Sunday, January 21, 2018

Are Living Church of God Members Already Disgruntled With Gerald Weston's Policies?



We have been hearing from various LCG members who read this blog that things are not as rosy in the Living Church of God as Gerald Weston and LCG HQ wants its members to believe.  Many LCG member post here on how corrupt and unchristian acting HQ is to its own employees and members of the church. Tithes are routinely mismanaged at HQ and the chosen elite of the church benefit mightily from those tithes all the while as they abuse members and place more and more burdensome legalistic rules upon them.

Are LCG members getting ready to start defecting to other COG's?  That process may already be starting!

This past weekend, 30 LCG members visited COGWA in Phoenix, Arizona.  Apparently, they were unhappy with their minister and LCG and are now looking for a new church to call home.  Time will tell as to how James Capo treats the LCG members.



40 comments:

Byker Bob said...

Probably, Gerald Weston would imagine that any people leaving LCG are Laodicean. Wouldn’t that be the standard explanation for all cases of splinter-surfing?

Most of the long-term members just see whoever is in charge of their ACOG as being a third-rate substitute for HWA until Christ returns anyway.

BB

RSK said...

Well, get ready for anonymous posters to show up telling us about how their uncle's cousin's nephew's father has a friend who has an acquaintance who once stood in the same line at the PO with someone from LCG HQ and how "this blog" is sooooooo mistaken. ;)

NO2HWA said...

RSK, I thought the same thing. There has never been a more perfect COG HQ than what Living has...or as unified.

Anonymous said...

Yeah? Well my uncle's cousin's nephew's father has a friend who has an acquaintance who once stood in the same line at the PO with someone from LCG HQ and how "this blog" is sooooooo mistaken

Connie Schmidt said...

OR...

The visit to COGWA was the opening for "diplomatic relations" to occur for a LCG / COGWA potential merger??

Anonymous said...

With the stiff competition for words that can still legally be stuck in front of the phrase, "church of god," I'm surprised nobody (at least to my knowledge) has yet named their Armstrongist franchise the Perfect Church of God. I suppose it's only a matter of time until some Malm-type uses it. Little surprised Malm himself hasn't used it.

Anonymous said...

This is a example of why having several XGOG denominations is a good thing. If a minister becomes excessively abusive, members have a escape hatch by going to another denomination. This is unlike the Herb era where members had no way out. No wonder Herb and his minions railed against competition.
Ah, for the good old days where the closed system enabled them to get away with near murder.

Anonymous said...

Ugggghh Fake news Connie- higher elite UCG blogger. Never gonna happen, Cogwa don't need to merge with anyone their doing better than expected by themselves.

Anonymous said...

LCG recently moved long-time Phoenix pastor Roger Bardo to a new pastorate and made Stephen Elliott the pastor of Phoenix. Elliott is one of the former Hulme members who defected to LCG. The two men have very different approaches to pastoring, and Elliott also has the handicap of his UCG/Hulme background, of which many LCG members are very suspicious. It's easy to imagine that members who liked Bardo would be turned off by Elliott.

Anonymous said...

Connie wrote:

The visit to COGWA was the opening for "diplomatic relations" to occur for a LCG / COGWA potential merger??

Doug Winnail visited COGWA's home office late last year, and has many friends within COGWA. Unfortunately, COGWA markets itself as being doctrinally true to HWA, and Winnail's crazy new "falling away" doctrine would have to be repudiated before LCG could merge or Winnail could join COGWA. Count on Winnail staying in LCG, with Weston treating him well for fear of a split.

Richard Ames has also visited with COGWA bigwigs, but he is 80 years old and his "marriage supper in heaven" doctrine would have to be repudiated for LCG to join COGWA. He's not going anywhere, and he's not going to support a merger that tells the world he was wrong about his pet doctrine.

Weston has many times said that LCG is the one true Church or at the very least the only one that is Philadelphian. For him to merge with COGWA he would either have to admit, "I'm ruining the Church by adding Laodicea" or "I was wrong and there really isn't one true church, so let's all be together anyway." That won't happen.

Most likely, what has happened in Phoenix will continue happening elsewhere, with the main difference being that a few local LCG pastors will try to jump ahead of their congregations and join COGWA for the paycheck, bringing the congregations along with them. LCG won't split. It will slowly atrophy.

Byker Bob said...

The problem is that each of the leaders lays a head trip on his own members, to the effect that his is the only true splinter. So there is still a high level of anguish and doubt even if someone just switches brands.

BB

Gordon Feil said...

Yes.....if only pigs could fly. Not much chance of pork in the treetops though.

Ekklesia said...

Well, the LCG members need only keep their mouths shut in COGwa. I think Cogwa is more financially mindful: You can think what you want, you will be looked upon with the stink eye if you disagree or don't think we are the cat's meow, but we will let you stay around as numbers and funding are important to us. You will be subjected to Armstrongism, and sermon after sermon about the Church, the called, the sabbath, discernment, willing yourself, etc. and little else.
If you can take this year after year, you are welcome to fill a seat.

Connie Schmidt said...

ANON 1:34 WROTE: "Ugggghh Fake news Connie- higher elite UCG blogger"

HA HA! I never went to Ambassador College nor my spouse, we are not ordained, and we certainly are not "higher elite" and who the heck would want to be around that bunch anyway?

The UCG , like many COGS suffers from impotency because of its centralized management structure, and economic system, with an unempowered membership. I am a congregationalist, and believe in local monetary control and empowered boards that have the authority to fire or hire their ministry. Certainly nothing close like that exists in the UCG.

I am a supporter of the doctrines, business model and operations of the COG 7th Day.

Dennis Diehl said...

If history repeats and people don't grow in common sense and empathy, GW will no doubt affect the larger church and surround self with the well to do types as he did in my last congregation. People don't change much

Anonymous said...

Wedding supper in heaven? I didn't think spirit beings have to eat. Do they go to the toilet or what? What is the common belief for the location of Christ's wedding supper.

Anonymous said...

LCG won't let these people get away with this "visit". LCG ministers/ HQs will add this to the permanent file Rod McNair keeps on all members who might be less than 150% willing to lick his boots.

LCG squashes free will and open mindedness. All they know is harshness and heavy-handedness.

I hope these people liked what they saw in COGWA because life in LCG will never bee the same. Even if they are permitted to come back to LCG they will always be treated differently because they had the nerve to visit another ACOG. LCG members excel at covert forms of shunning and gossip. Eventually, these people will leave even if they don't want to just because they will be sick of getting the cold shoulder from their LCG peers.

LCG has no clue about empathy or compassion. They are the most love-less church I have ever experienced.

Anonymous said...

Well, Dennis, I think people do change sometimes but only after they are convinced that their old ways weren't working. GW's old ways have been working quite well for him.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the ACOGers ever wonder why their numbers are shrinking exponentially year by year. If they were doing such a great job "doing the work" and "keeping the law of God", then wouldn't they be shown blessings?

When this next generation hits the grave (the 70 somethings), the anemic membership numbers will be down by half.

Hopefully the younger members take a minute to read their Bibles instead of HWA propaganda so they can realize how much HWA and their parents got wrong.

ACOGers are utterly brainwashed and completely guilty of cherry-picking scriptures just like the Catholics do. When you read the ENTIRE Bible is shocking to learn how much WCG had wrong!

Anonymous said...

RCM was harsh but not able to stay focused on so many balls in the air so some things were allowed to slide.

Weston is sharp and unrelenting. He forgets nothing and he lets nothing slide.

LCG is headed to Pack-Flurry town.

Many more moderate members prefer to stay out of that ditch. They are now at the precipices of having to remain in LCG with the comfort of their familiar church with all their friends (even though it's on the road to crazy town) or if they're going to make a stand and stay out of the Weston ditch.

Since they are a relatively spineless group of followers (as a whole), I'm guessing they will just hold their noses and go along with Weston even if they disagree.

Denial is a powerful force.

Cognac Willie said...

cogwa is the epitome of the cogs masquerading as sheep in wolves clothing. While the hypocrisy and self-righteousness of many cog leaders are blatantly apparent, cogwa lies low in a sinister way. Judgmental and condemning attitudes from the self-righteous hirelings are as rampant in cogwa as in other cogs, but just more carefully concealed. cogwa is a splinter founded on lies and slander more than anything biblical, harshly ruled by the cronyism, and for the financial support of, the good ole boy's country clubbers. It is a whited sepulcher to beware of.

lcg members may be rightfully discontent with their current lcg hireling in Phoenix, but my, and others', dealings with Capo, the cogwa hireling, have proven him to lack integrity and substance, as is true with the majority in cogwa. As someone is fond of saying, "Caponey the phoney." Call them company men or hirelings, but they are pervasive in the cult of acogdom and cannot be escaped by simply changing organizations. Spiritual inbreeding and indoctrination from the AC and WCG years have seemingly produced a limited genetic pool in the cogs, no matter what their differences, as each claims either directly or by inference to be the only true cog.

Anonymous said...

Weston has a long history of being a heavy-handed taskmaster that interferes with church members lives. The youth that had to live under his heavy hand have almost all left the church. Combine his control with the perverse stranglehold Rod McNair has over members and LCG is doomed to destruction. These two are a lethal pair and members need to be on the guard from them. I applaud the members who reached out to COGWA as an alternative to LCG, though I fear they are just jumping from one heavy-handed fire to another.

Anonymous said...

This is a at least in part due to some friction between Meredith’s policitcally motivated acquiring of some people and ministry from David Hulme’s group a few years back. The friction has been there for a while and the illustrious regional pastor’s idea of conflict resolution is to ignore problems and hope they go away.

Anonymous said...

It would be helpful to know whether the 30 defectors to COGWA are old Hulmites who can't abide Elliott cracking the LCG whip, or whether they are loyal to the former pastor (Bardo) who has been transferred to a new pastorate.

Anonymous said...

Weston is ticking me off and I'm not even in the LCG!

Anonymous said...

I'm waiting to see what John Pilger has to say about it.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:22 PM, LCG Regional Pastor Jeff Fall is Rod McNair's father-in-law. As a result, he is protected from any consequences of his mismanagement.

Anonymous said...

This may be a wild guess but I think that Armstrongism will continue to fragment in the coming years. Anyone disagree?

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:22 PM here, unfortunately you are correct Anon 4:08 PM. It’s like he’s so protected from the consequences of his mismanagement he could bring back a couple of sexual predators that other ministers suspended with no fallout. Oh wait.... he did.
P.S. I’m sure he’s butthurt you didn’t call him “Doctor Fall”. Lolz.

Anonymous said...

This may be a wild guess but I think that Armstrongism will continue to fragment in the coming years. Anyone disagree?

Armstrongism will not only fragment into pieces, but it will disappear like the Sadducees and the Boethusians after AD70.

XX

Anonymous said...

As I understand it, a large group in Phoenix left Hulme and went with LCG. After time, they became disgruntled, directing their unhappiness at Bardo. At the same time, LCG hired Stephen Elliot as pastor in southern California, replacing a decent man, Darrell Lovelady, who transferred to Tennessee. Stephen Elliot's heavy hand was not well-liked in So Cal, so now there are 2 unhappy areas. So, LCG simply swapped pastors, essentially abandoning the once-strong, and once-outstanding Phoenix congregation. I'd bet money it was those abandoned LCG old-timers that went looking at COGWA.

The root cause? RCM's obsession to be recognized as the one, true COG leader. The Raymond McNair situation was the same thing. "If these people join us from another COG, that proves I'm God's designee. That's all I want. If the Phoenix congregation falls apart, so what? And the hell with Raymond, too; I got what I want. Let's just abandon Raymond by the side of the road to die, while we move the Charlotte."

Gordon Feil said...

I read your post too quickly, and I read sphincter when you wrote splinter. My rendering might have been just as appropriate though.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:25 PM, you seem familiar with LCG's Western Regional Pastor, so maybe you can clear something up for me.

Is it true that Doctor Fall uses more hair-spray than any ten women in his congregations combined?

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:25 P.M. here. I’m not sure how much hairspray Fall uses as compared to that many women, but I will say I’m deeply concerned about any open flames, or heat sources when he is in the area.

Byker Bob said...

Far be it from me to defend an ACOG minister, but what’s up with commenting on the hairspray? I thought we all quit criticizing people’s grooming choices when we left Armstrongism.

BB

Ekklesia said...

Cognac Willie,

I think your assessment is spot on.

Anonymous said...

I have heard a couple of recent sermons from Gerald Weston that upset me. Check out the Church of the Great God sermons and material for spiritual food - they are absolutely wonderful. Also, the website of Steven M. Collins is really very interesting. He makes a lot of sense.

Anonymous said...

Byker, the point is that Jeff Fall preaches about manliness, and doesn't approve of female vanity in any form. He and his wife came from a Christian sect even more conservative than WCG, almost Amish-like in some respects, and some of the effects still linger. The hairspray comment doesn't come up when looking at other ministers with similar habits, because they don't say one thing while doing another. Fall's use of hairspray to manufacture a ridiculous Stepford hairdo is a very feminine and vain aspect of his conduct, very much in contrast to what he preaches.

Anonymous said...

I was in LCG for nearly 15 years.

I can tell you with confidence that no matter how disgruntled LCG members are or will become over Gerald Weston, they won't likely do anything about it. They will just swallow hard and remain miserable week after week, year after year.

They will feed themselves lies about not letting a "few bad apples spoil the whole bunch" or how they are "being tested by God to remain faithful to His true church" or the ever popular belief that God will work it out in time.

Because they sit and endure the toxic environment that is LCG, nothing will ever change.

Anonymous said...

They are brainwashed don't expect much from this group. Lower your expectations.