It was in Chicago the next year I began to learn about following the minister and doing what your were told either in your personal life or as lead by "the minister" who ultimately knew more about the Bible than you ever could. I was the understudy, so to speak, of a Regional Director who brought me into Chicago because he liked my grades in his Epistles of Paul Class. That's where I learned to babysit, wash minister's cars, show up at all hours of the day and night and hang out at the YMCA. I learned to drink in Chicago. I learned to rate ministers as liberal or conservative, HWA men or prone to GTA. It's where I learned NEVER to go through the door ahead of the RD and never to leave the sauna before the RD as "I might have something important you need to hear." It was a freaking mess and I wanted out. Dave Pack came back into the ministry in Chicago and I really wanted out.
To make a long story short, all hell broke loose in Chicago in 1974, ministers were spying on ministers and taking license plate numbers at secret meetings that I had no clue I was attending. LOL I knew I was attending but I did not know they were secret. I got fired one day in a phone call for guilt by association. Drove home to NY to see my parents and got rehired explaining I had no clue what the hell was going on. I still believed in what I perceived as my calling and spiritual perspectives. I got transferred to Eire, Pa but on the way got a call to turn South and head to Findlay, Ohio where I spent 8 nice, leave me alone years, with wonderful folk. Of course, the Corporate Church and "ministers to be followed," were into one damn scandal after the next and that is where I learned the fine art of denial.
In my experience, it was not uncommon for members from surrounding areas calling or writing and asking for help on how to cope with their ministers. They called me to help them cope with Ron Weinland, Ron Reedy and Dave Pack. They called to pour out stories about how they were treated by a now Evangelist for LCG. I always asked it they had talked to their minister personally about the problem or hurt. By the time they called, the answer was always, "yeah right...not doing that again." It's also fascinating to me that these same types of austere or "don't you know who I am," types are STILL the ministers in the splinters. They got PROMOTED and life is good. Go figure....
The now LCG Evangelist who I replaced here in Greenville evidently felt women should not ask questions in church and should only ask their husbands Bible questions. At least this is what one woman told me as she tested me on this issue when first arriving. She asked if she could ask me questions whenever she wanted and that she had been told she could only ask her husband. (It is in the Bible actually and worthy of edit or errasure). I asked her why she would ask me such a thing. She said, because "I want answers and my husband is stupid." Again...hilarious and I said to ask me whatever, whenever.
Where are the brakes within such churches as Gerald Flurry's PCG or Dave Pack's RCG? Why are there NO demands for accountability, balance and applying the principle of there being wisdom in the multitude of counsel when these types of men get their big ideas going at the expense of everyone else? Can't they see what is going to come of all this ridiculous theology so called? What's with Restored Church of God current members who can't speak up? You can't tell me they ALL believe everything Dave can come up with about himself and how the Bible points to him in his narrow and theologically under educated world. Of course the answer is , "He'd disfellowship me." Why can't you say "So what"?
I will tell you plainly that the Dave Pack's and Gerald Flurrys of religion are just men with strange and often weird ideas about themselves and theology. They are neither special or insightful beyond measure. They may be loud or they may be intimidating, but they are just men. They may throw scripture around as if they were Peter, James, John or Paul in the flesh but they are just men. I guarantee you, Gerald Flurry is not "that Prophet" of Malachi nor is Dave Pack any real incarnation or fulfillment of Haggai's Joshua. Herbert Armstrong was not really any end-time Zerubbabel nor was he any Elijah to come. That is just theological bullshit. Both concepts and personal beliefs are stupid beyond measure and outside of their own followers all you'd hear from real theologians would be, 'they said what? You're kidding me?" In a very small and controlled world you lose your sense of self and all too often your common sense.
I'm not against leadership. I'm against stupid. I'm not against being organized for a common good. I am against being herded. I am not against ministers and pastors. I'm against those who are anything but helpers of people's joy and servants above all else.
Reading your stuff 'cause you're just not right
Bye-bye, so long, farewell
Bye-bye, so long
See you in September
See you when the summer's through
Here we are (bye, baby, goodbye)
Saying goodbye to the crazies (bye, baby, goodbye)
Strange weird ideas... (bye, baby bye, baby)
Have taken you away (bye, baby, goodbye)
There is danger in the summer moon above
Will we see you in September
Or lose you to this summer's dumb?
(counting the days 'til they walk from you)
(counting the hours and the minutes, too)
Bye, baby, goodbye
Bye, baby, goodbye
Bye, baby, goodbye (bye-bye, so long, farewell)
Bye, baby, goodbye ...
Contact Dennis at DennisCDiehl@aol.com