Sunday, 23 November 2008

Who'll Be King of the Hill?

From the LCG Weekly Update. The putative author is Meredith himself.

One of the issues we discussed that the Council and I felt we needed to review with everyone was the procedure that has been in place in case the Presiding Evangelist becomes incapacitated through some infirmity or death or becomes disqualified to serve in the office. We addressed this issue because of questions that we have received. If the Presiding Evangelist appoints a successor, he will inform the Council of his decision and no further action will be required. In the absence of an appointed successor, the Council of Elders will convene, and after prayer and fasting, will seek God’s guidance to discern who He wants to be the successor to the Presiding Evangelist—based on the fruits of God’s Spirit that are obvious in the life of the person designated to be the next Presiding Evangelist.

So Rod - in the style of North Korean presidents - can anoint his own successor, be it an "evangelist," or even one of his sons. But if he's brainless enough not to bother, the spiritual titans on the CoE will skip breakfast one morning, open a special meeting with appropriate platitudes, then the alpha males will call in their debts before clobbering each other till all but one are left standing... Did I understand that right?

Of course, I'm not being critical, oh heavens no! After all, the system Meredith outlines has a proven track record of success: the elevation of Joseph Tkach and then Joe Jr. to the leadership of the WCG for example.

Oh, hang on, wait... bad example.

20 comments:

Welease Bwian! said...

"If the Presiding Evangelist appoints a successor, he will inform the Council of his decision and no further action will be required...."

Translation: "I, the Presiding Evangelist, and the Father are one..."

However...

"In the absence of an appointed successor, the Council of Elders will convene, and after prayer and fasting, will seek God’s guidance to discern who He wants..."

Translation: "If I died suddenly, then you must then play the game of 'Oh, oh..pick me..no pick me' until such a time as God reveals the secret answer. While God would prefer me just to decide, if you go hungry enough, long enough, God is obligated to pick someone himself.

Results can be discerned by..um...by.... Ok...Results of prayer and fasting can be discerned by...errrr....um...... Ok, ok...I got it...the Magic Eight Ball, which I have authorized to be purchased and stored here at HQ..BTW..Greetings from Charlotte Brethren..for just such an occasion.

The Sacred Magic Eight Ball will then be returned to it's secure position in the vaults of the Living Church of God and only used by the next Presiding Evangelist in an emergency or when needed to break the Di Woderwick Code.

Byker Bob said...

Just trying to get into Rod's head a bit here. He's got to know that any miniscule change will cause splinters, with all he has seen. He knows that people are not afraid to revolt if the hand chosen successor does not meet the expectations of the congregation. Those two things are a given.

Obviously he would be painfully aware of his own mortality at his advanced age, having witnessed the deaths of many of his colleagues, and in consideration of his own health challenges. And, who wouldn't be cognizant of God's nonparticipation in the preservation of, or unity of the Armstrong movement at this time?

He's probably visualized many of the scenarios with which his survivors, and hand picked leaders will be faced, and it is fair to speculate that part of him fears the worst.

So, all he can do at this point is to placate, pacify, and attempt to instill some confidence by making the types of statements that he did. His remarks will help stabilize his church right up until the day of his own demise.

Following that, history has provided some rather brutal lessons and examples.

BB

PG said...

I nominate Bob Thiel! He seems to be the important mouthpiece of Meredithism.

Anonymous said...

What's the big deal... that is how virtually all corporations work. Certainly most in the DOW and in the NASDAQ.

There is no democracy in most of the free world outside of the hope that there is democracy in our governments.

I work for one of the top companies in the USA. Managers are appointed, not elected, and they serve for life. The employees have virtually no say in what goes on.

My senior manager a is boob, no people skills, and he has bad judgment. But he will be there for life. He was appointed by the political powers that be, that run the corporation.

Most churches are run in much the same manner.

So what is the big deal?

Stan said...

Need we remind ourselves that Joe Tkach, Pastor General Eternal, instead of revising the hidden, cultic bylaws of the WCG churchy association, also kept himself in the the exact same power position as Meredith?

Stan

Gavin said...

Churches are not commercial corporations... that's why they receive special tax status. Corporations have employees, churches have members.

Most churches have accountable leaders - appointed via representative structures. Let's see... Presbyterians, Adventists, Episcopalians, Baptists, Lutherans, Methodists, Nazarene, Church of God (Seventh Day), Reformed, Quakers, Unitarians... even the pope is elected by a college of cardinals.

Church leaders - like national leaders - require a mandate to govern. It's a big deal when they don't. Tkach, for example, doesn't.

Porphyry: early Christian critic said...

How does Roderick, Dave, Gerald do it ? How do they still manage to believe 1950's fundamentalist Armstrong-christianity in 2008 ? They must carefully avoid libraries, internet, Amazon.com, television..

Corky said...

kinda like the RCC, ain't it? Just on a smaller scale, that's all the difference I see.

The Pope drops and the Cardinals (the guys in red robes with red hats) just elect another Pope.

Same difference with the "committee" of the LCG. It's government from the top down, a hierarchy just like the RCC and all monarchies which was warned against in Luke 22:24-27

Anonymous said...

Gavin said

"Churches are not commercial corporations... that's why they receive special tax status. Corporations have employees, churches have members."

But most are run like corporations. The ministers and pastors are generally appointed by a central hierarchy. With the exception of the Baptists, the people have no say as to who becomes their pastor or minister.

So there is very little difference between corporations and most churches.

Jesus said " I will build my corporation..."

Gavin said...

Well, actually, lots of churches other than Baptists use a "call" system. Denominations are run by conferences or synods made up of - gasp - elected representatives. Voting (shock horror) occurs. You need to do a bit more research, WCG and the hierarchic clones are the exception, not the rule.

Anonymous said...

...based on the fruits of God’s Spirit...

Is these the criteria Spanky will use? Whoever is chosen by whomever, I doubt if the Fruits of the Spirit (a la Galations) will not feature prominently in the reasons given to support the decision of the next chosen one.

Hmmm... Chosen one... Is Homer Simpson available?

Anonymous said...

God's Church is not a democracy, it is a benevolent dictatorship.

The leadership is accountable only to God. There is no one human being that is the head of the Church. There are men who oversee assemblies, but they have no authority outside their assembly. The authority they do posses is very limited, as each individual member is responsible to God for their own actions.

Lack of understanding in the above areas is one large reason there is so much confusion amongst the Churches. So many people want a human being to tell them what to do, and that is completely unbiblical.

Bamboo_bends said...

PG said...

I nominate Bob Thiel! He seems to be the important mouthpiece of Meredithism.



I second Thiel for King of Spiel!

Can I get a witness brother?


"Tis a fool who looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart..."



Anonymous said...

The Council of Elders ought to consult the Urim and the Thummim for divine guidance.It might provide a better answer than all their fastings and famines.

Or in lieu of this,some names in the hat,to be drawn as in a lottery.



Jorgheinz

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote;

"The leadership is accountable only to God. There is no one human being that is the head of the Church."

No it is not accountable to God. Neither God nor Jesus established the Christian Church and its many forms of worship and governance.

These are all man made organizations just like secular corporations are man made organizations.

You can worship in anyone of them. But since they are not from God nor Jesus; God doesn't really care about them.

These organizations control people and take their money, both Sunday keeping and Sabbath keeping. Why should God care about them?

God cares about how people live their lives.

Anonymous said...

"God's Church is not a democracy, it is a benevolent dictatorship."

I think you inserted a word in between "a" and "dictatorship" that isn't supposed to be there, anon.

I think the word you're searching for here is "theocracy"

Anonymous said...

By the way, I was unfortunate enough to channel-surf past Tomorrow's World last night, and I've just gotta ask: Who the hell is Lurch they've got subbing in for Spanky? Now that's an "authoritarian" visage if ever I saw one......

Libro 66 said...

Hey PH,

You talking about Rod King? He's the big guy from UK.

When John Ogwyn passed away, Rod Meredith and Richard Ames suddenly realized they aren't getting any younger. So the decision was made to add two more TV presenters.

Rod King is a very traditional, strongly British-Israel-oriented person -- mentions it every time I hear him speak. Wally Smith was a local elder in the US heartland until he caught somebody's eye... next thing you know, he's on TV.

Libro

(So if King is Lurch, then Wally would be...)

Anonymous said...

"You talking about Rod King? He's the big guy from UK."

That'd be the one. Unsurprising he's all for the BI, most Brit CoGers spew about nothing but.

"(So if King is Lurch, then Wally would be...)"

Haven't laid eyes to Wally yet. (And likely won't until I'm unfortunate enough to surf past TW once again.) Is he more Uncle Fester, or Morticia?

Mel said...

"(So if King is Lurch, then Wally would be...)"

.................

Gomez?
Uncle Fester?
Pugsly?
Cousin It?
Lovable characters, one and all.

Hey, maybe even Thing can grab the baton!