Monday, 16 June 2008

From the Presiding Plonker

Fred Coulter gets a spanking! I'm not saying he doesn't deserve it, but it's a bit rich when the treatment comes from Mr. Exile-in-Hawaii, Spanky Meredith. You can still read the Herbal letter that put Meredith firmly in his place online... on that basis I'd suggest whatever Spanky says about Fred goes twice for Spanky.


From the Presiding Evangelist

It has come to my attention that a few of our members are meeting with ex-ministers of the Church of God who have been disfellowshipped and marked. One notable example is Fred Coulter. When Fred angrily and very disrespectfully confronted Mr. Herbert Armstrong back in 1979, God's Apostle personally disfellowshipped him. Then Mr. Armstrong immediately called me — as Director of the Ministry — and instructed me to disfellowship and mark Fred Coulter which I did at the time.

In my opinion, Mr. Coulter has continued to poach members away from those who are actually preaching the Gospel to the world and is conducting himself as an enemy of the Church. This is what he did when he opposed the servant of God who taught most of us the Truth, Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong.

Therefore, in the name of Jesus Christ, I am now instructing loyal Living Church of God members not to meet with or fellowship with Fred Coulter—a dissident who was personally disfellowshipped by God's Apostle, Herbert W. Armstrong, and publicly disfellowshipped and marked by me personally.

— Roderick C. Meredith


When Rod writes "in the name of Jesus Christ, I am now instructing..." you just have to wonder if this is the same dude who wrote the old Ten Commandments booklet. Clearly a case of taking the Lord's name in vain.

69 comments:

Tom Mahon said...

Gavin said...

>>You can still read the Herbal letter that put Meredith firmly in his place online... on that basis I'd suggest whatever Spanky says about Fred goes twice for Spanky.<<

I couldn't agree more. Meredith believes that he is HWA's natural successor, but was not offered the position by HWA because there was a conspiracy to discredit him. Well, the facts indicate that Meredith was too aggressive and ambitious to be a genuine minister.

In addition, I still have the letter, dated 31 August 2000, signed by both Meredith and Carl McNair disfellowshipping Larry Salyer, Edwin Pope, Norbert Link and Raymond McNair, and branding them enemies of the church.

A couple of years later, Meredith, in order to placate Carl and help Raymond with his financial problems, reinstated Raymond McNair on an undisclosed salary to conduct research. So why is he now not willing to extend the same forgiveness to Fred? Could it be that Meredith fears that some LCG members will start paying tithes to Fred?

Yet, a couple of years later, Raymond kicked Meredith in the teeth by leaving to set up his own Church, which, of course, is another heretical shambles!

Still, the infighting and turf wars will continue until the process of eating and devouring one another is complete.

Hawaii Five-O said...

The living Head of God's Church, Jesus Christ, had Roderick Meredith exiled to Hawaii.

Sweet Jesus, is that ever tough!

What ever happened to the Jesus Christ of love and compassion?

The cruel Jesus Christ of HWA sends Germans to punish America in 1972, and sends Roderick Meredith to Hawaii.

What next, Jesus Christ? Torcher Fred Coulter with a trip to the Bahamas, or punish the idiot witness Weinland with another fruitless trip to Jerusalem?

I guess there is no point in telling Roderick Meredith that that living Head Jesus Christ had him exiled to Hawaii in LOVE for HIM?

Of course, I could ask the really hard question - Would the real Jesus Christ of the Bible have anything to do with COG idiots like Roderick Meredith, Ron Weinland, Dave Pack, and Gerry Flurry?

Richard

PS - Dear Jesus, Can I be exiled too with a trip to Hawaii? Thanks in advance for the consideration.

Anonymous said...

"Clearly a case of taking the Lord's name in vain."

I have also concluded that the "leaders" board members and elders of the major Acogs have been using the Lord's name in vain.

Using the "GD" phrase is vulgar, but it is not the only way to vainly use the Lord's reputation.

One can recall several ways the COGs use the Lord's name vainly. Expired end of the world dates, life style guidelines that change at the whim of the leadership,claims of authority assigned from God by men of crude education and social skills, spending millions of donor dollars to move HQ and acquire personal perqs, and on and on.

One must remember that the prophets of old warned that the leaders of the church would be the major stumbling blocks to salvation.

The leadership of the Cogs tarnish the Lord's reputation daily. Their petty arguments, exploitation of the tithe payers, and hubrus have compromised the spiritual.

They have found many ways to use the Lord's name in vain.

Anonymous said...

I would add Fred Coulter to that list. He is just another shade of wolf's clothing. Go into Exit and Support and read about him.

Steve said...

MY COMMENT: Man! These idiots never give up, do they? It's the same old song and dance routine. When another idiot is taking your tithe income away, you have to "disfellowship" someone and take the name of God in vain in order to put the fear into the dumb sheep that are left. Oh, and don't forget to throw in the name of the TRUE god of the dumb sheep to get the point across. Their itching ears love to hear the name of the old fart Herbie mentioned.

Anonymous said...

In re-reading HWA’s letter to Dr. M, I am completely struck dumb by the tone and intention of the thing. The degree in which HWA was willing to re-write his own history and enforce it is also striking. Surely most of the context HWA piles on must have been known to Rod. Why go over it again and again? Sometimes I wonder how much of this he actually wrote.

The entire note could be boiled down to: “I have things nice and peaceful here in Pasadena right now. If I let you back you have to promise not to stir things up.” The rest of it is just plain weird. HWA knew Rod since 1948. Rod was class president two years running at AC. And only now he’s noticing that Rod is a tad class conscious?

WCG is sort of a text book case in how businesses should not run a plan of succession. The last thing he should be telling Rod is that YOU WILL NEVER BE IN CHARGE. Even if that is the case. In the end, he needs Rod for some reason, otherwise he would just let him rot in Hawaii.

As for Rod’s reiteration of the disfellowship of the leader of another church, his only real leg to stand on is that HWA disfellowshipped the dude first. That’s some real thin gruel.

Mark Lax

Hawaii here I come said...

I said, "PS - Dear Jesus, Can I be exiled too with a trip to Hawaii? Thanks in advance for the consideration".

Dear Lord, may I qualify my above referenced request to be banished to Hawaii by further requesting that the dumb sheep pay for my trip to Hawaii with their tithes and offerings.

Will a man rob God?

Yes, a man will rob God by extracting money from the dumb sheep under threat of eternal damnation and then using the dumb sheeps' money to pay the expenses of exiling Rod Meredith to Hawaii -in LOVE for HIM of course.

Richard

Anonymous said...

"That's my church, Hatfield!"

"No, that's my church McCoy!"

Anonymous said...

Gavin, please translate Plonker for those of top siders. Thanks,

Anonymous said...

try here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatfield-McCoy_feud

Bamboo_bends said...

The secret to a really good poached member is to add a little vinegar to the boiling water. Helps keep the yolk in place.

Richard said...

When do you think was the last time any of these top ministers gave a sermon about holding grudges?

SmilinJackSprat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SmilinJackSprat said...

I'm not sure Meredith is "taking the LORD's name in vain" by laying claim to Jesus' authority.

In the 10 Commandments (actually 10 words or statements), LORD in full caps is an English euphemism for the Tetragrammaton. The English, "Lord," as applied to Jesus in the NT doesn't have that meaning. Sarah referred to Abraham as Lord (Ba'al). This wasn't a reference to her husband as God, obviously, but in English the word is Lord. In this sense, Lord simply means husband. In synagogues, the prayer-leader is the Ba'al t'filla, or Lord of prayer. The great Hassidic master was called the Ba'al Shem Tov, or Lord of the Good Name. In no way does this title, Lord, suggest the Name of God.

No Jew would have referred to Jesus, or any other human being, with the four-letter name of God. In fact, no Jew would have used that name at all, apart from the annual pronouncing of the name over all Israel by the High Priest on Yom Kippur.

The command not to take God's name in vain no doubt has more than one application, but at face value, in Hebrew, refers more to "carrying" God's name in vain. Israel carries God's name by virtue of the suffix, "el," in Yisrael, and also by means of marriage to God. The commandment is addressed to the people brought by God "out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage" -- in other words, Israel and those non-Israelites who accompanied them out of Egypt and accepted the covenant at Sinai.

All who accepted the covenant became what we now call "Jews" upon saying, "All you have said we will do." The covenant was a marriage contract between God and the qahal, cognate with the English “call,” or those called from Egypt. From then on they inherited and carried the name of God, not only in the form, “Yisrael,” but also, through marriage with God, in the form of the Tetragrammaton. That name was renewed upon all Israel annually on Yom Kippur. As God's representatives they were, and are, not to carry that name in vain.

Gavin said...

Anonymous:

Plonker is a "top side" term popularised in the British series "Only Fools and Horses." Memorably, Rodney was accused of being a plonker by Del.

An, um, anatomical definition is also available.

Tom Mahon said...

SmilinJackSprat said...

>>I'm not sure Meredith is "taking the LORD's name in vain" by laying claim to Jesus' authority.<<

I have seen nothing in the five paragraphs you wrote to prove that Meredith is not taking God's name in vain. Would you care to have another stab at proving he is not taking God's name in vain?

Jesus taught that many people took and will be taking his name in vain thus; "In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men." Isn't it a fact that all the hirelings in cog-land are teaching the commandments of men, by voting; by setting up a human governmental system based on bylaws; by accepting and teaching that Christ is divided; by arrogating to themselves the authority to preach the gospel, when God has not sent them; by robbing people of tithes and offering to perpetuate a lifestyle to which they have become accustomed? And believe me I could multiply example after example, but I am sure you could do the same if you stop to think of them.

SmilinJackSprat said...

Tom, Jesus is quoting Isaiah, who is in turn quoting God (Y-H-V-H), criticizing the people of Ariel.

Jesus was not speaking of himself being worshiped "in vain," and no one in his audience would have understood Him that way. Observant Jews are forbidden to worship people.

As for the rest of your post, I can't address it. If you disapprove of the policies of your church, why stay? If a Christian church chooses to embrace certain features of a Jewish lifestyle, then how they govern themselves is up to them. They aren't bound by the covenant that governs Jews.

Lazyboy Church of God said...

Smilin' Jack noted:

"As for the rest of your post, I can't address it. If you disapprove of the policies of your church, why stay?"

Oh Jack...Tom belongs to one of the smallest dustmite COGs of all...."The Myself Church of God."

He's his own hireling whose loving encouragement spreads across the living room to his family every Sabbath.

Anonymous said...

To follow Richard's example, I would also like to request punishment from the Lord in form of a trip to Hawaii.

Qualifications:

Atheist.
Blasphemer.
Conservative.

Lord, if Hawaii is booked full of sinners, perhaps Cozumel?


The Apostate Paul

Tom Mahon said...

Lazyboy Church of God said...

>>He's his own hireling whose loving encouragement spreads across the living room to his family every Sabbath.<<

Well, I am not being paid to look after my family, and no amount of money in the world can be offered to me to betray them, as I am not for sale. I care for my family because I love them with the love of God, which is shed abroad in my heart by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Whereas, the former and current hirelings in cog-land have a price tag attached to them, or are willing to negotiate a deal if the price is right.

I must be God's only servant said...

Tom, You probably need some help with having a more balanced view of religion and the Bible. It's got you all f.....d up.

Anonymous said...

Tom Mahon said, "Whereas, the former and current hirelings in cog-land have a price tag attached to them, or are willing to negotiate a deal if the price is right".

MY COMMENT - Herbert Armstrong was a hireling until he rebelled and then set up his own Church of God business. He came in Christ's name and deceived many people. In the process, he was able to hire many people to work as minister employees in his religious business.

Most people are hirelings (employees) unless they go out on their own and set-up shop as their own self employed businesses.

All these former hirelings of Armstrongs (Packatollah, chemical alcohol dependent Flurry, Ramrod Merrydeath, false witness Ron Weinland, etc.) that have left Armstrong's WCG business employment now have their own religious businesses to operate, hire people and profit from the dumb sheep who give them money.

So Tom. My question for you is are you a hireling or are you self employed? Do you work for someone else as a hireling?

Perhaps while you answer my question you can post your picture that you promised a couple months ago. And, you make fun of Dennis' mop? Let's see your mop (if you even have one).

Your brother in Christ,

Richard

Anonymous said...

You know, after reading Mr. Armstrong's letter to Mr. Meredith about Mr. Meredith's exile in Hawaii, something Mr. Pack has said about Mr. Meredith not being a converted man now makes some sense to me, and explains why LCG is not having much of good fruits. I wish I had known all these things years ago. I whouldn't have wasted so many years in LCG. Now I just don't trust any man, but Christ Himself.

Tom Mahon said...

Anon said...

>>>I whouldn't have wasted so many years in LCG. Now I just don't trust any man, but Christ Himself.<<<

Don't despair, God has reserved for himself a few people who have not bowed their knees to the image of Baal. These are the people you can trust, but they are very few in number.

Tom Mahon said...

Richard said...

>>>Most people are hirelings (employees) unless they go out on their own and set-up shop as their own self employed businesses.<<<

In a wider context, yes. But the term, hireling, as used by Jesus, specifically applies to a person who schemed and connived to become a minister, but didn't have the character or knowledge to hold such an exalted office; and whose only motivation is money.

The hireling, who in reality, is a wolf in sheep's clothing, tends to blend in with the background, and his true colours are only revealed when the wolf pack, to whom he actually belongs, attacks the sheep. The hireling then casts off his sheep's clothing, and joins the other wolves in devouring and scattering the flock.

If you have any doubts about these realities, just examine the carnage that is now extant in cog-land, as a direct result of the havoc caused by despicable hirelings.

However, I agree that all employees may be called hirelings. And there is nothing wrong with that term in the work place, for the labourer is worthy of his hirer. But in God's church, the ministers are called to a vocation, from which they cannot resign or walk away, as some misguided people seemed to think

To Dick ........ said...

Who is the LIAR ???? ... The one who said he will post a picture of himself for all of us to look with pity upon, and does not do so. This particular LIAR has lost all credibility.

If these statements pertain to you ( TOM ), then please get out and never come back.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm, I wonder what Mr. Coulter is saying to get such criticism from Rod. It seems to me, that as many of the cog's diminish in size, members are taking a good look at someone who doesn't "Lord it Over THEM" with a stick. . . rod, or even better yet, a JAVELIN!

I'm not saying that Fred has the whole TRUTH and nothing but the TRUTH. However, he definitely "RINGS the Cowbell," when he goes off into never, neverland.

Since my wife receives his literature and cd's, I do get to
listen and read some of his sermons. Not bad stuff, and he doesn't require you to swallow it, "whole line and Sinker."

Unfortunately, our Christian flock has been brainwashed into believing that if HWA, (. . . & anyone who claims his many title(s). . . ) were disfellowshiped or even worse, MARKED, your eternal life would definitely be in question!

I know the scripture that says, "Lean NOT on your OWN understanding," . . . what is so sad is that these men claimed talents they obviously NEVER, EVER HAD!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I can guarantee you that Fred Coulter will not ring his cowbell when he is giving a sermon on tithing. He doggedly teaches that it is applicable. And if you do not tithe, something bad will happen to you. He has seen it happen time and time again.

Steve said...

Freddy baby still preaches much of Armstrong's crap.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of Crapola! Name me ONE protestant church that really, deep down doesn't believe in TITHING. . . or giving, giving, giving, from week to week! Better yet, ALL those wonderful TV Evangelists --- with their frozen-on smiles from ear to ear --- saying basically the SAME THING. Not to mention, every "Born Again" religious radio stations which espouses the same creative ways to get out of debt. Only problem with HWA & CO., is that they weren't the first. The BIG, BAD Cathloic Church is probably the richest in the WORLD, and can take scandal after scandal, lawsuits, provide inquisitions to your delight. . . and STILL be left standing! AMAZING!!!

Hey, I'm sure most of you writers on this thread have skin hard enough to "NOT LOOSE YOUR COOKIES" if someone preaches that you won't reap positive rewards for NOT tithing. And IF, you do believe there is a SUPREME BEING, most probably here take what is good and TRUE from the scriptures and apply what is best.

For those who chucked it all, and perhaps become agnostic or an atheist. . . enjoy what left of your time on this planet. Jerry, Davie, and several others who have proven they love power and control could care less. I think, that many of them really do read these threads just so they can report to their respective flocks how much they are being persecuted.

What is interesting, when all is said and done and the rewards are being handed out in the RESURRECTION. . . will be, if any of these chaps will have coal in their stockings. Oops, I mean crown.

tkach's investment portfolio said...

It took a while, but I remember they used the word PLONKER in the Brit film 'Wish You Were Here' . 1940's Brit slang

From Ponker to Poachers said...

Translation of the original Charlottese...

"From the Presiding Evangelist"

Meaning: From the one between the now dead HWA whose voice I hear in my head and a few leading evangelists not to be named...

"It has come to my attention..."

Meaning: Dr. Thiel told me

"that a few of our members are meeting with ex-ministers of the Church of God..."

Meaning: Our members as opposed to his members who aren't meeting with our members...are meeting with ministers from other splinters of the true church that are not known as the Living Church of God, formerly known as "Global."

"...who have been disfellowshipped and marked."

Meaning: Who didn't recognize my authority over them.

"One notable example is Fred Coulter"

Meaning: That guy who seems smarter than me and writes more in depth than I do. BTW..have you all written for my profound book...
"When will the Midwest Repent, and what's it gonna take?"

"When Fred angrily and very disrespectfully confronted Mr. Herbert Armstrong back in 1979,"

Meaning: He should have learned to do it as we did, scornfully but quietly behind his back.

"God's Apostle personally disfellowshipped him."

Meaning: I am going to introduce how I am related to the Big Kahuna's methods and was personally selected to enforce them.

"Then Mr. Armstrong immediately called me — as Director of the Ministry"

Meaning: See I told ya where I was going with this Mr. Armstrong stuff...

"and instructed me to disfellowship and mark Fred Coulter which I did at the time."

Meaning: Did I mention it was God, Jesus..not Garner Ted anymore, Myself and some other leading evangelists whose names I can't reveal or even think of at the moment. Sadly and of course, I can be a Rod of Iron when God and Mr. Armstrong needed me to be.

"In my opinion, Mr. Coulter has continued to poach members away from those who are actually preaching the Gospel to the world.."

Meaning: I'm not sure but it seems so. This rebel is poaching our members whom we poached from every other COG after I first poached them from WCG, twice. As for the Gospel of all the COG's which sound amazingly similar, they are not.

"...and is conducting himself as an enemy of the Church."

Meaning: Ok I mean my church.

"This is what he did when he opposed the servant of God who taught most of us the Truth, Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong."

Meaning: Did I mention it was God, Jesus, Mr Armstrong, not Garner Ted, MYSELF and a few other leading Evangelists who I can't think of?

"Therefore, in the name of Jesus Christ,"

Meaning: This is what Bible guys do when no real human being will vouch for my actions. It kinda gets us all off the hook since we can't really check with Jesus on how he feels about this.

"I am now instructing loyal Living Church of God members"

Meaning: Not the disloyal dead ones.

"not to meet with or fellowship with Fred Coulter—a dissident who was personally disfellowshipped by God's Apostle, Herbert W. Armstrong, and publicly disfellowshipped and marked by me personally."

Meaning: Did I mention it was God...Jesus...Mr. Armstrong..Myself...oh I did?"

Keeping Tom Mahon Accountable said...

Tom said, "But the term, hireling, as used by Jesus, specifically applies to a person who schemed and connived to become a minister, but didn't have the character or knowledge to hold such an exalted office; and whose only motivation is money."

So Tom, you are suggesting that when "God's ministers" (and, I do use the term in quotes) lay hands on an individual to ordain as a minister, the holy spirit is not present? Wouldn't the Holy Spirit be blasphemied? You are suggesting these "would be ministers" are predestined to be hirelings?

VonHowitzer said...

>>But the term, hireling, as used by Jesus, specifically applies to a person who schemed and connived to become a minister, but didn't have the character or knowledge to hold such an exalted office<<

Tom, you should be ashamed. The position of minister is one of service, not of exaltation. It says much about your priorities that you see it as a means of status rather than a means to help.

That, more than anything else, is the definition of a hireling - as in a hireling that wants the status of being a shepherd, but flees when danger approaches. The true shepherd stands and lays down his life for his sheep, a true act of service.

KMS

Tom Mahon said...

Him who is without fault asked...

>>>So Tom, you are suggesting that when "God's ministers" (and, I do use the term in quotes) lay hands on an individual to ordain as a minister, the holy spirit is not present?<<

I am not suggesting anything! I am stating without equivocation, that some men were ordained who were not called to the ministry by God. These are the type of men who are described as entering the church by stealth, as they did not come through the door, which is Christ(John 10:1- -).

Similarly, some lay members were also baptised who had not repented, and therefore never received the gift of the Holy Spirit. They just had "a form of godliness," but never had the power or character to obey the teachings of the bible.

These were and are the type of people who fight over who set up the hall for services, and who distribute the hymnals. They usually wait in the car park to greet the minister on his arrival for services, and their wives are usually the first to meet the minister with a cup of tea.

Yet, while they are sycophantically grovelling before the hireling minister, the elderly and the fatherless are dying at their feet! Doesn't it make you feel sick?

Anonymous said...

"For those who chucked it all, and perhaps become agnostic or an atheist. . . enjoy what left of your time on this planet."

Sounds good to me. At least I will be enjoying myself! Unlike the carrion-feasting crows and holding-fast CoGers around these parts ...

Sorry. Am in a bit of a black mood.

DennisDiehl said...

Most ministers in all denominations, and I would include the COG's aren't in anything for the money. Some who rise to the top of their own organization because they never can work with others save themselves may be exceptions to this. And there is good money in ministry for those that have lots of it to do and it costs a lot to do it.

That Paul was some praiseworthy tentmaker who took nothing for his efforts from the church is bullshit. He swapped his spiritual teachings for their carnal offerings. You don't tell the church the laborer is worth of his hire if you don't mean the minister and I need some bucks to live on like everyone else.

One extreme is of those who can't name one living, breathing human being, other than themselves, who is not a hireling. They trust no organization and are simply the one man true church. And I can certainly understand this approach.

When pastoring, the most stubborn and least likely to be able to adapt to new ideas or even take suggestions on how to do or think differently when needed, were farmers. They were too much alone with no feedback and no one to temper their opinions. They didn't work around anyone they had to cooperate with much and if they thought it up, it must be true. Just the nature of working for yourself out of a social setting I think.

Were I to still feel the book and story were accurate and telling the whole story of the story, I'd probably be somewhat the same.

I don't think I could force myself to sit through the sermons of others at this point. I can't imagine anytime in the future where sermons and organizations would be meaningful to me.

In WCG I knew who the dictators were and who the caretakers were. I knew those given to the foolishness of prophecty and those that thought it was indeed foolish. I knew the judgmental ones and the temperamental ones. (Half temper and half mental). There were the kiss-ass shallow ones and the deep thinking readers who were a bit more aware than the church on many topics.

This was also true growing up in my Presbyterian past and my Catholic friends always assured me it was true of the Priests. Employees at IBM also assured me that it was true of many they work for, with just a change in topics.

It's easy to hang big labels on whole groups of people but that's not really fair. You have to take them as individuals and then of course you have to be accurate in what you think you know about their motives and intentions, which you can't really.

I know Dave Pack personally and have for years, so I can comment on how he has never changed and when around him in my own ministry and church, he did the same things to me and other ministers that he still does. We all know twenty years ago Dave was all about numbers so when he denies it, we crack up..

It's much easier with the big goofs like Weinland, Pack and Flurry who would provide someone with a PHD in psych if they wanted to.

For Tom, all men are hirelings. It's not really fair to say you belong to the "true church of Jesus Christ" and that your minister is "Jesus Christ" and not name one body of believers on the planet that qualifies or a man that is not a hireling in his ministry in it. But he too can be who he is and where he is at this moment in time.

I was "offered" the local church to take from WCG and said "no, I am done with this and know that I don't wish merely swap national poliltics of the church for the local one." I went back to school in something I felt was helpful and write a bit of how the experience impacted my life hopes and dreams. How this makes me a hireling is beyond me.

I'm the only former full time hireling that has exposed my own feelings, foibles and changes of heart publically on AW. There were over 400 of us out there somewhere who had the same experience of the Krystalnacht Church of God under Herr Tkach.

However, I was changing no matter the motiff. I would not have stayed and would not have been asked to stay so the handwriting was on the wall.

In hindsite, the Rochester Colgate Divinity School may have been a better liberal setting for me.

Tom Mahon said...

VonHowitzer said...

>>>Tom, you should be ashamed. The position of minister is one of service, not of exaltation. It says much about your priorities that you see it as a means of status rather than a means to help.<<<

Yes, a true minister is ordained to serve the flock, but the office is a high calling, and is described in Hebrews as a position on honour.

The term exaltation doesn't have to mean pride or arrogance. People can hold a high office and still be humble. Jesus was the prime example of being exalted because he was humble(Phil.2:7-10).

Anonymous said...

Good post Dennis.

Richard

SmilinJackSprat said...

Concerning "hirelings," a case in point. I recently bought a truck from a minister who needed cash to send his daughter overseas for on-the-spot missionary training. He supports himself with a job unrelated to church work and refuses to take money from his congregation. There are such people.

With reference to Paul, who supported himself through tent making, I find that believeable. His background was Rabbinical, and Jewish boys of his generation were taught a trade as a hedge against hard times. I personally know Orthodox Rabbis who support themselves by real estate and supervising kosher food producers to ensure kosher standards. One of them receives a salary of one dollar annually from his synagogue.

Jews who practice tithing in terms of donating money give it to the charity or charities of their choice. Synagogues are supported by membership fees. (Biblical tithing to Levites was not centralized, was agricultural, non-transferrable into money, excepting 2nd tithe. Levites were at the mercy of Israelites in their respective areas. It was up to local farmers to decide who would receive their tithes -- which were indeed theirs to give at their discretion according to Torah.)

Even if Paul had been a Levite, he would have had no claim on tithes outside the boundaries of Israel because tithing applied only to things produced by "the land" (of Israel).

It seems to me that Christians who practice tithing on their incomes must do so after the voluntary example of Jacob who promised God a tenth in exchange for God's presence in his life.

Father Guido Sarducci said...

"It seems to me that Christians who practice tithing on their incomes must do so after the voluntary example of Jacob who promised God a tenth in exchange for God's presence in his life."

So, "I'm-ah gonna give-ah you some-ah sheep, a box-ah of tomatoes and-ah forty bucks, and you-ah, God, promise to-ah stick around-ah me as-ah my God?"

I mean-ah, whatsa God gonna do with-ah sheep, tomatoes and-ah som-a cash? He ownsa the cattle on a thousand-ah hills....Kenna he not just sell-ah few when he-ah need-ah some money?

This-ah make-am me feel like iff-ah I said to my own-ah dear Papa....here Papa, I'll give-ah you some-ah my stuff if-ah you stay my ah Papa.

I'm'ah notta kiddin. This'ah make me uncomfortable...It coulda be.... butta seemsa strange to me.

Anonymous said...

Wrath Pastored said.....

Meredith's letter. It was amazing to read the article from the Living Church News on dealing with Rebels. Meredith uses words that many who were a part of the WCG would or may remember, the true church, government, faithful ministers, etc. Telling was his statement, you brethren. Always separating the ministry from the membership as if they stand above them instead of serving them.

Well, I guess you Ambassador Watch readers....oh well, what can I say?

Anonymous said...

anonymous said...

Telling was his statement, you brethren....


Kind of like how some white people refer to blacks as "you people".

Come to think of it, being converted to HWA was a lot like being a sharecropper....yesa master....I does all da work and you get ma money!

Mo money, mo money for da work!

Rodney King said...

Ghetto mentality. Screw everybody. I'm daking what I want. Da only inportant one is me. You owe it to me.

Anonymous said...

There's a different take on tithing in the March/April New Horizons article Tithing - Is It for Christians? at www.cgom.org

That's my final offer said...

There's a different take on tithing in the March/April New Horizons article Tithing - Is It for Christians? at www.cgom.org

Give as you are able...anything else, any pressure, any sense that one is failing a God, is human manipulation. If your church or minister can't live with "give as you are able," tough beans. Stand up for yourself.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the HWA spanking letter to RCM in 1980...

HWA probably said some very accurate things about RCM's shortfalls. But his letter goes about this in the wrong way.

Notice all the anonymous sources. For example, HWA says that "dozens of ministers would testify to that." But he doesn't give their names. He does this over and over except when he names Raymond Cole.

HWA also gets on RCM for having a bad attitude. This is so wrong. Only God can read the heart. If HWA wanted to criticize RCM's actions, that's one thing. But HWA was NOT God and had no business judging RCM's heart by bringing up this "attitude" crap.

This is no way for a Christian to chastise someone whether he is an employer, father-figure, apostle, whatever. Christians have to show a lot more love than that. These guys are so sickening. They may have worn $500 suits, but they were no better than low-life trailer trash. And idiots like Bob Thiel want to deify HWA and RCM. Pond scum, all!

--Publius

Anonymous said...

Regarding the HWA spanking letter to RCM in 1980...

HWA probably said some very accurate things about RCM's shortfalls. But his letter goes about this in the wrong way.

Notice all the anonymous sources. For example, HWA says that "dozens of ministers would testify to that." But he doesn't give their names. He does this over and over except when he names Raymond Cole.

HWA also gets on RCM for having a bad attitude. This is so wrong. Only God can read the heart. If HWA wanted to criticize RCM's actions, that's one thing. But HWA was NOT God and had no business judging RCM's heart by bringing up this "attitude" crap.

This is no way for a Christian to chastise someone whether he is an employer, father-figure, apostle, whatever. Christians have to show a lot more love than that. These guys are so sickening. They may have worn $500 suits, but they were no better than low-life trailer trash. And idiots like Bob Thiel want to deify HWA and RCM. Pond scum, all!

--Publius

huh? what? say that again.. said...

"HWA also gets on RCM for having a bad attitude. This is so wrong. Only God can read the heart. If HWA wanted to criticize RCM's actions, that's one thing. But HWA was NOT God and had no business judging RCM's heart by bringing up this "attitude" crap."

To be followed by....

"These guys are so sickening. They may have worn $500 suits, but they were no better than low-life trailer trash. And idiots like Bob Thiel want to deify HWA and RCM. Pond scum, all!"

Ummmmmmmmm, maybe it's just me......aren't you doing the same thing here with the "trailer trash" and "pond scum" judgements?

I know some very nice people who live in mobile homes and swim in scummy ponds at times.

Anonymous said...

Can I interrupt this thread by asking if anyone has seen a picture of Tom Mahon on the internet yet?

DennisDiehl said...

You know, I had not read the 1980 HWA/RCM letter in years but I lived through it personally as a minister with RCM over Church Administration.

Aside from reading back into what HWA said to RCM from the perspective now of knowing all that followed in WCG, HWA hit the nail pretty much on the head.

I remember those days. I remember all the RCM comments of who he was and his position and all that , frankly, has not changed one bit, (people don't change much over the course of a lifetime in their temperament and personality).

It's actually a very sincere letter written to address what was how it rather was. RCM, like a Dave Pack, or maybe the other way around, are not people who work with people. They don't work for people. They simply have to be in charge and HWA is addressing what,THEN, was an impression RCM always gave and frankly still does. If the Board of Living tried to correct RCM for whatever, he'd start all over again with himself in charge.

I agree we should not judge the hearts of men. We, I, most here, do it all the time based on hurts and bad experiences, but it still hurts us more than those we lash out at. I don't like the quality in myself that gets stirred up at times.

Well, just sharing as I remember. At that time, having someone tell RCM that he is harsh or lord's it over people, was the Plain Truth.

He introduced, I believe, the member visit cards that we had to write up. Not only was it a nusance, none of anyone's business and annoying, it was wrong and intrusive. They got to be a joke among most of the men I knew as ministers and we often filled them in rather a generic form just to keep RCM happy.

I do remember on minister writing up a visit card for a G. Shephard, who he had to disfellowship for biting him.....

Anonymous said...

Considering all the blood spilled to secure and preserve American freedoms, it is hard to contemplate citizens voluntarily placing their lives under the autocratic authority of ministers, conscientious objectors all, who wouldn't shed a drop of their own blood to preserve their right to lord it over their eager, but Biblically anemic, congregants.

Anonymous said...

DennisDiehl said...

He introduced, I believe, the member visit cards that we had to write up. Not only was it a nusance, none of anyone's business and annoying, it was wrong and intrusive.

Yes, definitely wrong and outrageously intrusive, I might add. If memory serves, it was a short hop to the much feared member dossier/bio which kept a trail of activated, perpetual breadcrumbs in place for the next minister to follow and snack on.
I remember the huge sigh of relief felt by many of us when one pastor, upon arriving, announced that he was burning the whole lot of them. Thinking back, it was all so simple then - No laptops, no Google, no blogs, no MySpace.com, no mass emailing... ;-)

Byker Bob said...

Dennis brought out the matter of ministerial record keeping. This insatiable need permeated every aspect of WCG life. Whether it was used for checking up on tithes, manpower reports, or the dorm monitor reports at AC, everyone knew everything about everyone! It was nauseating.

When I was at SEP the first year in Texas, I first became aware of this. John Robinson was my lead man during work week when we were assigned to clean the big tabernacle, including the executive offices. On one occasion, I caught John laughing his a$$ off while sitting at Floyd Lochner's desk. I asked him what was so funny, and he handed me a stack of disciplinary reports. Three campers were administered swats for "passing gas and causing an offensive odor" during a Saturday night movie. Apparently this was so earthshakingly important that they needed to document it, presumably so that it became a permanent part of these campers' records in the event that they ever were accepted to Ambassador College!

Imagine if during AC orientation week one of these guys had been called in for counselling and asked, "So, have you overcome your gas problem?" Or, upon graduating and being sent out into the field, a memo being sent out: Confidential from Roderick C. Meredith to Ken Westby, district manager, Southeast. X has been sent into your area. Use extreme discretion when assigning sermonette duty! X has been known to exercise very little control over a flatulence problem which has apparently been present from his early teenage years. Please also report to us any incidents which might occur during visiting program activities! Signed, Roderick C. Meredith, third under Jesus Christ.

LOL!
BB

Tom Mahon said...

DennisDiehl said...

>>>(people don't change much over the course of a lifetime in their temperament and personality).<<<

An introspective, penetrating observation, if I may be so bold to say so! But it only applies to those who have not had a road to Damascus experience.

DennisDiehl said...

Thomas said once again as if he were more special.

"An introspective, penetrating observation, if I may be so bold to say so! But it only applies to those who have not had a road to Damascus experience."

And Tommy, if you compare (you won't) Luke's account of Paul's conversion in Acts on the Damascus road with Paul's account in Galatians, you will find Paul never heard of his Damascus road story except in Acts.

Like Jesus, Jeremiah and possibly yourself, Paul said he was called from the womb.. No wait, "from before the world began."

If you compare the three accounts of the event in Acts (you won't) you'll never be able to know, who heard the voice, but didn't see the light, or who saw the light and fell down or did or not. They can't all be correct, so we have an errancy problem right there.

After the Damascus road story, Paul hustles off to Jerusalem to meet the Apostles like a whipped puppy.

In Galatians, no such luck. He heads off to Arabia for three years, for what we can only guess. But, Paul being so special and "above his fellows" (hey, sounds familiar doesn't it?) probably met Jesus (not) and had him escort him to the third heaven to meet with God, but he just can't bring himself to tell anyone what he heard or how it looked.

Kinda like Dave Pack who knows more than he can share "at this time" with his church about amazing and overarching things he knows. Same disease.

I know, who cares...

However, if you do a study on temporal lobe epilepsy or the qualities of hallucinatory voices in the head of schizophrenics, you might be getting close. For some it's a dis-ease. For others, it is a revelation.

How much religion and how many organizations have been born out mental illness or personality disordes I wonder...?

I had a personal conversion experience on the Road to Greenville, if that helps...

Well, have to go now. I am taking a missionary, according to Acts, around the Med that is identilee to the one Josephus said he took right down to getting shipwrecked...Sometimes it's easier to have a story that is copied rather than really lived. Much safer.

DennisDiehl said...

well of course it's not an "identilee" trip around the Med, rather identicle.

Sintax and speling Dennis, 'common wacke up!

DennisDiehl said...

B-2 (can't make that 'to the power of' thingy) said:

"Yes, definitely wrong and outrageously intrusive, I might add."

I don't remember any dossier's of sorts, but I'm sure some kept them. I always enjoyed telling the church my first sermon in any new church that I told the former minister, when we had lunch to make a transition, I didn't want to hear about anyone. I wanted to get to know them where they were now, not then, and wanted to be able to say 'if you feel you need a complete start over with yourself, church and minister, now's the time. I don't even know your name yet.' Seemed to always get things off to a better start with change which is difficult for all, or at least it is for me.

Besides, I didn't want the members from my previous church telling the new members dumbass stuff I may have said in a sermon or two..:) Same principle!

I grew up to these facts of church transitions once and how i wanted to present a change in ministry when a lady came up to me in one of my first areas, when I was coming in, and said "Hi, I suppose the minister told you, I'mthe one who committed adultery."

I took her aside and asked her NAME and not her biography.It really saddened me to hear how she had adopted the label for herself. I told her that only thing I'd remember about her was her name if that was ok with her. Greatest smile I ever saw!

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Tom Mahon said...

DennisDiehl said...

>>>if you compare (you won't) Luke's account of Paul's conversion in Acts on the Damascus road with Paul's account in Galatians, you will find Paul never heard of his Damascus road story except in Acts.<<<

There is no point in discussing any account of the bible with you, because you hold it in "contempt," which for you is a mild term!

Suffice to say, it is madness to continually quote it, only to pour scorn on its authority and veracity, without the least attempt to construct a cogent and coherent argument in support of your rather tiresome opinions.

If you can show from other historical documents that Jesus never lived; that the Apostle Paul was a figment of Luke's fertile imagination; and that Luke never really existed, but the name was adopted by a charlatan, who wanted to perpetrate a hoax on humanity, by persuading them to believe in the Christian Fable, then, those who now silently pity you, might erupt in unanimous applause and appreciation of your insight and erudition.

Anonymous said...

"How much religion and how many organizations have been born out mental illness or personality disordes I wonder...?"

All of them, Dennis, every last single one of them.

Didn't realize the record-keeping was that all-pervasive; I thought the member's PIN was only used to keep track of the amount of money sent in. :-(

Keeping AW Score said...

For those at home keeping score over the last several months, here is the latest tally:

Dennis Diehl 17
Tom Mahon 0

In addition, we know what Dennis looks like. However, we have yet to see the picture Tom promised us several months ago. We should award Dennis a couple extra points over Tom for honesty and integrity. Would anyone else agree?

Richard

Anonymous said...

It's amazing what a person will find himself/herself believing after 30 years or less! I knew the Diehl family back in the dark ages of Rochester, NY. . . and before I proposed to my wife, made sure she came to Rochester with me to hear the kind of sermons that were being given. (The WCG congregation we attended in the Midwest was considered somewhat liberal)

When we made the return trip, for one of the sabbath services, Mr. Pack or maybe it was Mr. Schmedes, wasn't there. So, Dennis Diehl who was visiting provided the day's menus. Wow, it was fantastic. . . my wife took pages of notes, as did I!

Even reading his posts today on this thread, and others, I find some insight that I can't argue with. However, if what Tom Mahon reports that this man no longer believes what the Bible has to say. . . & that Jesus is just fable. Hmmmmmmmm, I really wonder just how much intelligence that man really has. I guess that AC degree proved to be quite worthless.

Nevertheless, I hope all is well with with his parents (did THEY also, lose their footing when he left the church) and Nollie and Ron's family!??!

DennisDiehl said...

"Nevertheless, I hope all is well with with his parents (did THEY also, lose their footing when he left the church) and Nollie and Ron's family!??!"

Mom and dad, at this posting, yet live, and are still living in the home they bought in 1938 and are 91and 93. Every sermon I ever gave in the past I believed with all my heart, yet as any honest student of the Bible might find, there were always nigling and then screaming topics and contradictions that I needed to address in time.

WCG managed to reduce every church I ever pastored to nothing. I figured if they can go bonkers over Christmas, I can ask some long repressed questions about the Birth Narratives and Resurrection accounts in the Gospels and their associated contradictions. One question leads to the next and when there was no longer anything left to pastor, there was no sense being a pastor for anyone.

If I had started my own church..you'd all be making fun of me as in it for the money.

If I had stayed with WCG, you'd all be making fun of me for following the surprising God. (I would too)

If I had gone to UCG or Living, you'd all be making fun of me for selling out and being one of those bastard ministers.

If I went with Dave Pack, you'd say I was insane

If I went with Flurry, I'd say I was insane along with insane for going along with Dave

If I was the kind of minister Tom requires, I'd have no church, it would have no ministers and we'd meet in Tom's home with me listening to Tom unless given permission to speak.

If I kept my fascination with theology, bible origins, the origins of the text, the intent, the politics and how it misused to control people, and write about that, I'm bitter, fallen away and obviously all my life was a mere hireling no matter what.

If I have studied human origins and collect hominid tools as well as native american artifacts and don't find the Genesis account literally possible or scientifically true, I am a reprobate former hireling bastard, one of them, money grubbing Jesus whore.

If I notice the inconsistencies of Paul, his defensive nature towards Peter, James and John and his Cosmic Christ as opposed to the Gospel Jesus who he never met, never quotes and knows nothing about, though was supposed to be a contemporary Pharisee above all in Jerusalem while Jesus preached, I am faithless and hate the Bible.

Let's see, have I forgotten any no win combination? I'm sure that's about it for now.

I have been told that my problem is that I need to:
1. Give up my will (stay in the box)
2. Give up my intellect (don't think)
3. Come back to Jesus. (Which version?)

Sorry, can't do it. My heart can't adopt what my mind can't see. I did all from the age of 14 when I sat through a young Fred Coulter sermon until the last sermon I ever gave, 44 years later on "nothing's for nothing" sincerely and with all my heart.

Neither me nor the 35 members of my family who were full time ministers, elders, deacons, members, kids and brethren in the WCG lost their footing. They learned to stand up on their own two feet.

Tom: Biteth thou me...you Ponker.
(What the heck is a Ponker?)

DennisDiehl said...

Ok...whew....the previous was channeled in five minutes from my archetype, Zule, High Priest of Marduk.

In all sincerity....I personally found out that I was not told everything about the Bible, between the ages of 18 and 22, I would have liked to have known. The place I thought would have known what to teach me, didn't know either. I had no idea at that age what a hornets nest I was walking into.

Bamboo_bends said...

boston blackie said...

Thinking back, it was all so simple then - No laptops, no Google, no blogs, no MySpace.com, no mass emailing... ;-)

...and no accountability for they controlled the information flow.

The saying goes, freedom of the press is for those that own a press.

Its only been since 1994 that the average person could "own" their own press on the internet, and the status quo has not been happy about it.

The genie of democratic expression is now fully out of the bottle.

Anonymous said...

Years ago in my travels I met a member who'd stayed in the same dorm at AC (Pasadena) with the minister who baptized me. He told me when I see the minister again, I should wish him a good fart.

When I passed this message to the minister, he tried to restrain his uproarious laughter.

camfinch said...

"Years ago in my travels I met a member who'd stayed in the same dorm at AC (Pasadena) with the minister who baptized me. He told me when I see the minister again, I should wish him a good fart.

When I passed this message to the minister, he tried to restrain his uproarious laughter."

Wow, that sounds like this might have been my freshman year dorm! First floor, Manor Del Mar, 1971-72...but probably common to any number of men's dorms at AC!

Anonymous said...

Dennis,

At least the High Priest of Marduk isn't asking for tithes!

Nevertheless, it was a barn-burner of a good post! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Didn't Global disfellowship Meredith a while back? And before that didn't WCG give him the boot when he formed Global? Something like that anyway.

Now Meredith has disfellowshipped Coulter...again. Armstrong and Meredith shunned him together the first time. It didn't hold in '79; will it stick in 2008? Maybe now Coulter will disfellowship Meredith. Turnabout's fair play. Everyone chucking everyone else in Jesus' name. These dipsticks make Jesus look like a horse's patoot. Can anyone lower than Evangelist get on the excommunication merry-go-round? My goodness, gracious me!!!

Verily, verily, this is another sign, like earthquakes, wars, rumors of wars and string bikinis, that the end is fast approaching, nay, at the very door. Batten the hatches, mates. It won't be pretty.