Monday, September 16, 2019

Condemning Disagreements with PCG's Dogmas: Overview of the May-June 2019 Issue of PCG's Philadelphia Trumpet

This is the 2300th post for the Living Armstrongism blog. I wish to thank you, the readers, for encouraging me to continue with this blog.


Let us take a look at the May-June 2019 issue of PCG's recruitment magazine, The Philadelphia Trumpet. In this issue PCG's leaders insist that left wingers are waging a war on truth and reality. But it needs to be understood that in the social milieu of PCG "truth" often only means PCG's teachings.

The editors of this issue are Gerald Flurry, Stephen Flurry, Joel Hilliker, Brad Macdonald, Richard Palmer, Jeremiah Jacques, Dennis Leap and Phillip Nice.

This issue had a circulation of 251,999 issues.

Gerald Flurry has a personal article promoting PCG's unaccredited Herbert W. Armstrong College as promoting proper religious living.

Christopher Eames has an article praising various archaeological discoveries in the Holy Land.

Joel Hilliker has an article condemning calls to address climate change by insisting that climate change is not happening and condemning the transgender community by delegitimizing their gender identity. PCG denies that climate change is happening contrary to the evidence presented in numerous scientific studies. Also transgender people are not a new thing. For instance among Samoans there are the fa'afafine. Among Indians there are the Hijra. Transgender people deserve to be treated with respect and civility. It is terrible that PCG's leaders chose to instead stir up hostility and fear towards transgender people. Furthermore the article even has a picture of Adolf Hitler in this polemics against environmentalism and transgender people to stir up hostility among this article's readers.

Richard Palmer has an article promoting PCG's dogma that continental Europe will soon unite as a military power fated to conquer the United States. Various incidents of warfare involving the Roman Empire, Emperor Charlemagne, the Hapsburgs, Spanish warfare against Native Americans, Napoleon and Nazi Germany are mentioned to insist that similar acts of war will soon be unleashed against the United States by a future European Empire. This article also features a disturbing photo of an innocent Jewish man about to be shot to death during the Holocaust.

Andrew Müller has an article scare mongering that the US dollar may lose its status as a reserve currency. Armstrongite COGs have constantly insisted that economic catastrophe will soon occur.

The Infographic insists that the US dollar will somehow soon collapse.

Jeremiah Jacques has an article speculating that differences between languages can affect how people view certain things. He notes how some languages use cardinal directions to describe left and right. He also talks about the Japanese word mokutatsu but for some reason the word is misspelled five times with an extra s as mokustatsu. One of those instances is from a quotation which shows that no one among PCG's writers bothered to check that it was written properly. Thousands of people trust PCG to gain them God's favor and to protect them from the Great Tribulation and yet PCG's writers do not even know how to write a Japanese word correctly.

Jacques speculates that the use of mokutatsu helped cause President Truman to decide to use atomic bombs against Japan. Or maybe it didn't.

Jacques also promotes the idea that after Christ returns to rule over all humanity we shall abandon their languages and switch to using a single "pure" language. While stating this Jacques promotes the Islamophobic idea that Muslims lie about their religion to non-Muslims.
An Arabic speaker might ask: “What is the term in this new language for taqiya—the word meaning it is permissible to lie to someone as long as that person is an infidel?” This individual would be shown that this concept is false. He will be taught that the thinking that led to the coining of that word was polluted, and that there is no equivalent for it in the pure language. (p. 22.)
Taqiya (or taqiyya) refers to a Shia Muslim teaching that allows them to deny their religious identity in cases of persecution. Taqiya is a desperate act to save oneself in a dangerous situation. It is not a license to lie about one's religion as is often assumed to be the case among Islamophobic demagogues. It is shameful that PCG promotes this degrading and untrue stereotype against Muslims.

Brent Nagtegaal has an article scare mongering that Iran has conquered Iraq and will soon try to conquer Jerusalem. PCG demonizes Iran on a regular basis ever since Gerald Flurry proclaimed Iran to be the "King of the South" back in 1994.

Gerald Flurry has an article promoting the Armstrongite doctrine of the Great White Throne Judgment. This teaching is also taught by many of the splinter groups descended from HWA's WCG.

WorldWatch discusses the Munich Security Conference while scare mongering that the world is turning against America; the opening of a new headquarters building for German intelligence on March 8; President Macron encouraging citizens of the member states of the European Union to vote in European elections; pro-Russia forces building an observation tower in South Ossetia, a territory internationally recognized as belonging to Georgia; friendly relations between Russia and Belarus; accusations of industrial espionage against Huawei; condemnation that the Palestinians have more control over the Temple Mount which is located in east Jerusalem which the international community legally and diplomatically views as occupied territory because it was gained by military force in 1967; and more scare mongering about Iran.

WorldWatch also condemns of a ruling by the United Nations for Britain to withdraw from the Chagos Islands which is the site of a US-UK military base. After those islands were placed under British rule in 1814 people moved to those islands and built up a community there. However they were expelled from their homes and farms back in 1967-73 by the British government in order to build this military base. PCG posted an article about this matter which was written by Jeremiah Jacques. They discussed this matter again after the United Nations General Assembly condemned Britain on this matter in an article written by Daniel del Santo. Behold how PCG's leaders choose to view people who lost their homes.

SocietyWatch condemns Democratic Party leaders for calling President Trump a racist; cites a report saying that anti-Semitic attacks are rising in Britain; and cites a report that death rates in the United States are rising.

Joel Hilliker has an article calling upon readers to live by God's law. Here Hilliker alludes to one of the issues that caused Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of PCG's parent organization, to alienate his followers from mainstream Christianity, namely the Armstrongites' insistence that Christians are required to observe Jewish religious laws.
Here is another statement that has, remarkably, grown controversial in today’s world: God’s perfect way of life is spelled out in the law of God. Many people, including Christians, have been taught to think of God’s law as a burden or a curse. But it is actually “holy, and just, and good” (Romans 7:12). King David wrote, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes” (Psalm 19:7-8). 
That law can be summarized in one word: love (Matthew 22:36-40; Romans 13:8, 10). Jesus Christ said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:17-18). (p. 33.)
When HWA began to teach himself religion in the 1920s he chose to ignore the fact that early Christians long ago concluded that one did not need to observe the Jewish law to be a Christian. This may be seen in the controversy over circumcision which is mentioned in Acts 15 and Galatians. Once early Christians agreed that non-Jewish converts to Christianity did not need to be circumcised to be a Christian this also meant that non-Jewish Christians were not obligated to follow Jewish ritual law. This is no need for a Christian to observe Jewish religious law. Consequently there is no need for a Christian to observe the Jewish Sabbath or annual holy days as HWA, PCG and related sects teach today.

HWA himself initially thought that worshiping on the Sabbath was not as important as he later taught. HWA wrote in a letter to his grandparents in 1928 that "'s not disobedience to not keep the Sabbath. The Sabbath is not necessary for salvation." And yet HWA ignored this and later taught otherwise to his followers for decades. It is tragic that the Armstrongites continue to promote this misunderstanding regarding Jewish law to rip people away from mainstream Christianity, evangelical Christianity and other religions using misconceptions and badly thought out ideas that HWA devised. 

Brad Macdonald has an article complaining that children and teenagers are disregarding parental authority. He condemns Greta Thunberg and her activism raising awareness about the ongoing climate change crisis, a crisis that the PCG leadership insists is not actually happening contrary to the long established scientific consensus.

Meanwhile while many people all over the world are justifiably afraid of the ongoing climate change crisis and yearn to do something about it PCG's leaders enjoy millions of dollars of income from tithes by PCG members and donations from "co-workers," namely non-members who chose to donate to PCG. Once Gerald Flurry chose to boast that PCG enjoyed an income "around $19.5 million annually as of 2012." And if any readers of this recruitment magazine choose to start tithing to PCG after reading Joel Hilliker's promotion of tithing on page 33 ("God’s Word commands tithing," he writes there) PCG's income will further increase. Such new recruits will probably be unaware that PCG has made numerous false prophecies proving that there is no need to fear their predictions of doom and gloom. There is no need to follow PCG.

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