Monday, 30 October 2006
Nehemiah meets Archie Bunker
Just in case there's anybody out there in the known COGiverse who hasn't caught up yet, UCG's top dogs have paid a visit to the headquarters of the Living Church of God in Charlotte. LCG's Doc Winnail reports:
This week, Mr. Clyde Kilough, President of the United Church of God, and Mr. Jim Franks, Operations Manager for Ministerial Services of the United Church of God, paid an informal visit to our Headquarters here in Charlotte. They toured the office facility and met our Headquarters staff. It was a cordial visit and provided us with an opportunity to communicate about mutual concerns facing the Church of God.
Needless to say, the tongues have been on fire with near pentecostal fervor. Amongst the more excitable brethren the word "merger" has been whispered. Fat chance. A perceptive poster on XCG wondered aloud whether "Nehemiah" Kilough and sidekick Jim were there to check out just how impaired the Presiding Evangelist has become (more a circling of vultures than a gathering of eagles?) Sounds plausible, but I doubt it. Here's the view from the UCG side of the fence:
"On October 23rd Mssrs. Kilough and Franks followed up on a long standing invite to visit and talk with the leadership of LCG. They had a tour of the offices and met the staff. They then sat with Dr. Meredith, Dr. Winnail, Mr.Ames and Mr. Apartian for "an open discussion on a variety of issues facing the Church of God." All involved felt the visit was profitable and were pleased with the opportunity to communicate. Mr. Kilough offered a similar invitation to LCG to visit us at Milford OH."
What we can say is that Bob Thiel is fairly tripping over himself in an attempt to dampen down speculation - at the bidding of the Dark Lord himself:
"RC Meredith and I discussed this meeting a few hours after it occurred. He mentioned that he specifically stated at the beginning of the meeting that LCG has no interest in any type of merger with UCG. He stated UCG and LCG have different works, differing governments, and differing focuses. He told me that they concurred with all of those comments. And he told me I could post about it if I thought it would be helpful."
Now Bob, you'll have to do better than that. I lived through too many years in WCG, where "reading between the lines" was an essential survival skill, to take that at face value. The boys were up to something. A disturbing new revelation in the offing that could impact on both churches perhaps? Could there be any more skeletons in the closet ready to leap out as All Hallows Eve draweth nigh? Who knows. Whatever it was, it seems the lads want to keep it "All in the Family." You can be sure, though, that they weren't just swapping recipes for matzos.
Just as fascinating as Nehemiah's pilgrimage to Pope Roderick's Vatican was this quote from the Spanker himself, delivered at the start of the LCG feast and related by a suitably over-awed member:
“They are left-wing, liberal, communist, pinkos” – Mr. Meredith describing the United States’ media and their portrayal of the news during his Opening Night message.
Shades of Archie Bunker, except for one crucial difference. Archie at least had "Meathead" to keep him on a leash.
Addendum: I noticed that Dennis' Two Witnesses post also appears on XCG. Sorry Gary, didn't mean to pull a copycat - the version here was sent in by Den himself, and you can't have too much of a good thing online anyway, right? While I'm being contrite, Gary's XCG has become THE essential source of information on the various COGlets: check it out if you haven't already.
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The one thing on Spanky's mind that overshadowed everything else in that meeting can be summed up as "UCG could best use their time and resources to do a WORK instead of spending so much time ripping our members away to your COG." This has been a real problem for several years. Rod cannot disfellowship those in another COG. Spanky's health though is a real concern. The diabetes has ravashed him pretty much to the point he cannot even see well. Note he in his videos appears to read, but if you follow him along in his NKJV, he apparantly is doing so from a flawed and failing memory.
After a sermon he has to sit down and cannot hardly move or speak. He is week, and cannot even walk as an exercise program with his wife as he had in previous years. Those out at Charlotte notice he is over 75 and see quite concern as RCM is their biggest draw (A.K.A. paycheck).
Different governments -- very true. Dr. Meredith seemingly can't be voted out by a Council of Elders.
Different focuses -- huh?! Like how?
Gary's XCG has become THE essential source of information on the various COGlets
Thanks. You make it sound like I actually spend a lot of time on it. :) These days, about two, maybe three hours a week.
Only TWO things can get Spanky ousted by his Council of Elders.
(1). Moral shortcomings
(2). Physical incapability.
The rest is rubber stamped his way.
This was most likely as Gavin said, to see how the LCG's current meltdown condition is fairing. LCG members not going to Pack are starting to dribble to the United group. So, Meredith will continue to label them among other things, he calls them a social club.
United is actually gloating at the number who are making the move over since they have become bewildered with the tone of we are the only one all others are not the true church that RCM is spewing.
Also, I would imagine that the the two went there to see if Meredith feels the way he does.......
cordial, really, they will not show a true face of how they feel.
How many clenched jaws do you think were in that room when they met which was masked by smiles.
Spanky's health though is a real concern. The diabetes has ravashed him pretty much to the point he cannot even see well.
Perhaps the loss of eyesight has spiritual overtones to it, as in Meredith is spiritually blind.
One may note that in the Old Testament, a false prophet was stoned to death, but the New Testament has a different way to deal with false prophets:
Act 13:8-11 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.
There are pundits who see that Meredith sought to void the judgment against him in the Seventies when he had LASER corrective surgery as he was losing his eyesight then. He was too important to keep the doctrine of not being treated by doctors -- which was enjoined upon the membership of lesser rank.
Perhaps it is that the judgment is being revisited, now that he is old in years and has chosen to continue in his lawless arrogant idolatry. Maybe his going blind, not so much for the cause of diabetes as for being a false prophet.
You understand what kind of great game this is, but with his mindset, when he finds out about this posting -- and he will -- you can just imagine the terrible terrifying impact it could have upon him.
And who can say for absolutely certain it isn't true? Did not Herbert Armstrong himself, that great false prophet, go blind before he died?
Or is that too subtle?
Robert Dick has always said that God has a flair for the dramatic.
Do note especially wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? That's a question that Meredith should consider very carefully.
UCG and LCG merge?
The Church Corporate doesn't work that way: UCG just bides its time and gets the rest of the sheep to complete the sheep stealing from the LCG of the past. Why, LCG members are already coming over and visiting the UCG. And why not? Their friends from the past association are all there.
The LCG can do nothing but lose, unless... unless... maybe there is something to that "Thou hast a name that thou art living but are dead" in Revelation. How very poignant. Especially for a blind false prophet.
Although these organizations such as the UCG and LCG may differ at a point in time regarding works, government and focus, they do have something in common: they are personality driven organizations. The UCG leaders know that when the strong personality of Rod Meredith goes away, his organization will fragment. I doubt that Meredith has any kind of a succession plan that anyone would take seriously. Why would the UCG not prepare to collect some of those fragments? The consolidation will be much helped by the UCG leaders appearing to develop a "talking relationship" with LCG leaders ahead of time. The consolidation will be much hindered by upstart leaders in the LCG who will want to capture a share of the tithe base. It would be good for the UCG leadership to know these names and their vulnerabilities ahead of time. Political Science 101.
How much of this merger talk (however real it may be) was stirred by how UCG's Michael Hanisko reached out to the Milwaukee LCG in March 2005?
I'm not so sure there was momentum for it before then.
Hey Gavin -
Thanks for publishing the original UCG statement. The invitation was made by LCG, not the other way around, and it was a long standing one at that. To read some of the other commentary floating around, you'd swear that an alien COG craft had landed in Charlotte, without warning, and they (LCG) were locked in defensive mode, shields up. Can't churches extend a few olive branches and exchange information of mutual interest anymore?
Merger? I highly doubt it, but LCG must have wanted something. Let's hope that the reciprocal visit to the UCG home office results in more detailed information forthcoming. Really folks... these are not nuclear proliferation secrets we're talking about!
Why didn't UCG send L. Sayler to Charlotte? He should know a lot of people in Living, I would think, from his past membership in Global.
This reminds me of Ezekiel 34 the whole chapter.
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