Sunday, June 5, 2016

Warren Zehrung: Remembering Karl Beyersdorfer (With The Honesty Rod Meredith Refused To Exhibit)

Karl Beyersdorfer died only days before his fiftieth wedding anniversary. In fact, Karl was planning an anniversary trip with his wife and friends to Arizona and New Mexico to see the Decalogue Stone and other artifacts that bear ancient inscriptions carved into rock. Naturally, the study of these old inscriptions is controversial in that some claim the inscriptions are pre-Columbian, and therefore indications of early Israelitish contact with the Americas. Karl died before he could make that exciting trip.

Karl was a longtime faithful minister of Jesus Christ. Actually, Karl was a servant of Jesus Christ. ‘Servant’ is the correct meaning of the word – ‘minister’ having taken on an entirely different meaning today. Karl graduated from Ambassador College in June of 1966, was married two days later, and then was off to his first ministerial assignment in Minnesota. After fifty years, what led to the abrupt end of a life spent in service to God’s people?

Karl had a zest for life and living it that few men possess. Somehow toward the end of Karl’s life he became disillusioned with where the church was headed. All of his life was spent in building the church, adding to the numbers, and raising up new congregations.  In the end, it seemed to Karl that his best efforts were producing little or no growth. Karl came to the point where he felt that he had become ineffective as a minister. He could not see God’s hand in the work he was trying to do.

Karl began to question his past decisions – wondering if somehow God had become displeased with him – even thinking that perhaps he had committed the unpardonable sin.  Not only was professional help needed for Karl – but professionals with the Spirit of God to direct their efforts. Psychiatrist and neurosurgeons know only the physical aspects of depression, and are therefore totally unable to be of help spiritually in time of need. Sadly, in the end, there was no one there for Karl in his darkest hour.

“What man knows the things of a man, except the spirit of man which is in him? Even so no one understands the things of God, but by the Spirit of God.” (1Corinthians 2:11)

God’s people are not exempt from discouragement and depression. The people of the Church of God are facing more and more trials in this evil age and are prone to becoming discouraged and, yes, at times even depressed and despondent. Many among the true saints are going through serious problems related to age, accident or illness. For many, these afflictions may last the rest of their natural lives. These kinds of pressures continue to be a source of constant struggle, which bring about discouragement and depression. Even the strong of mind and heart can sometimes become discouraged and depressed. It is nothing to be ashamed of.

Many of the prophets and great men of God were mentally tormented with discouragement and depression. Moses, Elijah, Jonah, and many other leaders among God's people fell prey to emotional stress and strain. Discouragement and depression are not the malady of a weak mind or a sinful heart. Brilliant intellectuals and statesmen have been brought to their knees. Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Florence Nightingale and Meriwether Lewis suffered horribly from discouragement and depression.

God has promised us that He will see us through every trial. But, let’s understand that even the faithful martyrs did not physically survive their final trial – and yet, God’s words are true:

“He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5)

God has honored us with the most precious gift that a person can have – His calling.  We have been selected to have a place at the wedding feast with Jesus Christ as His bride. If we remain faithful to our calling, by accepting our trials with faith and dealing with them with perseverance, we will be welcomed into the Kingdom of God with these words:

“Well done thou good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21, 23)

Take heart, and remember what a tremendous privilege it is to have been chosen at this time, as first fruits. All our efforts to overcome this world will be rewarded by our gracious Father. The magnificence of the Kingdom of God will cause all of our present-day trials to pale into insignificance. Karl’s healing awaits the resurrection.


Anonymous said...

Rod Meredith should be humiliated at his weak and empty tribute to Beyersdorfer. While I don't agree with everything Zehrung wrote, at least he was honest about the depression and the fact that Beyersdorfer was no longer pleased with the Living Church of God. Meredith has no credibility.

Byker Bob said...

This is pretty much in keeping with what I had speculated would be taking place in the minds of many of the stalwarts as the Armstrong prophecies continue to fail, forty + years after the fact.

It would have been much healthier if they had decided after the failure of 1975 that prophecy should be gradually minimized in the sermons, letters, and publications. Because they did not do this, they have been left with a problem that is systemic. Prophecy has been the boogie man or billy club that the ministry used to keep everyone compliant, and to maintain the level of offerings.

This is a very real problem, and it is not going to simply go away. By now, the idea that these are the end times, and that something should be happening to bring at least one of the ACOGs into national prominence to warn the world is so ingrained in the members' minds, that it would be nearly impossible to educate such members away from that mindset. Look at what has happened any time anyone has attempted to correct the errors of Armstrongism. The programming is so deep, that members simply won't allow correction of any type, unless it is to make things more strict.

These people are going to need our prayers.


itstimecog said...

I never knew the man but from what is written, one can assume he was a very devout man, committed to doing the work he felt was his calling.
In his heart, he was trying his best to shepherd the flock, which is far more then the leadership above him.
He felt he was failing and that was crushing to him so in reality, he gave his life for the sheep.
Wouldn't you say, that scenario sounds familiar.
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Anonymous said...

There are Christians today with Gods holy spirit, who have lived harder lives than Karl. Yet when they died, or will die, practically no one noticed or will notice. Not even a mention in a 'dissident' site.

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

Under the post, Living Church of God Pastor Commits Suicide I wrote, "The declining situation of the Armstrong religion after a lifetime of support and dedication has to play into any consideration as to why a LCG minister would commit suicide". Richard May 29, 2016 at 5:17 PM.

MY COMMENT- Thank you Mr. Zehrung for confirming my gut instincts. I still feel sad when I think of Mr. Beyersdorfer besides the fact I remember him because that could have been anyone of us who might have woken up after 50+ years to discover the fact that Herbert Armstrong was a fraud, and therefore everything that followed Mr. Armstrong is a also a fraud. I am thankful I got out of the Church in 1976 although to the estrangement to my family, and I am very thankful to Registrar Mr. William Stenger who sent me my Ambassador College reject letter. I still have the letter, and I should have it framed and put on the wall next to my Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland, and my Masters in Business Administration from Drake University.

Had I not left the Church in 1976 and had I not been an Ambassador College reject, my life might have taken a completely different direction. And who knows? I might have ended up like Mr. Beyersdorfer 40 years later. Perhaps that is why I have been feeling so bad every time I think about him. Not to mention how the idiot Rod Meredith initially handled his death with "the cone of silence" to the Church.


Anonymous said...

Let hope that the mans suicide is one final sin that he committed, before being resurrected to eternal life.

Anonymous said...

Warren Zehrung is obviously a disciple of Herbert W. Armstrong (who was a false prophet) and an adherent of Armstrongism (which is false in its theology). In my opinion, I think that Karl Beyersdorfer became disillusioned and displeased with himself and LCG because he realized that he and LCG are wrong in their theology and he became depressed because he realized that he and LCG are teaching false doctrine. I had the pleasure of meeting him back in 2013, when he was invited to the local congregation I used to attend. He was brought in to give a sermon which I felt was directed at me because I had informed the local ministry of my doubts about Armstrongism. There were things he mentioned in his sermon that gave me the deep suspicion that he really hadn't bought into what he was selling within his sermon. I thought he was a nice man and I'm saddened by his death. I am thankful that I got out of LCG when I did. I continually pray to God that He would open the eyes, ears, and hearts of everyone at LCG and all the Armstrong splinter groups, and that they would repent from following Herbert W. Armstrong and his teachings and turn to Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

FYI, Warren Zehrung's son-in-law, Sheldon Munson, is still a minister in LCG. Having gotten to know WZ and "his wife" a fair amount (who should give him some serious insight on being mentally unstable), regularly stated his SIL didn't agree with all LCG teaches, which may be true, but he still remains a part of the organization, contrary to following WZ, much to WZ's chagrin.

WZ, on the other hand, has jumped to and from several organizations, finally starting his own group, with just a few older people who listen to him on any basis. He's very bitter about what has taken place within the ministry in the greater COG (which at first sounds wonderful and refreshing), but like most of them, he's now one of the few "enlightened" who are doing all things right (at least in his own eyes).

I know several people who have had major issues with the Zehrung's, so his/their credibility should be kept in context, as they too are guilty of not always being as honest as they should be, especially in dealing with them and their own peculiar attitudes and ways.

I knew Karl B fairly well, and know he wasn't always in lockstep with the COG leadership and was often seen by them as odd or not a team player (something I'm sure didn't bother him all that much, perhaps until his mind became disoriented). I agree with some of WZ's assessment that no one in church leadership has EVER understood mental issues, since they all seem to have so many of their own, including WZ. Maybe from that standpoint, especially with his spouse, lends some some of his words credibility, but very little in MHO.

WZ prides himself in thinking he has the inside track on much of the COG, gossiping with his fellow ministers when it best meets his criteria (his "inside info" he shares in this letter bears this out about KB as though they were totally simpatico).

Unfortunately, like so many COG ministers, his own nakedness as just another egotistical emperor, is just as blinded to himself, about himself. So, when reading this, try to remember that while his concern for KB sounds noble and even has some viability, may be just a ploy to gain a few more to his lair.

NO2HWA said...

I agree Anon 2:00 with everything you have said about Zehrung. He had lost his credibility in the WCG before he ever started jumping ship from one pathetic group to another. He has been a failure in all of his church hopping in that he usually only found a small group of older members to send in their money to keep money his pocket.

The main reason I posted this comment was that he admitted that Beyersdorpher started questioning the church and his place in it. He obviously saw that any good he was actually was doing was being thwarted by the church. These two highlighted paragraphs were things that Rod Meredith knew but refused to be transparent about in his letter to his declining membership. Meredith has to present the fake facade of having the most unified ministry and church ever to exist. By doing that he gets money to roll in. If he admitted that the church had issues then the money would stop. Being transparent is not a quality that Meredith has.

As for the rest of what Zehrung wrote, its a steaming pile of bullshit.

Former WCG Member said...

Whatever your feelings about Warren Zehrung, this particular blog is not about him--it is about his tribute to Karl Beyersdorfer. I was one of the few who was not a fan of Mr. B, as we called him down here in Louisiana; his "style" rubbed me the wrong way. But he was a good & decent man, a humble man, and a true servant. If you can put your feelings about Zehrung & company aside for a moment & just listen to his tribute, you will gain a true picture of Karl Beyersdorfer the man:

Anonymous said...

Former WCG Member, thank you for that link. I listened to about an hour, not wanting to spend any more time I stopped, but it was interesting and quite a tribute to the man. There was a lot of explaining of the reasons for depression in the current church, but (in the first hour at least) Warren didn't actually mention what I feel may be true -- Mr.B actually came to the realization that the whole thing was fake and a lie right from the beginning, and he had spent his life pushing it on other fools. I don't think he was depressed just by lack of growth and the current direction of his particular group, I think he finally saw 'the truth'. He had a revelation that it was all just a bunch of bs.

For us ordinary folk life is full of revelations often unpleasant and unsettling. The fairy tales of our youth usually melt away quickly enough upon reaching adulthood. It must be especially hard for those who somehow spent their whole lives living in a fairy tale, and then began to doubt it but could not get out.

Anonymous said...

@WCG member...before we make KB into a saint or try to separate WZ from previous comparisons in this blog, I had numerous encounters with KB over the years and he often came across like a typical WCG minister...arrogant, condescending and very close minded when it came to accepting that he could ever be wrong.

He often was a genuine bastard and it was only when I finally stood my ground against him within the area's YOU and sports, in particular, did he finally back down and actually allowed for someone else's position. I too, finally gained some new respect for the man at that point.

In contrast, WZ came across very genuine when I first met him and I had an immediate connection with him. We spoke several times on the phone and they even came to our area to visit. It was only when we came to a Feast to attend with him, did I see another side of the man...duplicitous, subversive and totally self absorbed. His wife was a whole different kettle of fish...a total mental case that WZ was intent on protecting at all costs.

The point is, KB started out as a jackass, but eventually came to some semblance of being a man who could be entreated and actually tried to minister to the people without the better than thou attitude. That part WZ has right.

I just have no respect for anything WZ has to say, since he seems to come across as genuine, but it always is in a self serving way. WZ actually can say some good things, but as I have talked to several people who have had the same experiences with WZ, I still question his motive. The man is an opportunist and seeks what he wants and his true sincerity just seems lacking.

I do agree that this blog should be about KB and why someone commits suicide....I just can't reconcile the character of WZ with the glowing verbiage he portrays. He seems to always have an agenda and motive. I hope I'm wrong on all this, but my history with both men seems to bear out what has been written previously.

My guess is WZ is using KB's situation to justify his wife's mental issues....and trust me, she has plenty, but so does he.

Former WCG Member said...

Anon. 6:24, I think it is pretty low to bring WZ's wife into this. Several times you have alluded to her so-called mental issues, and you call her "a total mental case that WZ was intent on protecting at all costs." Isn't that a husband's job, to protect & defend his wife?! Them's fightin' words--where I come from, men have been known to beat the crap out of someone who makes a disparaging remark about their wife!

Anonymous said...

He was a good man. May he rest in peace. May his family heal and remember the good.