Why Can’t We Be Friends?

Many years ago, there was a song that asked this probing question…”Why can’t we be friends?” Today, while enjoying a luncheon meeting with a young minister, he boldly expressed his concern that the Church of God was on the verge of a “split” if the tithe of tithe reduction did not take place. He said that it was not about the money…but, it was a “trust” issue. He declared that the Executive Committee of the Church of God was responsible for the prevailing atmosphere of mistrust.

I have been in the Church of God all of my life. The church has been very good to me and my family. Having grown up in a COG Preachers home, I am fully aware that the church has provided food, shelter, education, etc. to my family for many years. As a second generation COG minister, I remember choosing the organization as a vehicle to express my own divine call to ministry. I have often said, “God chose me, and I chose the Church of God!” I am also fully aware that this organization has a few shortcomings that will ultimately have to be dealt with. With that said, I wonder if these modifications can be made without a total disregard for the history that has brought us to this point.

I am completely in favor of change (and eliminating the 5% that is being discussed!) when change will produce greater results. In fact, I’m the type personality that likes change for the sake of change. But, I happen to believe that change can take place without all of the hostility that seems to be spewing forth from the younger generation. And, I might add, all the defensive hurt feelings that are being displayed by the older generation are unnecessary. Neither will help the discussion, nor add to the debate.

I believe that the older generation being blamed for the stagnation, is getting an unfair rap on some accounts. I know many of them personally, and know that their desire is to see the church move forward as well. On the other hand, the older generation needs to consider stepping back and allowing the younger generation to lead during the time when their fruit is ripe! There must be give and take on both sides of the issue if we are to successfully navigate through this season in our history. It can be done without threats of “leaving” if I don’t get what I want!

I’m not sure what the answer is. I know that there are many who would disagree with my point of view. I guess I just wanted to express my hope that we, the Church of God, will not allow these issues to divide us at a time in history when we need to be unified around the goal of perpetuating the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Let’s talk…Let’s debate…Let’s suggest alternatives…Let’s do all of that…But let’s see if we can remain friends during the process! That’s from my point of view!

3 Replies to “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”

  1. All I can say is “It’s everywhere—It’s eveywhere!”

    I have been elected to serve on the employee counsel for this branch of government inwhich I am employeed. The big question for me is, do I or do I not serve? The everyday challenges of trying to encourage people to work together is so disheartening. The bottom line is, as you so well put it, is the enormous mistrust factor. Believe me it isn’t just in the church.

    I believe it factors in the same basic principles that you mention. Where as, you compare seniors to youth, I compare upper level management to lower level management. Can employee’s be trusted that we hired in the first place? If not, why did we hire them?

    It is my belief that mistrust builds an atmosphere of poor enthusiasm and loss of passion for the job. The truth is life has a way of becoming routine or stagnant. But, most of the time, it doesn’t require something extraordinary to happen for interest to be renewed. People have the need of trust in order to spread their wings and fly. It is the desire of everyone to feel needed and allowed the opportunity to be flexible enough to incorporate their personal solutions or suggested procedures into their individual places of employment. To make staff personally accountable is to TRUST them. It will enlarge their vision and develope healthier self-images. TRUST will open minds to discover the power of their thoughts and witness uncovered results for the church and the corporate world.

    I guess the bottom line is we all have to work together so “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” In the church I would hope that we could be friends and reflect the One who is suppose to be dealing in us.
    On the other hand, in the corporate realm I’m afraid it is a “Dog Eat Dog” world.



  2. I tell you, my family is really stepping out. I am going to have to write something real long also. Seriously, Deb, that was great and maybe they need you to help them there at your office.


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