Wednesday, 6 December 2006
Exchange of Fire
Incoming to LCG ministers from Charles Bryce:
Dear Fellow ministers,
Mr. Roderick C. Meredith has made public, contents of a letter we sent to H.Q. marked "confidential". Therefore we feel you deserve the following clarifications to the false charges he has made:
Time Line of Recent Events:
1) We Fedex'ed (to avoid them getting lost or delayed in the Xmas mail) four letters to Charlotte on Wed. Nov. 28, 2006. They arrived there the next morning.
2) I heard back from Doug Winnail on Friday, Dec. 1, 2006. We discussed the letter and agreed to talk again the next week, on Wed or Thurs, about my coming to H.Q. for meetings.
3) Mr. Meredith called on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2006 to discuss the "situation". We had a very congenial, brotherly talk which concluded with friendship. He said Doug Winnail would call me, this week, to discuss our coming to Charlotte and that maybe we could work things out.
4) We received a letter from Doug Winnail on Monday, Dec. 4, in which he mentioned random thoughts and observations about his views (incorrect thought they certainly are) of me and my problems, among other things, and concluded by urging me to come to Charlotte to discuss the issues contained in my letter.
5) Then last night, Dec. 4, 2006, someone sent me a letter by Mr. Meredith (he neither sent me nor my son-in-law, Larry Solomon, a copy) to the ministry making totally false charges and allegations and stating that Larry Solomon and I have defected. We are now confused over these inaccurate, contradictory statements and mixed-signals
For instance, Larry and I have not resigned. We have not started our own "organization". We have not been told that we are fired (at least that we know of), and we have not made a final decision about going to Charlotte. We were waiting to talk to Doug Winnail, this coming Wednesday, as previously planned, before reaching a final conclusion about that question. Obviously, in the light of what has now been said by Mr. Meredith and sent all over the world via the internet-- except to us--that decision has now been made for us.
In conclusion, we are sending you a copy of my letter to Mr. Meredith. Instead of just going by what he said it said, please read it for yourself, unvarnished and without spin and then draw your own conclusions about the actual facts and truth in this whole matter. Thank you very much for your time.
With love and best regards,
Charles and Sharon Bryce
(Letter dated December 5 - You can read Chuckie's original Nov. 28 Fed-Ex letter here.)
Return strike from Spanky:
TO: All Ministers
FROM: Roderick C. Meredith
DATE: December 5, 2006
Dear Fellow Ministers,
Mr. Charles Bryce’s letter to the ministry just came on the e-mail and certainly deserves an answer. Sadly to say, Mr. Bryce puts an unusual “spin”—as is often the case—on what actually has been happening. On his third point, he says that he and I talked on the phone to discuss the “situation that we had a very congenial brotherly talk which concluded with friendship.” What Mr. Bryce does not mention is that he definitely indicated that he would not come into Charlotte, that he saw “no reason” to come into Charlotte since we had our “iron clad” position and that he, also, had his iron clad position. He made it very plain that he would not be coming. Then, I asked him very plainly, “Are you then going to split the Church, Charles?” He said, “No, not in that way. I am not going to send out a big attack letter, but will simply let people know what I feel and then they can call me or come to my home and discuss the situation. I will try to serve those people that come with me in that way.” He said, “I plan to resign quietly and let things develop in that way.”
Perhaps I should have asked him to officially resign—on the phone—right then. But, trying to be charitable, I was hoping he might still back down. But he did say that—since neither of us would change our positions—he would “have to resign.”
Also, he failed to mention that his son-in-law, Larry Solomon, had a long talk with me Sunday morning and acknowledged that he would follow Mr. Bryce in leaving the Church and doing a different type of work if Mr. Bryce chose to do that. He made that very clear—though in a low key way.
Therefore, because of all of this—and many other things which we know and don’t want to get into in starting a “battle of words”—we find it necessary to terminate Messrs. Bryce and Solomon from the ministry of the Living Church of God and from their membership therein. Both of them have clearly indicated that they plan to do another type of work. They clearly intend to follow their version of “Armstrongism”—directing their people to give up make-up, stop acknowledging there are other true churches of God, and presenting the Gospel only as the “Gospel of the Kingdom of God”—not mentioning in that context the “Good News of forgiveness of sins through Christ’s sacrifice” which Mr. Bryce clearly condemned in his letter to us.
They will apparently also teach all the other doctrinal points which they set forth in the letter which you all have and revive “Armstrongism” as it is interpreted by Charles Bryce. Again, fellows, Mr. Apartian and I knew Mr. Armstrong fifty times more than Mr. Bryce or Mr. Solomon. We know that he did not think in the tiny focus that they seem to project. He was innovative and forward looking and always wanted to “grow” in grace and knowledge and made changes from time to time in his approach to healing, make-up, Pentecost, divorce and remarriage and many other things as he went along. So we want to follow Mr. Armstrong as he taught us to. For he said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” We certainly intend to do that, are doing that, and will continue to do that.
But the point is that we put Christ first! And we do not try to interpret every verse of the Bible through the lens of what we think Mr. Armstrong might have done. Rather, we follow Christ’s command, “Live by every word of God” (Luke 4:4). I am sure you understand these principles and I will be setting them forth soon in an even longer letter to all the brethren which you will soon be receiving. It is necessary for me, apparently, to “spell out” all these things as Mr. Armstrong had to do during the rebellion of 1974 wherein we lost about 30 ministers and 3,000 brethren. Again, we had this same type of upset in 1979 during the “Receivership Crisis”—and, at that time, lost a few dozen ministers and elders and many hundreds of brethren.
God is certainly “testing” His people and His ministry to see who is truly faithful to the government that He is now planning. He wants to see clearly who can be fully trusted to work as a “team” under His leadership and also find out who will be constantly looking for a “loose brick” and is “ready to leave” at almost any real or perceived error he can find. May God help all of you try to be faithful ministers of Jesus Christ and to see where He is working, where His Work is actually being done—now reaching the world with increasing power, and who is really following Mr. Armstrong as he followed Christ. For we certainly do want to follow Jesus Christ most of all!
Your brother in Christ,
Roderick C. Meredith
Oh what fun. Nothing like a good display of fireworks!