Living Armstrongism has an entry up today from the Philadelphia Church of God cult based in Edmond, Oklahoma. It quotes from a letter that Gerald Flurry wrote in 2007 where he references another "book" that he wrote The Last Hour. In that book and in the article Flurry attempts to expound on what it supposedly means to be a real "witness" is for HIS god.
Like any good Armstrongite leader only HE has the answers because the rest of humanity/Christianity is too stupid to understand what a "witness" for God is. That mind bent wreaks through in his very first paragraph:
Apparently Church of God members are stupid too. In the eyes and minds of ALL the splinter group leaders this has ALWAYS been what the leadership has thought of its members. The leadership really do believe that their members are all too stupid to understand anything, so therefore THEY have to interpret scripture for these uneducated members. God only works with THEM and not through any lower echelon members.Nobody in this world knows what it means to be a witness for God. Most of God’s people don’t even know!
Armstrongism has always loved to use the threat of martyrdom at all of its members. Only a true believer will die for their cause, or so they assume.
The end of John’s Gospel reads, “This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true” (John 21:24). The Apostle John gave true testimony.
The word testimony is translated from the Greek marturia, which comes from martus, meaning martyr. Sometimes the Christian life really is about dying for a cause. It is always about giving your life—about being a living sacrifice—for this cause. But being martyred is merely the end of a physical life. What follows is eternal life.
The word testifieth also means to witness, and is similar to the word testimony. John was a good witness. He was willing to be subjected to any trial—even death—in his testimony for Christ. This is the kind of witness Christ wants from all of us.
The words testify and witness reveal the depth of our commitment and love for Christ. The word witness is much stronger than the way it is commonly used today! We must understand what Christ means when he says “follow me,” or when we say we’re 100 percent behind God’s work.
What kind of a "witness" has the Church of God been to the world at large? It is one of corruption, averse and vice for most of its entire lifespan. The witness it has given is one of deep division that has resulted in hundreds and hundreds of splinter groups all picking at and devouring each other. Countless books have been written about the corruption and false doctrines. The "positive" impact of the church is almost nonexistent.
For Flurry, it is all about "law and trials" Law is vitally important to Flurry as that is all that keeps his people in line and obedient. Without that obedience to Flurry his members CANNOT become Gods....his words, not mine.
I don't know where Flurry gets off on claiming he is keeping "...God's law of love..." When has "love" EVER been used in the Philadelphia Church of God? How is "love" being preached when families are ripped apart by deviate ministers prohibiting members from associated with loved ones not part of PCG? Where is the "love" that lets a minister tell family members to kick their teenage child out on the streets and turn their backs on her? This list could go on and on, but we have all heard the horror stories or experienced them first hand.
No writer in the Bible even comes close to emphasizing the word witness as John does. He uses this word eight times in his epistles and 21 times in his Gospel; the other Gospels use it a combined total of 18 times. The Anchor Bible says, “The verb martyrein, ‘to bear witness, testify,’ and the noun martyria, ‘witness, testimony,’ occur a total of 64 times in [the Gospel of] John and the epistles (verb 43 times; noun 21). The 33 uses of the verb in [the Gospel of] John may be contrasted with a total of two uses in the three synoptic Gospels, a contrast that indicates the extent to which the legal law and trial atmosphere dominates [John’s] thought.” John talked a lot about law and trials. Why? Because it is through keeping God’s law of love and rejoicing in our testing that we become God! That is how we love God and witness to mankind.
The COG and Flurry continues to look down upon members as lower than pig slop in the scheme of things. They are a "stench" in God's nostrils. Just read the following:
Most of God’s people today are dying spiritually. You can’t smell the stench of people dying this way, but God can see it vividly! For a Father, watching His sons die because they don’t love Him is the most terrible thing He could possibly see. That’s the worst stench of all to our Father!
Later Flurry explains what "love" means in the Philadelphia Church of God. It means only one thing...GIVING and SACRIFICING for the work of Gerald Flurry. Its not being agents of grace that are the hands of God in this world who are bringing into reality the kingdom of God, but being financial backers of Flurry and crew. Love in the PCG cult is insular and only available for the true believers.
Flurry foolishly believes his group is filled with love and joy though deep down he knows it is not.We are honorable witnesses when we love others as Christ loved us! God is love, and we must express God’s love as a way of life.
Our witness of love—giving and sacrificing for God’s work—is how we come out of this world. This is a witness you see only in God’s very elect.
Is the pcg full of joy? It should be. Because we are about to help Christ fill this world with joy. That is why we write this message in a booklet, so we can study and penetrate to the depth of God’s love. Christ is about to return!
Satan has full misery, and he wants to destroy our fellowship with God and the full joy it brings.
Our ministers must set an example of joy for the members—to be helpers of their joy (2 Corinthians 1:24).
If you lack that joy, stay on your knees until you get it!
When has a minister of the Philadelphia Church of God ever brought joy? Will Cal Culpepper please tell us how he brings joy to those under him? Please?
Because of the abusive ways of Flurry, Culpepper and others the following is a prime example of what members of the PCG have to endure:
While church members "rot" in their beds at home, Gerald Flurry, Culpepper and others are out going to doctors and being treated for all kinds of ailments. Its the same hypocrisy that Herbert Armstrong used against church members decades ago. He forbid members going to doctors, yet had personal physicians that treated him with countless pills and other treatments. At his death I was given a large suitcase filled with his medicines to take to the amphitheater on campus and burn. They did not want it getting out that he was on so many medicines.This is REAL, ABUNDANT LIVING—EVEN IF WE ARE DYING PHYSICALLY! Over the years in my ministry, I have seen a few people physically rot right before my eyes and yet remain loyal to God every step of the way to the end! Though it must be one of the most grotesque sights to see, at the same time it is one of the MOST MAJESTICALLY NOBLE examples ever on Earth, from God’s point of view! If someone is being loyal in circumstances like that, he or she is BEARING WITNESS OF THE FATHER! What a precious, extraordinary beauty that is! I know I will see those people again, and they will live FOREVER AND EVER! When resurrected, they won’t remember that trial for very long. They will have ETERNAL LIFE!
Are you prepared to trust God to heal you, now or in the resurrection? Well done, good and faithful servant, He will say if we trust Him to the end. (Gerald Flurry, The Last Hour, 2004, 2007, Chapter 5, p. 54.)
The Church of God is rotten to the core, especially in the four larger church groups of UCG, PCG, RCG, and LCG. The "rot" has been ongoing since the mid 1990's. How many more need to die at the hands of the church?