Monday, June 30, 2014

Reading PCG's Booklet, Human Nature: What Is It?

Let us now read Stephen Flurry's booklet, Human Nature: What Is It? This booklet teaches HWA's doctrine that "human nature" (the tendency to do undesirable things) is not innate to humans but actually comes from Satan as he transmits his rebellion nature into human minds similar to a TV transmission going into a TV set. This booklet was first printed in 1998. It was later revised in 1999, 2005 and 2011. For this post I will use the 2005 version, however that appears to be very similar to the current 2011 version. You can read the current version of this booklet on their website.

Let us begin.

For this post I am not going to quote much from this booklet because it is largely a recapitulation of some of HWA's teachings.

First Stephen Flurry begins by saying the human minds is wondrous, able to do all kinds of great things, yet utterly unable to solve the pressing problems of the world.
How can a mind that produces such incredible technology utterly fail when it comes to solving world problems? The answer: human nature. ... All of the evils plaguing society today can be blamed on the deceitful, wicked human nature in man. But that statement raises many vital questions: What is human nature? Where did it come from? Did God create it in man? God reveals the answers to these questions in the Bible. (p. 1.)
Then Stephen Flurry talks about the origins of Satan as the glorious archangel Lucifer who became corrupted by citing the proof texts of Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 which HWA often used (pp. 1-3). HWA taught that originally the angels were supposed to rule the universe under God but Lucifer sinned and rebelled, leading a third of the angels into launching a revolt to overthrow God. The revolt failed but the Earth and the entire universe had been destroyed by this. All this supposedly happened before the creation week described in Genesis 1 and 2.  

Then Stephen Flurry talks about how God created Adam and Eve and originally they did not have a rebellious attitude towards God, indicating that Adam and Eve did not have human nature at that time (p. 3). Starting here Stephen Flurry begins to quote an article by HWA from the June 1976 issue of Good News about this very topic. That article is quoted several times in this booklet.

Then Stephen Flurry talks about how God tends to create in dual stages, that although Adam and Eve were physically complete they were not yet spiritually complete. Rather they were to learn to acquire God's character by acting in a righteous way eventually becoming a God being as fully God as God is God, though of lesser authority and rank.

As discussed before this God Family doctrine is heretical and was never taught by the Christian church. It also contradicts Holy Scripture.
Isaiah 42:8: "I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images."
Isaiah 43:10: "Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me."
Isaiah 44:6: "Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts: I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God..."
Isaiah 44:8: "Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any." (Source.)
I would also like to share these words words from Felix Taylor, Jr. regarding the God Family doctrine.
Here is the nail in the coffin of my belief in the God Family doctrine in my study in 1991. Continuing on page 104, "The vision of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21 goes completely against the doctrine that men can become God. The Apostle John describes,
A great voice from the throne saying, "Behond, the dwelling of God is with me. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God Himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death sall be no more...for the former things have passed away"(vv.3-4)
Far from being identified with God as God, the redeemed are described as being in fellowship with God while at the same time remaining distinct and seperate beings. Verse seven promise that "He who conquers shall have this heritage, and I will be HIS GOD and he shall be MY SON"--a flat contradiction of the teaching that the destiny of the faithful is to be God."
Another aspect of the God Family doctrine which is never discussed in this booklet is that it is taught that church members will be superior in rank and glory then all those who will be resurrected after Christ's return. This aspect of elitism is discussed in my post concerning a sermon by the late Syd Hull (LCG) and my post concerning Stephen Flurry's booklet, God is a Family.

We now continue.

On page 4 there is a side box containing a quote from Mystery of the Ages concerning this topic.

Then Stephen Flurry says how human beings do not have a soul but instead they have a spirit essence that empowers the human brain to understand things to a degree impossible for animals (pp. 5-6). This doctrine was inherited from HWA. It appears to have been devised by Robert Kuhn. Stephen Flurry cites HWA's booklet, What Science Can't Discover About the Human Mind, in explaining this doctrine.

(Incidentally that booklet happens to teach that dinosaurs did not reproduce. Although it must be said that this bizarre teaching is more explicitly taught in The Incredible Human Potential. And PCG to this day continues to print this writings which contain this absurd teaching. PCG have not changed those words.)

On page 7 there is a side narrative containing a quote from The Missing Dimension in Sex concerning this topic.

The Missing Dimension in Sex is often attributed to HWA because that is what its later editions say, but actually several men were originally credited for that book, as mentioned in a previous post.
Also it only came to my attention this year [2013] that HWA did not write it alone. It's first edition, entitled God Speaks Out on the "New Morality", was written by several men, including Roderick C. Meredith, Ernest Martin, and Dr. Ralph Merrill. Apparently it was Merrill who made the diagrams in the book. So it seems to me that HWA was lying to WCG members by pretending he was sole author of that book in its later editions. I find it odd that even Meredith got his name scrubbed out of the book. And despite that rebuke to him Meredith continued to play along and continue serving HWA and getting his paycheck from the organization HWA started.
It is amazing how the contributions of these men were simply ignored in later editions of that book in order to glorify HWA.

We now continue.

Then Stephen Flurry talks about Satan deceiving Eve into believing that God was lying about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and tricked her into eating it. Adam then chose to eat the fruit knowing God had forbidden it. This act caused Adam and Eve to fall under the dominion of Satan so they were now subject to being under his influence causing them to behave in a manner contrary to their original innocence. And that is how "human nature" came to enter humanity (pp. 6, 8-11).

Stephen Flurry then defines "human nature" as being the tendency of humans to sin or to want to sin (pp. 11-12).

What is the solution to overcoming this sinful "human nature"? One is told to repent and be baptized. The reader is told that it is inevitable that Satan will continue to negatively influence you but that overcoming this pull is what all Christians endure and that is how you get to be a God being in the God Family. Stephen Flurry ends his booklet with these words.
Real love—God’s love—is action. It is keeping God’s Commandments. And unless our peoples stop talking about love and start obeying God’s law, the evils and moral depravity we see all around us will only get worse. Only when we make a stand, with firm resolve, and determine to live according to God’s way, will we ever eradicate the evil nature—actually Satan’s nature—which resides in the mind of man. Only then, when every human being rejects Satan’s way and seeks God’s Spirit-power, will we be able to solve the problems that plague mankind. (p. 13.)
Of course what one is not told in this booklet is that as far as Stephen Flurry is concerned they will say you are not a true Christian unless you join PCG. What this booklet does not say is that there are many stringent requirements for PCG members: paying three tithes and extra offerings, shunning anyone to be shunned (including the members of other COG groups who are labeled "Laodiceans"), abstaining from mainstream holidays, abstaining from unclean meats, abstaining from makeup, even in some extreme cases abstaining from doctors and medicine.

So we see that this booklet is trying to recruit new members into PCG in order to get more tithes payers by using heresies such as HWA's God Family doctrine.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Reading PCG's Booklet, South Africa in Prophecy

Let us now read the late Ron Fraser's booklet, South Africa in Prophecy. This booklet was printed in 1997 and, quite usually for their booklets, it has never been updated since then. Let us see what PCG's leaders have to say about South Africa. You can read this booklet on their website.

Ron Fraser was born in 1941. He was from Australia. He encountered HWA's writings and broadcasts around 1968. After the Tkach changes he joined PCG and became a minister for them. He died in 2013.

Chapter 1

South Africa has gone through great turmoil in recent years. What does Ron Fraser, a prominent leader of PCG, have to say about these important events in 1997?

First Ron Fraser condemns how Nelson Mandela's inaugaration was conducted, then he talks about British Israelism, that the British and Americans became so great and powerful because they are descendents of Abraham and have inherited the birthright blessings promised to Abraham's children. (pp. 2-3.)

Of course British Israelism is false. That doctrine is built on a foundation of sand as has recently shown.

But continuing with this error Fraser says that the whites in South Africa are largely descended from Abraham and so are inheritors of the birthright blessing promised to Abraham and passed through Isaac, then Jacob, then Joseph, then his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.
South Africa was colonised and settled largely by people of Ephraimitish (British) stock, in addition to those of the tribe of Zebulon (Dutch), Reuben (French Hugenots) and a mixture from Assyria (Germany). (p. 3.)
Fraser then says the white dominated government of South Africa has been viciously demonized and mocks all those who worked towards the end of apartheid as unwitting dupes causing South Africa's resources to be lost to Western trade. Some passages are highlighted to show some of the buzzwords Fraser uses to inspire hatred of and alienation with the ANC government and despair at the fall of apartheid.
A well-orchestrated campaign of disinformation, propaganda and scurrilous slander has been waged against the South African nation by the combined forces of government officials (both within and without South Africa), the liberal press, leftist church authorities and the United Nations. The catch phrase of all has been apartheid—the policy of separate development pursued by the South African government since 1948. What escapes most commentators’ attention is the reality that the whole world has been hoodwinked by this disinformation campaign. Most have expressed a great, global, emotive, self-righteous outcry against the imputed unfairness of the apartheid system. Many people are gullibly being led by the nose to endorse a power transfer that PORTENDS A FUTURE MINERAL AND METALS BLACKMAIL AGAINST THE COMBINED WESTERN ECONOMIES at least equivalent to that imposed by the OPEC oil cartel in a previous decade! (p. 4.)
Having read this book I will say that Fraser gives no evidence that apartheid was fair and he gives no attempt to justify why whites should have such a large share of the national wealth of South Africa. This booklet is a lot of bluster with very few facts to back it up and largely built around the proven falsehood of British Israelism. Sounds with no meaning in the real world.

Here Fraser even pretends that apartheid was only claimed to be unfair and pretends this is not proven. Does he think racial segregation is fine and proper? There will be more on this topic later.

Fraser then quotes someone who looks more presentable then him to red-bait the ANC government to portray them as Communists out to get all the resources of South Africa into the hands of your enemies right now.
As some astute Western analysts have suggested, if an African National Congress (ANC)-South African Communist Party (SACP)-dominated government in South Africa forges links with the Islamic-Arab crescent in consortium with Russia, only those who bow to radical Islam and a communist-led ANC may get their raw materials! (p. 5.)
Who today (outside of PCG) thinks of post-apartheid South Africa as an ally of Islamists, Iran and Russia? No one. Or at least no one honest.

This is madness!

Also from this point onwards Fraser constantly refers to Mandela's government as the "ANC-SACP" inaccurately implying that South Africa is now a Communist country. Also Fraser tries very hard to portray the ANC as aligned with hostile and evil forces as will be seen later.
Disaster looms huge on the horizon of South Africa, as godless communism has its day bringing an ANC-dominated government to power with the apparent full endorsement of Western society! (p. 6.)
He tries to portray South Africa as being essentially a communist country. (That is complete nonsense by the way.)

Now it time for Chapter 2. The madness is not going to calm down, alas.

Chapter 2

Fraser begins this chapter by noting that many African countries, after gaining independence from European colonialism, have not done very well.
Liberals turn a blind eye to the thousands of blacks who died, mainly in the provinces of Natal and the Transvaal as the communist-inspired and Islamic-Russian funded ANC pursued “democracy” in order to be elected to the seat of national power. The ANC-SACP’s failure to gain control of the National Party which dominates the Western Cape and the Inkatha Freedom Party-led Kwa Zulu-Natal region will inevitably lead to increased socio-political tensions in South Africa. (p. 8.)
It is true that South Africa was blighted by severe violence between rival political factions such as that between the ANC and the Inkatha Freedom Party. But that does not change the fact that apartheid rule had long ago been rendered unsustainable. It was definitely going to be abolished. There was simply no way the white minority was able to sustain itself as ruling over South Africa. Frankly it had long ago lost the ability to rule South Africa in a stable manner. Even as early as 1960 the British Prime Minister Harold MacMillan made his winds of change speech warning the apartheid regime that things could not continue as they had previously. Tragically the apartheid regime chose to ignore his wise warning. (That speech is never discussed in this booklet.)

After that Fraser then talks about British Israelism inspired fear mongering that the "sea gates" of South Africa will be seized by hostile forces allied with the ANC. He says that most of South Africa's "sea gates" are under the control of the Inkatha Freedom Party or the white led National Party which imposed apartheid upon South Africa. Fraser portrays these parties as being allied with the "Israelitish" peoples. But he fear mongers that the Russians and the Islamists are conspiring to seize control of these "sea gates" through the ANC and the South African Communist Party.
Durban and Richards Bay harbors in Natal account for nearly 80 percent of South Africa’s seaborne inflow and outflow of goods. Chief Buthelezi, of the Zulu-Inkatha party, holds control over these sea gates—a most powerful economic weapon.

At Africa’s southwestern tip lies the Cape of Good Hope. Administration of the Western Cape currently remains in the hands of the white-dominated National Party. Thus, control of the major merchant port of Table Bay and naval base, Simonstown (near Cape Town), is still vested in the hands of South Africa’s Israelitish minority. The Russian bosses of the SACP have not succeeded in their long-term aim of gaining control of South Africa’s rich mineral wealth only to have their plans to control the flow of minerals and metals exports frustrated at South African ports! Watch for potential strife that may lead to the seizure of these sea ports by the ANC-SACP. (p. 9.)
Has any such thing occurred?

After that Fraser talks about the dogma of British Israelism (which is complete nonsense). (pp. 9-13.) 

After that Fraser fear mongers again that the ANC and the Communists will seize control of the "sea gates".
Port Elizabeth, in the Southern Cape province of South Africa, is the only major sea gate presently under the control of the new ANC-SACP government in South Africa. The Natal sea gates of Richards Bay and Durban remain very vulnerable, no longer under the control of Ephraim, but now controlled by the Zulu-Inkatha party of Chief Buthelezi who currently is favorably inclined toward the West (Britain and America). However, principal Russian-controlled strategist behind the ANC-SACP success, communist boss, the late Joe Slovo (a former colonel in the Russian KGB), stated that Chief Buthelezi would become “a mere smell in history.” One would have to assume, at least as seen through the eyes of the late Joe Slovo, that it is only a matter of time before any resistance to communist aims in Natal is neutralized. (p. 13.)
Incidentally Joe Slovo happens to be of Lithuanian Jewish origin. His family moved to South Africa when he was eight. However it must be said Fraser never discusses that, thankfully.

Also I find it curious that Fraser never mentions, even in passing, that Joe Slovo had since passed on at the time of this booklet's publication. He died of cancer on January 6, 1995.

After this Fraser speculates that Chief Buthelezi, leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party, is being led into a trap by the ANC government.

Then he essentially accuses Pik Botha of being a traitor for helping to initiate negotiations between the apartheid government and the ANC.
As head of Foreign Affairs, it was Pik Botha who was the driving force behind the republic’s initiatives towards negotiations with the ANC and a coalition government of “national reconciliation.” The most astute commentators in South Africa have long suspected that Pik Botha was the prime strategist behind the United States-approved capitulation of the former government of F.W. DeKlerk to the communist dominated ANC-SACP coalition. ...

The primary goal of the communists in the South African takeover has been seizure of the vast mineral wealth of the country. Realising this, it becomes clear that the one selected to serve in the office of minister for mining would have to be a man the ANC-SACP can trust. Pik Botha was chosen as the new minister for mining! (pp. 13-14.)
Now since this is made by PCG, naturally at some point Fraser will bring up the Tkach changes in order to lure any WCG member or ex-WCG member into joining PCG. So therefore it is here that Fraser then talks about the Tkach changes. He ties this into South Africa by saying that HWA's WCG used to preach the warning about the Great Tribulation to South Africa and by condemning Tkach's WCG for no longer saying such fear inducing things to South Africa anymore.
Believe it or not, there has been a greater betrayal of UNIVERSAL consequence, perpetrated by no other institution than God’s own true Church! ... That Church [WCG] once stood as a beacon, warning the nation of South Africa of its impending doom, unless it repented! 
One of the WCG’s most astute commentators at that time was Gene Hogberg, who wrote the “Worldwatch” column for the Worldwide News, a bi-monthly newspaper produced by the WCG.(p. 15.)
Fraser then quotes a "report" written by Gene Hogberg talking of the divestment movement calling upon companies to divest themselves of any investments in South Africa to protest the continuance of apartheid rule. Then Fraser complains that Tkach's WCG no longer do such things.
That was over twelve years ago! The Worldwide Church of God was then loudly warning the world of the consequences of its treatment of South Africa! Where is its voice today? It is a Church WHICH HAS BETRAYED ITS COMMISSION. Today, WCG leaders say, “prophesy not.” They are guilty of a great betrayal of their God-given commission to warn this world of the consequences of its rebellion against its Maker and Sustainer, the God of this universe! (p. 15.)
Fraser then cites two other articles by Gene Hogberg that tends to speak of apartheid South Africa fairly positively, at least that is how Fraser portrays them.

That was written ELEVEN YEARS AGO—well in advance of the handover of South Africa by the DeKlerk government to the ANC-SACP. Back then (1986), the Worldwide Church of God was still trumpeting a warning to that nation and to the world of what would befall South Africa! Where is the voice of the WCG now? IT IS THUNDEROUS IN ITS SILENCE.
Gene Hogberg has been silenced! The Worldwide Church of God no longer understands prophecy as it relates to current and future world events. It is in a process of SPIRITUAL IMPLOSION! The Philadelphia Church of God is the sole remnant of that voice which once cried out in the wilderness, warning the nations of the mounting curses they are reaping due to breaking God’s laws, and the impending Great Tribulation coming upon the house of Israel for its rebellion against God (Matt. 24:21). (pp. 16-17.)
Actually there are many other COG splinter groups not affiliated with PCG that continue to believe that many of the various prophesies of HWA are true and are continuing to preach what HWA's WCG taught. PCG is not the "sole remnant of that voice which once cried out in the wilderness" as Fraser says. That is what Fraser wants the reader to think in order to persuade them to join PCG under the false pretense that only PCG is the only legitimate continuation of HWA's WCG. Why do these PCG ministers say untrue things?

After then Fraser then says that Russians are peculiarly adept liars who are trying to take over South Africa through the ANC.
As Mr. Flurry has written in a previous edition of the Trumpet, the Russian mind seems to have a peculiar proclivity to creating, publishing and ACCEPTING lies! The great lie that has been foisted off on society in relation to South Africa is the great deceit that the country has been liberated from apartheid, while actually it has fallen into the hands of Russian-influenced liberals who have since achieved their declared aim of destroying the former conservative government of South Africa. (pp. 17-18.)
Fraser appears to be alluding to what Gerald Flurry wrote in Lamentations and the End-Time Laodiceans.  I find it fascinating that Fraser only mentions that this opinion is from an article and he does not mention the booklet Flurry wrote.

After that Fraser quotes Richard Nixon, he who gave the world the Watergate scandal, and another article by Gene Hogberg to say the Russians are behind the anti-apartheid struggle in a covert attempt to seize control of South Africa's resources.

It is bizarrely delusional that Fraser pretends that Russian Communists were behind the fall of apartheid. It contemptuously ignores the contributions of the many people within South Africa who rose up to put an end to apartheid. They did not wait for some foreigners to tell them what to do but did it themselves. It is strange that Fraser seems to prefer to ignore their vital and essential role in ending apartheid.  

This is complete nonsense. What a bizarre concoction of anger and delusional thoughts Fraser has come up with. Will it get any better?

Chapter 3
South African leaders have bowed to world opinion and the strategic maneuvers of Russian-based communism and have handed over this great nation to a communist-dominated, majority-black government. (p. 20.)
So we see once again that Fraser is demonizing the ANC government as a puppet of Communists. This is just calculated fear mongering.

Also is it really so bad that South Africa's government should have "bowed to world opinion" as Fraser obliquely admits here? 

After that Fraser talks about the (completely false) dogma of British Israelism, throws up some "proof texts" often used by the COGs, then he mentions the Great Flood and discuss (supposedly) why they were destroyed in the flood.
In Genesis 6, the conditions at the time of Noah are explained. Three specific conditions are mentioned: 1) Marrying according to their own choice, rather than subscribing to God’s laws in the choice of a mate; 2) Extreme corruption; and 3) Extreme violence. (p. 21.)
Here it comes, Fraser is about to condemn interracial marriage.

Fraser then cites an article written by HWA in the October 1963 issue of The Plain Truth that condemns interracial marriage as sinful and as a reason why the Great Flood occurred. I am not going to quote them here because these are HWA's words and what he says on this matter is quite well known and been discussed before, but I will state that he condemns interracial marriage quite forcefully in the quote cited by Fraser.

Is it strange to see HWA condemning interracial marriage so strongly here yet in fact interracial marriage was still banned in several States at the time he wrote that article. It was only in 1967, four years later, that such racist restrictions were finally abolished after a Supreme Court decision. And forbidding interracial marriage is racist, very much so.

After mentioning HWA's stance Fraser cites a 1994 newspaper article saying that interracial marriage will become more common now that apartheid has been abolished. Fraser seems to think that people loving who they wish across racial barriers is (somehow) disastrous.
Such anti-God themes are a precursor to CONFUSION, division and strife! South Africa will reap the curses of correction imposed by an all-wise, all-loving Father who created mankind and set the racial bounds over which He commanded Israel not to cross! (p. 23.)
He then perverts Holy Scripture by citing two "proof texts" to claim that God wants the races to be kept separate. He does not understand that the Old Covenant was for the Jews, it was not for everyone on Earth. The Biblical Jews would have thought it utterly absurd that this non-Jew was telling people to marry within their race because of anything they or their ancestors did. Any such restriction was upon themselves, it was not some sort of universal principal that needed to be followed.

To forbid interracial marriage is hard core racism.

Furthermore once again it needs to be stated that British Israelism is complete nonsense.

After this Fraser claims that (PCG's) God lavished blessings of national wealth on South Africa because of the white race that lived there but because of their sins (he in practice means not doing what PCG says) that curses and all kinds of catastrophes will come upon them unless they repent (by joining PCG and paying them three tithes and extra offerings).

Then he talks about AIDS. He cites some news articles speaking of the AIDS epidemic. Without doubt the AIDS epidemic was and is a crisis of the most severe magnitude. But it does not mean the Great Tribulation of HWA's false prophesies is about to come.

It is implied in the way these quotes are presented that the AIDS epidemic will cause the political and social stability of South Africa to collapse. (pp. 25-27.) It is now seventeen years (6205 days) since this booklet was printed. The AIDS epidemic no doubt is as severe and terrible as has been widely described. After this booklet was published Thabo Mbeki became President and he did not even believe AIDS existed. But despite all that the AIDS epidemic has not caused South Africa to collapse politically as Fraser insinuated here.

After that Fraser begins to talk about the problem of violence in South Africa. He then talks about the Old Testament Law and for once he admits that there were problems under the apartheid regime. This is about the only time in this booklet he admits things were wrong in apartheid South Africa. Notice how he only vaguely talks about what was wrong under apartheid.
God showered His blessings on the nations of Israel by allowing the British, Dutch and French to conquer South Africa. It cannot be denied that the British, Dutch and French descendants of Israel did not obey God in their dealings with the descendants of Ham, who comprise the majority population in South Africa. Maltreatment and cruelty toward the blacks by some whites has been deeply ingrained in South Africa’s history. The breaking of God’s law always exacts a penalty. Some of the black backlash in South Africa is due to their being on the receiving end of such harsh treatment. (p. 28.)
Notice how vague Fraser is here. Notice how Fraser does not mention how blacks were forced to endure being discriminated against by the apartheid regime. Notice how he neglects to mention how violence and murders were committed that compelled many South Africans to conclude that they had to use violence in order to change things. He does not talk about how racial discrimination is wrong. That is not discussed here.

One reading Fraser's booklet would have little idea why so many South Africans rose up to overthrow apartheid. They were provoked. They came to realize that change was not legally possible. We should remember the wise words of President John Kennedy, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." And that is what happened in South Africa. One would never know that from Fraser.

And immediately after weakly and very vaguely acknowledging the injustice of apartheid Fraser tries to confuse the situation and minimize the injustice of apartheid by citing two news articles. The first says (according to Fraser) that critics of apartheid are being too harsh on the Afrikaans. The second mentions how some other African countries have degenerated into brutal dictatorships and (inaccurately) implies that the same sort of tyranny may soon occur in South Africa. That suspicion has proven to be wrong, seventeen years later (pp. 28-29). 

None of that proves that apartheid was just. None of that proves that apartheid should be allowed to continue. None of that solves the problem of severe racial discrimination non-whites were forced to endure under apartheid.

And after citing those two articles Fraser then says the real problem in South Africa is not the systematic racist discrimination against the black majority, it is black on black violence. Notice how he obscure the issue of racism. Notice how he (inaccurately) insinuates that this violence is some sort of Communist purge.
The liberal press and media, through selective reporting and prejudicial editing of video tape, have seen to it that the images portrayed of South Africa, during the years of apartheid, featured a disproportionate amount of violence resulting from white police interaction with blacks. The plain, historic, documented, undeniable, yet seldom publicised facts on South African violence indicate that violence, bloodshed and political murder within that country has largely been perpetrated by black against black! As we have previously pointed out, in the less than four years since the un-banning of the ANC, over 13,000 POLITICALLY-MOTIVATED MURDERS were perpetrated in South Africa largely by black against black. This is only part of a TOTAL SLAUGHTER of 60,000 people, PRIMARILY BLACK MODERATES opposed to the republic of South Africa revolution, eliminated by the communists in that country since 1990, as Don McAlvany reported in the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor of April 1994. (p. 29.)
Once again Fraser is trying to obscure the issue of racist discrimination by the white dominated apartheid regime. During the last days of apartheid there was indeed severe turmoil within South Africa. Trying to impose apartheid giving the white minority political dominance would not have solved this issue. As unutterably terrible as these events are they do not prove that apartheid would have solved anything as Fraser seems to imply here.

After this Fraser talks about law and order issues. He mocks the fact that, as part of the peace deal, people formerly listed as terrorists by the apartheid regime had been given positions of responsibility in the ANC government.

Then he talks about the economy and I am not sure what he is trying to say. It is filled with quotes.
Former SACP leader, Joe Slovo, danced to the tune of his Russian masters! It is conveniently fashionable for a failed ex-Soviet economy to preach markets with its hand out for Western aid. ... Whites comprise 14 percent of the total South African population—they own almost 90 percent of that nation’s land and about 90 percent of formal business. (p. 33.) 
So 86 percent of the people of South Africa only own just over 10 percent of the land and about 10 percent of formal business.

Wow! No wonder so many blacks rose up in revolt and took up arms to overthrow apartheid.

It is amazing that Fraser does not seem to make the connection that this inequality fueled the revolt against white minority rule.

Fraser then complains that the white owned big business have aligned themselves with the new ANC led government. Of course big business did that, they cannot get rid of the democratically elected government so they both want good relations. What a big surprise! Then he talks about how the South African rand fell 20 percent in April 1996. Then he talks about how many in South Africa are having mental health issues.

Then Fraser fear mongers that the ANC government will conspire to seize land from white farmers (pp. 36-37). It is now seventeen years. Has that happened? Has that proven to be a rational fear?
All South Africans should take note that of the 50 top ministers of parliament initially elected to the new parliament, 27 are current or former members of the South African Communist Party—“Godless Reds.” (pp. 36-37.)
Once again Fraser is trying to red bait the ANC government. And notice how Fraser even mentions the "former members" of the SACP. Why mention they were former members? They got out of it. Why make it seem as though the SACP are the puppet masters and then mention the "former members" as well just to make them look more powerful? Does Fraser not believe in redemption? (That is one thing that Christianity is supposed to be all about.) Does Fraser think if you join the Communist Party you are somehow tainted for the rest of your life?

After that Fraser talks about the (utterly false) dogma of British Israelism and that the Great Tribulation is coming (pp. 37-39). Then he promotes PCG, claiming the ministers and members have proven their loyalty to God by leaving WCG because of the Tkach changes. Fraser is claiming that only if one joins PCG he or she will escape the Great Tribulation.
There will be a remnant of physical Israel saved from the great conflagration which shall shortly engulf this whole world, because of its rebellion against its Maker. The physical remnant will be led by another tiny remnant—a remnant of spiritual Israel—God’s Church. ... These Philadelphians have been put to the test by serving God and remaining loyal to Him even though their former leadership surrendered to Satan, the very author of confusion. They have proven that they fear God the Father, more than mere man (Mal. 3:16). These are the Philadelphians of Revelation 3:7-13. (p. 39.)
As though all the other WCG members who left because of the Tkach changes were somehow inferior for not joining PCG and contributing to Fraser's pay. The courage of every other WCG member in leaving because of the Tkach changes is no less then those of PCG members.

After that Fraser talks about how PCG members will be glorified at Christ's return and he promises that the reader can be a part of it (by joining PCG paying him tithes).
You can have a part in that Work here and now—and in the future for all eternity—IF you will only repent of rebellion against your God and “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). ...  Do not sleep until it is too late (Matt. 25:1-13) and find yourself waking up in the Tribulation! (pp. 40-41.)
He then offers both Malachi's Message and The Little Book. Fraser ends this chapter by quoting from Gerald Flurry's booklet, The Little Book.
“It is God’s own Work we are honored to do. But we need to prove that Malachi’s Message is the centerpiece of God’s Work. We must ‘eat it up’ and believe what God says. Then we will be motivated to act! JUST KNOWING THESE TRUTHS IS NOT ENOUGH. WE MUST act ON GOD’S WORD IN FAITH.” (p. 41.)
What idolatry! How can one be a Christian and say some booklet like "Malachi's Message is the centerpiece of God's Work"? Intriguingly these words are from the original 1995 version of that booklet. Those words have since been altered.

Chapter 4

This chapter is hard to summarize because Fraser mentions a lot of alarmist facts like a smokescreen, but does not definitively states what he really means, hiding his messages in sub-ordinate clauses disguised as speculation thus evading responsibility should anything he says not be fulfilled.

Here Fraser starts off with some anecdotes regarding violence in South Africa, including a robbery that Fraser witnessed first hand while on one of at least four visits to South Africa. (Were those trips funded by the tithes of PCG members?)

It is well known that South Africa has a very severe crime problem. In fact I would like to add another anecdote, this one regarding Syd Hull. The late Syd Hull used to be the leader of LCG in South Africa. Later, around 2005, he left LCG to join Pack's RCG. He later reconsidered and returned to LCG, but only as a lay member. He has since passed on. While he was still LCG's leader in South Africa I well remember seeing in a sermon around 2001 that it was reported that his sister was raped and murdered by a home invader. That must have been a most horrendous ordeal for her family and friends. There is no doubt South Africa has quite a problem with this.

After that Fraser talks about post-apartheid South Africa's foreign policy which he condemns as pandering towards Libya, Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and Germany (pp. 43-44).

Then Fraser fear mongers that South Africa will degenerate into a one party state like many other newly independent African states (pp. 44-46). Seventeen years should be long enough to say that Fraser was wrong on this matter.

Fraser then talks about how South Africa has many problems, that many African states have not done well after independence implying the same fate awaits South Africa, condemns granting African states independence as rushed, then he says many African countries were better off being ruled by white minorities. Then he says that human nature is evil, that is why these bad things happen. Then he alludes to the (false) doctrine of British Israelism and says that the whites of South Africa are giving up their birthright letting the "ANC-SACP" (as he puts it) take rule of South Africa (which only happened after a democratic election, which is not mentioned in this part of the booklet).
One of the greatest untruths thus perpetuated in society is that race has no bearing on the achievement levels of the various ethnic groups that abound in the melting pot of the earth’s teeming billions of mankind. Thus, a world ignorant to the great realities of the promises of race and grace, made to Abraham, father of the faithful, became delirious with surreal emotion at the handover of a whole nation, South Africa, by the offspring of its founding fathers, to its declared enemy, the ANC/SACP combine, in April 1994. (p. 52.)
So it appears that Fraser believes South Africa is just a state made for whites only. Fraser seems to believe that black South Africans are too stupid to rule themselves, so a while minority should rule over them. Here we see quite clearly what Fraser really yearns for: white supremacy. That is racist.

It is wrong and absurd how a majority of South African were denied the right to participate in managing the country as was done under apartheid, often in rather violent ways. It is absurd to imagine that restoring white supremacy could possibly improve the situation in South Africa. The people of South Africa (all of them, not just the whites) will deal with these problems as is their right.

Then Fraser warns the readers they should repent and if they do not then (PCG's) God will plunge South Africa into the Great Tribulation.
Will South Africa heed? Will the Israelitish nations heed their God as this final warning is powerfully preached, published and broadcast increasingly around the world? (p. 53.)
Then Fraser ends this booklet with a quote from HWA but since they are HWA's words, not Fraser's, they will not be quoted here.

And so Ron Fraser's booklet ends.

After that there is an offer for PCG's booklet, The Key of David, and a list of addresses which provides some fascinating insights into the history of PCG's mailing addresses.

It lists Africa as being divided in two for mailing purposes. A southern section of Africa is assigned to the South African mailing address, while the rest of Africa to the north is assigned to the British mailing address. This arrangement must have ended by early 1998 because the February 1998 Philadelphia Trumpet mentions all of Africa as being instructed to write to the South African address.

Also New Zealand and the Pacific Isles' mailing address is in Christchurch. "Philadelphia Church of God, PO Box 6076, Christchurch, New Zealand". The February 1998 Philadelphia Trumpet mentions Auckland, so the mailing address must have been changed to Auckland in 1997 or 1998.


What a load of racist garbage that does not offer any realistic solution to solve the many problems within South Africa. What a waste of time. This booklet is only useful in helping to see what sad, pathetic, racist little minds are behind PCG.

Ron Fraser has done a great disservice to the white South Africans he wrote for by making a booklet filled with misinformation, presents facts to obscure the problem of white supremacy and making them scared with this sick, deluded fantasy that South Africa has been seized by blood thirsty Communists trying to create a one party state in order to throw away the nation's resources to Russia and Iran and is conspiring to steal their land and money. I feel very sorry for any white South African who reads this booklet and accept its message at face value. He or she is being cynically deceived in order to pay three tithes and extra offerings to PCG and pay Ron Fraser's income.

What a disgusting, racist fiasco this booklet is.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Overview of the August 2014 Philadelphia Trumpet

The August 2014 issue of The Philadelphia Trumpet is out now. Let us see what PCG's leaders have to say.

Gerald Flurry has an article that fear mongers about Pope Francis' visit to the Middle East. He teaches HWA's false prophesy that the final Pope will lead a future European Beast Power into launching World War III and destroying America and Britain.

Richard Palmer (he who belittled the Srebrenica massacre as just "a crime of passion") has an article claiming that anti-Semitism is rampant in Europe and is beginning to affect European politics. He says this is a prelude to Europe transforming into a Beast Power that will destroy America and Britain.

Dennis Leap has an article about how to raise up teenagers.

Richard Palmer (he who says farmers should leave the fields fallow every seven years) fear mongers that Germans are starting to believe that Germany did not cause World War I, that it was just a big accident that European leaders sleepwalked into. Therefore we should be really scared about this.

I wish to say that from the beginning there have always been historians who have argued that one side started World War I and some other historians have always argued that European leaders sleepwalked into the war. (Even wartime British Prime Minister David Lloyd George espoused this sleep walking theory. PCG's Richard Palmer does not castigate him.)

Personally I am inclined to not accept the sleep walking theory and say, if anyone deserves blame for starting World War I it should go first of all to the government (not the people) of Austro-Hungary for deciding to use Archduke Ferdinand's assassination as a pretext to wage war on Serbia. There had been assassinations before and after in Europe but they were generally not used as a pretext to wage war. There would have been no war had Austria-Hungary chose not to exploit this assassination to cripple Serbia.

PCG members may be surprised to learn that I actually came to this conclusion after reading a history book written by German academics. Unlike cult leaders I am not saying I know all and see all, rather people need to reach conclusions about this and other issues for themselves.

Richard Palmer also has a side article telling of various right wing militias operating in Germany in the 1950s and nonsensically claiming that this proves that HWA was a Prophet and that HWA was right. There is no mention that from 1953 onwards HWA said that Christ would return in 1975 or that he had previously claimed that Christ would return at the end of World War II, or that even before that HWA said Christ would return in 1936.

Jeremiah Jacques has an article about Russia, China and India saying they are getting more powerful and we should be scared of this.

Jeremiah Jacques also has a side article fear mongering that Russia and China are conspiring to displace the US dollar as the world's reserve currency and we should be scared of this.

There is a "Bible Study" telling people how they should pray.

Stephen Flurry has a little article about the importance of education.

Joel Hilliker has a little article encouraging people to be physically active and exercise.

And there are other little articles but nothing I feel merits mention here.

Circulation for this issue is 319,798, slightly lower then last issue's circulation of 322,017. November 2003's issue had a circulation of 313,400. Ten years ago the circulation for the August 2004 issue was 338,665. So after ten years of pouring in millions of dollars into PCG, its magazine's circulation has remained virtually the same amount as ten years ago.

And so there we have it.

Why does Joe Hilliker only get a small article this issue?

Also what has happened to Brad MacDonald?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Philadelphia Trumpet Circulation is Stagnant

In ten years, from November 2003 to July 2014, PCG's Philadelphia Trumpet magazine has only increased its circulation by less then 3%.

In November 2003 they had a circulation of 313,400, and now in their latest issue (July 2014) it is 322,017.

However, this does not tell the full story as the magazine, for whatever reason, had a large increase in circulation in late 2007-early 2008 (May 2007-February 2008), reaching a peak of 458,700 (November-December 2007). But shortly after this the circulation figures collapsed well below the 300,000 range, only recovering to 300,000 with the January 2011 issue. What happened there? Did the construction of Armstrong Auditorium, costing about $25 million, have anything to do with that?

Also the circulation figures for this first half of 2014 are slightly less then the first half of 2013.

So often HWA liked to boast that growth in membership and magazine circulation and radio exposure were fruits that proved God was working through him. Where are such fruits with Gerald Flurry's PCG?

Here are the available figures.


March 70,000

May 44,800

June 72,900

July 86,400

August 90,000

September 95,000

November 87,500

December 89,000


January 98,250

February 102,750

March 105,300

May 116,500

June 135,000

July 178,000

At present it is not possible for me to know the circulation figures after this issue until the November 2003 issue. (August 1999-September-October 2003).

In the December 1999 issue Gerald Flurry boasts that the magazine had doubled its circulation in the last twelve months. This seems believable and to correlate with the figures presented here.

We continue from the November 2003 issue.


November 313,400

December 317,000


January 341,305

February 341,735

March 344,530

May 347,750

June 345,290

July 340,740

August 338,665

September 335,000

November 340,340

December 325,835


January 325,595

February 318,844

March-April 315,435

May 306,400

June 315,435

July 315,970

August 317,235

September 319,760

November 314,810

December 325,985


January 323,900

February 322,200

March 326,702

April 345,000

May 325,000

June-July 332,000

August 326,000

September 330,000

October 314,000

November-December 288,000


January 290,100

February 288,000

March 295,000

April 295,000

May 331,000

June 351,000

July 417,000

August-September 428,500

October 444,100

November-December 458,700


January 408,995

February 373,500

March 294,000

April 266,301

May 283,450

June-July 252,948

August 275,180

September 269,180

October 274,076

November-December 278,480


January 282,480

February 280,844

March 289,844

April 255,455

May-June 257,944

July 255,280

August 252,067

September 255,067

October 257,978

November-December 259,767


January 266,767

February 255,767

March 256,767

April 265,285

May-June 269,615

July 258,707

August 269,641

September 284,235

October-November 289,332

December 295,382


January 300,380

February 304,147

March 307,097

April 315,064

May-June 322,410

July 335,444

August 327,731

September 330,232

October 332,530

November-December 326,176


January 330,067

February 333,067

March 333,067

April 334,044

May-June 338,939

July 342,452

August 340,298

September 340,813

October-November 340,813

December 341,259


January 333,214

February 331,273

March 331,130

April 329,122

May-June 332,997

July 335,797

August 332,849

September-October 330,936

November 331, 830

December 328,019


January 325,014

February 323,585

March 323,583

April 320,572

May-June 319,107

July 322,017

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Part 3 of Reading PCG's Booklet, Ezra and Nehemiah

Let us now continue reading Gerald Flurry and Dennis Leap's booklet, Ezra and Nehemiah: Building God's Temple. This booklet was first published in 1997. It was later revised in 2005. You can read the current version of this booklet on their website. That is the same version I am reading for this post.

We now continue from Part 1 and Part 2.

Here we look at the last two chapters of this booklet which discuss the Book of Nehemiah.

Chapter 6

Starting in this chapter Flurry and Leap talk about Nehemiah. First they discuss how Nehemiah asked permission from the Persian Emperor to go to his homeland.

Flurry and Leap use this incident to tell PCG members they should pray before doing anything important.
Artaxerxes was an extremely powerful man and could have had him executed for even small mistakes. ... Before asking favor of the king, He prayed again—immediately—on the spot!
Nehemiah’s request to return to Jerusalem could have meant life or death for him. He instantly took the situation to God. This shows us the extreme importance of prayer. How often do we pray? How detailed are our prayers? Do we pray immediately when the need arises? When we face major trials and tests in our lives, do we take them to God before we act? Or do we act and then take the consequences to God? The Apostle Paul admonished the Romans to be “instant in prayer” (Romans 12:12). Instant, faithful prayers get immediate results! (pp. 53-54.)
Flurry and Leap then discuss how Nehemiah gained permission to go to Jerusalem. The authors use this to say that (PCG's) God will provide help to PCG from non-members.
God will always come to our aid—even through people outside of God’s Church. We see a lot of this kind of help today with regard to our television program. There are many talented people, not part of this Church, who are giving the PCG very loyal support. This is from the good hand of God! As we persist in looking to God, the miracles will continue to come for this little flock. (pp. 54-55.)
Very likely these people do not know about how PCG shuns members of rival COG groups, or about how many PCG members are indoctrinated to believe doctors and medicine is sinful and consequently neglect their medical health, sometimes leading to death. They probably do not know how PCG members are socially influenced by PCG's leaders to pay three tithes and extra offerings to PCG in a blatant process of financial exploitation. They probably do not know that PCG claims to be the only true church. Very likely PCG leaders have deceived them into thinking that PCG is something that it is not. Quite possibly their are just doing their work and getting paid for it.

After this Flurry and Leap again fear monger that PCG ministers must always be on the look out for "enemies".
In order to protect God’s work, we must always be on guard for enemies. Jesus Christ warned us, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16). Nehemiah was wise as a serpent. So must we be. God’s ministry must also be on guard for the sheep. We are in a serious spiritual war. We must work as men at war. (p. 55.)
With paranoid rhetoric like this it is no surprise that PCG's ministers have earned such a bad reputation. They have been indoctrinated to look for "enemies" and whenever something goes wrong among the membership they have a ready made pretext to label any such person as "enemies" and treat them as such. No wonder the PCG ministers can order PCG members to have no contact with members of rival COG groups. They have been indoctrinated to believe they are at war with the other COG groups, that such cruel actions are needed to guard PCG members from leaving PCG, and other such self serving nonsense.

After this Flurry and Leap talk of how Nehemiah encountered obstruction by various Gentile leaders. Flurry and Leap use this to mock anyone who speaks of PCG disparagingly.
People today have also despised the work of the PCG. Many top Laodicean leaders have laughed us to scorn. That has not affected or stopped this work! We know God’s hand is with us. And we say to those who despise us, “Laugh on!” Because God is behind us, we are going to accomplish God’s work—marvelously! (p. 56.)
Notice how Flurry and Leap pretend that PCG is merely mocked, scorned and despised. There is here no attempt to address the many problems that many, whether COG or otherwise, have noticed about PCG. Anyone speaking of PCG disparagingly is dismissed as evil.

PCG's yearly income in 2012 was $19.5 million, only one-eighth of what HWA's WCG at its height had. Actually that does not account for inflation so PCG's income is even smaller.

Also some of the criticism is affecting PCG, although the authors like to pretend otherwise. We will never know how many other WCG members chose not to go with PCG after seeing someone mention the problems regarding PCG in regard to their legitimacy, their doctrines and their authoritarian practices. Also it is known that many PCG members have left despite Flurry and Leap pretending all is well.

After that Flurry and Leap talk about how the Jews grew discouraged after some of the Gentile leaders mocked the Jews' attempt to rebuild the walls. But despite this the Jews resolved to continue. Flurry and Leap use this to again condemn those speaking disparagingly of PCG.
The lesson for the PCG is the same. We are getting the job done because it is God’s work. Jealous people are going to criticize us. They are going to say all kinds of horrible lies about the ministry. People are always going to slander our reputations. We must recognize that when members of the PCG or the ministry are mocked, it is actually God who is being mocked. Though we may be made a laughing stock, we should never stop working. (p. 57.)
Wow. Flurry and Leap really do not like to be criticized it seems.

Notice how Flurry and Leap pretend there is no legitimate reason to criticize PCG. Any who criticize PCG are dismissed as jealous people. Are they implying that those who criticize PCG are trying to get PCG money?  They are accused of spreading "horrible lies about the ministry." What lies would Flurry and Leap be talking about? Anyway PCG members are being told to ignore any form of criticism directed at PCG. Flurry and Leap assert such persons are actually mocking God. What do you call people like that? Enemies of God?

After that Flurry and Leap talk about how tensions increased and the Gentiles prepared to wage war on the Jews. Flurry and Leap use this to again fear monger about "adversaries" inspired by Satan.
There are always adversaries who want to destroy the work. Here it says they will sneak into the midst of us. It should not shock us that Satan would try to get to sneak inside this Church.

We don’t want to be foolish about this. Expect attacks. Expect me to be attacked in every way. Expect this Church to be attacked with all kinds of lies—mixed with truth—including slander and everything you can imagine. The accuser of the brethren is cast down, and he is going to accuse us as long and as vigorously as he can. (p. 58.)
This is brainwashing, plain and simple. To say that anyone who criticizes you is inspired by Satan is a way to make PCG members indoctrinate themselves into learning to ignore any critical information about PCG. This is known as "thought stopping". It is a common phenomenon often seen in destructive cults. These words are teaching people to stop thinking. If they hear any information critical of PCG they automatically think that the words are uttered by an enemy or adversary trying to sneak into PCG. Once an indoctrinated person hear things contrary to what PCG teaches they simply ignore it thinking it is just an elaborate lie. Mixed with truth perhaps but still a lie.

This is cult like behavior.

Flurry and leap continue teaching PCG members how to do thought stopping.
Some people do come among us with the sole purpose of destroying the brethren. These kinds of enemies are easy to detect. But other brethren may let down spiritually or become bitter. Bitter people often become one of Satan’s most effective weapons of destruction within the Church. As time draws closer to the end, we must understand that the full force of Satan’s wrath will come against us as a Church and as individuals. Satan wants to destroy you! We all must stay spiritually strong. We must fight off bitterness. ... Spiritual bitterness is like heroin. Once you get hooked, it is a hard habit to break. Satan will destroy individuals with bitterness. (p. 59.)
These words basically forbid PCG members from feeling "bitter". What a way to get automatic compliance from PCG members. What a way to persuade and frighten people into ignoring their own feelings. These words are designed to get people to unquestioningly fall into line with the collective and ignore their own feelings and think that it is the right thing to do.
The PCG is entering into fearful times. As we succeed in the work of God, our angry enemies from outside the Church are going to wage all-out war against us. Our adversaries will come after us from every direction. (pp. 59-60.)
It is now seventeen years since this booklet was first published. Did the PCG members of 1997 anticipate that the world would still be here as it was then?

After that Flurry and Leap again talk about Nehemiah and say that he was a man who worked very hard and his industriousness and faith in God led the Jews to establish their national community in the land of their ancestors.

Chapter 7

Here Flurry and Leap continue to fear monger that terrible things are about to come upon PCG to make PCG members fearful.
Throughout man’s dismal history, God’s work has always been violently attacked. This should not surprise us. Satan the devil has always wanted to destroy God’s people and the work. The daily reality that the PCG must live with is that we are in a war until Jesus Christ returns (2 Timothy 2:3). (p. 62.)
This is nonsense. Flurry and Leap are simply cynically trying to create a sense of crisis among PCG members in order to get them to rally around PCG's leadership. Outsiders are a threat, but staying in PCG will save you, rally around PCG's leaders, that is what Flurry and Leap are trying to do here.

After that Flurry and Leap talk about how Nehemiah tried to alleviate the plight of poorer Jews who were stuck in poverty and debt ridden to rich people. What do Flurry and Leap have to say about this?
How does this apply to the PCG today? Are we very careful not to abuse our own brethren? There are times that we are not as careful as we should be. We should always avoid taking advantage of each other financially. All of us should be cautious in loaning or borrowing money. The ministry must help protect the flock from these kinds of problems. (p. 64.)
It is very strange that Flurry and Leap dare to preach at people to say one should not financially exploit people when PCG members are required to pay three tithes to PCG. Flurry and Leap live off of the tithes and offerings PCG members give to them. How is that not taking advantage of PCG members? Clearly it is.

Then abruptly Flurry and Leap talk about gossip.
Another sin that we need to be constantly on guard against is gossip. Because we are so scattered, people do spend a lot of time in fellowship on the telephone. If these conversations drift into a discussion of other people and their problems, we should learn to stop that immediately. What right do any of us have to discuss the problems of other people? ... This verse shows that reputation damaging gossip is as wicked as murder. ... In a similar vein, we must also be on guard against being condemning and critical of each other. Do we have the right to judge, criticize or put down another one of God’s people? Let’s all work hard to stop this abuse of the brethren. (pp. 64-65.)
Flurry and Leap are simply trying to control the flow of information to PCG members. One defining characteristic of destructive cults is that they try to control the information a cult member has access to or to persuade them to instinctively ignore any critical information that threaten the power of the cult leader. That is the real reason Flurry and Leap condemn gossip here

Also Flurry has been very "condemning and critical" of the other COG groups, even ordering PCG members to shun them and have no contact with them, even if they be close family members. Also in recent posts it has been shown that very often... 
  • Flurry condemns the "Laodiceans" when he is actually talking about Tkach's WCG thus falsely implying the other COG groups are responsible for the Tkach changes. 
  • Flurry condemns the other COG groups for changing "God's government" (which is actually a euphemism for "one-man rule") when in fact many such groups continue to practice one man rule just like HWA. 
  • Also Flurry condemns the other COG groups for not teaching that HWA was the end time Elijah when in fact many COG groups happen to believe this doctrine. 
So Flurry has been blatantly misleading PCG members on these matters. And a major reason why he can do this is precisely because some PCG members believe what Flurry and Leap say here about gossip and do not pass on information that may cause PCG members to start asking hard questions about the nature of PCG.

 After that Flurry and Leap again condemn listening to rumors.
How much time do we invest in listening to rumors? The Worldwide Church of God doctrinal disaster and corrupt leadership have fed upon the rumor mill. We all must be careful not to get caught up in the rumor information connection. If we do, we could waste a lot of time and money on telephone calls.
From time to time, rumors are even spread about our Philadelphia Church of God headquarters. Some enjoy spreading lies about imagined internal struggles or politics here in Edmond. Please remember that the headquarters staff functions as a team. Although we all are imperfect human beings, we do strive to work well together. All of us recognize that we are here to support God the Father and Jesus Christ in their work. Sometimes it is very funny to hear from the field about what is going on at headquarters! Don’t let rumors eat up your time and money.  (pp. 68-69.)
The reason Flurry and Leap bring up money here is because they want that money going to them. They likely know that many PCG members are not in a good financial situation and seem to hope that mentioning money will persuade them not to talk to people about information PCG's leaders do not want publicized.

However PCG members have long been indoctrinated to believe it is necessary to pay three tithes to PCG. So although Flurry and Leap encourage them to be picky about even phone calls PCG members are still told it is absolutely necessary to pay three tithes and extra offerings to PCG. A large share of which has been used to build and maintain an expensive auditorium that relatively few PCG members can benefit from. 

We now continue.

Then after that Flurry and Leap talk about some other incidents related in the Book of Nehemiah. That Nehemiah was again challenged by one of the rival Gentile rulers, then he had to return to the Persian king in Shushan.

Then Flurry and Leap talk about a gathering held on the Feast of Trumpets in which Ezra talked about the Law. Flurry and Leap use this incident to tell PCG members they should have great reverence for Malachi's Message and other writings PCG produces and to condemn all other COG groups as being somehow deficient in doctrine. Flurry and Leap try really hard to persuade readers that they have no choice and must stay with PCG.
Those of us who have come together as the PCG should also have a very deep respect and worship for God. We have been richly blessed with a deep understanding of His law. Being a Philadelphian means that we are always striving to keep God’s law more perfectly. No Laodicean group has a full understanding of God’s law anymore. And, as time passes, they are losing even more of the understanding they still have. Do we have a greater appreciation for God’s law? We all should be eager to have more understanding of God’s law!

We need to have a stand-up attitude when it comes to Malachi’s Message, the Philadelphia Trumpet magazine and the many booklets published by the PCG. We have been given exalted revelation. All of us should be lifting up our hands, bowing our heads and saying, “Amen, Amen.” (p. 72.)
PCG members have long been indoctrinated into believing that Malachi's Message is extremely special. Just how special is only partially revealed in this booklet. In 1992 Flurry proclaimed it to be the Little Book of Revelation 10. In 1993 Flurry wrote that if one believes Malachi's Message he or she will be saved from the Great Tribulation. No wonder so many PCG members believe Flurry's assertion that Malachi's Message is special.

All this hides the fact that previously HWA taught that the Little Book referred to his numerous visits to world leaders. Later Flurry had taught that the Little Book was the Bible. Then it appears someone thought it was Mystery of the Ages. Then in 1992 he proclaimed his own booklet, Malachi's Message, to be the Little Book, and he has done so ever since.

However, it needs to be stated 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.

Considering that PCG started with Malachi's Message it is no wonder that those who live off of the tithes of PCG members should revere it so much. It gave them a continuous source of income and people indoctrinated to believe they must pay three tithes to them.

After that Flurry and leap bring up the matter of interracial marriage again.
Remember that Ezra had corrected the people for interracial marriage (Ezra 10). It appears that not everyone immediately complied. Nehemiah 9 includes the account of others who later also repented of this national sin. This chapter records the very moving, repentant prayer of the people. The people did deeply repent of some serious sins. If only our people could learn from their own history! The nations of Israel could be saved from a disastrous end if they repented of their sins like these people did anciently. (p. 73.)
British Israelism is untrue.

Again these Jews viewed the law as applying to Jews. The law did not apply to non-Jews because the covenant was with Israel, no one else. They would have viewed it as utterly absurd that a bunch of non-Jews were using their acts to justify banning interracial marriage.

It is extremely racist to forbid interracial marriage.

After this Flurry and Leap talk about another challenge Nehemiah endured. Flurry and Leap use this incident to claim that PCG is the sole legitimate continuation of HWA's WCG.
Isn’t this exactly what God has done with the PCG? When Mr. Armstrong died, the temple, or Church, began to be abused by some unfaithful men. But God has now restored the temple responsibilities to some faithful men. The ministry serving the Philadelphia Church of God is made up of men that are faithful to God’s doctrines. (p. 74.)  
Flurry and Leap then end the booklet with these words.
At the end of this book, Nehemiah prayed to God, “Remember me, O my God, for good” (verses 31). If you read and study this entire booklet, there should be no doubt in your mind that both Ezra and Nehemiah accomplished much good for God. Do we realize that the good they established did not die with them? If we do our part to use the lessons from these books, their good will live on in us. If we remain truly Philadelphian, when our work is finished, we can also honestly pray, “Remember us, oh our God, for good”! (p. 74.)
And so the booklet comes to its end.


So after reading this booklet let us now see what we have learned about PCG's leaders from this booklet.

Flurry and Leap falsely claim all the other COG groups do not believe HWA to be the end time Elijah (p. 17.).

Flurry and Leap try hard to get PCG members to disregard information that is threatening to the power PCG's leaders, even telling PCG members not to spend so much time talking on the phone about such things in order to save money.

Flurry and Leap claim "enemies" (their word) will sneak into PCG and they must be cast out to protect PCG members from deciding to leave (and stop paying the three tithes).

Flurry and Leap cite the advertisement promoting a Catholic polemic exposing the heresies of the Jehovah's Witnesses to claim people are out to get PCG. (pp. 26-27.)

Flurry and Leap condemn getting "involved in fruitless strife and debate". (p. 40.)

Flurry and Leap teach that interracial marriage is forbidden by God. This is extremely racist.

So we see that instead of talking about Ezra and Nehemiah Flurry and Leap use this booklet to further indoctrinate PCG members into remaining loyal to PCG by ignoring any information Flurry and Leap do not like, stoking paranoid fears that the world is out to get PCG and even banning interracial marriage for PCG members, which is extremely racist.

What madness Flurry and Leap offer to PCG members in this booklet. No wonder so many terrible reports should come from PCG when their leaders say things like this.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Part 2 of Reading PCG's Booklet, Ezra and Nehemiah

Let us now continue reading Gerald Flurry and Dennis Leap's booklet, Ezra and Nehemiah: Building God's Temple. This booklet was first published in 1997. It was later revised in 2005. You can read the current version of this booklet on their website. That is the same version I am reading for this post.

We now continue from Part 1.

Chapter 4

So here Flurry and Leap talk about how the Jews celebrated Passover
They all kept God’s Passover together. The only way that this kind of purity and unity can be achieved is through government. True unity can only come with God’s government. (p. 32.)
Do as you are told.
How much impurity and evil is there in division? Division reveals many sins. The very recent history of the God’s Laodicean church shows us the corruption caused by division. The Laodicean ministers are not unified. Many ministers seriously disagree with the many doctrinal changes. The WCG has split and resplit into several different groups. The members of these Laodicean groups are suffering the most from division. Families have been split apart. Spiritual confusion runs rampant within the membership. People no longer have a clear picture of what the Church teaches or believes. (pp. 32-33.)
It is extremely hypocritical of Flurry and Leap to complain about families being torn apart by the splintering of the COGs when PCG's leaders have ordered PCG members to have no contact with the members of any other COG splinter group.

How dare Flurry and Leap pretend that their hearts are bleeding for the sufferings of lay members when PCG members are ordered to shun the members of other COG splinter groups.
The ministry must first become unified. Ephesians 4:11-12 show that God’s government is structured from the top down. Since true unity can only come through government, each minister must be sure that he is submitting to God, His law and government. All ministers must remember that there is great strength and beautiful teamwork when the top, middle and bottom are all unified as one. ... We must strive to have more of the mind of Jesus Christ if we are going to achieve a pure unity among the ministry. The people of God must also unify themselves with the ministry. (p. 33.)
In other words, do as you are told by those higher in authority to you.

PCG members and ministers are told to pay close attention to what they are told to do by the leaders of PCG Headquarters based in Edmond. Note how PCG HQ is compared to Shiloh and Jerusalem here.
In addition, if you study your Bible carefully, it is clear that the seat of God’s government is always at some headquarters location. Anciently there was the tabernacle at Shiloh. Then there were the temples at Jerusalem. Even in early New Testament times, Jerusalem was seen as headquarters (Acts 15:1-34). This means that each minister and member must also develop a strong headquarters focus. Division begins once the focus is taken off headquarters.

Unity is made sure through humility and loyalty. Humility and loyalty can only come about through deep conversion. The ministry must also set an example in humility and loyalty. Each minister and member must come to recognize that it will take a lot of humility and loyalty to produce the family unity that God and Christ desire for the PCG. Let’s all realize that division destroys nations and churches. ... Let’s all work together to build strong family unity in God’s Philadelphia Church.(pp. 33-34.)
Wow, Flurry and Leap really hate division it seems.

After this Flurry and Leap begin to discuss Ezra and how he came from Babylon to help build up the community of returned Jews. The authors say Ezra did this by establishing the law. Here Flurry and Leap compare HWA to Ezra.
In a similar sense, God used Herbert W. Armstrong to also establish His law in this end time. He headed God’s government as Ezra did anciently. Mr. Armstrong worked very hard all of his life to keep God’s law and government alive in the Church. We must fight to keep that same government in God’s Church today. (p. 35.)
Then Flurry and Leap quote from Mystery of the Ages without even saying where in the book the quote came from.
Mr. Armstrong wrote, “The very fact of law presupposes government. Government is the administration and enforcement of law by one in authority. This necessitates authoritative leadership—one in command” (Mystery of the Ages). (p. 35.)
It is from Chapter 2, pages 48-49, of the original Mystery of the Ages. It may also be seen on page 37, of PCG's altered Mystery of the Ages.

Flurry and Leap then assert that every other COG group have altered HWA's teaching of government. This obscures the fact that many COGs continue to have one man rule just like HWA's WCG and PCG.
Are the Laodiceans enforcing law? No they are not. Look at what the wcg teaches about the law. It no longer believes that Sabbath-keeping is necessary for salvation. Yet Jesus Christ said, “… if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17). The Global Church maintains its own brand of government called brotherly government. This is not the form of church government outlined in the Bible! And it’s not the kind of government God taught through Mr. Armstrong. ... All of the Laodicean groups are seriously in error relative to the law and government. (pp. 35-36.)
Many COGs continue to have one man rule just like HWA's WCG and PCG. Flurry and Leap are implying that all other COG groups are different in regards to government. That is simply not true. Why does Flurry say untrue things?

It is curious that Flurry and Leap did not even bother to update this passage to mention LCG. This booklet was revised in 2005. The booklet was originally published in 1997. Meredith had since reverted to one man rule after he engineered a schism to set up his own splinter group (LCG) which would be more firmly under his control. So not only has Flurry and Leap not bothered to update this passage even the argument it makes has been rendered out of date by 2005.
Artaxerxes deeply respected Ezra. This great king recognized Ezra’s true title. Ezra was the “scribe of the law of the God of heaven.” Several commentaries show that this was Ezra’s official title! Isn’t it amazing that a carnal king could come to such understanding? He fully recognized that Ezra represented the great God of the entire universe. Artaxerxes knew who Ezra was—he knew that he came with exalted credentials! (p. 37.)
Or maybe Artaxerxes was being diplomatic with him. Was Artaxerxes an adherent of Judaism then? That seems utterly absurd.

Flurry and Leap then say that PCG's leaders are just like Ezra in power and authority.
The PCG ministers are scribes “of the law of the God of heaven.” The great God of the universe gives us credentials. Why? We are the only ministers willing to set our minds to do and teach God’s law! The Laodicean ministers have become ashamed of God’s law. In essence, they teach that it is “contemptible” (Malachi 1:7). (p. 37.)
This criticism "Laodicean ministers" makes sense if he is talking about Tkach's WCG but Flurry has defined all other COG groups as being "Laodicean". That may be seen in this booklet as well as in other of his booklets. But in fact many COG groups continue to (selectively) teach and enforce various Old Testament rules and restrictions. Those groups are certainly not "ashamed of God's law" as is inaccurately implied here. Why does Flurry say untrue things?

Why do so many PCG members continue to stay despite the various problems there? Well, partly it is because PCG's leaders tell them they are very important if they stay there. 
You should realize that God’s people are now in training to share Ezra’s title in the World Tomorrow. We will be priests of the law of the God of heaven. What a job we will have! Our focus must be that the law we keep and teach has come from the God of the universe. As a Philadelphian member, you also represent this great God! We must never forget who we are and whom we represent. You also have credentials of the highest order. (p. 38.)
And, although most outsiders find this hard to believe, many PCG members actually believe this, or at least believe it enough to stay in PCG.

And, of course, what is left unstated here, is that should you decide to leave PCG you will be damned as an enemy of God doomed to endure the Great Tribulation.

Flurry and Leap then say that the prominent Jewish families chose to stay in Babylon. Flurry and Leap use this thought to allude to the fact that no prominent leader from WCG chose to cast in their lot with PCG and explain this away.
This is so similar to the PCG today. The well-known ministers are not with us! The outstanding, well-known families are not with us. But just as in Ezra’s time, God is using people with common names to do an uncommon job! (p. 38.)
Flurry does this a lot. He enjoys being top man within PCG but he knows that within HWA's WCG he was quite unimportant. Just another WCG minister. He is anxious that PCG members forget this fact. He is worried that PCG members will wonder why none of the major WCG leaders went with PCG.

Of course the prominent leaders of HWA's WCG did not choose PCG. In the socially stratified world of HWA's WCG they would have viewed following Flurry as demeaning. Flurry was fairly low in the pecking order of WCG ministers. The prominent leaders of HWA's WCG would not stoop to one with such little power.

However this was a bit harder for HWA's WCG members to notice because ministers are given such power ministers within WCG had over the lives of lay members. Consequently many WCG lay members would not have seen that Flurry was not important within HWA's WCG. The fact that Flurry was a minister at all seems to have been enough to impress many WCG members into casting their lot with PCG.

After this Flurry fear mongers that times will become more difficult for PCG. So you had better do what those above you tell you to do speedily or else you might die.
The prophecies show that the PCG is moving into more difficult times. The times are going to require that we all have a more refined sense of government and authority. We must not forget that we are in a war with Satan and wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). The time coming is going to require that orders be completed speedily. When an army is in the heat of battle—under intense fire—there is not a lot of time for negotiating and debate! Soldiers who want to debate and negotiate while in a fight become casualties. (p. 40.)
This was written in 1997, later revised in 2005. It is now 2014, seventeen years since this booklet first came out, nine years since its revision. Have "more difficult times" arrived for PCG after seventeen years? Did you expect things to be closer to Christ's return then they are now when this booklet was first published seventeen years ago?

Flurry and Leap then condemn "senseless debate" within PCG and say it is necessary to not focus on such things.
God requires that we prove all things (1 Thessalonians 5:21). But He also forbids us to get involved in fruitless strife and debate (1 Timothy 6:20-21; 2 Timothy 2:16-18). At times, some few members want to engage the ministry in senseless debate. Our work demands that we work quickly and efficiently. There is not much time left for us to complete our job. Jesus said, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4). This fact does produce a certain amount of pressure on the ministry. We cannot waste time! Dealing with strife and debate can be a waste of time. We all must be careful that we are not wasting time with unimportant Bible questions, debates or controversies.

Let’s all devote our study and thinking time on the main issues facing the PCG in this end of the end time. Let’s sharpen our focus in our prayer and studies. How do we know where to place our focus? We must let the Trumpet, the Key of David broadcast and all of the PCG literature guide our focus. (p. 40.)
In other words, do as you are told. Do not think about it. Do not show the PCG minister that he got it wrong. Do not prove that you are more clever then the PCG minister. Abandon your old personality to make easier to be told what to do by PCG ministers.

And some people wonder why PCG is widely regarded as a cult.

We now continue with this booklet.
Verse 27 and 28 prove this to be so. (p. 41.)
Shouldn't that be "Verses 27 and 28"?
We must see that all of the great beauty in the PCG, our literature and television program, has been inspired by God. This beauty should greatly strengthen us to finish the work. (p. 41.)
What madness! No wonder so many people within PCG have such skewed views regarding PCG since they read and believe self serving propaganda like this.

Chapter 5

In this chapter Flurry and Leap begin with a lot of flattering words for PCG members and potential converts. Maybe the authors say such flattering words in order to prepare the readers to accept the extremely racist thing they are about to say after this section: that interracial marriage is forbidden.
In a very real sense, God has also given the PCG a new beginning. The PCG began with only 12 people. Also recognize that the temple which God built through Mr. Armstrong has been—for all intents and purposes—destroyed! The corrupt Laodicean leadership has caused the Worldwide Church of God to fall into irreparable ruin. But God has not left His people without a temple. Where is God’s temple today? It is the PCG! Where is God’s temple treasure today? It is within the PCG! One of the main tasks of the PCG is to help God’s people locate God’s true temple after the Laodicean destruction.

God’s Philadelphia ministers also have the grave responsibility to protect God’s special treasure. What is God’s treasure? His very elect. Why? They are filled with and loyal to God’s truth. ... God’s true people are like rare jewels of great value when compared to the billions of people on this planet. The Laodicean ministry is dealing treacherously with God’s people by deceiving them about God’s truth. The WCG doctrinal changes represent a grievous betrayal of God by His people. (pp. 43-44.)
Perhaps the authors say these words because of what they are about to say next. Flurry's PCG teaches that racial intermarriage is forbidden by God and sinful. This teaching was inherited from HWA. Flurry and Leap now say here that racial intermarriage is forbidden by (PCG's) God.
Some of the nation’s princes reported to Ezra that the people were racially intermarrying with the nations around them. Moses had recorded that God forbade interracial marriage (Deuteronomy 7:1-3). Ezra was devastated that this sin was being committed in Judah. He immediately began a fast because this sin threatened to destroy the fledgling nation. But what depressed Ezra the most about this sin was that some priests, Levites and princes were leading the people into this catastrophic rebellion. God’s own ministers were the chief sinners. (p. 45.)
What madness! It is nonsense to use this event and claim we should do the same. British Israelism is false. That doctrine is built on a foundation of sand as has recently shown. The European descended peoples of America are not descended from Jews or Israelites.

The Jews in this event were doing this among themselves. As far as I understand it in Judaism the requirements of the law were only expected to be fulfilled by Jews. They did not expect non-Jews to observe such things. As far as I can tell they did not believe that such things applied to any other people. They would have viewed it as absurd that some non-Jews were using these events to justify banning interracial marriage for all peoples as Flurry and Leap here imply.

Deuteronomy 7:1-3 discuss the Israelites not marrying among the Canaanites. It was not some sort of ban upon interracial marriage that decreed that the various races must be forever kept separated as Flurry and Leap falsely implies. It does not say that races need to only marry their own kind, as HWA taught in Mystery of the Ages.

Until very recently within American society there were widespread restrictions on interracial marriage. They were racial in nature and used to impose cruel racial oppression upon ethnic minorities. Most African Americans were Christians but the racist white supremacists could have cared less about such commonalities and brutally (and all too often murderously) subjected African Americans into a state of oppression in order to gain white supremacy and gain this sick satisfaction that they were somehow better then African Americans.

It took a long time and a very long struggle for the USA to finally allow racial intermarriage. This was only done after a Supreme Court case in 1967, Loving v. Virginia. Gerald Flurry was born in 1935 so he would have been about thirty-two years of age at this time. Today it is illegal for any governmental authority in the United States to forbid interracial marriage. Nevertheless Gerald Flurry has staunchly refused to change on this vital and important matter.

It is very racist to forbid interracial marriage

Over and over again Flurry has changed doctrines whenever desired under the guise that it is "new revelation" that proves he is God's man. (We shall see one example of this soon in this post.) But Gerald Flurry has chosen not to change this terrible and racist doctrine. He can easily change it if he wanted to but he has chosen otherwise.

Another very useful resource on this topic is this review of Mystery of the Ages which discusses HWA's ban on interracial marriage and shows how HWA took Scriptures out of context to claim that interracial marriage is forbidden.

We now continue.

Flurry and Leap insist that PCG is the only true church on Earth today.
Do we realize that the PCG is our “nail in his holy place” in this end time? We are a nail for the end-time people of God. We are reviving God’s only work. No other group on this planet is doing God’s work. All of us must work together to make sure our nail remains firm. (p. 47.)
What madness! This claim is simply used to trap people into thinking they must join PCG and to think that they cannot leave no matter what wrongs they are forced to endure.
The PCG stands for upholding God’s law. Mr. Armstrong made specific judgments on many issues. The PCG ministry is going to stand by those judgments. Why? The survival of the Church is at stake! The PCG ministry must uphold all of God’s law to keep God’s Church alive and well. (pp. 49-50.)
This seems like a very definitive statement that PCG will continue preaching what HWA taught.

But what about HWA's teaching that Prophets under the New Testament dispensation have no administrative authority? HWA taught that from 1953 till the day he died. He even added that teaching in Mystery of the Ages. Yet Gerald Flurry has proclaimed himself to be That Prophet since 1999. He uses this title to justify his one man rule over PCG. So we see that ultimately Gerald Flurry is perfectly willing to change HWA's doctrines whenever he feels like it. In fact Flurry often claims to receive "new revelation" from God to justify his right to rule.

And with that this post ends. The last two chapters use the Book of Nehemiah but that shall be discussed in a later post.

(Update: June 24, 2014: The last part of this booklet is discussed in Part 3 of this discussion.)