Saturday, January 26, 2013

Living Church of God: We Deserve To Have Your Estate Instead Of Your Heretic Relatives

From a reader here:

Your post regarding the COG minister's demanding of money reminded me of this from the Jan-Feb Living Church News article written by Rod the Charlottain:

"Brethren, I want to strongly encourage all of you to genuinely go “all out” in backing the very Work Christ is doing through us on this earth today! I know that most of you are doing this. But many do “let down”—especially after the Feast when the income for Gods Work often drops for a number of weeks. But above and beyond that, I not long ago received a letter from one of our fine ministers who has in recent times had the experience of several older people dying in his congregational areas.

It's guilt trip time.  Sure some may be slacking in tithing, but many are struggling to make ends meet.  When they read stuff like this it is an automatic guilt trip laid upon them.  What they are telling the members is this: “It's YOUR fault that the income is down. “ “It is up to YOU to change it.”

This very sincere and serving minister—not a “money grubber”—wrote me: “Of them all, two were moderately wealthy. Neither looked or acted wealthy but they were farmers and left quite an inheritance. One left $300,000 and a nice home, the other left 300 acres with quite a bit of nice river frontage. At $1,500 per acre that would be $450,000. At $2,000 per acre that would be $600,000. This is why I mention it. The one man said strongly the one thing he wanted to avoid was having his stepchildren, who seemed to hate him, inherit. He left no will, so of course the stepchildren got it all. Dr. Meredith, I feel we are missing a special opportunity by not bringing the possibility of leaving all or part of their inheritance to the attention of the Church.”

If God says his blessings are showered upon the "just" and the "unjust," why would a minister be worried about step children receiving an inheritance?   It’s none of the ministers business whether or not someone inherits property.

Brethren, following through on this suggestion from this fine minister, I would like to take the opportunity now to encourage many of you who are growing older to think about giving a good part or all of your estate to the Work of the living God. Many of you, no doubt, would like to do this but “simply have not gotten around to it. Many want to do it, as this one man said—but simply put off making out a will so that your intentions will be carried out when you die. Gods word encourages responsibility and wise estate planning. A good man leaves an inheritance to his childrens children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous (Proverbs 13:11). Pray that God will give you wisdom in planning for how your assets may be helpful to your children— and to Gods Church—after you die. And it is important that you think about this, because if you just “do nothing your estate may go to people who will not appreciate what you are leaving behind, or it may even go to the state and be part of the budget of some government treasurer to use as he desires!

The church is just as ungrateful for estate inheritances as the ungrateful relatives may be.  In the past estates that were given to the church were used to remodel evangelists homes.    Diamonds, jewelry and other gifts were regularly taken by certain department heads and kept as their own or sold off and pocketed the money themselves.  Believe it or not they actually bragged about this. 

As the end of this age approaches, each one of us needs to focus on the profound statement Jesus Christ our Savior made in the Sermon on the Mount, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:19–21).

This is laughable coming from Rod Meredith.  This is the man who used third tithe money to remodel his million dollar home on Waverly Drive decades ago.  This is the man who had valuable works of art and treasures of the church in his office.   It is also laughable considering how the Church of God has always been obsessed with laying up treasures.  Look at the hundreds of millions of dollars in fine art, gold, silver, crystal, that the Church bought to furnish homes and offices with.  It was and always has been about MORE.  More offices, more TV stations, more buildings, more students, more members, more magazines, more cars, more jets, ad naseum........

If we truly have our “heartsin Gods Work, we will obviously want to give generously! This should not be a mystery to any of us. So we should each think about how we can best do this. A wonderful example as a “hero of the faith was Raymond Jorgensen, the Iowa farmer who willed his entire farm with the buildings and equipment and everything to Gods Work enabling us to move to our new Headquarters in North Carolina! Some of you remember his wonderful example. By giving that entire property—which was valued at nearly a million dollars—he certainly indicated to our Father in heaven exactly where he stood! His wonderful gift will never be forgotten by me, nor by many of us who are profoundly thankful that God put this action into his mind and heart.

Again this translates for those who cannot give a lot that it is their fault they are lacking in money.  If they would only step out in faith and write that big check then God will bless them doubly for it.  In other words, they are lacking in faith.   In faith you can give your entire estate to the church and write off any relatives.

Obviously, those of us who can help the Work in this way will certainly be honoring God and a genuine reward will be given us from the God who gives all of us life and breath. He will never forget what you are trying to do in leaving Him—through His Work—much or all of what you have accumulated during this short human life time. You know your own personal family situation, and you know your own heart. So, you know what is appropriate in your circumstances.

Those who give more to the church will be given more by God later on.  Maybe you will be ruler over two cities instead of one.  Or, God of two planets instead of one.  God will doubly bless you for being so generous.  Apparently God is really hard up that he needs you to leave estates to him.

Please think about it and pray about it—and, if you wish to do this—take action before it is too late. Even now, I hear from time to time about brethren who left the Worldwide Church of God many years ago, but failed to update their wills, and when they died their families were shocked to see bequests go to an apostate group from which they had departed years ago. So, if necessary, be sure to update your will. If you need help in this, or in other aspects of planning your bequest to the Church, I urge you to contact our Legal Affairs Department at Headquarters. For contact information, please note the box at the end of this article." [end of article quotation]

Brethren!  Please make sure that the Living Church of God is in your will and NOT an APOSTATE Church of God!  Don’t give your estate to Gerald Flurry or Dave Pack!  

The reader from here continues with this:

It reminded me of the following two items from history:

"Orthodox Christians defended slavery as part of the divinely ordained hierarchical order. Passages in the Bible support the institution of slavery:

    Both the bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever. [Leviticus 25:44-46]"

2) from the book A SHORT HISTORY OF THE INQUISITION by  By Kessinger Publishing pp. 230-231:

“’After the death of a heretic they (the inquisitors) can confiscate the property he held, depriving his heirs of it, although his condemnation may have been prior to his decease.’ That is, when a man was dead the Inquisition could denounce and condemn him, attaint his children, and confiscate the property they had inherited. ‘And though it be an incontrovertible rule in civil law that with death ends all criminal action, that law is not held valid in causes of heresy, it being so serious a crime; and thus proceeding may be carried on against heretics after they are dead, declaring them as such, to confiscate their property (ad finem confiscandi), and taking it from its owners although it may have passed through many hands, applying it for the benefit of the Holy Office.’ Did any system ever furnish such facility for the work of sacerdotal (priestly) thieves?”


Douglas Becker said...

Proverbs says that a good man gives an inheritance to his children's children.

You should pass on giving any of your money to proven false prophets.

Anonymous said...

LCG seems to be getting desperate for money since Bob Thiel's departure. I wonder just how big a tither Prophet Bob really was, and how many other tithe slaves he took with him?

Meredith admits at the end of his January 2013 member letter that LCG's income is way down, and if he admits it at all you can be sure the reality is worse than he is letting on:

Please Be Unusually Generous

Rumor is that LCG's income stream has dropped by about 10 percent since Thiel left. No wonder Meredith wants your grandchildren's inheritances for himself.

Anonymous said...

It's as if Meredith somehow doesn't realize that his family isn't the only one in LCG that doesn't really believe all the crap HWA taught.

Meredith stays because he's the chief beneficiary of the con. But why do other LCG members stay around long after they have stopped believing? Many people love their families and stay around in dying religious cults out of inertia and because they've invested too much of their life energy to make a fresh start away from all they have known.

Look for example at the Unification Church, now in its death throes after the death of Sun Myung Moon. Here's one ex-member's assessment:

Many LCG members know that most of Meredith's own family members aren't true believers. Why doesn't this bother them? Because many LCG members aren't true believers themselves! They're in because of long-standing social ties and inertia.

In that environment, it is ridiculous for Meredith to expect LCG members to give their inheritances to LCG instead of to their own children. Nobody can seriously think Meredith himself will do this, when he has a younger wife and six children all hoping for their share of Dad's cult nest egg.

Unfortunately for LCG members, Meredith learned his craft at the feet of HWA, who made an art form of berating WCG members to hand over their money. It's all he knows how to do, even if deep down he knows he won't deprive his own children of their inheritances, and he can't expect most members to do it either.

Anonymous said...

I recently left LCG but still get the newsletter. I was disgusted at what I read! The same newsletter had a article on the last page about why it is better to give to the church than non profit organizations. This only enhanced my decision to leave.

Anonymous said...

And what pray tell does the Law say about inheritance? Yes, I'm talking about the same Bible Law LCG etc claim to uphold when it suits them, but when it comes to acquiring someone else's hardearned wealth and property for nothing they undermine it with the well worn excuse of "doing God's Work"! Well doesn't it say that fathers shouldn't alienate the firstborn son even though he may harbor a personal dislike for the son's mom or a preference for his 2nd wife (Deut 21:15-17)? And shouldn't property be distributed to the next of kin if there were no children (Num 27:9-11)? It seems Meredith's tactics are akin to those the prophet Micah condemned: "You cheat a man of his property, stealing his family's inheritance" (2:2). He instils a fear of having your family estate handed over to the State to form a part of the budget of some government treasurer and be used as he sees fit, and thus insinuates it'd be better if your inheritance is transferred to the Church (or "to God") even though this is something to be equally feared IMO as it'd be misused just the same!

Anonymous said...

Will your inheritance to your children, grandchildren, or other relatives. They need it more then any church. Didn't Jesus say that the rocks would proclaim the gospel if no human would. Why do they even need our money?

Anonymous said...

stuff like that gives blogs like this all the ammo they need to blast "the church", and I can't say that I blame you.

you do a service, of sorts, pointing out the behavior of clowns passing themselves off as God's ministers.

fortunately for all of us, God's Church isn't like that.

there is a house cleaning coming.

Byker Bob said...

As usual, they seem to reduce a complex situation to the most simplistic, and also as usual, to their benefit.

Do they even take time to learn whether some of the surviving relatives are impoverished, or sickly, therefore deserving at least a modicum of consideration?

What about the discussion of korban as it relates to caring for relatives?

I'm guessing that, as is common in Armstrongism, their all purpose paradigm is "let the dead bury the dead."


Head Usher said...

When normal nonprofits actively fundraise, they always do it for a specific project, and people can choose to contribute or not depending on their belief in the project. Not so here. This is just so that we can pay ourselves nice salaries and afford to continue our media efforts in the quest for even more suckers like you!

From my point of view, this is just unconscionable, transparent, money-grubbing. So much for avoiding the appearance of evil.

Anonymous said...

i remember hearing him and others talk about righteous men leaving an inheritance to their children and childrens children. I guess they only then are righteous. Why does he not sell his house? No wonder the guy in WI went nut. Additionally, how on earth do they know every nickle and dime this one guy had left when he died, down to his price per acre? It was mentioned just before the WI tragedy that a sermon was given at the FOT in WI where LCG leaders were saying you should not even have a retirement, yet these guys all own homes. The rip off continues.

Anonymous said...

"fortunately for all of us, God's Church isn't like that."

IMHO, fortunately for all of us, the judeochristian god is just as real as Zeus, Jupiter, and Osiris, and this probably means he doesn't have a church.

Redfox712 said...

That was unspeakably awful. How dare you, Meredith. To make LCG members feel guilty and that they need to give their inheritance to LCG is horrific and inexcusable.

This is abusive behavior.

These COGs love to say they live by faith but this is how these COG ministers work: coerce people into giving them money.

Many LCG members have already spent lots of money attending the Feast of Tabernacles, Meredith should anticipate a drop in income because of this. Even under HWA income tended to go down after Christmas (that's probably why he banned it.)

To paraphrase a commenter on Ambassador Watch, if Meredith was smart he would anticipate this drop in income and budget LCG accordingly. But he is an idiot so he just whines and complains when it comes down. And even tries to coerce LCG members into throwing their inheritance away to the group!

It reminds me very much of Dave Pack's infamous Clarion Call sermon, or HWA's many pleadings for more money from his eternally abused flock.

It makes me sick.

Redfox712 said...

To build on what Anonymous 3:17 said here is what Meredith wrote in his January 15 co-worker letter:

"Our income has fallen somewhat at the beginning of the year, and I personally ask you to be unusually generous as best you can."

Can it really be possible that Bob Thiel's departure caused a 10% drop in income?

It would be hilariously pathetic if that is the case. It would demonstrate how dependent LCG had grown upon that idiot Bob Thiel.

Thiel was a major reason why I aligned myself with LCG. I saw the competing claims made by other COGs like UCG and PCG. I found it very hard to learn the differences between them or to judge which COG I should align myself with. I found Thiel and he persuaded me through his writings that LCG was the one true church. I cannot be the only one to have fallen into his snare.

Though even if Thiel caused the 10% drop and still will not mean they will support him. I think only a very few will follow that pathetic bragger.

Redfox712 said...

How many attended LCG's FOT?

The Living Church News magazine also had reports about the Feast of Tabernacles.

I counted up the number of who attended and came up with the figure of:

7645 attended LCG's Feast of Tabernacles.

4124 in the US.

The true number will be larger because a few sites did not report how many attended.

Also, no doubt many of those attending are children and dependents. Most likely they are counted as attending the Feast of Tabernacles but they would not be regarded as LCG members.

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

Redfox712 said, “It makes me sick.”

MY COMMENT: It makes me sick too, and I started to post yesterday on this topic but I couldn’t because it upset me so much. The HWA/WCG model was to suck the financial life out of its members as an income stream to the Church for a lifetime under threat of Lake of Fire eternal damnation. Then, while spending a lifetime being tithe slaves to the Church, the WCG every year made a point to remind members to include the Church in their wills. In my mind, leaving estates to the Church and thereby disinheriting family is the final act of disdain for the individual member by a corrupt, abusive personality cult.

I appreciated those that quoted the Bible which speaks directly to how the LCG is acting contrary to biblical principles regarding estates and inheritances.

This post topic strikes very close to home for me personally as my mother, a LCG member, passed away several years ago. When I first read NO2HWA’s post, I thought the Meredith letter quote was referring to my own mother – she owned a farm. She left WCG when the multi millionaire little Joey Tkach changed the church doctrines and she followed the idiot Meredith into GCG and then into LCG. I was shocked to learn how much money LCG siphoned off from my mother over the many years. There should be a plaque in LCG headquarters honoring my mother and her contributions to LCG over the many years.

Shortly after her death, I sent the idiot Meredith a letter requesting him to remove my mother’s name from his mailing list; to inform him of my mother’s death and that his monthly cash flow just went down!


Anonymous said...

All the Armstrongist cults by refusing to repent and reform their beliefs and practices like the UNBIBLICAL doctrine of tithing for instance or their neverending apocalyptic cries that "the end is nigh" for America or their neverending infomercial-like pleas for prove the truth of the words in 2 Peter 2:3 that are clear throughout the history and tactics of HWA/WCG all the way down to today with UCG/COGWA/LCG/PCG/CGG/RCG/CCG etc:

"In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money" (NLT)

"In their greed they will exploit you with deceptive words" (ISV)

"And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you" (KJV)

I only wish I WOKE UP sooner when, in the mid-90s as a young and naive teen, I was told by a guy I worked with, and whose whole family had just left the WCG, the painful truth that "All the church wants is your money!" True back then and sadly still remains true today!

Velvet said...

"fortunately for all of us, God's Church isn't like that.

there is a house cleaning coming."

You have some inside info, anonymous? Or just blowing (more) hot air? Because I highly, highly, doubt that any of the splinter groups are going to gain any traction at all...and there's no way, short of ACTUAL divine intervention, that the "denominational leadership" of WCG/GCI is going to turn back to God any time soon.

Not to mention the fact that a small subset of the ministers in the Church are now apparently running a 5th column scam on some of the more deluded faithful...all the while teaching said "true believers" things that neither the Bible nor the Church ever taught anyone, anywhere, ever. I.e., they teach that salvation is solely by works alone, you function in this Church by actively judging others, our leader fulfills the prophecy of Deut. 18:18 instead of, oh, you know, that being a prophecy about some guy named JESUS, but no wait our new "hidden apostle" whom we worship is really MOSES gets worse, trust me.

Then the icing on the cake was finding out all of the ministers (including their "Moses") running this little scam are actually Evangelical heretics, who believe the changes completely, hook, line, and sinker. (So, whether or not this little scheme has Junior's tacit knowledge or implicit approval, remains unknown...but seems unfortunately likely.) Those "true believers" are in for a VERY rude awakening, let me tell you...though I personally think the ministers in question are operating on the "you can boil a frog alive by raising the temperature slowly enough" theory.

Besides which, we are at least (at LEAST) a hundred years from TEOTWAKI according to the Hebrew calendar anyway....So, sorry, no day of reckoning for the Church yet, anon, and probably there won't be one even in either of our lifetimes; we are all just making our way through, the best that we can.