Friday 15 July 2016

The Fasting Strategy

Gary has a great post up about the LCG's recently announced "church-wide fast" for July 30. In LCG, when the going gets tough the Presiding Evangelist announces a fast and the chorus of yes-men shout amens and hosannas.

It's a long-standing strategy in LCG, the most fast-obsessed COG sect I know of. There was, for example, the March 2007 fast. Here's a comment from the AW archives:
Saturday March 28 is also, apparently, a designated fast for members of the Living Church of God. Exactly why isn't immediately apparent. Guru Rod Meredith calls these things with little reason, other than perhaps whether he's feeling a bit depressed. Rod is on the wane, mind and body are letting him down - alas, the fate of all who are fortunate and blessed enough to live a life to their three-score and ten and beyond. What to do? Let's call on the brethren to share the misery! That'll show God that we're good people and deserve a break!

The whole concept is infantile. What's more, it's introverted. It does nothing for anybody outside the ghetto. I suppose it does help shore up the sense of identity, specialness and separateness from the wicked world - and those in deviant Laodicean pseudo-COGs. But then, is that a good thing?
Then there was the August 2007 fast... hardly time to recover from March. Again, a comment from the archives:
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!"
How many fasts has Rod called since then? Most of us have given up counting. Is this one any different. Read Gary's piece and the answer is pretty apparent.

Rod however should fast. He's the one who rattled his tonsils irresponsibly on the Scarborough affair, pulling his church into the legal quicksand. He's the one who consistently ignores the sage advice in James 3:1-12. Somebody should frame that passage and place it in a prominent place in Rod's office where he can be constantly reminded of it.


Byker Bob said...

These days, he's probably feeling a bit like our American comedian, another Rod, Rodney Dangerfield! You know, "no respect!" And Rod probably blames the internet. But, back in the day, we used to mock him mercilessly in the AC dorms, creating little skits from all of his stupid, Tourette-like utterances in class that day. Well, at least our class got away with that. I feel sorry for the students that came along after the administration got paranoid and began "bugging" the dorms.

Really, the only way I can see LCG making it through the current lawsuit would be somebody we all know claiming non compos mentis.


Redfox712 said...

From John Tuit, The Truth Shall Set You Free, Chapter 7, discussing a letter by HWA around the time of Garner Ted Armstrong's expulsion from WCG.

"Then, further on in the letter, still claiming to be a special representative of Jesus Christ, Armstrong said, "Therefore in HIS NAME, as His apostle, I am calling for a day of FASTING AND PRAYER throughout the entire Worldwide Church of God on Sabbath, June 24th." The calling of a fast by Herbert Armstrong was always an effective way to cause the Church membership to feel as though they were responsible for the problems in the Church. Armstrong, of course, never did anything wrong. The reasons for the problems were always, according to him, a result of God withdrawing his blessings from the Church due to the spiritual laxity on the part of the Church membership. Translated, spiritual laxity means inadequate financial support. Actually this entire matter of a fast was part of a conditioning process to prepare the membership for the next event soon to take place; it was all to set the stage for an announcement that would be made to the membership the following Sabbath which would cover the events of the intervening week."

Anonymous said...

If Roderick Meredith were to die from fasting, at least one problem would be solved.

Byker Bob said...

One question that somehow was never asked or answered in the Armstrong movement (seriously, no pun intended!) was whether it is OK to take an enema during a spiritual fast, such as on the Day of Atonement. Fasting can cause constipation, and one would think that removing the resulting toxins might help one to think more clearly.