Friday, September 25, 2015

PCG Moaning About John Hagee's Celebration of the Feast

Since it is nearly time for the Feast of Tabernacles PCG has highlighted the following 2011 article by Joel Hilliker in which he "corrects" some Sunday keeping Christians saying they are celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles on the wrong days.
Scrolling through the AM radio dial a few days ago, I stopped short at a mention of the words “Feast of Tabernacles.”

Aha! I keep this festival—have my whole life. It is the highlight of every year. Very rare to hear it mentioned on the radio though.

“The 2011 Feast of Tabernacles features must-hear speakers at Cornerstone Church, October 28th through the 30th,” the radio ad began. (Joel Hilliker, Why I Keep the Feast of Tabernacles, October 12, 2011.)
Hilliker then notes that this particular Feast of Tabernacles is celebrated on the wrong days and lasts for only three days instead of eight days as Armstrongism demands.
... it struck me as odd that that church decided it will celebrate “Tabernacles” more than two weeks late, and for only three days. Scripture commands seven days starting on Tishri 15, followed by another festival on Tishri 22. These folks go three days from Tishri 30 through Cheshvan 2 and say close enough. 
Maybe this is because they are not trying to observe the Old Covenant the way PCG and the other Armstrongite COGs try to do according to their own diverse interpretations.

Hilliker then fumes that they are observing it on the wrong days. It never seems to occur to him that perhaps they are doing it for completely different reasons.

There has long been present within Armstrongism this idea that observing the various rest days and holy days of Armstrongism somehow allows one to understand COG dogmas better and then gain them God's favor.
Proper reverence and respect for God leads to wisdom. Obedience to God’s commandments precedes understanding. The corollary is this: People who refuse to obey biblical instructions they don’t understand to their satisfaction are guaranteeing they’ll never understand them.
Armstrongites have this idea that if one observes the days in the wrong way it will somehow blind that person to understanding what the COGs teach. The possibility that the COGs might be wrong is thus denied. Instead it is foisted upon people that if one does not believe the COGs it is because he or she is blinded by Satan and failing to observe the COG holy days. But what if it is the COGs that are wrong?
This church that keeps a three-day conference of their choosing says that keeping the feast “has become an annual tradition.” “As Christians, it is important that we understand our Jewish roots, the feasts and how they apply to the Believer,” the website says. “It is a celebration to be enjoyed by both Christians and Jews alike.”

Their feast seems to be largely a demonstration of solidarity with Jews. It includes what has become another tradition for them, “A Night to Honor Israel.” But their statement that this celebration is for “Christians and Jews alike” is far more literally true than they seem to realize! First, the Jews, biblical Judah, constituted only one tribe among the 12-tribed nation of Israel; the other modern Israelite nations include America!
The church Hilliker is describing which is linked to in his article is headed by John Hagee. Since the Osirak raid of 1981 Hagee has been a staunch supporter of the State of Israel. In 2006 he set up Christians United For Israel which is currently the largest pro-Israel organization among evangelical Christians in the United States. Hagee's three day feast is connected with all that.

British Israelism is nonsense. has shown how British Israelism is built on a foundation of sand. In fact DNA evidence refutes British Israelism.

But because PCG thinks that white Americans are Israelites just like the Jews PCG has projected their own whiteness upon the Jews. PCG thinks the Jews are white like themselves. Consequently PCG supports the State of Israel for the same reason they banned interracial marriage: to advance white supremacy. PCG supports the State of Israel to prop up PCG's version of white supremacy. This view is bad for Israeli Jews as well.
Today, feast-goers from many countries assemble at a handful of pre-selected and organized feast sites around the world. Uprooted from our normal lives, we meet, worship and fellowship together with people of all different ages, different races, different backgrounds and personalities—yet as one spiritual family, all joined by one spirit.
But there is a problem with PCG's observance of the Feast of Tabernacles.

Notice Leviticus 23:40-43.
And ye shall keep it a feast unto the Lord seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
And that is exactly what the Jews do today.

Look at how the Jews observe this day. They do it by building booths, called sukkah (sukkot plural) in the Hebrew language, within their houses or somewhere on their property.

Take a look at how the Jews observe the Feast of Tabernacles and the booths they observe it in.

They do not go around gathering themselves up together to assemble to listen for eight days to their Rabbis teaching the religion to them, instead they have fun and socialize with each other while staying at their own places or visiting their friends' places.

Does Leviticus say, Assemble yourselves together in a large warehouse far away from the world and go on vacation for eight days while you listen to my priests explaining the mysteries of the universe to you that you have already been hearing all year?

HWA has willfully misunderstood what this Feast is about. Instead of getting his followers to rejoice and celebrate with each other by meeting together in booths (sukkot) as seen above, in their own places, he exploited the peoples' misunderstanding and ignorance of this feast to get the COG members to assemble themselves together in a hotel, warehouse, campus, or some other such place in order to indoctrinate them into his syncretic religion.

Carla Powers in her book, Matches in the Gas Tank, well described how the Feast was a terrible burden as her family had to drop everything from their regular lives and take a compulsory eight day vacation by order of HWA.

The Feast is designed to isolate COG members from society. It makes keeping a job that much harder for the COG members as they try to take eight days off. Kids are forced to take several days off from their education at school. Going to the Feast likely forces COG members to sacrifice by not using their hard earned money to go somewhere else. Instead they must go where the minister orders them to go.

They have no idea that they are not following God, but instead are following a man made tradition invented by one Herbert W. Armstrong.

Instead of observing the Feast as it is actually described in Leviticus and how the Jews observe it, HWA devised his own man made tradition in order to indoctrinate his followers.

The truth is HWA invented this man made custom of assembling together to hold a great feast in which every member is ordered to attend. The COGs think they are following God's law. In fact they are following a tradition invented by HWA.

One would never know these facts reading what the COGs, including PCG, say about why they observe the Feast of Tabernacles. They boast that the whole world will soon observe the Feast of Tabernacles but they themselves do not even observe it properly.
As I said, I have been keeping the Feast of Tabernacles all my life, and it truly does get better every year. Obeying the commandment as God gave it brings unanticipated blessings and rewards, not the least of which is an enhanced understanding of the tremendous prophetic vision wrapped up in this magnificent holy day.
Then why don't the COGs build booths in their own property and celebrate it there? That is what Leviticus 23 says. Regardless of how many times a COG member may observe the Feast of Tabernacles it does not change the fact that Armstrongism has altered the Feast and made it a man made tradition.

Also historically Christianity has never observed the Feast of Tabernacles. The Feast is mentioned in the New Testament as a background to events described therein but it is never said to Christians in the New Testament that they needed to observe the Feast of Tabernacles in order to be a Christian.

The COGs do not follow the Bible on this matter. They are following HWA. This is true for PCG as well.

There is no need for a Christian to observe the Feast of Tabernacles. Rather Armstrongism has perverted this beautiful feast into a "test" to prove that Armstrongism alone are the only true Christians on the face of the Earth.

(Parts of this post is based on the previous post: Herbert W. Armstrong's Error Regarding the Feast.)


  1. Actually, it's worse than all this: Armstrongists claim to be keeping the Feast of Tabernacles, but without a temple and animal sacrifices, it really isn't, strictly speaking, the Feast of Tabernacles. It was given to the ancient Israelites, but with the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. there can be no more Feast.

    Moreover, to say that it is being kept on the wrong day is a given, since, at my last count, there were at least 10 different calendars in use by the churches of God -- and at least a couple of them are not associated with Armstrong in any way. For example, the Seventh Day Church of God is keeping the Feast in Fruitland, Washington beginning Sunday. From what I can tell, Paul Woods comes closest to getting the calendar right although it's probably irrelevant.

    Given the New Testament and the introduction of Christianity, celebrating a Feast of Tabernacles might actually be a good thing as long as it is to honor God and bond with the community.

    However, if it's to sit in a church cult corporate convention and listen to doomsday sermons based on British Israelism -- that's an entirely different proposition, to which I say, No thanks!

  2. This appears to be their version of a quartodecimen controversy. However, it is micro when you compare it to the macro, which would be how out of whack a festival facilitated by harvest becomes if you attempt to observe it in the Southern hemisphere.


  3. Black Ops Mikey,

    Good point you bring up saying that the COGs disagree about dates. That point is never even mentioned by Hilliker.

    Byker Bob,

    How right you are to point out that celebrating the Feast in the southern hemisphere would well be out of whack.

    Also it surprises me that Hilliker never bothers to wonder if perhaps Hagee simply wasn't trying to observe the Feast of Tabernacles the way the COGs intend to do anyway.