property.
In Wichita, Kansas, in 2005, in District Court, the former General Counsel said;
” The members of the Church of God in Christ are all members who are a part of the national organization from the headquarters down to the local assembly.”
Since the General Counsel in his official position stated this for the court, that is the position of the Executive branch of COGIC, Inc.
Did you know you are holding your Church for everybody who is part of the national organization? And here you thought it was for the local members.
Black’s Law Dictionary gives the definition of a Trust as;
1. An equitable or beneficial right or title to land or other property, held for the beneficiary by another person, in whom resides the legal title or ownership, recognized and enforced by courts of chancery. See Goodwin v. McMinn, 193 Pa. 046, 44 Atl. 1094, 74 Am. St. Rep. 703; Beers v. Lyon, 21 Conn. 613; Seymour v. Freer, 8 Wall. 202, 19 L. Ed. 300. An obligation arising out of a confidence reposed in the trustee or representative, who has the legal title to property conveyed to him, that he will faithfully apply the property according to the confidence reposed, or, in other words, according to the wishes of the grantor of the trust. 4 Kent Comm. 304; Willis, Trustees, 2; Beers v. Lyon, 21 Conn. 613; Thornburg v. Buck, 13 Ind. App. 446, 41 N. E. 85. An equitable obligation, either express or Implied, resting upon a person by reason of a confidence reposed in him, to apply or deal with the property for the benefit of some other person, or for the benefit of himself and another or others, according to such confidence. McCreary v. Gewinner, 103 Ga. 528, 29 S. E. 9G0. A holding of property subject to a duty of employing it or applying its proceeds according to directions given by the person from whom it was derived. Munroe v. Crouse. 59 Hun. 248, 12 N. Y. Supp. 815.
Law Dictionary: http://thelawdictionary.org/trust/#ixzz2rGkq7QOw
In layman’s terms, what that means is; you give the beneficiary (the National Church) an equitable (think equity as in equity in your house) interest in your Church. Their name does not have to be on the deed. When you join, pay your National Reports, participate and go to the meetings you are on the hook.
The attorneys know this but they talk in legal speak where words have a different meaning to them and the civil court than it does to those not trained in the law. This I think is done to deceive, when you want to communicate truth you speak the language your hearer will understand.
Different states also handle this differently. Some states use the “Neutral Principle”, that means whatever name is on the deed, that whose it is. Others states use whatever their state law says. The third and the one that is most harmful to the local members is the “Hierarchical Principle”. You should find out which policy your state uses but remember, it could change with the stroke of a judges pen.
If the Trust Clause stated it was held for none but the local church members or congregation, it would protect the local church.
As it stands, every chicken dinner, every bake sale done for the church is for the National Church, because of the “Trust Clause.”
Because of the Trust Clause, you are owners in name only. Which makes you a sharecropper.