Hello, Mr. Hays,
Thanks for reading the article. I have to confess that, since we wrote it years ago, I had to go back and look at it again to understand the context of your question. I still am not certain that I understand what you are asking, though. Our point was that many elements of worship in modern churches derive from ancient pagan practices, rather than from the Bible. Of course, those same churches have elements of worship that do come from scripture. I believe that God does not favor mixing such things, and prefers for us to worship in the ways revealed in the Bible.
Are there some things in the gospel accounts that you had in mind? I will be glad to answer, if I can, when I understand to what you are referring. I apologize for my confusion, but hope I might yet be able to help.
Hello, Mr. O'Toole,
I appreciate your comment, and question. I have to confess that this article was written long enough ago that I had to search to find it and remind myself of its content. It is gratifying to see that writing done several years ago still is useful--especially as I was able to collaborate on it with my friend Dave Cobb.
As for your question, I do not have specific thoughts on relics--other than to agree that some of them do seem to be quite qhoulish. It seems to tie into the human tendency to want to focus on concrete items more than on abstract ideas. That is understandable, but I am sometimes amazed at the credulity of people when they believe that a piece of wood in front of them was actually a part of the instrument of Christ's crucifixion--or that a small bit of bone was part of an apostle's body.
I wish I had more insight to offer, but, lacking that, I am confident that we have no need of such things to worship God as Jesus taught in John 4:23-24, "in spirit and in truth."
Hello Ms. Rogers,
Actually the idea of humans possessing an immortal soul is a common misunderstanding o that arose from Greek philosophy, not from the Bible. In Gen. 2: 7 we read that "man became a living soul." That is how the old King James version translates it. The NKJ says that "man became a living being." Both are correct. The word commonly translated "soul" is the Hebrew nephesh, which describes animals as well as humans in these chapters. Ezek 18: 4 says "the soul who sins shall die." This chapter makes the point of individual accountability, rather than a statement about the nature of human existence, but it does so using the common biblical understanding that "souls" can and do die.
Paul made a statement in Rom 6: 23 that "the wages (results) of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life." Since earlier, in Rom 3: 23, Paul had written that all people have sinned, it follows that all people have earned the death penalty. However, God has a plan to give life. Man does not already have it. We lack space here for further explanation, but our booklets, "The Road to Eternal Life" and "Why Were You Born?" include more detailed explanation.
Hello Ms. Welenc.,
The United Church of God does worship on the 7th day Sabbath, and we would love to have to visit one of our congregations. If you click on the tab of our website labeled, "congregations," you will have opportunity to type in your location and then find the location and time for services of the congregation nearest you.
I appreciate you sharing your thoughts, Mr. Dave. As a professional historian, I've noticed and been amazed at how word usage, spelling and meaning change over even short periods, -and within a language, let alone over thousands of years and between languages.
Happily the one title we can easily agree on for addressing our Creator and Master is, "Father." Christ directed His followers to pray thus, without regard to particular Hebrew spelling or pronunciation. When a young man asked the Messiah how to have eternal life, the answer had nothing to do with some of the fringe issues that seem to cause so much debate. Rather, the reply was to obey the commandments, with a promise that doing so would result in life.
Hello Concerned Parent,
I do not see the previous comment to which you are referring on this page , so I am not certain of what rules you are referring. One guess is that it refers the decision to not state that participation in sports at WFW will be limited only to UCG members. That has been considered and could possibly be made a policy in the future. Pastors have the authority to make such decisions for congregational activities, but for a church-wide activity like WFW it must be decided by the Council of Elders or at least Ministerial and Member Services.
This is not intended to be an argument either for or against specific limitations on who is able to participate at WFW, but on on who can make such decisions.
Thanks, Mr. Trick,
I did realize that my quote of Luke 3: 14 might be confusing. I just wanted to highlight the New England clergy's use of the the Bible in a practical way--even though I don't believe they had a complete doctrinal understanding of military service. I appreciate your insightful comment
Hello Ms. Taylor,
I appreciate your interest and invite you to visit the college home page at http://abc.ucg.org/. You can find lots of information there and also can download an application if you wish. If you are not already familiar with the doctrines of the United Church of God, it would be worth it for you to read some of our literature, perhaps especially our statement of Fundamental Beliefs. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me.