Friday, October 16, 2015

What Did Herbert Armstrong Really Think About Rod Meredith?

From a reader:

Rod Meredith In Hawaii
For years many have sat in services at the Living Church of God listening to Rod Meredith tell the same stories over, and over and over again. We all know them well. Not the least of which is the story about how he was unfairly "exiled to Hawaii". He used to drone on and on about being exiled to Hawaii as the rest of us sat there daydreaming that someone would exile US to Hawaii.  I mean seriously, how do you bitch and complain, literally for decades, about being sent to Hawaii WITH PAY.
Many in LCG, like myself, have been trained not to ask too many questions and brainwashed to accept anything Dr. Meredith says as truth so we just listened to the story year after year without thinking about it.
Lately, RCM has really been emphasizing how "no other man living at this time worked as closely with Herbert W. Armstrong" as he. He goes on to say that he "ate with him (HWA), drank with him, traveled with him and spent literally THOUSANDS of hours with him". Meredith wears it like a badge of honor. It appears to give him credence with LCG members. RCM even used his relationship with HWA to promote LCG in this year's "Behind the Work" video which was played at the Feast worldwide.
I began to wonder what preceded Meredith's exile to Hawaii if he and HWA  were such chummy pals which led me to discover the excerpts below from a letter Herbert W. Armstrong wrote to Rod Meredith.
I wish I could say that in the decades which have followed, Mr. Meredith had changed; that he no longer kept the letter of the law while neglecting the spirit of the law; that he was no longer the harsh task master. But I can't because he is still  ALL of these things and more. I am one of many in Charlotte who have been shocked and amazed at Mr. Meredith's character (or lack thereof) in recent months. Nothing has changed. Mr. Meredith is still that mean bully who is always self promoting and always in competition to have MORE numbers and prove that he is doing the work MORE effectively than anyone else on earth. Meredith is still competitive, covetous of power and status, and self-righteous. Unfortunately, he does not embody the fruits of the Spirit but rather the works of the flesh. In the past year it has become glaringly obvious to me and many others that LCG IS NOT THE CHURCH OF GOD.
I feel obligated to share my new-found knowledge with as many of my LCG friends as possible in the coming days.
Rod, WHY have so many who have worked [with you] said that you rub the fur the wrong way? You are DOCTRINALLY correct, But in II Corinthians Paul says we are not to live by the strict letter of the Law, but by the SPIRIT or obvious INTENT — the basic PRINCIPLE of it (II Cor. 3:6). You are a model of doctrinal correctness according to the LETTER — the strictness of the letter — but you do overlook the SPIRIT from the heart. You won the mile in a state high-school meet, You had know[n,] as Satan injects into us all from childhood, the spirit of competition. You b[e]came a COMPETITOR. In conversion you learned and accepted the strictness of the letter of God's Commandments. You wrote a good booklet on the Ten Commandments. But now I hold the mirror up for you to see in yourself what SO MANY who know you wIll see in you — the SPIRIT of COMPETITION is still there!
You are not going to like this, Rod. Members of your family will resent it. But I am the chosen apostle of Jesus Christ and in His name, I have to say these things to you, for I want to have you with us IN GOD'S KINGDOM — and there will be no contentions — no spirit of competition there! No one is going to be there who strives for himself to take over the CHIEF SEAT!
Jesus Christ through me elevated you to the chief seat (which you had come to me suggesting over the ministry of God's Church in what we then called CAD, you were a harsh task-master over the ministers. You, yourself, find it difficult and perhaps impossible to TAKE what you dished out. Dozens of ministers would testify to that. You rubbed the fur the wrong way! That has been your life-style!
Rod, in frankest candor, JESUS CHRIST will NEVER put any one at the head of His Work on earth who is competitive, covetous of power and status, and self-righteous. In brutal frankness, you lack the charisma to lead God's work You do not attract-as I said before, you REP[EL-] people. You are a harsh taskmaster over those under you. THAT IS YOUR RECORD!

So far, four months or more of your leave of absence has profited you NOTHING! Rod, in a candor, HAVE YOU EVER REALY REPENTED? To repent means much more than being sorry, or remorseful. It means a CHANGE OF HEART — a CHANGE OF ATTITUDE — a CHANGE FROM "GET" TO "GIVE." From competition, vanity, coveting power and position, to harmonious co-operation. BELIEVE ME, there is PEACE, and HARMONY at Pasadena now. Our men there do not want it disturbed. I have held up the mirror with BRUTAL frankness-in LOVE not only for you but also for GOD'S WORK! The Work is getting along wonderfully well now-without you. It can go on growing and pleasing Jesus Chris[t] an[d] prospering under His blessing WITHOUT YOU. I have written you are not coming back until I am CONVINCED BY THE FRUITS of a real REPENTANCE, and CHANGE OF ATTITUDE. I hope at last I have MADE IT PLAIN.

In deep LOVE as a father to a son,

In Jesus' name.





DennisCDiehl said...

I always thought this letter written by HWA, or we have been lead to believe that perhaps, was one of his more insightful and hopeful perspectives as to what went on under his nose with those "in charge." As a former pastor, we always referred to anything from RCM to the ministry as "snowflakes from heaven" and they were mostly stern admonitions to do it all RCM's way in the name of HWA.

I always loved RCM's view that "There is God...Jesus Christ...Herbert W Armtrong...Garner Ted Armstrong....myself...and a few other leading evangelists (he couldn't name them of course) ....heading the Work.." etc. I was 18 when I first heard that comment and should have listened to my stomach instead of my head....

Anonymous said...

Only in the COGs is it a badge of honor to say you spent thousands of hours with an incestuous pedophile. In any other walk of life it's something a person might refuse to admit out of shame and embarrassment.

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

I don't mean to be crude, but Herbert W. Armstrong died in 1986. This is 2015. Does anyone really care about the hours RCM spent with HWA? To newer and younger members of the Church of God movement, Herbert Armstrong is the "grandfather we never knew". The heyday and glory years of the old Worldwide Church of God are long gone. It is a simple search on a computer that today's generation can research and find that time itself has proven HWA a fraud. Christ did not return in his lifetime as he said he would MANY times, and "this generation" did pass although he said it would not.


Jim Osia said...

Funny how Armstrong called RCM covetous of power, status and self righteous! Wasn't he the same way just not as "Competitive" outwardly about it?!!! Non of his or others that have continued Armstrong's fallacy are about this Jesus Christ character but about money!!! Plain and simple!

Anonymous said...

unfortunately mr. armstrong did not do the church any favors by letting his own son, gta, hang around for as long as he did; ironic that he ended the letter to meredith "as a father to a son": most everything he said about meredith could also have been said about gta...

i can recall as a young man when tkach was made heir apparent; as a lay person, and hdqtrs outsider, i was not privy to its ironic significance, but in all honesty i think it fair to say that dr. meredith's behavior was the biggest factor in at least the actuation of the collapse of the wwcg, and it does indeed stem from the characteristics describe in the letter...

yet again it has been proven that "...though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing."

even to this day meredith has not understood or accepted this, hence, the very real potential of history repeating itself...

Anonymous said...

HWA chastising Rod Meredith is comparable to Vito Corleone admonishing Sonny for letting someone outside the family know what he is thinking.

Anonymous said...

Ever since Rod Meredith apostazied from the WCG he has been stuck in that decade. Due to his declining mental capabilities he has never been able to come up with an original sermon in several decades. He recycles the same tired overused bullshit as if it is new. People tune out as soon as he starts speaking, much like they did Herbert when he droned on and on about the two trees.

Anonymous said...

"unfortunately mr. armstrong did not do the church any favors by letting his own son, gta, hang around for as long as he did..."

Unfortunately he didn't do the members any favors by starting "the church" in the first place. Too bad there are still as many as there are who haven't yet woken up to this fact.

Redfox712 said...

After reading David Robinson (Herbert Armstrong's Tangled Web) and John Tuit (The Truth Shall Set You Free) as far as I can tell it appears that it may have been Stanley Rader who kicked out Meredith to Hawaii. By 1978 a power struggle had erupted between Garner Ted Armstrong and Stanley Rader. In the end HWA sided with Rader instead of his own son and kicked out Garner Ted Armstrong. In this particular phase of the power struggle Meredith was aligned with Rader.

Both Tuit and Robinson portray Meredith as siding with Rader against C. Wayne Cole during the receivership crisis.

But of course the WCG ministers (and many members) smarted at the thought that Rader could be the number two man within WCG since he had not been trained and rose through the ranks as a WCG minister in the normal way. Meredith was no different and tried to undermine Rader in turn. But at the time Rader was so closely linked to HWA that Meredith was removed from his position of authority and sent to Hawaii.

Robinson talks of Meredith's alliance with Rader during the receivership crisis as undermining his standing among the other WCG ministers who were discontented at Rader's power at the time. This disillusionment made it easier for HWA and Rader to send away Meredith later.

Meredith returned six months later but he was no longer head of the ministry and would never gain that level of trust from HWA again. Some might be tempted to just blame Rader and excuse HWA for this but it is clear that HWA was in charge. Later in 1981 HWA deposed Rader. HWA had plenty of time to return Meredith to a closer level of trust but HWA chose not to do so long after Rader's fall from power.

Robinson talks of how Meredith was "Shanghaied" by being removed from a position of power within WCG by HWA even earlier in 1972 thus indicating that Meredith had long smarted under not being as close to HWA's power as he wished.

Unfortunately because of the turmoil surrounding Stanley Rader some WCG members chose to adopt anti-Semitic views. That is wrong. Any wrong Rader did is his responsibility and we must not blame others for what he did.

Anonymous said...

I might be a little slow but I've just come to realize that the reason Meredith is always using the excuse that his members are "trying to start their own church" and spreading rumors that they were "trying to cause division", as he has done with many of the purge victims of late, is because that is what is in HIS HEART.


I read this site all the time but I hadn't put that together in my mind until today. It seems so clear now.

I always wondered why RCM lied about people starting their own churches when they very clearly are not. I guess that's what happens when you transpose your own poor character on to others.

Anonymous said...

"HWA had plenty of time to return Meredith to a closer level of trust but HWA chose not to do so long after Rader's fall from power"

To hear Meredith speak of it, one would believe that he was HWA's closest confidant and best friend. He acts like they were two pees in a pod and many LCG members just take it as truth.

Thank you for posting this letter and thank you RedFox for your comment. It has been eye opening.

Byker Bob said...

I love your Freudian slip, 6:16! Because, truly, HWA and RCM were two "pees" in a pod! Pure yellow urine, as opposed to sweet green peas!


Anonymous said...

I agree with Redfox in that I don't give that much credence to the 1981 letter. After all, Meredith has done more than enough in the last 10 years to disqualify himself as a church leader.

Anonymous said...

RCM exalts himself, his ministry, and his church while speaking evil of all the other churches of God and their leaders. Look at all these scriptures Rod Meredith violates every time he speaks evil of another church or leader and exalts himself:

Romans 11:18 "do not boast against the branches."

John 21:21-22 "But Lord, what about this man?" Jesus said to him, "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me."

James 4:10-11 "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. Do not speak evil of one another, brethren."

Matt 24:49 " . . . and begins to beat his fellow servants . . . "

Romans 14:10 "But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ."

Phil 2:3 "but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself."

Acts 5:38-39 "And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it—lest you even be found to fight against God."

Prov 27:2 "Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth"

Titus 3:2 ". . . speak evil of no one.”

Romans 14:4 "Who are you to judge another's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.

Matthew 7:3 "And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?"

Matthew 7:12 "Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them"

Romans 16:16-17 "Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple."

Philippians 2:21 "For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus."

1 Cor 3:12-13 "put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do."

Proverbs 15:33 "Humility goes before honor."

Eph 4:1-3 "walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

Galatians 5:14-15 "If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”

1 Cor 1:29 "That no flesh should glory in His presence."

Eph 4:32 "be kind to one another, tenderhearted"

2 Corinthians 10:12 "For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise."

Proverbs 6:16,19 "These six things the LORD hates . . . one who sows discord among brethren."

1 Corinthians 10:32 “Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God”

Anonymous said...

Yes, Meredith has done plenty to disqualify himself over the past 10 years so to many the HWA letter isn't relevant. He is a mean-hearted liar who is incapable of seeing his faults.

However, I am still glad the letter was re-posted as there are many in LCG who wholly swallow the story that RCM portrays about being HWA's best friend and confidant. This letter shows that narrative for the lie it is.

As someone else mentioned previously, COG people extend some sort of pixie dust power to anyone who brushed against HWA like that makes them better or more strong in the 'truth'.

If HWA had super powers (and I don't believe he did), they very clearly din NOT rub off on Rod Meredith!