The Gestapo at the Philadelphia Church of God extends its reach further into the lives of families. This time it concerns the period of time BEFORE, DURING and AFTER church services. Lil'Joel Hilliker is highly offended that little boys roll little cars around on the floor while he is speaking.
Lil'Joel then drags up a letter by Richard Armstrong, who early on was proving himself to be even more legalistic than his daddy was, where he railed on bad children in church.
Emphasizing that the Sabbath commandment includes “thy son” and “thy daughter” (Exodus 20:10), Dick Armstrong wrote, “The Sabbath is holy time, sacred to God, and as such our children should not be allowed to run loose like so many wild animals. … Your children must be, and they must keep the Sabbath the same as you do.”
That is the overarching principle we must remember when we monitor and regulate our children’s behavior before and after services. This is still holy time. Isaiah 58:13 commands that we all—including our children—refrain from doing our own pleasure to ensure the Sabbath is “holy of the, honorable.”
That means no running or horseplay. The children should not be throwing things, or noisily rolling cars around, or being overly loud. Boys seem especially prone to such behavior. We must direct them toward appropriate alternatives.
At the same time, that verse in Isaiah shows that God wants the Sabbath to be a “delight” for the whole family. We must train our children to uphold the standard—while we provide suitable activities and opportunities that they will enjoy.Little kids, bored to death by idiotic 2 hour services, MUST learn what "holy time" is. In other words, any time a PCG minister opens its mouth, that MUST be regarded as "holy" time. Even when it's the likes of Lil'Joel Hilliker speaking.
“Of course your children can play with the other children when services are over,” said the August 1965 Good News. “They should look forward to and enjoy the Sabbath when they see all their friends again. But this isto sail airplanes out of restroom windows, wrestle on the floor, or bang chairs around ….”
Our children should be quiet and orderly throughout the Sabbath. They should respect the property at services—including songbooks and other children’s toys—and have a sense of decorum befitting the occasion.
By upholding God’s standards, we are teaching them what holy means.After sitting there for two hours listening to Gerald Flurry slur his words and ramble aimlessly and mindlessly about, little kids, especially boys, need to let off some pent up energy. But NO, that is not permissible!
We all want to fully enjoy fellowship with the other brethren before and after services. But we must not succumb to the temptation to turn our children loose and forget about them until it’s time to “round them up” for the trip home. The congregation is not a giant day-care staff that will look after them so we can take a break from being parents. As Proverbs 29:15 warns, “[A] child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”Armstrongism has always been about shame. There unworthy and unloved they could make members feel the more control the church had over them.
The best thing parents in the Philadelphia Church of God could do for their kids is the leave the church and find freedom!