Monday, February 26, 2018

LCG: Richard Stafford on emulating a man (Rod Meredith) instead of Jesus



A reader here posted the following information about a sermon given recently by Richard Stafford, a member of Living Church of God's Council of Elder's.


From LCG's latest weekly update:
"Mr. Stafford gave a very moving sermon on “Seven Character Traits of the Late Dr. Roderick C. Meredith,” and how we must use his example and build these character traits as Christian soldiers."

How many inspiring examples does the Bible give us of men and women whose character traits we should emulate? As a Bible-believing church, LCG should know of at least a few Bible examples they can follow.
So, what do they teach their members? That they must follow Rod Meredith's example! It's cultish and unbiblical! Even if Rod Meredith had been a man known for his great holiness, it would still be far more seemly to point church members to the Bible than to their dead cult leader. 
On the other hand, if we are going to honor dead cult leaders, shouldn't we first honor Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong? Let's look at Mr. Armstrong's own testimony, in his own writing, of twelve character traits of Rod Meredith:
• blind to self-will
• angry 
• doctrinally correct 
• blind to the spirit of God's law 
• competitive 
• harsh task-master 
• rubs the fur the wrong way 
• rank conscious 
• covets power and authority 
• unfit to lead God's Church 
• repels people 
• has a will to lead but lacks the qualifications
I wonder whether Mr. Stafford discussed more than one of those qualities? Or does Mr. Stafford consider himself a higher authority than HWA or the Bible?  
Enjoy the cult you have inherited, Mr. Weston. I hope (but doubt) you will do something to change it for the better.
This is why websites, books, and blogs like this exist. If any human RELIGIOUS leader is going to emulate anyone, it would be the Master himself, Jesus.  Jesus is the ultimate example of a man RELIGIOUS leaders should be emulating with the qualities and characteristics of what a grace-filled justice-oriented leader would be like.  Has any minister in the Church of God ever tried to emulate Jesus? Most cannot look any further than Herbert Armstrong, Rod Meredith, Dave Pack, Gerald Flurry or Bob Thiel. Most even dread mentioning the name of Jesus.

30 comments:

Dennis Diehl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...



• blind to self-will

• angry

• doctrinally correct

• blind to the spirit of God's law

• competitive

• harsh task-master

• rubs the fur the wrong way

• rank conscious

• covets power and authority

• unfit to lead God's Church

• repels people

• has a will to lead but lacks the qualifications


And KNOWING that these traits were evident in a man who once held the position of "second vice president"...

And ALLOWING a man who admitted that such traits were plainly evident in a role as powerful in the WCG rank as "evangelist"...

And PREACHING against these very traits in scriptures Saturday after Saturday, railing against the membership for the very same "evils"...

And MAINTAINING that man in such a high position for decades upon decades (his character traits were not knew and unknown, or suddenly developed)

And DEMANDING, in the face of such character traits, which were verified by HWA himself, that membership respect and admire him based solely on rank and loyalty,

Simply how much more information is needed to decide on the priorities of the old Worldwide Church of God under HWA? Were the priorities to put in place Godly examples of Christian ministers who truly lived the lifestyle of a follower of Jesus Christ - or putting in place harsh taskmasters whose job was to keep the membership in line and in place in a militaristic autocratic dictatorship bent on the gain and multiplication of financial accumulation???

The undeniable evidence is in front of your faces. Deniers and COG apologetics need to use their heads and wake up to the reality of what kind of group they were in and what the reality was compared to their claims of delusion and fantasy, which have been proven incorrect time after time and claim after claim.


It's no longer because of a lack of evidence people don't see. It's simply stubbornness and blind eyes who refuse to see what the true story really is.

Anonymous said...

Good grief Banned. It's just one sermon out of thousands that have been given by an LCG minister over the past 25-plus years, and the only one that I'm aware of that has covered this particular topic to this extent. And I've been with GCG/LCG since 1996. For all of his flaws, the guy was, if you recall, the physical leader and head Evangelist of the organization. And, shocker, most members sort-of kinda like and respected and appreciated the guy. So it's not surprising that someone (his son in-law at that) wanted to honor him in this way, by pointing out what he believed his good Christian qualities were. And what many other LCGers believed RCM had. Cultish? Ridiculous. And you know it. You know as well as I do that many kinds of organizations (secular included) have been known to honor their past leaders and founders. This is the only thing LCG is doing. He would turn over in his grave if he know what you alleged we are doing. And rightfully so.

Anonymous said...

Will the ministurds be required to speak more about masturbation and BIG BREAST?

Anonymous said...

@ 5:10 PM

Thank you for your perspective. I suppose that if Mr. Stafford gives "just one sermon" advocating the consumption of pork products, you think we should leave it alone as "one sermon out of thousands"? Or "just one sermon" promoting fornication?

I also appreciate your defending LCG by saying that it is only doing what "many kinds of organizations" do. Some may have had the mistaken idea that LCG held itself to a higher standard than that.

The reality is that even within LCG, honest observers recognize Stafford as a buffoon. Most members have a much more balanced appreciation for the office of Presiding Evangelist and the men who hold it. Stafford, however, by insisting that members MUST emulate Meredith, not merely that they SHOULD emulate him "as he followed Christ," went off the deep end with that sermon.

Anonymous said...


And DEMANDING, in the face of such character traits, which were verified by HWA himself, that membership respect and admire him based solely on rank and loyalty,


An hour later...

For all of his flaws, the guy was, if you recall, the physical leader and head Evangelist of the organization. And, shocker, most members sort-of kinda like and respected and appreciated the guy.

Mission accomplished.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 6:34

What a ridiculous and laughable leap you've made. One for the record books. A sermon that brings out the admirable qualities and characteristics of a respected Christian leader (at least within the organization)...is equal to a sermon promoting the sinful practices of eating pork or committing fornication? Wow. No, that is not what took place. Stafford's sermon was in the spirit of Philippians 4:8 - "Whatever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, of virtue, and praiseworthy, meditate on these things." You may not believe RCM was any of these things, but Stafford did and many in LCG did. This is not Meredith-worship in any shape or form. The writer of Philippians did not mention any names here. If ANYONE exhibits these Christ-like qualities, then it is perfectly okay for Christians to speak about them and the example they gave us.

Anonymous said...

7.55 PM
I recall Gerald Flurry in one of his booklets accusing Rod Meredith of being cruel in his dealings with members. So your Phil 4.8 application rings hollow.
Which is why many fellow thugs and church crazies 'respected' him.
Rod was a bastard, pure and simple. Look into the mirror and say 10 times a day, 'Rod was a bastard.' Eventually the truth will sink in.

In churches, talking up a church leader is a indirect way of affirming that churches culture. The culture is typically a alternate reality of truth and error that its members feel comfortable with. Evidently God's reality is not good enough for them.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't bother Anon 7:55 PM that Meredith claimed to derive his authority from HWA, yet ignored a number of HWA's teachings, including the teaching that Meredith is NOT qualified to lead a church. Stafford has a right to stand up in front of a group and proclaim HWA a liar, but he should not expect anyone outside of the LCG cult to accept such trashing of HWA's good judgment.

Anonymous said...

I was raised Catholic and came to know Armstrongism through my husband as an adult.

It always shocked me how they looked down at the Catholics for their idolatry of the pope and yet they completely idolized HWA! How blind they are!

I can not tell you how many times I've heard things like, "well that's not what HWA taught". Who cares!? HWA isn't ultimate source for knowledge. If we're talking about the Bible, let's look to the Bible. Not HWA or the Pope.

Now it seems LCGers are idolizing RCM. A man with truly deplorable character. RCMs greed, lies and covetousness are widely documented and world renowned and yet, these LGRers are clearly going to try to make him a saint (in the Catholic sense).

What a farce!

Anonymous said...

Rod Meredith was a racist

My children are not "lobs with no real identity"

Anonymous said...

Let's be fair and remember that many of LCG's problems are ordinary human problems shared by people everywhere. Neither HWA nor RCM nor Weston can be blamed for the situation in which an LCG husband was caught in adultery with another HQ worker. Where RCM can be blamed is that the person who instigated the affair was kept on the payroll as an "irreplaceable" worker with an "irreplaceable" husband, while the other adulterer was made the scapegoat and thrown out of the church. The way Rod McNair mishandled that situation, believing falsehoods to be truths and truths to be falsehoods, even encouraging one wife to divorce her husband while encouraging the other wife to stay with her husband, is just one of many examples where HQ "counseling" totally screwed up.

Once you have been "counseled" by Rod McNair, you will see for yourself that he has no God-given discernment. He doesn't even have "worldly" experience as a counselor. Contrary to his own estimation, he is a gullible a man-child who grew up spoiled as a minister's favored son. Based on how he judges situations, you might think that he worships power and position rather than God.

Anonymous said...

Hey 6:34. Did you actually hear the sermon, or simply guess at what was said in it? From what I can tell, he only gave it last week. Maybe he gave it in Houston and the other churches he pastors as well. Whatever the case may be, it was not distributed church-wide. But the church certainly supports his stance. Like 7:55 stated, what a wild leap of assumption you've made on your take on this sermon. Calling a man a buffoon? He's hardly one of those. Many people know this man and simply love the guy for his positive and uplifting personality, as well as for his sincerity and dedication and loyalty to God and Jesus Christ and their people. He's a real go-getter at 70-plus years of age, and a fine example of a real shepherd who truly cares for the flock.

Anonymous said...

“Uplifting personality” lmao!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree that he's "a real go-getter" but unfortunately, the people he goes and gets are only those lost in delusion.

In Christian circles, many buffoons are loved by their minions.

Craptastic cult churches require craptastic cult ministers, and your guy fills the bill. Quack, quack!

Anonymous said...

I’m sure the large inheritance RCM left his daughter Elizabeth, Ricks wife, did nothing but stoke the flames of love from Mr. Stafford towards RCM

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:35 - If you don't know the guy, then what can you bring to this discussion? And if you do know him, then you know what I'm saying about him is true, and you're just being an *****.

Anon 9:36 - Since I'm fairly certain you don't know him or anyone in his pastorate, your comments lack any credibility whatsoever, You're simply being childish and ignorant. Sad.

Anon 9:37 - So, do you know how much or what RCM left any of his children? Have you seen his will or estate or bank account. I thought not.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:30 AM

I don't know about RCM's bank account, but his executor is an idiot regarding the Charlotte real estate market. RCM's house has been on the market for 97 days as of today (far above the current market average of 61 days), and has fallen out of escrow at least once, yet he hasn't adjusted the price from the original $500,000. The executor clearly knows nothing about search engines. Even a $1,000 reduction (to $499,000) would have generated much more interest in the property.

You Can Buy RCM's House!

R.L. said...

Some people have been doing this same sort of thing toward Billy Graham, since he died last week. All Christians should follow the Bible and Jesus's example, more than any modern human leader.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon @ February 27 at 7:15 AM
You say that Stafford is a positive and uplifting personality, sincere, dedicated and loyal to God and Jesus Christ and their people. You says that he's a real go-getter at 70-plus years of age, and a fine example of a real shepherd who truly cares for the flock.

WRONG! Rick Stafford is:
• Narcissistic
• Spiritually Manipulative and Abusive
• Legalistic
• Cultish
• a Yes Man
• loyal to HWA and RCM

And like his teacher (HWA) and father-in-law (Roderick C. Meredith) he too is:

• blind to self-will

• angry

• doctrinally incorrect

• blind to the spirit of God's law

• competitive

• harsh task-master

• rubs the fur the wrong way

• rank conscious

• covets power and authority

• unfit to lead any Church

• repels people

• has a will to pastor but lacks the qualifications

Judging by your comments, you're probably chomping at the bit to climb the LCG ladder and are willing to say or do anything to get ther buddy. Butt Kisser!

Anonymous said...

@ 11:45 - Thanks for the helpful tip! Someone should pass this on to the Meredith family! :)

Byker Bob said...

How old is Rick? The Rick Stafford I knew at AC was actually a year ahead of me. Rod’s kids were all in grade school while we were in college. I’m thinking that either this Rick must be his son, or he’s robbed the cradle big time, the special ministerial one no less!

BB

Anonymous said...

@ 1:58 - Being that you don't even know or met Rick Stafford, your comments are simply irrelevant and baseless and are totally without merit. Your uninformed comments aren't even worth thinking about once I hit "send" on this comment. Instead of haranguing the man, why not consider the possibility that he could very well be a decent human being. Most people I know who have met the guy believe he's a genuinely good man as well as an excellent pastor, one who truly loves and cares for those who are in his pastorate.

Anonymous said...

@ Feb 27 at 7:52 PM - Oh, I've met and know Stafford very, very well. Unlike you, I am very familiar with him personally and with his tactics. My comments aren't "uninformed", I have the "pleasure" of witnessing them on the Sabbath. If you call attacking people's character and blasting people from the pulpit during his sermons on the Sabbath truly loving and caring for those who are in his pastorate, then you need mental help. The man doesn't admit when he's wrong and he is too proud to make an apology to anyone he's wronged. Instead he gives sermons to try to prove his points and justify himself. Many people have been hurt by this man's tyranny. But one day he will have to answer to Jesus Christ for all his transgressions.

Anonymous said...

Bob

Rick is married to RCMs daughter Elizabeth. She might be a few years younger than him but nothing akin to cradle robbing.

RCMs kids by his second wife, are young but the kids by Margie are old.

Byker Bob said...

Rick always impressed me as being sincere. I have no bad memories of him from our student days.

My younger siblings hung out with some of the Meredith kids from the Margie era from time to time. Sometimes I forget that these “kids” are in their late 50s, or early 60s. But, I also have to factor in that because of my own Armstrongism experiences, I never grew up. Just kept making up and compensating for all the normal things I’d been deprived of. Most of the people I’m surrounded by are younger than my kids, and I still get called Bobby, or Bobbo by some of them. There is the occasional Mr. ....., but that always freaks me out.

Armstrongism: the “gift” that somehow just keeps on giving, and somehow, in the strangest of ways.

BB

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ Feb. 27 at 7:52 PM
What I wanted to include in my previous post (Feb. 28 at 3:17 AM) is that Stafford comes across as a very likeable person, but that's just his mask. As long as you're praising him and are "with the program", then he treats you like he's your best friend and like he wants to "groom you" so that he can "raise up leaders in God's Church". But if you aren't kissing his butt or don't accept his "counsel" or disagree with him or LCG in any which way shape or form, then he does everything he can to try to get you to submit to his authority as one of "God's appointed ministers".

Among some of the things he's resorted to is the practice of trying to assassinate peoples character and credibility by discussing a church members circumstances (which is supposed to be "confidential" by the way) through his sermons and in so-called "private" conversations. The congregations he pastors over are small enough that the church members know who he's talking about or can easily find out. When he's called out on his distasteful actions, he goes on a tirade during his sermons to defend himself, instead of trying to right his wrongs.

What he does is clearly the exercise of spiritual manipulation and abuse.

Everything I have said about Stafford is from my personal observations, experience and dealings with him. They may seem harsh, but it is the truth. So, as long as there are people like "Rick" Stafford who don't have "the heart of a Sheperd" and abuse the flock, then there will be people like me coming to sites like this one to air out our grievances.

Anonymous said...

Leviticus 21:7 New International Version (NIV)

7 “‘They must not marry women defiled by prostitution or divorced from their husbands, because priests are holy to their God.

Stafford is married to a divorced woman.

Winnail is married to a divorced woman.

Many, many other LCG ministers are married to divorced women.

What happened to keeping the law? What happened to "apostolic Christianity"?

Anonymous said...

@ 1:17 PM

Herbert Armstrong happened. He got the hots for Ramona, and realized that the old D&R teaching was bogus because it inconvenienced him. Just as RCM realized that the old healing teaching was inconvenient when he detached his retina because of his aggressive racquetball play. Just as RCM realized that "obey the head of the Church" was bogus when the GCG leadership, all of them Sabbath-keepers, most of them with much cleaner reputations than RCM, tried to discipline RCM for misbehavior much worse than anything Patrick or Elizabeth Scarborough ever did.

Rod bristled under the correction, and left GCG. When Gerald Weston today says that you have to obey LCG leadership as long as they keep the Sabbath and Holy Days and basic moral teachings, he is indicting RCM, because RCM disobeyed such Godly leadership. The Scarboroughs simply followed RCM's own example and abandoned a church when they didn't like its discipline.

An interesting footnote: Rick Stafford originally stayed with GCG after RCM left, and even wrote a very perceptive letter critiquing RCM's incorrect approach. It would be interesting if someone reading this might still have the letter and might post it here.

Gordon Feil said...

Anon 1201 "I recall Gerald Flurry in one of his booklets accusing Rod Meredith of being cruel in his dealings with members. So your Phil 4.8 application rings hollow."

HAHAHA. What a hoot! What Mr. Pot says about Mr. Kettle is to be believed?? Thanks. The hilarity of your comment is a good send off to bed.