"act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes to his fellowmen, or to society in general, contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty between man and man."
The following came from a confidential Living Church of God source. I hesitated to post this since it was "old" news, but after reading the letter below you will quickly see that some the leadership of the Living Church of God is debased in so many areas. The shocking thing is, knowing as you read this, that these are ministers saying and doing these things. Men who SHOULD know better and SHOULD be setting the example. and who SHOULD NOT be lying.
I was somewhat hesitant to share this letter publicly because these people have been through so much and it's kind of old news but I decided ultimately that shinning a light on the evil behavior occurring in LCG was more important. LCG members need to know what kind of people they are supporting with their tithe money and blind obedience. If reading about LCG ministerial abuses helps just one person find the courage to stand up for what's right, then my goal will have been achieved. Rod McNair and men like him have gotten away with bullying, lying and abusing church members without accountability for far too long. I've already begun to read through McNair's deposition and it is glaringly obvious that he attempted to crush these people without cause.
The ministry of the church has never been trained in ethics. Ethics were not taught in the colleges of the past nor is ethics a part of the culture of the "universities" present in a few splinter groups. Men who have been taught how to make ethical decisions will make moral decisions based upon what is right and what is wrong. Even with the gray areas in life, good moral and ethical training will lead a leader to make the right decision in most cases.
This has not been the case in the Living Church of God since its inception. From the corrupt actions that led to the founding of the Global Church of God to the highly immoral activities when Living split off of it, the LCG has been in an ethical crisis mode ever since. Men of good moral character have been routinely throttled and eventually driven out.
What follows is a letter regarding the Scarborough lawsuit and their interaction with certain Living Church of God leadership.
Living Church of God
Council of Elders
2301 Crown Center Drive
December 9, 2016
Patrick and I recently learned that writing to the COE was an option for getting our case heard and so we are writing you today in hopes that the enclosed information will facilitate an enlightening of the facts surrounding the events that led to our marking and the subsequent filing of our lawsuit. Even if you collectively decide to continue to ignore us and continue to refuse to meet with us to work through our problems, as true Christians are commanded, we feel it’s important for you to see actual evidence regarding the facts. Not opinions. Not rumors. No spin. Just facts.
After great amounts of energy, time, prayer and expense we ultimately discovered that Rod McNair and Bob League marked us for 3 trivial events (this was confirmed in the depositions which were given under oath/affirmation): 1. we had a Greek-themed party in 2009 and were asked to take the pictures off of Facebook because Mr. McNair and Mr. League felt they made the church look bad and we declined because NOTHING inappropriate happened at that party (ministers were present), 2. I sang the Andrew’s Sisters song ‘Rum & Coca Cola’ in 2011 upon request, with pre-authorization from Mr. McNair and Mr. League but was then asked to take the videos off of Facebook because they alleged that it made the church look bad and I had a “bad attitude” about this accusation and, 3. we had the Rothenbachers and the Colon’s over for a bbq on Labor Day 2014 and spoke negatively about the men/events that led up to their (Pete & Reynaldo) suspensions. After years of wondering why were disfellowshiped, these were the reasons you will see outlined in the attached depositions. The depositions will further reveal that we were marked because it was assumed that we provide Bob Thiel information that he posted on COGwriter.com that was unflattering to LCG. An accusation that we have been fully recused of at this point, yet we are still marked for it. An accusation for which I (Elizabeth) was never blamed for, but yet I was still marked for it. Further, it was revealed in the depositions that the information we were marked for on COGwriter WAS ACTUALLY ACCURATE AND TRUTHFUL information. So we were marked for TRUE information that we didn’t provide Bob Thiel which is difficult to fathom.
We were also accused of “causing church division” but there is not one person that can be pointed to when asked, “who did we divide” because we never attempted to divide anyone from LCG. We didn’t want to leave ourselves so why would we convince others to leave? It doesn’t even make sense that we would try to get others to leave and then fight so hard to stay ourselves. If every LCG member who has ever voiced criticism of a minister is guilty of causing church division and worthy of being kicked out of church, then a lot more people need to be kicked out. Further, Bob Thiel and Charles Bryce ACTUALLY DID CAUSE CHURCH DIVISION and yet they aren’t marked, but we are. It seems we were treated much more harshly than many others ever have been. It appeared in Mr. Meredith’s deposition that Rod McNair had given him the impression that there were actually members who left LCG because of use (100% untrue).The one thing that LCG leaders can not stand is to have anyone criticize them in any manner whatsoever. To do so is to place one's eternal salvation at risk, at least in the angry ministry's eyes. It is also interesting to note that many in LCG knew Bob Thiel was creating division in the LCG
In the months following our marking several LCG members were told by Rod McNair that we were “starting our own church”. This is an accusation for which Mr. McNair does not have one shred of evidence. He will try to somehow link it to a comment that I allegedly made to Catherine Ogwyn in 2011 but Charles Ogwyn himself supports my rendition of this event, not Mr. McNair’s (please read Mr. Ogwyn’s deposition and listen to the audio recording of one of his phone calls with Patrick). I NEVER asked Charles Ogwyn to leave LCG and start a church with me and Patrick. Perhaps Catherine Ogwyn had too much to drink that night and has created a false memory in her mind but it simply isn’t true. Furthermore, how do you mark someone in 2014 for a comment they allegedly made in 2011 for which you never talked to the accused about? That doesn’t seem the least bit logical or fair.
We were “counselled” two times. Once in 2011 and once the week we were disfellowshipped and marked. Mr Meredith testified that he had been told that we were counselled “over and over again and were at an impasse” before he agreed to Rod McNair’s suggestion to mark us. That simply is not true. I’m not sure if Mr. Meredith was lied to or if he just had his facts wrong but we met with Bob League and Rod McNair only twice over a 5 year time span. We were never warned or suspended. We had no idea that we were in any sort of trouble at all. In fact, when we left the meeting the week we were disfellowshipped, we were all hugging and talking about our plans for the upcoming Feast. We were completely blind-sided by the news that we were suddenly “enemies of God’s church”.Counseling in the Church of God has never ever been about "counselling." It has always been a lecture where the "guilty" party never had the right to respond to allegations and accusations. Even if one attempted to, the were branded as "in a bad attitude" and were in need of "correction." True counselling is always done with empathy. All training classes in counselling always include long discussions on empathy. Empathy is NOT something taught to the ministry nor do many of them actually know what it is.
Being marked and shunned from the Living Church of God has been the single most painful, horrible, traumatic experience of my entire life. It will leave its effect on me until the day I die.Marking and shunning in the Church fo God has always been a weapon to publicly humiliate the accused. It is never done in "love" or "compassion" no matter how much they say it is. It is always done in anger and revenge. Grace and mercy are never components in the equation.
I have written gut-wrentching letters over and over again, begging for forgiveness; begging to just sit down and talk through our problems (this letter marks the 45th letter I have written LCG). Making peace and talking things through is all we have ever LCG to talk to us before we ever dreamed of initiating a lawsuit but they all went unanswered (except Doug Winnail who did reply on several occasions). Our lawyer sent a letter (attached) further stating that we had NO DESIRE to litigate but just wanted the opportunity to talk things out as Christians but again, no reply. The lawsuit would have never happened if Rod McNair and Mr. Meredith would have made ANY effort to pastor us, lead us or talk to us. Instead they “cast us to Satan”.
Thankfully, we have been chosen by the Almighty. He is our Father and we are His. No man has the power to change that. No man is the gatekeeper to His Kingdom. We live our lives to the best of our ability in hopes of finishing the race and receiving that crown. Do you really think God is going to put people who cannot make peace in such a small matter in positions of rulership over cities? I don’t think so! Let’s take this opportunity to show Him that we want to obey His word! Once again, we beg you to meet with us and work toward reconciliation.
Can the Great Creator, who gives you life and breath, trust you to obey His word? Do you want to do what’s right in the sight of God no matter what? Or dig in your heals in pride? I can point to a dozen scriptures that support our desire to make peace, swallow pride, forgive and walk as brothers and not one that says to ignore people and stay as stiff-necked as possible. We need to do what is pleasing to God and make peace.
We have only sent this letter and it’s attachments to LCG COE. We weren’t 100% sure who is currently sitting on the COE so we made our best guess.
We are well liked and active members of our new church (just like we were in LCG) and it is hard for them to imagine why we have been treated as we have by LCG. We are the same people we have always been. We are dedicated to God’s way of life and enjoy serving God’s people. Please understand that it makes LCG look bad when people in other branches of the COG
We will continue to pray that you men will hear our plea and reach out to us to work toward peace. You know how to get in touch with us. We would love to hear from you.
Patrick & Elizabeth Scarborough
SUGGESTED POINTS TO NOTE WITHIN THE DEPOSITIONS
· Meredith depo pg 17 line 16 - Q. Can the Council of Elders, if they voted to un-mark somebody overturn your decision? A. Yes.
· Meredith depo pg 18 – Meredith states that people have started to leave LCG because of us which simply isn’t true. A. [they were] continually making put down remarks and divisive remarks around the congregation and more and more people were being upset and some were starting to leave.
RCM is unable to state a single specific thing we said to warrant being marked.
· Meredith depo Pg 23 line 22 Q.· ·Again, I asked you this earlier. Can you give me a specific example of something they did to deserve or warrant marking, a specific instance? A.· ·No.
RCM states that McNair had (lied to him) told him that he and Mr. League and been working with us for months to no avail (we met once the week we were marked and once in 2011)
· Meredith depo pg 33 line 11 A. We warned them for months to stop that type of atmosphere they had been creating against the church, divisive atmosphere at some of their get-togethers and so on.
· Meredith depo pg 53 line 15 Q.How do you help someone change but not allowing your ministers to counsel with them? A.· ·Our ministers counseled with them over and over for quite a number of months, but they didn't change. They would pretend to change and not change.
The above statement by Rod Meredith is 100% untrue
Starting on pg 46 it is detailed how far from the Ministerial Handbook Rod McNair and Bob League strayed in handling this case. McNair also facilitated the Release of Claims (authored by Dexter Wakefield asking us to waive our legal rights in this matter) which RCM states he knew nothing about.
· Meredith depo pg 73 line 10 THE WITNESS:· Well, I told you again and again, we heard many dozens of reports that they were spreading negative things about the church, and they were causing division and people would spend time with them and leave.
Mr. Meredith states that “dozens” of people reported this. I contend that your only “witnesses” were the Rothenbachers and the Colons who were guilty of far worse than Patrick and I ever were. The assertion that there were “dozens” of witnesses is a flat out lie.
· Meredith depo Pg 87 line 23 Q.You stated earlier that you had members of the church leaving the church because of Patrick and Elizabeth Scarborough.· Do you know who any of those members are? A. No.
Mr. McNair’s depo is filled with just as many untruths.
McNair depo pg 20 line 23 (regarding the Rum & Coca Cola incident) A. Elizabeth had on social media expressed her displeasure with the ministry's actions, expressed by name, Mr. League, and that she would not comply with the actions with his decision
McNair depo pg23 line 4 (states I spoke of League online about the toga party and then again about rum and coke) A. she online was expressing talk about people who have perverted minds, and mentioned Mr. League by name
This is 100% untrue. While it is true that I wrote Mr. League a personal letter voicing my frustration over the situation I absolutely never made any Facebook post naming Mr. League. There is no way Mr. McNair can prove this lie because there is no post to produce as evidence. He is confusing a personal, private letter with public Facebook posts. Even if it were true (and it’s not) why wait 3 years to disfellowship and mark me for it?
The following is Rod McNair’s summarization of why he decided to ruin our lives and reputations and cast us out of a church we loved and take away all of our friends…
McNair depo pg 23 line 13 Q.· ·Okay.· So I have the Labor Day weekend event, the Charles Ogwyn event, the toga party and the Rum And Coke. Do you have any other reasons why they sowed discord? A. That was what I was aware of.
Mr. McNair acknowledges that we wouldn’t be marked were it not for the post of COGwriter which we have now been cleared of.
McNair depo pg 32 line 20 Q. Would you agree with me then if I said that had it not been for Bob Thiel's website post, that Mr. Scarborough and Mrs. Scarborough may not have been marked? A. Absolutely, that may be a very real possibility
Yet upon learning that we were not responsible for the post and that the information on the post was actually accurate, Mr. McNair made no attempt to clear us of the charge, remove the marking or reconcile for months and months prior to us filing the lawsuit.
When Mr. McNair was questioned about following the procedures outlined in the Ministerial Handbook (giving the benefit of the doubt with brethren) he answers as follows…
McNair depo pg 69 line 1 Q. (a minister is supposed to err) on the side of assuming the best. Did I read that correctly? A.· ·Yes. Q. This talks about how members might not realize the problem they are causing, is that correct? A.· ·Correct. Q.· ·You never gave the Scarboroughs a warning before their disfellowshipment, isn't that true? A.· ·Correct. Q.· ·And when confronted with the information about Bob Thiel's website, would you agree that the church administration assumed that Patrick was the one responsible without any hard proof? THE WITNESS:· Direct proof, yes, yes.
Both Mr. Meredith and Mr. McNair repeatedly stated that they couldn’t trust anything Patrick said in his own defense because he (Patrick) is a liar. Yet when question, neither Mr. McNair nor Mr. Meredith were able to vocalize A SINGLE example of Patrick lying.
McNair depo pg 76 line 4 Q.· ·So you have an opinion that Mr. Scarborough was dishonest when he worked for the church, but you can't even remember one instance of why you think that way? A.· ·I don't have -- right.· I don't have that information readily available. Q.· ·So you have an opinion that Mr. Scarborough was dishonest when he worked for the church, but you can't even remember one instance of why you think that way? A.· ·I don't have -- right.· I don't have that information readily available.
Patrick was a good employee and both Mr. Davis and Dr. Winnail wrote him glowing letters of recommendations after his employ with LCG. Why would they do such a thing if Patrick were a liar? This is further evidence that this entire incident was a result of a personal vendetta and character assassination.
McNair depo pg 81 line 7 Q.· ·Just a few months before the Scarboroughs disfellowshipment and marking, there was a party at their house, right, a 4th of July party? A.· ·Maybe, I don't know. Q.· ·Were you present? A.· ·Huh-uh -- maybe I was.· I didn't recall, but, yes, I think I was. Q.· ·And no, nothing out of the ordinary or wrong happened at that party, right? A.· ·Correct. Q.· ·A lot of the church administration was there, right? A.· ·There were others, yes. Q.· ·I guess my question is, how do you go from everyone hanging out at their house having a good time to two months later them being kicked out of the church?
LCG’s lawyer objects to the question and Mr. McNair never answers but we still think its odd that Mr. McNair and other leading LCG (Mr. Ames, Jim Meredith and Wyatt Ciesielka to name a few) were at our home as our brothers in July and we were marked as enemies in Sept for reasons that were either entirely fabricated or occurred in 2009 and 2011 (outside of the bbq with the Rothenbachers and Colons who were not punished for the exact same offense we committed – speaking negatively).
Our lawyer goes on to confirm that the ONLY two witnesses against us (Dawn Rothenbacher and Jennifer Colon) suspiciously gave their reports to Mr. McNair and Mr. League and then amaziningly their husband’s suspensions were shortened from 6 weeks to 3 weeks. As a side note, Patrick and I were NEVER involved in any of the private Bible studies and heresies that the Colon’s and Rothenbachers were involved in yet we were cast out and they remained unscathed. This reeks of corruption and favoritism.
McNair depo pg 98 line 6 Q.· ·So just the people whose wives talked to you about the Scarboroughs had their suspensions shortened? A.· ·Right, right.
I attached one of the heartfelt letters I wrote Mr. McNair begging to meet with him and repenting for my mistakes. Please read it. When Mr. McNair is questioned about why he/LCG has refused to counsel us or answer our letters for nearly 2 years he says…
McNair depo pg 110 line 7 Q.You keep saying that you want them to repent in order to come back to the church, right? A.· ·Right. Q.· ·Do you know that Elizabeth Scarborough has written over 40 emails and letters trying to repent and reconcile with you? A.· ·Right, yes.
I wonder how God feels about a minister who has a member pouring out her heart, begging for forgiveness and peace, yet that minister repeatedly and continually ignores her. Is that what a shepherd does?
In summary, the evidence shows that we didn’t give any info to Bob Thiel. We never tried to start our own church and we never attempted to divide LCG members from LCG. We were guilty of having a bad attitude when we were falsely accused of impropriety in 2009 and 2011 and I was guilty of being involve in a negative conversation with Dawn and Jennifer on Labor Day 2014. You will read in the depositions that both Dawn and Reynaldo testified that Patrick had no part in the negativity that night and that he, in fact, made several attempts to defend LCG ministry and get people to stop talking about it.
We pray you will weigh the evidence, see that we are not the evil people that Rod McNair would have you to believe we are, and meet with us to work toward reconciliation. Please ask yourself if we were handled fairly and justly. It’s not too late to make this right. We have all fallen short. Let’s put pride aside and correct the situation!