In these recent columns Stephen Flurry has focused his polemical retorts upon the two largest COG sects, UCG and LCG. He accuse UCG of changing the style of government. As for LCG he focuses on Meredith's attempts to implement collegial leadership during Global (1993-8).
Flurry's polemic ignores the fact that many COGs in fact practice one man leadership as practiced by old WCG.
In Meredith's case he focus on Meredith's attempt while in Global (1993-8) to have collegial government. He knows that after LCG was created Meredith reverted to one man rule but for the purposes of his argument this is de-emphasized and Flurry questions why this man chose to change things during that time to delegitimize him.
Let's see what he has to say:
When Rod Meredith left the Worldwide Church of God to start a new church in 1993, he clearly called into question the way Herbert W. Armstrong had governed the Worldwide Church of God.Just like Gerald Flurry!
- 1) HWA taught from 1953 onwards until the day he died that Prophets cannot hold administrative power over church members.
This clearly contradicts HWA's teaching on this matter.
PCG has deceptively deleted these words which HWA wrote in Mystery of the Ages (Chapter 6):
No prophets are mentioned as having either administrative, executive or preaching functions in the New Testament Church.If you view MOA from a non-PCG source you will find this statement. You will not find this statement in PCG's copies of Mystery of the Ages because they deleted it.
Therefore PCG has changed the form of government under HWA.
(I am aware that recently Gerald Flurry has declared himself an Apostle. This does not change the fact that until then PCG was ruled by a Prophet in clear contradiction to HWA's teaching.)
- 2: Gerald Flurry has called for "abnormal government" to be implemented within PCG in 2003.
Gerald Flurry knows how dangerous this rhetoric can be among people who has been (falsely) taught that PCG is the true church because they (alledgedly) have the same form of government as old WCG. So he tries to deceptively hide the fact that he is changing the government by pretending he isn't.
“REVELATION, 11, VERSE ONE IS ABNORMAL”
(Sniffs, voice changes) “Not that you’re abnormal! but this is abnormal administration of God’s Government.”
“Instead of setting up abnormal machinery to meet the highly abnormal need, the normal standards were not good enough at such a critical time. So they had to change the way they administered the Government. And so we enter into this time, brethren, and let me tell you, it’s getting to be pretty, pretty, fiercely bad. We enter into this time and Jesus Christ is showing me that there really is a change in the administration of our Government. There really is a change in that.Satan has been cast down. Now that’s a different situation. I mean that’s like Hitler attacking, only it’s worse.And so we have that to contend with. And it’s, as I said, in the last hour, and no more delay, so Mr Armstrong’s structure of Government really will not work ... to get this job done.
“It’s different brethren, but again, you see, it’s the same government, the same law that Mr Armstrong had!” And so I submit to it, you submit to it, but we do have to administer it in a different way.This is merely deceptive doublespeak. Wikipedia offers these helpful words in discussing this concept.
Doublespeak (sometimes called doubletalk) is language that deliberately disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words. ... It may also be deployed as...reversal of meaning (for example, naming a state of war "peace"). In such cases, doublespeak disguises the nature of the truth, producing a communication bypass.That is what Gerald Flurry is doing.
All of this, (having a Prophet wield administrative power over the church contrary to HWA's teaching, Gerald Flurry's call for "abnormal government" in 2003,) is deliberately ignored by Stephen Flurry to pretend that PCG preserves the same form of government, when they do not.
Let us continue with Stephen Flurry's column.
[Meredith] wrote in Church Government and Church Unity that the subject of church government had been seriously misunderstood during the days of Mr. Armstrong’s leadership.How is this any different from your father, and employer, saying in the sermon cited above that
we’re in a fierce, fierce battle, just before the Great Tribulation and we’re going to have to do things differently; we already are doing them differently ... you are, I am, we ALL are and WE LIKE IT THAT WAY ...I know Gerald Flurry claimed that this different way is "the way Christ leads us.” but that's just deceptive doubletalk.
Most of Stephen Flurry's column is devoted to discussing Meredith's booklet, Church Government and Church Unity, and Flurry insists that HWA always believed that there was one man in charge in the church.
Alas that booklet is, as far as I know, not available on the Internet, so it is hard for me to talk about what Meredith said.
This must be said: HWA was a false prophet so, as far as I am concerned, there is no need to wonder what his views on government were, because God was not with him.