Comparisons Between PCG
and the Roman Catholic Church
I was never a Catholic, but was in the Philadelphia Church of God, and the similarities between the RCC and the PCG is so familiar to me. It seems that Herbert W. Armstrong (founder of the Worldwide Church of God) borrowed from more sources than we knew. Here are a few comparisons:
- Peter was the one put in charge of the whole Church. He held the keys to bind and loose. The government of the Church was from the top down, and one man has always held the leadership. The RCC is virtually identical to the PCG in this.
- The RCC worships statues and symbols. They also have certain celebrations on special (holy) days that must be kept for salvation. The WCG worshiped days and laws. If you did not celebrate the proper days in the WCG, you could not be saved. This applied especially to Passover and Day of Atonement. If you broke God's Law, you must repent properly or you would not receive eternal life.
- It was a sin that could jeopardize your eternal salvation to attend another church.
- Prayers must be properly said every day. The members of the WCG had to pray for certain things [and for a certain length of time], and now the PCG has even been given a time limit of at least thirty minutes a day just to achieve salvation. We could call that the "PCG Rosary."
- The ministers in the PCG [as was in WCG] "speak for God." This puts the ministry between the members and Christ. Members cannot have as much of the Holy Spirit as the ministers, and therefore, cannot understand the Scriptures as well. Members must confess to the ministers, when accused, to be forgiven. This is identical to the RCC except that there is no anonymous booth.
- Members must have final forgiveness. A member who dies guilty of a sin without repenting has no assurance of salvation. This is not a stated doctrine, but is accepted by the members. It is a widespread belief that causes much fear. It is one reason that members would rather die than go to a doctor, which is considered idolatry in the PCG.1
- The words of the "One in Charge" are held up as coming directly from God. This belief is virtually identical with the RCC. If Gerald Flurry states something as God's will, it must be right. If he turns out to be wrong (which happens frequently), the fault lies elsewhere, probably with the membership. Also HWA is called the Father of the membership. This has been inherited by Flurry.
- They both call themselves the true Church established by Christ and trace their history back to the beginning.
Is it any wonder that at least two of the highest ranked ministers in the Philadelphia Church of God--Dennis Leap and Wayne Turgeon2 are former Roman Catholics?
By Paige (former member of PCG)
February 17, 2005
ADDITIONAL COMPARISONS FROM ESN: (added July 7, 2011)
Here are other comparisons (and which can apply to any authoritarian WCG offshoot):
- Adds other books to the Bible (PCG adds Mystery of the Ages, etc.)
- Use of words that sound Christian, but which have a different meaning
- Denies the sufficiency of our Lord's Person and work
- Believes in baptismal regeneration (that baptism is necessary for salvation)
- Adds works or rituals to the gospel of grace
- Members do not have an assurance of eternal salvation
- Fear and guilt involved (also superstitious)
- Cover-up of immorality, sexual and financial abuses
- History revision
This kind of system basically says that the path to God is by works and rituals, and through their church (considered the one true church). However, the Scriptures are clear that salvation is through the one-time sacrifice of Christ on the cross for all our sins. There is nothing a believer can add to that. We are already in the "true church" if we have placed our faith in Christ.
Footnotes by ESN: