CULT MENTALITY STILL AMONG OFFSHOOTS OF WCG
I have known a man by the name of Lynn for some years now, never
met him in person, only through email and the phone. Then also I
have Tara Chapman (a co-worker of mine in the Lord) who lives
near Branson, MO. USA. I decided some months back that it would
be nice to observe the Feast of Tabernacles at Branson, and be
able to meet these special for me, brother and sister in Christ.
Now apparently there are 3 or 4 "church organizations" observing the
FoT at Branson. I thought I would be polite and went on the
Website for the Living Church of God (founded by Rod Meredith
about 1990, well then called "The Global Church of God") - one
of Herbert Armstrong's one time right hand men (he had a number of
them, depending whom he liked or favored at any given time).
I informed LCG I would be at Branson, and trusted there would be no
problem attending some of their services.
Here is their reply, from at least one of their coordinators (if
they have more than one):
RE: Question concerning the FOT in Branson
Wallace Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org)
August 19, 2009 3:17:11 PM email@example.com
Your question concerning the Living Church of God's Feast of
Tabernacles observance in Branson was forwarded to me.
I visited your Web site and looked over some of your posted
material. It is obvious that you have serious disagreements with
the doctrines and teachings of the Living Church of God. Since we
do not agree on important matters, we ask that you not attend our
Feast site in Branson, Missouri or any of our other locations.
You are entitled to your opinions and we bear you no ill will,
but Amos 3:3 makes it plain that we cannot walk together.
Wallace G. Smith, Festival Site Coordinator
Now I do not know what Mr.Smith thinks "serious disagreements
with the doctrines and teachings of the Living Church of God"
would be, for it cannot be: the Sabbath, the observance of the
Feasts of God, the Calendar issue, the Spirit of God, the
Godhead, the Purpose for mankind on earth, the Millennium, the
Second Coming of Christ, and many other subjects that I
***KNOW*** they and myself teach EXACTLY the same. When it
comes to the basic teachings of the Lord as outlined in Hebrews
6:1-2 we differ very little indeed. The TWO main subjects we differ
on would be "church government" and "the subject of Herbert W. Armstrong."
I have so far (till now) only mentioned GERALD FLURRY and his
Philadelphia Church of God offshoot from HWA and the WCG as being
a CULT organization, as well as the present WCG, and the old WCG
under Herbert Armstrong from about 1972 onwards. Then again as
I stop and meditate I have mentioned Rod Meredith in my series
of "Church Government" as like Gerald Flurry but not quite as
"cultic minded." Other offshoots I consider are either true
Philadelphia Christians or Laodicea Christians. I have in the past
put the LCG in the latter category, Laodicea, thinking they are
the cats meow, thinking they are fine and dandy, the apple of God's
eye, the rightful continuation of the work of HWA, but needing to
see themselves, do some soul searching, some repentance, and come
out of self-deception in certain ways.
Now, with Mr.Smith's reply above, I have no choice but to SHOUT
OUT that SOME leaders in the LCG are of a CULTIC mind-set, possibly
as much as Gerald Flurry concerning their thoughts on their
"family tree" of where they came from as out of the old WCG under HWA.
If YOU are attending their churches, you need to be ON GUARD, WATCHFUL,
SPIRITUALLY AWAKE, for as Jesus said, the blind will lead the blind and
both will fall into the ditch. If your leader in the LCG is open to open
talk and discussion and is not afraid you study from the Website of
Keith Hunt, or that you think and study for yourself, then count that a
plus. If you have leaders who shut you off from your freedom to study,
and think, and also associate yourself with others who do NOT follow or
believe the LCG teaching on "church government" and "the HWA
issue" THEN you have a CULT leader who either needs correcting by
YOU, or if that has no effect, then YOU getting up and running
OUT OF that organization.
Concerning Amos 3:3. It may indeed not be possible to "work for
the Lord" together with some for various reasons. There came a
time Paul and Barnabas could not work together as recorded in the
book of Acts, they had their differences on matters of internal
governance, not on MAJOR specific foundational doctrines that the
Lord set down (Hebrews 6 once more - but I venture to say the LCG
has made "church government" and "the HWA issue" into a major doctrine
where they cannot sit with anyone who holds a different view than they
have on those two subjects - well at least some of their leaders
cannot sit with those of different opinions on those two topics).
It will be more than interesting to see what happens to the LCG after
Rod Meredith dies, as he will before Jesus comes again.
Jesus could not "work with" as arm in arm, with the scribes,
Pharisees, and Sadducees, of His day, for sure. He had a number of
different opinions from them. The Pharisees were the leaders of
the local synagogues. That is historic fact! As you read through the
Gospels you will notice one very STRONG element, Jesus attended
the synagogue as His custom was on the Sabbath day. The Pharisees
never closed the door on Jesus to prevent him from entering any
synagogue at any time, or observing any of the Feasts of the Lord
in the Temple at Jerusalem. They were in this matter at least
OPEN and did not try and use Amos 3:3 on Jesus.
Church organizations should be open, their doors should be open
to all and anyone, who respects the people and the building.
Jesus never shouted down the ... whoever. Paul did at times get
into some heated discussions with "leaders" in Jewish synagogues,
but that was under "Jewish rules" and policy of synagogue
worship. The basic fact is the doors were always open to Paul and
others, who could then partake in the rules of that synagogue,
and mingle with the people freely, or as freely as the people
themselves would allow. Sometimes that freedom did get Paul into
trouble with "leaders" and their "mob mentality" followers,
troubles even near to death for Paul. But the truth of the matter
is the doors were open. Such it seems cannot be said for some
cultic mind-setters in some of the offshoots of the WCG.
Here is part of a letter from my friend Lynn after he was
questioned about if he was associated with a Keith Hunt:
Kim Forties (firstname.lastname@example.org) August 22, 2009 5:46:54 AM
keith hunt (email@example.com)
Well it is the mentality I and others have dealt with for years.
It just seems there is no getting through to them. Tribulation
for some may bring them out of it, for others it is still a
matter of clinging on to the carnal man and resurrecting him.
They believe their darkness is light and just will not let go of
it. For others the Spirit of God is not in them anymore.
Difficult to see this go on day after day and the continual
destructiveness it causes to those who do begin to see some
truth. Unfortunately the truth is squelched before it can have a
chance to get a good root in some and they either give up and
quit altogether or conform to the image of the church of god they
are attending. My opinion of these Churches of God who have
formulated and patterned themselves after WCG is they are akin to
the Protestants patterning themselves after their mother RCC. The
only difference is the COG'S have truth of God but have set
before themselves Satan as the Head in many cases. For me it
seems as though Satan is willing to have them to have the truth
and yet in practice not have the Love of God. For if they cannot
express love toward the brethren whom they have seen then how can
they Love God whom they have not seen. That for me is the bottom
line. As you said Jesus showed the love of God towards those of
the temple Pharisees but He also knew who was pulling their heart
strings too.. We experience the same today even though we
sometimes just hope it won't come to that but indeed it will
someday. They were unwilling to change and He let them know where
this type would ultimately be outside of the Kingdom of God. I am
sorry to hear of this behavior towards you but indeed a faithful
servant will be done so and even worse. But I am your friend and
will do all I can to help. I have a number at the home I am at
and now I still have to obtain a flight to Branson but when is
your flight to arrive? When I find the house number I will let
you know so you can get a hold of me......
God willing I will be at Branson for the Feast of Tabernacles,
and will fellowship not only with Lynn and his family and Tara
and her family but with all that love the Word of the Lord, and
the truth (see 2 Thes.2:10-12).