Saturday, June 3, 2017

LCG: Is It One Big Happy Family Or Is The Wall Starting To Crack?

LCG's Doug Winnail has a post up to encourage LCG members to remain true to the LCG message.  It has long been reported that LCG has a strong undercurrent brewing from within with people who are sick of the abuse going on and those who follow every utterance from on high as if God was speaking.

There are 3 kinds of people currently in LCG.  There are those that see issues and abuse going on and see the need to change church teachings on certain subjects.  There are those that are waiting to see what explosion is going to happen with control of the church since Meredith's' death  Then there are those that blissfully and blindly sit by and believe the Living Church of God is the most unified COG out there.

LCG knows there are issues brewing under the surface and are constantly trying to hold the crumbling wall together.  With power struggles already brewing and people bucking to be seen in control, it is not going to be a pretty picture in a few months.  Of course, it is the member's fault and never that the church leadership has some serious issues it needs to correct.  How dare you sit in judgment of the church!  Shame on you!!!!!

Big Picture or Loose Bricks?

Solomon wrote, “Where there is no vision, the people perish; but happy is he who keeps the law” (Proverbs 29:18, KJV and NKJV). Jesus told His disciples, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). Jesus commissioned His disciples to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15), to warn the world and the nations of Israel about sobering events to come (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21) and to prepare a people to rule with Him in the Kingdom (Luke 1:17; Revelation 5:10). To accomplish this mission today requires a team that is of one mind and can work together (1 Corinthians 1:10; Ephesians 4:11-16), as each individual strives to exercise the fruits of God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:16-26). This is the big picture that we need to keep our minds focused on. Yet, we can lose sight of this big picture if we begin to focus on details and issues not clearly defined in the Scriptures—the loose brick or doctrine that we feel the Church does not understand—and then sit in judgment of the Church that has been given the responsibility to do the Work and make decisions in these areas (1 Timothy 3:15; 2 Timothy 2:14-23). Jesus chided the Pharisees for their fixation on the minute details of the law, while not grasping the intent of the law (Matthew 23:23-24). The Apostle Paul repeatedly warned the New Testament Church not to be misled by different ideas about the gospel (Galatians 1:6-9), arguments over fables and genealogies (1Timothy 1:4; 4:1-6) and different views about the resurrection (2 Timothy 2:14-19). Let’s all strive to stay focused on the big picture, and not be distracted by peripheral issues.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail



LCG Expositor said...

Rod Meredith's actions always indicated that he thought disaster was a heartbeat away. Thus, he acted in fear, not faith. Why did he have to demonize Charles Bryce? Because he was afraid he would lose many people to Bryce. Why was he so harsh on all the other churches? Because he was afraid if he left people to be led by the Holy Spirit, many might leave. Why did he hide little facts like the LCN skipping an issue because they were low on cash? He was afraid people would think this was the beginning of the end and would bail. Why did he fail to announce that Raymond McNair had come into the employ of the church (after his negotiated "repentance")? He was afraid that people would see it was all a fraud. I could go on, but the key is that Meredith regularly hid facts and propagandized others so that his people wouldn't leave. To avoid splits, the new leadership needs to do the same thing, as dishonest as it is. "We are the only ones doing a real work." "We are the only ones with the right government." "I'm the only remaining original evangelist." (Oops, can't use that anymore.) "That church has a harsh, dictatorial government." "That church is a social group." "Do you believe that Jesus is the Head of the church? Then if you reject us, you are judging Jesus."
On the other hand, if they abandon the brainwashing and instead practice faith in Jesus Christ to place His disciples as He sees fit, LCG might actually grow! Don't count on it. If they embrace UCG, COGWA, and others as brothers rather than condemning them, LCG might actually grow! Don't count on it.

Steve D said...

I takes a certain type of courage to go into boxing as RCM did as a youth. It takes another type of courage, intellectual courage, to allow open discussion of different views on Scripture. I think RCM was an intellectual coward. He would not allow other viewpoints to be openly discussed in "First year Bible" at AC. If you didn't toe the line you were said to have a "bad attitude" or an unteachable spirit. Can you imagine HWA taking questions from the audience on Friday night in the gymnasium of AC? Can you imagine him submitting to an interview where his views are challenged by real scholars? You would be shouted down as they would dominate the conversation. As the Mormons used to be told, and probably still are, "When the decisions have been made, the thinking has been done."

Anonymous said...

Why did he have to demonize Charles Bryce? Because he was afraid he would lose many people to Bryce.

Dr. Meredith's paranoia was so great that he constantly imagined that others were going to split off from the church and take a lot of people away. Why did he think that way? Because that was what was in his own heart, as evidenced by his splitting first from WCG and then from GCG when he didn't get to be in charge.

Whenever Dr. Meredith met a minister who might have been a competent and charismatic leader (two qualities that HWA himself said RCM did not possess) he felt threatened, and he did what he could to undermine that minister. This is why there are so many mediocre ministers in high positions in LCG. Their main skill is butt-kissing, not leading.

Anonymous said...

11.04 PM
I agree with your comment except the LCG "might actually grow." Doors open and doors shut. Time has simply run out for new people to qualify for the kingdom. Gods basically not calling any more people. Which is why the average age in the splinters is about 75. Hence the Living Church of old farts, the United church of old farts, the Restored church of old farts etc.

DennisCDiehl said...

Steve noted: "He would not allow other viewpoints to be openly discussed in "First year Bible" at AC."

In hindsight and after years of study on the content, origins, dis-harmony of the Gospels and such, "First year Bible" was a joke and merely a platform for RCM to give yet another ranting sermon as the mere Bible reader he was. I don't recall him taking any questions during class and I am sure the class did not have enough background to ask any. I did venture one ONCE when I spotted a seeming contradiction. RCM said to the class in response to my question. "Will someone tell Dennis what I just said." Whoa...never asked again.

The "mere Bible reader" minister is an impediment to truth of all kinds. The ministry of all the COG's are such. Their "doctrines" are opinions gleaned from proof texting to the tune of "here a little, there a little, line upon line, precept upon precept" which I hope by now readers here understand is a gross misunderstanding of the concept .

The only solace I find in my own WCG/ministry naive choice and life experience is that I could not be here if I had not been there. We often say that "experience is the best teacher , but the tuition is high." To me it seems more like experience is the only teacher. The rest is merely hearsay.

All the drama and trauma of the COG's has not changed one bit over the years. The only churches that are all "all one body we, one in hope and doctrine, one in charity..." are those that don't major in the minors, don't have complicated doctrines they dare not get wrong which then leads to arguments ad naseum forever, are not lead by the one true leader theologically ignorant man, don't see Satan behind harmless and celebratory holidays, don't revel in the Old Testament, shun prophetic nonsense, stick to the Gospels and Epistles (not caring about the issues they raise themselves though their educated pastors know them well) and make every effort to better the community in which they reside.

The Pack, Flurrys, Thiels and others so inclined are bedbugs, mosquitoes, chiggers and gnats of theology and life.

Anonymous said...

I have noticed that Winnail recycles his post quite often. He does one on loose bricks,teamwork, what are you thankful for etc. I'm not sure if it's being lazy or these are real problems.

For the person who keeps bringing up Charles Bryce: Are you one of his kids? I had him as a minister. I found him to be a liar like all the rest. He lied to me personally several times. He loves to play favorites. He would still be in LCG if he could be the boss. He is no saint so please stop.

Connie Schmidt said...


(An Anagram is a word or phrase formed by rearranging all the letters of another word or phrase.)...







Ronco said...

"We are the only ones with the right government." "I'm the only remaining original evangelist." (Oops, can't use that anymore.)

Indeed, Elvis has left the building...

Paul Ray said...

I did not know that Meredith had died. Maybe this will allow LCG to splinter further and further into insignificance.

Dennis Diehl said...

LCG would be wise to simply adopt the view of "that's a personal/individual choice" instead of having to rule on every topic. Then the church could focus on not judging each other instead of everything else

Byker Bob said...

Herbert Armstrong's legendary and irrational temper did about as much as was ever possible to create unity within Armstrongism, but that factor is long gone. It is fairly obvious that a religious movement started by a man, his pet theories and borrowed interpretations could not expect God to create or promote unity amongst them. So, basically, splintering in spite of authoritarian church governance is the only obvious and predictable outcome. If they are qualifying for anything, ACOG members are qualifying to be able to deal with confusion and disappointment, which are of course good life skills for dealing with a world proceding towards entropy, but not quite the kingdom skills they have been conditioned to believe.

LCG is not a standout, somehow at the head of the pack of Armstrongism. They've got the same disease symptoms as the rest of the splinters, despite their orators' best efforts to the contrary. The toilet was "courtesy" flushed in 1975, and then reflushed upon the death of HWA. More recent events are simply analagous to the occasional use of Drano and Ajax as part of the final cleanup.


Anonymous said...

Crack? It's going to splinter! Petty jealousies will come into play because all those guys want to be top dog and get more of the dwindling pie, have the adoration, etc. People have to have "faith" to hang onto against solid reasoning. Faith is the eternal enemy of every human being. It stifles and tries to destroy reason.

Allen C. Dexter

Anonymous said...

I bet many women will recall HWA talking about how women plucked out their eyebrows and then drew them on higher up, etc.
Judgement and jumping to conclusions were his primary method of dealing with people.
It was passed on to the rest of the church.
His oft repeated "You women...." was heard ad nauseum as the old sexist sat on his throne to pontificate and judge others.
Yes, the church needs to take more heed of Christ and less of HWA. It might solve a lot of problems.

Anonymous said...

LCG would be wise to simply adopt the view of "that's a personal/individual choice" instead of having to rule on every topic.

That will never happen, because it would disempower the ministry. In LCG, the ministry exists to enforce conformity. Which is ironic, because among the LCG ministry there is as much doctrinal disagreement as among the members. For instance, if you live in one of Mario Hernandez's congregations you can get away with believing very different things than if you live in one of Rick Stafford's congregations. It will be interesting to see whether TANGLED SOWER (thanks, Connie!) tries to enforce greater doctrinal uniformity, or maybe even roll back a couple of the least-liked doctrinal upgrades, such as the wacky new Falling Away idea and the Marriage Supper happening in Heaven after a kind of "rapture" of the saints before Christ next sets foot on planet Earth.

Anonymous said...

When I was attended services, most of the ministers followed members around like dogs. I don't find in my bible, ministers given the responsibility of being members resident critic and resident judge.
I felt I was in a Nazi concentration camp.
Members have a right to be left alone.

LCG Expositor said...

Whenever Dr. Meredith met a minister who might have been a competent and charismatic leader (two qualities that HWA himself said RCM did not possess) he felt threatened, and he did what he could to undermine that minister.

One way he did that was to bring them to Charlotte where he could control them and keep an eye on them. There are others, but classic examples are Wally Smith and Mario Hernandez, both of whom always exhibited 100% loyalty to Meredith, but that didn't matter. They both had lots of people in the field that liked them, and that was a threat to Meredith. So, he brought them to Charlotte, where they got caught up in the bureaucracy, administrative functions, and saw their ministry greatly diminish.

Anonymous said...

Blah, blah, blah. You people here who are waiting and watching for the LCG to implode are going to be waiting for a VERY LONG TIME - if ever - to see that happen. You have zero, and I repeat -ZERO, understanding or any credible insight into what is REALLY going on within the LCG. There are an overwhelming and VAST majority number of the members, as well as the ENTIRE ministry, who are behind Gerald Weston, Doug Winnail, and Richard Ames, COMPLETELY. We are truly excited about where we are going and the focus that we need to have to get there. There is a real sense of urgency to carry out the mission that we believe we have been called to perform that I have never seen before, and I've been with them since 1996. All of you vultures who come here to spout your "evidence" and "insight" into what is "really" happening, well, keep it up. It's entertaining reading!

Anonymous said...

"I felt I was in a Nazi concentration camp."

Or an American, Russian, or Canadian concentration camp. They all had them too, but their countries didn't get bombed to the point where food and medicine could not be transported around.

The CoGs are mainly an American phenomena.

Anonymous said...

Yes, those churches made rules on many things. A big part of the reason is people were always asking questions and wanting to know exactly how to do this or that, or the truth of this or that. That's what happens when the book says every jot and tittle matters. So the ministry thought they had to come up with answers for lots of little questions. Like on makeup, it was the women who were questioning other women that started the whole thing. The women brought the issue to the ministry in the first place (if you believe Herbert on that point). And you had people like Meredith who thought every jot and tittle matters, and he would say, "you must brush your teeth God's way." It was not to be taken literally but it was meant to drive home the point: do every little thing "God's way".

Anonymous said...

"all those guys want to be top dog"

I think many of them have the idea that the top dogs in this life will also be the top dogs in the next life. The higher up you climb the more you can accomplish for God, so it gets competitive. So they put their position over their own character. That would be a huge spiritual mistake.

Anonymous said...

7.16 PM
"A real sense of urgency?" I find that hard to believe after decades of 'in the next short 3-5 years,' or this 'one final push.' Yawn, yawn is more like it.
Believe it or not, many people live productive lives with a sense of urgency.

Anonymous said...

7.29 PM
The Nazis and the Russians had a network of concentration camps for political prisoners prior to WW2. Torture and executions were common. The Americans and Canadians had no such camps.

nck said...

Well done 5:40. I don't know how 7:29 acquires his information.
Concentration camps were of course a British invention from the Boer War.


RSK said...

Sounds like the same story I heard in 1986...

RSK said...

Guessing 7:29 refers to the internment camps in the US and Canada at the time. Canada's interning of potential political enemies, maybe. Possibly a better, broader term would be "prison camp"?

Anonymous said...

In the 1980 movie Breaker Morant, three Australia officers were trialled and executed for killing some Boer prisoners in a prison camp. Very different from Stalins or Hitler's concentration camps, no?
PS there were prison camps during Americas civil war as well.

Anonymous said...

LCG is like a damn with a tiny crack. With time it will worsen and eventually it will tumble.

If there hadn't already been issues prior to the death of their anointed leader (tongue-in-cheek) perhaps it would be a smooth transition. However, there were already issues/ loose bricks so a shift in the foundation is inevitable.

It will be curious to see if they maintain their doctrinal "upgrades" once Richard Ames kicks the bucket. I doubt it. Most in LCG are Armstrongites through and through. It's rough for them to swallow changes that HWA didn't sanction but they do in blind submission because they have witnessed 1st hand what LCG ministry does to those who don't drink the Kool-Aid.

I'm sure many LCG members like Mr. Weston but there are just as many who have a negative opinion of the man. He has a reputation and unforgiving and harsh. He kicks kids out of LYC (camp) for minor infractions and loves to play God on who can and can not get married/ divorced.

On the positive side, Mr. Weston is far less into corruption and boot-licking than RCM was. He hates a weasel (so men like Wyatt Ceiseikla and Rod McNair better watch their steps). That doesn't mean he isn't into favoritism and different rules for different members, because he is (it must be in the DNA of ACOG ministry) but I can't see him putting up with schemers and ass-kissers.

I know Mr. Weston well enough to know that he will maintain the status quo for a while. He is a patient man. But ultimately, he will clean house and make the changes that he wants to make. He's holding the reigns and there is no way he's not going to use that kind of power to "clean up God's church". Lines will be draw and changes will be made. The writing is already on the wall.

Anonymous said...

When I was in LCG Mr. Meredith used to preach that it was "God the Father, Jesus Christ at His right hand and then me [RCM] as the leader of God's church". He used to admonish members to obey him (RCM) because he was third in command and so to not obey him was akin to not obeying Christ Himself.

My Question:

Is Gerald Weston now 3rd in all the universe?

Anonymous said...

What the readers here at Banned likely don't firmly grasp is that LCG is a corporation. Corporations have owners.

Someone's name is on the bank account and it isn't Gerald Weston.

RCM appointed Gerald Weston as the acting head evangelist. Kind of like the CEO if you will.

What the members of LCG should be asking is where does the money trail end?

LCG brings in 8-10 million dollars a year. If they folded shop tomorrow and paid all their debts, who would be the benefactor?

There is no way on earth that Rod Meredith (who had about 3 lawyers) just gave Gerald Weston the keys to the coffers. I can almost guarantee that Lil' Jimmy and his brothers will be set for life.

I'm not judging. Hell, I'd do the same thing if I had a multi-million dollar company! But the LCG minions are in total denial about the money and the power in their little splinter group.

Wake up people! LCG is a business. Send your money if you must but at least understand where it is going.

PS - It would be awesome if Gerald Weston forged his name to a bunch of LCG checks in the middle of the night to steal money to start another splinter group just like Spanky did!

Anonymous said...

Meredith preached repeatedly about LCG members being "herded into concentration camps" in the tribulation.

That was usually what he said right before he rambled on about himself being "put in chains, beaten and jailed (just like the apostle Paul) for powerfully preaching the truth"!

His sermons were so repetitive. I'm pretty sure I could give an impromptu RCM sermon without notes after sitting through them year after year.

Anonymous said...

Most of the ACOGs completely misunderstand "judgment." They teach their members that it is wrong to judge, as if this means they should not use their Holy Spirit-given discernment to figure out when a minister is lying or is not properly dividing the Word of God. The truth is that Christians are not to pass sentence on sinners, because only God has the authority to do that. Winnail is twisting Scripture by insisting that the "Big Picture" is all that matters, as if the big picture is not made up from countless smaller details. "Don't sweat the small stuff" is a popular worldly philosophy, but it is not Christianity. Christians should take notice when their ministers make mistakes. They should not be uncharitable, nor should they blow small mistakes out of proportion. But neither should they deny those mistakes, which seems to be what Winnail is advocating.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 7:16:

Ass kiss much?

Anonymous said...

Winnail seems to have trained his people very well. There is only one judgment on about Living University or a Living University professor (Prof. Peter Nathan). At least, to Living's credit, it's a very positive evaluation of Mr. Nathan. I guess, though, according to Winnail, that positive evaluation was inappropriate, as the student should not have judged.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:15AM is badly misinformed.

LCG brings in 8-10 million dollars a year.

The last time they disclosed their income, it was more like $15 million a year. If that has dropped to $10 million, they really are in crisis. What's more telling than the yearly income is what's called the "reserves." How much cash-on-hand does LCG keep in reserve in case there's a serious crisis that interrupts the flow of tithes? Meredith "trusted God" and kept the reserves down to a few weeks, while more cautious (read "fiscally responsible") voices urged as much as a six-moth reserve. Will Weston cut back on expenses to build the reserve, or will he "step out in faith" and expand LCG's payroll and outreach?

Someone's name is on the bank account and it isn't Gerald Weston.

Actually, assuming that Weston is a corporate officer, his name IS on the bank account. It's not there alone, of course. The Meredith kids have a more subtle kind of power, in that Weston knows they could sink LCG if they spoke truthfully about what has been going on. Weston will buy the Merediths off by giving them positions more comfortable than they could ever get by themselves in the real world. If that doesn't happen, wait for the heads to roll when David Meredith spills the beans on Wile E. Ciesielka, Dylan King, and others who have tried to keep him on the straight and narrow.

Wake up people! LCG is a business. Send your money if you must but at least understand where it is going.

When times were good, LCG was actually one of the more transparent ACOGs, publishing its audited financials every year in its member magazine. They stopped doing that last year, instead burying the information on their website. This year it looks like they aren't planning to make that information available at all, which makes sense in light of Weston's reputation for secretiveness. Or will Weston surprise us and go back to the old openness, publishing the financials in the member magazine this summer?

Anonymous said...

Here are the Living Church of God articles of incorporation, articles of merger, and amended article of incorporation.

Byker Bob said...

I believe that people know deep down when they are simply making excuses for their ACOG. Humans have an innate sense of fair play, and know when something is not quite right. No amount of explanations or attitude counselling will get rid of that nagging feeling.


Anonymous said...

i notice that many of u are starting to turn blue in the face...exhale; it aint happening...lcg aint goin anywhere soon...

RSK said...

Dunno about that, BB. A careful thinker might, but a lot of folks aren't that thoughtful.

Anonymous said...

Doug Winnail, one of those hirelings who left his ministerial credentials behind when he fled the WCG in Pasadena wrote: "...Yet, we can lose sight of this big picture if we begin to focus on details and issues not clearly defined in the Scriptures—the loose brick or doctrine that we feel the Church does not understand—and then sit in judgment of the Church that has been given the responsibility to do the Work..."

Do the work? What work? Living, like the United Ass., cogw ass., Philadelphia, etc. are doing works that resemble "the work" ancient physical Israel did. What work was that?

Acts 7:40 "Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.

:41 And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands."

The works of their own hands.

Also, HWA taught Doug Winnail to use the Authorized KJV of the Bible, but today...well, in Doug's message, Doug is wanting us all to read something called "The Message."

Doesn't Doug realize that the KJV is in the public domain, and for anyone to come up with another bible and get a copyright significant changes in wording must be made to the KJV? Duh!

Usually, the reason for most bibles getting a copyright, allows the authors to make all sorts of changes so that the authors can get/receive mammon/money. I am surprised the living members aren't even more confused than they are as they continue to anticipate their arrival of a Mickey Mouse millennium with Jesus Christ soon to reign on earth...and they continue to look for some "10 kings/heads" to show up on the world scene...etc.

Whether Doug's ideas of what he calls "the work" and his choice to use copyrighted "Message" bears any worthwhile fruit: well, time will tell...


tiramisu said...

perhaps the proverbs 31'er really meant ram a nag?

the ecstatic chorkling of y'all comes threw[sic] loud n' clear;

buon divertimento!