Mr. Karl Beyersdorfer
The Philistines overtook Saul and his sons; and the Philistines killed Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchi-shua the sons of Saul. 3The battle went heavily against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was badly wounded by the archers. 4Then Saul said to his armor bearer, "Draw your sword and pierce me through with it, otherwise these uncircumcised will come and pierce me through and make sport of me." But his armor bearer would not, for he was greatly afraid. So Saul took his sword and fell on it.
I Samuel 31:3
(If The Living Church of God won't honor one of its own because they judge him unworthy of their praise, I will)
To Paraphrase Roderick C Meredith...
It is with great sadness that I have to report the death of Mr. Karl Beyersdorfer—one of the earliest ministers to come with this Work way back (when I started yet another version of the Church under me). He was ordained (as a young man back in the 1960's which is good enough, ) in the Church of God and continued his faithful service (as best he could being conflicted, tired of the drama, controversey , change and foolishness) until the day of his death. Mr. Beyersdorfer was always completely loyal to (himself, perhaps standing far too often on the outside while sitting on the inside which can lead to self conflict and depression.
Mr. Beyersdorfer, for better or worse, went along , as do we all far too often, to get along as best he could while struggling with depression which was his anger turned inward not feeling he had the right to express it, or the cost of doing so would be too high in the Living Church of God. He was only a man just like all others.) and feed the flock in the idealism and naivete' of his his youth as best he could as did we all.
As a pioneer minister in the (World Wide Church of God) Global Church of God—now Living Church of God—he helped build this Work with all ( the crazy places he was transferred to with little or no say about it.) He was a faithful human being as best he knew how under (leadership that was far less than ideal). He was a brave man. So he set an example of faith and courage (just as good and sometimes better , and sometimes worse than any man).
Sadly, in time the battle went hard against him and the archers wounded him grievously in ways and for reasons only he would have known and emotions only he would have felt. Sadly, Karl felt no hope in sharing his heart, mind and soul with his peers and certainly not with the Presiding Evangelist or his Board of the Brain Dead .
Karl lived his life the best he could as at any one time in all our lives, IS the best one can do even if less than perfect or we'd do something else. Karl understood that the "shoulds" and "musts" of religion don't always match and can conflict with our "can'ts " and "won'ts" often and with power we might not understand ourselves.
Suicide is a taboo subject in most churches. Meanings and judgments are assigned to such events that make their long term solution to relatively short term problems even harder on surviving family. When on commits suicide they fail to realize in the emotions and despair of the moment that they will be transferring all their inner pain and turmoil from themselves to their friends and family. They also fail to realize that it won't solve the problems they feel, the despair they experience and the depression or anxiety they suffer through. They won't feel anything.
Let us take heart in the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 7:
15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
The Apostle Paul conveniently did not share with us just what exactly it was specifically he did that he hated and he could not do what he thought he should, but we can appreciate his candid humanity on how life really works even among the righteous or at least with those who can admit it. Admitting shortcomings and conflict of mind and heart to one's peers or pastor can be fatal to many of one's actual intentions and hopes.
Let us take heart in knowing that in some way , Jesus himself , in despair, sweating blood and left to his fear and despair by sleeping disciples, chose to take his own life in the form of suicide by Romans or "cop" as we might say today. When Jesus overturned the tables of the money changers, whose presence was actually required to turn filthy Roman coin into Temple coin with which to properly purchase Temple sacrifices, he sealed his fate. And while John says Jesus did this at the beginning of his ministry, other Gospel writers moved it to the end of the story as a good reason for Jesus to put the final touches on his sure suicide by Romans. Jesus is said to have died for our sins. Karl died , in part, to illustrate the sins and shortcomings of the Church. Karl endured many more decades of cognitive dissonance under the Armstrongs, Tkaches and Merediths than Jesus did with the religionists of his day in his mere one year or three year ministry depending on which Gospel one read. We all put up with a lot...way too much because we still thought it was the church in spite of the near yearly scandals. Fifty years endeavoring to figure out the Bible and those who believe they know what it all means and how it all is , is an amazing and sincere example of patience and endurance under fire. Well done Karl.
Karl had and lived his own story, as do we all. No two stories are alike no can or should they be. No two people view their life events, successes and failures in quite the same way. Some environments offer hope and safety in times of trouble and some offer more trouble in times of trouble for sharing and caring. Karl lived his life in a toxic religious environment full of hope for the future dictated by men who actually knew little or nothing about it. And so it still is today.
Our deepest condolences and non-judgement of a life well lived to the family and friends of Mr. Karl Beyersdorfer.
The battle went hard against him and for not being there to love, console and offer compassionate encouragement , and perhaps even physical help, we are all deeply sorry. Like many who suffer in silence, we simply did not know you needed it to get through the fears and disappointments we all suffer in this life . We are also so very sorry to the family that "The Living Church of God" does not, in the reality of such events, have the love of Christ they so often speak about with fine words and scripture.
Note: Please do not make all or any donations to The Living Church of
God. Karl would probably be displeased. And with regards to
eternity...Karl is just fine.
And please take a moment to
remind LCG they should be absolutely ashamed of themselves and successfully
have served as a terrible example in not honoring one of their own no matter
how they passed from this life.