Saturday, August 10, 2019

Gerald Weston: I may have been 2% wrong in my life, but we LCG ministers are the HARDEST working group of men in the church today and we NEVER bully members!


Brother Gerald Weston has a new editorial up in the July/August Living Church of God News. Once more it looks like we have tweaked his funny bone with all the comments and articles here about Living Church of God ministers being bullies and/or treating members in very unchristian ways.

In this age of the Internet and instant social media, COG groups are being held accountable in ways they never have been before.  This is why so many of them lash out at Facebook, Instagram, blogs and various online groups with frequency.  They don't want their shrinking memberships to find out how corrupt some of them are and how they've made a profession out of lying with endless false prophecies and bullet points on why God is speaking through them with dreams and revelations. Never has the Church of God had a more perfect set of ministers that it does today in 2019, regardless of which splinter group you look at.
Ministers are used to abuse from some members. That may shock you, but it is true, and often it comes from the very people you spend the most time and energy trying to help. I remember the letter I received from one man whom I had made every effort to help that began something like this: “I never liked you. You never helped me or my family. You only did anything for us because you felt obligated.” And believe me, the letter went downhill from there! 
Yes, some members do abuse ministers and take advantage of them, that is something we all have seen.  However, for the broad majority who criticize ministers, it is because they were abused spiritually and mentally, and in some cases, physically.   Mental and spiritual abuse is just as damaging to the psyche as sexual and physical abuse.  Of course, every COG out there claims they preach "pure" Christianity in the most loving manner imaginable.

Most people in all the COG groups he was over, regardless of which group they were aligned with now, know the truth behind that boast!
On another occasion, I received a letter from a former associate pastor decades after we had worked together. He had various complaints against me, including instances that I couldn’t remember. Now, I could understand why he might be upset about some situations, even though I had offered him correction for legitimate reasons, but for the most part it was stuff he should have gotten over long ago. What was interesting was that he put no return address on the letter; he did not want a reply. He simply wanted to “get it off his chest,” perhaps as a form of therapy.
Frankly, I have made many mistakes over the years that I would like to forget, and I am thankful our Creator is full of mercy and quick to forgive. But in general, I have a clear conscience regarding the above-mentioned circumstances, knowing the facts as they were.
I wonder how the people on Facebook, now adults, would react to this, considering how spiritually abusive he was to them at church summer camps.  There is little regard for him by most who have come in contact with him over the decades at church camps.  This does not include members of congregations he pastored!  We could fill this blog up for the next year with horror stories from those people.
In January 2014, the clergy in the United Church of Canada, a merger of Protestant denominations that dates to 1925, formed a union. The Toronto Star, the second-largest circulation newspaper in Canada as of 2017, reported the following:
The goal of the newly created professional association, called Unifaith, is to give faith workers, their family members, student ministers and retirees, a common voice. In addition to fighting for job security for clergy and other paid employees, the new union plans to help combat the bullying, and in some cases physical assaults, of clergy by members of congregations or outsiders…. In addition, many United Church clergy have complained about being overworked, another issue the future union plans to address (“United Church of Canada clergy form their own union,” January 21, 2014).
This is rather shocking considering how hard the ministry works in the Living Church of God. Also, I do not consider that the criticism we sometimes encounter rises to the level of bullying or physical assaults. The point is that we all see matters from our own perspective, and life and work in the ministry is not always exactly what some members may imagine it is. Children often think a parent cannot understand them, but children have never experienced parenthood, whereas every parent has been a child. In the same way—though I am by no means comparing members with children—all of us in the ministry have been lay members. We also have those in authority over us, and all of us, members and ministers alike, must answer to the Supreme Authority in our lives.
Yep, we get it!  There is no other Church of God who has a ministry that works as "hard" as LCG ministers do.  Most are from families who have interbreed in the COG through the decades and are accustomed to living life as one of the "elite" who has never worked an honest day of hard physical labor.  They moved into positions of power just because of their last name.

In spite of the anguish and anger LCG members have shared here about how they have been treated in LCG, Weston feels the criticism is uncalled for.  Weston then goes on to claim that because all of the ministers have been "lay members" in the past, they apparently are incapable of being abusive.  Supposedly, they would have been abused themselves and would never dream of doing such a thing to others.  One clear fact that the COG, worldly churches, civic groups and most corporations in "the world" know, is how many times that have heard people say, while still on the bottom rung, "If I ever were in that position I would NEVER do such things."  Then, once they get promoted or ordained and have drunk the kool-aide of power, they turn out more abusive and nastier than the people before them.  Does Weston honestly believe that when Rod McNair disfellowships members for working in nursing homes because he claims the elderly are possessed by demons, that this is normal Christian behavior?

Weston then goes on to proclaim he has never been abusive and that all the allegations against him are wrong.  Of course, as usual, he takes no responsibility and blames the old Worldwide Church of God for this problem.

So, where is this heading? Let me return to the opening paragraph of this editorial. While I had made many mistakes over the more than two decades I had been in the ministry at the time, I think I had a respectable reputation among most members and those over me. But then, after being transferred to a new assignment, my wife and I suddenly faced several accusations that were sent to the headquarters of the Church. One was that we “didn’t show enough love.” Whether true or not—and I assert that it was untrue—how does one defend himself against such an accusation? There were also three or four accusations that were totally false and could easily be proven so.
This was when the Worldwide Church of God was breaking down, and—as I have often said—when love is pitted against law, it is time to head for cover. The result of these accusations was that I was considered guilty regardless of the facts, at least those that could be verified one way or the other.
Some people look back on past events and learn, while others self-justify and frame their account of what happened to favor themselves. Enduring false accusations from members is something every minister must learn to accept, but when those “over you” carelessly pronounce you guilty when the clear evidence shows otherwise, it is another matter. I must confess it took both Carol and me a good three years to get past what happened, and only after we had left that organization due to the total apostasy taking place.
Even while talking to Dr. Meredith and Mr. Carl McNair about joining with them to do the Work, I mentioned briefly what happened and told them I would never again take such treatment sitting down. But I was wrong.  

I was wrong—not because anything similar has occurred since, but because my attitude disagreed with scriptural instruction. Peter taught, “For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:19–21).
Those are powerful words—words that are easy to read, easy to understand, yet difficult to practice on any level. How easily they roll off our tongues, but those words do not always reflect what comes out of our hearts! At that time, instead of comprehending what Peter instructed and what our Savior did, I discovered how many other men and women had similar experiences. Something Dr. Winnail recently said certainly applied in our case: “Disgruntled people find disgruntled people.”
I have never seen a Church of God splinter group get so easily butthurt over a blog as LCG does with this one.  Is it because so many LCG members read here and make comments?  Is it because they cannot control and stop those members, no matter how many times they threaten them?

Weston continues, and it is quite obvious, that he considers he was NEVER wrong in his past interactions with COG members, particularly those he was over in WCG.  Apparently, once he came over to the "true light" of Rod Meredith and the Living Church of God he was set on a new path, one of righteousness.  On this new path, he realized that all of those grumpy people in WCG were the issue and only about 2% his.
That was one lesson I had to learn, and it came only after I had a change in direction. Once I was focused again on preaching the Gospel, the anger subsided, and I could see more clearly. Then I was able to forget those things which were behind and look to those things which are ahead. 
The second lesson came as a result of learning the first. Only then was I able to evaluate what had happened with a fresh perspective. I know in my heart that most of the problem was not me, but I could finally admit to myself and to God that I could have handled the matter better. Yes, I was part of the problem. I cannot say whether my part was 10 percent, 15 percent, or 2 percent, but I at least had to take responsibility for my own shortcomings.
Still trying to ingrain in LCG members, is the requirement to submit to those over you.  Its the government thing almost every single time.  Grumpy and critical people are not submissive. After all, they are only doing what is right and the members are reacting wrong.  Then to further take no responsibility, he blames members again.
I drew several conclusions from this kind of situation. First, I needed to internalize Peter’s message about enduring wrongful suffering. Second, I needed to commit myself to never becoming bitter over someone else’s wrongdoing. Perhaps I will be corrected wrongfully, but that does not mean the person doing so has evil intent. Yet even if he does, Peter instructs us in the way to handle these things. I had to conclude that as long as those over me are God’s true, if imperfect, servants, I must submit to that authority. After all, following baptism, I had hands laid upon me. I had voluntarily admitted, even if
A minister’s mistakes come in many forms. We sometimes speak unwisely, even offensively. See the third chapter of James’ letter, where he warns us not to covet becoming a teacher of the truth: “For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body” (vv. 1–2). Christ warns us about offending “little ones”—those who are new to the faith, lacking experience or wisdom (Matthew 18:6). Some are quick to quote this, but is this the scripture a longtime member should apply to himself? Or rather, should he not look to another verse: “Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble,” or as it says in the King James Version, “and nothing shall offend them” (Psalm 119:165).
It is my hope, dear brethren, that you can learn from my experience. There is the easy way to learn and the hard way to learn. One leads to life and the other can ultimately lead to death. As Paul instructs us, “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled” (Hebrews 12:14–15). 
So beware LCG members who complain to HQ about abusive ministers.  In their eyes, you are just as guilty as they are.  Once again the responsibility shifts to the members and not the ministry taking account of their actions. They are just weak little men just like you dumb sheep and make little mistakes, so please forgive them, you are REQUIRED to!  Them to you, not so much so.  Disfellowshipment is the answer or more two hour sermons on church government and why you must submit.
From time to time, complaints come to my attention about a minister who is thought to be mistreating someone or teaching something not quite right. Brethren, I have been guilty of each of those mistakes on some occasions. Yes, over a period of nearly 50 years, I have missed the mark more than once or twice—mostly through ignorance, never through intention to do so. I am not talking about doing away with the Sabbath or the law of God, but sometimes I have, without wrong intent, spoken incorrectly about a scripture or prophecy that I misunderstood. I have also overreacted in dealing with certain situations, but again, it was not with malice or evil intent. I’m human. So is your minister, and so are you.
Marriages often fail because one or both fail this test. Some individuals drop out of one Church of God to attend a different Church of God because they find that easier than putting up with their minister or other members. Some people stay within a Church of God group, but physically move to be near their favorite minister, one who “understands” or promotes them. Yet, Paul tells us that there are different “gifts,” “ministries” (“administrations,” KJV), and “activities” (1 Corinthians 12:4–6). No two ministers are the same. This is one reason we try to train ministers under more than one man. We learn different lessons from different individuals. Focus on what is good and do not look for the bad. We should be able to discern between a moment when someone’s particular weakness is on display and times when someone is clearly falling into rank apostasy. There is a difference!
Brethren, we must learn to get along together. Pride and oversensitivity are often at the heart of our problems. Sometimes ministers are insecure and overreact when challenged with a question they cannot answer, or when being told they are wrong about something. Both ministers and members must put aside pride and vanity. We must all learn to speak openly but respectfully with one another, and we must stop looking for the faults in others. Remember Jesus’ admonition: “Judge [condemn] not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you” (Matthew 7:1–2).
Never once in the entire article does he actually take any responsibility for his actions nor those of the ministry that people are critical of.  He deflects throughout the entire article shifting the blame to the members and their bad attitudes.  Their refusal to submit to correction and church government is the ultimate issue that is causing all the negativity.  As usual, brethren, it is all your fault!






33 comments:

TLA said...

Does anyone know why almost the entire Austin congregation deserted LCG?
It is a topic area they will not talk about.
They finally shut down the Austin meeting and sent the few remaining members to Temple. Not a very restful experience for the Sabbath rest for their elderly members.

I would like to read an explanation by any of these groups as to why they cannot get along with each other. Different organizations, no joint meetings, no sharing of resources.

Who do you love Gerald? Just who IS your neighbor?

Anonymous said...

What an inspiring tool for pre-Passover self-examination! "Dear God, I bitterly repent of the 15 percent sinfulness, maybe as little as 2 percent, in my thoughts and deeds. I know I am much more righteous and true than my enemies, but even though I am basically right and they are basically wrong, I bitterly repent of my 15 percent, maybe just 2 percent, of responsibility for the conflicts in my life."

Well, I guess this is an improvement over Rod Meredith, who "never committed a major sin after baptism" by his own admission. Maybe this is even a trend, and LCG's next Presiding Evangelist after Weston will admit that he has sometimes been 30 percent or 49 percent responsible for a problem?

Byker Bob said...

Cue the John “Cougar” Mellencamp. “I fight authority, authority always wins!”

Armstrongism has a long history of excessive, abusive authority, authority that the ministry has been led to believe that they have. If you accept and endure this type of authority for decades, your perspectives become altered. I believe that Jerry probably thinks he has cleared up much of the abuse. However, the people who would evaluate this and seek to hold himself and the other LCG ministers accountable are not comparing LCG conditions with Armstrongite conditions of the past. They are comparing them with societal norms which they experience at their place of employment, in their local neighborhoods, amongst extended family, etc. So in a very real sense, Jerry is blinded to the way in which he and his church appear to members and outsiders. The funny thing is that Dave Pack has written many of the same things in justifying his own even stricter practices. This is why I occasionally reference Pepe LePew. These guys cannot smell their own stench! They would seem to have genetically modified olfactory.

BB

SHT said...

I'm not naive or important enough in the COG sphere to believe my little comment in a previous post triggered this. But isn't this interesting: I said just a few days ago:

"The only way that any of the bullies in Charlotte will ever blink an eye is if their paychecks are affected. That's it. The LCG Ministry, and other splinter groups, have perfected the art of being abusers in the name of God, robbing their members, and getting away with it for far too long. They sit there in their bully pulpit, and mistreat the members without a concern in the world about it. This is as close to the definition of wickedness that you'll ever find.

Disgusted, I'm glad you said "enough is enough" and left. For those who, for whatever reason cannot leave, "sanctions" are the only way to create change. I would consider withholding your tithes. They might end up disfellowshipping you, which actually would end the abuse on your end once and for all. "

Wouldn't it be crazy if just the THREAT of withholding tithes and sanctions made them actually blink??? Now what would happen if tithes were actually being withheld?
As I said in the comment - this is the ONLY way to enact change in LCG. The only way their stingers will come out is if they are hit in the pocketbook. Period.

By the way. Bullies will NEVER admit to being bullies. They will always seek to justify their abuse as being okay - whether it's if they're trying to take lunch money or are spiritually abusing their members. They will seek to make themselves out as the victim, and not the ones being targeted. They will make it seem as if the abuser is the one doing something wrong, and not them. The COG Culture is so thick with these guys they can't see the harm they are doing. Or they don't want to see it. I don't know which.

I'll repeat what I said. The only way they'll blink is if change comes from the inside by members using the power of their wallets. That choice is absolutely and totally up to members. Because they are NOT going to change any other way, for any other reason. They're too stubborn, self righteous, and egotistical to think what they are doing is bullying or wrong in any sort.



Anonymous said...

Maybe Gerald should reread his article with this particular statement of his in mind:

"Some people look back on past events and learn, while others self-justify and frame their account of what happened to favor themselves."

Because his whole article reeks of self-justification!

km

Anonymous said...

For any LCG member reading this, if you have any qualms at all about withholding "your" tithe consider this. If tithing was a law prior to Mt. Sinai would God have blessed Jacob after given the ultimatum """IF""" you bless me """THEN""" I will give you a tenth of all.

I personally think that if tithing was a law God would give Jacob the same as Job got for daring to negotiate a law.

No, tithing was not a law prior to Sinai. Only the Levitical Priesthood could rightfully claim the tithe. We are a Royal Priesthood, so why the hell are you sending "your" tithe to anyone?

km

Anonymous said...

I wouldn’t hesitate to withhold my donations to the church if I saw abuse happening. Not only that, I would LEAVE!

Anonymous said...

The self justification, diversion, and turning the blame on others in this post is just one more example of why these men cannot seem to see the hypocrisy of their own words or the forest for the trees.

Frankly this editorial smacks of a dysfunctional abuser accusing his victim of the abuse he himself has perpetrated. Mr. Weston seems to be saying that even if you do have a legitimate complaint, hurt, or concern, you have no right to be offended,and those who try and share their concerns with the ministry are oversensitive and looking for fault. You are also ridiculed for seeking fellowship elsewhere for anything less than rank apostasy, which is defined as abandoning the Sabbath or the law.

I might point out that the Scribes and Pharisees of Jesus day kept the Sabbath, and there were none more schooled in the intricacies of the law at that time, yet Jesus did not hesitate to call them "hypocrites" and "blind guides" who "strain out a gnat but swallow a camel." These people payed attention to the minute details of what the law required physically, but completely missed the weightier matters of justice, mercy, and faith.(Matthew 23:23-24) We sadly see the same situation in the church today.

By pulling verses in 1 Corinthians 12 out of context, Mr. Weston applies the gifts which are distributed by God among the entire body to be concentrated solely among the ordained ministry, meaning that only ordained males are allowed to use the gifts God has given. But this is not what this passage is saying if read in it's entirety as well as reading the following chapter. Verses 12 and 13 make it clear that Paul is speaking of the entire body and how through different gifts we are given, we minister to one another. "The body is a unit, though it is comprised of many parts. And although its parts are many, they all form one body. So it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free, and we were all given one Spirit to drink." These are not "ranks" as many teach, but gifts, and while not everyone has the same gift (vs.27-30), we are all to desire the "greater gifts",(vs.31) which he then goes on to describe in chapter 13 as love being the greatest.

These men pay lip service to one body of believers when it suits them, but continue to form their own factions and corporate institutions, while criticizing anyone who would fellowship with other groups for any reason less than "rank apostasy" or the abandonment of the Sabbath and the law. But, most all of these splinter groups still keep the Sabbath, and none claim to abandon the law. So my question would be that if this is the litmus test, then why do our leaders not follow their own standard and simply overlook the moments when their peers in other fellowships "display" their particular weaknesses, and seek repentance and reconciliation among themselves? If other issues like mistreatment, wrong teaching, or false prophecy really don't matter because it fails to rise to the defined level of "rank apostasy" and should simply be ignored within one's own group, then why not ignore these things in the collective group as well? This is a double standard and reeks of hypocrisy. Rather than trusting God to place people in His collective body as He sees fit, these men seek to control and manipulate God's people into staying within the walls of their own corporate organizations, while fostering suspicion and mistrust of brethren in other groups.

While we will all be judged with the same yardstick we use to judge others, we are not to simply look the other way when injustice, lack of mercy, or false teachings circulate within the body of Jesus Christ. If our concerns and pleas go unheeded, then it may be time to seek fellowship elsewhere, knowing that God's assembly are those who seek Him and hear His voice, and do not depend on following a certain personality or corporate organization.

Concerned Sister

Anonymous said...

Hireling Gerald Weston, hireling of the former WCG before fleeing and leaving his ministerial credentials behind in Pasadena, tells us: "...From time to time, complaints come to my attention about a minister who is thought to be mistreating someone or teaching something not quite right. Brethren, I have been guilty of each of those mistakes...sometimes I have, without wrong intent, spoken incorrectly about a scripture or prophecy that I misunderstood. I have also overreacted in dealing with certain situations, but again, it was not with malice or evil intent. I’m human. So is your minister, and so are you..."

What might Jesus Christ say about such a hireling, assuming Weston is not part of God's Church?

"The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep." John 10:13

Hireling Weston continues with saying: "...No two ministers are the same. This is one reason we try to train ministers under more than one man. We learn different lessons from different individuals. Focus on what is good and do not look for the bad..."

Is bad the same thing as evil? Aren't we supposed to hate evil, and not turn a blind eye to it? Once upon a time I heard a general pastor tell other elders associated with him to: "remember/recall the evils done by the former WCG hirelings, but then be sure to do the very opposite!"

But hireling Weston says: "...We should be able to discern between a moment when someone’s particular weakness is on display and times when someone is clearly falling into rank apostasy. There is a difference!..."

Who is "we?" How long has the Living group been in existence, and they still haven't learned to discern? Isn't this part of the reason Weston is saying what he says? If all could be able to discern, then why the chastisement?

Hireling Weston continues: "...Brethren, we must learn to get along together. Pride and oversensitivity are often at the heart of our problems. Sometimes ministers are insecure and overreact when challenged with a question they cannot answer, or when being told they are wrong about something. Both ministers and members must put aside pride and vanity..."

But vanity is allowed by God, isn't it?

"For the creature was made subject to vanity,..." Romans 8:20

Oh, and that pride? Where might that come from? Job gives us a hint about some "king of pride:"

"He beholdeth all high [things]: he [is] a king over all the children of pride." Job 41:34

And the Apostle John's thoughts?

For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." "1Jo 2:16

When that pride and vanity are put aside, recognized and dealt with, then the hirelings and people of the Living group may finally have replaced their gospel, "another gospel," with a belief in a gospel that is destined yet to be fulfilled for the entire world:

"To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them;..." 2 Cor 5:19

Do leopards change their spot? Yes, of course, as they get up and move … from spot to spot.

Will the hirelings of the Living group, and its members change where necessary...so as to be less disgruntled?

Time will tell...

John

Anonymous said...

As outrageous as it sounds Gerald is being anti scripture and anti God.
It is the spirit of the Antichrist to portray the ministry as the bullied, disadvantaged and hard done by victims. The church of the living God is NOT supposed to be about ministers with fragile egos blaming the members for everything.

He is going against the very words of Jesus who in Matthew 23 scorned the teachers of the law repeatedly as show offs and blind guides. You couldn't get a more direct response than that. Jesus did not pull his punches.

Was Jesus a bully to point out home truths to the teachers of the law?

This whole tirade of selfpity off Gerald Weston exposes how off screw the ministry in 2019 have become. Its all about them.

It is not a good sign at all. Look at how off screw the teachers of the law in Jeremiahs time were. And we all know how that ended.

Kevin McMillen said...

Mat 23:6 - And love the uppermost rooms (seating) at feasts, and the chief seats (orange feast stickers with preferential parking spaces) in the synagogues,

Mat 23:7 - And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. (Mr. Mr.)

km

Anonymous said...

It is very interesting that in the very same issue of LCG's magazine, there is an article that very subtly undermines much of what Rod Meredith taught about valuing Christians of all races while keeping the races separate and distinct. Perhaps Gerald Weston, because of his experience in liberal Canada, doesn't even realize what he is doing, but he is presiding over a significant liberalization of LCG doctrine and practice.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes liberalization is a good thing. Believe me when I say that for the most part I'm very conservative, but facts are facts and liberalization isn't always bad. Not to mention that everyone has a different idea on what liberal and conservative actually mean.

I'm a proponent of legalized recreational marijuana, which Weston would be against, and I'm a strong Trump supporter.

Go figure. 😉

km

Dennis said...

In my pastoral years I ran about 97.58% mistaken. Now I'm running about 47.35%😇

James said...

KM,

When a society, or even a church stops the process of constant change, it stops growing. Atrophy follows.

Anonymous said...

Change is not bad when it is done to bring ourselves more in line with what God actually teaches. Some practices or traditions do not hail from the Bible but from the carnal mind. Much of what Rod Meredith had to say about race was purely prejudicial in nature and had little to do with what the Bible teaches. The same could be said about the words of HWA on this subject. Scripture was cherry picked to support preexisting biases and other Biblical passages were completely ignored.

For instance, a quick search of HWA's writings on race will show that he believed in segregation of the "races" though the Bible never uses this term to refer to people. He transferred that belief to God. He makes statements that cannot be proven Biblically such as "Adam and Eve were created white", and "Noah was of the pure white strain". He also attributes the evil of the pre-flood world to interracial marriage, and stresses that God chose the Hebrew nation because all or nearly all of them were of the "pure white strain."(Mystery of the Ages). This thought process does not however hold up in light of scripture.

If interracial marriage truly did lead to the flood, and God was so concerned with keeping Israel racially pure, why did he choose Judah to carry the scepter when Judah's descendants were born of a Canaanite (Ham) mother?(Genesis 38:2-5) Why did God also choose Ephraim and Manasseh to inherit the birthright when their mother, Joseph's wife was the daughter of an Egyptian(also Ham) priest?(Genesis 41:45-52) Why did God not choose from among Jacob's other sons who may have married within their own family or some might say "racial" line, if this was such an important issue to God?

Those in the church who proudly claim to be descendants of Ephraim or Manasseh and who stress the importance of racial separation and purity must certainly also disavow the ancestors they all come from for their apparent lack of concern over this issue. After all we would not want to appear to be hypocritical to our brothers and sisters from other racial backgrounds whom we claim to love, but simply wish to maintain our racial separation with, would we?

One might also question the suitability of Moses to lead God's chosen nation through the wilderness to the promised land based on this issue. He chose to marry not just one "gentile" wife, but two of them,one being from Ethiopia. The way God handled this circumstance is found in Numbers 12:1-15. God had a perfect opportunity here to denounce Moses due to his apparent lack of concern for the "racial purity" of his people and remove him from his leadership position. Aaron and Miriam were both ready and willing to take his place. But this is not what God did is it? It is interesting that verse 10 states that God turned Miriam leprous for her actions and she became "white as snow."

We see that David's grandmother Ruth, was from the line of Moab, the son of Lot, born of incest.(Gen.19:36-37) A little further back in the family tree we see Rehab, a Canaanite or descendant of Ham. These women are listed in the genealogy of not only David but also of Jesus Christ.(Matthew 1:5-6) The story of Ruth shows that God was not concerned with her pedigree, but with her willingness to accept Him as her God, and trust her future to Him.

Paul sums up how God views other believers no matter where they come from or what their ancestry is... "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise." (Gal.3:28-29) Notice that it says we all are one in Christ Jesus and we all are(present tense) Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise. If God sees us all as Abraham's seed now, then why do we not do the same?

Concerned Sister

Anonymous said...

Concerned Sister, your short article is very good.
It's calm, cool and is much more effective in convincing me than those screaming from the pulpit!

Anonymous said...

Well James, here's what I say to that.....

The only constant is change!

Anonymous said...

Classic victim blaming by an abuser. I mean, he’s not even trying to hide the fact that he takes no actual responsibility for anything. I remember all the people who were so excited for him to take over and “turn things around” from the abusive system Meredith had set up. I always thought it was funny, just being around him the LITTLE bit that I had, I knew that was the epitome of wishful thinking. This guy is an egotistical, authoritative, Narcissistic piece of work.

Anonymous said...

What has race got to do with this post ?

TLA said...

Walk Out Weston
One thing Gerald is very proud about, is walking out of movies he does not like.
He related an incident, where some teenagers, in an attempt to be friendly, invited him to join him for dinner and a movie.
The movie was Austin Powers. After a few minutes he walked out - in his words, he should have walked out faster.
Then he reported back to their parents that they needed to be more careful about what their teenagers watched.
So here, these poor teenagers were trying to be friendly to their minister - instead they were humiliated and then slapped down.
(Only an idiot would not have already known that this movie was full of risqué humor, and I don't think Walkout Weston is an idiot.)

Lesson learned - if you are a teenager, stay far away from Walk Out Weston.

(Eccl 7 16 Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise— why destroy yourself?
To this we can add - "or destroy others".)

Anonymous said...

TLA, you may already know that Gerald has long had a bad reputation among LCG youth. He ran LCG's summer camp for several years, and it was exactly what you would expect from a WCG minister. The Meredith boys got away with all sorts of bad behavior, but ordinary kids caught doing the same things were dealt with harshly. Kids who learned to flatter Weston weren't hounded so much, and often were the ones who got away with the most.

More recently, Weston has decided that his "gospel" message includes a powerful warning not to use marijuana. There are good reasons to counsel kids against it, especially in excess, but Weston has taken LCG to an extreme, which even the most ordinary kid can figure out is not supported by the Bible or by mainstream public health authorities. In LCG today, you can be baptized if you are still trying to quit smoking tobacco, but if you admit to marijuana use you won't be baptized. Basically, LCG now teaches that marijuana use is a greater sin than lying, which is confirmed when you notice that young people who lie about their marijuana use are the ones who get baptized.

Weston would have corrected Jesus Christ for hanging out with publicans.

Anonymous said...

3:41PM, the subject of race has nothing to do with the original post. I was simply addressing the comments made by anonymous 9:04AM concerning race and their charge that a change in the way this subject is approached would be a "liberalization" of doctrine and practice. Their sentiments are shared by many in the cog groups today, and I felt it might be beneficial for some to see the subject from a different perspective than has been traditionally presented. Our job is to grow in grace and knowledge, even if that means letting go of traditions that may have been held in ignorance, but cannot be maintained when all the facts are examined.

I addressed the original post a little earlier in the thread.

Concerned Sister

Al Dexter said...

Two percent wrong? Real generous with himself, isn't he?

nck said...

I love that part about Austin Powers.

In my life I have watched "Austin Powers, The spy who shagged me", with the Pope, Dalai Lama and Mandela. Only Bhagwan Sri Rajnesh, seemed to enjoy it. Then I did "Laughter Therapy" with one of his Sanjassin.

Nck

TLA said...

The parallels between the COG ministers and the Pharisees is very strong.
The Pharisees were self-appointed leaders, unlike the Sadducees who were hereditary priests - many of whom had become corrupt.
The Pharisees believed in the importance of keeping the Law and following the teachings of Moses - hence Jesus' statement that they sat in Moses' seat.
Not all of them were bad - a number of them became converted and members of the Church.
Christ condemned the teachings and attitudes that placed the wrong priorities on the Law and their additions which undid some of the key parts of the Law - like taking care of your elderly parents. Plus some of their add-ons - like extreme washing before eating, no healing on the Sabbath.
The COG ministers today sit in Moses' seat. They are self-appointed. Many of them place too much emphasis on the less important parts of the law instead of justice, mercy, and love. Plus some of their additions to the law, do away with key requirements, such as honor your father and mother - which really extends to your whole family - because how can you truly honor your parents and dishonor your family members and kin at the same time?
Plus, like the Pharisees did, they want to require Gentiles to keep all the laws that were part of the covenant with Israel, not the Church. It is like Acts 15 never happened.
In addition to their extra laws, they have added doctrines that are not in the Bible, using the "special knowledge" approach - the biggest example of which is the British Israel doctrine (which is not unique to them).
In the COGs, some of the Pharisees I met, were genuinely nice people, and more interested in helping and being approachable. Being a Pharisee itself does not make you bad, it is letting it get to your head that you are righteous and deserving of special honor.

Anonymous said...

nck wrote:

In my life I have watched "Austin Powers, The spy who shagged me", with the Pope, Dalai Lama and Mandela. Only Bhagwan Sri Rajnesh, seemed to enjoy it. Then I did "Laughter Therapy" with one of his Sanjassin.

Rajneesh died in 1990, yet Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me didn't come out until 1999. With his admission, nck has proved that he consorts with demon spirits who have quite visibly corrupted his mind.

nck said...

6:28 "quite visibly".

You don't like orange robes?

Of course some things I write are not to be taken literally but metaphorically.

Where did Rajnesh Rolls Royces go?

There's one picture of me with HWA watching me from a car. I was reminded of that picture when Rajneesh greeted his followers from from one of his RR's. A happy bunch they were.

Nck

Anonymous said...

BB
Exactly. Societal norms acknowledge that people have rights. In the HWA splinters, members have no rights, but instead act be permission from their minister. It's like a child getting permission from mummy to play in the backyard. It's this acting by permission that ministers mis label, being under authority, being submissive or administering Gods government. The result is that after many years, members loose the comprehension of rights. Dennis has posted articles on members rights on this blog, but the sad reality is that it would have gone over many readers heads. It's too foreign a concept.

In short, a right means that ones property or responsibilities are 100% under ones control, and zero control from others. If other people, including a minister do not like the decision made, too bad. It's non of their business. That's what the commandment 'don't steal' means. But telling this to a minister will result in a violent reaction. Church culture comes first, and truth takes a back seat. Just like with the Pharisees.

Anonymous said...

I will never forget the first time I heard Weston preach, he was very arrogant and condescending. In his sermon he spoke very derogatory about the career field I happen to be in. He mentioned that people in that line of work, were going no where in life. Now I was in that career,
deep into a six figure salary. All I could think of, you pompous little dick. I’m paying your salary dumb shit. I eventually learned, they all think that way.

Anonymous said...

re: nck @ 8:42, next you'll be telling me that GTA was really just "flirty fishing" and got that doctrine from the Children of God? And that Rajneesh got his idea for Rajneeshpuram from HWA's residential/agricultural/educational Big Sandy project?

nck said...

5:37

You are funny.

No, my expertise is telling people that ayatollah Khomeini in exile was inspired by French philosophers to start the Iranian revolution and that AL qaida was created and sponsored by the Cia to fight the Soviets.

All the while Rajneesh and GTA were spreading love and wild oats (as agricultural project).

Nck

Anonymous said...

Concerned Sister, August 11, 2019 at 1:30 PM, concluded her excellent comment with asking a question: "...If God sees us all as Abraham's seed now, then why do we not do the same?..."

It's true that God is not a racist; however, Satan, the god of this present evil world, is and that thing fosters racism, but how might that be done? Here are some thoughts:

"Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that NOW worketh in the children of disobedience:" Ephesians 2:2

"And [that] they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are TAKEN CAPTIVE by him AT HIS WILL." 2 Tim 2:26

"Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that DWELLETH IN us LUSTeth to ENVY?" James 4:5

"He that committeth SIN IS OF THE DEVIL; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the WORKS of the devil." I John 3:8

God, while allowing all sorts of sin (Romans 7:17) and evil (Romans 7:21) to occur within humanity and enabling us to learn to hate sin/evil, continues to work out His plan of salvation for humanity and ultimately the destruction of Satan and his angels (Matthew 25:41, 46; 2 Peter 2:12, etc,):

"For God [is] my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth." Psalm 74:12

The Apostle Paul was confident that God was working out something, but we have yet to see the reality of the end of this matter:

"To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them;..." 2 Cor 5:19

When will that world reconciliation of this creation MADE subject to vanity (Romans 8:20) finally be reality?

We know God's thoughts/ways are higher than our thoughts/ways...and that includes Satan's thoughts/ways (Ezekiel 28:15) also.

The reality of that time of reconciliation is yet future, and time will tell...

John