Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Bruce Renehan on Roderick C. Meredith

As a former devotee of Roderick C. Meredith's Living Church of God (2000-8) I am always fascinated to see what others have to say about him. Recently I read Bruce Renehan's book, Daughter of Babylon, hosted on the Painful Truth website.

Here is what he has to say about Roderick C. Meredith.


This is Bruce Renehan's personal experience of when he first attended a WCG congregation in 1969.
I received permission to attend church services in 1969 while I was in the Navy and stationed near Oakland, California. No one could attend church services without first gaining permission from church ministers. The Armstrongs had appeared so sophisticated in their writings about the church that I felt unworthy to enter such an elite environment. I did not know what to expect but reality was a bit of a let down. When I actually witnessed church services, I had an instinctual feeling that something was odd about most of the church members. They looked abused. I even made comments about it to someone. "Oh well, God just calls the weak of the world, the cream of the crud," was the automatic response of one member. The sermon that day was delivered by church evangelist Rod Meredith. Nearly 20 years later I was invited to have lunch with Rod and his wife in Glendora, California. I told him that he was the first Worldwide minister that I had ever heard preach and about the way the appearance of church members struck me on my first attendance of church services. His response was verbatim, "Oh well, God just calls the weak of the world, the cream of the crud." Deja vu!

Chapter 16:

Here is a little profile of him included in the book.
Probably the second most influential disciple of Armstrong [after Herman Hoeh] was Roderick Meredith, who came to study at Ambassador College in 1949 from Joplin, Missouri. Meredith was a feisty young ex-golden gloves boxer and ROTC student who rose quickly in the organization, being made an evangelist upon graduation in 1952.

An evangelist-ranked minister was only outranked by Armstrong himself. Later ministers would be ranked in lower positions of authority: pastor, local elder and local church elder respectively. Local church elder was an elevation in rank from church deacon. Men were not raised in position because of spiritual knowledge or ability. Loyalty and willingness to obey and to dote upon those of higher status came first.

Meredith trained hundreds of future church leaders and ministers in the confines of Ambassador College where he taught the Epistles of Paul and leadership classes. These classes were all spiced with as much blind loyalty to founder Armstrong as soldiers are taught to show for their commanding officers in the military.

Meredith and other upwardly motivated disciples, unwittingly adapted to their apostle's desire to be adored as an end-time prophet and tried to mimmick his personality. As one ex-minister commented to me, "No man in the organization had ever patterned his own character and personality after Herbert Armstrong more than Rod Meredith." The crude sycophantic behavior of Armstrong's immature evangelists magnified what would soon become a phobic bastion of mind control.
Renehan also mentions this:
another article by Rod Meredith was unabashedly entitled "The Plain Truth About Queer Men"; 
That article is often mentioned. It was printed in the December 1961 Plain Truth, pp. 3-4, 12-14, 36-39.

Apparently being lazy and physically inactive causes homosexuality in Meredith's bizarre mental world. You can cure homosexuality by physical exercise, he says. What nonsense! Shut up until you say something sensible.

Chapter 17:

Apparently this is what he did at HWA's funeral.
Rod Meredith grabbed Ted off to the side and made an appeal for his repentance.
Pathetic. What an egotistical creep! As previous posts have shown it seems to me that in regard to the Schism of the Armstrongs, Garner Ted Armstrong was the victim. HWA was in the wrong.

This is how Joseph Tkach Sr. humbled him.
After Armstrong's death, Roderick Meredith had been teaching classes at the sister campus of Ambassador College in Big Sandy, Texas. Tkach had been closely observing his activities too. One of the things Tkach had ordered his instructors to downplay was their speculations about the end of the world. Maybe Tkach knew that this was an impossible task for older ministers. When the word got out that Meredith had violated this order, he was pulled out of an ongoing class and suspended from active participation in all college and ministerial duties.

Meredith and his family were then relocated about 20 miles east of Pasadena in Glendora, California, where the founding evangelist was reduced to the status of a laymember. Tkach chose to keep Meredith on the payroll but took away his responsibilities in the church.

Tkach had commented on occasion that he had many past clashes with his superiors before Armstrong's death and his subsequent elevation to power. Rod Meredith would have been a very likely antagonist of his. Many ministers had experienced a lack of compassion from both Armstrong and Meredith.

Meredith had once been supervisor of the church's ministry and had been known to comment that Tkach held the lowest I. Q. in all of the ministry. There is no doubt that Tkach was getting a little pleasure out of benching an old rival.
This is Renehan's account of how Meredith left WCG in 1992.
Herman Hoeh, Rod Meredith and Raymond McNair knew Armstrong well enough to see through Tkach's ruse. ...
In December of 1992, Rod Meredith asked to have a face to face conference with Tkach. In the two hour confrontation, Meredith pointed out to Tkach that he knew Armstrong well enough to say that he would never have made the alleged changes to his lifelong doctrinal tenets. Meredith was immediately fired and disfellowshipped from the Worldwide Church of God after serving 40 years as a leading and well-respected evangelist.

Meredith had obviously been preparing to start his own spinoff church. It sprang to life upon his disfellowshipping and was named the Global Church of God. Meredith immediately claimed that he was raising up a legitimate successor to the one true church and that it was of the lineage that descended from the New Testament church of the apostles. Meredith proceeded to proclaim Tkach's Worldwide Church of God apostate, abandoning Armstrongism and refusing to preach the Gospel message of soon-coming worldwide tribulation. This he would do himself on the radio as the voice of the radio program, The World Ahead. On page 18 of his first published booklet-- Church Government and Church Unity, Meredith likened Tkach to Diotrephes (III John 9-10), who Meredith claims was one of the wolves in sheep's clothing, misleading the New Testament church, casting out old-time genuine Christians. On page 25 of the same publication he accused Tkach's administration of destroying the legacy of Armstrong. Meredith, one of Armstrong's very first evangelists, was clearly not amused with Tkach's alleged commission from Armstrong.

Rod Meredith struck at the very heart of the Worldwide Church of God. Income began to be diverted to Global from members in the Worldwide, contributing to the Worldwide Church of God suffering an 11% year-to-date decrease during Meredith's third month of operations. Meredith claimed that his first booklet netted a request for 3,000 copies as it rolled off the presses. He has chosen to model his church as an exact clone of the church that he came into in the late 40's and early 50's.
That is the main part of what Renehan has to say about him.

Afterwards he is mentioned a few times in a minor way.
With minor revolutions brewing inside the Worldwide Church of God, by tight-lipped disgruntled old-time members who were hearing rumors of Tkach's agenda for change, and outside the organization with pricking challenges from John Trechak, Bill Dankenbring, Rod Meredith and Gerald Flurry, Tkach was being forced to lay his cards on the table.
Tkach did this the infamous Christmas Eve sermon. 
While the Tkach team continued to move their Pasadena based church toward mainstream beliefs, Meredith continued to build his own team determined to salvage the Armstrong legacy. After his defection to Global, ex-Worldwide minister David Pack produced a list of 150 doctrines that had been abandoned by Tkach.
To anyone who think Pack is a modern day Elisha or Joshua, that he invented the Plain Truth news stand distribution program, consider this: That is the only time Dave Pack is mentioned in this book.
Along with Rod Meredith, David Hulme and John Trechak, I had been asked to comment on Tkach's move toward orthodoxy and acceptance of the Trinity.
And that is what Bruce Renehan has to say about Roderick C. Meredith.

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