I still never cease to be amazed at the idolatry that the Philadelphia Church of God practices. From imitating all of Herbert Armstrong's books and booklets, from building a fake "college", an auditorium named after HWA, digging up HWA's supposed "prayer rock" and hauling it all the way from Oregon, to buying various Armstrongite memorabilia to be placed in positions of honor. The idolatry practiced by the Philadelphia Church of God knows no boundaries.
The most appalling thing they now do is place historical significance in lil'Stevies reading of Malachi's Message and the location where he read it. Malicahi's Message was a book that god supposedly guided Flurry's hand to write. However, it is well known now that he plagiarized much of it from Jules Dervaes.
The cabin that lil'Stevie read the "book" is not considered sacred to the PCG. They take annual trips to Robbers Cave Park each year along with lil'Steveie. There are reports that some come and stand in front of the cabin where he read the book and pray that God gives them the same knowledge that lil'Stevie received that day. Others set on the steps of the cabin and pray. Others flock to have their pictures take in front of it. Regular PCG members stay at the pack at other times of the year and ask to stay in that particular cabin seeking spiritual renewal.
How could any rational adult or "college" student ever do such a cultish thing? In all my years in the cult and even working in HWA's home, never thought those kinds of things. I found it very uncomfortable to see the worship of HWA. People would get tears in their eyes at being in the very presence of him.
In their latest online posting the PCG had the following: A Significant Historic Landmark
EDMOND—“So what do you think?” the minister asked when his son paused while reading the manuscript. “Well, that definitely will get you fired,” his son responded.” It was July 1989, and the young 19-year-old was on a Y.E.S. camping trip with his father at Robbers Cave in southeastern Oklahoma during the summer break. But this turned out to be more than your everyday summer camping excursion. It became a pivotal moment in the history of God’s Church and marked Robbers Cave State Park as an important historical location for the Philadelphia Church of God.
“My dad picked me up at the airport and we drove directly to Robbers Cave in southeastern Oklahoma,” Evangelist Stephen Flurry wrote in Raising the Ruins. “For four months, my dad had been working on his paper, telling no one about it. When he picked me up on July 14, he had a rough draft of Malachi’s Message tucked away in his briefcase, in the trunk of the car. During the drive, he told me about a number of other things going on in the Church—again, things I was totally unaware of. He later said he wanted me to read something he had written that explained all of this.”
Stephen Flurry put off reading the paper until Sunday morning, a few hours before they left the campsite. “After getting a synopsis of its contents from my father, I was nervous and a little scared about reading it. That’s why I put it off,” Mr. Flurry said. He sat down to read inside their cabin, the one next to where he and his family now stay when they visit Robbers Cave every year along with the rest of Herbert W. Armstrong College.
Before it was time to leave, Mr. Stephen Flurry read through about half of the manuscript.
Right there, in that cabin at Robbers Cave Campsite Number One, the revelation in Malachi’s Message was being shared for the first time. After the death of Mr. Armstrong, the Worldwide Church of God was being torn apart; yet off in remote rural Oklahoma, the first person besides Mr. Gerald Flurry was learning God’s revelation about what was really happening.
The Philadelphia Church of God was raised up less than five months after Malachi’s Message was first delivered to his son at that wooded campsite. Because of this history-shaping event, Robbers Cave has become a significant landmark for the pcg. Herbert W. Armstrong College has retreated to the campsite almost every year since 2002, and Mr. Stephen Flurry has never missed a campout.
Every year, he returns to the campsite with his family and dozens of others whose lives were also changed by that book he was the first to read nearly 25 years ago: Malachi’s Message.
“Every time I go back to Robber’s Cave, I can’t help but think about all that has happened since that initial reading,” he said. “What a work God has raised up!”