I suppose it just had to happen sooner or later. The Philadelphia Church of God vultures are now out in force. According to Exit Support Network, PCG membership continues to dwindle. In 1997, there were 5,000 members, but by 2009, there were only 3,800. Furthermore, they have supposedly stopped giving out Feast attendance numbers because of the high attrition rate.
So, where do you drum up new members? Why, pick off of the troubles of others, of course, as Stephen Flurry does brazenly (but not as brazen as David C Pack did, I should add) in “The United Church of God and the Evils of 300-Man Rule“. No, I’m not making that title up. Flurry has decided to sit in judgment and call others “evil”.
Flurry doesn’t just castigate United, although that is the main subject, but also Roderick C Meredith in the article. After going through the beginning history of UCG and David Hulme (who “took 20 years of service as a minister in the Worldwide Church of God and three years as president of the United Church of God for Hulme to finally conclude that Mr. Armstrong was right”), he turns his attention to Meredith:
Rod Meredith is another prominent WCG evangelist who got burned by the “collaborative” scheme. When he broke free from the WCG in 1993 to form the Global Church of God, he claimed to be following in the footsteps of Mr. Armstrong. Yet the very first doctrine he changed was the principle of God’s government that Mr. Armstrong used throughout his ministry.
“If we look into the New Testament with an open mind, we find a totally different approach to government than what has developed in the Church,” Meredith wrote in Church Government and Church Unity. On the most important matter of all, in other words, Mr. Armstrong had it all wrong. The right kind of government, Meredith later wrote in his 1993 booklet, should be “collegial” in form. It should include “a broad representation of all the elders” in the church, he believed.
[Bolded text my emphasis]
Notice what PCG teaches is “the most important matter of all”! Is it salvation? Is it the future coming Kingdom of God? Is it spreading the Gospel? Is it even the worship of Jesus Christ? No! It is “the right kind of government” for the church here and now!
Given these much-publicized, embarrassing failures, you would think these men would wonder, Where was God during the three years I served as president of United? Or, Where was God when I founded Global?
The insinuation, of course, is that God was with PCG.
Questions: Does God need a physical place to be at? Does God need a physical organization to “do a work”?
Most important question: Has God ever been at PCG?
Meanwhile, the one organization that actually started the right way—as a tiny mustard seed planted in 1989, without any of the best-known former ministers of the WCG or their many thousands of supporters, but with God’s government—continues to grow and prosper as it fulfills its God-given commission to prophesy again before all the world and to raise up the ruins of a work God established and built through His servant Herbert W. Armstrong.
I believe I have already shown that the above is a complete fabrication, especially about them growing.
Actually, PCG set up idolatry in the beginning by worshiping a man – Hebert W Armstrong (HWA). HWA did a lot of great things in his time – things that others will not duplicate – because God blessed him so that the Gospel could go out. However, HWA was also human. Great humans often have great defects as well, and HWA had his share.
Once PCG “won” the copyright to Mystery of the Ages (another story of deception), authored by HWA, it was pushed as being equal to the Bible. In order to be baptized, you had to have read MOA. I’ve heard stories that before services, people will often sit quietly and read MOA to ground themselves before the messages were given.
Once Gerald Flurry, the pastor general, had everyone worshiping a man, it was only a matter of time before the transfer of adoration was shifted onto himself.
The reason that government is “the most important matter of all” is to perpetuate the fear that if you leave, you are leaving “God’s government”.
IOW, they have substituted keeping God’s Laws out of love for God the Father and Jesus the Christ with fear of loss of salvation if you don’t submit to “God’s government”, which just happens to be themselves.
Fred Coulter wrote Is the Ministry God’s Government? It is an interesting read and shows the sleight of hand involved in turning “God’s government” into “church government”, and how that is a form of idolatry.
Meanwhile, if PCG is being used and blessed by God, one has to wonder why their attendance numbers seem to be dropping so quickly.