Cartwright’s Journal Out: LCG Succession, Child Rearing, being lukewarm, the old Worldwide News, and 1975 in prophecy


The latest issue (says #168 December 31, 2014) of The Journal was sent out electronically and just received.

Some of its main articles has to do with LCG succession, some Feast of Tabernacles‘ reports, child rearing, being hot or lukewarm, sin, and some history of the old Worldwide News.

Living Church of God founder and presiding evangelist Roderick C. Meredith recently conducted a meeting of his church’s council of elders to discuss doctrinal issues. The council members also passed an “affirmation” stating who would be next in line to succeed Dr. Meredith in the event he was no longer able to preside over the church. The council, which also deliberated several other matters, has no binding authority over the church or its admin- istration. It serves strictly in an advisory capacity. …

Besides discussing matters reported in the church’s press release, Mr. Wakefield informed THE JOURNAL that the council of elders also issued a unanimous affirmation concerning the succession of the office of presiding evangelist of the Living Church of God. After Dr. Meredith has completed his service, Mr. Wakefield said, Richard Ames of Charlotte is next in line to serve, followed by Gerald Weston…

Richard Ames was designated as Dr. Meredith’s ‘heir’ years ago.  Various ones have brought up Gerald Weston’s name in the past as another candidate.  Unless either of them changes, the direction for LCG is going is not Philadelphian for various reasons of integrity, doctrine, and prophecy (see Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God).

Regarding child rearing, there was an article by Wesley Worthen titled It’s a good idea to spend time with your children.  Of course, that is true (see also Five Rules for Effective Parenting).

There was an article by Ray Daly titled Are you hot, cold or lukewarm?  In his article he asks:

Choose you this day! Why do you sit between two opinions? Can two walk together except they be agreed?

Most in the COGs today are lukewarm and refuse to properly choose as they tend to be comfortable where they are (see also The Laodicean Church Era and The Philadelphia Church Era).

There was an article by Dan L. White titled Now is not a good time to feel good, COGs.  In the article, basically he says that most COGs (he pointed mainly to UCG) do not denounce sin as much as they try to tell their members that they are special.  He may wish to check out what we in the  Continuing Church of God. teach as we have denounced many sins that affect not only those outside the COGs, but also those within them (e.g. Obesity, processed foods, health risks, and the Bible, Is American Football Evil?, Gambling and Sin: Is it a Sin for Christians to Gamble?, Should Christians Smoke Tobacco or Marijuana?, Binge Drinking, Health, and the Bible, Tattoos: History and Biblical Teachings, and Should a Christian Vote?).

‘The Worldwide News’

In 1973 Garner Ted Armstrong approved the publishing of a church newspaper. Involved with the early planning of what became The Worldwide News, which came out every other week, were Big Sandy dean of students Ron Kelly and especially a 1966 Ambassador graduate and faculty member John Robinson.

Mr. Robinson and Mr. Kelly, aided by printing-department employees including several students, wrote, laid out and printed a prototype of what the newspaper could look like and presented it for approval to the younger Mr. Armstrong.

Staff inflation

“The on-site mover and shaker of the original version of The Worldwide News, which began in Big Sandy April 1, 1973, and ended in the spring of 1978, was John Robinson,” said a staff member of the original five years, Mr. Cartwright. “I just checked the old masthead, or staff box, of the first issue,” he said, “and was surprised that we included 56 people on the original staff.”

That staff listing was “grossly inflated,” said Mr. Cartwright, as were the staffs of other WCG publications, to make them look “more official and more impressive.” The original listing included people who had nothing to do with The Worldwide News such as Colin Adair and Norman Smith, said Mr. Cartwright.

“Early in 1974, the second year of the WN’s publication, the staff list magically shrank to a more-realistic 13,” said Mr. Cartwright. A partial listing of the staff, employees who actually were involved in the WN’s administration or production over the five years, included: Editor in chief Herbert W. Armstrong; editor Garner Ted Armstrong; managing editor John Robinson (who died in 2006); writers and layout artists Scott Ashley, Rick Baumgartner, Randy Brelsford, Linda Cartwright, Paula Cummins, Gerry Ghearing, Sheila Dennis, Janie George, Tom Hanson, Dave Havir, Gene Hogberg, Kimberly Kessler, Clyde Kilough, Sherry L. Marsh, David McKee, Dave Molnar, Michele Molnar, Ava Norton, Faye Odie, Mac Overton, Klaus Rothe, Vivian Rothe, Linda Moll, Ken Treybig, Tricia Willhoite and Jim Worthen; photographers Pete Leschak, Scott Moss, Roland Rees, Eugene Smyda and John Wright; circulation managers David Blue and Karen Gardner; and copy editor Dixon Cartwright.

Though not always named as staff members, personnel in the college’s printing department contributed to the WN’s production, including Mike Hale, Dean Koeneke, Ellis Stewart and Marty Yale; and many local- church-member volunteers. The printing-department crew would do the camera and other prepress work, then furnish the printer, The Gladewater Mirror, with negatives from which to burn the plates for an old Harris web offset printing press.

“Although the elder Mr. Armstrong was acknowledged as editor in chief, he was not much involved with the early issues, as I remember,” said Mr. Cartwright. “GTA [Garner Ted Armstrong] was directly involved, although in the five years of the original WN we could never get him to visit our production area or meet with the production staff in any way except over the phone.”

Mr. Cartwright said the original Worldwide News, published from 1973 to 1978, was an “interesting phenomenon.” “It was the closest thing the Radio/Worldwide Church of God had had to a free press,” he said.

“We were still controlled, but we did manage to write and publish hard news. “For example, we reported on our front page when a church employee, a church pastor, shot and killed his wife and then himself in a courthouse. That kind of story would probably not have been openly talked about, much less reported, before or after the original Worldwide News. “We had a team, an esprit de corps and a professionalism that I’m proud to have been a part of in those years.”

Dixon Cartwright puts out The Journal which is apparently his version of what he hoped the old Worldwide News would have looked more like.

Some have wondered about ‘1975 in Prophecy.’  Notice something in about that:

Mr. Neff begged to differ

The decade of the ’70s brought new challenges and many changes to Ambassador in Big Sandy. The church was once again experiencing financial, public-relations and various other difficulties. Whether it was the failed prediction of the return of Jesus, other doctrinal issues or headline-grabbing personal difficulties between church and college founder Herbert Armstrong and his son Garner Ted, the church and college were in for some rough times.

When THE JOURNAL remarked in passing to Mr. Neff about some of the WCG’s failed prophecies, specifically that Christ would return Sept. 18, 1975, Mr. Neff begged to differ. “No one ever said Christ would return in 1975,” said Mr. Neff. “It was commonly believed that it would be Trumpets in 1975 and that 3 1 ⁄ 2 years earlier, in 1972, the church would go to Petra [which the church believed would be a prophesied ‘place of safety’].

“This was never taught by Mr. Armstrong as a certainty to my knowledge…”

There were, however, prophetic errors that were taught.  Many COGs have so many prophetic errors that there is no way that they will know when the Great Tribulation will begin until it is too late.  A listing of many currently held prophetic errors is in the article The Laodicean Church Era.

The back page of The Journal mentioned the following related to UCG:

The United Church of God announced that its Beyond Today television program will be airing on a new day and time beginning Friday, Jan. 2, 2015. The program will now air each Friday morning at 8:30 eastern time.

The Journal also had the usual letters to the editor and other advertisements, various comments, and opinion articles.

The Journal itself is available by paid subscription (though Dixon Cartwright says some subscriptions are free to those who cannot afford it) and often tends to take a non-Philadelphian era view of certain church matters.

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