Contrary to what members/congregations and most of the officers are led to believe, the Old Apostolic Church (OAC) and its apostles are likely to be soon in court again. It is still high noon for a Church that is not supposed to be part of this world.
The widely-held belief that the court cases are over and that the OAC and its leaders emerged victorious and unscathed while the enemy (so-called disgruntled former officers and The FORUM) had been vanquished is ill-founded and maliciously imparted as gospel. Looks like 2013 will have its fair share of court drama for the OAC.
Members/congregations (and officers) should never forget that court cases are an integral part of the DNA of the OAC. The Apostle Doctrine is of Christ, but the OAC was born out of a court settlement in 1926 in the Witwatersrand and the position of its Head affirmed and confirmed by a high court judge. Central to the major schisms of both 1927 and 1972, are money, power and man’s greed. And judging by the tone and nature of current developments, it would seem that hardly anything has changed. Another classic example then of ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same'.
The FORUM has decided to establish a facility on its website to keep members (and officers) abreast of the OAC's appearances in court. Salient documents of court cases past and future will be made available in order to enable members (and officers) to establish the true facts about the well-being of their Church. Members will also be alerted to court dates so that they may be able to attend sessions; thereby affording themselves the opportunity to experience first hand what had until now been rumour, conjecture and speculation. Members/congregations will then also be in a better position to judge for themselves as to whether hard-earned church funds are being spent judiciously and in the best interests ofthe Church.
As internal conflict and protracted court battles, as well as an apparent lack of visionary and bold leadership, seem to have manifested themselves as permanent features on the administrative landscape of the Old Apostolic Church (OAC), it is self-evident that members/congregations need to broaden and deepen their information base as far as the factual nature of the existence of their beloved Church is concerned. While top management apparently prefers secrecy and innuendo to transparency, freedom of expression and accountability , The FORUM has decided to seize the moral high ground by exposing members/congregations (and officers) to the relevant documentation needed to empower them to make informed decisions about the future of their Church.
Thus far, courts and lawyers appear to be the Alpha and the Omega for the OAC since its inception. And thus far, power and money and greed seem to have been the unmistakable drivers of this merry-go-round. Contrary to references in official OAC documents about the origin of the Church in 1894, documentary proof has it that the OAC came into being in 1927, after a Supreme Court said so. Its founder, the Apostle Klibbe, had been deposed in 1913 and ex-communicated in 1915 from the then New Apostolic Church. However, Klibbe refused to accept his removal from office (see The FORUM’s document about the Klibbe Principle) and proceeded to conduct his own Church which was later confirmed and allowed to survive in terms of a ruling by a Supreme Court judge of the Witwatersrand on 16 December 1926. So, who ordained who? Born in a court of law (man’s law), it would seem that the OAC has never been able to escape from this habitat. Also, how does this differ from the status of the Apostles Lombard and Ndlovu after the relevant schisms involving them? Prospects for the year 2013 seem to point to another busy day in court for the Apostolate.
The more you delve into its past and the sterling work done by many honest, hardworking officers and members, the more it becomes evident that there is nothing radically wrong with the OAC of today. It only has been suffering a leadership crisis for some time now, as has been the case so many times in the past with Old Testament Israel, when several great Kings and some prophets occasionally lost their marbles and bad times consequently were visited upon their people.
The release of the following document (Witwatersrand court case), the birth certificate of the OAC, is the first of many in an attempt to pull members/congregations (and officers) back from an abyss of ignorance, irresponsible governance and decay in their Church. The ‘Battle of the Witwatersrand’ in 1926 was primarily over shares and assets (money and power) – an issue OAC members/congregations deliberately ought to revisit in order to retrace the “money and power trail” that had been so closely hogged by their apostles since the inception of the Church; as it bears a causal link to the major schisms of 1968 and 1972, as well as several other ensuing court battles. Only informed members/congregations (and officers) can make informed decisions about the well-being of their Church.
Having said all the above, when does the Apostle Doctrine, the true gift from Christ, have a chance to really manifest itself in the OAC when the leaders seem to be more concerned about the temporal side of life and consequently tied up in law offices and courts a lot of the time?