Why I am NOT resigning from the United Church of God
Randy Schreiber 12/23/10


Dear NW Phoenix, N Arizona and Albuquerque Brethren –

I am writing this letter in the midst of what could be called mass resignations of the ministry of the United Church of God, AIA.    You may have seen, or will see letters from some of those men explaining “Why I resigned.”   I am not going to address their personal convictions, their integrity or their motives – because I do not know them, that is God’s job.   

I do, however, have to question my own convictions, integrity and motives.    As a minister and shepherd – I take God’s word seriously and want to get self out of the way(which is a tough job).   

James 3:1 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. 2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.   

I pray that I do not stumble in word as I write this. 

In assessing the current reasons stated for “needing to leave” UCG – I think it can be boiled down to something like, “I cannot support the unethical, dis-honest, non-caring, power-hungry COE and Administration and feel that staying with UCG will make me party to those actions and I cannot in good conscience stay.”

So why am I not leaving?  First let me state that my reason for staying is not because I think the COE and Administration has no faults.  (Apologies to my bosses!)  It is not because I feel I must stay just to “submit to authority.”   It is not for a paycheck – because if I felt it would be right to resign I would do so without hesitation.

My number one reason for not leaving is because of you, the members.  You who simply want to live God’s way of life,  to be fed,  to support the preaching of the Gospel, and move on towards the Kingdom of God.   As long as I can be of any help to you, I will stay here.   The moment I become a stumbling block rather than a help to God’s people I will resign from the ministry of any organization.

Another reason I am not leaving is that I do not believe the current COE & Administration to be the evil people they are made out to be.   In my opinion they have made errors in judgment at times, could have handled certain situations better, reacted more appropriately, been more sensitive, etc.  (Again, apologies to my bosses).  If I were to use errors, misjudgments – even sins of people – as a criteria for staying or leaving – I would have left UCG long before the current  administration.

Those leaving are quick to point out faults of selected individuals.  The Bible is not so select:

·         1 John 1:8  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

·         John 8:7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first."

Looking for a spotless organization or administration is a fruitless effort even (or especially) when you look into the Bible at the people God chose to use.

Those of you in my congregations know that I have not been a big advocate of trying to  “get all the facts” because it is a never-ending exercise of trying to find out who did what, who is doing what and why they are doing it.    Frankly I have been sucked into that Internet vortex in recent days myself.  I have not pulled myself out of it yet – but need to.  While I have found out some interesting information, I have also found a lot of speculation, opinions, gossip, nasty accusations and a lot of other things God tells me to avoid.   

1 Tim 1:3  As I urged you … that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer 4 nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God's work — which is by faith. 5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk. 7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.  NIV

Whether you know a lot or a little about what is going on – remember there are two - or more - sides to a story.  And if you end up reading some of the criticisms of the COE and Administration – remember this:

Rom 2:1  Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. 2 But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. 3 And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?

If I felt a need to leave UCG because of “unethical behaviors”  - I would personally not join one of the new groups for the same reasons.  To me, it would be like going “from the frying pan into the fire.” While I could give my reasons for what I feel, I am not going to get on the treadmill of "answering back in kind" or bringing more shame upon the church of God by openly exposing faults.  

I am trying hard to follow Christ's example:

1 Peter 2:21  For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. 22 He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone. 23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.

I would leave UCG if it were changing sound doctrine.  It is not.   In a year from now, there will probably be several groups that formed out of United.  Each one of them and UCG will be keeping the Sabbath and Holy Days.  The only difference will be that we have shamelessly divided ourselves into different groups or organizations.

My friends, I do not know exactly what the United Church of God, AIA will look like after ministers and members leave.   I do know that it is in the hearts and minds of the COE to preach the Gospel and feed the flock with whatever resources remain.   The current loss of manpower will make it nearly impossible to “replace our aging ministry” as was once a stated goal.  Each minister and member will have to work harder to serve and to give ourselves to one another.   One thing is for sure: Zech 4:6  
Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord of hosts.

As ministers and members choose to join themselves with other groups or organizations – please let us not become their judges.   Whether people are a part of the body of Christ is not determined by the organization to which they belong, it is whether God’s spirit dwells in us.    Let that be a comfort - and a warning - to us all.

In closing, I am sorry to report that my friend, Cecil Maranville is one of the several ministers who have officially resigned from the ministry and membership of the United Church of God, AIA.   We owe the Maranville’s a great deal of appreciation for the many years of service they have given to the church and the local congregations. Others of our members are also in the process of resigning from membership in UCG.  They are acting according to their individual consciences before God as we all must do.   We do not have to agree with them - but let us show love towards them in word and deed.  

Do not become one who fulfills this part of prophecy:   Matt 24:8
All these are the beginning of sorrows.  10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.

As the sorrows unfold, keep the faith and do the work.  God knows what is happening and if we put ourselves into His hands – we will be OK.    Onward, Christian soldiers!

Randy Schreiber

Hit Counter