Exit and Support Network

To All Who Are Considering Joining
Philadelphia Church of God

Please re-think about joining Philadelphia Church of God! You may say, "some" of the things the PCG says sound true, but isn't that the case with most religions?

The PCG claims to be God's "only true church," so shouldn't everything be absolutely true and not just some? Surely, if it comes from God, it would have to be 100% true, right? Can a false prophet ever be the author of a true church?

Herbert Armstrong's over 200 false prophecies are listed on the Internet. [We list several of them in: Did Herbert Armstrong Set Dates?] Carefully read the Scriptures that address what the Bible says when a so-called prophet's prophecy does not come about. (Deuteronomy 13:5; 18:20-22) 

All I ask is that you read about these false prophecies of HWA's and question them. The ministers in the PCG might "attempt" to explain some of your concerns if you begin to doubt. Ask them about these false prophesies and you will see that they will probably talk around them. Make them answer and explain each one.

The PT (Plain Truth) and Good News are the magazines that Herbert W. Armstrong made prophecies in over many decades of falsehood. I have researched this thoroughly and proven to myself that at least 200 of his prophecies did not come about; therefore, as commanded by God, I had no choice but to walk away from the PCG and HWA's Worldwide Church of God.

You and I were searching for "truth" in so many churches and listening to so many sermons, but we can never get to that satisfying feeling of knowing the absolute truth! Why? Because we are looking to men for the answers about the truth and not in the right place. We have the truth in black and white. It is the Holy Bible which has the truth and with the Holy Spirit we can read the Bible and receive the truth about the Gospel by ourselves, or from a Christian ministry that does not twist Scriptures to make it look as if they are the "only true church." We are to follow Jesus and His words. The PCG will make you follow them and their laws! There is no grace offered in the PCG, yet that is what Jesus Christ is all about! "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." (John 1:17)

He died so we can live. That is total Grace and Love! The PCG says grace without "works" is death. But the work of salvation was finished when He died for our sins! (John 19:30) That is ultimate love! Any works we do are because of the love we have for Him after He saves us. [Read: Are We Still Under Law in Spite of Grace?] The PCG insists that we have to work for our salvation. This false teaching takes so much away from the sacrifice of Jesus Christ (a complete propitiation for all our sins). This means His death wasn't good enough and we have to "earn" eternity. Doesn't this discredit His death and resurrection? Think about this and read your Bible and don't let them fool you. They will be nice to you at first, but once you are there they will instill so much fear into you that you will change as a person (and in a bad way). I guarantee it.

Don't go down this road of deception. I have been down it, and right now you may seem to be happy with the "truth" you recently discovered, but in the end you will end up in pain like I did. I do not believe this is a church, but instead an exploitive group that uses mind control. Be careful and pray about this. Read my testimony about the things they did to me and others and how they had their lives, marriages, jobs, hearts and souls ruined. This includes leaving or breaking up your family, moving to another location, giving up your career, going hungry, but still tithing to PCG. Unless you study mind control (thought reform), or lived through it, you can't understand why a person would do something so irrational. Do you know what you are getting into? I know this because I lived through it. I considered myself of average intelligence and have a deep spiritual yearning for God and want to obey His word. This is what the PCG preys on. Once they "read" your dedication to God, they fill you with false doctrine and instill great fear in your heart.

You surely don't want to worship another god, so I ask you to consider the things I have said. Read your Bible and look up what the N.T. says about "Grace" and then see how the PCG teaches it. A major contradiction. I do not want to see another person get wounded as I was without stating the facts that I know to be true. Please think, read for yourself, and pray for the truth about these things. Right now, you are still free to think your own way, but once they get you, they will change the way you think. I am still trying to recover.

Light has come as promised (Ephesians 5:14) and I now live in the freedom of the knowledge of the grace of God. It is a disgrace that PCG doesn't truly recognize what Jesus' complete sacrifice has done for us. Let us live with Him in our hearts and cast away the worldly, powerful men who betray and steer us astray. They are influenced by our adversary spirit. Let His light shine in your life and joy will come. Let us not believe that God is standing over our head with a cast iron skillet, as the PCG would have you believe, but believe the Scriptures that God is Love and we please Him by loving Him back and loving one another. (John 13:35)

I pray that the One and Only who knows the ultimate truth, Jesus Christ, will shed His light into your soul so you can see the real truth and not the deceptiveness that the PCG offers.

Feel free to ask any questions that you may have. Take the time to read what the PCG is not telling you.

By Mike
Exit & Support Network™

Note: The above was originally an email response to one who was considering joining PCG. Read this man's three emails (shows how he is now no longer considering PCG).


A Former PCG Member Relates His Experience in PCG:

I think that God would want me to at least give my honest personal testimony about my 17 years in Philadelphia Church of God.

Child abuse: Children are routinely beaten or "spanked" in the PCG. If children make any noise during the two hour or more services, a parent is expected to take the child out and "whip" the kid until she or he is no longer willing to make a sound. I personally witnessed this during the PCG's Feast of Tabernacles and other "Holy Days" celebrations where they have a room called the "Fathers Room," which is where dads are supposed to take their unruly children for private discipline. This is not hearsay but I witnessed it myself firsthand. I was in the "Fathers Room" during several PCG gatherings and witnessed men beating their young children 1 to 5 years old. One man beat his (around 3 year old) daughter so loudly and severely that I was shocked. If the Child Welfare people or even the general public knew what was happening at these "church outings" the PCG would be scandalized and investigated. [Also read: Spanking Babies and Harsh Discipline of Children in PCG]

Extortion of PCG members money: If you decide to join the PCG, you will find out how important cash is to the leaders and "ministers of God" who run the show. Constantly, you will be bombarded with stories of the "needs of the Work" (one if their favorite euphemisms for basically saying "send us your retirement/paycheck.") You will be told these repeated phrases: "Is your Heart in the Work?"How much do you love God's Work?" "Only those who give financially to the Work can grow spiritually." TRANSLATION: "Only those who give financially to PCG Headquarters (Edmond, OK) can grow spiritually."

They constantly try and tell you that giving money to "The Work" is the only way to be saved and to show God you are worthy to "make it into the Kingdom of God." If "your heart is not in the work" (i. e., giving them money), then you are "not with it spiritually" and will "lose your salvation."

I have used a lot of quotation marks but use them to emphasize all of the "brainwashing" (mind control) phrases and trigger words that you will be bombarded with if you become a member.

I could go on and on about the abuses and spiritual bullying that goes on in the PCG.

In conclusion, if you want to test and see if any of the PCG members or ministers are really open and honest, ask them why was the "Apostle and Prophet" of the PCG Gerald Flurry arrested for being drunk on the Sabbath?

Yes, he has a police record. Read about it here. I would like to hear how they explain that.

Also, ask them if it is true that Gerald Flurry plagiarized most of the content of his main book Malachi's Message. Read about it here.

I hope what I am saying helps you in some way. If I have sounded too harsh concerning this group, it is because I feel I must speak bluntly and plainly when such gross spiritual fraud is being perpetrated against honest people.

By Brett, former PCG member

Note: The above was originally emailed to someone that was thinking of joining PCG.


What if I am becoming hooked on Philadelphia Church of God literature?

Be sure and educate yourself on the mind control methods that are used in exclusive groups to draw people in and to keep them from leaving. Understand that there are many others besides Philadelphia Church of God that also believe "the Kingdom of God is coming soon" and which declare their church is the "only one" which has received "God's truths," the "restored gospel," etc., and are the "special and chosen," "the only true Christians," and who alone are "doing the Work of God." These groups all teach that members who leave their fellowship (and who do not repent and return) have lost their chance at eternal life. With their teachings come guilt, shame and fear to compel people to send in tithes (in most cases three tithes) and generous offerings, spend lots of time doing things for the group, and believing that all who don't follow their beliefs and teachings are "deceived by Satan" and are lost.

The pull to believe Gerald Flurry's teachings and to think you are finding hidden mysteries, truths, or understanding prophecies for the last days, can be very strong, almost like an addiction, but look at the fruits. Even in the early years when HWA was teaching all the things that the leadership said was from God, he was living a hypocritical, immoral life and his ministers under him were abusing thousands of people. (See our Booklist to learn more about this.) Many of us who went into WCG in those years were thrilled to find these teachings, which we called "God's truth." We did not know upfront what the organization was all about; we didn't understand thought reform and how it was being used on us, and we didn't know we were going to be used and manipulated, as deceptive, abusive groups keep much of their information hidden until one becomes a member.

Most who are drawn to these exclusive groups desire to become highly dedicated Christians, with a goal and purpose in life, but they end up receiving something entirely different than what they were promised--psychological and spiritual abuse, along with financial exploitation. Read some of the true stories on Mike's page about what others have said happened to them after they went into PCG (or were involved with it). Be sure and read: Without My Informed Consent! which is a sample contract of what happens to people who join these groups. The control that PCG (and similar authoritarian splinter groups) exert over people's lives ends up crushing them.

Right now, you are freely reading these webpages, but realize that if you join PCG, you will be forbidden by the PCG ministers to even look at any articles on the Internet that are considered critical of the group or their teachings. High demand, deceptive groups all use this technique to retain their members. Once you become a member, if you go against their teachings and instructions, you will be warned of your "government problem," and if you still don't change, you will be disfellowshipped and told you are headed towards the lake of fire. These are all things you need to consider now, instead of waiting until it is too late.

Jesus said His burden was light. (Matthew 11:28-30) He tells us that no man can take us out of His hand. (John 10:28) But Philadelphia Church of God will end up making you believe that your salvation is contingent on your staying in their "one true church."

God will speak to you about His true gospel if you ask Him--and He speaks through His Word, not through additional literature that is considered "the truth." You can sincerely pray and ask Him to show you the way to eternal life. The message of salvation is the same as it's been down through history: Turn to God and trust Jesus as your personal Savior. Jesus will come to live in you and you will have loving, close fellowship with Him. God will see you as in Christ. Look to Him, not to any man who makes you think he has all the answers and who will end up controlling every aspect of your life. Jesus will never forsake you and will always be there for you.

I hope you will not allow yourself to end up spiritually and emotionally abused by following anyone who says he speaks for God.

By D. M. Williams
Exit & Support Network™

 

"They received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." ~Acts 17: 11

 

Other related articles on our site:

I Was Thinking of Becoming a PCG Member

Questions to Ask Any Church or Religious Group You Are Planning on Becoming Involved With

Where is the True Church?  

Dropouts See Hucksterism Where They Once Saw God

Understanding Mind Control & Exploitive Groups (Education + Investigation = Emancipation)


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