Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Gerald Weston: Yes, LCG is Losing Members, but we are still the BEST Church of God Because we are Filled with Lowliness, Meekness and Gentleness

Gerald Weston has written a new missive to the members of the Living Church of God.  In his most recent "Personal" to the members Weston admits that the membership of the Living Church of God is dropping, but that does not mean the church will ever stop putting forth its forceful message.

The church has always loved to get up and brag, especially during the Feast, about how many were in attendance, how much money was collected in offerings, or just how special the church was compared to everyone else.

Weston writes in Is Bigger Always Better?:
During our Charlotte Family Weekend, we had a theme of keeping our focus and not getting distracted. In the Worldwide Church of God, we always looked through the lens of “the best ever” and “bigger than last time,” whether at the Feast or some other activity. In this light, we must ask the question, “Is bigger always better?” There is a human tendency to think that it is.
Yes, I bet it was hard keeping the insular focus upon self and not getting distracted by the beautiful Christmas decorations, the piped in Christmas music, the Christmas desserts in restaurants, and other holiday accoutrements, considering you keep your "family fest" in Christmas laden resorts every year.   Anyway, it was your grand guru Herbert himself that loved to quote figures on how big and better everything was, except when he was begging for more money.

He also writes:
The Worldwide Church of God also grew. Eventually, more than 150,000 attended the Feast of Tabernacles, and more than eight million Plain Truth magazines were distributed every month. At one point, there were three Ambassador College campuses, and how beautiful they were! But as the Church grew, so did the opportunities and so did the distractions. The Church lost its focus and became a comfortable social club to far too many. Large sports tournaments, exotic Festival sites, various clubs to “build self-esteem”—all took our focus off what God called us to do. We were ripe for the picking, and Satan, as a roaring lion, was all too eager to leap on the prey (1 Peter 5:8).
The eight million PT readers was a complete farce.  Hundreds of thousands were thrown in the trash every month never getting delivered or making it to newsstands.  Everyone in Pasadena knew the numbers were highly inflated. Eight million magazines prove nothing. Three campuses proved nothing either, other than being huge money pits for tithes to be diverted to and their leaders being puffed up with grandiose ideas of themselves.  The fact that he mocks "large sporting events" and "exotic Festival sites" proves how out of touch he is with his own church!  Lil'Jimmy has to be having major butthurt over that comment!  Besides, not a single COG today is capable of having a large exotic Festival site. They don't have enough members or the desire to cooperate together and produce grand Feast sites like no other, even though they ALL preach the same thing when you get down to the underbelly of each group.

Weston then goes on to quote Rod Meredith:
The question remains: Is bigger better? Conversely: Is smaller better? Dr. Roderick C. Meredith frequently emphasized that the Bible is the mind of God, so how does it answer this question?
The opening verse of Genesis says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” To say that God thinks big is understatement to the extreme! Consider the vastness of the universe with its myriad galaxies and stars. The size and scope of God’s creation baffles the human mind (Psalm 8:3–4)! Jesus’ parables indicate the Kingdom of God, His family, begins as the smallest of seeds, but grows immensely (Matthew 13:31–32; see also the other parables of Matthew 13). Isaiah informs us, “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end” (9:7). God thinks BIG.
But the Church of God does not think BIG, as it has sought to exclude as many as they can from the kingdom they expect to inherit first.  Instead of bringing the kingdom of God to the world today, one person at a time, by helping the disenfranchised, the poor, the widows, the orphans, etc. it has done all it can to exclude people. If church leaders think the way they run their churches today is a sample of the Kingdom to come then we and all of humanity are all royally screwed!  Would anyone want to be in a kingdom run by COG leaders?  Can you imagine any of them sitting at the right hand of Jesus and being wise judges? The lake of fire never looked so appealing!

Weston continues:
Our focus must always be on the commissions given to us. We must learn “to 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” (Ephesians 4:1–3). It is through working together as a family, having educational programs, summer camps, family weekends, Spokesman Clubs, and more that we learn servant leadership, right government, humility, and putting up with one another’s imperfections. These activities provide opportunities to learn how to get along with those different from ourselves. We learn teamwork and come to appreciate qualities others have that we lack. We learn perseverance and patience. All of this helps prepare us to rule in the Kingdom of God. But even with this, these qualities must not be ends in themselves. We must not allow them to distract us from focusing on other commissions.
Lowliness? Gentleness?? Long-suffering??? Bear fellow members burdens in love????  Unified????? Peaceful??????  Seriously?

When has the LCG ever done any of these things?  When has its leaders ever set the example of lowliness?  When have they ever been gentle? When, oh WHEN have they ever been long-suffering with their members? Pride, arrogance, jealousy, and bitterness seem to be the things most COG leaders identify with today.  When has the Living Church of God ever been a family?  That concept died when the WCG imploded.  The "we are family" mantra was tossed in the Glendale dump as countless "lowly, gentle, meek and long-suffering" men set themselves up as splinter group leaders dividing families and wrecking lives.  Rod Meredith and Gerald Weston's dirty hands were right in the middle of that mix.

Weston then shovels the crap even deeper with this:
In all that we do we must adhere to Paul’s admonition, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:3–5). These words must be more than platitudes. They must be a part of us, internalized by the Holy Spirit of Christ in us (Galatians 2:20).
When has a COG leader or most ministers ever "esteem others above himself?" When have they ever truly taken the brethren's interests into account?  When have the brethren ever been listened to? When have the members ever had a say in who leads them?

How can the "mind of Christ" be "in" the ministry and leadership of the LCG (or any COG) when all of them ignore the guy and discount anything he accomplished.  Grace, mercy, and justice are qualities of Jesus that not one single COG leader knows anything about.

Weston ends with this:
Dear brethren, how large we will grow remains to be seen, but history indicates bigger is not always better. “Better”—that is, better quality—is always better! We must never allow the “bigger is better” mindset to guide our thinking. Nor should we think that smaller is better, because we like small. God thinks big and so should we. God uses both sizes to fulfill His plan and purpose, but either way, staying close to God, avoiding distractions, and keeping our focus on the purpose for which we are called is what matters more than size. We must constantly test our thinking and our actions to make sure they fit within the commissions we have been given. We must do this individually and collectively.
Weston apparently does not have much faith in his skills to push the LCG into the forefront of all the COG's today and proclaim a message of hope and salvation that will draw in large numbers of people.  

And why does EVERYTHING had to be a constant "test" for COG members?  They have been over-tested for 80 some years now.  Perhaps it is time for the leaders to be tested!  

So go on Gerald, show the world just how merciful and loving you and your god are.  Set the example and humble yourself so ther world can see. 

After all, the fields are white with harvest, aren't they?


Percy K. Euttodd said...

Sometimes numbers matter, and sometimes they don't.

When the numbers are dropping, they don't matter. But when attendance is going up, holy shit do the numbers matter!

Anonymous said...

The Church lost its focus and became a comfortable social club to far too many.

That's the secret of LCG. Its members are masochists. If it isn't uncomfortable, it isn't church! God forbid that church be an environment in which people lift each other up and help their joy. No, it's not church unless it is antisocial and uncomfortable.

Connie Schmidt said...

Maybe if LCG shrinks down to just Weston, then LCG will finally be perfect!

Anonymous said...

The fail safe for the ministry of the COG was to be able to assign cause or blame on someone other than themselves. This is why the “God is blessing or Satan is attacking” fallback position is so convenient and allays the blame away from themselves.

This is why they can take just about any circumstance or situation, good or bad, and spin it under this type of scenario, since it never falls back on them as being the responsible party.

Of course they usually do try to take credit, even when they don’t deserve it, but admitting any wrong on their part would probably make them appear human and not near god-like beings.

This is why they can change their minds over and over, ignore all the contradictions that are obvious and keep the koolaid drinkers under their spell.

This is why the size of church, tithes or whatever is always the members problem, since such vaulted beings could never be accused of not having the best of intentions. This is why they constantly quote one another, like GEW does Meredith and so many do HWA, as they are all part of the good ol’ boy network of dogooders.

Anonymous said...

the self-righteous prig whines that three colleges were shut down and then fails to mention he just shut down LCG's "university."

Anonymous said...

Why does everyone on here want to twist everybody's words? As for the churches, aren't they bad enough already?

Anonymous said...

the only thing I see twisted in Gerald Weston's abusive behavior towards CoG members.

Glenn said...

I noticed yesterday in their Church News section of the lcg website that Weston has not mentioned Doug Winnail in over a month. What's up with that?

Anonymous said...

What is current membership of LCG? How far is it down from 5 years ago?

Anonymous said...

as usual, the leadership neglects to put any focus on the one Scripture that would make all the difference in the growth of the Church and that is 1 Corinthians 15...

its as if they resent that Scripture, or that they pretend like it doesnt exist...

c f ben yochanan

Byker Bob said...

The Epistle to the Galatians would make a profound difference if they had a proper understanding of it!

It wouldn’t cause their church to grow, though. It would instead cause them to disband.


Anonymous said...

When I was in lcg, I never saw the qualities Weston spoke of. My first impression was the old wcg. Although small, less than 12. They were in attendance, the spies, the ones jockeying for position, the friendly and unfriendly. I came to trust no one except an old lady who was dying of cancer. When we had to shame the minister on his weekly journey into our area, into visiting her before services. Oh, he arrived Friday evening, visited with friends, before visiting her just before afternoon services. I only stayed till she died, then I left.
Not much love from those ministers.
And the truth set me FREE!

Anonymous said...

It's the common trait of all moralizers, not just the COG leaders, that they adapt the mindset of superior god like beings when they preach to the unwashed masses.
It's very discernable in politics.

Anonymous said...

Weston calls spokesman and graduate club, social clubs. I was a member for four years, and in all fairness, the guys put out a reasonable effort. It definitely wasn't primarily a social club.

But that was in my church area. If others experiences were different, I wouldn't mind hearing.

On this point, many of the member speeches in club had far superior intellectual content than the typical minister sermon.

Anonymous said...

Gerald is all about money. He now has enough to last his lifetime, and that's what is important. He will downsize some departments, layoff a few. All of this for the gospel of course.

Byker Bob said...

Basically, nothing has really changed under Jerry Weston. How could it? Being a member of Armstrongism has always been a self-punishing offense (and always will be).


Anonymous said...

It literally doesn't matter what LCG publically states their current/ past/ future membership numbers are because they are so twisted and manipulated.

They do mental gymnastics to try to make things sound better than they really are.

My husband worked at LCG Headquarters for many, many years.

Lying is the status quo there.

Spin is the name of the game.

Iron Lady said...

You don't understand a thing bcuz you do not have a converted frame of mind - a mind that thinks the way God does. God can do a lot of work with next to nothing, and really doesn't need humans at all. It is only becuz of His mercy, that He is letting us be a part of His great plan for ALL of mankind. Giving out $ amounts collected during any of the Holy Days was a practice of WWCG - and it was wrong!!! This is not the practice of LCG now. You need to check your facts before you make your claims. I know I had bad experiences in WWCG and a few bad experiences in LCG. It's becuz of human nature and the ppl that are not really converted-to think like Christ. But I still go bcuz LCG teaches the real ways of God more than any other. You need to take a mature frame of mind when you go to church to be around some of the immature ppl, & not allow their foolishness b ur problem. B the example of Christian character to others who may need it. B the better/bigger person by not lowering yourself to the behaviour of the weak or unconverted minds. In the end, the results will show and the true sons (and daughters) of God will be revealed.

Anonymous said...

Iron Lady wrote:

I still go bcuz LCG teaches the real ways of God more than any other.

As long as you are lifting others up, and they aren't dragging you down, you are doing something good and Christlike. Good for you!

However, if you are setting an example that it is OK to listen to false doctrine (the marriage supper in heaven and the new falling away teaching are just two of the big ones), then you are tempting others into apostasy. Also, do you remember how Dr. Meredith said when LCG started that one sign of the true church is that it spends more on preaching the Gospel than on its inward-focused priorities? Sometime in the last few years, LCG changed. Read LCG's own publications and you will see that even with the accountants going out of their way to stretch the category, preaching the Gospel is now a lesser budget priority than feeding the flock. Now, LCG may be less Laodicean than UCG or COGWA, but it's still Laodicean... which poses a problem because you'll get booted out of LCG if you tell your minister that he is part of the Laodicean church. LCG remains prideful about its supposed Philadelphia status, which ironically disqualifies it as Philadelphia. It's not as scary and awful as RCG or PCG, but please be careful that you don't let them convince you to settle for less than God wants of you!

Anonymous said...

LCG is rich with irony. While Doug Winnail is in Africa, Rod McNair is taking over his weekly comments, and he used this platform this week to share some statistics:

61% of Elders agreed lying is morally wrong
54% of Baby Boomers agreed that lying is morally wrong
50% of Generation Xers agreed that lying is morally wrong
42% of Millennials agreed that lying is morally wrong
But only 34% of Generation Z (born between 1999 and 2015) could agree that lying is morally wrong

Rod presents this as a problem, but those close to him know that he believes in the "Rahab principle" that if you lie for the Church you are not morally culpable. If you are married and Rod convinces your spouse to lie about you, that is lying for the Church and is justified. If you, however, dare to tell the truth about Rod's lies, you are going against the Church and must be eliminated. If you lie to donors about how your tithes are being used, that's morally OK, but if a critic points out the truth that many of LCG's media statistics represent purchased views and do not represent real viewer interest, your truth is considered morally wrong.

Gerald Weston has inherited a big problem. The Emperor is wearing no clothes, and those outside of LCG can see this clearly. It's only the frightened or ambitious LCG members who keep trying to pretend that their home office is something other than a nest of vipers. This is why LCG is not growing. If you are using the Holy Spirit to discern Godly character, you won't want to expose yourself or your loved ones to LCG's moral decrepitude.

Anonymous said...

It's standard operating procedure for LCG headquarters to inflate/ lie about their numbers. If they are saying it's bad... it must really be bad.

Isn't it funny that they are so blinded to the fact that their numbers are shrinking BECAUSE OF THEIR OWN BEHAVIOR?

They blame Satan or blame the members for not being converted enough but they completely overlook the fact that we are leaving BECAUSE OF THE CORRUPTION AT LCG HEADQUARTERS.

As a member of LCG since the 1st year of its existence I can tell you that the church is on the path of Dave Pack.

A brood of Pharisaical vipers.


Anonymous said...

61% of Elders agreed lying is morally wrong

Yes, it sounds about right that 39% of LCG's elders believe that as God's Ministers they have the right to lie and to have God back them up for doing so.