Saturday, October 17, 2015

Will Dave Pack Soon Be Getting His Wish When Two COG Leaders Die?

It has been reported on several sites, including Facebook, that Gerald Flurry had to be helped to the stage desk when he spoke at the Feast this year.

Exit and Support has this letter:

October 7, 2015
Gerald Flurry is getting frail. He spoke at the Feast Saturday night in Columbus, Ohio, but instead of being able to stand behind the podium and speak, he had to sit behind a desk on stage. Wayne Turgeon’s son [Grant Turgeon] had to assist him in getting about, too. --Ohio

The info posted on Facebook said that  he had to be propped up at times so he could speak.

With Flurry's rapidly declining health and Rod Meredith's recent stroke, two of the larger Church of God's will soon be rudderless at the upcoming deaths of their leaders.

Dave Pack is hoping to capitalize upon these deaths and draw their respective church memberships over to his organization.  Pack knows the deep discontent that members of both of these churches have for the sons who are being groomed to take over.  If he works this discontent to his advantage he will not need to worry about his god striking them all dead, old age will do it for him resulting in major upheavals.

For three miserable years now Pack has been boasting that his god was going to strike down three Church of God leaders and bring their entire churches over into the Restored Church of God.  For three humiliating years now, Dave's god has failed him.  No leader has been struck down.  No members have defected over to Dave's group, and the money stream he was anticipating has never materialized.

Living Church of God Nepotism and Jim Meredith

Lil'Jimmy Meredith's Humble Tar Paper Shack

In December of 2012, Exit and Support published a letter from a Living Church of God member detailing the things they witnessed happening in the Living Church of God.

One of the things mentioned in the letter was this:

Then there is the nepotism! Many of Meredith's family members and friends are employees at LCG headquarters or are evangelists and pastors. The pastor of the congregation I went to is the father of Sue Meredith, Jim Meredith's wife, son of Roderick Meredith. I knew that Jim had a successful business in construction in California before the housing crisis but that went south with the housing downfall. So now Jim Meredith is a pastor and his wife are both working at headquarters. A member of the congregation quit a good job because of having to work on a Saturday once a month. The pastor's wife told her that everyone has to make sacrifices, including her son-in-law Jim. He choose to leave a very profitable business in California to work at LCG headquarters! What hypocrisy! Dad bailed his son out.

Then in august of 2013, Living Armstrongism, published the same excerpt and a reader responded with this:

Hello. This statement about Jim Meredith is absolutely true. I have first hand knowledge of the details of this situation as well. I was a member of LCG from 2007 until 2011. I personally knew pastor Martin Fannin and his wife Jane. My family and I were members of one of his congregations. Jane personally told my wife and I of Jim's struggling business in 2009 and 2010 because I also had a struggling construction business. Jane told us her daughter Sue had to find part time work to get by. In 2010 Jim was engaged in ministerial training and then we were told he would be relocating to Charlotte, NC sometime in the future. In the spring of 2011 the LCG weekly update stated that Jim Meredith would be coming to Charlotte, NC as Rod Meredith's personal assistant and a festival coordinator. I am certain that this appointment was not ordained by God, but by the desire of the head of LCG to help his son and family overcome a serious financial situation. The personal assistant/festival coordinator position was never posted as an opening within the churches official job site poster. I understand that a father wants to help a son that is in need, but to create a position for someone who's lucrative business is failing due to time and chance just seems wrong. The tithes and offerings being sent in to support this type of hypocrisy is astounding. I thank God that he opened my eyes to these wolves in sheep's clothing.

It has always been well known in Charlotte that Rod Meredith takes care of his family first. This has provided a perfect spot for Lil'Jimmy to travel on the tithe-payers dime to exotic locations for "feast" business and to have all expenses paid.

Charlotte employees are getting tired of Lil"jimmy's behavior and wasteful spending.  Perhaps he had better start constructing that escape chute out of his office window like he wanted to do for Rod.  The day may be coming when he needs to escape the wrath of the Charlotte employees!

HT to a reader for this information...

Friday, October 16, 2015

What Did Herbert Armstrong Really Think About Rod Meredith?

From a reader:

Rod Meredith In Hawaii
For years many have sat in services at the Living Church of God listening to Rod Meredith tell the same stories over, and over and over again. We all know them well. Not the least of which is the story about how he was unfairly "exiled to Hawaii". He used to drone on and on about being exiled to Hawaii as the rest of us sat there daydreaming that someone would exile US to Hawaii.  I mean seriously, how do you bitch and complain, literally for decades, about being sent to Hawaii WITH PAY.
Many in LCG, like myself, have been trained not to ask too many questions and brainwashed to accept anything Dr. Meredith says as truth so we just listened to the story year after year without thinking about it.
Lately, RCM has really been emphasizing how "no other man living at this time worked as closely with Herbert W. Armstrong" as he. He goes on to say that he "ate with him (HWA), drank with him, traveled with him and spent literally THOUSANDS of hours with him". Meredith wears it like a badge of honor. It appears to give him credence with LCG members. RCM even used his relationship with HWA to promote LCG in this year's "Behind the Work" video which was played at the Feast worldwide.
I began to wonder what preceded Meredith's exile to Hawaii if he and HWA  were such chummy pals which led me to discover the excerpts below from a letter Herbert W. Armstrong wrote to Rod Meredith.
I wish I could say that in the decades which have followed, Mr. Meredith had changed; that he no longer kept the letter of the law while neglecting the spirit of the law; that he was no longer the harsh task master. But I can't because he is still  ALL of these things and more. I am one of many in Charlotte who have been shocked and amazed at Mr. Meredith's character (or lack thereof) in recent months. Nothing has changed. Mr. Meredith is still that mean bully who is always self promoting and always in competition to have MORE numbers and prove that he is doing the work MORE effectively than anyone else on earth. Meredith is still competitive, covetous of power and status, and self-righteous. Unfortunately, he does not embody the fruits of the Spirit but rather the works of the flesh. In the past year it has become glaringly obvious to me and many others that LCG IS NOT THE CHURCH OF GOD.
I feel obligated to share my new-found knowledge with as many of my LCG friends as possible in the coming days.
Rod, WHY have so many who have worked [with you] said that you rub the fur the wrong way? You are DOCTRINALLY correct, But in II Corinthians Paul says we are not to live by the strict letter of the Law, but by the SPIRIT or obvious INTENT — the basic PRINCIPLE of it (II Cor. 3:6). You are a model of doctrinal correctness according to the LETTER — the strictness of the letter — but you do overlook the SPIRIT from the heart. You won the mile in a state high-school meet, You had know[n,] as Satan injects into us all from childhood, the spirit of competition. You b[e]came a COMPETITOR. In conversion you learned and accepted the strictness of the letter of God's Commandments. You wrote a good booklet on the Ten Commandments. But now I hold the mirror up for you to see in yourself what SO MANY who know you wIll see in you — the SPIRIT of COMPETITION is still there!
You are not going to like this, Rod. Members of your family will resent it. But I am the chosen apostle of Jesus Christ and in His name, I have to say these things to you, for I want to have you with us IN GOD'S KINGDOM — and there will be no contentions — no spirit of competition there! No one is going to be there who strives for himself to take over the CHIEF SEAT!
Jesus Christ through me elevated you to the chief seat (which you had come to me suggesting over the ministry of God's Church in what we then called CAD, you were a harsh task-master over the ministers. You, yourself, find it difficult and perhaps impossible to TAKE what you dished out. Dozens of ministers would testify to that. You rubbed the fur the wrong way! That has been your life-style!
Rod, in frankest candor, JESUS CHRIST will NEVER put any one at the head of His Work on earth who is competitive, covetous of power and status, and self-righteous. In brutal frankness, you lack the charisma to lead God's work You do not attract-as I said before, you REP[EL-] people. You are a harsh taskmaster over those under you. THAT IS YOUR RECORD!

So far, four months or more of your leave of absence has profited you NOTHING! Rod, in a candor, HAVE YOU EVER REALY REPENTED? To repent means much more than being sorry, or remorseful. It means a CHANGE OF HEART — a CHANGE OF ATTITUDE — a CHANGE FROM "GET" TO "GIVE." From competition, vanity, coveting power and position, to harmonious co-operation. BELIEVE ME, there is PEACE, and HARMONY at Pasadena now. Our men there do not want it disturbed. I have held up the mirror with BRUTAL frankness-in LOVE not only for you but also for GOD'S WORK! The Work is getting along wonderfully well now-without you. It can go on growing and pleasing Jesus Chris[t] an[d] prospering under His blessing WITHOUT YOU. I have written you are not coming back until I am CONVINCED BY THE FRUITS of a real REPENTANCE, and CHANGE OF ATTITUDE. I hope at last I have MADE IT PLAIN.

In deep LOVE as a father to a son,

In Jesus' name.




Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Wonderful World Tomnmorrow: What It Won't Be Like!

"I am convinced that most members of WCG offshoot groups are utterly clueless about what Armstrong actually taught about race relations. His record in this area has been totally white-washed since his death by those who still promote his legacy. The story needs to be told."  Pam Dewey

Pam Dewey has had an excellent web site, the Field Guide to the Wild World of Religion, for many years now and has also published a book on the wacky world of religion.

She recently sent me the following:

I am the webauthor of the Field Guide to the Wild World of Religion. The website has extensive research and commentary on religious groups and leaders which use abusive and/or deceptive methods to attract and keep followers. I have had over a million visitors since it was put up on the web in 2001.

As a former member of the Worldwide Church of God (1968-1978) and the Church of God, International ( husband was a pastor of a CGI group for seven years) I have a particular interest in providing documentation and commentary on the Armstrong movement. The Field Guide has an extensive section on the Radio/Worldwide Church of God and its offshoots.

I also have a blog called "Meet MythAmerica" which contains research, documentation, and commentary on aspects of American history which have been commonly glossed over.

I share all the above to lead up to calling attention to the latest series of blog entries on the Meet MythAmerica blog, titled "The Wonderful World Tomorrow--What It WON'T Be Like." Those familiar with the WCG will recognize the title as a take-off on one of Herbert Armstrong's most requested booklets back in his heyday. The 11-part series documents in particular the sordid story of Armstrong's astoundingly racist approach during the era of the American Civil Rights Movement.

I am convinced that most members of WCG offshoot groups are utterly clueless about what Armstrong actually taught about race relations. His record in this area has been totally white-washed since his death by those who still promote his legacy. The story needs to be told. I hope this documentation will be shared far and wide.

The series begins at the following link:  The Wonderful World Tomorrow What It Won't Be Like

Learning the Craft of Storytelling from an Apocalyptic Cult

Glynn Washington talks about what its like growing up in the Worldwide Church of God and what its beliefs did to the emotional growth of its youth.

Learning the Craft of Storytelling from an Apocalyptic Cult

Glynn has national award winning radio show on PBS.

There is also a response from WCG/Grace Communion to the show.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Still Waiting...80 Some years later

This is what it's like listening to Herbert Armstrong, Garner Ted Armstrong, Mark Armstrong, Gerald Waterhouse, Tim Kitchen, Sam Kitchen, Rod Meredith, Gerald Flurry, Wade Cox, Steve Gilbreath, Dave Pack, Herman Hoeh, and all the other Church of God false prophets. Not one single thing any of them predicted has come to pass.

Bob Thiel Getting Ready To Tell Church of God (Seventh Day) What They SHOULD be Believing

For some reason Bob Thiel has always envisioned himself as a highly educated man when it comes to theology.  He believes he is the ONLY one who has the correct interpretation of the Church of God version of biblical interpretation.

Several years ago he attempted to set Rod Meredith on the right path to truth and quickly found himself he subject of much derision in the Living Church of God.  Meredith basically told him were he could put is reveled knowledge.  Then,like any good Church of God leader, Thiel threw a hissy-fit and started his own church were the true version of Armstrongism is propagated.

At Feast time this year Thiel made a trip to Denver where he met with various Church of God (Seventh Day) leaders.  Thiel spent time with them discussing Church of God history and the African members coming into his group with them.

Thiel feels his doctrinal interpretations trump COG7's and thus needs to inform them as to what the truth is:

My main interests in meeting with CG7 was to improve information on church history, pass on doctrinal information, help prevent misunderstandings, reduce the possibility of getting misled by pretenders to the COG located in various parts of the world while we in the Continuing Church of God work to fulfill Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20.  We also discussed, but did not dwell on, prophetic and other differences, but did discuss the belief that God will call all.

More Claptrap From Another Armstrong (Garner Ted's son, Mark)

by Miller Jones

Mark Armstrong writes: 

Greetings from Tyler,

We've just returned from a very well-attended and successful Feast of Tabernacles.  But one major tragedy occurred in Galveston, TX where Minister and Area Coordinator Frank Scherich was struck and killed by an automobile as he tried to save his beloved dog, Buddy out of traffic.  Buddy survived with only a broken leg.  Frank was a dear friend, beloved by many, survived by three sons, three daughters, seventeen grandchildren and six great grandchildren.  He was one of two professional pilots who flew the Falcon business jet with my Dad, Garner Ted Armstrong.  His funeral is scheduled for Sunday, October 11, at 12:30 PM

This is about the only portion of this letter that is not offensive. What a testimony to the man's character that he died trying to save his dog - that is a tragedy. May God bless and comfort his family and friends.

Since we left for the Feast, a mere two weeks ago, several noteworthy events have transpired.  The pope visited the United States, and was virtually worshiped by several news networks whose anchors and reporters didn't hesitate to refer to him blasphemously as “holy father” or “his holiness.”  The messages contained in his halting speeches never invoked God or His Laws.  He warned against the dangers of “polarization,” meaning a discrepancy of opinion or argument.

The news media has never been noted for its spirituality or religiosity. In fact, if we are going to make any generalizations about them in this regard, I believe that we would have to describe them as irreverent. It is interesting that many of them used the titles that Catholics use to refer to Francis. In my opinion, they did this out of respect for the man. In other words, Francis' behavior since his elevation to the position of leader of the world's largest group of Christians has earned the respect of many of these highly jaded and secular journalists. Indeed, his humility and kindness have engendered respect from many quarters outside of the Roman Catholic world (even among some notable atheists). Can you imagine Herbert or Garner Ted Armstrong ever having said "who am I to judge?"?  

Isn't that interesting?  We live in an environment where our foundational values are being torn down and trampled, and the pope advises us not to disagree!  We've been conditioned to be run over by “modern” sentiments, to include the sanctity of homosexuality, “global warming,” socialist seizure and redistribution of things earned, and compassion for supposed “refugees.”  Consequently, the United States of America is being OVERRUN by each and every one of these.  The pope lectured us to get on board with each of these philosophies, with the possible exception of queer marriage.

Foundational values - really? Aren't things like freedom, equality before the law, tolerance, compromise, helping the disadvantaged among us, compassion for immigrants and care and respect for the natural environment traditional American values? Although there is a great deal of evidence for the existence of the kind of sentiments that Mark expresses here in the story of America (hatred, intolerance, bigotry, exploitation and scapegoating), I also see much evidence for the values that I just mentioned.

Yes, part of our foundational values included things like slavery, mistreatment of Native Americans, industrial/commercial exploitation of our natural resources, suppression of voting rights, religious and ethnic intolerance (witness the past treatment of Catholics, Mormons and Irish, Italian immigrants). Our history also contains much evidence of the other thread:  The belief "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." The women's suffrage movement and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 are also part of our history. The creation of the Department of the Interior, National Forest Service, National Park Service and the Environmental Protection Agency are also important milestones in our story. Abraham Lincoln said that it was our responsibility as a nation "to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan." Theodore Roosevelt said that it was the responsibility of government to regulate the "malefactors of great wealth" so as to protect the interests of the average citizen against them. Franklin Roosevelt established the Social Security Administration to protect the elderly. What about the words of an AMERICAN poet engraved on the plaque below the Statue of Liberty? 

"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

The damage done to the United States over just the approximate two week period that we were observing God's commanded Feast is staggering.  Forty years of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East was delivered a fatal blow by standing aside and allowing Russia to establish a military airbase in Syria.  Initially, the move was welcomed under the belief that Putin would help stamp out ISIS.  Instead, his warplanes were directed at CIA trained and supplied militias fighting the Assad regime.  Further, a Russian diplomat appeared at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad to demand that U.S. aircraft steer clear so as to avoid contact with Russian fighter jets.  So John Kerry, our Secretary of State pads around mouthing this unknown word, “deconfliction,” hoping there won't be an incident between U.S. and Russian fighter jets.  What an embarrassment!

Russia has achieved something never allowed under any previous U.S. president.  A firmly planted military footprint in the Middle East.  Putin has allied himself with Assad of Syria, and Assad is allied with Iran.  The American president, through the State Department just made every imaginable concession to Iran and its nuclear program, and despite all kinds of criticism and rhetoric about stopping the “deal” from the House of Representatives and Senate, it appears, once again that nobody will have the guts to stand up for the protection of the State of Israel or the United States.

What a bunch of jingoistic nonsense! "Blessed are the peacemakers." Who said that? Didn't Jesus Christ also urge his followers to quickly reconcile with their brethren? Didn't he also encourage his followers to turn the other cheek? Didn't Paul encourage Christians not to hold on to anger, offense and resentment? Does Mark want the United States to be complicit or acquiescent in the initiation of yet another war? Is he advocating a return to the Cold War era?

Encouraged by the pope's insistence that we be compassionate toward third-world refugees, we've seen our Department of State say that we'll be accepting 10,000, then 100,000, now 200,000 Syrian refugees.  Except 80% of the refugees flooding Europe are not Syrian.  They're from all over the Muslim Middle East.  And most probably are not even refugees.  They are opportunists taking advantage of the crisis in Syria and responding to the ill-advised statements of Angela Merkel of Germany that they would be welcomed.

Perhaps Mark has more insight into this matter than those who are observing the phenomenon as it happens. I don't think that anyone is in a position to identify the precise point(s) of origin for all of the flood of refugees currently pouring into Europe. Nevertheless, there is a large body of both real and circumstantial evidence to suggest that large numbers of people have fled the country of Syria to escape the horrific civil war there. And we have all witnessed the anecdotal evidence provided by our own news media that women and children have been a significant part of that mix.

If they're refugees, where are the old men and women and children?  They've obviously been left behind to fend for themselves in whatever cursed lands these potential jihadists came from.  Oh, but we must take them in, find them a place and support them.  

That goes for the drug cartels, the human smugglers, the gang members of El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico as well.  

Since, in all his anti-American wisdom, the president saw fit to make buddies with the Castros of Cuba, we now have a massive influx of Cubans into the United States as well.  And we learn that there are some forty or fifty new “sanctuary cities” within our borders over the past three months.  The feds refuse to prosecute the crimes of illegal aliens.  Cities refuse to incarcerate them at local expense.  They're being let out after they're caught committing crimes that would send a citizen away for years.  But illegals?  They're back on the street to take advantage of American citizens as easy prey.  

What we're seeing at every level is the desecration of all that we hold dear.  According to the philosophy that has taken hold at the very top of U.S. government, God's Laws and His blessings to the descendants of Biblical Israel have been unfair to the heathen nations.  And Obama's on the job to straighten the whole thing out.  He's letting thousands of drug dealers out of prison in the next month or so, and plans to let another fifty thousand out sometime next year!  They're “non-violent” offenders, and their prison sentences were unfair.

Mark shows his true colors here. This is at the heart of much of the criticism of our current president. Instead of focusing on differences over policy (which is legitimate), his detractors have charged that he is un-American or anti-American. He's not one of us - He's one of them - those NASTY FOREIGNERS! He's simply not one of us; because he's not a WHITE, FUNDAMENTALIST CHRISTIAN, CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN. News flash, there are plenty of loyal and patriotic Americans who don't fit that profile!

And yes, once again, British Israelism is inherently racist in its nature. The Bible makes clear that Israel was only special in the sense that they were intended to be an example for the other nations/peoples of the world. If God is God, then He is the God of everyone. God is no respecter of persons. "There is neither Jew nor Greek...for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." The New Testament makes clear in many places that anyone (Gentiles included) who accepts Jesus Christ as his/her Savior is automatically made one of Abraham's descendants and thereby becomes an heir to the promises made to him.

There is now almost universal agreement (even among most Republicans) that our prison system is broken. We have a greater percentage of our population incarcerated than any other industrialized nation on the face of the earth! Moreover, many of us think that it is highly illogical to devote so much attention and resources to a drug (marijuana) that should probably be legal anyway (what's the justification for our current treatment of this drug relative to how we handle alcohol and tobacco?). I wonder if we've devoted so much energy and resources to the persecution of pot smokers to divert our attention from having a REAL "war on drugs?" (against truly destructive things like heroin, crystal meth, cocaine and LSD).

So, here they come.  The Syrians, the Afghanis, the Iraqis, the Yemenis, the Somalis, the Cubans, the El Salvadorans, the Guatemalans, the Mexicans, the prison gangs, and they can do no wrong.  If they commit crimes, they're back on the street.  They are this president's and his party's constituents.  Upon the pope's departure from the U.S., the president was speaking before the green marble wall at the United Nations.  I heard him say, “I will not hesitate to protect the American people,” just before finding the red button on the remote.  Say what?  It's a little late to be making a statement like that.  American citizens have been punished severely, and will continue to be punished, regulated, abused and overrun by heathens from all over the world who know nothing of our customs, our values or our laws.

The foreigners and heathens are taking over - run for the hills! What a bunch of baloney! The United States has always been a mixture of different cultures. The United States has always been changing, evolving and becoming. As a serious student of our history, I see a steady march toward more freedom, liberty and tolerance. This republic is built on the foundation of those ideas expressed in our Declaration of Independence. A devotion to those ideas/principles have always been the only thing that has really united us. In the past, our laws and customs have not always been in sync with those values; but I believe that an objective review of our history indicates a steady march toward the fulfillment of those ideals. We're not there yet, but we are on our way!   

Some say the country had it coming, for having turned its back on God, and that may be right.  But it's not over yet.  It's already ugly, and the next year and a half may well see civility, if not civilization itself break apart.  Right now the president is in Oregon to exploit the massacre of helpless students trapped in a gun-free zone by a well-armed madman.  He says he can't wait for duly passed laws to make their way through our Constitutional system.  He apparently wants us all defenseless against the crime-wave he's unleashing upon us.

The President went to Oregon to express the nation's grief over that community's loss and our support for them as a people. Mark may not like it, but Barack Obama currently represents the people of the United States as OUR president. As such, he is responsible for expressing our collective sentiments to individuals and making commitments of support on our behalf. He is Commander-in-Chief and Comforter-in-Chief. Anyone who occupied that office should have been in Oregon carrying out those responsibilities. Indeed, he would have been the subject of legitimate criticism if he had failed to do so.

Moreover, as someone who has served in the Armed Forces of this country and is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, I fail to see how confining gun ownership to those who are sane and free of criminal involvement is a significant infringement on the right to bear arms. While the vast majority of our citizens are responsible gun owners, there are clearly some individuals who should NEVER be allowed to have a gun in their hands!

It is a desecration of our heritage that a heathen of Obama's extraction should ever have had the chance to demean the Office of the Presidency as he has persistently done.  But no one in the House or Senate will do their constitutionally ordained job.  Maybe they're all compromised in some way, it's sure is starting to seem that way.  Divine intervention may be our only hope, but if it comes in the way of the end-time scenario, it's going to be very painful for all concerned.  May God's will be done.
Mark Armstrong

Once again, Mark shows his true colors. The President has repeatedly expressed his devotion to Christianity. Oops, I almost forgot - anyone who doesn't accept Armstrongism is a heathen. This is the same kind of underhanded swipe at the President's background and heritage that we've heard from other quarters - the implication that he's somehow not one of us - that he's really not one of us in his heart of hearts - that he doesn't share our values. To be sure, President Obama is one of the most liberal men to have ever occupied the Oval Office; but he appears to be a decent, Christian man who is devoted to the principles outlined in our Declaration of Independence.