Saturday, October 24, 2009

Whitewashed PCG Article

UCG minister John D. Carmack has highlighted this article discussing PCG. I am afraid to say this article presents a rather whitewashed view of PCG. Carmack suggests that PCG has employed a writer to produce a favorable article about them.

Here are some highlights from this article.
The Philadelphia Church of God is a non-denominational Christian church...
This phrasing hides the fact that PCG is a part of Armstrongism, and that this religion teaches many things contrary to traditional Christian teachings. It is very different to what most people would recognize as Christian.
More than 70 percent of his [HWA's] followers were driven out or excommunicated from the Worldwide Church of God due to sweeping doctrinal changes.
Some of them actually left after seeing what happened.
The result of his studies was a book titled Malachi’s Message, which proves that the Worldwide Church of God’s falling away from the truth was actually prophesied millennia ago.
I am somewhat surprised that there is no "they believe" qualifier in that sentence.
The church does not ask for money for any of its materials.
As we know this is actually a deceptive method PCG (and many other COGs) use to gain trust from unknowing persons. Once one accepts PCG as truly sent from God they eventually discover they are required to send PCG three tithes.

One genuinely interesting piece of information provided here is that the Key of David program first started broadcasting on TV (as opposed to radio) on January 17, 1993. It is quite close to other dates important to PCG such as January 7, the start of HWA's infamous 19 year time cycles beginning in 1934 with the first broadcast of HWA's radio show, and January 16, the date of HWA's death in 1986. Gerald Flurry taught in his book, Malachi's Message, that prophetic events heralding the approaching Great Tribulation and all that would occur on that date. So far nothing has happened on that day. This makes me wonder if PCG was trying to get the Key of David start on a date like that, maybe January 16, so PCG could claim it as a sign that the end is coming?

The article also provides links to the PCG and Key of David websites.

The unsuspecting reader would have no idea that Armstrongism is quite different from traditional Christianity, that HWA, WCG and PCG deny the Trinity, teach that God is a Family into we can be born into, similar to Mormonism, insist all other non-Armstrongite Christians are false, that PCG has often been noted for its highly controlling behavior, such as demanding three tithes from members, their horrible anti-medicine superstition (deriaved ultimately from 1920s Jehovah's Witnesses) that has caused death, that HWA was guilty of gross personal sins, or the many other scandalous things that might cause some disquiet to potential recruits.

This article is a whitewashed account of PCG. PCG is a cult, in their beliefs and their disturbing behavior. This article gives the reader hardly a clue to those facts.


  1. I'm a part of the pcg and no 1.) we did not employ or even solicit anyone to write this about us.
    2.) We never hide the fact that we are an extention of the remnents of the WCG under the leadership of HWA - in fact we've named our college after him HWA College. Yes very different from "traditional christianity.
    3.) Yes stated 70% kicked-out so that must mean there is some percentage that left - I being one.
    4.) There is no deception about God's laws on tithing - there is a first tithe which belongs to God - the second tithe you spend on yourself and family during Holy Day seasons and the third tithe once in seven year rotation helps support the widows and elderly - now how wrong is that? even looking at it carnally as you would.
    5.)We never set any dates - please prove that to me in any of our literature - BECAUSE YOU CAN'T - it doesn't exsist. - that being said - we know God is a very precise God - and times and seasons all have meaning and come when He states. We don't try to mock him in this regard.
    6.)Trinity is not even in the Bible - so if you believe that your doing so on your own "faith".
    7.)Is it not written in your own law that you are Gods? - find it and disprove that and I'll be in your own camp tonight.
    8.)I'm in the WCG under HWA and now in PCG and I see Doctors when needed - They are not villans that you say HWA and us profess them to be - but you hear-say things and label us that way - go figure?
    9.)Again article is not/was not sanctioned or authored by PCG - we have our own outlet - and venue for doing a much better job than this so why would we?

  2. Before I begin let me thank you for coming to discuss these matters here.

    You may not like some of what I have to say but they said in a sincere spirit of wishing to establish what is the truth of these matters.

    Now for the responses:

    1) I am glad you have helped to clarify that matter and reveal that PCG had nothing to do with the file.

    2) I am aware that PCG never hides the fact that it is derived from WCG, I was commenting on one statement in the article that described PCG as "a non-denominational Christian church", a statement that hides PCG's distinctiveness from traditional Christianity.

    3) Again this referred to a the wording of the article itself.

    4) The deception is that PCG does not present the Three Tithes to potential converts in an upfront manner.

    5) "We never set any dates". I assume you mean PCG. Well what else are we supposed to think when we see PCG proclaiming that Christ will return "probably within a decade" on the cover of the July, 2009 Philadelphia Trumpet?

    What else are we supposed to think when Gerald Flurry proclaims to Philadelphia Youth Camp students that he believes the Great Tribulation will begin in five years or less in his sermon of July 26, 2008.

    He did say those things. And of course we must never forget the many false prophecies of Herbert W. Armstrong, the "end time Elijah."

    6) I am fully persuaded that the Bible does not teach the God Family doctrine. Please view these Scriptures which show that such a fate for mankind could never be the case.

    Another thing, I know it will be very hard to hear this, but this God Family doctrine is actually quite elitist. Syd Hull (LCG) once made a sermon in which he asserted that those in the First Resurrection will gain a higher rank and status in the God Family compared with those who are resurrected afterward.

    Here is another blog I recommend you read on this topic. This also explores how the God Family doctrine contributed to the elitist and authoritarian hierarchy within WCG by narrowing the distinctions between God and humankind.

    7) Being fully persuaded that there is no God Family taught in the Bible I find the Trinity far more Biblically reasonable then that doctrine.

    In Matthew 28:19 Jesus said, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit".

    Here the three are portrayed by Jesus as being one in that the three all possess one name into which believers are to be baptized into. This does not suggest that the Holy Spirit is somehow a different impersonal "thing" when compared to the Father and the Son.

    Furthermore the Spirit speaks as a personal being as may be seen in Acts 13:2, "the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul". This is contrary to the Armstrongite understanding (inherited from the Jehovah's Witnesses who have the same teaching concerning the nature of the Holy Spirit) that the Holy Spirit is an impersonal "thing."

    Therefore I am persuaded that the Trinity is scriptually more sound than the God Family doctrine.

    8) I am very glad that you choose to see your doctor as required. I am very happy to know this. But this does not change the fact that HWA and PCG inherited harmful anti-medicine superstitions, that were ultimately derived from the Jehovah's Witnesses of the 1920s.

    9) I am glad you have been able to clarify this matter.

  3. szabod2 said: "There is no deception about God's laws on tithing - there is a first tithe which belongs to God - the second tithe you spend on yourself and family during Holy Day seasons and the third tithe once in seven year rotation helps support the widows and elderly - now how wrong is that? even looking at it carnally as you would."

    The deception is in a couple of other places as well. To begin with, there is no command that requires NT Christians to tithe.

    There is also a deception of the members about 3rd tithe. szabod2, how do you know where that 3rd tithe goes? Do you have audited financial statements from your church that shows how much was collected and how much was actually distributed to the widows? I know for a fact that in WCG Canada the 3rd tithe that was collected went straight into general revenue. I have also heard from others in the US and the UK (people who were in a position to know), that similar pactices went on there. In Canada, if a widow or anyone else asked for 3rd tithe assistance they were told to apply at the nearest welfare office.

    There are other sites that will document where the 3rd tithe actually went in the WCG. It was used to redecorate some ministers houses and to pay for fuel in GTA's jet, for instance. The whole tithing thing is a scam that allows ministers to live a luxurious lifestyle while those in need go without. There is a scripture about "robbing widows houses" that could be applied here.

    As for tithing in general, it is claimed that it is used to do "God's work", when in actual fact the vast majority of tithes go straight into ministerial pockets in the form of salaries and perks. Where is the scriptural backup for this? Actually, the scriptures state rather strongly that ministers should not be paid. Paul said he would rather die than take a penny from his fellow brethren. So tell me szabod2, how does PCG defend doing just the opposite?