Thursday 5 July 2007

Same old Spanky

From Roderick C. Meredith to his client sheep:

Many of our ministers and leading brethren have sensed a spiritual "malaise" coming over quite a number of our brethren. Since nothing shocking seems to be happening on the surface—though much is happening just underneath the surface in world affairs!—some are letting down spiritually! Fervent prayer and real Bible study are lacking. And no doubt partly because of this, some brethren are losing their spiritual focus and are beginning to feel that God is "far off," that nothing much is happening in world affairs and that it is not really important that we are all truly committed to being part of the Work which Christ is using us to do.
Translation: Income is down.

They don't realize that we are being used in a unique manner to truly "warn" our peoples of the Great Tribulation and also to genuinely "feed" God's people with the "whole counsel of God" (Acts 20:27). Many "little groups"—here and there—have part of the Truth and are doing a "little" part of the Work. But where is Christ primarily working and where are His eyes focused today on the Church He is using to prepare for the coming Kingdom of God? Most of you understand.
Translation: Members are slipping away to competing tithe-croppers.
But some of our people are confused and weak, and some are also discouraged that several of our brethren are becoming seriously ill with various forms of cancer, heart disease, etc.
Translation: I'm not feeling all that well myself.

So our Headquarters team unanimously agreed that we should call a Church-wide fast for the Sabbath of August the 4th!
Translation: All my Yes Men nodded when I told them.

Read the whole thing here - minus the helpful but speculative attempt at translation - if you dare.

Poor old Rod. Every time something goes wrong, guess whose fault it is? Yes, you brethren have been getting Laodicean! Notice that the Grand High Poobah doesn't include himself in the backsliding. My question would be whether the saintly Presiding Evangelist will himself be fasting on the 4th. Obviously he doesn't seem to think he needs to, and longtime observers will remember Herbert Armstrong's reputation for drinking coffee on the Day of Atonement, which he shrugged off with a "well, I always said there was no nutritional value in cup of coffee!"

July 4th is Independence Day in the US (have a good one y'all!); maybe August 4th should be Spiritual Independence Day for those of us with a background in Armstrongism, a day to feast heartily in celebration of the freedom from abuse members of Meredith's sect have yet to embrace.


DennisDiehl said...

Malaise is the outcome of a Biblical world view based on "the sky is falling." The early church, whichever version one might choose, suffered the same thing but has failed to teach the lesson. Paul created the malaise in the NT by preaching the "time is short", when it wasn't, mantra. End time thinkers repeat the same pattern of:

Jesus said he'd be right back
(Behold I come quickly)

Some are noticing it's not so quick
(Faithless people ask: "Where is the promise of his coming?")

Not so quck for the faithful causes malaise
(Come on you guys, a day with God is like a thousand years and a thousand years as a day.)

Uh oh, some of us are dying as time passes
(Some of you are weak and some die--it's your fault somehow)

Uh oh, I'm getting old myself
(I have fought a good fight...I kept the faith--it's not my fault however.)

Leader dies.
(Satan is trying to discourage the church and God is giving the Church more time to perfect itself)

Second Generation takes over to maintain the organization for a bit longer. New leader restates..."Time is short."


Third Generation gives up. Organization tanks and remainging brethren scatter or decide religion is bunk

A authentically spiritual person is formed from the inside out and no longer needs organizations, worship days or formats, prophets, priests or apostles....and lives happily ever after.....the best they can without fear of falling into the hands of an angry god.

Gavin hits the nail right on the head. Anytime a COG chides the brethren for malaise, it's due to a noticed in a drop in income, which is how one measures malaise.

It's actually a decades long case of Time is Short fatigue.

DennisDiehl said...

RCM says:

"But some of our people are confused and weak, and some are also discouraged that several of our brethren are becoming seriously ill with various forms of cancer, heart disease, etc."

Followed by:

"Prayer Request: Please remember Mr. Keith Walden, pastor of the Albuquerque, New Mexico. He has been diagnosed with cancer in his throat that appears to have spread...." in about the worst personal taste one can imagine. I wish Keith the very very best in this health challenge, despite having to wonder if he might be doing something wrong...

unflipping believable LCG editing..and calling a church wide fast in the middle of July is brilliant too. Someone needs to tell RCM that even God goes to the mountains in July to get out of Charlotte in summer.

DennisDiehl said...

Oh well, it's July and I know everyone is gone somewhere else anyway...soooooo.

Shaking Down the Sheep

“So any adroit, unscrupulous fellow, who knows the world, has only to get among these simple souls and his fortune is quickly made; he plays with them.”
– Lucian of Samosata, "The Passing of Peregrinus." (2nd century AD

"So what did God do? He GAVE the very thing He needed – His only begotten Son, the best gift heaven could give! What did God receive? Yes, we know – billions of sons and daughters! God lives by His own law – you GIVE if you expect to RECEIVE!"
– Paul Crouch of the Trinity Broadcasting Network espouses the "theology" of fleecing the sheep on behalf of a needy God.

Or as we with the WCG past know full well. "God's way is the way of GIVE. Satan's way is that of GET." (hmmm..we should have thought that one over a bit when our giving was their getting.)

This is a bit like "let every man esteem OTHERS better than himself," and then wondering if I do that, how do others deal with their new status which they have to get rid of fast and put on someone else, who has to do the same, so EVERYMAN can have the appropriate low self esteem.

Hmmm, this sounds familiar too...

"Pastor Ted Haggard's true genius lies in his organizational hierarchy, which ensures ideological rigidity ... the pyramid of authority into which it orders its 11,000 members. At the base are 1,300 cell groups, whose leaders answer to section leaders, who answer to zone, who answer to district, who answer to Pastor Ted Haggard" – Harpers Magazine, May 2005.

Well so much for this guy..for now but Resurrections are common amongst the fallen.

Even the Gospel writers could not decide if the poor are blessed for being literally poor, (Luke 6:20) or being poor IN SPIRIT (Matthew 5:3) which opens many more possibilities of being both rich and poor at the same time. Well ok, it means the people can still be literally poor AFTER they give to the Church,which is not poor literally, but only in Spirit, which is good...:)

When I read RCM letter it's truly a case of the more things change, the more they stay the same.

OK, I'm going now to rub someone the right way...

Douglas Becker said...

In the last few days, I have taped two Living University Theology classes, made a very strong television program on overcoming Satan and his demons

As quoted in Matthew 7:15-16 Jesus said to beware of false prophets and by their fruit you shall know them.

One need only ask what is the fruit of the doings of Roderick Meredith and the rest of his power hungry, money grubbing commanders?

In examining the fruit of the doings of the LCG, it is not difficult to perceive the lies. Ask the question, "How are the children treated?". For that matter, how are the people treated? Are the victims being blamed? Is that what the fast is all about? Fast until you understand that you victims are all at fault?

For RM to video record instructions on how to overcome Satan and demons is useless, seeing as to how the fruit of his doing over the years makes it obvious that he is actively cooperating with them. Jesus asked "How will Satan cast out Satan?". The letter that RCM wrote seems to indicate that Living is infested with demons which have persuaded the people to let down, leaving the people weak, confused and sick. How do we fix this problem?

We have our answer.

Fast and everything will be just peachy again.

Perhaps the fast will do some good. It may bring the people an epiphany that they are in a cult and need to leave and... they don't like fasting -- it leaves them weak, confused and sick.

Unfortunately, only to his own council will he listen. He is frightened that if he were to tap into the collective wisdom of those who see the fruit of his doing, he would be horrified at his own conduct and be forced [choke, gasp] to repent. Fortunately for him, he is too stalwart a lad and he will hold on to his self-righteousness no matter what until the day he dies. Which might not be too long from now. He might die from fasting [a five day fast might be more effective]. But then, maybe he will have a cup of coffee anda donut "to keep his strength up" just as Herbert Armstrong did. [The Day of Atonement isn't enough, the troops have to fast in the middle of the summer too in all that heat as the people get all dehydrated, although it might not be so bad south of the Equator in NZ and Aussie Land.]

The fast is a good idea. It may reveal who the man of sin is. [Confidential to RM: Look in a mirror.]

Douglas Becker said...

I spoke personally to a minister last year who had been present in Global during some of those ministerial conferences. RM promised to be open to everyone and then took his select few into the back room with the door closed and left the other ministers wondering what they were all talking about. Severance likely.

The reality is that it would have been wonderful to be a part of something honorable and above reproach, filled with love, joy, peace, meekness and temperance. Instead, we were all pretty much subjected to extremes until pretty much had warped expectations of our lives and the life to come. There seemed to be no reality untouched by distorted perceptions. Extremism has always been the rule. The utter destruction of the United States is but one example. Fear, hate, revenge is everywhere. Paranoia is rampant. Extreme behavior, extreme results require extreme measures.

Peace peace and there is no peace.

It would have been wonderful to have participated with a group above reproach actually having substance.

It is never to be.

Embarrassment instead.

Douglas Becker said...

It must be great to have so much power and influence that the one in power doesn't have to treat anyone else with kindness and respect without consequences.

Anonymous said...

He follows in his father's (HWA) footsteps.

Not Christian - Never were.

Anonymous said...

Nice picture of rod.

But he still doesn't strike me as one that can inspire leadership and draw multitudes to His way even though he filled a gap between his teeth.

Maybe it's the deception that I see in his smile.

Lussenheide said...

Potential problems for LCG ?? (Based upon previous standards for the "Philadelphian Era" dating from 1934), afterall, we need to "recapture those true values"...

*Wearing of makeup at LCG

*Visiting Doctors

*Celebrating Birthdays

*Race Mixing

*Not having double services on the Day of Atonement

*Having sex in more than the 2 approved "missing dimension in sex" positions.

*Not counseling with ministers about minutae of life questions, ie, what color car to buy.

* Not using dichondra lawn at "HQ".

Actually, all joking aside, I have to give RCM credit for being somewhat progressive in moving past HWAs most extreme social/religious ideas. (as shown above)

The problem for guys like Meredith and Flurry is their ideas that if somehow you can recreate, verbatim, the past (past meaning a more successful era or time)then you recreate the success of that time.

So you get the mentality that if you simply recreate the WCG of 1957, you end up with the success of the WCG of 1957.

This is BAD thinking!

It goes on in the Muslim world as well. There, the mullahs believe that if they can just recreate the year 1150 AD both socially and politically, that they will be back in the "good ole days" of when Islam dominated.

Again, it doesnt translate into modern application.

Christiandom must continue to evolve to stay relevant to its audiences. Otherwise you remain stuck in time and increasingly irrelevant to the present. Im sure the Amish didnt seem all that weird back in 1795. But relative to can see the point.

LCG and RCM are relics. They are doing a marginal job in using "creative destruction" in creating a church that will be relevant for the next 100 years. They know this deep down. That is why the drumbeat of "its only a couple of more years" gets touted, because it avoids the more difficult question of creating a growing and relevant modern COG.


paladin said...


This is what you do best... actually better then any one on the internet, you report on what is happening in the Churches of God.

You are both obnoxious and relevant. Quite a good combination. :)

Do continue this kind of reporting!

DennisDiehl said...

The Apostle Paul says: I Cor 11:

29"For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep."

So they die for lack of faith and understanding of spiritual things.

But of course when he senses time for his own dirt nap, Paul says:

2 Tim. 4:6

"For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing."

The Apostle Paul became more compassionate when it came to himself. I'd not be surprised if "and not only to me..." was added later (or not) to clean up the insult to the previously faithless dead brethren.

So within the text we see that the lower down the chain to "brethren" you go, the more negative the reason for why death has overcome you. Those who seem to be somewhat, die for much more positive reasons, very faithful and noting their lives were immensely more important with giant rewards due.

They use the word "I" very often.
Too soon old, too late schmart perhaps.

Douglas Becker said...

Roderick Meredith is a most unfortunate man. Formed by circumstances he does not understand, he has gone down the dark path of assumptions, beginning with the assumption that he is basically right in everything that he says, does and believes.

This is a result of no accountability and never facing who and what he really is because he won't listen and no one will tell him. He had a brief exposure from Herbert Armstrong's letter of 1980 after Rod was sent to Hawaii. That was supposed to be punishment? The problem with the letter is that it described Herbert Armstrong himself just as well as Roderick Meredith. It may well be that RM realized that what Herbert Armstrong said about him applied as much or more to the End Time Apoplectic.

The situation is hopeless. Meredith will never see even glimpses of how inappropriate his treatment of other people really is. He's over seventy and his life is unlikely to change. It isn't like he is going to wake up one morning with an epiphany.

It wouldn't be so bad if he were just self delusional, but he's dragged innocent victims into his net of unwitting lies and deceits. Some grew up in it and are so surrounded by it that it pervades every waking moment for them in some manner or other.

It would make a huge difference if Roderick Meredith could only see himself for what he has become. Even a small glimpse in a psychic mirror might lead to a transformation.

As it is, as Sam Vaknin said, there is little reason for optimism:

"When the personality is rigid to the point of being unable to change in reaction to changing circumstances - we say that it is disordered. Such a person takes behavioral, emotional, and cognitive cues exclusively from others. His inner world is, so to speak, vacated. His True Self is dilapidated and dysfunctional. Instead he has a tyrannical and delusional False Self. Such a person is incapable of loving and of living. He cannot love others because he cannot love himself. He loves his reflection, his surrogate self. And he is incapable of living because life is a struggle towards, a striving, a drive at something. In other words: life is change. He who cannot change cannot live."

Anonymous said...

Excellent comments on this thread!

DennisDiehl said...

Douglas described the dysfunctional as:

"His True Self is dilapidated and dysfunctional. Instead he has a tyrannical and delusional False Self. Such a person is incapable of loving and of living. He cannot love others because he cannot love himself."

Would this also not describe what we have in print about the Apostle Paul. Paul was a man who had to "beat and keep himself into subjection..." He had no loving relationships and seemed not to need them. He wanted all men and women to be like himself...single, celebate and sexless.

Paul was a man who was not just a sinner, but the "chief sinner." He was an apostle, but the LEAST and born out of season. However in fact, he acted as the CHIEF Apostle, wished those who disagreed with him would mutilate themselves and was wont to curse those that challenged the Gospel HE brought to them.

He was also called from the womb like Jesus and Jeremiah. Peter, James and John were "reputed (so they say) pillars in the church, to him" but in fact, who they were made no difference to him, and they who supposedly walked and talked with Jesus, "added nothing to me." Not exactly a team player.
Splinters splinter because the splinterers are not team players and have to be in charge of it all themselves. I would love to have lunch with a full time minister for Dave Pack and see how they really felt about being the supply for his Apostle.

Paul declared himself a wretched man and did what he didn't want to do and couldn't do what he thought he should do. For him to live was a problem and to die and be with Christ was the more desireable. Living in the present was not his desire. He did not know how to live in the real world much either. Paul was either the best of the best (as a Pharisee) or the worst of the worst (as an Apostle) but don't cross him.

The Prophets, Paul, HWA, GTA, RCM, Dave Pack, and many one man shows in all religions, share all the same common undesirable traits. Narcissists and sociopaths, as we know, can rise to very great heights and responsibilities. But they all mislead, mispeak and misunderstand their own world.

The characters of the Bible, like the players today are just people and it's when they view themselves as more than that or even dramatically unworthy, we get into problems.

I spent a lifetime being so serious or trying to be about every last notable event on the planet. It wears you out and means nothing in the whole scheme of things that either work or don't and we have to regroup and go on.

COG type religions thrive on imminency and bad world events as proof of "time is short," when in fact it proves that time is merely passing you by if we live for "soon," "just ahead," "very near," and such. What a waste of life.

Neotherm said...

C.S. Lewis wrote; "If the Divine call does not make us better, it will make us very much worse. Of all bad men, religious bad men are the worst."

I am not exactly sure where to place RM in the Rogue's Gallery. He seemed to be in disfavor with Pasadena for much of the last few decades of his WCG tenure.

While I regard RM as a conserative, I heard an arch-conserative make a viscous attack on RM in Big Sandy back in the Seventies. He blamed RM for the withdrawl from the WCG of certain blessings by God because RM had sought medical treatment. I was stunned to hear this public pronouncement. In this circumstance RM might be characterized as a liberal.

What really taxes my belief is that RM can use the same weary formula for bringing in money that HWA used and RM's congregation seems not to be able to recognize this. How many times do you buy the Brooklyn Bridge?

-- Neo

Anonymous said...

I too will have to post under 'anonymous' now because at least that works, it seems
Most firewalls block relogging onto this Google service. It's a dreadful user hostile service.

Anonymous said...

Splinters go hungry for a bit and beg God for money to get through the doldrums of summer. Joe Tkach and his six friends reprint decade old articles for the brain dead and has been laughing all the way to the bank since God had his house sold out from under him because Jesus did another miracle.

You gotta love religion....

Anonymous said...

Current LCG article:

San Francisco Earthquake: Lessons 100 Years Later

By Rod McNair (LCG Minister)

Without even reading the article, one already knows the progression and the point.

1. History of the San Fran Earthquake

2. Bible references to earthquakes and the end times.

3. Throw in some Hurricane and Tsunami stuff to bring the point up to present

4. Know the earthquakes and such were a warning from God

5. Quote some 2000-2500 year old scriptures on the signs of the soon to come end.

6. Send for your free booklets

7. Also read..Davy Crockett's next "World's Dumbest Ideas"
...."Earthquakes and Tsunamis are caused by plate tectonics..oh Brother"

Douglas Becker said...

Just a thought: Religions which spend too much time in the Old Testament don't seem to make much out of the New. Autocratic manipulative regimes seem bent on controlling their congregations as if they are ancient Israelites without the Holy Spirit and have to have a Moses to lead them because they do not know right from wrong.

Men who set themselves up as leaders in these environments do not trust their people to be "converted" but seem intent in creating Pharisaical do's and don'ts which will set boundaries around people so they will not sin.

If the people are truly converted [if you believe in such things], they will be led by the Holy Spirit demonstrating the fruit of the spirit and not need Pharisees to sit in the seat of Moses.

Those of Roderick Meredith's ilk keep trying to stuff new wine into the old wine bottles because it would seem that they have no faith that God is in charge and thus insult the sacrifice of their savior.

Just a thought.

One wonders when kindness will break forth as the first light of dawn to warm the hearts and draw the children to a more perfect way of love and peace.

If Meredith really wants to have his people fast, then do a complete job: Begin a 40 day fast on August 4th. That should sort things out.

Anonymous said...

I think the problem is writing down religious ideas, killing animals for human sins, then people, making up a bunch of rules on how to stay clean and giving your brain to a Priesthood.

Pretty much all downhill from there for the next several thousand years.

Anonymous said...

Meredith's attempt to validate & differentiate his group from the competing splits is pathetic and falls flat. Dave Pack is much more convincing at selling himself as the true anointed continuation of undiluted Armstrongism.

We knew this day would come when Meredith's thin slice of the COG pie would slip below critical mass and become irrelevant. His group never really recovered from the Brookfield Massacre.

Anonymous said...

I remember President Carter giving his malaise speech and making that word popular. You couldn't buy gas
inflation was up. He ended up losing the next election.