Monday, November 13, 2017

Gerald West Squelches Living University Accreditation Process

There is one thing you can say about the Church of God with confidence, everything they do seems to be an imitation of their harlot mother, the Worldwide Church of God.

Decades ago Ambassador College entered into the accreditation process in order to grant degrees that had validity and worth.  Herbert Armstrong claimed to never have been part of the discussion and threw a royal hissy-fit and stopped the accreditation process of Ambassador College in order to preserve what he perceived was its theological integrity.  At that time, Michael Germano was apart of the process and later in the Big Sandy process. In one swift sweep of his strong arm, Herb invalidated the process and threw the college and student body into turmoil once they found out their degrees were essentially worthless again.

Today in 2017, that same scenario has played out once again in the Living Church of God with their "university." Once again Germano was part of the process and once again the accreditation process has been squelched.

The Church of God has always believed that their educational institutions were the best in the world and gave their students a well-rounded education that made them highly desirable to the world and to fellow church brethren.

Living Church of God still carries the same belief that WCG had with Ambassador College:

“Should I take a Living University course even though I am enrolled in another university?” 
Answer: Yes! This is a great idea! You will learn a great deal through your coursework from other universities. However, what is one area that you will be missing? Biblical understanding or theology. Consider taking a Living University course, even just once a year, to balance out your other university coursework. Living University can provide you with the important “missing dimension in knowledge” that is lacking in a typical education. It will also help you build a more solid foundation and grounding in God’s truth.
“What if I plan to go to college elsewhere? Wouldn’t Living University be a waste of my time?”
Answer: Great question! The short answer is that building your spiritual foundation and decreasing your likelihood of being deceived can never be a waste of your time. In addition, in this age of high unemployment, where many college graduates and other young people are competing against those with real-life experience, taking a year or two to attend LU will help you develop that much more emotional and spiritual maturity. It will also help you develop more confidence, and even enrich your public speaking and interpersonal skills—which all employers desire, but that most are seeing less and less of. By adding a year or two of Living University maturity and skills to your resume, you will make yourself that much more marketable to future employers. 
That "missing dimension" was a big crock of theological crap.  Its theological education was based upon the 6-month study of a man in a public library and endless hours spent kneeling at a dirty rock in the Oregon woods, all while never providing for his family because he could not hold a steady job due to his flippant arrogance.  Just like Joseph Smith of Mormondom, Herb's god revealed exclusive knowledge that was supposed to be earth-shattering, even though the theological stances of both men are easily discredited as pure hokum.

Living University thought so highly of its self that they thought they needed to be accredited.  Once again they found out that if they went that route they would have to deeply examine their teachings and research practices on everything they taught.  Having to deeply examine, with integrity, their beliefs and to teach real biblical hermeneutics, exegesis, and biblical criticism was too much for the organization to do.  After all, it is much easier to imitate and use everything from Herbert than it is moving forward into the 21st century.

Therefore, Gerald Weston has made a decree to stop the accreditation process in order to preserve LCG's theological integrity.

Dear Brethren, 
We concluded a very encouraging series of Council of Elders meetings this past week in which we affirmed the need to hold onto the biblically based traditions of the Church. However, regarding Living University, we recognize that we are at a crossroads. The current situation is that individuals in at least 20 states are not able to take online courses in Living University due to changing state laws. It is apparent that its existing structure is not able to meet the educational needs of the youth and members of the Living Church of God. 
The Council of Elders has reviewed the situation, and in keeping with the clearly stated wishes of Dr. Meredith, the Council has advised that accreditation efforts be dropped, in favor of developing a more flexible, less restrictive, and more effective program to support the development of future ministers, to serve our youth, and to serve our general membership. 
This has not been an easy decision as much effort has been put into Living University. Many of you have supported these efforts through your prayers and financial donations. For this we are ever grateful. However, as evidenced by the recent limitations placed on licensed universities, restrictions on conducting online classes in an increasing number of states limit our ability to serve our ministers and members. 
I believe there are exciting opportunities before us regarding a variety of educational programs and I will be forming a committee next week to begin restructuring our Living Church of God educational programs to serve our ministry, our youth, and our general membership. In the meantime, classes as currently configured will continue to operate for the time being. The decision as to how we restructure will be announced in the near future. I am looking forward to explaining more about this in the weeks ahead. 
In Christ’s service,
Gerald E. Weston

Living University has been a boondoggle since its inception, draining off money in order to stroke the egos of a few men who should have retired years ago or at least gotten real jobs.


Anonymous said...

I'm in complete agreement with Mr. Weston.

DennisCDiehl said...

Anytime I got a letter from HQ that talked about "exciting meetings" followed by how excited everyone was to continue forward with God's work, I knew something was about to be trashed that any practical and forward looking pastor or member would have preferred to see actually go forward. It is not about purity of doctrine or theology. It is about control of belief, teaching and practice without outside interference. It is always about ACOUNTABILITY. Something the Churches of God are not keen on accepting for their actions and beliefs. .

Whether HWA knew about the STP in the 70's which went a long way in addressing the ridiculous beliefs and practices related to healing, make up and divorce and remarriage, I don't know. I do know he was the kind of man who did not like having anything he came up with challenged or undone. If it was to be undone, he would undo it and would explain that God had revealed to him that it needed to be undone or unbound or loosed or whatever. No outside person was going to undo inside beliefs even is terribly wrong and mistaken.

How one even accredits something as meaningless, miniscule and limited ad "Living UNIVERSITY" is beyond me. How it can use the word "University" is beyond me. I still shudder over my naïve belief that I was attending a school back in the day that "taught students not only how to make a living, but how to live." Bull shit. It taught neither unless compliance and obedience to pretend power and authority was the same as "how to live."

Living University is a ruse that merely takes the young and naïve on a journey through "mere Bible reading" and then you make up stuff to fit the text that you can supposedly apply to your real life. There is not real professional study of the Bible. No real understanding of the background, history , origins and problems with the texts. No admission to what all real theologians know and many educated pastors privately admit to. The Bible is not the Sunday School story we all were taught. It has serious errancy problems as well as authorship issues.

I'd love to sit in RCM's "Harmony of the Gospels" class knowing what I know now. He practically kicked me out of class for even asking a question back in the day much less one he'd have no clue how to answer or ever even heard of. There is NO Harmony in the Gospels . They were not written by the men whose names were later affixed and are not eyewitness accounts of anything. They don't claim to be either.

I spare us....

Byker Bob said...

Well, this is the way an embarrassing college is made. The funniest part of their promo is the statement about building a firm biblical foundation so that you won't be deceived. I almost choked when I read that!


RSK said...

Well, that's wonderful, Anon 430p. Your lucidly stated reasons as to why you agree with Gerald Weston on this subject are both compelling and interesting. I especially appreciated your fascinating explanation on the similar topic of... oh wait, you didn't actually share anything.

Steve D said...

The Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons and other churches organizations operate accredited universities, yet didn't have to compromise their theology. HWA was more interested in appearances than substance. HWA was an empty suit. His college (I graduated from AC in 73) was a shell of a real college. As long outward appearances were kept up it mattered little if the core of the church and college was inferior. HWA was an expert in every area of life and wouldn't allow anyone to tell him how to do anything. He wouldn't have any "so called experts in education" come and tell HIM how to run God's college. As for RCM's first year Bible class . . . . he was an intellectual coward. He wouldn't allow anyone to questions anything that was taught. He wasn't willing to engage in a real discussion especially with anyone from the outside with real training in Theology. Can you imagine RCM appearing together with Walter Martin to discuss some of the strange teachings of the WCG? The leadership always stayed in their spiritual safe space where they can bully members and seek an office on the fourth floor of the Hall of Administration, and perhaps, even succeed HWA.

Connie Schmidt said...

I will say it again--- no football team EQUALS = Not a real college!

Anonymous said...

Herb was trained in and mastered marketing. I read a book on the topic. It kept repeating that people believe that in order to succeed, one must get as close to the laws of nature as possible. Not so according to marketing. Rather all you have is perceptions, so if you can control others perceptions, you can control others, and get what you want in life. So forget about reality, it's mind control that's the secret key to success.
Hence Ambassador College taught people 'how to live,' and the truth be damned. Another example, a minister once told me that members are repentant and teachable. It was pure marketing. It wasn't my experience and within ten years, half of the church had fallen away.
Many church teachings are in this category.

Anonymous said...

So RSK you clearly didn't read what Mr. Weston said! Of course I expect such ignorance on this half-ass website!

Anonymous said...

Doug Winnail pushed Living University on RCM because he wanted to change the practice begun by Carl McNair and continued by Charles Bryce of ordaining actual ELDERS into the LCG ministry. The problem with ordaining older men, men baptized 30 or 40 years ago, is that they remember what WCG used to teach, and they watched as AC-trained sheep led the church off-track into apostasy. They recognized compromised and doctrinal drift first-hand. Winnail wanted to create a new generation of obedient sheep he could ordain as LCG ministers, who would accept his liberal perspectives and not question any changes.

If you look at the men ordained since LU began, they seem to be far more in the Winnail mold than in the Carl McNair mold. Also, they are younger and have less real-world experience or church experience than the older men Winnail would often pass over in favor of his young trainees.

It seems Weston may want to change this trend, but with ten years of Winnail ordinations now population the LCG ministry it may be hard to bring about much change. The old line about steering an aircraft carrier comes to mind.

Anonymous said...

With GCI moving its headquarters to Charlotte, will Germano now revert to his pre-LCG acceptance of the Tkach changes and help the mother church? Or will LCG buy his silence with a big pension that GCI could never afford to give him?

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

I have to agree with Connie. No football team = Not a real college!

Go Terps!


RSK said...

I read what he said. Apparently you didn't read what I said. I expect such ignorance from a half-ass poster, though. ;)

Anonymous said...

Hundreds of thousands of tithe payer dollars wasted.

Many of the members are pissed!

LU was a budget buster and a complete farce so in the long run this is a good decision.

There is a subgroup of LCG members who have been saying it all along. Tithe money should be used to PREACH THE GOSPEL not fund pet projects and a silly dream to recreate AC.

Years of wasted money on LU could have funded a greater work or paid for more ministers to shepherd the flock but now its gone with ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT.

Byker Bob said...

I wonder if any of these people ever take introspection, or wonder why nothing they ever do ends up even being moderately successful? Isn't the paradigm that when you are doing God's work, God blesses it? Without exaggerating, lying, or bull-shitting, how is the work of any of these ACOGs being blessed? Is the new measure of success how many impoverished Africans you get to share with several other splinters? Or successfully imitating HWA by shutting down accreditation, thus trashing any possible legitimacy for your college? Or how many faithful tithepayers you can abuse your authority upon to disfellowship? Or, finally, how faithful you are in postponing your prophecies? Everywhere we look, we see either zero growth or contraction.


Anonymous said...

So right Bob.

I attend with an ACOG out of love and respect for my husband who grew up in it and isn't likely to ever leave.

I have had the very same thoughts you outlined in your last comment numerous times.

I'd add to that the lack of Christian character in these churches. Sure there are some (few)kind and loving people but the majority are self righteousness and judgmental. They can't exemplify the love of Christ because the only love they know is conditional. It's not that they are capable of it and choose not to. After 15 years in an ACOG, I am now convinced that these people truly do not understand that kind of love. It's a little sad in a way. Additionally, they are always quick to complain and seem to live in the past (AC glory days). When I hear people say things like, "that's not what Mr. Armstrong taught" I always want to shake my head and shout "who cares what Mr. Armstrong taught!". The Word of God is what matters. In general, the idolatry of HWA is extremely frightening but they seem to be completely blind to it. It's so rare that we get an uplifting sermon. Oh how I long for them. To me, the Word of God is inspiring, joyous, uplifting! I would have never dreamed that a church could be so negative. This is a group of people who think that keeping the letter of the OT law perfectly is more important than developing their character.

I know you don't know me but please pray that God will remove this thick fog of life-long brainwashing from my husband's mind so we can be free of anything Armstrong. I can only imagine how wonderful that would be!

Anonymous said...

5.17 AM
Never outgrowing 'that's not what Mr Armstrong taught' is why charlatans like Wolfman Dave Pack can devour his flock.

Mr minister, what big teeth you have.
The better to eat your financial assets with my dear.

Anonymous said...

About football teams-

Of all the splinters' gusto and bravado, I'd at least think Pack's church would muster a team capable of beating a local team (even if said local team was comprised of pre-pubescent middle schoolers).

Davey's church scores another zero, while the goalpost is re-set to another "three-to-five" years away.

Stage Hand At The Crossroads Arena said...

Anon 4:30 PM simply stated that he/she agreed with what Gerald Weston said about Living University, and along comes RSK verbally attacking anon 4:30 just because anon 4:30 agreed with GW. RSK you are an intolerant, close-minded bigot.

RSK said...

To be exact, I teased him/her for not giving reasons/insight of her/his own. But hey, sure, why not?

RSK said...

However, if you're trying for the modern day cliche, "intolerant" went out of heavy rotation around 1998 and is mainly used by aging paid neocon hacks now. You're looking for "hate-filled bigot", baby.

Still Learning said...

@ RSK, you make me chuckle! Thanks for the laugh this morning.

(your original comment was spot on and delightfully sarcastic ;) )

Byker Bob said...

I did pray for your husband's mind to be opened this morning, 5:17, and will be glad to continue to do so.

Some of the ACOG groups are benign. But, in the case of Dave Pack's church members, anyone who is married to a member is automatically in a codependent relationship. (Present and subject to a sudden and unwilling treacherous ride). As a close comparison, with his "common" doctrine, Pack has simulated the conditions that would normally exist in the household of a severe gambling addict. And unfortunately for them, the odds are much better in Vegas, because in the RCG, the winner loses all, all the while believing that it's God's will or that they are qualifying for something.