Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Gerald Flurry Promoting the Financing of Armstrong Auditorium (2007)

On February 22, 2007 PCG's leader, Gerald Flurry, made a co-worker letter seeking to convince PCG members to finance the construction of Armstrong Auditorium. (This letter was previously discussed by Exit and Support Network.)
Dear members and co-workers in Christ,

I have some inspiring news to tell you, and several important announcements.

We are in an extremely critical phase of God’s Work. Many signs indicate that this present evil world is about to expire and that Jesus Christ’s return is imminent! ...


These events — and this Work — will be finished in a moment! That means we must be urgent! As Christ 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). The blackest night that humanity has ever seen is descending on us! (p. 1.)
So in 2007 time was "rapidly running out" and nine years later PCG members are still waiting for their leaders' dire pronouncements to come true.

Flurry stated that the only thing preventing the construction of Armstrong Auditorium is lack of finding. He complains that constructing such a building would lead to cutbacks on other matters.
One big decision weighing on my mind for months now is WHEN to proceed with constructing the HOUSE FOR GOD, the auditorium we plan for the Herbert W. Armstrong College campus. Last year, we completed two large buildings: our Hall of Administration, and Barbara Flurry Memorial Hall, which serves as a women’s dormitory and academic center. The house for God is the last major piece of our campus, and our plans for it are complete.

The only thing we lack is FUNDING. As I wrote in my last letter to you, right now we are directing our entire building fund toward paying off the Hall of Administration. I believe it would be unwise to continue paying on this building and at the same time take on the additional burden of financing construction on the house for God. It would require cutting back on the all-important work of our primary commission: warning this world, with as much power and amplification as possible, of the disasters about to strike unless people repent! THIS IS NOT A TIME FOR CUTBACKS — IT IS TIME TO DRIVE FORWARD WITH GREATER URGENCY AND POWER IN GOD’S WORK! (p. 1.)
Flurry declares that there will be no funding for Armstrong Auditorium until the Hall of Administration had been paid off. But he still wants his followers to be excited about and prepared to construct it as soon as possible.
This is why, as I wrote to you last time, I have decided NOT to begin financing any new construction until we have completely paid for the Hall of Administration. 
However, dear brethren and co-workers, given what looks to be the very SHORTNESS of time we have left, I believe we must position our selves to begin constructing the house for God AS QUICKLY AS WE POSSIBLY CAN.

I ALSO BELIEVE GOD WANTS US TO BUILD THIS INSPIRING STRUCTURE. We have invested considerable time and money into designing it with our architectural firm, and God has been behind it. He has also given us the concert grand piano and the two candelabra from the Ambassador Auditorium. I believe that these are strong indications God wants us to move ahead with this project. We could create a magnificent jewel in this area, an edifice that would stand as a MONUMENT TO THE LIVING GOD like nothing else we could do in this world. The more I think about it, the more the idea inspires me! (p. 1.)
PCG should have a "house for God", Flurry declares. He also absurdly declares that money is not important in getting it constructed.
SHOULDN’T WE HAVE A HOUSE FOR GOD, JUST BEFORE THE GREATEST EVENT EVER TO OCCUR IN THE UNIVERSE, THE RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST? And money is not our primary need. We need faith to build that auditorium — faith in the living God! (p. 1.)
Never mind what is written in Isaiah 66.
Thus says the Lord: “Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest? For all those things My hand has made, And all those things exist,” Says the Lord. “But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word. (Isaiah 66: 1-2, NKJV.)
 Flurry then appears to suggest that the timing of Christ's return is affected by what PCG members do.
Years earlier, Mr. Armstrong said some people didn’t want him to start a college because of the shortness of time. “Some said, ‘Why, there isn’t time! It will be four years before the first students graduate, and even then they will still be just youths without maturity or actual experience.’ But there was, and still is, enough time — though THERE IS NOT A DAY TO LOSE. THE END OF THIS AGE CAN’T COME UNTIL THIS VERY GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM HAS BEEN PREACHED ...” (Good News, April 1951). People thought Christ would return regardless of the Work being done. But Mr. Armstrong said the Work being done is the whole reason Christ CAN come back! The Apostle Peter said we could actually hasten the coming of Jesus Christ by how we work today (2 Peter 3:12). (p. 2.)
And why did some Radio Church of God members think there was so little time in 1951? Because that is what HWA told them.

Flurry justifies the construction of Armstrong Auditorium by saying the building itself is a message to the world outside of PCG.
Humanly we may think, Europe is rising. We don’t need a building program — we just need to get this message out. But GOD’S HOUSE HAS ITS OWN MESSAGE! Mr. Armstrong considered the Ambassador Auditorium part of the Great Commission of the Church! It served a role in BRINGING THE WORLD TO GOD — like Solomon’s temple anciently....

How many lives will be impacted — even while this structure is going up? How many will be moved just by simply seeing the resources we put into making God’s house a reality? It is a special means of proclaiming God’s message of hope, pointing people to the day when God will transform the whole world into a Garden of Eden. (p. 2.)
Apparently Gerald Flurry's God needs a house just like mere mortals.
Perhaps we can see the need for buildings for our staff and students to work in and dwell in, BUT WHAT ABOUT A PLACE FOR OUR GREAT GOD TO DWELL IN? That’s what Mr. Armstrong asked. The auditorium’s need actually preceded the immediate importance of those earlier buildings. And Mr. Armstrong had supreme faith that this was a command from God. (p. 3.)
Flurry insists that "the shortness of time" before the Great Tribulation simply means it needs to be done more quickly. 
At this point, I believe the urgency of the times does not negate the fact that we need this building to proclaim God’s message. IT JUST MEANS WE HAVE LESS TIME TO BUILD IT! I believe God is trying to rush us along because of the shortness of time. (p. 3.)
Flurry asserts that Haggai 2:9 is referring to Armstrong Auditorium.
Haggai 2:9 states, “The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.” God is speaking about His spiritual temple — His people . WE are His spiritual temple. The glory of this latter house is that God lives in His people. 
But this verse also speaks of “this place” — a physical place. God always uses the physical to teach us about the spiritual. That is why we must focus on physical quality in developing the environment here at God’s headquarters. ... God’s house is not just for the world. It’s for God’s loyal people too. We NEED it in order to understand our vision of the World Tomorrow better. We need it to build our faith. (p. 3.)
Flurry insinuates that the act of funding the construction of Armstrong Auditorium will serve as a test of faith to prepare PCG members for enduring future events.
Flurry complains that his enemies portray PCG "as some deranged cult." He asserts that having such a building will deflect such criticism.
Our enemies are always trying to marginalize us and to make us appear as some deranged cult. How can they possibly succeed when people see God’s magnificent house rising from the Oklahoma landscape? And when they experience entertainment that manifests the best of the human spirit? (p. 3.)
If he wants such criticism to stop maybe he should make PCG stop acting like it. Maybe he should end the disfellowshipping of ex-members and remove PCG's infamous no contact rule which is used to shun the members of the other COG groups.

Flurry tells his followers to throw caution to the wind and not worry about its construction being stopped if the Great Tribulation should come before its completion.
We are so close to the end of this wretched age, dear brethren and co-workers. And if God wants us to build Him an auditorium, then we must not slow Him down. If He wants to cut its construction short, that is His prerogative. But we must be FOUND DOING. If we do, Matthew 24:47 says we will be made rulers over “all His goods” — the universe! That’s what the building fund, the building program and the house of God are all about. We are starting a universe-building program that will last forever! 
HAVING THE HONOR TO BUILD A HOUSE FOR GOD IS TRULY INSPIRING! And we are quickly running out of time to be able to do this. I want to be in a position to begin building it as quickly as possible, while at the same time MAKING SURE we are GROWING THE AMOUNT OF THE AMPLE AND NECESSARY RESOURCES WE NEED IN TELEVISION, PUBLISHING AND OTHER IMPORTANT INSTRUMENTS OF FULFILLING OUR COMMISSION. (p. 4.)
Flurry asserts that Satan was cast down to Earth in 1986 upon HWA's death so, he says, things are harder and more urgent then they were in HWA's time.
His death was a radical turning point in God’s Church — and in this world! Satan was cast down and is now full of his worst wrath ever because his time is short! 
Our time is also extremely short. But do we know it as well as Satan does?

Never have we seen the nations of Israel degenerate so fast. Never have our nations seen so many dangerous Gentile enemy nations. Everything is building toward the inevitable return of Jesus Christ. Or there would be no flesh saved alive! (Matthew 24:21-22).

So let’s remember that there has never been trouble on this Earth as we have seen since the death of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong, God’s end-time type of Elijah.

America, the British peoples and biblical Judah (called Israel today) are about to die — falling together....
Flurry also insinuates that those who are doing (PCG's) God's work will be protected from the Great Tribulation.
God has promised to protect the people who are doing His Work. He will severely punish those who are consumed by evil. (p. 4.)
Flurry states that there had been an increase in income in January and February and he presents that as a sign to get the construction of Armstrong Auditorium going as soon as possible.
We have been thinking and praying about the contents of this letter for some time. Now we see hefty increases in offerings for January and February. Isn’t that God’s way of encouraging us to keep walking by this faith? Isn’t this God’s way of encouraging us to build His house? 
Such a structure is no problem for the Almighty God to build. I believe God wants us to step out on faith and do His Work more powerfully and dramatically!

If we have enough faith, the money will come for us to build. I am fully aware that we are a small group that can only generate limited amounts of money. But let’s not limit God. Jesus Christ is the Head of this Church, and we must follow His lead! (p. 4.)
Flurry announces that PCG will pay off a five year loan in one year and then build Armstrong Auditorium.
We took out a five-year loan for our Hall of Administration. I have made it our goal to pay it off within the next 12 MONTHS, saving us over $300,000 in interest charges. And unless God directs me otherwise, as soon as that loan is paid WE PLAN TO BREAK GROUND ON THE HOUSE FOR GOD! Again, given the urgency of the times, we want to begin that construction AS QUICKLY AS WE POSSIBLY CAN. (p. 4.)
Flurry ends his co-worker letter with these words.
Dear co-workers and beloved brethren of God, WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER. God has set a towering task before us. Let me tell you frankly that I need your prayers, and deeply appreciate your support and encouragement. I have received several encouraging notes and letters from you, and it does humble me to see how much you are sacrificing for this Work and putting your hearts into it! 
Let us get on our knees and beseech God to help us work more powerfully and more efficiently for Him. Pray that God would provide the wherewithal for us to hasten the completion of this Work and usher in the return of Christ and the wonderful World Tomorrow!

With love, in Jesus' name,


Gerald R. Flurry (p. 5.)
Armstrong Auditorium cost about $25 million and was opened in 2010. It cost more than PCG's yearly income of 2012 which was about $19.5 million.


  1. In the PCG all you hear about is the constant need to buy or build things, it’s all about show and display – making an impression. First it was the land, then the field house, then the MPC, then the admin building, then HWA’s crystal lampstands and Steinway piano, then the auditorium, then another Steinway, then the new stately home in the UK. Now it’s a million dollar music and dance facility. What’s next? Oh yes, I remember a freaking jet plane!

    There is nothing in the New Testament about the Christian church purchasing elaborate buildings. After Christ’s ascension the only official church real estate recorded that I am aware of in the early NT church was Paul's house at Rome which was rented! Certainly the early Church didn’t need auditoriums or college facilities. As far as I can tell they met in member’s homes and taught in the local synagogues and public places of assembly.

    It makes me shudder every time I hear the auditorium referred to as God’s house. What’s worse is that HQ’s make the families with young children sit in the basement rooms during services listening via video link to protect their precious furnishings and fittings from being spoilt.

    Interestingly you will never hear the PCG ministry quote Hebrews 3:6 which says explicitly that the church collectively and that the members individually are God’s House, not any physical building.

  2. So true. The demand for more funding simply never ends. They made Armstrong Auditorium then the PCG 1% wanted this and that.

    Thank you for your informative comment.

  3. Moral Mazes: The World of Corporate Managers
    by Robert Jackall covers the ground occupied by the Armstrongist
    Worldwide Church of God and their Church Corporate spinoffs — not
    specifically, but in practice, since all the participants follow the
    same thinking and practices of those in the Corporate 200. Chapter 7, The Magic Lantern, covers the aspects of image creation for the purposes of public relations.

  4. So true. The COG 1% spend so much time presenting themselves in a good light to their followers.