I received the following from a Living Church of God source. It concerns the latest screed from Gerald Weston about how the Internet is slandering him, Rod Meredith and the Living Church of God AND how Dave Pack's ads are popping up ahead of Living Church of God web links.
The LCG source writes:
No doubt this is in reference to Banned.
It's blaringly obvious that Weston and LCG simply do not understand that it's not slander if it's true and that they are literally reaping what they have sown.
If you don't want "bad things" about you on the internet, don't do bad things, right? Banned isn't slandering LCG by revealing the unjust/evil actions of LCG and its ministry!
LCG is NOTORIOUS for slandering it's members. This article for Weston is so full of hypocrisy that it is difficult to read.The article referenced above is this: Slander on Steroids
Gerald Weston, God's new right-hand man, has this to say:
Persecution can come in many different forms, and slander is one of them. Today we have more than slander—we have slander on steroids: the Internet. We all know the Internet can be a tool for good, but also for evil, and there is an evil spirit being who is promoting the latter.
When I refer to the Internet, I’m using an umbrella term to cover a variety of ways people communicate electronically: websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, texting and any other form of information quickly transferable through computers, smartphones and other devices and applications.The big bad meanies on Banned, Painful Truth, Ambassador Watch, Silenced, Living Armstrongism and scores of Facebook pages are picking on poor little LCG.
None of us who do these blogs or web sites would ever have anything to write if the leaders of the Living Church of God, and all the other COG's, would start treating members with grace, mercy and justice. If they truly practiced first century Christianity then they would be the most loving group of churches on the face of the entire planet. But they can't because they can't even get along with one another.
Weston continues with this:
Every minister of the Church has run into people who are “on fire” for the Truth one day but who somehow lose all interest overnight. We know that some of this is the result of their reading something negative about the Church on the Internet. How many are turned off this way we can only guess, but we know it happens. We also know that some unscrupulous “Church of God” organizations actively leech off the others. They deliberately target other churches by paying to have their own website come up when people are searching for other organizations. Look for information about a “Church of God” group on a search engine, and, instead, the other organization’s false site comes up first, masquerading as the one being searched for. They then use the false site to discredit the “Church of God” organization the individual was originally trying to find.The glorious thing about the internet, in spite of its foibles, has been its ability to keep Church of God leaders in check. They can no longer get by with the horrible abuses they did in the past by just disfellowshipping and marking individuals. These people will no longer shut up and slink off into the dark nether regions of Laodiceanism where they will be perpetually ignored.
Notice above Weston's comment that LCG members are reading this site and others, are asking questions, and are leaving. Far more must be leaving than we imagined for this to be publicly mentioned!
Weston calls the ads by other COG's "false sites" in much the same way Bob Thiel uses "improperly named" as a smear tactic against other COG's and Christians. Weston then claims that this advertising is done to discredit the LCG, even as he next directly discredits Pack as a false church. While Pack is the biggest user of this advertising, one can also see UCG, COGWA and PCG pop up every once in a while. This should be fair warring to UCG and COGWA that LCG has no interest in every cooperating, regardless of the recent exchange of HQ visits. (More on this development to come in another post tomorrow from another LCG source.)
Weston then admits LCG has a lot of disgruntled members in its midst.
Of course, every business, social group or church will have a few disgruntled and unhappy individuals who are eager to trash the object of their dissatisfaction. When was the last time you found a hotel online that had 100 percent happy reviews? You cannot please everyone all the time, especially if part of your mission is to call upon people to change their behavior (Isaiah 58:1). Human nature being what it is, we have a tendency to believe the worst, especially if there is a bit of colorful sarcasm and wit thrown in.It should be pointed out to Weston that hotel reviews and criticism of COG's by blogs and web sites are two entirely DIFFERENT things. While both deal with poor service, some of it much deserved, LCG claims that it is God's own which hotels do not. If it is God's own, then it cannot make mistakes or be criticized. To do so is to criticize God directly. Hotels/businesses that receive bad reviews usually attempt to change things for the better. LCG does no such thing, even though it knows exactly how bad their service truly is by all of the various comments made by its own members on blogs/web sites and Facebook.
LCG claims it is there RESTORED truth that practices first century Christianity. They claim they are God's chosen church and have the ONLY truth available that has been personally handed to them by Jesus Christ through Rod Meredith and Herbert Armstrong. Really?
Jesus never abuse members like the leaders of the LCG do. Jesus never treated members with such disdain as the leadership of the LCG does. Jesus never had disgruntled members pushed over the edge by one of his sermons, who then storm off to later return to the synagogue and slaughter listeners. Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners, the vile people that Rod Meredith and others refuse to eat with. When has Meredith and Weston ever sat down at a table and had dinner with a prostitute, a drug user, a homeless family, a gay couple, a Muslim, a Buddhist or God forbid, a Catholic neighbor?
Next Weston attacks authors of books that a are critical of the church. How dare they call LCG a cult! Boo Hoo!
Some Protestant groups distort our teachings and call the Church of God a cult, even meriting whole chapters in some books. There is nothing new about distortions, misrepresentations and name-calling (Acts 24:5), but the Internet in all its facets spreads such misinformation and epithets more swiftly and to a wider audience than was ever possible before through books and tracts. There is sometimes some element of “truth” but always with a twist and misinformation that distorts the “truth,” turning it into a lie. Since Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44), it should not surprise us that he would use this tactic, as seen in the temptation of Christ recorded in Matthew 4. The devil accurately quoted from Psalm 91: “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone’” (Matthew 4:6). But he took these passages totally out of context.Truth twisted into a lie. That is the favorite way that the leadership of the Church of God has used over the last 80 some years to discredit anyone who dares to hold them accountable. They fail to see that that little nugget of truth is a sure sign that there is a bigger cess pool lying just under the surface.
Weston then trots out Paul, David, Jeremiah and others to discredit blogs, web sites and unhappy people. They have always been there through history ready to discourage the true believers.
Yes, it is hard to find in Scripture an example of a significant servant of God who did not suffer persecution by false accusation. The Apostle Paul was a special target for the “bloggers” of his day...Weston then gets to the typical end product of screeds like this. It is big bad meanie Satan who is behind all the blogs, web sites, and otherwise grumpy church people.
It is Satan who stirs up slander, and he has no regard for the truth. He can be sarcastic, funny and charming in the way he sells his lies. How many times have we read John 8:44? And yet do we, as human beings, really get it? Jesus said of certain ones, “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
Satan specializes in one particular kind of lie, as we read near the beginning of this article. He mixes truth with error and by doing so is able to deceive gullible people.Satan has no power over anyone who is grounded in faith which is actually true. Apparently the Living Church of God has massively failed in this department. Find the truth Gerald, it will set you free, so much so that you don't need to constantly be looking over your shoulder for Satan's next attack.
Of course, Satan is not averse to making up outright lies, as seen in Genesis 3 where he told Eve, “You will not surely die,” even though God had told Adam they would. Just as with Eve, some people naïvely believe a total stranger more than someone they have known for a long time—and that is one of the problems with the Internet. Unknown and unrighteous individuals who have accomplished little, but who have lots of time on their hands, can become a “somebody” overnight. Sadly, there are plenty of people who will believe whatever they say, especially if they say it dogmatically, along with a tiny bit of truth mixed with falsehood.
Weston then writes:
Instead of preaching the Gospel to the world and warning Israel and all mankind about what is coming, these individuals are content to tear down and slander those who are doing these jobs, and they are often “equal opportunity” slanderers. It isn’t just the Living Church of God they are eager to destroy. They have animosity toward any group that teaches anything about the Sabbath, the Holy Days and the Kingdom of God. Why?Who is slandering you and the LCG? Your own members? Do you recall how you treated the Scarborough's? Do you recall how your boss drove Terry Ratzmann over the edge with one endless doom and gloom sermon after another? How about the gay church members that have to sit there week after week and listen to your boss treat them like shit? Since when have you ever practiced true Christianity and acted like Jesus? When have you ever taught anything Jesus did? Do you even know the man?
It should be obvious that they have an agenda, and even if everything they report were true—which it never is—their passion is not for God. How anyone can expect to enter the Kingdom of God by such behavior is beyond comprehension, and maybe that tells us something about what truly motivates them.You bet we have an agenda! We are sick, just like your own members are sick, of watching you and your fellow leaders treat members like dirt, steal their money to live your privileged lifestyles, build expensive mini campuses and worship Herbert Armstrong instead of Jesus. We are sick of you preaching heretical doctrines and practices that ignore the New Covenant and its meaning and we are sick of your bastardization of the gospel about a world where you and your fellow masters can lord yourselves over people in your kingdoms with your rods of iron. Who wants to be part of that kingdom you promote? What hope do they have in being under your "government"? Who wants it!?!?!?
Read the entire article here then let Weston and LCG know how things really are!
Slander on Steroids