In the thread under Herbert Armstrong's disdain for regular members, there have been a lot of interesting comments. Three of which I post below. The first two takes exception that there are NO good elders in the Church of God who have risen above the corruption and abuse. The second claims there are NO "good" elders/ministers in the church because they do nothing to stop the abuse they see happen around them.
"The headline here is wrong. i would agree with it in part only....as usual many are being tarred with the same brush, when in reality its just ''big names'' ruining it for the rest of the Shepherds who try to do a humble work." 3:00
One response says those that sat by and did nothing when they saw abuse are actually culpable to the spiritual/physical tragedies Flurry, Pack, Meredith, and others have caused."If you can listen to HWA's Friday night Bible Studies to the brethren, he is so gentle, and would warn us of ministers (even in the WCG) that were wolves in sheep's clothing. This did happen as many of these ministers and their followers turned aside from the Bible truth, causing the great split of 3/4 of the church. Yes, HWA tried to warn us, may be got a bit emotional at times. I have noticed a big difference when I was a member of WCG during HWA's time and now being currently in one of the COC's, that many of the ministers now are very selfish and only there for the money, and treat brethren badly, who do not suck up to them." 8:42
I can't deny that there were "good" elders and ministers in the COG. However, because they sit by and don't speak up when they see abuse and mistreatment of members they are just as culpable as the perpetrators. They know better.
The so called "good" elders and ministers of PCG, LCG, UCG, COGWA and RCG are guilty of the the suicides, broken marriages, destroyed families and lives because they are helping perpetuate a system of gross abuse that has been going on for close to eight decades. When will they grow some balls and forgo the paycheck and speak out and truly be servants of the members? Then we will truly know who the "good" ones are.
Which side is right? Is Cal Culppepper good? Richard Ames, Victor Kubik? Joel Meeker? Gerald Flurry? Dave Pack? Bob Thiel? Jim Franks? James Malm? Are some better than others or are they all equally wrong?
1. HWA regarded lay members as just a resource for his use. They were called to help him "do the work" which involved large amounts of money and some questionable activities that to this day seemed to have produced nothing. Their salvation was of no importance. If lay members were not ready to impoverish themselves for the work, then God could raise up stones to do the job. (Nobody ever called him on this point.) He was not trying to make the point that the funding of lay members was not needed - he was making the point that they were essentially worthless in his sight and in God's sight. They could easily be replaced by stones. Explicit in this view is that God had no personal attachment to lay members or their salvation. (All this form the guy who touted the wonderful human potential as an advertising ploy.)
2. HWA in a tape played across the country, found the budget to be short and angrily blamed this on self-indulgent lay members. In this context, he stated that he did not expect lay members to receive salvation. He only expected the leaders and ministers of the WCG to receive salvation.
3. HWA repeatedly chided lay members by stating that they just wanted to "get" salvation. He converted what Christians would regard as the hope and glory of salvation, highly to be desired, evinced by God himself, into something shameful, evil and wicked all in the interests of squeezing more blood out of the turnip.
Oddly, lay members read and listened to this for years yet fanatically remained loyal to HWA and seemed to believe that he had their interests at heart when he proclaimed over and over again that he did not and was utterly hostile toward them for not coughing up enough money. You can't say the guy wasn't honest, at least about this. It was Joe Tkach, Sr. that actively elevated the salvation of the average lay member to something important. This particular change was revolutionary - a complete sea change in the WCG. This was an abandonment of HWA's view of derision and an alignment with Christianity. This new view was presented in an editorial in the Worldwide News written by TKach Sr. and people in the WCG were so brain-washed that nobody I know even noticed. I would bet that most even today do not know this happened.