Editor's Note: PASTOR'S REPORT #37 (Sept. 21) contained Mr. Rader's comments about Faith which he delivered in Tucson on September 18. However, space did not permit us to print his concluding comments of that date, which we now include in this report. Our readers should find them most interesting and informative.
I want to share something more with you today that I have been sharing with members of my own immediate staff at headquarters. My staff work in the Financial Affairs area and are exposed to all of the financial data of the Work. Many of these people may begin to think that because they have access to the information, they know what was best for every other department, and, inevitably, a few may begin to think they even know what is best for Mr. Armstrong and hence what is best for the Work. I cautioned them that, as much as they know, they don't know everything. The Test that I gave them was as follows: to think for a moment. "Take the person closest to you, whether it be a wife or a husband, a father or a mother, a child, a close friend, a business associate, and I guarantee you that there is something important, something relevant, something material about that person that you don't know. Yet you would feel confident that you know that person like a book. (That would be the type of expression that you might use.) You can read him like a book. You know him like the back of your hand, and so on and so forth. Each of you, those of you who have been married for a long time, I assure you that there are things about your mate that you do not know. I'm not saying it's something that's bad. I'm not saying it's something that's being hidden from you consciously, but there are things that we will tell our friends, there are things that we will tell our parents, there are things that we will tell our children, there are things that we will tell our ourselves, but there are also things we won't even tell ourselves."
Hence I cautioned them about feelings of omniscience, of knowing it all, of presuming to know better than others and so forth.
Of late, I have had to think a little bit more about my own role in the Work. As weeks go by, I get many letters from brethren around the country, and many from ministers who have responded to me and to Mr. Armstrong who has invited comment about me. I have found a remarkable number of letters which have said that "we don't know why we didn't trust Mr. Rader, but we wondered about his motivation. We wondered where he carne from. And now we began to think, why? Why did we question his motivation?" These are some of the conclusions that I come to — not necessarily conclusions, but in some cases observations.
Essentially, I was called to serve Mr. Armstrong who is Christ's Apostle in this end time. In essence, there was simply no way for me to serve Christ, to serve the Living God, and to serve Mr. Armstrong, and at the same time, win a popularity contest. In fact, I never entered a popularity contest. But, if I had tried, I would have certainly lost because it was only important that I satisfy the needs of Christ's Apostle. It made no difference if I pleased others — not that I tried to discourage others, not that I tried to hurt anybody else. The only person that I had to satisfy by my performance, by my service, if you please, was Mr. Armstrong.
Because I was consistent in that service and forthright, candid, and cogent in my advice over the years, I have picked up few, if any, friends within God's Work. I've had to deal with issues, rather than with people. And I've had to be objective and unemotional. I've had to be more rational not irrational. And too often, I 'm afraid, just as a concomitant of doing my job, as I was called to do that job, I have stepped on the toes of other people, because by serving Mr. Armstrong, I incurred their enmity or their resentment or their jealousy or their envy. And whatever "personality" you have, as a consequence simply becomes injured and eroded as time passes. One has only so much capital of this sort. And every time that I had to throw myself into a breach, every time I had to do something in opposition to what Mr. Armstrong knew had to be done in order for God's Work to be fulfilled, more of my personality was eroded. And that capital, you might say, was diminished.
And as a consequence, I have realized that for 19 years — the first 19 years — before my baptism in '75, I had remained somewhat of a "mystery man." That's the word that keeps turning up in the letters. I was very visible. My picture appeared in a lot of places. My name appeared in a lot of places. And I appeared with Mr. Armstrong very often. But I had deliberately kept myself from being identified as an individual. I was always very solidly with Mr. Armstrong on every issue and on everything that was important to the Work. And as a consequence, I was always simply merged with him. And that was the proper role for me to play.
In some cases, I became a scapegoat for the failures and frustrations of others. At other times I served as a lightning rod to protect Mr. Armstrong and to protect the entirety of the Church from any harm.
But, in 1975, upon my baptism, an event that was received with an outpouring of love and affection from the brethren, I began to suffer an unjustified attack on my reputation and character from Ted Armstrong and a few in his close circle.
Therefore, I have come to believe very strongly, particularly in recent weeks that my direct role in the Work will end at a time that is perfectly coterminous with Mr. Armstrong's role in the Work. We hope and pray that he will remain strong and vigorous in order that this Great Commission be fulfilled within his lifetime. But if that should not be in the nature of things, then I feel that would be the time that my direct role in the Work will also come to an end.
But I want you all to know that my Faith in the Living God grows stronger each day, as it has for the past 22 years. And I tell you this with as much power as I can muster because without that Faith, and without that Faith growing each day, I don't think I could continue to perform my work, because it is a very, very lonely place from which I work. I have had to leave behind me all of my friends, all of my past associations. I've had to leave behind me in a certain emotional sense or spiritual sense, my children, as well as my wife. They're not antagonistic to the Work and they love Mr. Armstrong very much. But they are not in the Church. And all of you who are, know what that means. And as a result of leaving those things behind, and because I have made few friends within the Work, I have had to become closer and closer to God.
It is difficult also because in the position that I'm in, there is no one in God's Work, other than Mr. Armstrong and the Living God, with whom I can share openly and candidly and revealingly the personal burdens of my own position. Everybody in the Work can come to me and over the years they have. I have counselled with people in the Work of any consequence by telephone, face to face, and by letter. You can name the person, and I've counselled with him. But I can't go to others for personal counsel. I can go to Mr. Armstrong but I don't want to burden him. So, I only have one other person that I can go to, and of course, that's the Living God.
Thus, I want you to understand that in the performance of my duties, in the performance of those things which have been delegated to me by Mr. Armstrong, how very important it is that I have Faith and how very important it is that I continue to grow each day in Faith because the work that I have to do for Mr. Armstrong does not become any easier as time goes on.