Friday, February 16, 2018

Agape Love in the Living Church of God

Whew! Doug Winnail is back after a long absence, once again holding the feet of LCG in the fire.  Most of his weekly paragraphs are on topics of current issues in the Living Church of God.  This week it is on love or the lack of love in the Living Church of God.  Is that lack of love what is driving the membership rolls of the LCG down?  Is that lack of love the result of the heavy-handedness of Gerald Weston, Rod McNair, and Johnathan McNair and others?  Is the leadership of the Living Church of God filled with "unselfish outgoing concern for others?"

The Most Important Quality: Most of God’s people understand the importance of keeping the commandments, the Sabbath, the Holy Days and the health laws, as well as the importance of government, tithing, faith and watching for the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Yet, sometimes, in our zeal to obey the laws of God, we can overlook something that is even more important—and that is the need to develop and exercise Godly Love. In 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, we learn that without Godly Love, all other things will amount to nothing. The biblical word used here for love is agape, which refers to an unselfish outgoing concern for others. In 1 Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul states that Godly Love is patient and kind; it does not envy and is not proud or rude. Godly Love does not seek its own way; it is calm and not easily provoked, nor does it jump to conclusions or assign motives or sit in judgment of others. Instead, Godly Love is gracious and forgiving. It is positive and focuses on what is right and true. It never fails or falters. Godly Love is an important fruit of God’s spirit (Galatians 5:22) that we must cultivate if we hope to become like our Father and our Elder Brother Jesus Christ—because God is love (1 John 4:8, 16), and we have been created to become like Him (1 John 3:1-3). Let’s make this our goal. Let’s ask God to help us learn to love Him and learn to love others as He does—so we can develop this most important quality—of Godly Love.
Have a profitable Sabbath,
Douglas S. Winnail


Anonymous said...

Agape love is Godly love. It is a benevolent attitude towards others, an attitude of regarding all human life as precious. It is not "unselfish outgoing concern" as claimed for decades in Herbs church. Any outsider could debate this since "outgoing concern" is religiously never defined.
However, in church culture 'outgoing concern' is meant as the emotion one would have towards a mate, ones children or close friend. In the real world, people have to earn this 'outgoing concern' It is not a right or a moral responsibility to supply such concern. This is nothing more than the game of the unjust steward, with the currency being emotional rather than goods or services.

So again this is the wolf talking to the lambs, with the wolf not practising what he preaches.
To all the leeches and parasites of the world, if you want my concern, earn it.

Anonymous said...

Jews understood love to be a verb, not a noun. It's the way you treat others, regardless of feelings towards them. "Husbands, love your wives" means to treat her in a loving way. Perhaps in time your heart will catch up with your actions. Your neighbor might be a jerk, but you treat him in a loving way. You can't command feelings, but you can command actions.

Dennis Diehl said...

That's the Doug I've always known. That is his core perspective on what church is to cultivate in people... Love. He's caught between that and the conflicting teachings in the Bible by competing Apostles, in the texts, on law and grace/Jewish Christian and Gentile. Throw in the Old Testament and..well there ya go...

The Book is the author of all the division. If we think a god literally wrote it or inspired it then that god is literally the author of the confusion

Anonymous said...

Doug writes, in part, saying: "...Yet, sometimes, in our zeal to obey the laws of God, we can overlook something...the need to develop and exercise Godly Love...Let’s ask God to help us learn to love Him and learn to love others as He does—so we can develop this most important quality—of Godly Love...."
How many times must Doug give this message for those he writes to before they get the point? How more years does the Living group need so that all develop that Godly love? IF they don't have that quality now, then how many more years are needed?
Christians are supposed to be the workmanship of God's hands, not beggers:
"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works..." Eph 2:10
Godly love, part of those good works, should already be evident; shouldn't it?

Christians have Christ living in them:
"I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me." John 17:23
And it says God the Father is in Christ, there! How can one beat that combination?

Why does Doug continue to beg his readers to beg God to help them. If God and Christ were in them, what's the problem?

Perhaps, Doug may want to reconsider the fact that God and Christ may be working with others elsewhere??????

Time will tell...


DennisCDiehl said...

I Corinthians 13 is truly the one piece of scripture that always touched me over time. It is so not how the Apostle Paul himself comes across in other writings that it is said to perhaps have been written by Sosthenes who did help Paul write I Corinthians as noted in verses 1:1 and 2.

Sosthenes, may have been to Paul what the Dr. Doug Winnail is to Gerald Weston who is definitely more of a demanding figure as was RCM and Paul. Paul was thought to be so strong in his writings and writings but evidently when he actually showed up people thought he was rather weak. Paul had to counter with "Oh yeah...well you just wait and see how tough I can be when I get there..." Here Paul sounds like I imagine Bob Thiel might respond to the African brethren :)

2 Corinthians 10:10
Paul's Apostolic Authority
…9I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you by my letters. 10For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but his physical presence is unimpressive, and his speaking is of no account.” 11Such people should consider that what we are in our letters when absent, we will be in our actions when present.…

They might take this as compliment, but it is not. I am no fan of Paul as I will try not to repeat.

DennisCDiehl said...

Time will tell noted: Why does Doug continue to beg his readers to beg God to help them. If God and Christ were in them, what's the problem?

The Psalms and Old Testament is FULL of begging for God's attention. "Where have you gone?" "Why are you so afar off?", "Why have you left us?" "Why have you hidden your face from me?" and of course, the Priests assured them it was because of disobedience so send it in and offer it up and obey it and all will be well.

The whole book of Job is a man begging God for answers to his losses and really all he gets is a lecture on if he is so smart does he know where the s now comes from? Really? At no point did the god tell Job He and Satan were having a contest to see who was right at Job's expense. Never actually happened but it's a huge beg on Job's part and the man did nothing "wrong" except the snow thing. His 3 three friends of course had the answer, "You must have sinned" but that wasn't it either evidently either , He was just being the pawn in a God/Satan game.

Obviously you haven't held screaming church members "begging" me and God for answers to their child's death by drowning, gun, car and drugs. They are and were all excellent human beings who simply experienced what we all fear and that being "their angels do watch over them" is not always true.

When believers of all Christian faith "beg" God, they do so out of confusion of heart and mind and are not getting answers to what the problem , that they would change in a heartbeat, really is.

It's probably because no one is actually listening and they are going to have to work it all out on their own.

Don't be so glib on the emotional needs of others under stress and seeking help and answers from their God and faith.

DennisCDiehl said...

If Paul did write 1 Corinthians 13, he did so after a ministry of cursing those who didn't agree with him or follow "his Gospel" and bragging about how humble he was and that he didn't lie as he was evidently accused of quite often. He had to written it after he came to his senses over the "we who are alive and remain" and "we shall not all sleep" meaning he and those at the time which proveLd to be very wrong. Perhaps he wrote it after he realized he had complained about people marrying when they should have been thinking about the things of the Lord. Maybe he realized how stupid it sounded to say that those that marry think only of each other and those that are single think only of the Lord. How naïve is that?

Maybe it indicates he realized he had wasted much of his time making demands when he should have teaching , as Gospel Jesus did and who he never met or heard of in the flesh or quoted, was right. Love one another. Now Dave Pack would say that only applies to the brethren loving each other only and not the people outside the gates. Perhaps these lawmen and self absorbed, misinformed and mistaken one man shows will wake up as Paul may have close to their own end.

Time will tell...doh! Did I say that????? :)

Anonymous said...

not everyone at church is a converted member of The Church, and they have been known to drive away members by their pettiness...

Anonymous said...

Why would you anyone join LCG?

You wouldn't join for the doctrines, as even the ministers disagree about doctrine. Many privately reject the new teachings about the marriage supper in heaven, and about the falling away. Others insist that if you don't believe those new teachings, you won't be taken to the Place of Safety and you might even go to the Lake of Fire. A few say that it doesn't matter what you believe, as long as you obey the ministry. Why would any new member want to enter into such doctrinal confusion?

You wouldn't join for the social opportunities, as there are many individual church congregations larger than LCG's worldwide membership. Even in Charlotte, St. Matthew's Catholic Church has around 9,000 members. Elevation Church has 22,000 members attending in 14 locations around Charlotte. For most LCG members who aren't in the few larger congregations, the Feast of Tabernacles and the Winter Weekend are the two times each year when children will see more than two or three other member children their own age, or when singles will meet potential spouses.

Increasing numbers of people attend LCG because the local LCG congregation is more convenient than UCG or COGWA, and the local LCG pastor is so keen on reporting high attendance that he will avoid pressing them on their degree of doctrinal or financial loyalty.

LCG is dying.

Byker Bob said...

This is all almost comical, if it were not so sad and sick. Here we have a church movement whose philosophy and understanding have been shown to cause what used to be called DSM-IV Axis II disorders, actually calling for the opposite of or reversal of those very severe personality disorders. Apparently, they are also completely unaware of cause and effect.


Anonymous said...

Dennis wrote:

That's the Doug I've always known. That is his core perspective on what church is to cultivate in people... Love.

Silence is consent. For all of Doug's talk of "love" his presence is cultivating a culture of murder (hatred) and deceit. As LCG's Director of Church Administration, it is true that he does not have the power to overrule specific abuses committed by Rod Meredith and now by Gerald Weston. He does, however, signal his support by staying in place. Others, some "bigshots" and some worker bees, have left their LCG HQ positions when they realized that their presence was corrupting them and sending a wrong message to others. Even those who appreciated Doug Winnail before he went to Charlotte can affirm that his time at LCG HQ has made him much more like Rod Meredith than anyone would have expected. Doug probably reassures himself with the thought of "how different" he is from some other ministers who regularly lie and politic to get ahead, but what others see is "how similar" he has become. Both are correct.

Furthermore, Doug's talk of "love" is shown as hollow when you realize that Rod McNair is Doug's assistant. Doug could say "No!" to any of McNair's devious activities, but he chooses not to do so. His "love" for Rod McNair exceeds by far his "love" for McNair's victims.

Maybe, someday, Doug will resign and will apologize, "I should have left sooner, but I thought I could be a force for good, so I stayed as long as I did." More likely, though, he will hang on as CAD Director until Gerald Weston offers him a comfortable semi-retirement in a pastorate a short drive away from his children, where he can practice his idea of "love" without the challenges of managing a worldwide ministry. That's what hirelings do.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in a very small town and community that completely embodied agape love. Whenever things came up (deaths, disasters, etc.), people jumped right in to help and no question was ever asked. It wasn't until I moved away and joined LCG when I was 20 that I learned what backstabbing, two-faced, envious people are capable of. I will forever regret the 10 years of LCG that I endured.

DennisCDiehl said...

I speak of the Doug I knew when we interacted in the past. Organizations can certainly sublimate one's self for many reasons. One is that he believes the theology and can go no where else. Another is that one can perhaps be a force for the good as the organization moves ahead. I tried that but it didn't work. Ideas I had early in the game that got me shut down became "new truth's" years later, just not from me brain. That's what being out of the loop means. Sometimes nothing you can say will change those who rule even though it makes perfect sense. I talked to Joe Jr about all the problem minister types like Pack and others and suggested in the future, I thought the church had one at that point, new minister types be given a personality profile test etc to see if they fit in ministry. He didn't like that idea one bit. It never came up again.

You speak of the Doug of today worn down by getting older and getting nowhere. I believe you.

Anonymous said...

Dennis wrote, regarding Doug Winnail's reasons for remaining in LCG:

One is that he believes the theology and can go no where else.

Doug is in a tough spot. He came up with his new "falling away" doctrine, overturning what HWA taught, and he convinced RCM to make it LCG doctrine, even though most of the ministers Doug didn't ordain (LCG's older ministers) don't believe the new doctrine, yet can't announce their disbelief too loudly and remain in good standing.

No ACOG other than LCG believes in Doug's new doctrine, so if Doug wants to go elsewhere he will need to recant his "pet" doctrine, which would be a huge humiliation for a man who has positioned himself as one of LCG's intellectual leaders.

By contrast, Michael Germano has several times in his career admitted past error, and has changed to adapt to new surroundings. That's just not Doug.

Byker Bob said...

I don’t know Doug, Dennis. But, just as a general observation, many Christians are very easy to trick and manipulate. One way is through coercion into making black and white decisions, such as allowing oneself to be co-opted and manipulated due to a greater commitment to a set of doctrines, and the authority structure supporting it. In a way, I almost understand why so many of the hirelings have started up their own Armstrong foundaries (splinters). Some of them might be the guys who had stronger consciences, and would not allow manipulation. Most of us generally have a threshhold, and final delineation point that our consciences will not allow us to cross. Let’s hope your friend Doug reaches his sooner rather than later.


Anonymous said...

"Doug is in a tough spot. He came up with his new "falling away" doctrine, overturning what HWA taught, and he convinced RCM to make it LCG doctrine". Why does everything have to be labeled a doctrine? Why does the LCG have to have an official position on every damn thing?
Why not stick to the basics and let people believe what they want on non essentials issues? At the "leaders" the only ones who can think and make such decisions? Do they have to have a statement declaring the best time to study, pray, attend worship, what to wear, what to eat, what restaurants are the best? What are they, Consumer Reports of religion?

Anonymous said...

Why does everything have to be labeled a doctrine? Why does the LCG have to have an official position on every damn thing?

Ask Doug. He is the one who gave a sermon in which he said the new "Falling Away" teaching is one of the distinctive features of LCG, which will set it apart from other ACOG groups.

Are the "leaders" the only ones who can think and make such decisions?

I guess you have never been part of an ACOG. All of the present distress is leading up to the Place of Safety, and it will be the leaders there who determine whether you can stay or will be kicked out. Learning not to offend the leadership today is training for the Place of Safety tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

like i always say: if the Churches had practised loving their members from the beginning it wouldve gone well for us as an organization, cuz loving thy neighbor as thyself is religion purety...

some of the earliest signs of trouble for the original Church were preceded by Church hiearchy neglecting the widows; when an organization behaves in such a way it begats internal grumblings, and discontent, and gives outsiders reason to accuse us, and rightfully so...

once you lose the moral high ground, you lose credibilty, and frankly neglecting to love one another is a blatant a form of disobedience as there is...

so the Church should remember and adhere to the Word of Jesus:

"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." John 13:34-35

c f ben yochanan

Anonymous said...

LCG is utterly and completely love-less.

Friendships are conditional.

Ministers believe in breaking up marriages if doing so keeps people in line.

They shun people.

Anyone who disagrees with them is "demon possessed".

They think they are better than the people "in the world" and better than all the other ACOGs.

I spent 12 years in LCG and I truly believe that if you took a random sample of people from the general public you'd find more love than in LCG as a whole.

They are truly blind when it comes to the greatest commandment.

Doug Winnail is either spinning more lies or completely naive.

Anonymous said...

i believe winnail is sincere, and i have literally offered some proof on this blog: years ago i chided lcg, via email, about their negligence of including the Loving Way of Jesus in their general Gospel Work, and soon there after, doug winnail, and only doug winnail, posted official commentary on the lcg website regarding this EXTREMELY IMPORTANT doctrine...

and frankly, i also give some guarded credit to THIS BLOG for perpetuating the importance of Dr. Winnail's efforts...

sadly, we just may be soon reading about lcgs assault on Dr. Winnail...

c f ben yochanan

Anonymous said...

LCG keeps file folders full of every confirmed, suspected or rumored offense its members commit.

In the spirit of the Passover, one would think they would burn these files once a year as they offer their hearts in forgiveness. But no, nobody holds a grudge quite like an LCG minister.

Is that the "love" of which Winnail speaks???

Anonymous said...

Doug Winnail is either spinning more lies or completely naive.

Rod Meredith thought "completely naive" was pretty much the explanation for Doug Winnail. That's why he was grooming Rod McNair to take over as Director of Church Administration. (pause here, waiting for our LCG troll to pop in and deny this, though people close to RCM know it is true). Do the insiders here know whether RCM made Weston promise to go through with that change, or does Weston have the authority to give the job to a true shepherd who might carry on the legacy of Carl McNair in a way his evil son cannot?

Anonymous said...

@ 4:58
" Do the insiders here know whether RCM made Weston promise to go through with that change, or does Weston have the authority to give the job to a true shepherd who might carry on the legacy of Carl McNair in a way his evil son cannot?

You imply that Carl McNair was a true shepherd while Rod McNair is evil.

Rod McNair is evil. I won't argue you there. His behavior has revealed his character in a way that is impossible to excuse.

I will, however, disagree with you regarding Carl McNair.

I've heard that he beat his boys savagely on a nearly daily basis. I wasn't a witness to these beating so I can't confirm it's true. It makes a lot of sense to me though. His boys are so harsh, so hateful and unloving. So void of mercy or human compassion. Did Carl's mental illness and child abuse screw those boys up and create the monsters they have now become? Very likely.

I'm not making excuses for the McNair boys. Plenty of abused children grow up and make a decision to break the pattern. I'm simply offering a potential explanation for what appears to be mental illness in Jon and Rod McNair. After all, hurt people hurt people!

I'll bet Dorothy knows the truth. But like any good minister's wife... she's not telling.

Anonymous said...

Winnail has just as much blood on his hands as any one else.

He may write about "love" - hell, he might even believe what he writes but he stands by and does nothing when he sees what his peers have done and are still doing to God's people.

That makes him just as guilty. No matter how you slice it.