Monday, 5 January 2015

LCG - bull-roaring midget

Is anyone listening?
It's funny how you tend to credit today's micro-sects of COGdom with the attributes of the original body. "Back in the day" the Worldwide Church of God boasted large congregations in cities throughout the English-speaking world.

Even Auckland, where we filled up Epsom Girls Grammar School Hall to capacity each Sabbath to belt out Dwight Armstrong's hymns and listen to hour long sermons by worthies like Bob Morton and Jack Croucher.

But the years have gone by brethren, yea, even the decades and the WCG that we knew is no more. Papa Joe's Grace Communion International is a shadow of the original body, an insipid version of evangelicalism fed on the rat poison of Karl Barth and 'interpenetrated' by the trinitarian Torrances.

Putting aside the United Church of God for the moment we come to the LCG, Rod Meredith's remnant group. Depending on who you believe, its the third largest derivative group from ye olde WCG.

So how big are those LCG congregations? Gary Leonard has these stats up on his blog.
LCG publishes list of ten largest congregations.  
1. Charlotte North Carolina 258
2. Kansas City Missouri 195
3. Chaguanas Trinidad 128
4. Ft. Lauderdale Florida 116
5. Houston Texas 115
6. Dallas Texas 113
7. Phoenix Arizona 107
8. Quezon City Metro Manila, Philippines 99
9. Kingston Jamaica 96
10. Christ Church Barbados 94
Assuming we're talking about attendance, which seems probable, these figures are a joke.

And it's clear big-talking Spanky and his 'evangelists' are a joke too.


  1. The numbers are not a measure of the quality of the church! The quality is measured by the sanctity and obedience of the members, and above the spiritual understanding of the ministry. Those spiritual qualities are all absent from all the divided COGs!

    If numbers were important, God's true church would be insignificant in the world. But with a few faithful members, the Church of God, led by the Chosen Vessel, has transformed the whole world for the better.

  2. By their own beliefs and world view, over the past 25-30 years, deteriorating conditions would have necessitated a more urgent and powerful end time message today than the united, concerted effort which was in place at the WCG's hey day. If this were a race, an analogy which has been deemed appropriate as a motivator in times past, you would have to say that the team peaked prematurely.

    Decentralization, choices, autonomy, and minor corrections might have had certain benefits, but the ability of the movement to get out an audible warning to an allegedly dying world (arguably the church's entire raison d'etre) has been diffused and defeated by the mercurial splintering. A group with a diffused and thwarted mission is not going to survive. They remain in a depressed state of grieving over their dead leader, decades after the fact.

    In certain ways, what happened was perfectly predictable for a personality cult with a rubber stamp, powerless, board of directors, which would normally be the governing body steering the mission of the corporation. Unless some universally respected effortlessly superior individual had emerged to indulge in heroics, they had been unwittingly set up from the beginning by their leader in such a way that they were nearly guaranteed to fail upon his death. Time, lack of leadership, and egos were all able to have their effects, with some acting harshly and immediately, and others mildly and too late to save the mission. Rather than having the benefits of being proactive, basically the groups have all resorted to tying a knot in their safety ropes and attempting to hang on to the bitter end, poaching members and resources from one another. Some speak of Gideon, but it appears that Gamaliel has taken his toll.


  3. Now, now, is that any way to treat an evangelist who has 'not committed a major sin since' his baptism? I think not! Roderick Meredith is too abusive to be a joke.

    Nevertheless, even though the man is perfect in righteousness, these statistics lack, shall we say, a certain context. It would be far more satisfying if we were to know the attendance of each of the listed congregations year by year since the inception of the Living Church of God. Heck, it might even be more meaningful if we had year by year attendance all the way back to the 1970s under the Worldwide Church of God.

    I know that for a fact that some congregations which used to be 700 strong in WCG days are now lucky if they have 75... or even 25... and in some cities, the entire church could fit in a phone booth, if there were any left. Phone booths, that is.

    In fact, it isn't really clear why the stats were presented. What is their use? Let's say you're in your 20s and you are looking for a mate or maybe just companionship of your own age. What help do these statistics give you? None. Absolutely none. And what if you want to practice pure religion undefiled? There's no count for the fatherless or widow either.

    So what's the point?

    Can anyone in the LCG enlighten us?

    Anyway, Armstrongism itself is the joke. It's just plain weird. Sure it sounded sensible when Herbert Armstrong pushed it back in the day, but these days, anyone with an Internet connection and a search engine should be able to determine that Herbert Armstrong was a kook (reference and that the practices of the religion is daft. Pay 30% of your income for your devotion? Attend a church convention where you hear false prophecies for a week? Practice a religion with Tea Party and Republican sensibilities, but without being able to vote? It's insane. But those engrossed in it have lost their ability to determine right from wrong or even be able to determine what's rational (an angel is going to physically pick you up and take you to the place of safety? Which Scripture describes that?).

    Hey folks, there is no place of safety.

    And for the LCG of 2005, that was very very important. In fact, as I think about it, someone any time could make any of the listed congregations smaller through the use of modern technology.

    I notice that Gotham and Metropolis were not listed. What do you suppose the attendance is in those cities?