Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Stephen Flurry's Deceptive Polemic Against UCG and LCG

Stephen Flurry has unleashed another column discussing the UCG split, Making Sense of the Church Split: Judge By the Fruits. (He means you are to choose his own: PCG.)

He takes this opportunity to spread cheap and deceptive propaganda to insist that PCG is the only true church.

He weaves mundane circumstances and insists that they reveal the hidden workings of the universe.

First he uses the old if-they-didn't-mention-us-it's-because-they-wish-we-didn't-exist rhetorical trick. Observe how he uses it.

After joining the United Church of God in 1995, one former minister of the Worldwide Church of God outlined four choices for disgruntled members of the wcg: 1) Stay with the Worldwide Church of God; 2) join the United Church; 3) go with Rod Meredith’s Global Church of God; or 4) wait on God to clearly reveal where to go. In his mind, the Philadelphia Church of God wasn’t even worthy of consideration!
Never mind all the other choices that were around at the time, such as joining Dankenbring, who was actually kicked out of WCG by Tkach even earlier than Flurry, the pre-1986 splits such as Garner Ted Armstrong's sect, or the pre-1974 splinter groups which retained the Monday Pentecost and that abominable Divorce and Remarriage doctrine.

There were in fact many other choices available to WCG members in 1995. Or even simply abandoning the heretical Armstrongite tradition altogether.

Suephen Flurry however focus his attention on Meredith in the Global era and UCG to deceptively insinuate that every other COG does not have the correct government when most COGs, as far as I can tell, still practice one man government as old WCG.

Stephen Flurry then complains that other COG ministers complained that PCG retained the same form of government as WCG. He brings that point out to make it appear as though only PCG had the courage to retain government precisely, when actually PCG have made changes, such as allowing a Prophet (Gerald Flurry) to hold administrative power over the church. This is contrary to what HWA always taught, that Prophets can have no administrative power over the church.

Stephen Flurry omits the many other legitimate complains made against PCG: that Malachi's Message is plagiarized from Jules Dervaes' Letter to Laodicea, PCG's idolatrous reverence for Malachi's Message, the fact that prospective members were required to believe that HWA is the end time Elijah before being allowed to attend, a completely new requirement.

In reality many COGs continue to embrace the one man rule as practiced by old WCG, but PCG continues to lie and confuse their members on this subject.
Back then [circa 1995], it wasn’t so much where you went, you just needed to get out of the Worldwide Church of God. There were plenty of “branches” you could join. Any of them would work—as long as it wasn’t the Philadelphia Church of God. [This is simply a straw man Stephen Flurry made to make PCG look special.] We, after all, had that old authoritative government. It was much too harsh and austere, Laodicean ministers would tell prospective members if they inquired about the PCG.

Publicly, however—because we were never considered a viable option [by whom? Straw man again.]—these ministers simply ignored the work of the Philadelphia Church of God—even as it became more and more difficult to overlook.
Stephen Flurry then complains that the other COGs remained neutral during their "war" with WCG over HWA's copyrights.

He completely neglects to mention that
  • HWA's writings were freely available for viewing on the Internet during the entire time of the court case. I can personally testify that I found and read Mystery of the Ages on the Internet about 2000-1 and it has remained online to this very day.
He then writes crowing over how COG members are requesting their HWA writings:
Now that the lawsuit is over and we own the literature, many brethren from other churches have contacted us for copies, since we offer it freely to anyone who makes a request. In private, some ministers from other groups have even encouraged their members to come to us for personal copies of Mr. Armstrong’s books.
Of course these books have been sanitized to fit PCG innovations in doctrine.

He then spends a lot of time bragging about how great and wonderful PCG is. Never mentions how he requires PCG members to have "no contact" with former members and "Laodiceans".

He makes this statement which I found quite disgusting:
Our total worldwide income in 2010 amounted to $20.6 million—a solid 5 percent increase over 2009....[Please note, as I understand it UCG had abolished third tithe.] The UCG had about 20,000 people attend its fall festival in September—roughly four times the amount we had at our sites. Yet its overall income for 2010 was only 16 percent more than the PCG’s—$23.9 million.
Our members are so much more profitable than yours! Stephen Flurry seems to be saying.

He thinks this is a good thing.

To me this demonstrates how viciously exploitative PCG has been towards their eternally suffering flock.

Stephen Flurry then turns his barbs on Meredith and accuse him of showing poor judgment in adopting a collegial form of government under Global, insinuating that he has lost divine favor. Flurry also manages to throw in a They-called-me-a-Nazi accusation at Meredith.

He then ends with this:
How, then, can you know if that man is humbly submitted to the government of God and is faithfully following Jesus Christ as the Head of the Church? You shall know, Jesus said, by their fruits.
The unsuspecting reader will not know that PCG's fruit include shattered families torn apart by the No Contact rule, and exploited members being used to empower the oppressive leadership in Edmond, while laboring under a web of deceptions all perfectly calculated to say, PCG is the one true church so give your three tithes.

No comments:

Post a Comment