Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Why Have LCG Pastors Failed To Be Agents "Pioneering a Way of Peace?"

Living Church of God: The only agents of peace in the world.

Living Church of God has always considered everything about it's organizational structure to be designed by God and therefore CANNOT be wrong.  Everything the leadership says and implements is God ordained. Let see how that all really works.

Here is an excerpt from the LCG Pastoral Manual for pastors and elders.

There are serious issues in the very first paragraph.  While it certainly is a lofty goal that a REAL pastor would be practicing, it certainly is NOT something that LCG pastors, evangelists and leaders currently practice.  They most certainly are NOT "pioneering a way of peace" in the LCG.  When conflicts arise LCG ministers/leaders lash out in anger swiftly and harshly.  All of the recent disfellowshipments attest to that.  LCG has NEVER diffused conflict.  If anything it has created more conflict and disruption in members lives over its short life span than most other churches.

Rod Meredith and LCG ministers ability to lead in times of crisis as peacemakers is a huge joke!
As a servant leader, you must be working on your own relationships at home, and in your personal life.  We are called to pioneer a way of peace not known by the world (Romans 3:17).  When conflicts do arise, that is perhaps the biggest test of our ability to be peacemaking Pastors.  Brethren take note of how we handle conflict situations.  Our ability to lead as peacemakers, especially in crises, depends on our ability to defuse conflict and controversy.  How we deal with conflict is often just as important as the initial problem itself.  A Pastor can cause a conflict to spread and multiply, or he can minimize it.  Here are some principles for minimizing conflict: 

LCG ministers have never been known to keep issues within a small group of people.  Either the minister or his wife immediately hits the gossip chain and he entire church are will now within a few hours.  Bellowing from the pulpit the "supposed sins" of others is a common.

1. Use as little authority as necessary to effectively deal with a problem.  Do not use a hammer when a flyswatter will do!  If one or two people have a problem, address it in private, not from the pulpit.  If you address it from the pulpit when it is not warranted, it will only make others curious and unsettled about a problem about which they may not have been aware.  If a problem is spreading or is known by multiple individuals, it may be necessary to address it at some level with the group at large.  But strive to keep the circle of people involved as small as possible.  (For further on the exercise of Church discipline, see Chapter 3.) 

It is well know that certain wives of leading ministers/evangelists CANNOT keep their mouths shut when problems arise. Some of them actively look for problems having created a little network of spies who report back on every minuscule circumstance or problem.

2. Discourage gossip—by others and by yourself.  Unfortunately, sometimes gossip comes from the minister himself—but that should never happen.  Nothing tears down the morale of a group and limits its potential growth like gossip (Proverbs 16:28; Proverbs 17:9).  Weave principles of avoiding gossip into sermons—and do not indulge in it yourself (Psalm 15:3). 
Confidentiality in the Church of God?????  When?????  It is well known how employees with access to member files routinely looked at friends files to see if they were tithing, what they had counsel with a minister about and for other issues.  Ministers in the Church Offices in Pasadena would stand in the hallway joking about recently counseling sessions mocking the person who came seeking advice. Some of these same men are parked on their butts in Charlotte.  LCG employees currently routinely look at other emp0loyees files and members.

3. Keep confidentiality.  As the saying goes, “Loose lips sink ships.”  Always—but especially in a conflict—keep confidential what is said in private.  There are few things that will destroy the relationship of a congregation with its Pastor as quickly as his inability to keep private things private.  You, as a Pastor, will distance yourself from your brethren and undermine the health of the group if you (and/or your wife) cannot keep things confidential. 
Siege mentality is the mode LCG operates in on a daily basis.  Its slash and burn most of the time.  LCG members are sick of sitting in church listening to ministers proclaim, "Brethren, as much as it pains us and causes us great sadness, it is our sad duty to tell you that we have kicked Susan and Bill's sorry asses to the curb!  Do not speak to them or associate with these vile vermin lest you be tainted."

4. Avoid the “siege mentality.”  This can happen when there is an attack on the Church or the minister.  Deal with the problem, but resist the temptation of seeing everyone as “either for me or against me.”  If we’re not careful, we can start seeing negative innuendos and hidden meanings behind every word, glance, or look.  We can be a polarizing factor in the congregation, instead of being a force for reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18). 
So what is LCG focused upon?  It is not bringing in new members.  Its only common goal is making it to Petra over the bodies of those they destroy on the way there.  LCG members are getting tired of all the hypocrisy of the leadership and a gearing up for a huge split with Meredith dies.  Ames and crew will not be able to hold the sinking ship together, particularly if Lil'Jimmy makes a run for it.

5. Keep the brethren—and yourself—focused on the big picture.  As captain of your local “ship,” keep focused on what is ahead.  Talk about the Work.  Talk about the telecast, new TV stations, and developments at Headquarters.  Talk about the Kingdom.  Talk about new people coming along, about the good news that is happening in your local areas.  Continue speaking from the pulpit and in person about a wide spectrum of topics and issues—not just the present problem.  People need to grieve when there is a problem, but the goal is to put their eyes back on the horizon ahead as quickly as possible.  
When has the COG, particularly the LCG, EVER erred on the side of "assuming the best?"  Decades of lashing out at members have proven this to be something that the church does NOT practice!  "Do Not Impute Motives??????"  Are they really serious?  Every time ministers ash out at members they are imputing a motive, usually a "bad attitude."

6. Err on the side of assuming the best. When confronted with a problem, err on the side of assuming that a member or members is/are trying hard, and may not be aware of the problem they are causing.  Do not impute motives.  James 4:11-12 warns against speaking evil and judging another.  Give people the benefit of the doubt—while at the same time explaining the need to correct the problem. 
The list closes with the following.  I have never known an LCG minister or leader who has NOT responded to personal attacks.  Their reactions are usually swift and deadly holding no prisoners.
7. Ignore personal attacks. Ecclesiastes says not to take to heart everything everyone says, especially about you (Ecclesiastes 7:21). Though Jesus defended others, He did not defend and justify Himself (1 Peter 2:23).  Defend others, and defend the office of the ministry, but do not allow your emotions to cause you to focus on defending yourself from personal attacks. 


Anonymous said...

How can they be agents of peace when the law trumps as the way of death. Who's Jesus?

J.D said...

The church itself fails to pioneer peace or anything like it even amongst themselves.

Ministers often gossip about what ailment/disease people are anointed for and infer all kinds of reasons for that.

Ministers wives believe they hold an office as well. Remember the "office of the first lady"? How about the "office of the president elect"? Those ridiculous made up 'offices' were a huge joke but many believed they existed! Well ministry wives believe their 'office' exists too. Delusional at best.

I will tell you that the constant tribulation harping and preaching creates despair and hopelessness in the church.
People lose interest after 30 or so minutes of sermons and space out.
Ministers have their cliques and pet members that they hang out with exclusively. The congregation notices this. It creates hurt and discontent.
The ministry is put on a pedestal. Everyone knows it. This royal priesthood ministry is cordoned off from the people. They rule over the people in contradiction to Jesus' admonition of it not being so in the church.
At Feasts they take the best seats, best rooms, best food for themselves in contradiction to what the bible teaches about sitting in the chief seats.
Usually, only the more well off become deacons or elders. The poor are ignored.
The heavy tithe payers are in the upper rooms and chief seats.

We, the congregation, see it first hand.

Works for salvation are stressed heavily in sermons. We observe atonement afraid that we won't make it, even though Jesus the Christ fulfilled that day.
They claim to be different than Protestants/Catholics yet observe a Catholic daughter day Pentecost 50 exact days after Easter Sunday. So much for not being a 'daughter church'. If observing the Catholic Pentecost is not putting the label on the church I don't know what does.
But this is the same church that states the bible saying that Jews have the oracles which includes the calendar and then say, but not here or here or here.
You cannot expect good fruit when the church fails to believe God.

Anonymous said...

Gloria Milach (the wife of the LCG pastor in Kansas City)is a prime example of a gossip and of one who gets information from her husband because of his position and then spreads it around the church, "but you didn't hear it from me"....

She is far from being the only one guilty though.

Mr. Meredith was the head gossip-monger until her demise and she was as hateful and spiteful as her lying husband if not more.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, this COG "government of god" thing that HWA built and Armstrongism still employs, to my knowledge, across the board (even by Joe Jr) cannot be likened to anything but the worst forms of human government. If it were treated by political scientists, it would probably be classified as a form of fascism, like the governments of Benito Mussolini and Francisco Franco. It has always held itself to be far-right, bourgeois, and totalitarian. Some would object that is, in fact, a monarchy, but monarchical aspects are strictly illusory.

Regardless of what you call it, or what the political theories might have led one to the conclusions they may have arrived at, dictatorships wind up wielding similar powers and holding onto those powers using similar means beginning with the installation of fear in the minds of the subjugated. For example, the founders of communist socialism believed in a false dichotomy between a bourgeois dictatorship and a proletariat dictatorship. However, once in power, it becomes irrelevant that the leader's father was a rural peasant, the leader is part of a new elite bourgeois establishment. The only reason why the COGs aren't socialist is that the means of production is not owned by the church (in an illusory theory, it is socialist because the means of production is supposedly still owned by the deity, even though the COGs have always been virulently anti-socialist). Tithing is a "tax and spend" system.

It's no secret that WCG made no bones about the "government of god" being a totalitarian dictatorship. Authority comes from the top down, never from the bottom up, regardless of whether you think the top is a deity or an elite evangelist or supposedly prophetic cult figure. It is not democratic in its approach in any way. COG ministers have, in my experience, had to acknowledge this, but have also always been quick to add the modifier benevolent. The only problem is that it has never been benevolent. Peace is kept, but always on the terms of the ministry, never on the terms of the mere proletariat membership. They are coy about the fact that they rule using fear and intimidation. Point #7 may be the part that is most at odds with COG ministerial elite subculture. Since when does the ministry tolerate anything but the most abject obeisance?

The bottom line is that the COG has always been a closed, isolating, autocratic society, practicing shunning, denying personal freedoms, and ruling by fear and intimidation, ironically, even though existing in the midst of the most open, free, and empowering of societies! But when you rhink about, the COGs have always had problems spreading to and functioning under totalitarian regimes because, being a totalitarian regime itself, it attempts to usurp the powers and roles of the existing government, which is problematic, and because the people cannot be fooled into not noticing the techniques of their abusive government are also employed by their church. It makes a totalitarian heaven a tough sell.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I have been in LCG since it split from Global and I almost choked when I read this.

Let me start by saying that I believe in keeping the Sabbath and Holy Days. I believe that the church of God is commissioned to do a work and for those reasons I have chosen to attend with LCG.


The hypocrisy is SO thick it's almost hard to breath. And did someone say that Rod McNair wrote this thing??? He is one of the biggest offenders!

Be gentle? Give the benefit of the doubt? Don't use the pulpit to berate?

" Do not use a hammer when a flyswatter will do! If one or two people have a problem, address it in private, not from the pulpit. If you address it from the pulpit when it is not warranted, it will only make others curious and unsettled about a problem about which they may not have been aware"

Do you think!? I am one of those people who was going along thinking my church was okay until they started kicking my friends out last fall for having the nerve to have an opinion. And then I watched them be subtly torn down in nearly EVERY sermon given in Charlotte week after week. I listened as they carefully fanned the flame on their lies about the people they threw out into the world, even though they knew they were lies. I have lost so much respect for LCG leadership and they have lost so much credibility as a result of not following the instructions outlined IN THEIR OWN MINISTER HANDBOOK.

"Avoid the “siege mentality.” This can happen when there is an attack on the Church or the minister. Deal with the problem, but resist the temptation of seeing everyone as “either for me or against me.”

Seriously?! Did they "avoid the siege mentality" when they kicked out my converted friends last fall? When they slandered them from the pulpit in front of the entire congregation? When they continued to double down on their implausible storyline about people we in the congregation know are good people instead of being a "force for reconciliation"? When, instead of showing mercy or admitting that they were wrong, they continued to be hardnosed and unforgiving?

I am so fed up with the lot of them. I wonder if LCG ministers in Charlotte really THINK they are adhering to this handbook or if they realize how poorly they are acting. One thing is for sure; there are a lot of us in Charlotte who see the hypocrisy of these men (including Mr. Meredith) and we are disgusted by it!

James said...

The LCG leadership is like a typical American politician. They lie and take your money. When will those lemmings in the LCG wake up and take charge of the organization by disfellowshipping their leadership in order to restore freedom of conscious? Only when the courage's among them revolt and take the lead. In the meantime enjoy your oppression.

Black Ops Mikey said...

It's a cult.

Why should anyone be surprised?

Anonymous said...

3:21, good observations, all, and kudos for speaking up.

That said, do you suppose such attitudes and actions arise in spite of the doctrines and liturgical practices of the COGs, or because of them?

In my view, the leader-centric approach of the LCG and other COGs is the direct result of an error-based, error-filled belief system.

Just curious why you might not make the same connection, and therefore draw a similar conclusion.

Anonymous said...

I believe it was not Rod McNair, who wrote this manual, but his father Carl McNair. Most ministers in lcg ignore this manual and revert to their own tactics. I can only say that the most in the present ministry in lcg make a mockery of Christ and his message. Most members do not feel comfortable to ask for annointing, (most of lcg ministers do not believe in it) they will ask you to seek a doctor. I am shocked that Charlotte ministers are mocking the very brethren they are meant to """"SERVANT LEAD"""""GET THAT YOU MINISTERS """""""SERVANT LEAD""""""NOT """""SELF SERVANT LEAD""""""

Byker Bob said...

Legalistic totalitarianism seems to draw attention to and worsen hypocrisy. The more you lay down the law, and use it as the basis to assign binary terms like "good", and "bad" rather than as a sort of personal, introspective standard, the more the lapses and failures. It's why maintaining the grace-based standards taught and exemplified by Jesus is superior, and produces better fruits. It eliminates "man in the glass house" syndrome. Just imagine how the woman brought to Jesus by the Pharisees and accused of fornication would be treated in an ACOG today!

There is a fine line between being an experienced spiritual guide who can lovingly assist people in their personal growth or becoming an "accuser of the brethren". Weighting things more towards grace would certainly help prevent crossing that line. But, that's not in the dna of Armstrongism.


Chuckles said...

Anon 3pm..Thank you for showing us clearly what a gossip really is, I mean, you did use yourself gossiping the way you did on purpose, didn't you?

Otis Campbell said...

Ironic they interview prospective members to see what kind of person you are. Don't they do a character check on elders, deacon's or ministers before promotion.
Or is Meredith still promoting on the basis of how much you tithe (he has been running those checks since the 60's)?

Anonymous said...

"I believe that the church of God is commissioned to do a work and for those reasons I have chosen to attend with LCG."

There it is again! LCG members are blinded by Rod Meredith's propaganda. "If you say something often enough, you will be amazed at what the people believe." First, LCG's primary commission, "preaching the gospel to the world as a witness", is something Jesus Christ never told us to do. But it is a way for Rod Meredith to spend your tithe money and not be held accountable for its results. Secondly, I challenge anyone to show one shred of evidence that the Living Church of God has even the slightest intention of doing any part of the Matthew 28 Great Commission. Show me how they have any intention of making disciples and then baptizing them or teaching them. Oh, they will baptize and teach those that God sends to them, but that's different. Matthew says to go get 'em yourselves. LCG says to preach the gospel as a witness, not to make disciples. They say they will baptize and teach those God sends to them, specifically excluding the ones they are supposed to go and get themselves. Sure, there's nothing wrong with preaching the gospel, but it is only the beginning of the work. They show no intention of getting down to the nitty-gritty of helping people to change their lives.
Wake up, LCG members! You have been propagandized contrary to the Bible on many things: Government, the work, place of safety, LCG being the best, etc. I, too, was duped, and after I left, it took 6 months for my head to clear of all their deceptions.

Anonymous said...

I know that some ministers (not all) keep files on members. I had the pleasure of running afoul of a LCG minister a number of years ago. After a lengthy debate back and forth via email, this minister accidentally sent me an email that was addressed to my minister back home. In the email, he warned my minister of our conversation and forwarded all my emails of the conversation to him. He said to keep this in my file, should anything ever happen with me when I return home.


Thankfully when asking for forgiveness from God, He says he forgives. Ask for forgiveness from some ministers and they just keep it in a file so that someday that can use it against you. HA

Anonymous said...

Just imagine how the woman brought to Jesus by the Pharisees and accused of fornication would be treated in an ACOG today!

Yes, Dorothy would be be torn to shreds.
(But, Herbie already did worse to her.)

Anonymous said...

"When conflicts do arise, that is perhaps the biggest test of our ability to be peacemaking Pastors."


Look at how hard the Scarborough's tried to make peace with LCG and how LCG refused to even open discussions with them dispite the fact that most in the Charlotte congregation know they weren't guilty of anything bad enough to warrant disfellowshipping.

Meredith didn't just use a hammer instead of a fly swatter he used a hammer to pound them into little bits. Unnecessary force as a result of his "siege mentality" based on rumored information from a lying Rothenbacher and a hateful McNair.

Like 3:21 said, we've heard dozens of sermons since last September that we obviously about the purge victims.

So much for not using the pulpit to settle a score. It's all quite incredible to those of us who witnessed it.

Anonymous said...

3:17 said: So much for not using the pulpit to settle a score. It's all quite incredible to those of us who witnessed it.
What I find incredible is that those who witness it still remain in the church or give them money. Isn't giving the church money enabling them to continue this abuse? Do those who tithe to the LCG have some guilt as a co-conspirator?

Anonymous said...

I, like you, believe in keeping the Sabbath and the Feasts of the LORD. Everything you said that is happening in North Carolina is also happening in Houston, Texas.

Anonymous said...

Well if we are calling out people... How about Mrs. Ames...who would not repeat gossip...would she? She ran around an whispered about the sins of some people who were marked and disfellowshipped for adultery and told all the facts. So that her brother would be justified for what he did. And because it was MrS AMES it was ok. Because she was protecting the flock so that they knew the the truth. Now even if those people repent there is no forgiveness for them.

Anonymous said...

Why was there such an epidemic of adultery at LCG headquarters in Charlotte in the first place? I can count 6 people that I have sat in church with for years, ALL OF WHOM WORKED FOR THE HEADQUARTERS CHURCH who are now known adulterers.

Four were disfellowshipped, one was marked, one still has her job and is in good standing with the church solely because of her husband's position (friendship with Meredith does have its kickbacks)

Doesn't it seem like a disproportionate number when so few work in that building? I have worked in many "worldly" offices and none of them have had such rampant sexual escapades!

I'm just curios to see if there are any theories out there as to why it happened.