Monday, September 29, 2014

PCG's Mark Jenkins Remembers Moving to PCG as a Young Man

PCG's Mark Jenkins has written an article entitled Malachi's Message: Your Personal History which discusses how he and his mother left WCG to join PCG. It is targeted towards the youth of PCG. Let's take a look.

First Mark Jenkins relates how his mother was furious when she read of Tkach's decision to discontinue printing and distributing Mystery of the Ages in early 1989. Maybe Jenkins should pay attention to the fact that PCG has altered Mystery of the Ages.

Jenkins relates how distressed his mother was when Tkach announced that WCG members could go visit doctors and take medicine without fear of incurring the wrath of God.  
I remember well my mom’s distress when Mr. Tkach released his new healing booklet saying that it might not be God’s will to heal and that there was no such thing as physical sin. From that point forward, the ministry no longer applied the stripes of Christ when anointing, despite Isaiah 53:5 clearly showing that Christ’s beating made our healing possible. My mom got out Mr. Armstrong’s original booklet and had me, a 12-year-old, read his book next to Mr. Tkach’s, which exposed the satanic deception in that booklet.
The truth is HWA taught for decades that using medicine and going to doctors for medical treatment was a form of idolatry and would earn damnation in the Lake of Fire. Many of his followers believed what he said. They were tricked into accepting HWA's anti-medicine superstition. Many WCG members died or had their health otherwise impaired as a direct result of this doctrine of death.

Why would Jenkins' mother think trying to change this abominable situation is a bad thing? It is disgusting and shameful that Jenkins' mother and now Mark Jenkins himself opposed this move and portray this as something wrong, even Satanic. I shudder to imagine these words encouraging anyone to neglect his or her health.
Of course, reactions to the changes were not always perfect. My mom was thrilled when our pastor announced that makeup would be allowed. When the sun set, she went straight to a department store and restocked her makeup cabinet—she had performed on piano publicly for years and had never been happy with the loss of her cosmetics.
The next day, we went to our local choir rehearsal, and the makeup was on. Nor was she alone. Several women had already replenished their supply. But her joy was short-lived. After we went home, she exclaimed, “Jesus Christ thinks I look dirty!” She went straight to the bathroom, and removed it. All of the cosmetics went into the trash, and she never purchased or wore any of it again.
I wonder how much money she stopped paying because she did not use makeup. I wonder how much of that money was later tithed away to WCG and then PCG. It seems quite likely to me that HWA's makeup ban was at least partly an attempt to get even more money out of WCG members.

Also note that no mention is made of the fact that HWA went back and forth on this issue. At first he allowed it, then sometime around the early 1950s he banned it, then he allowed it again, then took it back and banned it again. The Painful Truth has a very good article on this, That Darned Makeup Doctrine, which exposes why HWA's WCG decided to relax its attitude to makeup at one point.

Truly Herbert W. Armstrong's makeup ban was a terrible thing he imposed upon WCG members.

We now continue with Mark Jenkins' reminiscences.
I remember the announcement that the Big Sandy campus would remain open, the exact opposite of Mr. Armstrong’s instruction, and her reaction to it: That is not what Mr. Armstrong wanted. 
So a property continues to be used as decided by the man who can make such decisions. What is so terrible about that? So HWA did not plan that. I find it hard to understand why one would object to this because it is not what HWA would have done.
I remember the 1989 sermons suggesting that the trinity might be all right after all, identifying God as a hypostases rather than a Family.
The God Family doctrine is heretical nonsense. The God Family doctrine has no support in Scripture
For her, and for many of your parents, the split in God’s Church was the most traumatic experience of their lives. Having been called to the truth by God the Father Himself, they watched as Satan-inspired men dismantled the Work of God. And though many knew something was happening in God’s Work, they didn't know why. Then Malachi’s Message came.
Actually many WCG members wrote about and discussed what was happening during the Tkach changes.
I was 13, and we were privileged to get a copy of Malachi’s Message from a local deacon with the original January 16 shipment in 1990. 
The shipment was not on January 16. And anyway that date is according to the worldly Calendar HWA told his followers to hate and despise.
The son of Wilbur Malone (one of the ministers in our congregation) and I read his dad’s exit letter together, which exposed the WCG’s doctrinal changes and pointed people toward Malachi’s Message. Its final words—“Brethren, you have now been told!”—which we read in unison with great exuberance, still ring in my ears. A few weeks later, after attending for so long in an area with five congregations and about 2,000 people, we held the first St. Louis PCG services in Mr. Malone’s house with only eight people, but all of the local pianists, present.
One reason why Malachi's Message resonated with some WCG members was because at the time few WCG ministers resisted the Tkach changes. Among those troubled by the Tkach changes there were few ways one could resist them. Flurry was able to tap into this reluctance to conform to the Tkach changes and was able to build up a following in that way.

Roderick C. Meredith was probably biding his time waiting for WCG to resolve a libel case with Leona McNair. It was only after that case was resolved in 1992 that Meredith left WCG to start up his own splinter group. Also many ministers waited until the Tkach changes became undeniable with the so-called Christmas Eve sermon in December 1994. It was only after that pivotal event that many WCG ministers left to form UCG. 

The son mentioned here is apparently Ryan Malone. Wilbur Malone was a prominent minister within PCG. He was even allowed to write a chapter in the original four chapter version of The Key of David booklet that came out around 1996. He died in 2005.
Revelation 10:9 says that the little book— Malachi’s Message—will be as sweet as honey in your mouth. And it was. The answers that Mr. Malone, my mom, the local deacon who came out with us and our families sought were finally there, made plain in that first spiral bound, Kinko-published edition of Malachi’s Message. The reason for the turmoil in our lives was now understandable as God exposed the man of sin and the Laodicean rebellion through Mr. Flurry. Seeing that God had moved His lampstand and that it would again shine brightly in His Church was “in my mouth sweet as honey.”
But many people could discern that Tkach was transforming WCG into (for the most part) a mainstream church. Most people did not need Malachi's Message to know that.

Also it needs to be stated that it is widely known that many of the ideas within Malachi's Message were plagiarized from The Letter to Laodicea by Jules Dervaes, written December 1986-January 1988. It was sent to 237 WCG ministers including Gerald Flurry and John Amos. 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.

Another thing about Malachi's Message is that drastically changed the teaching regarding who the Laodiceans would be. Under HWA it was taught that it was not possible to know who is a Laodicean or a Philadelphian until the worthy WCG members fled to the place of safety. Only then would it become apparent that the others were the Laodiceans. Even Flurry himself in the revered Malachi's Message obliquely admit that this was the case.
Do the Laodiceans have works as a Church era? If the Laodicean Church begins when the Tribulation begins, as the Church has believed in the past, the very elect couldn’t deliver this message to the people. Under the prevailing conditions, it would be impossible. The Laodicean Church must have era “works” before the Tribulation begins. (Gerald Flurry, Malachi's Message, current 2008 version, Chapter 3, pp. 34-35.)
However Flurry changed this doctrine. Recently I read the current version of Malachi's Message and came away with a sadness that so many WCG members accepted this change of doctrine and embraced it. It was with this sadness in mind that I wrote these words in a previous post. 
I feel compelled to say that the fact this booklet could help launch one of the major COG splinter groups is a shameful indictment of how HWA and his WCG ministers kept WCG members woefully ignorant about the Bible and their own dogmas thus allowing Gerald Flurry to become one of the prime beneficiaries of the mass departure of members out of Tkach's WCG. (Reading Malachi's Message: Part 4.)
So we can see that the embrace of Malachi's Message showed how so many WCG members were willing to accept change from an ex-WCG minister in order to justify to themselves leaving WCG.

We now continue with Jenkins' article.
But that is only part of the verse. After the little book is devoured, “my belly was bitter.” We expected a mass exodus—surely out of 2,000 in the metro area’s congregations, a significant number would come. But most of God’s Family—our Family—had accepted strong delusion (2 Thessalonians 2:11).
What actually happened is that most WCG members did not know who Gerald Flurry was and did not throw away their affiliation to WCG because of what he said. Many later got out of Tkach's WCG when other, more prominent ministers got out. Also at the time it appears to have been fairly easy to ignore the changes until later on.
In many cases, people were split from physical family—parents, brothers and sisters left behind in a Church no longer led by Jesus Christ. For those of us without physical family in the Church, we left our spiritual family behind. The teens I grew up with are simply not in God’s Church today, other than Ryan Malone, Mr. Malone’s son, who sits in the office next to mine. Most of the adults who taught and guided me in the WCG, other than his parents, never returned to the fold. 
How very sad. Maybe you should let PCG members associate with whomever they please if you think such afflictions are so bitter. Maybe you should get your leaders to stop telling PCG members that they are forbidden from associating with so-called Laodiceans because of Gerald Flurry's no contact policy (which apparently does not apply to Stephen Furry).
Since that time, Mr. Flurry has shown that 50 percent of those people will lose their eternal lives—and that is bitter news. And it is intensely personal.
Flurry took those words out of context. Also it must be stated that the doctrine of seven church eras is complete nonsense.

After this Jenkins encourages the youth of PCG to learn the stories of their families in how they ended up joining the alleged one true church, PCG. And this article comes to an end.

So we have learned that Mark Jenkins 
  • condemns Tkach's attempt to stop HWA's anti-medicine superstition from killing anyone.
  • condemns makeup.
  • writes as though only Malachi's Message explained the unfolding Tkach changes.
  • hypocritically complains that relationships were destroyed by the Tkach changes while working for PCG which has a no contact policy towards so-called "Laodiceans".
(Update: October 3, 2014: I have added a link to expand on why the God Family doctrine is untrue. It is in the line "The God Family doctrine has no support in Scripture.")

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