IS THERE JUSTICE IN THE CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST?

January 23, 2014

DON’T TRUST THE TRUST CLAUSE!

DON’T TRUST THE TRUST CLAUSE!

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.

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December 17, 2013

FIRST COGIC JUDICIARY BOARD: HISTORY REVEALS THE FACTS.

THE FIRST JUDICIARY BOARD

The First Judiciary Board in the Church of God in Christ was established  as early as the 1940’s and operated until the new era of Church Government, (The General Board).  The actions and recommendations of the board was recorded in the General Assembly (first known as the General Council of the Church of God in Christ) Minutes of 1959 as well as 1960.  The minutes verify two cases found in the book “HISTORY REVEALS THE FACTS”, with a date of March 18, 1993 found on the page with a heading “Overview”.  This Judiciary Board operated from at least 1959-1969 and then, for unknown reasons, ceases to exist.  In the 1959 General Assembly Minutes (click here to view a copy) Item #5 shows the Judicial Board addressing a case known as “Richardson versus Jefferson.   In 1960 it shows the Judicial Board making a recommendation the the General Assembly (Click here to view the minutes).

PREFACE

In 1992 a Judiciary Board was elected by the General Assembly and has mistakenly been identified as the First Judiciary Board of the Church of God in Christ.

History has proven this to be inaccurate. The first Judiciary Board, the original, was established in the 1950s by the General Assembly. It consisted of Bishop J. W. White, Bishop C. C. Cox, Bishop A. T. Moore, Bishop W. A. Patterson, Bishop J. L. Lewis, Bishop F. Clemmons, Bishop W. L. McKinney, Bishop L. T. Walker, Bishop Monte J. Bradford, Bishop Van Goodlow, Bishop E. B. Stewart, and Bishop F. J. Hayden.

For reasons that are unknown as of this writing, this original Judiciary Board became inactive and the General Board assumed its responsibilities.

The Judiciary Board established in the ’50s has never been formally dismissed. As you read these pages you will learn of some of the cases that were handled by this board

(Click on the picture below to read the book))

THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL JUDICIARY BOARD OF THE CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST1st Judiciary Board copy

July 20, 2013

PLEASE RESET YOUR CLOCK

Reset Your ClockRead this stunning article written by Dr. Lenard Lovett.  The subtitle is “A response to the Trayvon Martin verdict”.  Click on the image to read the Ebook.  Click here to read the PDF. Please Do Not Forget to Reset Your Clock

July 18, 2013

JOURNEY TO JUSTICE: THE STRUGGLE OF THE ORLANDO INSTITUTIONAL CHURCH IN 1999

07-18-2013 02;12;18PM The struggle for justice is not a new one.  Here is a struggle over church property the courts in Florida got right.  If someone with the clout of say a General Board Member had come to Wichita, Kansas to dispute the testimony of former General Counsel Bishop Enoch Perry the outcome would have been different.  Click on the picture to the left to read this book written by Bishop Charles E. Blake when Supt. Derrick Hutchins was at the Orlando Institutional Church of God in Christ?

Here is an account of the story written in the O.I.C. NEWS.  Bishop Blake showed a willingness to fight for the underdog, to go against the system to correct an injustice.  What has happened to that?   He did not show up in Wichita, Kansas.

Click on the image below to read the story

Web button

March 21, 2013

SINS OF OMISSION

Leviticus 5:1 (ESV)

1If anyone sins in that he hears a public adjuration to testify, and though he is a witness, whether he has seen or come to know the matter, yet does not speak, he shall bear his iniquity;

Leviticus 5:1 (LHI)

And an individual when she/he sins in that she/he hears an utterance of a curse and he [is]a witness or he sees or he knows if not he tells and so he shall bear guilt his                                                               (Literal translation from The Lexham Hebrew-English Interlinear Bible)

When we as Children of God witness an act of sin or injustice against another (seen or heard) it does not matter who committed the act, when a request is made we are required (by the Bible) to testify.  This flies in the face of what we are taught; “keep your mouth off the man/woman of God” or “touch not mine anointed and do my prophet no harm.”   This verse is used as a bludgeon into silence those who would come forth; just as “take a little wine for your stomachs sake”  (1 Tim 5:23) is used by some to drink alcohol.

These scriptures are taken out of context and used to silence those who might come forth to testify.  God says if you see it or know it, and you do not speak, you are guilty of a sin of omission.

How many times have those who have witnessed these acts said “ I don’t want to get involved” “or they were convinced to tell the truth they would be touching one of God’s anointed.  Lucifer was “anointed” Ezekiel 28:14.  These are sins of omission, Whose report do you believe?

Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?        Isaiah 53:1 (AV)

Examples: 
Those who know the truth concerning Maurice Morris in Toledo, Ohio at The Armory (formerly St. James COGIC).
Sexual Misconduct
Property Theft (by court)

Here is an article I found in a Newsletter on the sins of omission.

March 21: Sins of Omission

Numbers 24–25; 1 Corinthians 11:17–34; Psalm 21:1–13

There’s that moment when you’re asked to do something you know is wrong, but you feel like you should respond. It’s almost as fleeting as the decision to not stand up for what is right, even when no one asks for your opinion. Many wrongdoings occur in these moments—these chances for sins of omission. Being silent is as bad as committing the wrong action, which is why the American court system prosecutes all the people committing an armed robbery for murder when only one gunman pulls the trigger.

Balaam, the prophet from Moab, had such an opportunity. After he was asked by Yahweh to bless the people of Israel—in opposition to his own king’s request (Num 22:1–6)—he could have done nothing at all. Or he could have made Yahweh like the gods of Moab—succumbing them to his will instead of their own—but he instead follows the orders of Yahweh and blesses the people of Israel (Num 24:3–9).

Paul addresses a similar dilemma in 1 Cor 11:17–34: the people at Corinth were exploiting the idea of feast meals by making them like meals they previously had in their culture. The meals also involved remembering Jesus’ covenant with bread and wine, which made the situation even worse. The exploitation involved eating before the poorer members of the community had arrived. In return, the poor members were unable to eat. The Corinthians were both omitting the poor and choosing to deny God’s request. Paul confronts this, telling them that God is judging them, and that’s why many of them are getting sick and dying.

The situation also echoes one of the ideas the psalmist addresses: “Though they have plotted evil against you [Yahweh], though they have planned a scheme, they will not prevail. For you will turn them to flight, you will aim arrows on your bowstrings at their faces” (Psa 21:11–12). The only difference is that the people in 1 Corinthians were not plotting per se; they were ignorantly ostracizing and hurting the poor. In the process, they were hurting God’s work among them and abusing the point of remembering Christ’s death and resurrection through a meal. The outcome, whether planned or unplanned, is the same: God’s work is hindered, and we’re punished for it.

God offers all of us grace through Jesus, but this should never be used as an excuse to do what He says is wrong.

What sins of omission are currently in your life?

John D. Barry[1]


[1] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

February 10, 2013

RESTITUTION: A Biblical Mandate

One of the principles we seem to forget is that of restitution.  In the Old Testament, the sin offering followed the act of restitution.  In the New Testament, Zacchaeus said to Jesus in Luke 19:8 “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.” (AV) .   Jesus replied to him in Luke 19:9–10;  9 “…This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (AV)

Jesus validated the principle of restoration.

  What is “false accusation”, is it merely the obvious or does it include any manipulation of the facts in a deceitful manner?  How many actions  of our leaders that may be based on a false sense of entitlement has been brought about by “false accusation”?  Isn’t that what Haman did in the book of Ester.  He was angry because Mordecai would not bow down  to him.  Is the spirit of Mordecai alive and operating?

RESTITUTION Act of returning what has wrongfully been taken or replacing what has been lost or damaged and the divine restoration of all things to their original order.

The people who were members of Emmanuel Church of God in Christ, Wichita, Kansas before my father, Elder Joshua Stidham died October 28, 2004 were defrauded by the leaders of the Church of God in Christ.   This has been chronicled on this blog.  As has been previously stated, the civil case where the Church of God in Christ, Inc. sued a local church, with guile and deceit forced those who had literally built the church out is over.  The people at Mt. Olive Church of God in Christ, Muncie , Indiana have been defrauded.  The people at St. Paul Church of God in Christ, Emporia, Virginia have been defrauded. However, just as John the Baptist cried out in the wilderness, I cry out as David did in Psalm 94:1–4; 1 O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself. 2 Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud. 3 LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph? 4 How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves? (AV)

  The Bible tells us in 1 Timothy 5:20 ; Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. (AV)   There are two ways to govern a body of believers God’s governmental system, or the World’s governmental system.  Whose report do you believe.

Restoration and Restitution

Restitution, a biblical concept closely related to the idea of restoration. Both, of course, are involved with sins committed against persons and/or property, either deliberately or inadvertently.     Restoration, appears to indicate replacement for whatever was taken or destroyed, whereas restitution seems to be repayment over and above the actual loss, analogous to what is today called ‘punitive’ damages (e.g., Exod. 22:1-15; Lev. 6:1-7; Num. 5:5-7). For example, the ancient law found in Exod. 22:1, 4 clearly stipulates that anyone who steals an ox or a sheep must pay restitution to the owner of the animal(s). If the thief kills or sells the ox, he is required to pay restitution of five oxen; if he kills or sells the sheep, he is required to pay restitution of four sheep (cf. also 2 Sam. 12:6). If, however, the animal has not been harmed and is found safe in the possession of the thief, the culprit is required to pay double. Interestingly enough, if the thief has no means to pay this fine, he is to be sold for his theft.

In Leviticus, it is commanded that if someone robs or cheats a neighbor, that person is to restore the amount in full and add a fifth to it (Lev. 6:1-7). In addition, the guilty party was required to offer a guilt offering. This principle is reflected in the nt story of Zacchaeus, who, as a tax collector, had cheated and ‘gouged’ the people from whom he had collected the taxes (Luke 19:1-10). After his encounter with Jesus, he voluntarily agreed to give half of his goods to the poor and to restore fourfold to anyone he had defrauded. The principle of restitution is clearly part of this episode, but Zacchaeus went far beyond the requirement of the law in this matter.

In most of the nt writings, the word group used to designate the idea of restitution or restoration has a rather different meaning, namely, that of restoring in the sense of reestablishing (Matt. 17:11; Mark 9:12; Acts 1:6; 3:21) or even healing (Matt. 12:13; Mark 3:5; Luke 6:10; Mark 8:25; but cf. Heb. 13:19, where it is somewhat closer to the ot idea but not in any ‘legal’ sense). This probably is a result of the nt movement away from legalism. Clearly, however, the notion of restitution is continued, as was seen in the Zacchaeus story (the verb translated ‘restore’ in this story is elsewhere used, however, to refer in a much more general sense to ‘paying,’ ‘repaying,’ or simply ‘giving back’). Such a principle would be an integral feature of a new community founded upon the idea of loving one’s neighbor as oneself. J.M.E.[1]


J.M.E. James M. Efird, Ph.D.; Associate Professor of Biblical Languages and Interpretation; Divinity School; Duke University; Durham, North Carolina

[1] Achtemeier, P. J., Harper & Row, & Society of Biblical Literature. (1985). Harper’s Bible dictionary (1st ed.) (863–864). San Francisco: Harper & Row.

Repentance becomes a hollow, feigned act, without restitution.

How very many indeed do we daily see dying, groaning deeply, reproaching themselves greatly for usuries, plunderings, oppressions of the poor, and all kinds of injuries which they have committed, and consulting a priest to free them from these faults. If, as is proper, the first advice given to them is this, that selling all they have, they restore to others what they have taken—in accordance with Augustine: “If something which belongs to another is not returned when it can be returned, repentance is not done but is feigned”—instantly by their reply they declare how hollow is their repentance for these things. (Abelard, Ethics, pp. 79, 81)

Isaiah 58:1 (AV)

1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

[Oden, T. C. (1989). Ministry Through Word and Sacrament. Classic Pastoral Care. New York: Crossroad.
Exported from Logos Bible Software 4]

May 2, 2012

To COGIC Members; WHO GOVERNS, THE WORD OR THE CONSTITUTION?

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1, AV)

(AV is the Authorized or King James Version)

doctrine /ˈdɒktrɪn/

■ noun a set of beliefs or principles held and taught by a Church, political party, or other group.

–      DERIVATIVES doctrinal adjective doctrinally adverb

–      ORIGIN Middle English: from Old French, from Latin doctrina ‘teaching, learning’, from doctor ‘teacher’, from docere ‘teach’.

Soanes, C., & Stevenson, A. (2004). Concise Oxford English dictionary (11th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

 

In the Official Manual under the Articles of Religion the first few paragraphs tell us what we believe;

THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT

(The Authority of the Scripture)

We believe that the Old and New Testament Scriptures in all matters of controversy between Christians must be accepted as the supreme court of appeal. We believe that

the Bible is the Word of God and contains one harmonious and sufficiently complete system of doctrine, that all of their parts are consistent with each other, and that it is our duty to trace out this consistency by a careful investigation of the meaning of particular passages.

The Word of God concerning these doctrines is the great and final tribunal before which they must be brought and by which they must be tried, and the validity

of our belief is measured by the corresponding agreement with, or diversity from, that form of doctrine which is set forth in the unerring revelation that God has given to us in His inspired Word.

We believe in the full inspiration of the Word of God (By inspiration we mean the act whereby God the Holy- Ghost, gave us the scriptures communicating the truth to

us through the agency of fallible men, of any kind and that even to the most minute detail we might receive the truth which God, the Primary Author, intended to convey to us.) By this definition, we acknowledge the human authorship of the scripture, that God is the Primary Author (II Peter

1:21; II Timothy 3:16) and it concerns itself with the original writings (autographs) and not copies or other versions. In these original writings there was no error, it was a perfect book.

Why is none of this perfect book in the constitution?  Why is it some parts of the constitution violate the “perfect book”?  We are saved by the WORD, we are healed by the word  “He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.” (Psalm 107:20, AV) should  not GODS people be governed by the WORD?  Can the constitution heal us?  If you call on the constitution can it save or deliver us?

For all who are saved; whose sins are washed by the Blood of The Lamb of GOD

“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten

of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved

us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,” (Revelation 1:5, AV)

We need to remember the importance of the WORD OF GOD.  Remember in John 1 where it says;

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1, AV) and a little further in the 14th verse it said;

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14, AV)

In Psalms 119:8, the question is asked and answered, the way to cleanse your way is by taking heed to the WORD OF GOD.

“BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.” (Psalm 119:9, AV)

In the Romans 2:13, we are told that hearing the WORD is not what makes you just before GOD, it is doing the word that makes you justified.  In James there are three verses which tell us we must be a doer of the word James 1:22,23,25

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (James 1:22, AV).  However, until you get saved/ borne again we cannot do it.  Apart from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ we cannot live a GODLY life.  You can have good morals, you can be a nice person, but unless He has washed your ” sins in his own blood” you are trying and failing on you own.  Once your sins have been washed, 2 Timothy 2:15 tells us to study the WORD OF GOD.  It is through the WORD OF GOD that we are sanctified and cleansed;    “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,”(Ephesians 5:26, AV).  It is with the WORD OF GOD that we renew our minds and we are transformed, not conformed;

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”(Romans 12:1–2, AV).  GOD value his word so highly, that He exalts it above His name; “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” (Psalm 138:2, AV)

Since we see how highly GOD esteems His WORD what would make men think, it is possible to govern the people of GOD with a man-made constitution and be successful.   If the document has no WORD in it, how can one think it is based on the WORD it cannot be.   If we are not doers of the WORD, if we don ‘t honor the WORD, His only begotten Son what makes us think He will bless us?

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