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!
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Hey, Santa is bringing me just what I wanted for Christmas -- more COG theatrics! First Pack announces 144k explanation, then this. What bounty.
It's interesting that, as far as I can tell, Thiel has not commented on this. Wonder why he's holding back?
Gary Scott wrote: ...Thiel has not commented on this. Wonder why he's holding back?
Dig deep :-)
You can find Bob Thiel's comments under the section: News of Those Once Affiliated with the Global Church of God and not LCG news.
He probably delayed comment since the letter was addressed to the ministry and not to the membership (or public). From what I've observed over the years, that would be consistent with his style of reporting COG news.
Wasn't it a sermon by Charles Bryce that Terry Ratzmann was said to have walked out on the week before his murder spree in March of 2005?
It looks like a bunch of kids arguing who's most like HWA: "I am!" "No, you're not, I am!" "You're not, either; I am!" "I've got the 18 truths!" "Well, that's nothing, I've got Mystery of the Ages, so there!" "I spent more time with him than you did!" "Well, my Work's more like his than yours is!"
Who cares??!! Some of these folks criticize the Catholics for their deference to the Pope, but if they were Catholics, they would have canonized HWA and they'd be praying to him as St. Herbert Armstrong of Pasadena! Gimme a break!
Frankly, folks need to reread I Corinthians 3 (which also, last time I checked, doesn't mention HWA even once!).
For Christians, the Author and Finisher of our faith is Jesus Christ, not *any* man, dead or alive. Men -- and women -- can be helpers of our joy. Absolutely! But we should look *only* to God and not put any man -- or woman -- on a pedestal. All men have feet of clay. So why don't these folks quit using HWA as their standard and look to the true Standard: the stature of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:13). He's the one they should try to emulate.
Here here!! You said exactly what I was thinking.
Frankly, folks need to reread I Corinthians 3 (which also, last time I checked, doesn't mention HWA even once!).
1 Corinthians 3? What could possibly be of interest to us in that chapter?? Certainly not this:
"For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? For when one says, 'I follow Paul,' and another, 'I follow Apollos,' are you not mere men?"
Oh, but that doesn't apply to us in LCG, because we're not worldly, you see. We are following the one true leader that Jesus Christ is using to spearhead His Work! It's everybody else who declares "I am of Gerald" and "I am of Dave." They just don't get it!
So this scripture really applies to everyone else, when you understand. And so does this one:
"So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future -- all are yours, and you are of Christ and Christ is of God."
Why, that would mean -- naw. That would mean that church members don't really belong to Meredith or Flurry or Pack or any other leader! In fact, it would mean they belong to us!
...that's not what Mr. Armstrong taught. So it can't possibly be.
Whew. For a moment there, it looked like I might actually have to seriously question my worldview.
Oh! How many times did i sit and listen to Bryce chuckle about how simple it would be for everyone if they would just follow church government. There just would not be all these problems and different churches etc.
Now it sounds like he is just like the rest of them before that could not get that very simple church government thingy.
Of course as written by others here on this blog, using a faulty measuring stick in the first place will always get you into trouble.
And yes Bryce gave one of his usual abrasive sermons when Terry Ratzman left and then came back a few weeks later to shoot those people in Wisconsin.
I agree, there is nothing like a
GOOD OLD STIR. Helps sort people out.
Whilst this may not be the place for it, I need some help to find a rhyming word. I intend having BREWERY as the last word in a line and I need a word to rhyme with it.
Can one of your kind bloggers help out.
Congratulations to the "TEAM".
The standard of CYNICISM is exceeding its normal DISGUSTING HIGH QUALITY. It must be something about the season, methinks.Goodwill to men (and women) and all that sort of wonderful beneficent philosophy.
Three cheers, sorry, THREE BEERS for Charles Bryce. In this matter he surely is the RIGHT CHARLIE.
Perhaps the LIVING church of God should be re-named the LOVING church of GOD.Look at all the fraternal love that is flowing right now from them.
When I read your latest, "Exchange of Fire", I thought you had renamed the penultimate blog.But you hadn't. Phew!! Rhymes with Doctor Who??
Reverting to the wonderful and hallowed name,Armstrong,did not HWA write that it was derived from the French, "FORTINBRAS", sorry
FOR-TIN-BRAS....GTA would have been familiar with the latter orthographical arrangements.
lil' john wrote, Dig deep :-) You can find Bob Thiel's comments under the section: News of Those Once Affiliated with the Global Church of God and not LCG news.
Ah -- that makes sense. I didn't think to look there since Bryce left the LCG. I looked at the other two main pages, but I didn't think Thiel would hide it like he did. Perhaps I'll call him out on it over at XCG...so he can respond on his site...
Go, Gary, go!
I thought to wish all our cousins and brethren in the splinter groups a MERRY YULETIDE SEASON.That is, until I received a missive from United.
United have asked me not to send any of my "spiritual" doggerel.I have FAILED badly in my attempts to show them that there is MORE in heaven and earth than they have dreamt of in their philosophy.
We notice a distinct lack of humour and other essential biological functions amongst the sobersides breakaways of COG. One gets the feeling they will only laugh when their respective Fuehrers say so.
They may detract from Xmas Day but it is just as much a sin to have a "substitute" for the same. RANK HYPOCRITES.
Oh well, back to,the rosary and consecrated wine.
Greetings, to all the UNCONVERTED and GREAT UNWASHED out there who have hardly heard of the name of DOCTOR WHO?
Ah the unanimity,the cohesiveness of Living,the outpouring of Christian love,the agape.Truly,they show by their actions they are indeed disciples.
What vision,what perspicuity,what profundity of understanding.How can we doubt their sincerity?
Did Rod ask for his usual seasonal present this year? I don't remember seeing it.Perhaps they gave him his bonus in advance.
All such as are of a liberal disposition should send their offerings to Ambassador Watch for onforwarding at a suitable date.Please add a $20 HANDLING FEE.
And may the BLESSINGS of this pagan season be with you,and whatever you do in it,doit with ALL YOUR MIGHT as the good book exhorts.
And may all your glasses be upraised for ROD,that champion of free-thinking.
I just got back from a business trip, during which I had no access to the internet. Strangely, just last week, myself and some of my fellow "usual suspects" had gotten ourselves in trouble with some of the posters on a forum for using the term "Armstrongite" as a pejorative. Naturally, I found it hilarious to find that Rod Meredith apparently also considers this to be an appropriate descriptive term!
What's even stranger is the fact that I have come to the conclusion that his usage of this term is totally legitimate, in fact, just as legitimate as my own usage of it. In Dr. Meredith's case, I am sure that he sees himself as being progressive, and his own understanding as "growing". One can see and understand why he would consider persons or groups who actively seek to emulate HWA in every possible way as being Armstrongites! If one attempts to emulate Christ, that person is called a Christian. If one attempts to imitate HWA, he or she truly is an Armstrongite. It all relates to focus, personality cults, and the perceptiveness of the individual "follower"
I think he was casting the term "armstrongism" towards bryce's soon-to-be group, not classifying LCG as it.
re-read and think about it.
I must say, after reading all of these posts, they certainly smack with the brotherly love that everyone seems content to criticize LCG for not having. I really dont even know what this blog is, I only came to see the letters posted between the two ministers, so I cant rightly say that you guys arent acting christian if I dont know that you are christian or not.
oh well, thanks for the info.
This blog is a very good source of information. Personally, I find it perfectly natural to visit here to learn the very latest about all of the WCG splinter groups.
I did pick up on Dr. Meredith's intentions and meanings when he used the term "Armstrongism". Still, by some definitions of that term, many would also consider it to apply to LCG, despite the relative progressiveness of LCG. By contrast, there is no question that PCG or RCG are pure "Armstrongism", since they obviously place more emphasis on strict imitation of HWA than of Jesus!
I can't speak for other bloggers here, but I happen to be Christian Agnostic. This means that I have no idea whether God or Jesus exist, but the story and example of Jesus (even if fictional)provide some revolutionary examples of loving behavior, good ethics, and morality.
Mr. Grace has posted new information on his web page and also anyone interested can hear Mr. Ames' sermon that he gave in Arkansas December 16 about Mr. Bryce and othe matters.
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