Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Stephen Flurry: "Give Beyond Our Means and SACRIFICE!"


Stephen Flurry, ever so struggling to be important in Daddy's shadow, is back with a pre-feast message to the gullible followers.

He starts his article off about how important co-workers and volunteers are to the PCG.  Apparently the regular PCGers are such bumbling idiots that if they were not policed by "loyal" volunteers then the PCG feast sites would be total "disasters."

In fact, the Feast undoubtedly would be a disaster were it not for the innumerable men and women in God’s Church who voluntarily serve to make God’s Feast of Tabernacles the best possible every year.
Then Flurry makes an admission about how they u
sed the mailing addresses from WCG when Big Daddy apostatized.  It is well known that Furry and some others stole these addresses.

In the PCG’s early days, we were only able to reach a select few—mostly those in the wcg for whom we had addresses. But look at the power and scope of the PCG’s work today! This Work needs co-workers! On a worldwide scale and at the local level. Each local congregation and each Feast site needs co-workers, or volunteers, as well.
Then Flurry makes this announcement that the PCG wants members to send in all the money they can regardless of whether they need it for other important things. Members are not supposed to live beyond their means, but certainly are encourage to GIVE beyond their means!

“We want you to know brethren, about the grace of God which has been shown in the churches of Macedonia, for in severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of liberality on their part” (2 Corinthians 8:1-2; Revised Standard Version).

Why such an abundance of joy while yet under “severe test of affliction”? Verses 3-4: “For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own free will, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints” (rsv).

These brethren in Macedonia really wanted to help. They were giving to the brethren at Jerusalem who were suffering through a drought.

Notice, the Macedonians gave according to their means, and, when the urgent need arose, many gave beyond their means.

Apparently the PCG members have a rich tradition of saying they will do something and then not following through. Stevie does not like that.

Have you ever done that? Volunteered for something and then, as that day grew closer, hoped people would forget about it? “And this, not as we expected, but first they gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God” (verse 5; rsv). Paul was concerned about more than just the material offerings he thought the Corinthians would give. He was concerned that they hadn’t fully given themselves to God!

Stevie then goes on to tell his dwindling members that they will once more be sorely tested to see if they are sincere.  For some reason the god of Armstrongism is constantly pissed at the members and has to continually "test" them to see who has been qualifying.

In the coming months and years, perhaps even at this year’s Feast of Tabernacles, you can be sure that God will test us to see whether our love is genuine—whether our heart is really into serving.

Of course it also matters how you serve:

Ask yourself, does the performance of your service match your desire to serve? Do you give with the attitude of the Macedonians or the attitude of the Corinthians?
“For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not” (verse 12). If your heart is in it, then the service will be acceptable to God, no matter how small. But no service is acceptable if you do not follow through with what you have committed to. 

Its no wonder COG members are burned out.  The main tactic of cults is to keep members soooooooooo busy they they have no time to question or research into the darker side of the group.

Then to further lay a guilt trip on his acolytes he has time to invoke Ananias and Sapphira.

An example in Acts illustrates this principle of godly service. “But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet” (Acts 5:1-2).

Here is a case where Ananias and Sapphira were giving a lot to the apostles. But they kept back part of what they made while professing that they brought the whole amount.

“But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to [margin: to deceive] the Holy [Spirit], and to keep back part of the price of the land?” (verse 3). Sometimes we can deceive ourselves into thinking we are really giving all we have.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). What is our reasonable service? To sacrifice!

To sacrifice means the “surrender of something for the sake of something else.” In this case, surrendering yourself to better help someone else.

God is training us for leadership positions, and this is how we train!
Real love for the brethren requires sacrifice:

“Let your love be a real thing” (Romans 12:9; Moffatt). What can we give most of all to this year’s Feast of Tabernacles? How can we best serve? By giving love and compassion.
And what was the greatest example of "outgoing love and concern for others?"  HWA's book on sex!
Like any good Armstrongite, sex has to be brought into the equation.  The only problem with his quote below is that HWA did not write that book out of "love" for the brethren.,  It was written because it was a rebuke to Loma because he considered her frigid.  He even told this to AC seniors who attended Senior Diners at his house.

Mr. Armstrong wrote in The Missing Dimension in Sex, “Love is an unselfish outgoing concern for the good and welfare of the one loved. Love is primarily on the giving, serving, sharing side of the fence—not on the getting, taking, factional, striving side. It is not selfish …. Love is unselfish. It is not an emotion, though it may be expressed with an emotional content. True love combines the rational aspect of outgoing concern—desire to help, serve, give or share—along with sincere concerned affectionate feeling” (emphasis added).

That kind of love is a sacrifice. Ask yourself, How much have I really served other people in my Church area and at the feasts? Not just served in a project, but actually served other people.
 In Armstrongism, as with other legalistic groups, the amount of God's blessings are proportional to your giving.  The more you give, the more you will be blessed.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

I believe it was Stephen Flurry who at one point suggested members ought to get extra jobs like painting houses to get extra income. Of course we all know what that extra income was for. Somehow I just can't see Stephen Flurry himself getting getting an extra job of any kind, let alone painting houses under the hot Oklahoma sun.

Corky said...

Mr. Armstrong wrote in The Missing Dimension in Sex, “Love is an unselfish outgoing concern for the good and welfare of..."

Too bad he didn't believe that himself instead of being a greedy, money hungry SOB who would rip off thousands of people just so he could have fame and fortune.

That kind of love is a sacrifice. Ask yourself, How much have I really served other people in my Church area and at the feasts? Not just served in a project, but actually served other people.

Yes, just how much have you, Stephen Flurry? Hypocrite! You wouldn't part with $0.50 of your own money to help anybody and you know it. Hell, you've never done a day's work in your life. Planning how to extract money from church members is not work in the normal sense of the word.

Byker Bob said...

The more you give, the more you will be blessed. Problem is, the new blessings are not presents from God to you, so that you and your family can enjoy the abundant life promised in both Testsments. Hell, no! The extra blessings are to go to Gerry, Dave, and their ilk, too! You'll get yours in the Kingdom after God installs Armstrongism as the govenment of the Millennium! Ain't cha glad you have this precious, special knowledge, brethren???

BB

Former PCG said...

Hey Stephen Flurry:

You are an idiot! No one in their right mind is going with your ridiculous cult. Thankfully, the Net has exposed the deceit and lies of the PCG.

Joe Moeller said...

Well...

As soon as Gerald and Stephen start living in a two bedroom apartment, and driving a 1999 Ford Escort, and getting their suits second hand at the thrift store, then I think that their request is valid.

Joe Moeller
Cody,WY

Douglas Becker said...

See now, Stephen showed his generosity when he paid $1,200 to get his father out of jail on the DUI.

Umm.

Are the members expected to pay for more DUIs and other stuff involving the ministers?

And don't the members still have to drop their disabled children off in the shopping mall so someone else will take care of them so they can pay for more DUIs?

Not sure I'd want to be engaged in such involvements.

Anonymous said...

How do you steal an address?

Anonymous said...

What hear young turk that-prophet-in-training saying in so many glossy moralizing words is, "You're a bad person if you don't willingly allow my family to financially rape yours."

Such a good boy! Chip off the old block.

Anonymous said...

Joe Moeller, you have presented some good ideas that can be applied to the UCG leadership.

Since they recently complained of the UCG's financial difficulty and asked members to sacrifice and 'send in more', it's clearly time that it's Council of Elders and all other paid ministers should "start living in two bedroom apartments, drive 1999 Ford Escorts, and get their suits second hand at the thrift store"!

Only then, should members consider their request. (And even then, VERY skeptically.)

Joe Moeller said...

Answer to Anon Above:

Intellectual property is considered "owned" by the companies who possess them. Filtered customer lists, client lists, mailing lists etc. are considered both legally and ethically as "property" in the business world.

There has seem to be an issue in the COG community that when one "leaves" a group, that they have rights to rummage for whatever assets that they desire,... hymnals, chairs, cows, electronics, mailing lists, or you name it.

They do so because of their own "rightness" in their minds which somehow gives them license to steal.

Joe Jr. and his bunch, ethically, should have left the WCG and started their own thing.

They "left" spiritually speaking, but the allure of the assets, close to 200 million dollars, justified the idea of just getting everyone else, by both force, disfellowshipment, or disillusionment to leave. Add to this their new business model of making the local churches pay for themselves, and you have the most amazing of corporate ripoffs EVER seen, with those millions in control of just a handful.

Ingenious in a criminal way, and something that really should be featured on a program like "American Greed".

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Joe Moeller said...

Response To ANON 7:18

I personally believe in an unpaid, fully volunteer ministry.

It has been money, power, and hierarchy that has been the bane of all human organizations,... secular, political and religious.

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Corky said...

It would be hard for a human organization to exist unless it was a human organization, wouldn't it?

Anonymous said...

Send more money to PCG as fast as you can!!!!! Stephen Flurry only had enough funds to start the Feast out this year in Columbus, Ohio. He deserves someplace so much better than Columbus.

Byker Bob said...

I was long gone from WCG by the time the Tkaches experienced the epiphany which apparently led to the doctrinal changes. While I was a WCG member, Senior seemed to be a typical minister, and Junior seemed to be a somewhat typical church teenager. There was no clue as to future leadership potential, no reputation of great compelling empathy for long suffering brethren, and no indication that either desired change.

They blew the orchestration of change, no question about that at all. However, how can we know their frame of mind? It is possible that they were anxious to see people truly saved, although it is easy to jump to the conclusion that they were motivated by the assets. They exercised their positions in a manner soas to force the changes, rather than preach corrected doctrines, pray about it, and allow God to clean up HWA's mess in His own time. It is doubtful that any man or committee could straighten out such a seething, raging, spiritual viral infection in the first place!

Personally, I believe that the church should have been disbanded, the assets liquidated, and distributed to those who had donated them in the first place. They had all of the computer records necessary to do this. This distribution would have diluted and handicapped any massive effort to continue and preserve the old heresies.

BB

Anonymous said...

This may be a "co-worker letter," but that doesn't mean co-workers are welcome at PCG Feast sites.

I was told today the PCG Feast sites are for baptized members only. No one else is allowed inside.

Anonymous said...

Joe Moeller wrote:

"There has seem [sp] to be an issue in the COG community that when one 'leaves' a group, that they have rights to rummage for whatever assets that they desire,... hymnals, chairs, cows, electronics, mailing lists, or you name it. They do so because of their own 'rightness' in their minds which somehow gives them license to steal."

Curious phenomenon, isn't it? How do you explain it?

52 Saturdays a year, plus 7 annual holy days, these "ministers" get up and tell YOU how to act, and talk about how YOU should resist temptation to do the wrong thing in real world situations. But as soon as the chips are down for them, what example do they set?

Do they turn the other cheek? (Matthew 5:39) How "happy" are they to "suffer for righteousness' sake"? (I Peter 3:13-14) When they suffer as a "Christian," do they "glorify God"? (1 Peter 4:16) Are they content to "count all things loss" for Christ? (Philippians 3:7-8) Is their "treasure" in heaven, or on earth? (Matthew 6:20-21) Where is their "citizenship"? (Philippians 3:20) Do they prefer to accept wrong, or do they prefer to take their brethren to court? (1 Corinthians 6:1-10)

Something to think about.

UCG, during the COGWA debacle, filed multiple lawsuits. When asked about this, Vic Kubik justified it saying that nobody in COGWA "qualified" as "brethren" anymore. Rather shocking thing to say when you consider it's implications. Since UCG's official position is that it is not the only church in which true believers may be found, Vic therefore professes that UCG leadership has been granted the power by God to judge others regarding their salvation and necessarily hold the keys to heaven and hell. Either that or Vic simply believes that he and his cronies are above scripture.

Do these "ministers" ever think about what will happen to them after they die? They preach things they are not willing to do themselves.

Talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words. And their actions proclaim that they are unbelievers. When they preach, they exhort you out of the bounty of broken cisterns. Who among them has used his own life as a testbed to prove that which he teaches? Even so much as one of them?

This is the way it is. There's no denying that. But why do you think it is this way?

Sure, you sit your butt in a seat for a couple of hours every Saturday. And then you mill around with others and pat each other on the back about what good, or special, or godly people you all must be. Why? Well, because you're here, in the "right" place, on the "right" day. And then you drive home, and you feel "so righteous" for another week. But for what reason? Just because you showed up for another installment in an interminable lecture series sponsored by the local hypocrisy club? But all it is, is just a feeling, and nothing more.

This is the way it is because God and the holy spirit is not present. Not for you, and most certainly not for your leaders. Period.

What I can't understand is why anyone can still think there's anything of value to be gained by exercises in Armstrongism, regardless of which splinter cult you choose.

Anonymous said...

I am *ALL FOR* Joe Moeller's suggestion that the United Church of God's Council of Elders and all their other paid ministers "start living in two bedroom apartments, drive 1999 Ford Escorts, and get their suits second hand at the thrift store"!

Anonymous said...

UCG, during the COGWA debacle, filed multiple lawsuits. When asked about this, Vic Kubik justified it saying that nobody in COGWA "qualified" as "brethren" anymore.

Interesting.
When Horst Obermeit asked UCG honchos why treat members who had disagreements worse than enemies, he was told, "If it’s gangrene it must be cut off."!
So much for the "Love" of the UCG!

Anonymous said...

"When Horst Obermeit asked UCG honchos why treat members who had disagreements worse than enemies, he was told, 'If it’s gangrene it must be cut off.'!"


OK, but why do they always keep the gangrene in the UCG and cast the body out?

Byker Bob said...

I'm thinking somebody ought to call the police departments in all of the areas where Flurry is holding his feasts to let them know that this is a group that believes in leaving their undesirable children at the mall! Think about this: If someone were to attempt to implement this, at what time of the year, and under what circumstances could one expect the greatest " cover" to pull this off? It would have to be at the feast, hundreds of miles away from home!

BB

Joe Moeller said...

In response to anonymous at 7:10--

Your post is not logical.

If I were to leave the UCG, and start a Thiel like one man ministry, am I entitled to take crap, like chairs, money, computers et al, from the UCG because I no longer agree with them?

The COGWA people left. No one was forcing them to leave. No one told them to leave.

The UCG filed suit to protect its property. This is right and decent. Heck, if someone tried to take any of my "stuff", Im calling the cops, or pulling out the shotgun and telling them to cease and desist.

What is any organization, business, religious or personal suppose to do, just be a patsy for any taking of its property? Of course not.

Simple common sense tells us so. There are boundary lines in life. If someone tries to rape you, you have every right to defend yourself. We are commanded to "protect the flock" nor roll over.

Submitting to evil, is not showing love towards the perpetrator or helping to move him towards repentance.

"Turning the other Cheek" is a principle of forgiveness, however, wisdom must be applied to the concept of property rights, personal safety and due diligence.

Someone moved in the split from the status quo. It was the COGWA people. It is incumbent upon someone who is the antagonist in a situation to have the honor to simply walk away without violating the property rights of the previous organization which has property title. This is simple ethics and common law.

Anyone who does not voluntarily submit to such code, is then subject to enforcement, whether it be legal system or otherwise.

Breaking up is hard to do. The cost of leaving should always be counted ahead of time. Divorce, family splits, church splits, are never fun and are usually bitter. This is reality.

Joe Moeller
Cody,WY



Anonymous said...

Thanks for clarifying your priorities, Joe. So, then, you cheerfully admit that your treasure and your citizenship is here on earth, and not in heaven, and would rather deny Jesus Christ and the apostles than count anything as "loss." You also strictly deny the validity of 1 Corinthians 6.

The only thing left is to acknowledge that neither you nor the church leaders you put up on a pedestal have any holy spirit or spiritual validity.

And I suppose you propose that your religiosity is logical?

Byker Bob said...

In the world of the ACOGs, splinter groups often happen because a leader and/or group feels that he and those supporting him are sticking to the faith once delivered by and through HWA. That is always a factor, and it is an argument totally centered on HWA, not on Jesus. The "preservationists" then decide that they, as the "real" deal, are entitled to the assets and proceeds of the tithes that built the organization from which they are splintering. What are you going to do? How would secular courts even begin to understand and be able to render any sort of fair decision? It becomes a "no man's land" and there will be rancor no matter how it is ultimately worked out. It becomes a no win situation, but whoever the apparent winner is (if there is such a thing in these gut-wrenching situations) will appear to be the bad guy, or the bully.

The real problem is that God was not even involved, or this horrible crap would never have happened in the first place! I'll leave it to everyone else to determine all of the implications of that statement.

BB

Anonymous said...

The implications, BB, are obvious. Neither God nor the holy spirit are present either for ACOG members or leaders. Period.

For all ACOGs, the bible is not a book to be lived by, it is a book to wrap yourself in and then use as a weapon against "others" ("The world" and other splinter cults are both fair game) People do whatever they're gonna do, in ACOGs just as in the "evil" "world," But ACOG people are "righteous" for no other reason than because they've wrapped themselves in "the bible" (more correctly, their deliberately limited and alternatively unscriptural ideas about the bible.)

Why? Because that's what Herbert Armstrong taught people to do.

In reality, ACOGs cherry pick not only which scriptures they want to think apply to them, but also under what circumstances they want those scriptures to apply to them. When I don't need to take anyone to court, I think 1 Corinthians 6 is fine and I'll give sermons about it and the whole nine yards, but when I do, that's when 1 Corinthians 6 is not fine and I'll say whatever I have to in order to make it not apply. (Same goes for Exodus 20:15...) If ACOGs were consistent (and honest), they would also strike 2 Timothy 3:16 from the bible, and after that, lots of other portions, making themselves into modern day anti-Marcions. But that's not about to happen, now is it? Because it's a lot easier to do it in practice while making a show of doing something else, and the only time the difference between the two cannot be hidden is during times of extreme stress. Hidden from people at least. But then there's God.

Objectively, ACOG morality is in practice a moral relativism that would make any "worldly" relativist philosopher proud. And yet, somehow, they remain entrenched in biblical literalism and inerrancy, concepts that are totally contradictory to their actual practices.

What do think God thinks about this state of affairs? Or is that something you prefer not to think about? Along with what's going to happen to you after you die? But if you haven't got those things handled, then what's the point of doing all that ACOG rigamarole again? I suppose denial-based circular self-justification could wind up working out in the end, by random chance.

But go ahead. Don't let me stop you. Sit your butt in that seat for an 1 1/2 hours this morning, and pat yourself on the back. Feel "righteous" and feel "logical." Be my guest. And while you're at it, be sure to pay no attention to Exodus 20:16. That's what everyone else does. I'm sure there'll be safety in numbers.

Byker Bob said...

I'm assuming your questions at the end of your post are directed to those who lurk here from the ACOGs, anonymous, because I left Armstrongism in 1975, spent 30-35 years as an atheist or agnostic, and am now a more mainstream Christian cultivating and seeking a personal relationship with God. It doesn't involve parking my butt on anyone's chair for 1-1/2 hours, either.

However, I believe that Armstrongism is part of the mess that Jesus is going to need to clean up upon His return. They are in no way the winning team that Jesus will simply take charge of and lead. Far too much confusion and too many unChristian fruits for that.

BB

Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah, sorry BB, I should have clarified. Piggybacking off your comment, not intending to direct at you.

Britain W. Stevenson said...

In the PCG’s early days, we were only able to reach a select few—mostly those in the wcg for whom we had addresses. But look at the power and scope of the PCG’s work today! This Work needs co-workers! On a worldwide scale and at the local level. Each local congregation and each Feast site needs co-workers, or volunteers, as well...

Stephen Flurry says..."This Work needs co-workers! On a worldwide scale and at the local level."

Wow! I wonder if those co-workers realize they are not as important as >"headquarters" Edmond, OK. people are...>"The Church", the Flurrys',the Turgeons', the Davis', Cocomises',etc. Do those co workers realize they will be doomed to the "Great Tribulation" and the "Day of the Lord", no matter how much money they hand over to the PCG, according to the PCG teachings?? Yea, all you dummies send in all your money so Stephen, his dad and all the clan, (the most important people on planet earth),can fulfill the scripture..."And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. Revelation 12:14.