You can read this booklet in its 1996 edition and in its present edition on their website. In this post I shall be looking through the 1996 version.
The idea of the God Family is somewhat similar to pantheism, the idea that everything is God, except in LCG this divinity only applies to human beings, is made conditional based on whether one is in good standing with LCG or not and this divinity is portrayed as something to occur in the future after Christ's return. This is also true in most other COG groups.
The idea is also similar to Mormonism. However it is asserted in Mormonism that God used to be a human being as ourselves but in Armstrongism it is asserted that at present there are only two God Beings but many more will be "born" into this family after Christ's return and in the time after that.
Let's take a look.
Why were you born? Why does God allow even dedicated Christians to go through years and decades of trials, tests and persecution? Why is it so important that we all “overcome”? What is the magnificent PURPOSE for all our lives here on planet earth?When I first read this booklet I saw these words it was insinuated that we shall greater than the angels.
A list of names connected with the making of this booklet is placed just before page 1.
Meredith makes sure to mock Christians who hope to go to Heaven after death.
This truly is worth considering. You should think about it! Sure, some religious people may feel they will be wafted off to heaven to sit around for all eternity with nothing to do except “roll around heaven” all day, as the song goes. But you shouldn’t assume anything. Don’t be gullible—find out for yourself and prove what is your ultimate destiny!Meredith asserts that what he is about to tell the reader in this booklet is from the Bible, delivered by God to you via Meredith.
However, in a more quiet, yet profound way, your Creator also reveals the ultimate destiny of all mankind—the real purpose for your life and my life. In a number of places, it is called the “mystery” of God. Indeed it is a mystery to the vast majority of people—even to most of the supposed “Christian” world. For it goes far beyond what most humans have ever visualized or imagined. Yet it is so obvious, so simple, so powerful in its logic that you may wonder why you didn’t understand it all along. So, again, what is your ultimate destiny? Why were you born? (pp. 1-2.)Then Meredith talks about his condemnation of evolution and he insists if one believes in evolution such a person should stop reading this booklet.
If you believe that, you’d better stop reading right here because, until God Himself wakes you up, you are not going to understand anything about your ultimate destiny or any other spiritual thing. (p. 2.)Meredith is narrow casting. He is not interested in sending this booklet to people who simply read it and then do not join or donate to LCG. This is a recruitment booklet made to get people to join LCG. Talking about the God Family doctrine is merely secondary to getting more tithes paying members.
Furthermore getting people not inclined to join LCG to stop reading here makes information about this booklet among those not inclined to join LCG less widespread and such persons will be less able to tell others about what to expect in this booklet.
Meredith then introduces his anti-Trinitarianism. Unlike most Christian churches HWA, Meredith and most Armstrongite COGs are vehemently opposed to the doctrine of the Trinity. Rather it is insisted that there are two God Beings at present, the Father and the Son. While the Holy Spirit is demoted to being being a force used by the Father and the Son.
First, God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” So there were two different personalities here discussing the creation of man in their image. These were obviously God the Father and the Logos or “Word” (Spokesman) who was later born in the human flesh as Jesus of Nazareth (John 1:1-2, 14). (p. 2.)It is asserted that God confused the builders of the Tower of Babel to make sure humanity did not destroy itself back then.
The clear indication here is that, unless restrained by God, man might have “progressed,” even back at that time, to the point of being able to destroy himself from off the face of the earth! (p. 3.)Meredith then cites various verses of the Bible to assert that LCG members are fated to rule over the world.
Yes, the true saints are called of God and are being trained through an entire lifetime of overcoming to join Jesus Christ in ruling over the cities and nations on this earth! Could anything be plainer than that? (p. 5.)Meredith also once again mocks those who dream of being with God in Heaven.
Yet, somehow, many misguided people, even theologians, still believe in the idea of “doing nothing” for all eternity. They do not remotely realize that true Christians are called for a wonderful, exciting, awe-inspiring purpose. (p. 6.)Meredith asserts that the problems we endure today are for the purpose of preparing Meredith's followers to rule over the world.
Now, in the human flesh, we are subject to all sorts of weaknesses and sin. But by regular, diligent study of the Holy Bible; by constant, fervent prayer on our knees, and by continually yielding and actively surrendering ourselves to God, we are to overcome our sinful ways and let God, through His Holy Spirit, build within us the holy, righteous character of God.
We know that we will not achieve perfection in this life, but we must be making real progress. For we are to grow in the very nature and character of God Himself. Therefore true Christians are ensured of constant trials, tests and persecution. (pp. 6-7.)Meredith insists that his followers will be required to endure all kinds of problems. Even martyrdom.
It is clear that the true Christian is required to overcome himself, the world and the assaults of Satan. He will be harassed, persecuted and perhaps even martyred by the enemies of God. (p. 7.)Armstrongites have never been forced to endure persecution leading to death in the United States and other Western countries. This is an induced phobia that is unrealistic and nonsensical.
Meredith once again mocks those who dream of being with God in Heaven after death. He is repeating himself. But now he uses this to introduce his alternative idea.
Is a Christian to go through life’s difficulties just so he can take a very long celestial vacation to “roll around heaven” all day and be bored watching the clouds pass by while plunking out harp music? Or, perhaps, is he to serve God as a messenger like the angels? After all the remarkable trials, tests, tears and perhaps even the agony of overcoming physical sufferings, is our reward to be no greater than that of the multiple millions of created beings in the angelic host? No way! (p. 7.)Meredith uses his human reasoning to assert that angels are so great and powerful and enjoy God's presence from the moment of creation. Are we who endure problems to get less, the same or more than these angels? But what he proposes in its place flies in the face of the vast majority of Christians believe in.
The truly awesome purpose of human existence goes far beyond even what the righteous angels and archangels will experience! The ultimate reason we are to go through trials—being tested time and again to see if we surrender totally to God who puts within us His mind, His love, His character—is that God is reproducing Himself! (p. 7.)At the moment of understanding the unsuspecting reader may be amazed and awed at this idea and think this makes perfect sense. Such readers do not notice that since this idea contradicts what the mainstream Christian churches teach that accepting this idea will alienate such a person from the mainstream Christian churches. And where will such a person go? Meredith hopes to his LCG.
But Meredith knows that many Christians seeing that he views things differently will stop reading at this point and stop paying attention to LCG.
Yes, you read it right. At this point, I should exhort all of you who read this NOT to tune out. Ask God for an open, inquiring mind—don’t make assumptions. Spiritual safety rests with a sincere desire to “prove all things” according to the words in your own Bible. For the great purpose for human life which truly makes sense has clearly been inspired and placed in the pages of the Holy Bible for centuries! (pp. 7-8.)Meredith will quote certain verses to insist that he is right.
Let’s go back to Genesis and review again what God did in the beginning. Each animal was created “according to its kind” (Gen. 1:24). So cattle reproduce cattle. Lions reproduce lions, etc. This was God’s mind or pattern as He created each creature. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness (Gen. 1:26). In plain language, God was indicating that they—the God Family now known as the Father and His Son Jesus Christ—would begin to reproduce themselves—to add more members to the “God Family”! Does it sound blasphemous to you to think that God planned to reproduce “after His kind”? (p. 8.)If one believes Meredith such a person will be alienated from the mainstream Christian churches. From an advertising perspective it makes sense to. This doctrine is a tool to destroy any sense of loyalty the reader have have toward any of the mainstream Christian churches.
Meredith brings up his children to insist that God is reproducing in the same way producing additional God Beings.
I am a father myself. I am privileged to have four sons and two daughters. As God has ordained, I have reproduced “according to my kind.” My sons and daughters are fully human just as I am human. Though I may be greater in experience and wisdom, and am the patriarch of my family, my children are as fully of the human family as I am, and have completely the same human capacity, potential and dignity that I do.Here Meredith is "loading the term." Redefining certain Christian doctrines to justify his doctrine which contradicts the mainstream Christian churches. He knows the mainstream churches do not teach what he says. He mocks them as not using words properly when it was HWA, Meredith and their imitators who changed these terms to justify their concocted God Family doctrine.
What about God’s sons? Are we so accustomed to the modern religionists using religious-sounding “fluff-words” that we no longer have real understanding as to the meaning of the words we use? Do we fail to recognize that a literal “son” of God would truly be like God? (p. 9.)
Pages 10-11 of the 1996 edition contain an insert insisting that the word Elohim justifies his God Family doctrine. In it he cites an article concerning the names of God in Volume 4 of the Anchor Bible Dictionary. And what is this Anchor Bible Dictionary?
Because of the numerous developments in biblical scholarship during the past three decades, the editor felt (rightly) that it was time for a Bible dictionary that would represent the current state of the discipline. The Anchor Bible Dictionary ( ABD ) is the result of his vision. The ABD is both international and interconfessional, with nearly 1000 contributors from around the world representing Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim traditions (and also those of no religious tradition). (Library Journal as cited in Amazon.com.)Meredith scorns mainstream Christians for understanding things differently but if one of them should happen to say something he agrees with he cites one of these mainstream Christians to prove himself correct. Meredith seems awfully selective about what he hears from mainstream Christians.
Notice! All who truly yield themselves to God will become like Christ, so that He, then, will become the firstborn of many other sons of God—literal sons just like Jesus Christ, the first- born and Captain of our salvation. ...
If Christ is the “firstborn,” there must be others. If the “firstborn” of God is very God, then those later born of the very same Father must also become full members of the God Family! (p. 12.)This is Meredith's interpretation.
Now if one suggests that people are destined to become God Beings many will be turned off since they know the mainstream Christian churches teach no such thing and will not follow one who says that. So Meredith seeks to alleviate that concern by saying the Father and the Son will always outrank any new born God Being.
The Bible indicates the Father will always be greater in power and authority. Obviously, God the Father will never get old or retire or die. So He will always be the unquestioned Head of the God Family. ...Meredith offers some advice on how to become a God Being.
Similarly, the Bible clearly shows that Jesus Christ will always be greater than the other sons to be born into the God Family. He is to sit at the right hand of the Father (Heb. 8:1). He is to be “King of kings” (Rev. 19:16). He will always be our High Priest (Heb. 6:20). (pp. 12-13.)
For a person to draw near to God, he must deeply study the Bible, “eating” of it ..., so that it literally becomes the way he thinks and acts. Overcoming involves regular, heartfelt prayer to God every day of one’s life—often several times a day and always being in a spirit of prayer. It involves constantly meditating on God’s Word and purpose, and occasionally fasting to get closer than ever to God. (p. 13.)In other words making sure one indoctrinate him or herself into believing LCG's doctrines and teachings.
Month by month, and year by year, the totally surrendered Christian becomes increasingly like God. (p. 13.)While many Christians yearn to improve themselves and be close to God they do not imagine that this will somehow make them become a God Being.
Do all these scriptures mean what they say? Can we honestly “spiritualize away” the many, many inspired scriptures that tell us to be holy, to be like God, and to yield to Him so He can place within us His own divine nature? Consequently, it is logical to consider the idea that it has been God’s plan all along to reproduce Himself. This is what the God Family (Elohim) had in mind when they said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” .... (pp. 13-14.)Again many Christians have yearned to imitate God and improve themselves. But they did not imagine this will lead them to become a God Being. This is a very peculiar interpretation that HWA, Meredith and their imitators teach.
Although, as just explained, Christ will always be greater in power and authority, yet the Bible clearly indicates that the Spirit-born sons of God will share the same level of glory and majesty as their Elder Brother, Jesus Christ. (p. 14.)Meredith insists that LCG members will become God Beings.
Meredith promises a fabulous reward to those who choose to follow him and join LCG and pay three tithes to his organization for the rest of one's life.
Our true reward is not some vague and nebulous “pie in the sky” concept of “rolling around heaven” all day, with nothing to do. Rather, it involves becoming “sons of the resurrection” and joining Christ in actively ruling this planet for at least the next one thousand years—cleaning up pollution, stamping out pornography, stamping out war—helping, feeding and healing the sick and starving masses—bringing indescribable joy to a shell-shocked world—and a profound joy and satisfaction to ourselves in the process. ... It’s going to be an exciting, stimulating, productive, and incredibly fulfilling experience. It is real! (p. 16.)Why wouldn't one throw away lots of money to get a result like that?
But why stop at just world domination? Why not promise to the reader rulership over the entire Universe as well?
What comes next after this? Read Paul’s inspired statements in Hebrews 2:5-7, “For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. But one testified in a certain place, saying: ‘What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You take care of him? You made him a little lower than the angels; You crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands.’” Notice man’s ultimate superiority to the angels. For man was made a “little,” or as many scholars translate it, “a little while” lower than the angels. Ultimately, God plans to put “all things” in subjection under man. (p. 16.)And when Meredith says all things he means the entire Universe.
But, describing the World Ahead, God indicates that “all things” will be put under man. The Greek word here used for “all things” may correctly be understood as “the entire universe”! In fact, in the Weymouth version, Hebrews 2:8 is translated, “For this subjecting of the universe to man.”
Immediately after that, Paul wrote, “For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him” (Heb. 2:8). Notice that nothing is excluded from being under man’s dominion. But it is not yet accomplished. (p. 17.)While operating the Global Church of God they named their recruitment broadcast and magazine The World Ahead. After the split of 1998 and Meredith and his fellows renamed the broadcast and magazine as Tomorrow's World.
Meredith assures the reader that this is so obvious that even commentaries agree with him.
Commenting on those verses, the Critical and Experimental Commentary states, “As no limitation occurs in the Scripture, the ‘all things’ must include heavenly as well as earthly things.”The Critical and Experimental Commentary refers to the commentary made by Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, a six volume commentary first published in 1868. And who were the authors of this commentary?
The New Bible Commentary Revised also comments on this passage, “Further, these verses indicate that not only Jesus, but men—through Jesus as their High Priest and Author of Salvation—are called to inherit a destiny of GLORY and dominion.”
In plain language, then, it is clear that God created man to be truly like Him. We who overcome are destined to be real Sons of God—not “pseudo-sons” of a much lower rank and level of existence. (p. 17.)
Robert Jamieson D.D. (1802–1880) was a minister at St. Paul’s Church, Provanmill in Glasgow. Andrew Fausset, A.M. (1821–1910) was rector of St. Cuthbert’s Church in York. David Brown (1803–1897) was a Free Church of Scotland minister at St. James, Glasgow, and professor of theology at Free Church College of the University of Aberdeen. (Wikipedia.)The New Bible Commentary Revised was published in 1970. Who wrote that? Here is some information about the authors from a Google Books page.
Donald Guthrie, B.D., M.Th., Ph.D., who died in 1992, was professor of New Testament Language and Literature at London (England) Bible College and a member of the International Society for New Testament Studies. He was the author of many books including The Apostles, Jesus the Messiah, and New Testament Introduction.In other words men who belonged to mainstream Christian churches that taught the Trinity and worshiped on Sunday. Elsewhere LCG teaches that worshiping on Sunday is the Mark of the Beast and that those who worship on Sunday will face God's wrath at just before Christ's return unless they repent and worship on the Sabbath like themselves. This includes the authors of the commentaries cited above.
J. Alec Motyer (M.A., B.D., D.D.) was formerly principal of Trinity College in Bristol, England.
In this booklet Meredith scorns the mainstream churches for supposedly getting things so terribly wrong. But when he sees some of them saying something he agrees with he is perfectly happy to cite some of these mainstream Christians who dream of going to Heaven to be with God. He is awfully selective in choosing to believe what some of these mainstream Christians happen to say.
Let us continue with Meredith's booklet.
Then, we’ll have glorified spirit bodies that will not be subject to physical laws as we know them now. We will be able to hurtle throughout the universe far faster than the speed of light, for we will be full members of the Creator Family—the Family of God—able to move at the speed of thought! (pp. 17-18.)If LCG members are fated to be able to do such marvelous things then why do Meredith and his followers insist we shall not go to Heaven? Surely with such power such distinctions here and there have been rendered meaningless. They do so to destroy peoples' trust and respect for the mainstream Christian churches and get more tithes paying converts for themselves.
Serving our Father and Jesus Christ in the perfect government of God, we will undoubtedly be challenged in ages to come to rejuvenate and beautify vast portions of the universe that are now bleak, lifeless and desolate. No doubt there will be further creative activities and exciting projects of all kinds to contemplate. (p. 18.)While fixating on such a marvelous future why worry about the problems today? Why hold on to your money for one's own interest and for one's family if this great future awaits?
Meredith continues to describe the wonders that await those who believe in his words.
In the resurrection, the Spirit-born saints will be like Christ was after His resurrection. We will be able to simply pass through walls..., and disappear into thin air....Meredith speculates that in the World Ahead after Christ's return people will have local God Beings ruling over them.
At the same time, the resurrected saints, like Christ, will also be able to appear in human form, visit with, eat with and teach human beings during Christ’s millennial reign on earth. John 21 describes the risen Christ preparing an outdoor fish barbecue ... for the disciples and then teaching them.
Of course, many interesting, exciting and even amusing situations may be envisioned when the resurrected sons of God may surprise or even temporarily frighten (“It’s one of them, again!”) unsuspecting human beings in the World Ahead. (p. 21.)
Now notice verse 5, “For all people walk each in the name of his god, but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God forever and ever.” The people each walk in the name of “his god”? What is this inspired prophet talking about?How is this not like praying to Catholic saints?
Possibly, Micah is describing the relationship of people in various cities or provinces to their particular Ruler or Judge—a “born-again” member of the God Family assigned to rule their city or state.... (pp. 21-22.)
Before we are even “converted” in this present life, we must deeply repent of “sin”—which is simply the transgression of God’s law (I John 3:4). Then we are promised the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38) which God gives to those who obey Him (Acts 5:32). (p. 22.)Meredith has insisted that mainstream Christians are wrong to believe in going to Heaven to be with God. But if the mainstream Christians cannot be trusted then how can the reader reach any other conclusion except trust LCG's leaders and ministers to tell him or her what to do on this matter? This booklet is a tool to get people to join LCG by destroy the reader's trust and respect for mainstream Christians churches to convince him or her to join LCG.
Someone objected to Meredith that if his followers were to become God Beings then they would rebel like Lucifer. Meredith rebuts this objection. (One wonders who was this person?)
As Supreme Ruler over all that is, God is taking no chances that His sons would ever rebel against Him! Only those who have totally surrendered their lives and wills to God and to their Savior and coming King, Jesus Christ, will be considered worthy of becoming members of the divine Family—the ruling Kingdom of God.
The above analysis should thoroughly disprove one objection which some have voiced against this marvelous truth. Some people think that if the resurrected saints were to become truly God—with the power of God—then there would be a grave danger that they would rebel against God the Father and perhaps start a spirit war as Lucifer did (Is. 14:12-15). But this objection reveals an almost total lack of understanding of what REAL conversion is all about! For after we have surrendered to our Creator, “walked with God” in our Christian lives over years while suffering trials, tests and persecutions (the expected lot that befalls every true Christian), and in spite of these trials, hung in there and endured faithfully to the end (Matt. 24:13)—there is no way we would ever turn aside and fight our own heavenly Father! (pp. 22-23.)Someone objected to Meredith that it is not possible for HWA, Meredith and his followers to become like God Beings since the Father and the Son had existed earlier than them.
Another objection is the idea that since God the Father is uncreated and has always existed, we could never be like Him. But this neglects the wonderful truth that, at the resurrection, we are to be literally born of God! We will not —at that time—be merely “created.” Rather, we will come right out from God, being literally filled with and composed of the Holy Spirit, like God Himself.
For, again, God is reproducing after His kind just as surely as we humans do! His Spirit-born sons, in the resurrection, are NOT “lesser” types of spirit beings any more than your children turn out to be something less than human! (p. 23.)Meredith knows that once one is introduced to this doctrine it may evoke a strong reaction because it is so drastically different from what the mainstream Christian churches teach. Meredith insists that those who object to this heretical God Family doctrine are not worth listening to.
Some people are sincerely shocked, at first, by this stupendous truth involving our ultimate destiny. But there are others who seem interested only in playing word games to try to confuse the issue and obscure one of the most vital and magnificent truths revealed in the entire Bible—the awesome, inspiring, supreme purpose of our Creator in giving us life and breath and making us “in His image”! (pp. 23-24.)Meredith compares God to a married couple. This is an appeal to emotion to convince his readers to believe this heretical doctrine by comparing it with one's own family life to ignore the fact that this doctrine is unusual and not taught by the mainstream Christian churches.
God has created humans so that, after a young man and woman marry, most sincerely desire children. They want to share their home, share their lives and share their love with a little human being made in their image. They look forward to having a baby—a young child who as a full human being will develop, learn and grow to fully share their lives, their plans, hopes and dreams with their parents and other brothers and sisters in a loving family relationship. So it is with God. (p. 24.)Meredith then denigrates the mainstream Christian assumption that Christians will not become God Beings as portraying a selfish God.
And because God is love, He wants to share His love, His glory, His eternity, with billions of others who will become His genuine Sons in the resurrection! If God the Father and Christ were selfish, aloof, or lacking in love and outflowing concern, perhaps they would want to keep to themselves and not make it possible for others to join their Family in a complete God-plane relationship by literally reproducing themselves. (p. 24.)Meredith exploits a verse of the Bible to insist that his God Family doctrine is true.
How can you be filled with ALL of the “fullness of God” and not be God? (p. 25.)Meredith calls upon the reader to be eternally thankful for the information contained in this booklet.
Yes, men have always wondered, “Why was I born? What is the purpose of life? If there is a real God, why does he try and test mankind so much and allow so much suffering to occur?”But how is this not a call to be so thankful towards Meredith? It was Meredith who wrote this booklet. Elsewhere the mainstream Christian churches are ridiculed and lambasted for believing in going to Heaven after death. So they cannot be trusted. So what will such a person who no longer trusts the mainstream Christian churches do? Such a person is much more inclined to join LCG.
Now, the mystery is solved! If your mind and heart are open, you now know the answer to these profound questions that have puzzled philosophers and scholars for centuries. You should be everlastingly grateful and thankful to our God and our Savior, Jesus the Christ, for making us “after their kind.” (p. 25.)
Meredith then exploits the prayer in John 17 to insist that his God Family doctrine is true.
These words of outflowing love are inspiring and magnificent. They certainly make clear that those of us willing to utterly surrender to God and let Christ live His life in us through the Holy Spirit will attain to the same type of glory that He attained to, and be completely one with God (as Christ is one with the Father) and therefore obviously be God. This will be the supreme fulfillment of God’s own purpose in giving us life and then calling us to spiritual understanding! ...
The indescribable love of our Father is somewhat beyond full human comprehension. Yet we who understand must respond to that love with deep reverence, thankfulness and obedience to our great God. (p. 26.)Meredith insists with all his heart and being to the reader to pursue this goal of becoming a God Being.
With all my heart and all my being, I encourage all of you who read this to truly “seek Him”—diligently. Do not allow yourself to put anything ahead of God and His truly wonderful purpose for your life. Learn to truly study the Bible as never before. Learn to get down on your knees before the Supreme Governor of the universe and literally pour out your heart in prayer to Him for the love, the wisdom, and the strength to truly be an overcomer and to become His real son in a world-ruling Kingdom soon to be set up on this earth.
Nothing is more exciting. And, when you really understand, nothing is more “real” than what the Great God says will happen! This is the final fulfillment of the Gospel of Jesus Christ—the ultimate Good News—that man can be born into the God Kingdom, the God-level of existence. (p. 27.)Meredith insists this God Family doctrine is the Gospel.
Again I say, this is the ultimate meaning of the “Gospel,” the ultimate Good News and transcendent purpose for your life! (p. 27.)Meredith ends this booklet with these words.
God the Father is not a “nicey-nice” wimp, or a stern, unsmiling puritan or an impractical philosopher. He and His firstborn Son, like a loving family, are preparing other sons of God to join with them in ruling this world and, later, the entire universe. So go out under the stars some clear night—try counting as many stars as you can see and think of the billions of stars scattered across the vast universe which you cannot see—and then meditate on this awe-inspiring purpose for your life and thank God for it! Then, get down on your knees and begin to zealously do your part to make it all possible! (pp. 27-28.)How glorious and wonderful it must seem to imagine that such a destiny awaits one after reading this booklet. Many of those introduced to this booklet will likely have no idea of the problems that have occurred within Armstrongism.
Intriguingly Meredith makes no acknowledgement that this same doctrine is taught in the other COG groups. He refuses to even address that other religious concepts are similar to his doctrine. This is done because the purpose of this booklet is to get people to join LCG. And one the requirements of membership in LCG is paying three tithes and extra offerings. The booklet itself has no price tag but LCG anticipates that some will join LCG because of this booklet and pay tithes to Meredith's LCG.
Meredith enforced a draconian doctrine of HWA's that required certain married couples to divorce if their marriage did not meet certain standards HWA expected. He wrote a letter on July 18, 1969 to enforce this draconian rule. It was abolished in 1974 after many families had been torn apart by this destructive policy.
HWA also promoted anti-medicine superstitions through a booklet of his entitled Does God Heal Today? (1952). Many WCG members were adversely affected by this doctrine of death. Sometimes even dying. But when Meredith had a problem with a detached retina in 1970 he went and had an operation for it. Many WCG members who witnessed the consequences of HWA's anti-medicine superstitions could not understand why he did this while so many in WCG were suffering because of HWA's anti-medicine superstition. Today Meredith tells people to see a doctor when they are ill. But nevertheless in 2005 he wrote a booklet bearing the very same name as HWA's infamous work. LCG publishes it to this day.
In 1979 Roderick C. Meredith made certain statements vilifying Leona McNair, the former wife of Raymond McNair. She sued and WCG got dragged into a drawn out court case that saw WCG paying her $750,000 settlement in 1992 all because of Meredith's inflammatory words. It was only after this court case was settled that Meredith left WCG to start up the Global Church of God.
And during his entire career as a minister of Armstrongism since December 1952 Meredith has constantly promoted inaccurate, fear inducing false prophecies making his followers think World War III is just a heartbeat away. One such false prophecy that was taught from 1953 onward was the claim that Christ would return in 1975.
Would God work through a person like that?
It is unfortunate that many of the readers of this booklet will not be aware of these things.
But where did this God Family doctrine come from? It is well known that HWA often acquired his ideas from other sources, usually the Church of God (Seventh Day), Seventh Day Adventists, G. G. Rupert and the Jehovah's Witnesses. So naturally people have wondered where HWA got this God Family doctrine from? Mormonism is often cited as the source for this doctrine in Armstrongism.
But there is another possibility. Although they do not teach such a thing now the early forerunners of the Jehovah's Witnesses in the 1870s used to believe in the God Family doctrine as well. Like Armstrongism they can be traced back to the Millerite Adventist movement of the 1830s-1840s.
On theology, [Nelson Barbour, an early and important influence upon C. T. Russell,] taught in the book [Three Worlds and The Harvest of This World (1877)], as Russell would later in The Watch Tower, that the Church and Jesus together constituted The Christ (pp. 5-6). Jesus and His bride, the Church, constituted the "Second Adam and Eve" (p. 11). The church will become Gods, in fact, they would "become part of the Godhead" (p. 13)... These 144,000 "spiritual beings" would "materialize" as men on earth at will during their Millennial reign...thereby keeping tabs on the spiritual development of mankind during this period (pp. 43 47). Mankind's worship would in part consist of serving and obeying these "rulers" or "instructors" in the Millennium (p. 68). (Source, as cited in an earlier post.)Could it be possible that this is the source of HWA's God Family doctrine, the same idea presented in this booklet?
There is no need to be "eternally thankful" to Meredith for the information contained in this booklet. The idea is similar to other religious ideas and was even taught by some Adventists in the 1870s. Meredith's many false prophecies have shown that God is not with Meredith. There is no need for anyone to follow this false prophet.