This booklet is actually a polemic condemning Meredith's Global Church of God, which was established in late 1992. This booklet was published soon after that in 1993. Flurry specifically criticizes Meredith's decision to adopt a collegial government for GCG, a move away from HWA's one man rule. Meredith and Co. did this to prevent anything like the Tkach changes from occurring again.
Flurry must have been furious that despite all his works many WCG members (more then PCG's membership) chose to go with Meredith and not him. All these potential tithes payers sided with a far more prestigious rival. Meredith was one of the first men ordained as an Evangelist by HWA in 1952 and well known among WCG members. Even today, despite the GCG split in 1998, LCG is larger than PCG.
This booklet is born out of Flurry's anger and disappointment that so many WCG members chose Meredith instead of him.
God’s government SERVES those who obey God (and the world, through God’s work). God’s family government doesn’t go around looking for people’s faults and sins. God’s leaders search for ways to serve the people! That is God’s law of love.(p. 1.)A lot of people would say PCG ministers do not behave that way.
God is a family. He is inviting us to be a part of it. If we accept, we must obey God’s loving family government.Well, that is how it is advertized. But it must be said many would say that PCG does not operate like this.
The door to my office is always open if someone thinks our ministers are implementing harsh and dictatorial government. That is not God’s kind of government. God’s leaders are here to serve God’s people—not be served. (p. 2.)
This passage is representative of Gerald Flurry's strong tendency to claim that Biblical events are merely foreshadows of the Tkach changes and the rise of PCG in response.
So we see that Amos 3:1 is primarily discussing God’s SPIRITUAL FAMILY. Today, that family is divided. God’s family should be deeply united. THE BOOK OF AMOS IS MAINLY FOCUSING ON GOD’S CHURCH! And its prophecies are being fulfilled this very moment. These prophecies are only for the world secondarily. (p. 2.)
It is a rare and glorious honor to know the great God spiritually. But many of God’s people now have a ho-hum attitude and have grown lukewarm. (p. 3.)Maybe this is because over the years they saw the various abuses that occurred within WCG under HWA's watch and understand that there is a double standard in how members and those with power in WCG are treated.
God will put the whole universe under our governmental control. This is promised ONLY to God’s people. ONLY God’s true Church understands this now. How blessed God’s people are! (p. 7.)Actually many non-WCG Laodiceans understand this as well. I know this because Meredith taught me this God Family doctrine when I read his booklet, Your Ultimate Destiny. Why does Gerald Flurry say untrue things?
Gerald Flurry expects true Christians to yearn to be corrected or else you are not a true Christian (Flurry teaches only PCG members are true Christians).
God chastens and scourges every SON. The word scourges can mean VERY HARD CORRECTION—if that is what it takes to bring a son back to his Father. ...
God is always dealing with us as sons. If we refuse correction, then we are spiritual bastards! That means God doesn’t correct us any more.
OUR GREATEST CURSE IS WHEN OUR FATHER NO LONGER CORRECTS US. THEN WE ARE NO LONGER A PART OF HIS FAMILY! GOD CEASES TO BE OUR FATHER.
OUR GREATEST BLESSING IS BEING CORRECTED BY OUR FATHER! That means we’re not spiritual bastards.
God’s correction is always just and produces fabulous fruits (vv. 9-11). His correction heals and encourages us (vv. 12-13). (p. 8.)
Here Flurry insists that "the Laodiceans" (any Armstrongite not in PCG) are that way because they do not submit to God's government. He accusses all other COG groups of not following this doctrine.
The most important doctrine in God’s Church is GOD’S GOVERNMENT—or holding the Head of the spiritual body, Jesus Christ. If you lose a doctrine equal to the hand or foot, you can continue living. But if you lose the doctrine of government—the Head—the body dies unless God can somehow awaken you before it is too late! As Herbert Armstrong often said, “GOVERNMENT IS EVERYTHING!” YOU CAN COMPARE IT TO NO OTHER DOCTRINE. No doctrine is even close to being as important! (pp. 10-11.)But in fact most COG groups operate their groups in exactly the way HWA operated within WCG: one man rule. That is what Meredith does within LCG, Pack within RCG, Weinland within COG-PKG (at least until he got thrown into jail for tax evasion).
Now it needs to be said that when this booklet was first released in 1993 Meredith's group, the Global Church of God, chose to use a collegial form of government. They decided not to have one man rule in order to avoid the possibility of one man changing major doctrines at will. They were trying to prevent a repeat of Tkach's changes within GCG. However Meredith could not accept correction from others and in 1998 decided to leave GCG to set up a COG group in which he could enjoy uncontested power. LCG was created to perpetuate the one man rule of Meredith.
But when PCG revised this booklet in 2001 it continues to insist that the other splinter groups do not practice government as HWA's WCG. This is a bold faced lie and rank deception. Why does Gerald Flurry say untrue things?
The Worldwide Church of God (WCG) has been disintegrating spiritually since Mr. Armstrong died. They are deeply divided. And other groups that have left also are divided and will become more divided. Why? Because none of them, except the PCG, HAS THE GOVERNMENT GOD TAUGHT TO MR. ARMSTRONG! That is the only way to be knit together. God’s government is based on God’s LAW. Our Head leads us based on God’s law of love (I John 5:3). The whole process of LEADERSHIP can be gigantic and complicated. But leadership is simplified by LOOKING TO OUR HEAD—JESUS CHRIST. He directs the body through His government based on God’s law. Then God feeds us spiritual manna, or revelation. And then the place where Christ is becomes obvious to any discerning person. That is how we all become one. We all have the lawful mind of Jesus Christ (Phil. 2:5). (pp. 12-3.)As stated before most COG splinter groups in fact operate according to one man rule as HWA's WCG operated. Why does Gerald Flurry say untrue things?
This paragraph is also notable in that Flurry insists that PCG is the true successor to WCG by citing his supposed new revelations as proof God is working through him and none of the other COG splinter groups. ("God feeds us spiritual manna, or revelation. And then the place where Christ is becomes obvious to any discerning person.")
Of course it is left unstated that much of Gerald Flurry's new revelations are plagiarized from the writings of Jules Dervaes, specifically The Letter to Laodicea. In fact on September 26, 1990 Jules Dervaes sent a letter to Gerald Flurry in which he denounces Malachi's Message as "a direct and clear plagiarism" of his work.
All of the Laodiceans who reject Mr. Armstrong’s Elijah role ALSO REJECT GOD’S GOVERNMENT! (p. 13.)Actually Meredith reverted one man rule within LCG when he set it up in 1999. It does appear that he does not teach that HWA was the end time Elijah but in fact he practices "God's Government" (COG jargon for one man rule). Also it must be stated that this version of Flurry's booklet was written in 2001 after the restoration of one man rule in LCG so Flurry is badly misinforming his readers here. Why does Flurry say untrue things?
Also, God has given us some prophetic understanding Mr. Armstrong did not have. (p. 17.)In other words, Gerald Flurry changed and altered doctrines and teachings for his convenience.
Only through strong government, based on God’s law, can we see God’s lamp! The more intensely we keep God’s law, the brighter God’s lamp will be! (p. 18.)In other words: Only by listening to Gerald Flurry and his subordinates really closely can we persuade ourselves that he is God's man and that what he says makes sense.
Soon people will remember how the WCG once preached a strong prophecy message. People will go to them in the future, asking for an understanding of terrifying events in their land. But the WCG can give them little or no prophetic understanding.This statement is yet another false slur against the non-WCG "Laodiceans". In fact the other COGs believe much of what PCG teaches regarding future events. If people went to them for guidance they will be told much the same of what PCG is teaching about (false) prophecies.
Then these people will go to other Laodiceans seeking the answer to their nation’s problems. Still, they will receive very little prophetic understanding. There have been several dissenting groups from the WCG, but ONLY the PCG will give them a “vision,” or new revelation. That is because only we have held on to God’s government based on God’s law— which was taught by Mr. Armstrong! And only we are doing God’s prophesied work! (p. 20.)
Also here Flurry boasts that God reveals new revelation to PCG. What this really means is that Flurry is willing to change doctrines and teachings for his convenience and then boasts that it is new. In fact many other COG splinter groups have changed various doctrines with wild abandon. Dankenbring teaches the US is the Beast, not a German-led European Empire. Weinland claimed to know the date the Great Tribulation would occur several times. Those men has just as much legitimacy to make these absurd predictions as Flurry does. (But it must be said they are all false prophets. God is not with any of them.)
After this Flurry then recapitulates HWA's doctrine that the Earth was created many years ago and placed under Lucifer's rule but then he rebelled and rose up against God. But Flurry adds an intriguing twist to this tale in order to once again mock GCG and UCG. (One cannot honestly say this criticism can be applied to LCG.)
Satan said, “I will be like the most High.” The Moffatt translation reads, “I will rival the Most High!” Lucifer wanted a COLLEGIAL type government. He wanted to be equal to God in power. Reader’s Digest, in its “Word Power” section, once defined COLLEGIAL this way: “Relating to a group of colleagues, each of whom has equal authority; as, Collegial deliberations can be lengthy, inconclusive and frustrating.” Even the world sees that this type of government can be “lengthy, inconclusive and frustrating”! Already, several of God’s Laodicean churches have experimented with this type of government.While I was an Armstrongite I never heard Satan's original rebellion related in this way. HWA quite unambiguously stated that Satan was plotting to overthrow God, not be his equal or rule with him. Lucifer was trying to replace God. He was trying to utterly defeat God, not rule with Him.
Desiring such a government is just another way of rebelling against God’s government! God does not have a two-headed or multi-headed government. (p. 23.)
But this only shows how liberally Flurry treats the doctrines and dogmas of HWA. Just to make a rhetorical point against GCG and UCG he twists this teaching contrary to what HWA's WCG taught.
God’s government is so simple. He uses a man to lead His Church. Then God commands us to follow that man, as he follows Christ. If that man goes astray, don’t follow him. God will shortly replace him with a loyal leader or raise up another Church.So we see that "God's Government" as taught by Flurry is simply one man rule.
You don’t have to fear following God’s man. (p. 25.)
Here Flurry once again accuses collegial government as being Satanic. Not only does this serve to discredit GCG and UCG in the eyes of PCG members
How did Satan deceive all those angels? The same way he deceives men today. He gets them to desire a collegial government, or some other perverted government of man; then Satan has them following him. Of course, people follow him in varying degrees. ...Also Flurry fear mongers that some high ranking WCG ministers or ex-ministers may have committed the unpardonable sin in order to scare PCG members into remaining loyal to Flurry and his collaborators.
Herbert Armstrong served God for 57 years—a long time. He ordained many evangelists who seemed loyal at the Church headquarters in Pasadena, California. All of those top men have rebelled against that government. NOT ONE OF THEM submits to the GOVERNMENT OF GOD taught through Mr. Armstrong! NOT ONE! Some of them will repent in the Tribulation—but others will never repent, and perhaps have already blasphemed against God’s Holy Spirit! (p. 25.)
I will admit it, I have never heard of this before in the world of Armsrongism.
God intended Lucifer to go to other planets after His work was established on Earth. But Lucifer would not wait. The only place astronomers can find little or nothing is in the northern heavens. That is in the direction of God’s throne, and almost everything in that direction was destroyed WHEN SATAN FOUGHT WITH GOD OVER GOVERNMENT! There was a violent, destructive war. And SATAN IS STILL FIGHTING AGAINST GOD’S GOVERNMENT TODAY! (p. 26.)Flurry is lying, or astoundingly ill informed.
Why does Flurry say untrue things?
Today, God is warning those top men who were trained under Mr. Armstrong about the seriousness of their rebellion. They were trained by God’s end-time Elijah. That was the highest level of God’s government on Earth! Now they are being judged accordingly. (p. 26.)Actually HWA was quite absent from WCG during long periods of time during his rule. The only ministers who really learned from him personally were those who went to Ambassador College in the early days of Armstrongism.
At the 1972 Feast of Tabernacles in Spokane, Washington, Mr. Armstrong said, “Government is the most important [issue] to God and in His mind. And it should be in ours!” Yet EVERY EVANGELIST and PASTOR-RANK MINISTER ALIVE TODAY that Mr. Armstrong trained has REJECTED THAT GOVERNMENT! Almost all the ministry and the Church he founded has rejected the government of God! After all those years, THEY STILL DIDN’T LEARN THE LESSON OF GOVERNMENT! That is always the big issue. (p. 28.)This revision of this booklet was made in 2001 after Meredith reverted to one man rule in LCG. So Flurry is being very deceptive here. Flurry is inaccurately besmirching all the LCG ministers who held prominent roles within HWA's WCG, such as Roderick C. Meredith, Dibar Apartian, Carl McNair and others. Why does Flurry say untrue things?
What they learned is that if all power is given to one man, such as HWA or Tkach, then that man can do whatever he wants, even change the group's doctrines into another religion. Tkach had absolute power and he used it. No one could stop him. It was to prevent that happening again that UCG and GCG decided to set up a collegial form of government.
Also there was no clear successor for dissatisfied WCG members to follow. HWA's true successor was Tkach. HWA appointed him as such. But since he lost many WCG members' loyalty by renouncing most of HWA's doctrines there was no obvious successor to replace Tkach in the hearts of dissatisfied WCG members.
Meredith was one possible choice. He commanded a sizable following out of WCG. But Roderick C. Meredith was quite unpopular among many WCG ministers for his authoritarian tendencies. Furthermore in 1970 he got "repair surgery" to fix (heal) one of his eyes while many WCG members were suffering by refusing to see doctors or take medicine. Roderick C. Meredith caused a long running libel lawsuit with Marion McNair that cost WCG $750,000 in damages. These things would not have helped his standing among WCG members. Consequently when the Tkach changes reached its consummation with Tkach's Christmas Eve sermon most departing WCG members joined UCG, not GCG.
Now among UCG there were numerous high ranking ministers. There was no dominant leader among them. No one could decisively claim the right to rule within UCG. So naturally they settled on a collegial form of government. They did this partly in order to prevent anything like the Tkach changes from occurring again.
So we see their move away from one man rule was not an evil rebellion against God. Rather they were trying to prevent anything like the Tkach changes from occurring again.
After that Flurry then claims all (yes, all) of his "booklets contain revelation from God!"
Satan caused Adam to be cut off from the tree of life. And he is cutting God’s Laodicean Church off from the tree of life. That is why only the PCG receives REVELATION from God today! For example, Malachi’s Message and all of my booklets contain revelation from God! There is new truth and deeper understanding in all of them. (p. 29.)Actually numerous COG groups claim to receive some form of new revelation. But PCG pretends those COG groups are somehow different. When other COG groups change what was taught these changes are lebelled as proof they are "Laodicean" and are cursed by God. (But really it was Flurry who cursed them.) But when PCG changes doctrines and teachings ("new truth and deeper understanding" he calls them) Flurry claims this is proof that God is with PCG and no other.
What an absurd double standard!
The Philadelphians—not the Laodiceans—are to be in God’s headquarters temple forever! (p. 29.)But if you are God as God is God then why can't you just visit them? Look at how Flurry inject rank and privilege in order to divide "God's people" (Armstrongites) even in the afterlife as God beings. This preoccupation with rank and privilege is utterly disgusting.
Flurry was just another minister in HWA's WCG. So he tries to discredit all those who were powerful within HWA's WCG, including Meredith.
One evangelist, who was considered the third man in charge of the WCG for years, started his own church and formed a “COLLEGIAL GOVERNMENT.” THAT IS THE STRANGEST AND MOST ABOMINABLE DOCTRINE OF ALL! (p. 32.)What Flurry really means is he wants you to pay three tithes to him and not Meredith.
Also this booklet was revised in 2001. Meredith abandoned collegial government when he left GCG in 1998 and reverted to one man rule so this statement is misleading and inaccurate at the time this booklet was published the second time in 2001.
If you lose God’s government doctrine, then many other doctrines will also become strange! How could it be any other way when you lose your Head? (p. 32.)Many COG groups have not lost "God's government doctrine" (one man rule). Many in fact operate in this way.
Every Laodicean group has one ingredient in common—THEY REJECT GOD’S GOVERNMENT TAUGHT BY MR. ARMSTRONG! (p. 34.)Nonsense. This is a lie! This booklet was revised and published after Meredith renounced collegial government and reverted to one man rule within LCG. Flurry's statement is a lie! Many other COG splinter groups have one man rule just like HWA's WCG.
On pages 36-7 there is an intriguing little side article in which Flurry criticizes Meredith for adopting a collegial government for GCG.
(Some words are highlighted to show how vicious these words are.)
Mr. Meredith continued, “Let’s try to do it right this time, as shepherds with a loving approach….” It doesn’t take a genius to see that he is attacking Mr. Armstrong. He is saying that Mr. Armstrong didn’t do it right— his government lacked a “loving approach,” it was not “servant leadership”! I don’t know how his attack against Mr. Armstrong could be more heinous! Saying that the government Mr. Armstrong taught didn’t have a “loving approach” is a vicious attack! Of course, he is really attacking Jesus Christ and His government! ...
The only reason we correct the Laodiceans is because of their attack on Mr. Armstrong and what he taught. We wouldn’t criticize them at all if they would stop destroying what God restored through him! They are the cause of our warning. Only their repentance will ever correct the disunity. (p. 37.)This version of this booklet was published in 2001, after Meredith reverted to using one man rule to control LCG so for PCG to criticize him for that in 2001 is quite misleading and deceptive. Meredith "repented" of collegial government yet PCG continued to publish these vituperative words long afterwards. This is still available on their website so PCG seems to think this is still truth today, fifteen years after Meredith reverted to one man rule.
Here Flurry finally gets to the point: He is angry at Meredith for daring to start up his own COG splinter group (larger than PCG) without meekly submitting himself to Gerald Flurry like a little child. He lets Meredith have it here.
Under the heading "Destroying God's Government" Flurry unleashes his wrath at all the potential tithes payers slipping away from his grasp with Meredith's departure from WCG. Here is Flurry having a temper tantrum like a spoiled kid.
Rod Meredith, after being disfellowshiped from the WCG, also started his own church. ... Later in that booklet he [Meredith] wrote this: “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” (p. 10; emphasis mine). He is referring to God’s government taught by Mr. Armstrong! In one simple paragraph ROD MEREDITH HAS SWEPT AWAY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE LIVING GOD! The very government that God established, which DID THE GREATEST WORK EVER ON THIS EARTH SINCE JESUS CHRIST—IN TERMS OF NUMBERS! The fruits prove that! And that work could NEVER have been done without God’s government.Flurry must have been really angry when he saw so many WCG members siding with Meredith. Even more members than his own following within PCG. Even today Meredith's LCG has more members than Flurry's PCG.
And yet, Mr. Meredith boasts that he sat at Mr. Armstrong’s feet, which I didn’t have the opportunity to do. If you closely examine what he and I teach, you’ll clearly see who sat at Mr. Armstrong’s feet—spiritually! The above statement is from a man who would dare to say he is “FAITHFULLY PREACHING THE TRUTHS PROCLAIMED BY HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG”! No, he is not! If you lose God’s government, ALL THE OTHER DOCTRINES WILL BE TAINTED! He says he is “faithfully preaching the truths PROCLAIMED BY HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG,” yet his first booklet destroyed the most important truth Mr. Armstrong ever restored—government! And that was only the beginning! (pp. 40-1.)
Also the fact that PCG is still printing this booklet shows that PCG does not care, even for simple accuracy's sake, to account for the fact that Meredith reverted to one man rule when he precipitated the GCG schism in 1998. The version I am reading is a second version printed in 2001, two years after Meredith reverted to one man rule.
Mr. Meredith must destroy God’s government to get people to follow him. (p. 42.)What nonsense! Meredith was always far more well known, even, dare I say it, popular among WCG members, at least compared to Flurry. Meredith did not need to change anything to start up GCG or to make it bigger than PCG. His notoriety was enough.
Flurry, on the other hand, was just another minister. He was not particularly important as a WCG minister. Most WCG members probably never even heard of him until he got fired by Tkach's WCG in 1989. Flurry must have hated how this event reminded people of how undistinguished he was within HWA's WCG.
Flurry also brings up the fact that Meredith was suspended in 1979.
Mr. Meredith was suspended from the WCG by Mr. Armstrong for about six months in 1979-80. Since Mr. Armstrong had to personally suspend him, it should cause anybody to be somewhat concerned. The fruits of his life now strongly indicate what his problem was. He was rebelling against God’s government even then! Now his government problem is out in the open, where the whole Church can see it! (p. 42.)What is not mentioned is how Meredith apparently was suspended because Roderick C. Meredith was plotting to overthrow Stanley Rader (or at least Rader thought so). After Garner Ted Armstrong's expulsion from WCG in 1978 Stanley Rader emerged as the most powerful man within WCG, even though he was then unordained. During the receivership crisis of 1979 Roderick C. Meredith allied himself with Stanley Rader in order to purge those ministers who supported the State of California's forced receivership of WCG. But Roderick C. Meredith hoped to remove Stanley Rader as well so that he could be WCG's number 2 man under HWA. But Rader was too clever for him and easily got HWA to fire Meredith and send him to exile for six months in Hawai'i. HWA later sent a scathing letter to Meredith at this time. (In 1981 HWA deposed Rader but despite this HWA never trusted Meredith after this.)
Mr. Meredith failed to learn the lesson of government. And because of that, his work is destined to fail. (p. 47.)Surely we must say this is a false prophecy. It is now twenty one years since Flurry first wrote this booklet and Meredith's group is still larger than Flurry's, and this is despite Meredith precipitating a schism in 1998. Also it must be stated that Meredith reverted to one man rule after that schism in 1998 and Flurry never acknowledges this fact. PCG continues to print this booklet to this day. PCG even reprinted this booklet in 2001 without even noting that Meredith had had a schism and reverted to one man rule.
Flurry claims that HWA was a good and saintly man.
I personally know that Mr. Armstrong would bend over backwards 100 times to avoid giving hard correction. Many people couldn’t understand why he wasn’t more authoritative at times. His mercy is a matter of record. But there were times that God’s government had to be implemented. He also had an advisory council of elders and he did seek a multitude of counsel. (p. 49.)David Robinson said that HWA did not know how to make a friend and that he had no idea about friendship.
There are a lot of people who were disfellowshipped from WCG who would beg to differ. Even if was like this personally he set up a system of one man rule (often called "God's government" or some such phrase) that allowed those in power to be very cruel and to abuse power over WCG members.
On page 49 appears this statement.
He [Meredith] knows that Mr. Armstrong never made such a distinction!Is Flurry ignorant of HWA's 1939 article which condemned hierarchical government in the church?
This economizing of the truth that Flurry does so often simply shows up yet again. Even if we excused the HWA of 1939 that he was still learning the truth why does Flurry here misleadingly glosses over HWA's early opposition to hierarchical government. (Of course HWA was simply trying to protect his power over his own followers at that time.)
On pages 50-6 Flurry quotes at great length HWA's May 2, 1974 co-worker which was written in response to the mass defection of 1974.
David Robinson, in his book Herbert Armstrong's Tangled Web, revealed that apparently Stanley Rader, who was not even a WCG member at the time, greatly guided HWA in making this letter. At one time Rader even boasted to him that he, Stanley Rader, had really written the letter.
Flurry ends with these words.
Remember, GOD’S PEOPLE ARE IN TRAINING PRIMARILY TO HELP GOD RESTORE HIS GOVERNMENT. Satan is fiercely trying to destroy that government. Let’s make certain that no man beguiles us into rejecting God’s government. (p. 58.)Maybe Flurry should start telling the truth to PCG members (for instance that Meredith has since reverted to one man rule) first instead of enjoying the privilege of one man rule over his ministers and his PCG members.
So we see that Flurry in this booklet uses Meredith different approach to church government to discredit Meredith. Curiously enough when this booklet was revised in 2001 the booklet is still written as though Meredith was still leading GCG and still promoting collegial government. PCG still publishes this booklet even though many events have changed since then. So this shows that PCG's leaders are not overly concerned with making sure they have their facts correct.
It must be said that this booklet failed to win over a large share of Meredith's followers into the fold of Gerald Flurry. This is clearly seen in the fact that PCG is still smaller than Meredith's LCG.