For decades we heard COG leaders proclaim, "We are family!" Yet has there ever been a church that treated its member with as much disdain, at times, as has the Church of God? Never has there been a group of people who has been constantly beaten down as "unworthy" because "they just don't get it," or have so disappointed
Many ministers and evangelists used members as their own personal slaves, yet never deeming them worthy enough to invite them into their own homes. Through it all members were supposed to love one another, "as Christ loved the church." That love usually stopped the second you dared to question a minister or the church leadership, or God forbade something from the Bible.
How could members "love" one another and care for one another when its own leaders held everyone in such contempt? That love was never genuine and was usually the end result of fear mongering. Intense persecution, concentration camps, parents eating their children, and more gore awaited the brethren around every corner they turned. Satan was aways on the attack.
A Church leader gets caught in adultery...Satan is attacking the church. A church leader gets sent to prison...Satan is attacking the church. People refuse to acknowledge self-appointed dreamy false prophets...Satan is deceiving the brethren. Tens of thousands refuse to jump church fellowships to join a delusional narcissist...Satan is deceiving the brethren. God has been turned into a impotent cowering old dude sitting in the northern heavens while Satan has free reign. Satan is even more powerful that Jesus, at least in the COG's eyes.
Times are rough in COG land as Satan is preparing to wreck havoc with Brexit and Trump. At least in the eyes of Rod Meredith. Now it is even more important than ever for church members to love one another. Soon there will be intense persecution, famine and death.
In his latest member letter to the ever growing disenchanted LCG membership, he warns of this very thing. Fear and persecution start ripping the world apart in the very first couple of paragraphs. Terrible times are ahead as the LCG membership will be divided by battling factions within the church and with outside splinter cult leaders like Bob Thiel and Dave Pack seeking to con as many members as they can to their dark sides.
We Must Become Family!
Many of us realize that. God’s people will be tried and tested as we never have been before. We will be persecuted as never before in the years ahead—as God’s Word clearly predicts. Satan will try to “divide and conquer,” as is his usual tactic. He will not only try to divide different nations and ethnic groups, but he will surely go after Christ’s true Church and try to confuse, undermine and divide us in any way he can. Yet in the terrible times just ahead, we will all need the love and support of one another more than ever. We will need to become “family” more than ever, and I hope that all of us can fully realize that and pray that God can help us respond and become a true family under the leadership of Jesus Christ. God is reproducing Himself and enlarging His Family to ultimately include billions of human beings made in His image.I wonder if church member are getting sick of this "god is reproducing himself" nonsense after all these decades? Making such a claim totally invalidates anything Jesus ever meant or anything do with the new covenant. Anyway, back to the big powerful bogey man, the all powerful Satan, as he persecutes the chosen ones.
But right now, as religious persecution and harassment are going to increase, we will “need each other” more than ever. We will need a “safe place” to give us the help and human support that is so encouraging—certainly in addition to direct guidance and help from God Himself. Some of our brethren may lose their jobs or lose their homes. Some may even go hungry in the years ahead, as national upheavals become worse and worse in the various parts of the world, and some will go hungry even among God’s people. So we are held accountable by our Father in heaven, who will expect us to respond with love and show a “family” spirit in the way we interact with one another.Can church leaders truly ever have a "safe space" in the church? With all the back stabbing, gossiping and lying members who run to the ministry every time some people wipe their noses, can here every be a true "safe space?" It certainly will NOT be Petra. If they treat each other like crap now, just imagine the hell it will be when everyone is isolated for 3 1/2 years in a sweltering desert as hundreds of "doubly blessed self-appointed" leaders fight over who is in control. Then the winning team will hold all other church leaders and members at a lower level than their frozen chosen.
Will self appointed ministers in the church start showing love in the way they treat members? Don't count on it. The COG track record proves otherwise.
Meredith goes on to quote Paul and then makes the following bizarre comment:
So even though we certainly continue to use separate bathrooms as male and female—and there are, and should be, certain differences in purely physical matters—we are one family in God, who is our Father, and we are to let this spiritual relationship override physical differences as much as we possibly can within God’s Law and God’s teachings!
Meredith then quotes Matthew 26 and adds this:
Notice that Jesus Christ powerfully instructs us, as His servants, to feed the hungry, take in strangers, nurture the sick, visit those in prison and help those “in trouble” in every way we can. He tells those doubters who try to water down what He was saying, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it toMe” (v. 40). When you take in brethren or any human being in this kind of circumstance, you are taking in and helping Jesus Christ Himself! We all need to meditate on this and try to “do better” in the way we help and serve one another. Brethren, pray fervently about this and ask God to help us to demonstrate—in every way we can—a more complete “family spirit” in the way we interact with each other and treat one another.
Will Rod Meredith, Gerald Weston, Richard Ames and others start taking in aimless to feed them and care for them? Will they welcome with open arms the prostitute down on that lonely Charlotte street corner or the gay, lesbian, transgendered teen recently kicked out of their home? Will church members cook food, feed them and give them warm beds to sleep in? Don't count on it. The answer is a BOLD NO!
Dear brethren, let us all try to develop an even greater sense of love, warmth and enthusiasm, and a total outflowing and “giving” spirit in the way we interact with another. This will not be easy. Do not “kid” yourself. Our natural tendency is to be selfish and to take care of “self” first and others last.
Let us “take action” now! For the times of trials and tests are coming upon us within the next few years. Again, we will “need” each other. We will “need” to have the help, the warmth, the encouragement and the physical necessities that we can share with each other in time to come. Let us not fail to serve Jesus Christ Himself, as He is present in each one of these situations. As Jesus said, “Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me” (Matthew 25:40).Since the church does not follow Christ it is going to be a hard them for them to emulate "Christ like" love.