Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Primacy of Peter..The Rule of Control in the Churches of God

One of the biggest weapons of control in the Churches of God, ever since Herbert Armstrong, rebelled against the Church of God 7, has been the "doctrine" of the church called "government." Government was used in the Church of  God to control everyone.  Any question, doubt, or difference with a minister was a direct violation of the law and subjected the person to disfellowshipmentt and marking.  When that happened the person was in grave danger of losing one's salvation.

Following government allows men to put forth their delude thinking like we see in Pack, Flurry, Malm, and Thiel.  Their so-called revelations from their god make what they say "divine law" and is never to be questioned.

This is also what allowed the Worldwide Church of God change its doctrines and expel those who disagreed.  That power left those in charge, to remain in charge, and still are to this day.
If you take any book on Catholic theology and COMPARE it with the April 1979 Good News, as well as with Mr. Armstrong's book Mystery of the Ages, you will find the doctrine of the primacy of Peter to be almost IDENTICAL -- even in form and layout! Further, in the November 20, 1978 Good News (article, "How Christ Gave the Church Its Beliefs" -- page 14, column 5) you will find the following statement: "Now notice how Jesus gave Peter PRIMACY over apostles...."
Actually, scores of articles have been published by the Churches of God that lay out, in great detail, the PRINCIPLES of government upon which these churches rest. The bottom line is -- the Worldwide Church of God, and others, DO INDEED believe and teach the doctrine of the primacy of Peter! And when Joseph Tkach took over, then his son, NOTHING CHANGED regarding this doctrine!
Men have always denied that which makes them look bad. The Worldwide Church of God is no exception. But, realize this, once you understand the heart or the CENTRAL CORE of the "Primacy" doctrine -- its motives and its purpose -- it no longer matters what name men attach to it. A ten-year-old child could spot it!
The Worldwide Church of God and the Catholic Church are by no means the only groups practicing this ancient doctrine. It is a prominent part of the so-called Philadelphia Church of God as well as Meredith's Living Church of God and Dankenbring's Triumph Prophetic Ministries. In one form or another, it holds a place of high honor within the doctrinal framework or policies of most of the churches of modern-day "Christianity." And, note well, most -- if not all -- of the great PAGAN RELIGIONS of the world also hold this doctrine close to their hearts.
This ancient doctrine is the SINGLE GREATEST TOOL ever devised by errant church leaders to preserve UNITY. All the great despots of history have used it to preserve unity amongst their peoples. It is, without a doubt, the "perfect" form of government.
No other doctrine of government can boast anything like the success enjoyed by this VILE and PERVERTED teaching.
The awesome power of this doctrine to manipulate and control the minds of men and to strike fear into their hearts, is the result of the belief that Yeshua the Messiah has empowered a man to RULE his Church for him -- IN HIS PLACE -- until he and YEHOVAH God return. 
This doctrine places a MAN in the enviable and POWERFUL position of being the SOLE SPOKESMAN for the Messiah on this earth. 
Now, the doctrine of the "Primacy of Peter," or the "Vicar of Christ," or the "Hierarchy of Order" gives a man (in simple terms) the SOLE AUTHORITY to interpret the Bible, define sin and set doctrine.
Furthermore, it gives him the authority to BIND his interpretations, definitions and doctrines upon the conscience of other men. His decisions, therefore, become binding (according to this doctrine) before Almighty God -- binding upon pain of disfellowshipment, eternal death or even eternal torture in hell-fire!
Men can only work together in peace through the SPIRIT OF YEHOVAH, otherwise they must have a government controlling their actions! When men resist YEHOVAH's spirit it departs from them, to be replaced by their own selfish desires.
To maintain peace, those groups of men (or churches) who are resisting the spirit of YEHOVAH MUST resort to one of the many forms of government patterned after the primacy of Peter. Once a church begins to resist the influence of the holy spirit, only TWO OPTIONS are available: Break up and go their separate ways, or develop government.
A study of history soon reveals that EVERY government of men inevitably becomes dissatisfied with merely directing the actions of men. Eventually they always seek to CONTROL their very consciences.
From: The Primacy of Peter and the Ecclesia of YEHOVAH God! 
While I do not agree with everything on this site, they are right about how the COG uses government to control members, doctrinally, spiritually and physically.


Anonymous said...

I never bought into the idea of the Church being God's government on earth, with a solo man as leader.

Maybe that's why I'm more settled.

Some like to parrot back that God works only through one man...but if I remember correctly, there were 13 Apostles, so at that time God was working through 13 men, and I suspect that the number increased over time.

Byker Bob said...

This is why they published their bogus and unsubtantiated booklet "The True History of the True Church". It was a ham-fisted attempt to give legitimacy to their claim to the primacy of Peter. This, in spite of the fact that Herbie was baptized by a Sunday-keeping Baptist minister, and later rebelled against the organization whose ministry had ordained him. If he really wished to compare himself to any Biblical character, the most realistic choice would have been Jereboam the son of Nebat.

Interestingly enough, the Catholic (Universal) Church of God can actually document their history back through an endless chain that goes through the antenicene fathers, to the original apostles, and to Jesus through Paul's Gentile churches. I don't believe that the primacy of Peter means what any of these churches believe that it does. There are examples of caustic authority channels in the New Testament, but they are not well spoken of. Nicolaitanes are one such group. Nobody in the NT appears to behave anything like the Armstrongs or their aspiring heirs. Jesus indicated that the most prolific servants would be considered to have been the greatest.


RSK said...

I have heard that prior to Garner Ted's final evictment from WCG, it was often held that James, as leader of the early Church, was in fact higher rank than Peter.
That might have been some local minister's pet theory, though. I hadnt been born at that point, I just heard it from a couple of old-timers.
Nevertheless, WCGs "government" excesses are well attested.

nck said...

I beg to differ.

HWA was quite the democrat from the inception of the radio church of god.
ONLY in America such grouping could start since mainstream European churches would require "the ancient strain." The broadcast was illegal in Europe and was transmitted through "pirate stations" since no mainstream church would allow such democratic infraction of their inallienable rights handed by Peter.

The early papers in the 1940's on government were quite different from the 1978 receivership imposed measures by HWA to maintain complete control of the church and its assets.

NOTHING and really NOTHING of the changes by the Tkaches was enabled by their PETERIAN AUTHORITY. It came to be because of the POWER through the LEGAL status of Tkach as officer of WCG as asserted by the bylaws. It came by the POWER to fire any employee who disagreed.

If there had been other type of government no leader would have achieved what Tkach achieved by their AUTHORITY. This was only achieved by POWER asserted through the Legal system.


Anonymous said...

Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):

Primacy of Peter and the Ecclesia of YEHOVAH God!

When you sit down and think about it, there is no SIMPLER subject on the face of the earth! Yet, for thousands of years, men have done ALL in their power -- sparing no effort or expense -- to CLOUD, CONFUSE and COMPLICATE this very simple subject. WHY?

By John D. Keyser

This looks like one of those “sacred names” guys.

This looks like one of those guys who does not believe in the Primacy of Peter.

This looks like one of those guys who does not believe in the Primacy of Herbert W. Armstrong.

This looks like one of those guys who DOES believe in the Primacy of John D. Keyser. He thinks that he knows everything and that everyone should go along with everything that he comes up with.

Steve D said...

We love to see what we want to see in Scriptures. HWA taught that God called him, but didn't he also call the rest of the members of the church? Didn't the NT church have a plurality of elders in each church, not just one? Didn't Jesus say that his leaders would not lord over the members of the church? Weren't the elders of the church to be chosen from among the local congregations, rather than from headquarters? HWA had the habit of cherry picking passages from either the Old Testament or the New Testament to suit his argument, while ignoring others that would give him a more complete picture. He was using the Bible like a drunk uses a lamppost; for support, rather than illumination.

Anonymous said...

Suppose you disagree with John D. Keyser on some matter. How well do you suppose that will go over?

Anonymous said...

What does my friend Darren C,who celebrates his liberation from Arnstrongism, swapping it for Catholicism, have to say about this ?Ian Boyne

Connie Schmidt said...

Top down , central , unaccountable hierarchy has created virtually ALL the problems for human kind in its history.

nck said...


If you are in fact right on the sunday baptist preacher baptizing HWA then you have just scientifically proven an unbroken line of authority from Peter to HWA through the protestant reformation. So you might want to reconsider that statement. :-)


Anonymous said...

There is secular version of the primacy of Peter as is evident from the following. Note the 'social engineering,' the equivalent of controlling peoples beliefs.

"Why is leftism such an intolerant ideology? It’s not difficult to understand. Leftist “progressivism” is like Communism. It’s based entirely on force, not liberty. It’s the ideology of social engineering. People are not treated like individuals with the right to think, speak and act as they see fit, so long as they don’t physically harm or steal from another. According to socialist leftism, individuals don’t really exist. They are merely cogs in the social engineering wheel to be exploited and manipulated — always for their own good — by their superiors in government, academia, media and (incredibly) the airheaded anti-intellectuals who inhabit Hollywood."

nck said...

I was just reading "the economist" and wondered if HWA was actually a Jesuit.
Especially in the light that the originators of the Jesuit order were Crypto Jews or Jews converted to christianity through force but perhaps inclined to maintain the nucleus of their culture, like an emphasis on education in their missionary work. (as all missionary work of wcg was done under the auspices of ambassador college)

Interesting read.



Gordon Feil said...

Bob, HWA's rebellion, if that's the right word, was that he refused to stop teaching people that they should keep the festivals. So the Salem West Virginia conference terminated him. And also Clarence Dodd for the same reason. HWA kept helping out the Oregon COG7 even into the 1950s when he used to send AC students up there to work as ministerial assistants.

But you're right that there is no unbroken line of succession. The primary founder of the Church of Christ that later changed its name to Church of God (Seventh Day) was Gilbert Cranmore, and he was never ordained by what Herman Hoeh regarded as that church's predecessor, the SDA church. Some of the other early ministers, such as Brinkerhoff, had been, so I suppose that someone will grab onto that with an aha and use it as proof of Herman's theory.

Gordon Feil said...

And here I thought the problem was testosterone.

set the captives free said...

Well, if primacy of Peter and one man rule is IT, then every single organization and independent guru among mankind is a heretic and a rebellious sinner. As history shows, men keep breaking away from the form of government (tyrannical rule) before them. Definition of insanity anybody?

Why can't all of us get it figured out and learn to reason TOGETHER?! Let Christ rule! Not men.

Darren C. said...

Ian, I say this article is quite over-the-top goofy. I'm happy to entertain more specific questions, but what can I say in general?

Ekklesia said...

Anonymous 6:32 and 6:56

I think you are stuck in the "I've got to follow some guy" mindset. Maybe Keyser thinks he has all the answers. I don't know anything about him except I agree with his thoughts on the Primacy of Peter doctrine.

Yet, it never even occurred to me to look further into his group, so your questions are not in the slightest bit troubling or compelling. I suppose if i found myself in the same room and he stubbornly felt he had all the answers I would choose to not speak to him for too long. However, the fact that he does not support the Primacy of Peter doctrine indicates he would be more open to a different opinion than does the COGs.

Anonymous said...

I was referring ,Darren,to the claim that the Primacy of Peter doctrine is necessarily abusive and oppressive and is the Mother of all Theological Errors. A doctrine,however bastardized,that HWA shared with Catholicism.Ian Boyne

Connie Schmidt said...

Gilbert Cramner was an ordained elder of the movement called Christian Connexion (yes with the x). This American movement had several ministers who became swayed by the William Miller Movement in 1844. Concepts such as "soul sleep" , Binitarianism , and "sola scriptura".

Curiously, they were EXTREMELY non-hierachial in their nature and congregationalist in government.

The Church of God 7th Day, and the early Adventist movement went different directions after 1863. The COG of that time did not recognize Ellen G. White as a prophetess. However, the Church of God 7th Day went by the name Church of God Adventist until around 1910.

The Churches of God and Adventism are close cousins, in a distant relationship and common history that both groups rarely explore.

nck said...

Thank you Connie, I get a little bit tired of having to explain what you eloquently described for the 5th time in 4 months.


And of course you are aware that it us not the entire story as many independent groups later joined larger bodies or bodies like radio cg drew from all cog bodies aswell as disenfranchised sda's.

Bricket Wood for example was just across the road of main sda headquarter as was the case in many other nations. This was the frame on which people with many religious backgrounds were grafted in wcg. And in the end the evangelical faction got the prize.


Anonymous said...

If you question the establishment you are always an outcast, and it is worse in America now that it has ever been before. Anyone who speaks a politically incorrect truth faces a media ban.


Anonymous said...

The primacy issue would not be a problem if the "pope Peter" guy were truly led by God, as they claim, but they never are.

Anonymous said...

Leftist “progressivism” is like Communism

"Progressive" is just a fancy word for more and more liberalism, even though it is clearly killing us, which of course, is the real intention of the behind-the-scenes manipulators pulling the strings of the useful idiots.

Gordon Feil said...

Connie, have you read Gilbert's autobiography as he dictated it to his stepson?

Anonymous said...

The primacy of Peter doctrine is pure fascism which is the Raoman Empire in all its brutal glory. The New Testament is a Roman invention. I know that will enrage some of you, but it's the facts pure and simple.

Allen C. Dexter

What About The Truth said...

All men who were ministers under HWA and are now leading or serving in a splinter are illegitimate according to the terms of the "Primacy of Peter Doctrine". They all need to immediately resign or go follow Joe Tkach Jr. One of the main abusers of this doctrine Is David Pack. He invokes this doctrine upon his whole ministry and the entire church membership forgetting that he willfully disobeyed the Tkach's and then followed that up with doing the same to Roderick Meredith. Both actions got him fired. The main point of disagreement with Roderick Meredith was his insistence that HWA did an Elijah type work but couldn't be the end time Elijah. Guess who the end time Elijah is NOW ................ In his own words, "brethren I am the Elijah". By this action, he proved that HWA was wrong, Roderick Meredith was right, his book excoriating Gerald Flurry for claiming the same was wrong/right and of course that he himself was more than wrong.

Byker Bob said...

Look, 3:35, if there's an international conspiracy involving banking and corporations, it's to make money, like the Rothchilds have done for many, many years. You don't destroy classes of people or nations, you work to make them prosperous so that they use your products and services. You try to manipulate their spending habits to maximize your own profits. 0ne of those product lines might be impliments of war, but you limit that soas not to destroy any profitable consumer-nations. Why even the Romans realized that, which is why they allowed the nations which they absorbed to have a modicum of self-government, and to maintain their own cultures. The tributes poured into the Roman treasury, making the empire wealthier and stronger so they could maintain pax Romana.

I guarantee you, the recent reemergence of nationalism, if allowed to continue, is going to destroy all of the global cooperation which has led to international prosperity, and relative peace. The cause of World War II was largely German nationalism, ignited by global insistance that Germany pay war reparations for WW I, and the subsequent tanking of the German economy when in desperation they printed up all the funny money causing hyperinflation, and then as some low IQ people are attempting to repeat here, they blamed the Jews.

None of what I just stated is even debatable.


nck said...

Excellent answer to the 3:35 (dan brownish) person.
For now the world population seems to grow beyond 8 billion.
So there is not much "net killing" going on. I do understand the "US" part. It seems birthrates among the "US" are declining with the ascent of women in the workplace. So there should be higher tax in order to pay for day care so women feel more free to produce more children.

I like how you explained the non debatable basics. On a side note, my master thesis centered around the protection of "the weak" when markets or asset classes were liberalised. AT&T should deliver services in the most rural places and I have particularly witnessed the destruction of the Russian economy when the American consultants implemented the "shock doctrine" by a sudden and hundred procent liberalisation of their economy driving the desolate in the hands of a strong man as you described for post WWI Germany.

It was the Raiders who profited and Putin made sure he brought that under his personal control to satisfy the electorate.

Now of course there is the issue of creative destruction. One destroys Iraq and bring in your own companies to rebuild. On a highly academic level even WWII was a battle for markets. As Europe is the US largest market and of course there is democracy etc. But democracy is not a necessary component as China is showing.

I agree with your assessment on nationalism.. But in reality Larsen C is the result of consumers not having paid the FULL price of their products. It was not sustainable and nature will exact their price.

Now to remain on topic.
In a sense what happened to WCG was the exacting of the FULL price of the desire to have "the most beloved leader" in complete power for ever through proven unsustainable bylaws. The bylaws were unjust and unsustainable and Larsen C hit WCG.

In the end it is all a matter of how minority views are protected within a system and how do you prevent a minority view to dominate without mandate. I guess that is what James and Peter and Paul struggled with also within their span of control.

It can work.
Steve Jobs and the founder of Twitter were both ousted by their organisations to be welcomed back on a later time to have their ideas implemented after all. I guess people in Jerusalem felt about Paul that way at the time, while later the succes of Christianity is unrivaled in the big scheme of things.

Well, I wont go into the trade deficit of Rome, having emperors lower the amount of silver in their monnies weakening the Empire in the end. One cannot in a sustainable way profiteer for ever even if your allies grant to cover the national debt.

I do believe that people try and maximize the quest for happiness. I also believe that lots are genuinely following what they believe is right. I do not believe Tkach was looking for new markets in the evangelical realm in a sinister conspiracy. From the angle of Peters keys the question remains how a minority view can be prevented to dominate and how a minority view is protected.

I do understand that currently the SDA's bodies of government are fiercely debating the place of women in their denomination. Interesting to see how they resolve such issue in a worldwide organisation serving many opinions.


Byker Bob said...

Peter was well-known to the authorities, and singled out for jailing and persecution, and the situation got so intense that he could not govern effectively. The primacy of Peter morphed into privacy for Peter, and James assumed leadership.


Connie Schmidt said...

Gordon Feil:

I have talked often with Robert Coulter of the COG7th Day, who is a historian of the COGs, and with the late Richard Nickels as well. There is much to learn from COG history post 1844. Interestingly enough, early pioneers of the COG in Christian Connexion were womens suffragists, and supported the work of abolitionists as well.

HWA took the movement into a whole different direction with the diminishing of women, and of minorities.

Connie Schmidt said...

It is also worth noting that Cramner, who lived until 1903, and worked tirelessly for decades building what is known today as the CoG 7th Day, NEVER received a PENNY for his ministerial work, unlike the copious lifestyles enjoyed by HWA and GTA and others.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:56 PM, I absolutely agree with you.

Darren C. said...


Of course the Primacy of Peter doctrine is neither inherently abusive and oppressive nor the Mother of All Theological Errors.

While HWA stole the concept from the Catholic Church, it's not the same thing.

(1) The genuine teaching (not HWA's counterfeit) involves infallibility, which HWA did not claim, evidenced by his doctrinal corrections and reversals over the years.

(2) The teaching also involves unbroken succession. Anyone can claim the office for himself based on his own authority, but the whole point of succession is that it is publicly known. The identity of the office holder is not left to speculation (that defeats the purpose). Since Peter was bishop of Rome when he died, his successor is the one who took his place as the Roman bishop. I don't recall HWA taking the mantle from any kind of predecessor at all. (He said CG7 is "Sardis," but I don't think he recognized anyone there as holding a petrine office; if he did, he would have been in schism with him.)

HWA simply took upon himself authority that he did not have. To me, that's the greatest absurdity. Any slick talker with a commanding personality can do the same, and abuse his self-appointment for personal benefit.

nck said...

It's just all a matter of span of control and technological possibilities.
Today one financial controller in a multinational corporation manages more information than a thousand people in the British East India Company.

HWA's time was the rise of Fordism in production method, early modern management and marketing.

For heavens sake. Stanley Rader taking a call in Egypt from Pasadena took 10 minutes to establish and then information needed to be wired. And the call cost 500 1970 dollars.
Todays directors have a free conference call with people meeting in Hong Kong, Singapore, Chigaco and Seattle and the sound is impeccable.

I travelled the entire travels of Paul's lifetime. It took me three weeks.

But hey as others have pointed out. Nothing I said in this posting even relates to Peter holding the keys.


Sam S. said...

Hi Connie,
You mentioned Richard Nickels, he was my uncle. Extremely smart guy with a wealth of knowledge.

Regarding preeminence, it was explained like this by a little known organization out west (cogte): You are only a legitamete and authorized holder of the truth if one; you had hands laid directly upon you by HWA, or two; hands laid on you by someone who had hands laid on them by HWA.

This is considered a direct line of succession. Catholicism has greatly infiltrated the cog's and the sheeples sitting there do not even see it. I had my tree shook, and it wasn't until then, that I saw it for what it was.

Anonymous said...

"You are only a legitamete and authorized holder of the truth if one; you had hands laid directly upon you by HWA, or two; hands laid on you by someone who had hands laid on them by HWA."

and, unfortunately, far too many people believe this.

Byker Bob said...

The laying on of Herbert's hands were pretty much a guarantee that you had been reprogrammed, and that your normal, natural ethics and humanity had been overwritten by inferior ones. Think of the old RCA Victor dog cartoon, "His Master's Voice".


RSK said...

Or, if you're Bitter Bob. hands of hands of hands. :)