Since 1972 God's Church and Work have come in for some unfavorable publicity in the public press.
Jesus said, "If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you". I counted this cost almost 52 years ago, when I gave my life, for whatever it was worth (which was less than nothing in my estimation as I gave it) to the wonderful Christ who had bought me (and you) with His life's blood. I was willing to suffer whatever He allowed.
And I have tried not to answer back. You have not heard or read a word from me in self-defense since this ugly publicity began appearing in 1972. Prior to that there had been persecutions, oppositions, and some limited public comment of an unfavorable nature.
But recently more defamatory stories have appeared in the public press, some of a nature I simply cannot let go unanswered.
One, which went out over the wires to many newspapers and news magazines, called Mr. Stanley Rader the "heir apparent", and another speaks of speculation that he will be the next Pastor General of the Church. This latter, in a national magazine, quotes my son Garner Ted, as saying that Mr. Rader "has already succeeded my father as head of the Church".
I want to say, 1) that Mr. Rader is a most valuable assistant to me in many ways — even beyond the capacity of words to describe-as personal assistant and advisor, as administrator in areas dele, gated to him, as financial advisor to the Church and Work, and as legal counsel teamed with Mr. Ralph Helge. There have been dozens of lawsuits filed against the college, the Church and often including myself, in trumped-up cases seeking to get money. Mr. Rader and Mr. Helge have won every suit — like a shield against unjust attacks upon God's Work — and few if any of our brethren have known of this INVALUABLE service to God's Work.
2) Mr. Rader has worked tirelessly, much more than eight hours a day, in the service of the Work. He him suffered slander, defamation from within the Church (mostly emanating from Garner Ted) yet has remained loyal. He has broken off all past social relationships in Beverly Hills and similar areas, to devote himself wholly and exclusively to God's Work, as my assistant. He never takes credit for accomplishment, but always gives full credit to me as Christ's Apostle.
3) Mr. Rader is not even ordained, nor do I now, or have I in the past contemplated ordaining him — yet my son has represented to the public press that he has already become head of the Work. All that is ridiculous, aimed at harming God's Work.
Yesterday I received a letter from Mr. Rader, at the moment in New York, saying his health is not up to par, and all this stress and strain is wearing on him, and he feels that probably he should resign. He wants to talk it over with me on his return this weekend. If his health permits, I shall plead with him to stay with me, for I NEED HIM AS MY ASSISTANT! He is of inestimable value to the Work. His fruits have been good — actually superb.
But the HEAD of this Church is the living JESUS CHRIST! Sometimes I have to wonder if some of our brethren forget that. JESUS CHRIST IS A LIVE! This is NOT the work of MEN — not a worldly carnal operation or institution! I have had great difficulty in persuading some, even in high places in the Work (no longer with us) to realize that truth!
And, on the human level, Christ is using me, His Apostle, as human leader of the Work. And, these past six months, Christ has through me moved swiftly, dynamically, resolutely, with AUTHORITY, to turn God's Church, the Work and the college around-putting every phase of it BACK ON GOD'S TRACK.
I think that the leadership of Christ's Apostle has amply demonstrated for all to see, who is the human leader in God's Work under Christ. Mr. Rader makes no pretentions of anything like that, and what my son has been saying in the public press, I regretfully say to you, is his personal spite, antagonism, and effort at self-justification.
This year's Feast of Tabernacles was revealing PROOF TO ALL that God's Church has turned the corner — Christ's blessing is once again upon us — the Work is now surging forward with renewed vitality and power!
Let us PRAISE THE GREAT MAJESTIC GOD! He is a miracle and wonder-worker. Jesus Christ is IN this Church, directing and empowering — AND BLESSING it! Keep praying!