Saturday, July 4, 2015

Reading PCG's Booklet, Jude

Let us now read Gerald Flurry's booklet, Jude. This booklet was first published in 2005. Here he says not only are we in the last hour, we are in the last moments before the Great Tribulation. Unveils a "new revelation" of his about predestination. He also boasts about the court case with Tkach's WCG in order to buttress his legitimacy among his followers. He condemns homosexuals as well. He also accuse the members of the other COG groups of being murderers, terrorists and leapers for not paying tithes to PCG. You can read this booklet on their website.

Let us see what he has to say.

This booklet is based on two articles published in PCG's Royal Vision magazine in the September-October 2003 issue and the May-June 2004 issue of that recruitment magazine.
Jude wrote his epistle during dangerous, urgent times, much like our own. God has now revealed how Jude’s message of warning and of encouragement applies prophetically to us today! (Introduction.)
And so once again Flurry presents "new revelation" to prove that God is with him in a way unlike any other person on Earth.

Chapter 1

Flurry proclaims we are not just in the last hour as he said we had entered on May 5, 2001. We are in the last moments before the Great Tribulation and Christ's return.
The Greek word translated time means “measure of moments” and “time of opportunities.”

As the Apostle John wrote, we are in “the last hour.” But here, Jude refers to moments —or a time frame of less than an hour —a time of minutes, or moments. (p. 1.) 
Ten years later we are still waiting for Flurry's last hour to end. It is amazing how selective PCG members are in hearing what Flurry says. It is not the last hour anymore. It is the last minute. The last moments.
Jude has a message primarily for us today—at this specific time! This message reveals how we will get through the trials ahead to finish this work. This is new revelation from the book of Jude. Herbert W. Armstrong did not understand this epistle the way we now understand it. (p. 3.)
And so Flurry presents "new revelation", namely that PCG's God personally selected the PCG members to join Flurry's PCG. Flurry portrays his God as somehow mystically shopping around and concluding that those who joined PCG are the elite of all humanity worthy of becoming the elite of God beings to be resurrected at Christ's return.

I recall one time reading of how some Catholic leaders back in the 1200s (if I recall correctly) taught that the soul had always existed before birth. How is this idea any different from that Catholic idea?

I recall one time reading a traditional Jewish story in which the soul before birth is shown the glory of God and is instructed in the Jewish religion but when the soul is then born it forgets all this and strives to remember these things in learning Judaism. How is Flurry's idea of divine selection before birth any different from that?

This is not "new revelation". It is an old idea that has been presented anew in order to make PCG members impressed in a bid to make PCG members persuaded yet again that (PCG's) God is with Gerald Flurry. But of course God is not with Gerald Flurry.
This verse confirms something that God’s people have believed for many years, but never had a scripture to reinforce the idea.

This “calling” is not some casual thing like just happening to turn on the Church television broadcast. This word called has a deeper meaning. Jude says that first of all we are sanctified by God the Father, then preserved in Jesus Christ, and then finally we are called. Quite a different sequence of events! But that’s the way it reads in the Greek.

In verse 1, the word called would better read invited —that is the first definition of the word, and the one the translators should have used. ... This verse teaches us God’s careful selection process. First a person is sanctified, or set apart, by the Father, then he or she is preserved by Christ, then invited into God’s Family! (p. 8.)
And so Flurry says that PCG's God went to a lot of trouble deciding whether to invite you or not into inviting you to join Flurry's PCG. This mumbo jumbo is designed to make the reader feel obligated to do what Flurry is saying. The reader thinks he or she is already more morally indebted to do what (PCG's) God says.
When I think back on my experiences as a young man, it is easy for me to see how God must have been behind some of them. At one point, I moved into a building with six other guys, one of whom was a deep thinker. He got me interested in reading some fairly challenging material. I don’t believe God could have ever worked with me, with my ignorance and temperament, before I got to know this young man. That experience conditioned my mind in some ways to receive God’s truth. (p. 10.)
No doubt that man would be highly disgusted and horrified at what Gerald Flurry has done since then.
Study this one verse, and you will see why God’s Church does not have an open-door policy!

We often get criticized for that. But that criticism just shows a lack of understanding about God and His truth. No one would think it’s alright to invite just anyone to be a doctor or lawyer, but when it comes to religion, a “come as you are” attitude is common in mainstream Christianity. But look at the problems Jude faced from within the Church! (pp. 12-13.) 
Also having a closed door policy also makes it easier for PCG minister to more effectively control the lay members by deciding who even gets in. 
The Laodiceans still know about coming out of Egypt, which means coming out of the world for us today. There are some things the Laodiceans today cannot forget. (p. 14.)
Here we see how words are redefined to mean something else. This is called "loading the language". The Israelites leaving Egypt is reinterpreted to mean people "coming out of the world", meaning to embrace the Armstrongite group and to thoroughly reject anything contrary to what is taught by the Armstrongite group.
This is why the Philadelphia Church of God agitates the Laodiceans so much. They even recommend each other’s Laodicean groups, but at the same time, warn people to avoid the PCG. Why? We remind them of what they were taught by God, and they know it and can’t refute it! In their heart, they know we are right. That is why 50 percent of them will repent so quickly and so profoundly in the Great Tribulation. (p. 14.)
Or maybe it is because they see the problems within PCG. Maybe it is because they see the many false prophecies PCG has made over the years.
Jude puts it all into perspective with this history. Look at what the angels lost! They had the opportunity to beautify the Earth and to administer God’s law—and then do the same to the whole universe! When you implement God’s law, you always create beauty, because God is doing it through you. First the world, then the universe—that is why we are here! Imagine what the angels would have done to the Earth if they had listened to God! And imagine what we will do when we administer the law and government of God.

You can see why it is so important that we develop the character of God. We must build more character than even the righteous angels have—we must become perfect as our Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48). God wants to know whether we truly love His law and government, whether we really want His rule over us, whether we truly yearn to help Him build His beauty in the universe! (p. 16.)
And so we see that PCG members are told that being loyal to PCG will make them be greater than the angels.

Chapter 2

On pages 20-23 Flurry rants about homosexuals and condemn them as being influenced by Satan. Imagine if Flurry was talking about Jews here. Would it not be anti-Semitic and hateful?
Homosexuality and lesbianism have become chic today in the nations of Israel. What does God think of that? ...

We must get to the real cause of homosexuality. It is a product of sin in marriages and families. Homosexuals are surrendering to a satanic spirit and power. This is why Jude began with the angelic rebellion. Satan is the spirit to which they are “giving themselves over,” in spite of the fact it is unnatural. Satan is forcefully behind homosexuality and the breakdown of our families. (pp. 20-21.)
Shortly after saying Satan did it Flurry also tries to blame heterosexuals who do not behave sexually according to PCG dogma for somehow causing homosexuals to exist. One moment he is blaming Satan, next he is blaming heterosexuals behaving contrary to PCG dogma. Which one is it? Are heterosexuals "surrendering to a satanic spirit and power" as well? Flurry can't even keep his story straight.
However, the heterosexuals are often in the same spirit. They too destroy marriages as God ordained them. So we are all reaping the whirlwind of disintegrating God-ordained families. Marriage and family are God-plane relationships.

We would not have the homosexual problem if we were building God-plane families. Upside-down families are the primary cause of homosexuality.

These people are being stirred by the devil to live twisted lives. They are led into lawless perversion. Homosexuals and lesbians have been racing to get “married” unlawfully —that is, unlawfully according to both man’s laws and God’s laws. They are following Satan’s lawless way of life. (p. 21.)
Armstrongism has a long history of vilifying homosexuals to distract their followers from the problems among themselves. No wonder PCG members are not worried about all that money they have paid to PCG. They have this implanted phobia about homosexuals.

No wonder PCG members do not stand up against the ministry to demand they are treated better when they worry that homosexuals, within and outside of PCG, are demon possessed and influenced by Satan. And when a PCG member discovers that his or her family member is homosexual that they are scared they are demon possessed so they cannot see how this implanted phobia is distracting them from noticing the problems within PCG. Why worry about throwing away badly needed money when they are worried about, and want protection from, evil spirits? 
They “revile the glorious ones”—God’s very elect. They turn people from God and persecute us, as in the court case. PCG members regularly receive mailings from dissidents who are trying to deceive them. Jude says their ideas are just “dreamings”—with no logic, totally founded in fantasy. (p. 24.)
Here Flurry is trying to control the reader's information by preemptively discrediting any information that might cause the reader's loyalty to Flurry to waver. Must not allow the tithes to stop flowing.

For instance it is widely known that many of the ideas within Malachi's Message were plagiarized from The Letter to Laodicea by Jules Dervaes, written December 1986-January 1988. It was sent to 237 WCG ministers including Gerald Flurry and John Amos. In fact on September 26, 1990 Jules Dervaes sent a letter to Gerald Flurry in which he denounces Malachi's Message as "a direct and clear plagiarism" of his work.

Are those facts somehow deceptive? Are they merely "dreamings"? Is there "no logic" in pointing out that The Letter to Laodicea said things similar to what Malachi's Message before the latter booklet was published?

This proves that Gerald Flurry did not receive Malachi's Message by just reading the Bible but the ideas presented in it were taught elsewhere among WCG members by Jules Dervaes. These facts ruin the claim that Malachi's Message is somehow special or that it somehow "proves" that one must now follow Gerald Flurry to gain God's favor.
Jude compares the Laodiceans to Cain, the first murderer. They are guilty of MURDER! They are guilty of failing to warn physical Israel, and Israel’s blood is on their head (Ezekiel 33:8).

Only God’s own saints could be guilty of such massive physical murder. Jude wrote specifically to those in the first century and the last century, the only two centuries in which God’s gospel was preached around the world. Satan was able, in time, to destroy both of those works. This end-time work was able to reach many millions of people! When God’s people became lukewarm, they became guilty of murder on an enormous scale. (pp. 25-26.) 
And Flurry says all these bizarre things about the other COG groups because he wants their money. He views them as rivals and he is frightened by the thought that his followers just might decide to leave PCG and join a similar COG group. Flurry knows there is little to distinguish him from the many other ministers ordained in WCG. Flurry sees how UCG and LCG (and later possibly COGWA) are able to maintain and retain followings larger than his own. 
At the same time, it appears many of God’s people follow a Satan-possessed man! (p. 27.) 
This is a reference to Tkach. Flurry often says "God's people" as a euphemism for all those who are in WCG and the various offshoot groups. Flurry refers to WCG members following Tkach.

Even though Flurry seems to imagine that Tkach is "a Satan-possessed man" he still paid Tkach's WCG $3 million to get the copyrights to some of HWA's writings. And after this booklet's publication Flurry's PCG appears to have paid even more money to Tkach's WCG to buy the copyright to The Bible Story by Basil Wolverton.
The United States is in a war against terrorism. In the Church, we must be concerned about spiritual terrorism, which is a much more serious threat! Do you realize that God would rather see the World Trade Center wrecked than see a single one of His saints turn away from Him? That is because there are eternal consequences!

Jude says these spiritual terrorists are “feeding themselves” when they should be feeding God’s people. And they are committing all these heinous acts “without fear.” They don’t fear breaking God’s law. They don’t fear God! (p. 28.)
And so we see how Flurry devalues the horrendous loss of life that occurred on 9/11 by claiming that the mass defection away from Armstrongism caused by the Tkach changes is somehow worse than what happened on 9/11.
We can also do great damage to our own spiritual lives. How many PCG members have been taken away by dissenters? Not just a few. Fear of God must always be with us. (p. 34.)
Maybe Flurry bears some responsibility for causing this situation to occur. The passage above also reveals how Flurry uses fear to keep his followers in line. He does not talk about making sure have the love of God always be with us, he talks of the fear of God instead. Flurry wants to use that fear to keep his followers under control and paying tithes.

One could say that the word "fear" may have had a somehow less harsh meaning more akin to "awe" back in the 1600s and 1700s when the King James Version was made. What we call the King James Version today was actually a revision made in the 1760s. But it is clear that Flurry is not using that word in this way. He is trying to scare the reader.
“[S]ave some, by snatching them out of the fire; on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh” (verse 23, RSV). We must not have close contact with Laodiceans! Their garment is spotted—they are “spiritual lepers.” There is a contagion there that you must be so careful about! We have to hate even the garments they are wearing. In some cases, they are spiritual terrorists! (p. 35.)
My word! Flurry so hates it to see people he views as challenging his authority. He is so scared that perhaps his followers just might decide to stop sending him money. He is so scared that his followers just might start questioning why they need to obey so many rules and regulations devised by PCG's leaders.

Flurry ends his booklet with these words.
This message is real. We are helping to usher in a new civilization. We are going to assist Christ in ruling the Earth and the universe for all eternity! (p. 36.)
This message is nonsense. PCG are not the elite of God. They are a group of misinformed people following a false prophet.

Let us have no fear of the dire warnings and empty words of false prophets such as Gerald Flurry.

1 comment:

  1. "This message is real. We are helping to usher in a new civilization."

    God help us.

    As always, you have done such a stellar job of bringing out the facts. It's hard to imagine how Flurry and the PCG can continue to ignore this blog since it does such damage to their credibility.

    Concerning the homosexuality issue, I have a moral question which I doubt Flurry and the PCG can answer rationally.