Let us see what Hilliker has to say.
The ability to disparage the authorities is viewed as a benchmark of a nation’s freedom. Governments that do not tolerate dissent are seen as regressive and dictatorial.
What does God think? Does He welcome dissent? Does He encourage us to disparage the government under which we live?I am surprised how Hilliker says Governments that do not tolerate dissent are seen as regressive and dictatorial. Maybe this is because they are regressive and dictatorial.
Hilliker then cites an Old Testament Scripture to say that people should not hold the government in contempt.
God doesn’t want us to have an attitude of contempt toward the government of the land, because, as we will see, He knows that will affect our attitude toward Him.Really? What if the government was doing something really bad?
What about the early Christians who continued to observe their ways despite severe pressure against it? Were they by their actions holding their government in contempt? Should they be condemned for that?
Hilliker then plays the Satan card saying that Satan hates government and broadcasts his attitudes to humanity (outside of PCG).
Because the issue is so critical in our relationship with our Creator, Satan fiercely attacks government! He hates government more than anything. ... Think about it. The media are absolutely saturated with anti-government messages. Family government is trashed in every sitcom, where virtually every father is an incompetent buffoon, a tyrant or invisible. Government in the workplace is ridiculed on practically every drama where the boss is the villain. National government is lambasted incessantly in news programs, which portray it as foolish, selfish, biased, blind or corrupt. Media relentlessly promote the notion of living your own life free from the strictures of responsibility and accountability to government.
Disrespect for authority is more consistent than any other message in mass media!"Family government"? "Government in the workplace"? Who talks about these things as government? Here we see Hilliker is loading the language and turning the word "government" into something different form how it is normally used.
Hilliker begins to cite Gerald Flurry's booklet, God's Family Government, which was discussed in a previous post. Hilliker also cites Gerald Flurry's booklet, Jeremiah and the Greatest Vision in the Bible, which is also discussed on this blog.
Hilliker also cites a January 1964 Plain Truth article written by Herman Hoeh. It is entitled "Respect Government Authority". However as is often the practice for PCG's writers citing Plain Truth articles Hoeh's name is omitted.
However I refrain from quoting what Hilliker has quoted. Here I wish to discuss what Hilliker is saying.
Hilliker seems to want the reader to be really scared of Satan.
We live in Satan’s world. How much does his hatred of government influence us? How much have his attitudes rubbed off?
Let’s not kid ourselves; Satan has already deceived 95 percent of God’s people, 99 percent of the ministry, apparently all the angels under his charge—and the whole world. Having already twisted the world’s thinking, Satan uses all his subtlety to inject his poisonous anti-government message into our minds. ...
Do we have the right attitude toward government within our country, on our jobs, in our homes?Again, to use the word "government" to describe relations in the family and in the workplace is an odd and unusual way to use the word government.
And what does Hilliker mean saying "Satan has already deceived ... 99 percent of the ministry"? Only two WCG ministers founded PCG.
Hilliker even seems to think that "cursing the rich business leaders" some of whom helped plunge America into the global financial crisis in 2007-8 is wrong.
Cursing the leaders, speaking ill of the government, even cursing the rich business leaders—these are hallmarks of American democracy. Any mistake the president or other public official makes, the press attacks with piranha-like ferocity. The lead-up to elections are particularly brutal, as people on all sides smear candidates and candidates smear one another.
Is democracy really more godly than a monarchy?In recent years so many Americans have badly suffered because of decisions made by some of these "rich business leaders". It is morally astounding how Hilliker chooses to sympathize with "the rich business leaders", some of whom have had such a terrible effect upon so many Americans including, no doubt, PCG members.
God gives authority to certain men in the Church, and He ordains people into worldly offices. All power comes from Him!
Our job, then, is to respect the physical office.What does Hilliker mean?
In 1999 NATO launched air strikes against Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) because of the Kosovo War. PCG's leaders condemned this armed intervention. They said NATO's intervention was an illegal war. Ron Fraser even wrote an article saying the Serbs led by Slobodan Milošević were driven by honor ("It [honor] drives the Serbs.") but the leaders of the NATO alliance had no honor ("It [honor] eludes the U.S."). And PCG's writers have continued to say similar things ever since. How did PCG respect the physical office of the NATO alliance and its member states in that instance?
What about Iran? To use Hilliker's argument, did not God appoint the leaders of Iran who arose to power in 1979 and afterwards? But PCG's writers have constantly demonized the leaders of Iran whenever they could whether the facts warranted such criticism or not. How is PCG respecting the physical office of Iran's leaders?
But despite these facts Hilliker goes on to say:
In our world, submission to government is associated only with fascism. Don’t fight the government goes against the democratic foundation. Still, that is God’s command to each one of us.What a fanciful straw man Hilliker has created here. Are the people who pay income tax and who think it is right to pay taxes somehow "associated with ... fascism"? Clearly Hilliker is here talking in an unrealistic way.
God tells us to cry aloud and tell this world its sins. So when leaders cause the people to err, God’s Work must proclaim what is happening. We are to sigh and cry for the abominations in Israel, and that includes the government. We need to watch for the fulfillment of prophecy.
But we also need to make sure we’re not cursing the king—even in our thoughts. We also need to sigh and cry for how much people despise government!Brad MacDonald wrote an article entitled "Why Iran Can Afford to Be Insane". How is that not "cursing the king"?
Hilliker then bemoans the "negative effects" of being able to criticize the government.
Around the world, people laud the benefits of being able to criticize the government. But how many consider the negative effects? What about the problems that arise from the media playing the watchdog and reporters hunting for blood? What about the increasingly violent divisions within the populace? Look at the fruits! America is divided down the middle, and the media tarnish the country’s name before all the world.
The world believes criticism is a God-given right. In God’s Kingdom, this ingrained outlook will have to be unlearned!Gerald Flurry and Stephen Flurry wrote a booklet entitled Character in Crisis which was all about bemoaning President Clinton's adulterous affair. Clearly they were criticizing the governmental leader who, Hilliker argues, was appointed by God and whose office must be respected. Clearly PCG's writers do not follow the instructions Hilliker provides in this article.
After this Hilliker takes these ideas to the workplace and tells readers they are to submit to the boss at work as though he (or she) were God. What is the purpose of adoring the boss in such a way.
So we learn to submit to government. It will be much easier to submit to a loving God if we learn to submit to a hard boss. There is no need for us to be watchdogs. We all must learn the lesson of submitting to government even if it is not being applied correctly.This is an invitation to catastrophe. This advice is a wide open path to abuse. I shudder to think of any PCG member taking such advice to heart. They are making themselves vulnerable to abuse.
Immediately afterwards Hilliker says:
Look at [But He submitted Himself to the Father and other Scriptures state He was aware the crucifixion was going to happen. This is not like submitting to a harsh boss at all. This is taking Scripture out of context.
Jesus] Christ’s example. He put Himself totally in His Father’s hands, knowing God was in control of everything. When He came before Pilate, He didn’t revile—He submitted Himself to that authority. He knew that Pilate had no power but what God gave him, and that everything occurs according to God’s will (verses 22-23).
Hilliker then applies this idea to PCG ("the church").
What is our attitude toward government within the Church—toward Mr. Flurry; toward the ministry?
In Who Is 'That Prophet'?, Mr. Flurry talks about how his experiences with “one-man rule” under Mr. Armstrong—the same government so many other churches disparage—were nothing but positive. What about you and me? Is it clear to us in the Church that we are part of God’s Family, under a government of love?But Gerald Flurry was able to become a minister. He was receiving the tithes WCG members gave. It seems clear he had a troubled early life, but after he became a WCG minister he was revered and respected by his entire congregation. He had it made. No wonder he loved how things were in HWA's WCG.
But for the vast majority of WCG members that was not the experience for them at all. Instead many of them got bullied by WCG ministers or those above them. They gave and gave and got hardly anything in return. They were not the minister of the congregation, instead they had to submit to them.
So we see that Gerald Flurry's testimony that all was well in HWA's WCG is highly flawed.
Now what if any PCG members should tell Hilliker that there are problems in PCG? What does Hilliker say to persons like that?
Satan will try to inject doubts in our minds, focusing our attention on the man and his faults. The moment we start thinking a minister doesn’t really know what he’s doing, we become deeply susceptible to Satan’s influence. (Obviously, we should never follow a minister who is not following Christ.)
Lucifer thought, I could do just as good a job as God is doing. At the very heart of his thinking was this dissatisfaction that resulted in a critical mindset—when he should have had a submissive mindset. He did not submit to the government over him.So it would appear any dissatisfaction with a PCG minister is simply caused by Satan broadcasting his attitudes into your brain. How convenient for a PCG minister to say that.
What manipulative nonsense! Such answers have the effect of having PCG members simply ignore the problems within PCG. PCG members are here told to ignore the problems because (can one believe this) focusing "on the man and his faults" is simply Satan manipulating your thoughts and feelings.
Hilliker ends this article with an call to respect and obey government in the family, the workplace, and "the church" (PCG).
We all need to purge ourselves of satanic attitudes toward government and replace them with God’s perspective on government in every aspect of our lives. ...
We must use the power of God to obey God’s commands in this critical area of our lives and to take on a positive attitude toward government. The right attitude will lead to greater happiness in our marriages and families, our congregations—even our nation. Most importantly, it will put us on the right footing with our Creator.
Government truly is everything!This article is terrible advice. It gives the reader no way to address actual abuse of authority by people in power.
It even sympathizes with "the rich business leaders", some of whom helped plunge America into the global financial crisis. What a slight to the many who have suffered, no doubt including some PCG members who pay Hilliker's income letting him live in this humble abode.
|Hilliker's home at PCG's headquarters. (PCG Information.)|