Nov 092012
 

Banned! is reporting that UCG’s Melvin Rhodes has resigned for “unchristian behavior” aka a past affair, likely with a laymember who is now in COGWA.

Dennis Luker is trying to jump on the grenade. It’s also been speculated that COGWA’s Jim Franks might be leaking dirt on his fellow COG ministers to bring down his rivals, especially as legal sparks continue to fly between UCG and its newest splinter.

The allegations, whatever they are specifically, against Rhodes aren’t surprising. Lots of COG ministers have skeletons in their closets and Rhodes’ are just the most recent to surface. There are more ministers currently engaged in hypocritical and unethical behavior. Some of these allegations have been privately brought to our attention before, but we don’t publish every allegation that gets sent our way, especially those that lack substantive evidence. But after awhile, when receiving enough of them, a pattern starts to emerge. Rhodes is not alone in this type of behavior, whether we’re talking past or present. This might just be the beginning of revelations spilling out if various COGWA ministers have started emptying the COG’s vault of secrets.

Silence

  12 Responses to “Melvin Rhodes Resigns”

  1. It’s entertaining to watch Church Wars.

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  2. This actually, in many ways, reflects a high degree of integrity. I have no idea what kind of “unchristian behavior” caused this, but have no reason to doubt the facts as presented here.

    What other organization has parties on all sides so quickly come to agreement and resolve the matter with a resignation of this nature?

    Not trying to whitewash anything, but let’s give credit where credit is due.

    People are human – and there is no organization or institution in which individuals don’t fail and disappoint everyone around them. But when that happens, they usually fight tooth and nail to hold on to their power, prestige and positions.

    Kudos to everyone involved for doing the right thing here.

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  3. @ Wade Fransson:

    Reports have said though Rhodes’ congregation knew about this for years. Other ministers likely did as well. It was only upon the threat of it becoming a public spectacle did they choose to try and mitigate the damage. That’s what people are writing across other websites on this anyway. We’re working on sussing this stuff out for ourselves, but it seems that sitting on this for years isn’t nearly so honorable.

    It’s extremely reminiscent of David Petreus and really any public official who gets caught in this kind of behavior. They know it’s wrong but only resign when they get caught. How many others are out there who have engaged in behavior that is at the very least hypocritical and beneath their station who have every intention of remaining in their positions until someone blows the whistle on them?

    Of course people are human. But that argument is too often used to excuse bad behavior in the COG. Additionally, real transparency, honesty and accountability would be to tell UCG members why Rhodes is actually resigning instead of forcing them to scour the anti-COG blogs for information. If he did something wrong, a full admission, not necessarily indicating who else was involved, would go a long way to restoring trust. But once again, just like the UCG/COGWA split, the leadership chooses to write in vague generalities leaving members scratching their heads.

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  4. @ Silence:
    There is always the chance that it was less of a ‘sin’ in terms of “public” outcry. Such as if the behavior was between consenting adults, or represented a lapse of judgment, vs. a pre-meditated or pattern situation.

    So there may have been some who “knew”, or it might have just been rumors, but on the surface it seems like the situation was one in which all parties “in the know” may have been quite content to have “forgiveness” rule the day. There is certainly a time and place for forgiveness and love “covering a multitude of sins”.

    So I’m certainly not defending the “wrong” and recognize that I’m going out on a limb by saying anything here. It’s much safer to jump on the judgmental bandwagon, than on the one I’m advocating here.

    Still, since we’re still in the dark about what exactly happened, it’s possible that they have done the right thing here by reaching quick agreement on a resignation prior to a more public scandal – and possibly in doing so they will prevent one.

    This is likely to the benefit of all, including whatever “victim(s)” there may have been – because if it’s important for any victim(s) to voice the facts, they should have no problem doing so now, after this very public admission of guilt.

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  5. I agree with Wade. I would go further to say that people’s sex lives are none of anyone’s business–even if they are leaders–and nothing to resign over. I know, I know. This would make a leader in a cult a hypocrite. Sure, in the special case of marital fidelity, at least. But still, people are going to have affairs, and it is not necessarily a reflection of anything to do with the job they’re doing (unless they are being paid to be monogamous).

    What’s important about the CoGs is not that they have human leaders. Everybody is aware of that. It’s that they are supporting themselves by promulgating a belief system that is easily disproved. Belief in these fallacies will keep people aligned with the institutions regardless of the hypocrisy of their leaders. Herbert was only human, remember, and his sheep covered a multitude of failed prophecies and other scandals with their continued tithes, offerings and guru-worship. If they had been educated in critical thinking and scientific and historical fact, they never would have been impressed with the doctrines to begin with (nor the prophecies). Ignorance, stupidity and lack of education are the main problems with the CoGs, and the various failures of ethics, when they are particular to the institutions in question, are symptomatic of this more fundamental malady.

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  6. @ caseywollberg:

    Don’t you think though that this becomes an ethical issue involving abuse of authority if it is an affair involving a female laymember? Agreed, personal lives are personal lives. But in the COG, everything becomes about power and who has it.

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  7. Sorry Casey, but your statement implies the PC cliche that “a person’s private life is separate from his/her public life” which is usually thrown around when someone has done something wrong in their private life and it’s had detrimental repercussions in their public life. I personally think that it’s a fallacy since what we do in our private life has enormous bearing on our public life and vise versa. If you’re a sexual pervert, an habitual liar, petty thief, cruel to animals or worse in your private life that’s surely going to overlap into your public life and affect your thinking, attitudes and overall conduct therein and the job you’ve been entrusted with by those around you. It’s that simple. It’s like saying it’s okay for me to have sex with prostitutes or animals, get AIDS or other STD and then infect my wife with the disease since my private and public lives are two different worlds. Tell that to the wife. In the same way, those who think it’s okay for our public representatives or religious ministers to tell us to do one thing and then they do the complete opposite when the cameras are switched off is as you said totally hypocritical. And they should be held accountable.

    BTW I don’t think that the way UCG has handled the MR scandal is “honorable” at all. They’ve left more questions than they’ve answered. And I think that’s worse as it leaves everyone open to imagine the worst. Besides if you look at what’s been reported on other sites (Malm’s blog for instance) the impression I’ve gotten is that we’re not being told half of what really happened and how it was leaked. Cui bono? Then again this is the pattern of the COGs since its inception with HWA suppressing and denying time and again the awful truths about his own and GTA’s private life for decades.

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  8. Bill wrote:

    BTW I don’t think that the way UCG has handled the MR scandal is “honorable” at all. They’ve left more questions than they’ve answered. And I think that’s worse as it leaves everyone open to imagine the worst. Besides if you look at what’s been reported on other sites (Malm’s blog for instance) the impression I’ve gotten is that we’re not being told half of what really happened and how it was leaked. Cui bono? Then again this is the pattern of the COGs since its inception with HWA suppressing and denying time and again the awful truths about his own and GTA’s private life for decades.

    Absolutely this.

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  9. @ Bill:

    “It’s like saying it’s okay for me to have sex with prostitutes or animals, get AIDS or other STD and then infect my wife with the disease since my private and public lives are two different worlds.”

    You’re analogies are horribly inept, Bill. Some things about your private life are bound to be relevant to public duties. Some aren’t. An extramarital affair, you might think, would have some bearing on the “cheater’s” honesty in public affairs. But, then, that would be wholly a matter of opinion. One may be scrupulous in some aspects of life and have a weakness in others. Sexuality is one of those human behaviors that is notoriously unreliable when held up to artificial social standards. You can’t reasonably expect one’s performance in that arena to be indicative of hardly anything at all. Your ethics might inform your sexual behavior, you see, but reversing the equation is not logical.

    “If you’re a sexual pervert”

    You’re going to have to define your terms, here, because I don’t recognize that label as applied to consenting adults. To me, sexual perversion is the act of constraining natural, consensual sexuality with social mores, bad science and superstitious proscriptions.

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  10. @ Silence:

    “Don’t you think though that this becomes an ethical issue involving abuse of authority if it is an affair involving a female laymember?”

    Not necessarily. Ministers date and marry laymembers all the time. If an extramarital affair is an abuse of authority, then so was the marriage.

    Look, none of these interpersonal “scandals” changes anything. They aren’t new, and they aren’t exclusive to cults or to CoGs in particular. We might as well be faulting them for having dirty bathrooms if we’re going to make an issue of this. It’s as petty to me as the hyped and unsupported claims about Armstrong having molested his daughter. These things are ultimately irrelevant. What keeps people enthralled are the truth-claims being made–they don’t join these cults for their ethics, and they aren’t likely to leave on the basis of overblown “scandals”. These they can fold neatly into their mythology: there’s a ready-made pocket there for these embarrassments, after all. They can’t answer so easily, though, when the foundations of that mythology are brought crashing to the ground, using the very tools they claim for their own (proving all things, loving the truth and following the evidence rather than a man).

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  11. @ Silence:

    “Absolutely this.”

    No. Absolutely not this. I can’t disagree more. Indulging in sensationalist “reportage” of the private lives of ministers is exactly the opposite of what people need. They’ve had this since the beginning, and the only people who are interested in it are the less intelligent members of the choir. Most of it is simply devoid of facts, relies on wild speculation and is highly susceptible to the swaying of partial and unscrupulous “witnesses”. If you’re going for Machiavellian sabotage by greasing the wheels of the rumor mill, all well and good (that’s an activity, though, that is better left to the back rooms rather than the front pages). But if you are interested in telling the truth and bringing more clarity into a genre that is notorious for its gossipy nature (and distrusted for that reason, among others), then you have to elevate the discussion beyond the private and personal. This is what you were about in the beginning and it is what attracted me here. It’s certainly what we do over at AD, and the reason we took that higher road, in part, was what I saw as a saturation of emotionally-charged, fact-starved, personal-interest gossip and hearsay among the existing sites. No one was effectively addressing the truth-claims. That needs to be done, and we need more people doing it. This drivel about the private lives of ministers serves no purpose and accomplishes nothing other than engendering within the disgruntled member a false and unearned sense of superiority. It’s a new type of gruel for inveterate sheep.

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  12. THE SO CALLED LEADERS IN GOD’S CHURCH HAVE A LOT OF KNOWLEDGE,BUT NO UNDERSTANDING. THERE JOB IS NOT TO LORD OVER GOD’S PEOPLE,AS THEY TRY TO DO AND BY THIS, RUN MORE OFF FROM THE LOCAL CONGREGATION THAN THE PROGRAM [BEYOND TODAY] CAN DRAW IN.
    AS I HAVE E-MAILED BEFORE,I WILL PRAY YOU WILL REPENT AND ASK GOD FOR UNDERSTANDING.
    THE PROBLEM IS NOT WITH THE PRAY AND PAY MEMBERS, BUT WITHIN THE ONE’S GOD HAS CALLED TO ASSIST THE MEMBERS. GET ON YOUR KNEES AND SHAPE UP,BEFORE IT IS TO LATE,AND YOU WILL BE TURNING OUT THE LIGHTS AND LOCKING THE DOORS FOR GOOD.
    YOU ARE BEING DEFEATED FROM WITHIN.

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