Saturday, May 23, 2015

Is the Living Church of God Out To Destroy Families?

For many years now Rod Meredith and crew have been claiming the LCG is God's best true family on earth.  No Church of God is more unified or loyal as the LCG family. it seems.

A reader (LCG member) writes:

Last Sabbath Mr. Meredith had the sermon. I hate to say it but whenever they announce that he will be bringing the sermon I roll my eyes and slump down a little in my chair because I know every word that's about to be spoken. There's thousands of topics available in the entirety of the Bible. Why can't he every shake it change the topic? It is literally painful to listen to at this point. Even if he says the sermon is going to be about something different, it always comes back to the same old thing, just re-packaged under a different title. Same stories, same scriptures, same overall point. Obey and submit, keep the big picture yada yada yada.

I digress.

So last Sabbath he preached on "Family". Funny since this is an area of total ignorance on his behalf. He has been a total work-a-holic his entire life completely neglecting his own family. He now tells married couples to choose the church (LCG) over their spouses even if there are children involved thereby destroying family. He has ruined, God only knows how many families, through his D&R nightmare wherein he had happily married couples separate after years of marriage and children together. Presently he routinely separates wives from their husbands during Gestapo interrogation sessions (to weed out dissenters and "purify God's church")in an effort to turn their stories against each other and prey on the wife's (perceived) weakness. And worse of all, in my opinion, he has disfellowshipped and cut off so many of my spiritual brothers and sisters without trying to keep work through issues with them. Is that how we treat "family"? If a child doesn't agree with the parent, do you just drop them off at the closest bus stop and decide to never speak to them again? That is essentially what is looks like Mr. Meredith has done to so many of the people that I considered (and still consider) to be my "family". All this while knowing that if your last name is "Meredith" you can get away with ANYTHING because you are the top dog's family.

It's so hypocritical I can barely stand it.

The entire sermon, all I could think was I hope a bolt of lightening doesn't come down and strike him in front of all theses children.

Family forgive each other. Family work through differences or just practice unconditional love. Family stick together through thick and thin, not throwing its members away just because they don't always agree. Mr. Meredith has no idea what true family is.


JL said...

Why is this reader who posted this comment still a member of LCG is the question that I am wondering about since he clearly disagree with what is being preached from the pulpit.

It seems like LCG is finally walking down the same path as PCG where communication with family members not part of the Church will be forbidden.

I wish something more concrete can be done to tackle LCG and some of these COG groups. I wrote to Vision to try to convince them to stop airing Tomorrow's world in Canada but was not successful. I tried to get them kick out of the facility that they were congregating in, which also ended up unsuccessful.

Isn't there something more concrete we can all do instead of simply posting comments on a blog?


Anonymous said...

This reminds me of when HWA would give the Bible Study Friday night at the AC Pasadena gymnasium. He would always talk about the same thing, Gen 1:1 bohu and tohu, etc. I did enjoy David Jon Hill, the few times he was able to speak. Dr. Hoeh was simply tolerated. David Antion was OK, seemed like a nice guy. If there is so much talent in the leadership of LCG you would think they would have a long list of speakers and more variety. But that's asking too much. Even if they have different speakers, would the not all sound alike? Fahrenheit 451 "Montag, we must all think alike."

Anonymous said...

“Is the Living Church of God Out To Destroy Families?”

Well, that is exactly what Satan sent his PCG out to do. Maybe he now wants his LCG also to get more in line with this program.

Byker Bob said...

JL, there is always a period of deep inner conflict involved in leaving Armstrongism. Probably the anonymous poster is processing his or her conflict externally, and amongst us here. Isn't it nice that people trust us as confidants with their conflicts?

It is also possible, since this site is monitored, to "telegraph" messages back to the various ACOG leaders through one's posts. However, it would be fallacious to assume that such telegraphing would help educate these leaders away from their base, toxic, and cruel mindsets. Generally, Armstrong leaders will take the wrong sides of figurative ultimatims, coming down harder and more authoritatively with their original position, as opposed to becoming enlightened as to better methods of exercising authority.

The folks who are once again allowing themselves to evaluate, and to hold people accountable have reopened the door to an educational process which requires time.


Priam said...

The so-called member whose writing heads this post is a hypocrite. He pretends to be a loyal member every Saturday at Sabbath services. He never publicly voices at Church services the things he writes. This is hypocrisy.
Yet he accuses others of hypocrisy. Laughable.

Hypocrisy is a sin Christ had very severe condemnation of. Your hypocritical writer is by extension a liar (pretending one thing believing another) - just as Satan is a liar and the father of lies.

Yet you give him space and other sychophantic readers mindlessly agree with him.

Anonymous said...

Priam: What LCG member would dare to stand up in services and voice such a question??????? There is not one single ministurd in the leadership of LCG that would allow anyone to question them and their motives.

What is truly laughable is that you defend the blatant hypocrisy of every single ministurd in the LCG. That log lodged in your eye is blinding you to reality.

Anonymous said...

Priam one would have to know the writer's personal workings with their own family to deem them a "hypocrite". It is not hypocritical to share one's opinion of RCM being unqualified to preach about family based on past occurrences that clearly outline that he has no idea what he's talking about... or at least, that he in no way practices what he preaches.

The fact that this writer continues to sit in LCG services while being annoyed during last week's sermon could mean a couple of things. Maybe they lack the courage to step out in faith. Maybe they have family in the ministry and don't want to disappoint them. Maybe they are scared to lose all their friends. Maybe they have a spouse who has threatened to leave them if they don't stay in the church. Perhaps they agree with LCG from a doctrinal perspective but have become jaded through the events in Charlotte this last year.

We have no way of knowing. Fear may make the writer a coward but it does not make them a hypocrite.

Your Humble Hypocrite said...

Dear Priam, I don't know if you are a troll, nevertheless I'll respond for the sake of others who are in similar situations as mine. I'll honestly try to not be sarcastic, but I can't make any promises. As someone whom you would label as a hypocrite, by your definition, I would not attempt to defend myself against such a label. Ok... I am a hypocrite working to escape LCG without losing my family. While I do acknowledge your point, I also know all too well how easy it is to post such a callous missive as you have posted. After all, it's a computer screen and typed words. I hope you would also consider that if I walk away from LCG I will certainly lose my family. If you could explain how to avoid that, I'm all ears. I screwed up decades ago by following this mess and raising a family in it. It's not easily undone.

On the flip side, if there is anything good that can come out of it, I can honestly tell you that I, and many others, have been >quite< effective at planting the seeds of doubt from within LCG, thank you very much, while not weakening the faith in Jesus Christ in those I deal with. The seeds have begun to root deeply. I've learned how to gain access by saying all the right words, just like those who learned it with Herbert by addressing him as "God's Apostle." LCG is like a sieve; uncontrollable leaks are everywhere. And the bosses (they're absolutely not ministers) are really quite predictable and playable. It would be so easy for them to solve their problems, as they view them, but they will never see it because they ain't got the guts or humility, and I certainly won't tell them how it can be done, as if they would listen anyway.

I do applaud websites such as this which are instrumental in stunting the growth of these COG groups. I have seen example after example of people who become interested in the "church", find out the real stink via cursory research, and then blow it off. They move on without a second thought, and consider it a dodged bullet. How else could you explain someone who is so interested that they request a visit, and then suddenly cut off all communication?

One thing the LCG bosses would accuse me of is developing a root of bitterness – I agree, damn them. I have gone through such heart rending shame that I don't have any need for delusion. Yes, I'm a hypocrite who goes along to keep my family together. If there is a lake of fire at the end, I'll probably be there. But if there is a Kingdom of God at the end, I am 100% confident the LCG bosses will not be there. So maybe you are just a troll, but if not, instead of advising you to take your superior message and cramming it, I'll just say don't worry about it, I understand, all is forgiven. Maybe just keep in mind that it's not as cut and dry as you presented.

Anonymous said...

The same way NO2HWA reprinted the yellow-stripe commenter and all the sycophants agreed with him?

Anonymous said...

Your Humble Hypocrite said...

“I screwed up decades ago by following this mess and raising a family in it.” & “It's not easily undone.” & [many other sad truths for today]

Thanks for sharing the details of your predicament in the LCG. It is even worse in truly satanic cults like the PCG where no reason or logic or truth is ever allowed. It is all about insanity. This is a very interesting development today on the COG scene which was supposedly all about truth and courage and honesty and goodness. People who tried to do what they thought was right have sadly found their trust misplaced and themselves in very bad predicaments for carelessly misplacing it.

Yours Truly,

Even Humbler

Byker Bob said...

If the ACOGs treated members with integrity, people would be able to leave them with integrity.

In tyrannical situations, often, the only intelligent thing you can do is to go subversive. Don't play fair, play to capture your objective and to win. There is no such thing as yellow when you are leaving. Get out any way you can, take everything that you can that is yours, and don't worry about the names you will inevitably be called. Those names don't end up mattering anyway when you consider how the name callers got into the mental state where they would use them on you. By design, that is also part of the group think and the intimidation. Be resolute and strong! Regain control. You can always be of greater help to others when are able to deal from a position of strength!


Martha said...

Dude, Priam and others, cut the guy who's working to escape LCG some slack. This stuff takes time, especially when there's family involved. It took my family 18 months to get to the point where we were ready/emotionally prepared to leave the COGs, even though my husband and I were on the same page. Extended family and friends complicate things, not to mention the fact that you've been lied to about anything outside your little splinter for so long that it's hard to know which end is up. Hang in there, Humbled. There are people praying for you.

Anonymous said...

YHH at 6:18 PM appears to be a minister's wife. She writes:

I have seen example after example of people who become interested in the "church", find out the real stink via cursory research, and then blow it off. They move on without a second thought, and consider it a dodged bullet. How else could you explain someone who is so interested that they request a visit, and then suddenly cut off all communication?

Who knows about people who request a visit and then cut off all communication? Not the ordinary members in the congregation. Only the minister and his family know about visits that don't lead to people coming to church.

This lady's comment goes to show what I have often said, that the LCG ministers and their families are some of the biggest non-believers in LCG.

And she is obviously not much of a Bible-believer, either, otherwise she would be willing to follow Jesus' command to put Him ahead of family. If your family members are promoting a satanic Armstrong cult, Jesus wants you to LEAVE THE CULT, not to LIE TO your family and friends who are PERPETUATING the cult by trying to use it as a harmless social club.

Anonymous said...

I read a true news story long ago of a town meeting in some rural area in New England in which federal officials were explaining a federal program for civil defense plans in the event of nuclear war, how the local people should dig and go underground, etc. This was part of a larger plan in which the govt. had plans for things like how the IRS would collect taxes and other essential functions post-nuclear war.

Some of the locals were skeptical of the federal officials explaining this. One guy in the back of the room kept making quacking sounds like a duck whenever the federal official-in-chief on the stage would say something particularly ridiculous. After a few times of doing this, with growing laughter from the audience, he was arrested. It went before a judge and he was convicted of "illegal quacking" (resulting in a small fine). It made a great news story. The locals were sympathetic to the convicted quacker.

I would not recommend that anyone over the age of 18 do this in a Church of God service. Under age 18, well, that could be pretty funny... but, for the record, I am not recommending that either.

Seriously, for any still in one or another of the authoritarian/controlling COG groups, BB at 11:05 pm is solid words of counsel. It is like an abused wife figuring out what to do, feeling afraid to leave an abusive situation. For those in these groups, do you see others being abused? Have you been abused? Close your eyes and repeat slowly, "No one deserves to be abused. No one." Then open your eyes and start taking first steps toward what to do next...

Anonymous said...

This discussion reminds me of the plight I found myself in many years ago when I stopped believing in WCG. I was employed by WCG, all my friends were there. I was even in a strange country where I knew no one outside the church. At least I was young and able to start over again.

So I kept attending for almost a year. I had the greatest trouble in continuing to tithe. I knew I would soon be out of a job because only church members could have my job, and I was short of how easy would it be for me to get another job? All my work experience had been with WCG, plus my education at AC. I pretty much stopped tithing, knowing how this money was spent, it just became too painful. One day someone who worked for the church also, came up to me, and warned me that I was attracting suspicion by not tithing and I should start tithing if I wanted to keep my job safe.
Eventually I left both the job and the church. The things I missed most were the social life and the friendship of the members. Many were lovely people. After I left of course none of them could talk to me (though a few still did)

Anonymous said...

Let me say, as someone who has gone through a little of what the featured LCG writer now faces, and come out the other side, my heart goes out to you.

It has now been several years since I left Armstrongism. I was raised in the church and I sincerely believed it was special and had the truth for many years. But as my level of education increased, I experienced growing doubt, and a steadily growing list of unanswerable questions over a period of years. It isn't possible to express such things to most people in the church, and most people who aren't in the church, this is so foreign to them they can't understand except in the most general terms. And of course, if a minister finds out you've been working through such problems in the company of other church members, you're going to get publicly shamed and kicked out for "sowing discord." That's what trying to make sense of things that don't make sense is called in "god's true church."

I have to say that this site was an oasis of sanity prior to my departure. Thankfully I didn't have a mate or children, but still, I couldn't imagine how I could extricate myself from it. How would I explain it to dozens and dozens of people who would want to sincerely understand why I had left? What would I say to the pastor who would surely not like what I had to say? How would I deal with their disappointment, or worse, their condemnation?

Deconversion is not a choice. It's just something that happens to you. Not without good reason, but it has to do with your situation. For me, it had to do with my studies that kept pointing out how the church's beliefs and practices were far from the world's best beliefs and practices. That was coupled with a sincere desire to figure out a rational basis for understanding with some rigor what it is that God really expected from a person and by what standards he would be judged. If you are a member of a COG, and you want to stay in the church, I would strongly recommend that you do not try to "work out your salvation" rigorously. This can only end in proof by contradiction against that which you were trying to establish. Just go with the flow, don't ask yourself questions, but keep repeating the mantras you hear every week from the pulpit. It's the only way.

Eventually things came to a head and I just left. It wasn't a rational decision. I didn't plan it. Any attempt to plan led to situations I anticipated but couldn't conceive of how to deal with effectively. One thing I had been doing for a while was trying to get my logic out in black and white so I wouldn't sound like a blithering idiot even though I was leaving for very good reasons. My problem is that I had too many of them, any one of which was a good enough reason to leave.

I had to do a lot of explaining, and I'm still in the process of doing it. But the membership were a lot better about it than I anticipated. Most of the members are good people who are trying to do the right thing, even though their faculties and their money are being used and exploited by the ministry, some of whom I cannot say such things about. Mostly the members are sincere people who just happen to have terrible boundaries, and can't tell when they're being used and abused.

This "Priam" person might call you a hypocrite, but since the process of cannot happen in a day, going through the situation you're presently in is unavoidable. Assuming "Priam" is sincere but misguided, this person has clearly not thought things through, and is unjust and unfair. Are you presently laid open to the accusation of hypocrisy? Yes, and more. But that does not mean such accusations are meritorious, so I do not think you should internalize or claim their empty rhetoric, unless of course, you wish to wear it as a badge of honor!

Anonymous said...

What would happen if when confronted, an ACOG member responded, "But, you can't disfellowship me for robbing God of His tithes, I still do tithe! It's just that I send my tithes to Dr. Charles Stanley!"

~Miguel de la Rodente

Anonymous said...

To the Anonymous at 3:10 I know one person who stood to the LCG ministers, Ray Pereira. That's why he was disfellowshipped!