Things just seem to get worse every day in Living Church of God.
This is from Bob Thiel's blog:
I am sending this email to most of the LCG ministry. Some of you know my family very well, some probably do not. I am reaching out to any ministers who remain faithful to the truth, so you will know what is going on.
Our BackgroundRalph & Patricia Scarborough, and their eight children, began attending Worldwide Church of God in 1968. Four more children were born into the church over the following years. We were taught all the fundamental teachings of the Church of God through Herbert W. Armstrong until the time of his death in 1986. After his death the apostasy occurred, which led to the exodus of those who continued to believe the teachings of Mr. Armstrong were still valid. In 1995 almost all the Scarborough’s, along with several thousand others, left Worldwide to join the work Mr. Meredith had begun in 1993. My father told his children he would not be tricked by new truth a second time. We, as a family, supported Mr. Meredith, and our local minster Mr. Gerald Weston, in service to the Global Church of God.When the takeover of GCG took place, Mr. Meredith came to my parents’ house, sat with us over dinner, and discussed the situation. My father told him to begin again, and most of the people would follow him because we do not follow an organization. Mr. Meredith went back to San Diego and started the Living Church of God. The Scarborough family provided Computer Servers, workstations and a complete network, all at our own expense. Two of our family members delivered, and installed the equipment at LCG headquarters. The Scarborough family provided all the internet services for LCG, for free, until a few years ago. Our lives are committed to the service of God, His people, and His work. We have never tried to gain any position, or recognition in the church. You may stop here and say that’s exactly what we are doing by sending this email? Please read on.What is this all about?About seven years ago some of us began to see changes in the focus of the Gospel. It is not relevant if you agree with the changes, or not; the following is the point. It was told to Mr. Meredith that two of the Scarborough brothers had problems with LCG’s “better understanding” about the Gospel message. That very week the local minister called my brother David, and I, to a private room after Sabbath services and asked, as he was instructed by Mr. Meredith, if this was true. We spent some time explaining the Gospel message as we had been taught all our lives. As it happened another minister, who was visiting Kansas City, was asked to attend our meeting. Much to our surprise he agreed with my brother and myself. We were instructed, by the local minister, to keep our opinions to ourselves, which we agreed since we had no interest in causing division.Over the following years the issue seemed to become less of a focus, but we noticed after Mr. Bryce left LCG that a new focus on Jesus Christ began to emerge. One Pentecost we received a fine Passover Sermon for the morning service, and before the afternoon service the elder giving the message began with “Maybe we should mention here that it is Pentecost”. Much to our surprise he went into another sermon about Jesus Christ; not Pentecost. Not long after that CAD sent out instructions to those giving messages, at the Feast of Tabernacles, to give sermons on the topic of the Feast. Why should this be necessary?About four years ago we started to hear of further upgrades/changes to the doctrines of the church, and finally after the death of Mr. Apartian it became clear there was no turning back. On December 25th 2010 we heard a sermon, by the local minister, titled “In the Name of Jesus Christ”. The messages following began to focus on the changes, and ridiculed those who did not understand. In January 2011 the Scarborough family, with the exception of those in Charlotte, and a couple of nephews, agreed to discontinue fellowship with the Living Church of God. Our eldest brother set up a meeting with the local minister and all the adults of our family. The minister was informed of our decision, and some of the more serious reasons for our decision. The minister then asked the family to consider remaining until Mr. Meredith came to town for a Tomorrows World public event, which was to happen just before the spring Holydays. Mr. Meredith wanted to meet with us, and discuss the problems. All agreed with the exception of David and I. Mr. Meredith came to town and said he would meet with my mother, and eldest brother only, at a restaurant. We declined because there was no real opportunity to discuss our issues in such an environment. When asked why he would not meet with us as a family, the response was that he did not want to be surrounded by a bunch of Scarborough’s. Please remember we are the same family he sat with when he was being thrown out of GCG, and who served him faithfully. There was no hostility, or anger, on our part. We just disagreed with the changes and we were going to stop attending LCG. Over the following months the family was corrected from the pulpit, not by name, but by the messages. Saying the changes were what Mr. Armstrong taught, but in private we were told the changes were not that different. Finally before the fall Holydays my mother, and one of the elder brothers, had a meeting with the local minister, and the local elder, on the topic of Idolatry. My mother prepared literature from the days of Mr. Armstrong, which she tried to present as what we were once taught. The following Sabbath the minister, in his sermon, said you could have a whole stack of books and still be wrong. This being taken for what it was; my brother, which had been in the meeting, quietly got up and left. He even left his children there asking his oldest daughter to make sure his son got home. My mother got up and left shortly after. The following week the family did not attend with LCG. On Atonement Mr. Meredith marked the entire family with the exception of those sitting in service. His excuse was that we did not believe Jesus Christ was a vital part of the Gospel. We had made it clear, in every discussion we had with the ministry, we believed what Mr. Armstrong taught about the Gospel of the Kingdom. So it must be that Mr. Armstrong did not agree with Mr. Meredith. Why would an entire family be marked, on a solemn day like Atonement, for holding on to the truth? There was no evidence we were causing division, with the exception of 2 people in the family postings about what we were once taught as the truth. That is 2 people out of more than 60. At no time did anyone try to present any new truth. A year later we were informed others were beginning to question new teachings, other than the Gospel. We were also told they were being intimidated worse than the Scarborough family had been. It was at that time some of us decided to put the truth out about what we know about the Gospel, and since people were saying we were not marked. We put out the audio of the local minister reading the marking from Mr. Meredith on http://www.genuine-truth.com. This site has been updated periodically.This last summer Mr. Winnail offered to come to Kansas City to talk to the family, but there was no interest, with the exception of my brother David and I. We had a cordial discussion for over three hours about what we saw as changes. Nothing was resolved, but that was not a surprise. The last item we discussed was the marking of the Scarborough family. There was no reason given other than it was the way we left. My brother David, and I, left many months before the rest of the family, and the rest did nothing but stop attending. Many more are currently being disfellowshipped and marked over disagreements about the changes. This sounds very similar to the first century church. How many today have said I would not do what they did? Or were those making the changes, who would not even receive the Apostle John, right because they had the authority? They were disfellowshipping anyone who disagreed because they did not want anyone hearing the truth!My sister Glenda was fired by LCG the day before Atonement last year just because she was sending out sermons, which was her job. LCG did not like that some of the sermons were given by Mr. Carl McNair, and Mr. John Ogwyn, and the fact some messages disagreed with LCG’s new teaching. This may not concern some, but the fact she was in the middle of cancer treatment should be of concern to any human being, not to mention us as Christians! She was called into Mr. Meredith’s office yesterday, and told to stop defending those who have been wrongfully marked. Even though she knows the truth. You see, her friend Thomas Boca II, who had recently quit attending LCG because things he saw going on at headquarters, had just been deemed “An enemy of the Church” just because he had posted some of his views on the web, and Glenda stood by her friend. Mr. Meredith also told her in this meeting that she, and her entire Scarborough family, are liars. Imagine this was you. How would you feel? I guess when you don’t need someone’s support; character assassination is justified. Didn’t Cain murder Abel because he was angry? We can prove all we are saying to anyone who cares. Bearing false witness against your neighbor is one of the 10 commandments; we do not take it lightly. We have not attacked anyone. We have only disagreed with the changes. How can this be the Philadelphian Church? How can this be any Church of God? How can you blindly follow men who walk and talk piously, while devouring the sheep? Maybe there is a line in the sand you are waiting for them to cross. Mr. Meredith says LCG will not do away with the fundamentals. Well how about the 10 commandments. I was told that if you had a heart, or cross, or statues of angels in your possession that it was not a sin, we just cannot bow down, or worship them. Mr. Meredith gave a sermon here in Kansas City where he said “nowhere in the Bible does it say the cross is pagan, or you can’t do anything with the cross”. I know he uses the picket fences comparison, but that is being used to make anyone who hates idolatry look ridiculous. A member, after the sermon, happily stated Mr. Meredith said the cross was okay. Divorce & Remarriage is out of control, and this is from the ministry. Trust me, if you don’t already know what is going on, you don’t want to. And then there is the 9th commandment. This one only applies to the members. The ministry can say anything they want to protect THEIR church.We are meeting as God’s people here in Kansas City; with others who have seen the problems and left LCG over the past few weeks. Many more are joining us online. We are God’s people. We know the voice of our Shepherd; Jesus Christ. We do not have a ministry attending to us, which is so sad that the sheep have to step out before the ministry, but we will put God first, and love our neighbor as ourselves. We will wait until God sends His faithful servants, but we will not give up the faith once delivered. We are NOT starting a church; we are members of the Church of God no matter what lies are conjured.If you think you are in the Church of God just because you don’t see a “better” place to go, then you are failing at your responsibilities. We have been down this path recently. I have seen the other groups, and there is no place doing what God instructed, but you can discern that LCG is no better than the least of them. This may make some angry, but you are known by your fruits. If you say LCG is doing more of a work than anyone else. Well that is shifting toward David Pack. Would you really go with RCG just because they start doing more of a work than LCG? Most would probably go with CoGWA if LCG fails. I would just say this. I have attended with CoGWA, and see they are clearly God’s people. They also fit the description, as an organization, of Laodicea, which even though they have desires to do more; their form of government will not permit what is required. Even some in their ministry understand this truth. I know what God says will happen to them, and I want to be a Philadelphian with all that God says to, and instructs, the Philadelphian era. Remember the definition of Philadelphia. Does God see it in us?James Scarborough