August 18, 2016
August 18th, 2016
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ,
Greetings from Charlotte, NC! I just returned from about five days of peace and joy in our Living Youth Camp in Ohio. Present were about 342 campers and staff who were all filled with an exceeding sense of enthusiasm and dedication. It was very inspiring to see this tremendous warmth throughout each day of activities with Bible studies, swimming, water polo, softball, soccer, archery, etc. The unusual feeling of joy and unity among these young people was absolutely remarkable and very encouraging. Thank God for these camps! Thank God for His Holy Spirit and the chance for God’s young people to be together, work together and enjoy the true expression of brotherly love among themselves—with boys and girls taking their proper roles and deeply appreciating the differences of the opposite sex in a proper and Christian way. We had a couple of dances, a talent show and other activities where the young men and women were certainly able to show forth their talents as men and women of Jesus Christ.
Wow! What an incredible experience.
But very soon after my return here to Charlotte I was given a report with current news concerning our own city and some of the latest stirrings of “Satan’s Alternative Universe” as I have described it. It seems to be coming on our society very soon, and I think all of you should pay heed. For this Work of the living Christ is absolutely needed to “tell it like it is” and help people wake up to the reality of what is very quickly developing around them as the very end of this present sick society is coming soon. Here are some comments from an early report on the developments in the Charlotte schools:
“The new transgender-affirming policy allows students to select their own gender and then choose the bathroom (although that part is on hold for now), extracurricular activity, sport, etc., that best fits whatever label they happen to identify with at the moment…
If you’re confused about how this works, the school system has provided a handy ‘gender unicorn’ to explain everything. I wish I could say I made that up, but I did not… [It] comes accompanied by a chart, which illustrates how ‘gender identity,’ ‘gender presentation,’ romantic attraction, and sexual attraction (all different things, evidently) exist on a spectrum that stretches out unending into the infinite universe….
What’s happening to our children in these schools is a violation of their basic human rights. I’m not just talking about the female student whose rights are trampled when the sick perverts who come up with these policies force her to change or use the bathroom in front of a boy. That’s bad enough as it is. But to put these lies in their heads in the first place; to intentionally cause such terrible confusion in their minds and their hearts; to indoctrinate children into the most radical and fantastic and deranged ideas about sex and gender; to deprive them of the opportunity to learn even the very basic truths about life and about themselves—that is a violation of their rights. It is systematic child abuse, and it’s the primary reason why I could not, at this point, send my kids to public school” (theblaze.com, August 12, 2016).
When word of these things reached the public, school officials were quick to explain that some statements in the reports were taken out of context or were inaccurate. For example, high school sports teams will still be based on “biological gender.” But the fundamental facts—that our educators in Charlotte are being actively and specifically trained to begin incorporating this godless confusion in our schools—remain shamefully true!
Brethren, in light of the above report and literally dozens of examples like them, it is absolutely vital that we get God’s Work growing more than ever. For this sick world really desperately needs the warning message of Jesus Christ before the end comes. We are doing our best to grow and ask you all to help us to continue to grow in every way we can. For example, the last few months have been especially encouraging as far as our Internet efforts go. Although we continue to thank God for the very strong responses we continue to receive on our numerous television stations around the world and we continue to make prayerful and smart decisions about adding or changing television stations as new opportunities arise, it is becoming more and more evident that the Internet “door” is continuing to become a more powerful and effective way to preach the Gospel. For example, we have been very encouraged to see that for many weeks now, the Tomorrow’s World telecast over “Internet TV” such as Roku, Amazon FireTV, Google TV and AppleTV have been producing responses comparable to some of our biggest and best “traditional” television stations. Many of these responses are from people who have either “cut the cord” and who do not watch cable TV or are from people who watch both cable television and also Internet television.
In addition to working to grow our “Internet Television” audience, we also strive to increase the reach of our various other Internet and social media platforms. For example, many of you know that people nowadays—especially younger people—go to “YouTube” to watch videos and go to “Facebook” to talk to their friends and even to find the news. According to a May 26, 2016 Pew Research Center study titled, “News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2016,” an astounding 62 percent of adults “get news on social media.” The same study reports that this is up from 49 percent in 2012. As this report also notes, “Facebook is by far the largest social networking site reaching 67 percent of U.S. adults.” Similarly, many people now watch video every day on YouTube, which has well over one billion users, with a majority of those visitors coming from outside the United States. Because we must reach the whole world with the true Gospel, we continue to work hard to use all of these platforms and technologies. As of this writing, our English-language Facebook page now has more than 217,000 fans, our Spanish Facebook page has more than 46,000 fans and our French Facebook page has over 118,000 fans. And our English-language YouTube channel passed 12,700 subscribers and more than 6,700,000 views. Our Spanish YouTube channel passed 22,000 subscribers and more than 4,700,000 views. And our French YouTube channel has passed more than 2,400 subscribers and more than 540,000 views. Very importantly, through these efforts, we are reaching people whom we may not reach otherwise, and many of those people are reading and “sharing” Tomorrow’s World articles, telecasts, webcasts, commentaries and booklets with their online friends. We sincerely thank God for blessing our Internet “reach” in these ways, but we know that we must reach the whole world, and so I do ask you to keep praying that He gives us much greater growth in the months and years to come.
Finally, brethren and co-workers, I have some BIG NEWS! Now that Mr. Gerald Weston has been here at Headquarters serving alongside of us for several weeks, and with my declining health and abilities, I have decided to appoint him to be the next Presiding Evangelist, Chairman of the Board and overall leader of God’s Church if I should die or be physically incapacitated. I have talked with Mr. Ames about this more than once, and Mr. Ames—one of the most dedicated and loyal men I have ever known—agrees with this. Both of us will continue in our present responsibilities as long as we are in health. But, in case of my death or incapacity, Mr. Weston will take over.
So I ask all of you brethren and co-workers to give him every support as you have me. I have known him for 51 years—since he first came to college in the autumn of 1965. He and his dedicated wife have been consistently loyal, doctrinally sound and extremely capable in feeding God’s people and building God’s Work.
I have described them extensively—including his ministerial background and all of his training—in previous member letters. But I would like all of you co-workers as well to realize that this is not an “untested” man. He has been involved in the ministry all over the United States, served as Regional Pastor out of Kansas City for a number of years and for thirteen years ran the largest single Work outside the United States, in Canada. From there he helped launch our operations into China and India and he has a truly “international” outlook. Here at Headquarters, he has fit in very well and in the last several weeks has won the deep respect and admiration of all who have worked with him. I have talked extensively to quite a number of our leaders here and brethren as well.
So please give Mr. and Mrs. Weston your total support and know that Christ is the living Head of the Church of God. He has guided and will guide in this appointment. Meanwhile, let us all drive ourselves with the strength that God gives us to help fulfill the outstanding opportunities which we have to prepare for Tomorrow’s World. May God guide and bless each one of you as you go all out to support Christ’s Work and do your part in preparing the way for the coming Government of Christ on this earth.
With Christian love,
Roderick C. Meredith