Behind Closed Doors
I was among the last to arrive. All of us were simply but firmly told to report, no other explanation was given. So arriving for a meeting with an unknown agenda was a little unsettling, especially when it was one initiated by the ministry...they had a track record of disfellowshipping workers during these meetings. So all of us arrived just a little unsettled.
As I took my seat I couldn't help but notice that the door was locked behind the last man in and a security guard stood as a sentry. He was not little guy either, no one but no one was going to get through that door unless he allowed it. I felt for sure I, as well as the others, were in deep trouble. We were a collection of the most free thinking and independent individuals employed by the college, that's a polite way of saying we were considered rebels. We probably accounted for most of the headaches our department supervisors experienced.
Something else I found very unsettling, in the room with us were several Pastor rank ministers, along with at least six local elders. Being trapped with that much power and authority made even the most stout hearted individual there very compliant and quiet. Judging by the group of men present, about 35 to 50, it looked as though, if nothing else, the meeting would prove to be very interesting.
We were all exceptionally quiet, which was reminiscent of the Passover service, which was full of self condemnation, regrets and fear. We all just sat there quite and still, conversation was at a bare minimum, just a few whispers here and there.
Then one of the church Pastors came to the platform and began to speak. We were amazed and a little astounded as to what we were being told. It was not that under different circumstances what we were being told couldn't be true, at least for some of the men, its just that it seemed out of place. It was almost as if we had entered "The Twilight Zone". They were not out to get us at all, on the contrary, they were there to ask for our...well I am getting a little ahead of my self so let me back up a little bit so you can fully understand what was happening and why it was so puzzling.
All the employees that worked on campus had one thing in common regardless which department we worked for, none of us were allowed to work on the Sabbath. To do so would have been cause for immediate termination and loss of salvation (Don't get mad at me, they were the one that taught that crap!) Herb had decided that no employee would be allowed to work on the Sabbath, EVER! Well, not exactly as you will see. While it may seem a strange thing to say considering how staunchly the Sabbath was supported and kept, it was none the less true, there was an exception.
The problem that they had to resolve was campus security on the Sabbaths. Herb was not about to be irresponsible enough to trust that God would protect his, Herbs, campus on the Sabbath and Holy Daze, oops, Holy Days. So the problem became what to do. He could not leave the campus, and his home unprotected for that period of time. On the other hand, he couldn't allow the regular full time security personnel to work during this most holy of days.
The answer to the problem came as a stroke of genius. Simply set up an auxiliary security patrol and have them work on the Sabbaths. To do so Herb had to declare the non security employees to be acting spiritual Levites. So began the Auxiliary Security Patrol and the reason for the meeting. They desperately needed our help and cooperation to make this bit of weirdness work.
During the meeting the Pastor told us we were all personally chosen because of our unique abilities to comprise the first Auxiliary Security Patrol. He took great lengths to explain the problem and their proposed solution. We would work one four hour shift per month, somewhere between Friday sunset and Saturday sunset. Which in reality turned out to be an almost weekly and not once per month service. The security supervisor would set up the schedule and advise us far in advance as to when we would be called upon to serve.
He went on to explain that by declaring us spiritual Levites it would be OK for us to break, oops, work as security personnel during the Sabbath and Holy Days. He further stated that we would be looked upon as having the office of a local Elder. Not that any of us would be ordained as elders, we would simply share the Levitical office with them thereby being able to work on the Sabbaths. At the time it sounded very reasonable to me, after all who are we to question the ministry? To do so would be to challenge Herb and his god directly!
I knew right off that this was headed for some serious problems. One only needed to look around the room to realize that this Pastor had just opened Pandora's box. What was about to happen they did not have the good sense to anticipate or expect. I guess their god forgot to inspire them with wisdom and understanding. Instead he filled their minds with foolishness and delusion, as you will soon see.
As the meeting closed there was a question and answer period. Sure enough the question was asked about eldership. The speaker again tried to clarify it by stating that in theory not in practice the men would have the office of elder. It was just a legal formality that allowed them to tell us it was OK to break the Sabbath. His explanation of eldership was too little too late, all that some of the men heard was they would be considered elders....now that's when the trouble really began.
It was not long, the very next day, that some of the men began to address the real elders and ministers by their first names. One individual was corrected for some obscure technicality by what he considered to be a lowly deacon, without hesitation he told the deacon to buzz off.. This made the deacon angry, how dare he address god's anointed in such a manner! When the deacon tried to correct him further for his rudeness the want-to-be elder told the deacon that if he did not shut up he would put him on report....
Some of the men were really getting into their new found power and authority, they even insisted on going to the ministerial lunch. One of them even call Mr. Merridith, Rod! He was lucky fire did not come down from heaven and consume him. Now that is where it all finally came to a crashing end. Enough is Enough! The real ministers were not about to allow such lowly scum to invade their most sacred places. They were not going to share their honor with this lower class of workers.
It wasn't but two weeks later we were all called together for another important meeting. It did not take a genius to figure out what was up and what they were going to do about it.
The Pastor in charge began by thanking us for our dedication and loyalty. Right then I knew the hammer was about to fall. He went on to politely explain that perhaps he had been a little to zealous in suggesting that we hold the office, in theory and not practical fact, of an elder. He said after much prayerful consideration (and getting his butt chewed out for what had happened) our position would be more appropriately looked upon as that of a deacon. I couldn't help but shake my head and think to myself, this minister is obviously a slow learner. We would share the office of deacon in theory only, we would not be ordained or actually hold the office of deacon.
You guessed it! There was another horrendous clash. A few of the men took it upon themselves to exercise the office of deacon and tried to tell the real deacons where to go. That really rattled the cages of the real deacons. They went to the ministry crying and lamented about their plight and the fact that some lowly scum were stealing their show. For several weeks havoc reigned. It was fun while it lasted...
An emergency meeting of the Auxiliary Security personnel was called. This time the Pastor (he got his butt chewed out again) went right for the throat. He told us in no way should we consider ourselves an elder or deacon! He told us we ought to be thankful that we were even considered for this wonderful opportunity. He said we were acting in the office of the Levitical Priesthood, not by authority, not by rank, and definitely not by power. He told us to just shut up and do the job!
Well, that was clear and right to the point! There was a great deal of mumbling among the men. The question was then asked if they would allow the men to carry guns or night sticks? That question really got the speaker HOT!! Before he was done we had a sneak preview of hell fire and damnation!! Boy was he HOT!! I was thankful I had the good sense to sit toward the back of the room.
No, the men were not allowed to carry guns or night sticks...but they did for a period of time allow the use of vicious police dogs... That is until Herb found out about it...seems as though there was one Pastor that at one time had been involved in security, then all of a sudden he was shipped out to the east coast to pastor a church. I wonder why?
Life on campus was like an adventure of Alice in Wonderland...They called it the Worldwide Church of God leaving the name of Christ out, and well they should for their attitudes and actions were and are anything but Christ-like. We followed them unquestioningly. They were and are blind leaders, so all of us fell into one ditch after another with them. And some of you are still following the blind leadership from one ditch into another. The truth is not in the ministry of blind men, it is in Jesus Christ and Him alone. When will we learn? Most of these leaders are not shepherds, they never were. They are resource managers and manipulators. They are using YOUR tithes and offerings for their personal gain and advantage!
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