Dear Brethren and Friends, At least a few thousand of you older brethren who are reading this letter have had to be patient through the trials and tests of life, of human issues in the Church, and with the realization that Christ has not come back as quickly as we had hoped. But please realize, Almighty God has never given us an exact date as to when Christ will return to this earth.HWA gave a succession of dates claiming Christ had to return at those times: 1936, end of World War II, 1975, by 2005.
Brethren, this same passage of scripture also tells us to “watch” for certain events to occur .... Many of these prophesied events have not yet happened. Certainly, it appears that they may be coming very close. But the reality is that they have not yet happened.Despite the pathetic failures Meredith still insinuates that Christ's coming is very soon.
Mr. Herbert Armstrong, Ted, Herman Hoeh and I all “hoped” that Christ would come very soon. We prayed. We worked hard to do the Work. But our Father in heaven—in His infinite wisdom and mercy—has allowed human beings on this earth to have several more decades of time than we expected to do their own thing, and write the lessons of human suffering.Herbert Armstrong, Garner Ted Armstrong, Herman Hoeh and Roderick C. Meredith did not hope Christ would come soon, this teaching was taught as a sure certainty. From 1953 onwards HWA, Hoeh and Co. taught that Christ would return in 1975.
Also why does Meredith speak of the late Garner Ted Armstrong like a long lost friend? Does he not remember these fearful words he wrote in 1979 about anyone who was too close to him?
Mr. Armstrong has reminded us again that we are to disfellowship any members who attend GTA's [Garner Ted Armstrong's] campaigns, church services or other meetings. Some of our weaker members apparently do not realize that this man is in direct rebellion against God and His government! We must not allow them, or ourselves, to rationalize about this matter, to try to "help the underdog," or in any other way lend support to one whose gross immorality, whose long standing "play acting" and hypocrisy, and whose direct insubordination to the Government of God has long been and is now a source of confusion and DIVISION among God's people. So, as per Mr. Armstrong's instruction, I charge and exhort every one of you faithful ministers of the living Christ to explain this in no uncertain terms to your members, to warn them about this cause of division and then to disfellowship any who consort with GTA or any of his fellows. (Roderick C. Meredith, Pastor's Report, May 21, 1979, pp. 1-2.)One shudders to imagine how many peoples' lives were negatively affected by WCG ministers enforcing this bloodthirsty mob mentality Meredith here encouraged.
We now continue with Meredith's excuse making article.
However, we older members in God’s Church should not give up at the last minute. And we should encourage our young people to see the “Big Picture.” After all, we have been able to go ahead with our lives for these decades. We have had the opportunity to have families and perhaps even grandchildren, to experience wonderful trips and opportunities in life and to learn lessons that we would not have learned if Christ had come 30 or 40 years ago.It is an awful shame so many people caught up in Armstrongism failed to realize this because they were listening to you and your follow exploiters. So they did all kinds of things that disadvantaged them because they thought the world as we knew would soon end with the Germans invading and enslaving America and Britain. They thought that because you, Meredith, told them that with absolute certainty that this was the case.
Every one of the leading men that I talked to in this Work—including Dr. Herman Hoeh, Dr. Ernest Martin, Dr. Charles Dorothy, Dr. Robert Kuhn and others—have acknowledged that they came to realize during their study of biblical chronology that we could “easily” be 20 or 30 years off in either direction! Therefore, it should be easy to realize that Christ may not come until about 2030ad!Now Meredith insinuates that Christ will come around 2030. It is sad to realize that some LCG members will believe that Christ will come by that time.
Do I, personally, think it will be that long? No! But I have “hoped” that it would be sooner for many decades. So I want you to realize—as you plan your life, and as you young people plan your lives—that there may be enough time for you to have a career, and to marry, have children and accomplish a number of wonderful things before our Savior returns as King of kings.Meredith and those he taught did not hope Christ's coming would be soon, they "knew" that Christ had to return in a very short time. From 1953 onwards HWA and Hoeh taught that Christ would return in 1975. This was not hopeful speculation as Meredith wishes LCG members to think. The date 1975 was taught as an absolute certainty.
We must never be involved in “murmuring” and “disputing” and complaining about the fact that Almighty God is giving human beings more time to write the lessons of human suffering and for His own children to “work out” our own salvation before Christ returns. Rather, we must be glad that God has called us now...Who is complaining that Christ has not come? Rather people are pointing out that Meredith is not who he says he is. God is not with him or HWA. Why would God be with someone who has spent so much time spreading fear inducing nonsense that Christ is soon coming? Meredith has long since lived off of those he has conned to giving away tithes and offerings deceived into thinking that being financially exploited by Meredith and Co. will save them from the Great Tribulation.
Those of us who have been in God’s Church for a long time need to be very gratefulfor [sic] all the time we have been given to learn the lessons of life and to serve more during these years God has granted. And we need to zealously use the talents our Father has given us to serve our Creator, to serve our fellow man and to do His Work over the next several years—however long it is until Christ’s feet are again upon this earth!Even though Meredith and Co. have got wrong over and over again Meredith still expects you to give till it hurts ("zealously use the talents ... do His Work") for however long it takes, meaning for the rest of your life. Be financially exploited or be cursed in the Great Tribulation. That is the real message Meredith has for our troubled world.
There are a lot of troubles on the Earth, giving three tithes to LCG will not help one bit (except allow a privileged few to live off of the deceived many.)
Now why would Meredith write about this? Is this a sign that things are going wrong in LCG behind the scenes? Recently his wife did pass away which must have been very hard for him. Is he sickly, or fearful that he may die soon?
Maybe Meredith is worried that there will be a mass defection once he dies. LCG was built on Meredith. It was founded specifically because Meredith felt he did not have enough power in the Global Church of God and he was able to persuade about 80% of GCG members to support his bid for one man rule. Once he dies what will unite LCG? Already LCG has been blighted by schisms and splits, nothing as bad as 1998 or the UCG-COGWA split, but splits nonetheless, usually be ministers who felt LCG was too "liberal".
Inevitably he will die and others will take his place. He seems to be trying to make it easier for his successors to continue ruling over LCG members after he is gone.
I wish to say here that this article is a terrible belittling of the suffering of thousands who believed his fear inducing and financially exploitative false prophecies. He gets to live while so many others have suffered terribly, even gave up their lives because of HWA's anti-medicine superstition. Alas, Meredith will never understand because he lives in a cocoon of money and privilege that makes it very difficult for him to understand the suffering he has inflicted on so many.