The Open Idolatry of the Philadelphia Church of God

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.


  1. The PCG initially grew fast by attracting former WCG people when JWT, Sr. openly changed all the WCG's teachings in early 1995. At the time, GRF bragged about how fast the PCG was growing, and claimed that God was blessing it. Around the peak, when there were about 7,000 people in the PCG, it was announced that more people had already gone through the PCG (had either left or been kicked out) than were currently attending. Now that the PCG has been in decline for a number of years, and only about 4,000 people are left, one hears a different story about how God is now pruning the PCG so it can grow better. The truth is that the PCG is a poisonous weed that God did not plant and that will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

    To be blunt, Satan not only used JWT, Sr. to destroy the WCG, but also set up GRF and his PCG to try to catch and destroy any WCG people who tried to hold on to the truth. If JWT, Sr. could not get some people to accept doctrinal changes, GRF would use a different approach to force them to accept doctrinal changes of a different sort. What GRF has now done to former WCG people who wanted to hold on to the truth that they had been taught is simply hideous.

    Satan has now used the PCG over the past twenty years to harm former WCG people. When the PCG is through with them, they risk becoming burnouts, and atheists, and Sunday-keeping "Christians." Gerald Flurry will have taught his victims by his own bad example that HWA and the God of the Bible are evil and unreasonable, by doing all Gerald's own evil in the name of HWA and God.

  2. "In 1997, there were 5,000 [PCG] 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."

    Yawn!!! Same old, same old. Brag when the numbers look good; clam up when they don't.

    The problem with too many suckers attending a satanic dictatorship like the PCG is that the local tyrants can become unbearably arrogant, and start to throw their weight around by kicking out members just for fun.

    Hopefully, the decline in numbers will work its way back to the paychecks of these scoundrels so that they can reap what they sowed.

  3. UCG doesn't come out and say it, but it no longer believes H.W.A. was "the end-time Elijah." (My Pastor actually said it, when I asked at a Bible study.)

    I'm not sure if this is still true, but PCG once wouldn't even invite you to a service unless you confessed H.W.A. as the end-time Elijah. A writer said so in a Philadelphia Trumpet article in the 1990s.

    If Stephen Flurry thinks UCG'ers are going to jump toward Oklahoma en masse, I would think he'll be greatly disappointed.

  4. Honestly folks, I've said it before. With all the splits and bickering instead of the "One True Church" it's going to get down to the "One True Family." Can you splitting, kicking people out and devouring one another?

    "You'll know them by their fruit." – Jesus

  5. "Honestly folks, I've said it before. With all the splits and bickering instead of the 'One True Church' it's going to get down to the 'One True Family.'"

    I do not think that it will get that bad this time.

    Nevertheless, there is a biblical precedent for things getting down to the one true family. You can read about it in Genesis chapters 6 through 9. "Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark" (Genesis 7:23, NIV). "…in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water…" (I Peter 3:20, NIV).

    Genesis 9:20-28 mention that even after the flood there was a problem even in the one true family with Noah's son Ham doing something so bad that Noah cursed Ham's son Canaan.

    Next time, bad children will be screened out from even the one true family. "Or if I send a plague into that land and pour out my wrath upon it through bloodshed, killing its men and their animals, as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, even if Noah, Daniel and Job were in it, they could save neither son nor daughter. They could save only themselves by their righteousness" (Ezekiel 14:20, NIV).

    Even the children in the one true family had better be careful. God can and will do such things. Remember that even two of Aaron's own sons, Nadab and Abihu, were put to death by God. See Leviticus 10:1-20. God did not apologize to Aaron for it either, but rather, "Then the LORD said to Aaron, 'You and your [remaining two] sons are not to drink wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the Tent of Meeting, or you will die" (Leviticus 10:8-9, NIV).

    As the Bible says, “Stern discipline awaits him who leaves the path; he who hates correction will die” (Proverbs 15:10, NIV).

  6. Funny comment about Noah, Anon 9:22 am. Jesus' work is to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. The church of God and Jesus Christ is busy doing this very thing.

    Jesus sent the Gospel to the Gentiles because Israel rejected God. Yet what is the primary "work" of the churches of God?

    Is it not to whom they believe are Israel (US, Canada, Britain, Australia, European countries)? How much penetration have the churches of God had in the Gentile areas? Very little.

    What's up with that? The Gospel to the Gentiles will continue until the "Times of the Gentiles" (Luke 21:24) are complete and Jerusalem is no more trampled by the Gentiles.

    Salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear the Gospel (Acts 28:28; Rom 9) and respond.

    Mal 1:11 "For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; In every place incense shall be offered to My name, And a pure offering; For My name shall be great among the nations," Says the LORD of hosts."

    Jesus' work is currently to the Gentiles (Rom 9). The ones with all their worship of the "Sun of Righteousness" (Malachi 4:2), love God, (Mal 1:11; Isa 11:10; 49:6; 66:19), celebrate Jesus and love the name of Jesus (which means Salvation).

    God's name is GREAT among the Gentiles, it's "J-E-S-U-S and L-O-R-D! (1 Cor 12:3).