Exit and Support Network

Amazing Statements Made by
Worldwide Church of God Ministers

The following is a collection of amazing, ridiculous, and oftentimes humorous statements made by WCG ministers (including comments from the former WCG member).

Also read: Amazing Statements Made by Philadelphia Church of God Ministers


  1. I wrote to WCG headquarters, asking them about a book that was in our church library on husbands. My letter was mailed back to our minister who later pulled out the letter during his sermon and began to read it out loud to the congregation, making comical comments such as: "There are always going to be members who have to write headquarters to see if the ministers have their heads screwed on right."

  2. When I tried to counsel with my minister one time about my teenaged daughter, he told me that if she didn't straighten up, we should tell her to "hit the road." The last time I ever went to him for anything was when I tried to counsel with him after holy day services. He first told me, "You've got to realize that you have made her the way she is." Then he ended up by saying, "I'll be glad to counsel with you, but not about every little thing." I felt like a nuisance and never counseled with him again.

  3. We were having a lot of problems concerning jealousy and fighting between our two young children and were at the end of our rope. We made an appointment to discuss all of it with an elder and hopefully receive some solid help. Instead of getting the help we needed, he simple told us, "That's as common as the rising and setting of the sun."

  4. I had to go in the hospital one time to be tested for allergies. After I came home, the ministers must have heard about it because they came over. After awhile he said, "Satan likes people to go into hospitals because then the demons can make one think that they have something wrong with them."

  5. While our minister's wife had cancer, he was committing adultery with a married lady in the congregation and then married her soon after his own wife died. Since many of the members were talking, he gave us a sermon and said, "I am not dead below my belt!" One member eventually wrote in to headquarters about it and it angered him so much that he decided to take it out on all of us by giving a blazing sermon on "Gossip." I'll never forget his first thunderous words, "I'm really going to give you all hell today!" Not long afterwards headquarters transferred him to another area.

  6. I counseled with my minister one time as I was having a very hard time financially. After I talked for awhile, he very patronizingly told me, "Your problem, [so and so], is that you have a very low confidence in yourself."

  7. My wife and I were having marital problems, but when I went for counseling to get some help, the minister stunned me by saying, "My advice to you is take the kids and leave." (I refused.) This minister, by the way, had been sent to our area to "wake everyone up."

  8. I was counseling with the assistant minister because my husband, who had been baptized a few years prior, was getting away from keeping the Law and I was quite concerned. After telling this assistant that "he [my husband] did change after baptism" he told me, "Even alcoholics can change." Then he added, "Forget about him. God is working with you."

  9. I was drilled by our minister at a Holy Day service once because he assumed I was beating my kids. I tried to tell him it was false, but he looked me square in the eyes and said, "If you don't admit it, then you're like an alcoholic in denial."

  10. I visited our local minister one day and since I had been afraid to talk to him before I finally admitted it to him. He answered, "You ought to see all the heads (of members) I have in my basement."

  11. Our pastor paid us a visit and found out about the rented house we had to live in due to lack of money. The inside was fairly nice, but the outside porch was falling apart and made the place look like a haunted house. (We also kept our dog in the enclosed porch area at night to catch the rats that tried to come in.) My pastor took one look and said, "You shouldn't have moved here, because God wants us to have quality."

  12. We headed to church one Sabbath and when we arrived in the parking lot, our son (who must have been not more than 12 at the time) suddenly noticed that he still had his bedroom slippers on! Since he was way too embarrassed to go inside, we left him in the car. The minister later found out and said, "That was his excuse not to show up for services."

  13. I had to be baptized twice within ten years by the WCG ministers since I had a difficult time obeying some of their laws all the time. The minister told me, "You evidently didn't repent the first time."

  14. During a counseling session, my minister told me, "You need to realize that you haven't raised your kids right." That's right, put the blame on me, when all I'd done was raise them according to The Plain Truth About Child Rearing.

  15. One night at a meal I accidentally dropped a glass that hit a dish and broke into pieces on the table. There were small pieces of glass all around the dish of spinach, so I assumed they must be in the spinach, as well. I began to remove the dish of spinach from the table saying that there was probably glass in it and that we couldn't eat it. My husband said, "It's probably all right. Just be careful when you eat it. We can't throw it out." He made a good salary and money was no problem, so it was not because of money! I went to our minister and told him about it. He leaned across the table and looked at me and said, "You've got to obey your husband! If he tells you to eat glass, you've got to do it and just pray that you'll be all right. Maybe if he eats the glass, he'll learn a lesson."

  16. When I tossed out my Halley's Bible Handbook, and another book which I can't remember, I was admonished by our elder who said, "Your zeal is commendable, but your wisdom is lacking." Yet, it was WCG that encouraged getting rid of all "outside books" in the first place.

  17. I stepped on a nail on the job and the boss sent me home, telling me to go to the doctor and get a shot before I came back to work. Wondering how to work my way around this, I phoned our local elder and he told me to "take a sip of whiskey or brandy, or whatever I had on hand, and then when the boss questioned me I could say, 'Yes, I took a shot.'"

  18. I had been enjoying classical piano pieces; however, the minister made it clear to all of us that classical music was "demonic" and that all those who had originally composed it "had demons." How did he know? "HWA said so." So much for Mozart and all the rest.

  19. I was raked over the coals by a self-righteous minister who told me my hairstyle wasn't correct and I need to "get a haircut." (I was a young person at the time and had grown a very short braid in the back) When I questioned what was wrong with it, he said, "You wouldn't see Mr. Tkach [Sr.] wearing his hair like that, would you? He's our example."

  20. I read in HWA's booklet, The Seven Laws of Success, and other booklets of his, that God wanted me to have the "abundant life," would "prosper me" if I tithed to "God's Church," would bless me if I diligently "applied His way," etc. Yet when I counseled with a WCG minister about all my financial problems he said, "God is not really concerned with material things."

  21. Once my husband and I visited a WCG elder to discuss our 2 year old boy (who was what we thought at the time quite unruly). He fell asleep on the couch over at the elder's house while we were talking. During our conversation, the elder looked over at him and said, "If you don't start giving him some love (WCG style), he could be making bombs at age 12."

  22. WCG ministers could give members any kind of mumble-jumble they wanted and we swallowed it. During a time when I was going through a rather difficult time of doubting my own conversion, I was told by my minister that I "probably was converted, just not convicted."

  23. The whole time I attended the WCG, my husband never stepped inside. In fact, he hated the "church." Once when my minister came over to visit me, my husband jumped him and told him to get the H out of our house! The next Bible study the minister told the members that he "was attacked by a man that had a demon."

  24. Our minister remarked at services how a "spiritual widow" called him in a panic, telling him that her refrigerator had quit working. He then implied she was being silly to be in a panic, saying, "I guess she was afraid her jar of mayonnaise was going to spoil."

  25. My first husband was a non-member. He was also an alcoholic and abuser. The minister counseled me with, "You can leave him, but your reward will be greater if you stick with him."

  26. The WCG minister that temporarily held the reins of power in the local church in Canada once "thundered" in a sermon the correct way for a Christian to dress. "A Christian (man) dresses in white underwear and white undershirt, never black underwear," thundered God's true minister. (After hearing that message, I began to worry that he was going to become the "underwear policeman.")

  27. It was during a Holy Day message that the local "Hitler" (minister), shouted, "A growing Christian should be giving more and more in Holy Day offerings. The more converted one becomes the more he should be giving to Jesus Christ." How astounding, how much more could a person give? Apparently first tithe, tithe-of-tithe, excess second tithe, third tithe, offerings, holy day offerings, SEP offerings, building fund, were not enough; one had to continually give more.

  28. I was sitting in a Bible study one night when the minister told us members that "we could become at least 98% perfect if we tried."

  29. We had an elder that used to give very funny sermonettes. He would make us all laugh as he was especially good at imitating other people's voices. After a new minister was transferred to our area, I noticed that this elder changed and became formal and serious. I finally found out that the new minister had told him that he wanted him to "change his image." Evidently this elder molded himself to whatever the ministers wanted.

  30. On one high day Sabbath I went to my mom's funeral instead of church. Later one of the local elders asked why I wasn't at the morning service and I told him that I was at my mother's funeral. He said, "Haven't you read the Scripture? Let the dead bury the dead. You should have been here." Then he walked away.

  31. It was preached in one of the congregations I was in that if you couldn't follow the sermon, that was proof that you were "becoming unconverted."

  32. I told my minister once that I always felt so lousy on Sundays. He replied, "That's because it's Satan's day.'"

  33. My sister told me years ago that her minister told the WCG congregation, "If you didn't study the Bible and pray an hour a day each day, you wouldn't be saved."

  34. One time when I was having a lot of difficulties with a certain member who blew up easily at me, I was told by an elder (who always favored her), "She just has a short fuse."

  35. A minister in our area told us that in order to keep the Sabbath holy we "should cook the meat loaf half way done the day before and then put it in the oven after church and finish cooking it."

  36. One day I was telling my minister how I was able to go through the Bible Correspondence Course quicker because I was typing the answers. He told me, "Start writing it out in longhand." Believing that he was God's spokesman, I had to obey. I think he thought I was getting a little too smart for my own britches. That was back in the days when the course was over 30 Lessons!

  37. We had a tornado go over our place one time. We weren't sure if the whole house was going to be blown away. Well, the minister told us later that if it really had of happened, we needed to realize "it was only material possessions."

  38. An evangelist and tutor at Ambassador UK said in class one day that "a wife has to totally submerge her personality into that of her husband's." In other words, a woman has no identity of her own.

  39. When I was enduring a home birth in the days when no doctors or hospitals were allowed by WCG, it went desperately wrong. I had to go to the hospital and have an emergency caesarean. My minister stood over the bed, looked down at me and told me "you are obviously very unrighteous." When my daughter was born, safely and well, I wanted to call her Julia. He said not to, as it would remind me of Julius Caesar from whom came the medical term "caesarian"! I had previously had a miscarriage and this same man told me not to tell anyone as "it would cause them to lose faith."

  40. When I finally realized that my husband was probably being unfaithful to me, I screwed up the courage to talk to a minister. He told me to "lose weight" (obviously it was my fault that he committed adultery) and told my husband to "go to a sex clinic" and make sure he was free from disease. We divorced a few years later.

  41. When my daughter was born, my congregation moved into the Elk's Lodge ballroom. They put the mothers' room in the bathroom, but it didn't provide any privacy for the nursing mothers. The next week they moved it to a bar just off the ballroom. There was no door; they used a partition to provide privacy. My daughter was about four to six weeks old. She started to fuss during church. I immediately took her to the mothers' room. She started to cry, and I couldn't get her to be quiet. Finally two deaconesses escorted me through the ballroom to the bathroom. As we were going through the ballroom, the pastor stopped his sermon and said, "Thank you!!"

  42. Back in the early `70s at the Feast, one of the evangelists told us that we would all be "living in dome shaped bubbles" within ten years. He said that the pollution would finally be so bad that we would be forced to live like this because we wouldn't be able to breathe outside of them.

  43. When I was a member back in the late `60s, our minister, with clockwork every spring, instructed us how to conduct ourselves at Passover services. He said we were "not to talk, shake hands or even smile" because "we would be showing disrespect to God if we did." We were more like robots than human beings.

  44. I shall never forget the look on all the ministers' faces at a conference one year when it was said that Herbert Armstrong said that "no husband should ever kiss his wife below the neck; that a husband should never let his wife see him naked because a woman thinks a man's body is ugly, nor should he let her see him with his hair uncombed! A comb should be kept beside the bed so he could comb his hair first thing." Needless to say, you could have heard a pin drop in that room! Now isn't that a wonderful basis for a good marriage!!

  45. After my father died, and my mother was drawing what little money she was entitled to, I asked (why, I'll never know) if I could just give my 3rd tithe directly to my mother. I was told by the minister, "Third tithe and your responsibilities to your mother are two separate things and you have to do both!"

  46. I was eating in a restaurant on a holy day and the member next to me was served something with pork in it. (I guess he didn't know it when he ordered.) He already ate some without knowing it and wasn't too alarmed because he said the minister told him that you could "just say a prayer for God to cleanse the meat and then it would be okay to have swallowed it." He plowed right in and ate all of it. That was sure crazy, because HWA said we weren't supposed to eat "unclean" meat.

  47. As a teen in the WCG, I wasn't allowed to listen to music on the Sabbath. On the way to church, however, my parents always tuned in to this radio station that had instrumental music on--which was really boring. The minister told them that it was okay to listen to "elevator music" on the Sabbath, which I guess is what this was.

  48. I'll never forget the old building that we met in for Saturday services. It was stifling in that windowless room during the hot and humid summers. All of us men endured with suit and tie, sweat dripping down, but no one dared voice a complaint. Then one Saturday the pastor comes out in the middle of his sermon and says, "All you men can remove your suit jacket--if you want." It probably was an excuse for him to take his off!!

  49. When I was an usher in the WCG, there were a few times that members would come in late. In order to nip in the bud what was considered "disrespect toward God's Sabbath" a few seats in the front row were always kept empty. Then when the late-comers came in, we were instructed to "take them to the front row seats." I realize now that this was a method used to humiliate them in front of the rest of the members. I knew one man that said he wouldn't come inside if he was late, for fear of being placed "down front."

  50. In 1997, WCG headquarters informed my husband and I that we were "banned" from attending our local WCG due to a conflict with our pastor that was "unresolvable." We told the pastor and HQ that we didn't feel any conflict was unresolvable, and we pleaded with the pastor to come together in prayer with us. His response was, "Prayer won't do any good." About a year later he was transferred to another church area.

  51. We had to sit through many miserable two hour videos from headquarters in the WCG. When we had to listen to Joseph Tkach, Sr. droning on for 3 hours in his sermon on "the changes," in the middle of it, our minister said, "You may want to get up and stretch your muscles for a few minutes." Sure!! Then we'll be good for another one and a half hours!!

  52. One year I decided to attend the Feast of Tabernacles in a certain Caribbean Nation. There the weather was extremely hot, every day, with high humidity. The Minister spoke one afternoon when the temperature was well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, with the humidity just causing people to swelter. Inside the Meeting room, it was air-conditioned, so the temperature was bearable. The Minister said that, once the sermon was over and we proceeded to leave the building, that we should "set the example and the men not remove their jackets and ties, immediately upon leaving the building." Upon walking out of the meeting hall, into the bright sunshine, I immediately felt hot and immediately began to sweat. I remembered the Minister's message where he told us to set the example. I thought to myself, "Set an example of what?? of stupidity?? of dying of heat stroke??" I removed my jacket and tie and walked back to my rental car, sweating profusely, unbelievable, that was the first time that I ignored the Minister's message and I felt very guilty, I was going into the Lake of Fire, all because I took off my coat and tie. I guess the Worldwide Church of God's God likes torturing people.

  53. I was trying to explain to the minister about the disease that our 2 year old had been diagnosed with, a lethal disorder. Once he understood our son was expected to die, he said, "Well, it sounds like you won't have to deal with it much longer." I was hoping for support, not a slap in the face. I never even tried to explain that an older child was thought to be coming down with it as well.

  54. Our minister proclaimed from the pulpit that "if a young person did not attend Ambassador College, they were wasting their time going to any worldly university." At the ripe old age of 18, I knew that had to be one of the most stupid remarks that anyone could make. Fortunately, I did not heed that advice and went on to get a wonderful education and have been employed ever since.

  55. I fell asleep at a Bible study one evening and the minister loudly called my name out in front of everyone, saying, "[so and so] wake up!!" I can't tell you how embarrassed I was, and his booming voice haunted me for years.

  56. Every Feast of Tabernacles there was always some minister from headquarters that told us to "make sure you hide your liquor bottles out of site before you leave the motel/hotel room for services each day." This was so the maid that came in to clean the room wouldn't get the impression that we "over-indulged in alcohol."

  57. We had lost almost all because of WCG's demands on our money, but when we counseled with our pastor he told us that he knew where our problem was: "Your Holy Day offerings are too low." All WCG was ever interested in was how much of our money they could get hold of.

  58. The ministers, when visiting, enjoyed seeing how many Herbert Armstrong booklets I had. I was told that these booklets could all be considered "diamonds, jewels, and rubies." Looking back, they were more like "worthless straw" to be thrown into the fire.

  59. While a minister was visiting in our home, I related to him how we were thanking God for all our blessings lately. Instead of his saying it was good to give thanks, he told us, "Just don't overdo it."

  60. At the Feast one year, a minister announced that apparently people were stopping in the middle of the intersection when the traffic light turned red, including even pedestrians, putting their lives in danger, believe it or not!! He announced to people that they were to continue through the intersection if the light turned red once they had entered it. He went on and explained to the people that it was the right thing to do. He had begun his announcement by stating, "We in the Church, get so zealous for obeying, we strive so hard to obey and do the right thing, that sometimes we get carried away." (Translated: we were so mind-controlled that we could not think for ourselves any more.)
    [Read the full Dec. 12, 2002 letter concerning this incident.]

  61. Here's a funny thing our minister said after the changes and right before we left: "We are now mainstream. Everyone to the left of us, or to the right of us is wrong. We are the standard." In other words, we are still "the church!"

  62. WCG sure encouraged us to have liquor in the house, yet at the same time they preached against becoming an alcoholic! One "pillar of the church" member was put out of the church because he was simply making his own wine in his basement (according to WCG minister instructions). And for several years I was assigned to drive an elderly lady (in her 70s) to services. She, like the rest of us, felt we must have a little wine with our meals. Well, she told me that she wanted me to always buy it for her, because the minister had told her, "Let him pick up your gallon of wine, so the neighbors won't talk."

  63. Our pastor knew of the doctrinal changes coming, but he still told us, "For a few, short physical years, if we do it right, we'll have immortality."

  64. When we had only attended WCG a few times, the minister told all of us, "If you want to really see how rebellious you are, keep track of every hour of your day for one full day, and you will see your true attitude." It's too bad we didn't pick up on it then how none of us can be perfect.

  65. The ministers thought they were God sometimes. One time I had one tell me that if I didn't improve on my obedience, they could take me in the back room, pray, and "God would remove His Holy Spirit."

  66. During one Feast, I think it was after services (maybe even before services), a man had caused quite a stir up front by the stage. Looking back, I'm pretty sure he was someone who must have uncovered some nasty things about GTA, HWA or something, and was very angry. Anyway, I heard a bunch of shouting and scuffling, and as I stood there with my mouth open, I saw a man being quickly carried off by several "security officers" in the church. A minister nearby told all of us, "Don't pay any attention to what's going on. Just continue on as usual."

  67. I never heard this mentioned anywhere else outside of our congregation and I don't recall it ever being in any of WCG's literature, but I'm sure my minister must have picked it up somewhere. He told us this in a sermon so as to explain why it says in Ecclesiastics 12 that "the spirit shall return unto God who gave it." He said that God had these "large computers up in the third heaven," and "when we died, our spirit (which resided in our minds and didn't have any personality of its own) would float up to heaven to these computers and then be filed away in a certain section. Then, when it was time for the resurrection, God would take the spirits out of these computers and use them to resurrect everybody."

  68. On one of the Holy Days our pastor was giving a sermon on Moses and the Pharaohs. He was going through the genealogies on the Pharaohs and made a statement that I thought was quite interesting and enlightening. After the sermon, I went up to the minister to ask him a question and discuss in more detail his statement. To my surprise his only interest was what he thought was a "bugger" on the bottom of my nose. It was a freckle, as I have many, and he said, "I am not going to talk with you until you have wiped your nose."

  69. When my (now ex) husband and I counseled our WCG pastor for marriage, I asked him how we would know that this marriage was "right." He said, "When nothing is wrong!"

  70. I had only been attending a few months and was at my first spring holy day service in the late 1960s. During a conversation that evening with one of the older members (from the 1950s), he told me that a minister had told how we would all know when it was time to flee. This minister had said, "When all the religions attack us all at once, against the Work, then we will know that is the time to flee to the place of safety."

  71. I knew of a case in the WCG where one member was helping a more destitute family in a financial way. When the minister found out about this, he told the first member to "discontinue helping because you might be interfering with a punishment from God."
    [Comment from ESN: This sounds similar to the "law of karma."]

  72. Evidentially our problems were never very important to the WCG ministry, who had practically everything they wanted anyway. One time ours told the congregation, "The next time you think you're having a problem, ask yourself if it will still matter in a hundred years?" As if that was supposed to help us!!

  73. During Christmas and Easter time, our pastor instructed those in our congregation the following: "When people in the world ask you if you had a nice Christmas or a nice Easter, simply answer, 'Yes, I had a nice day.' That way you aren't lying, yet you aren't admitting you don't observe pagan days, and it will keep them from quizzing you any further."

  74. I well remember being told how important it was to "just read the literature, even if you don't understand it, because someday when you become priests and kings it will all come back to you!" It was all supposed to be "registered into our brains permanently" until the time was right, meaning when the "World Tomorrow" came. I see now this was their way of mind controlling us since it allowed no asking of any questions.

  75. At a Bible study one time, the pastor said, "If you think those people in the world know anything about love, you just try stepping on their toes and see what happens." (In other words, only those in the WCG knew how to love.)

  76. I remember the time when the Ladies Night Dinner at Spokesman Club rolled around. Instead of their furnishing a nice dinner that year, the minister said, "We are all going to tour the beer brewery in Milwaukee instead." We ended up not going along on the tour with the rest of them.

  77. My mother had never been a member of the WCG, but when she was dying of cancer I submitted a prayer request for God's mercy on her to be announced at a combined meeting. After she died, I submitted another announcement in our local church to thank the members for their support and prayers. That day a minister was visiting from a larger congregation, though he knew us. He read the announcement and looked around and said, "Did anybody know this woman? Was she ever a member?" Later his own mother died who had never been a member. He stood at the pulpit blubbering about how wonderful she was and how much he missed her. I never could bring myself to send him a card.

  78. Our son died at the age of eleven in a tragic accident. No one could hurt more than a grieving parent. About two weeks later, our assistant minister met with us in private. He had the nerve to tell us, "You can only grieve for forty days and then you must forget that you ever had a son." We both felt like hitting him. We never had any more respect for that man.

  79. Looking back now it was really bizarre how, when our minister was giving a sermon on prayer, he told us, "Many times I step out of the shower, kneel down on the floor and pray to God stark naked. It's OK to do that."

  80. My husband was in Spokesman's Club. One night, the question came up, "If HQ told us we could eat unclean foods, would you do it?" After much heated discussion on this topic, the minister got up and said, "A question like this should never, ever be asked at Spokesman's Club. Something like this would never happen, so we should not ask questions that go against God's Law. It only causes division." He made sure the men were thoroughly shamed. Five years later--yep, you guessed it--"The Changes."

  81. Four years after I was baptized I was told by a minister that I wasn't converted and so I got re-baptized. Then eight years later, after moving to another state, I had doubts again, so I asked the elder if he thought I was converted. He told me I probably was just "slow in coming along" since I understood everything. Then he added, "You could have been converted 12 years ago, but it's the last baptism that counts."

  82. At a Bible study at AC (Ambassador College) the minister was saying the male students were not to have their hair touching their collars in the back or so long that it touched the ears. I was sitting there feeling a bit smug, as I had a very short haircut. However, after the Bible study, he stopped me and told me, "You need to let your hair grow out some." Mine was apparently too short!!

  83. After the WCG changes, our old minister got fired because he saw through some of the lies and refused to teach them. Then they hired a young guy who had been raised in the church. Time passed and the sermons were more and more evasive and never were really addressing or ministering to hurting people. Then my eyes were opened to HWA's incestuous past. But when I asked our new minister about it (I think I asked the district manager, too), neither of them denied it, but said, "It's all in the past." Then I told my minister about my "friend" in the church who told me that anyone who committed incest ought to be castrated, but how she kept HWA on a pedestal, and how her attitude would be toward him if she knew about the incest. He didn't even let me finish. He lost his temper and told me he was "so sick of me and these calls!!" I told him that's just a shame and I hung up on him. We left not long afterwards.
    [Read the full December 27, 2004 letter concerning this incident.]

  84. While visiting another church area, the minister's topic for the day was: "how your wife should submit." (a WCG favorite) The most memorable statement I ever heard was when the minister said, "If your wife becomes constipated, it is your fault for not watching her diet close enough." Even in my "brainwashed" days I was stunned. I never went anywhere again where he might be speaking.

  85. I was in WCG when Herbert Armstrong would fly around to the various Feast sites in the U.S. to speak. However, it seemed that without fail the weather would turn terrible the day he was to arrive and the whole time he stayed. Our early site was the Ozarks, which is known for rain, but this was always a sudden change in the weather when he flew in--hard rain all day, dark skies. The minister told us "Satan is angry because Mr. Armstrong is God's Apostle." At the time I felt, "Poor Mr. Armstrong. The devil follows him everywhere." Why couldn't we see it was probably just the opposite--that it was God who was against this lying apostle! I even remember a minister standing at the podium, praying for the rain to stop, and the rain began pouring down even harder!

  86. From 1978 to 1988, I heard the minister in England say many times in his sermons: "If it's wrong, it's right; if it's right, it's wrong." In other words, if WCG headquarters made doctrinal or administrative decisions, even if they were wrong, they were right because God backed them to the hilt. I remember thinking as a young person, "So if Worldwide says murder somebody, it is okay?"

  87. Many of us in the WCG had gardens and since the horse was considered an "unclean" animal, I had asked my minister if it was okay to use horse manure on the garden instead of cow manure (the cow being a "clean" animal). He replied, "Well, when you ride a horse his sweat gets mixed with yours, so it doesn't hurt to use his manure on the garden." I didn't even realize at the time how this didn't make any sense whatsoever.

  88. After Joseph W. Tkach, Sr. got going with the "we are family" thing, our minister told our congregation, "We are all family, and it stands to reason that we won't like everyone in here--and we don't have to like everybody--however, we are commanded to love everyone in here."

  89. I was with a small group of people in our congregation (I don't remember exactly what the topic of conversation was, perhaps diet), and the elder made this statement, "It's okay to drink Dr. Pepper because it has prune juice in it."

  90. At the Feast in 1989, the minister gave a sermonette called, "What Will Be Our First Job?" (in the Millennium) He said, "The people we deal with will be insane. Our first job will be healing the insanity in them so we can begin talking to them and teaching them."

  91. I once asked a minister about tithing and he told me, "God won't get upset if you don't tithe your second or third tithe, but he surely would get upset if you didn't send in your first tithe" -- which was actually the tithe that covered the ministers' pay check!

  92. One of our ministers told us "The reason the northern sky is so lacking in stars is because that is where God's throne is." Huh? Isn't God's throne far above the galaxy, solar system, and even the universe??

  93. In view of the fact that I had been having some problems with our son, I decided to converse with the Preaching Elder after services in anticipation that he could offer me some solutions. The first thing he said to me was, "How old is he?" I replied, "Thirteen." He then said, "There's your answer."

  94. Our congregation had a standing job at the county fair to clean up the trash. I remember our minister making quite a point by saying, "If anybody finds any money, they are supposed to give it to the church." 

  95. When our minister gave a sermon about "rumors in the church," he said, "I don't care if the church is engaging in devil worship, this is the true church and I am going to trust God to take care of it!" (He was later fired for not supporting the "changes," but still attends today although he's no longer a pastor.)

  96. Our minister told us once at a Bible study that "most of the people in mental wards are there because they became too self-centered."

  97. I attended a "Talent Show" at the Feast one night (I'm pretty sure it was in the `70s) and one of the member's teenager played the drums for us. He was really good and had most people spell bound by his performance. After receiving a good applause afterwards, the minister announced, "Just don't let it go to your head." What a wet blanket!

  98. When throwing away my Feast notes from 1987, I happened to read a statement made by our minister where he said, "The church will make it. The only question is, will you?" We all know they taught us that we were the "church." I can now see now how ridiculous and crazy these words were.

  99. Garner Ted Armstrong wrote a really stupid article where he said, "You should NOT work for Money!" (October 1966 PT). I wish I could have told him, "If that's the case, then I guess I don't need to send you any more money!"

  100.   One year I had come back on an emotional "high" after attending the Feast of Tabernacles and remarked to our local elder that I wondered why it couldn't have gone on longer." He replied, "God knew we couldn't handle any more excitement."

  101.   When we were to be in the "Place of Safety" for 3 l/2 years, members knew it would be easy to know when Christ would return because, since He was to come at the end of that period of time, we could just count the years and days. However, Christ distinctly said we would not know the day nor hour of His return. So the way this was gotten around was we were told "the skies will be so filled with smoke and debris at that time that we will lose track of time."

  102.   One of the ministers once told us, "If you are turning to religion because you can't make it in the world, then you'd better just go back to the world."

  103.   A member had an in-ground swimming pool installed at her home. She wanted to invite a few of us over to enjoy it. She asked the minister if it was ok to swim on the Sabbath. He said, "Yes, as long as there is no excessive splashing."

  104.   Ken Lewis (now deceased) said, "I have spoken to others who think like you. Now, if you think you have the right to write a letter to Mr. Armstrong (about ministers we perceived to be off the track), then people like you are as far off the track as can possibly be, and couldn't be any further off!" This was after we had explained that HWA had requested people to write to him and that HWA had said that he would keep it confidential.

  105.   When Joe Tkach Sr. visited Australia after HWA had died, he mentioned in a sermon in Perth, W.A. and that he "couldn't understand why people always thought it was bad to be a Laodicean," that it "was still God's Church," and that "the Laodiceans get to have a better reward than the Philadelphians because they get to sit with God in His throne and don't have to just be pillars like the Philadelphians." I was there and heard him say it. We later tried to get the tape from the Perth church library via a relative there, but he found that it was "missing." The members thought that this was "new truth."

  106.   Back in the `70s our minister said, "We should never go too long without prayer because when we pray God gives us some more of His Holy Spirit."

  107.   I heard one minister say, "We won't need the Bible in the World Tomorrow because Mr. Armstrong has covered everything in his written materials."

  108.   A former close friend of mine once told me about what happened after she counseled with the minister before services. They both went into a small room (or closet) and when she got done talking to him, he hugged her and said, "Oh, [so and so], that's why I love you so much, because you always want to obey God no matter what."

  109.   Our minister used the "Announcement" portion of his sermon to excoriate his audience for everything we had done all week that irritated him, and, believe me, we always did something. One week we received this gem: "All I hear is, you want to get to know me, you want to get to know me. What are you trying to do, bring me down to your level?" 

  110.   The changes in the law in our state said that it was legal to carry a concealed weapon in a church unless the church complied with certain notification requirements, but they could only be applicable if they owned the building (which WCG didn't). However, our minister told me I was not to carry a concealed handgun in services. When I reminded him I was not asking for permission, he said, "You're just waiting for an opportunity to re-create the OK corral shooting." I responded that I guess they preferred that should someone show up to shoot up the congregation, they would prefer there be no one there to stop them. He refused to discuss it rationally.

  111.   When I was suspended and trying to get back in, I was cut off from all PCG literature. So, I read through the old issues of The Good News. I especially focused on any articles about government. In one issue, Herbert Armstrong actually wrote that "prove all things" was for those proving that this was the "one true church." Once you had "proven" that he was the end-time Elijah, you should never question him again. He claimed the proving was for those outside the church; not those within. Talk about blind obedience!

  112.   During a Sabbath sermon, a minister was shaming us by saying "how carnal we were" because of our lust for "sex, appetite, and money." We were being chastised for being physical human beings. We need to have sex to reproduce--it's what our bodies were created to do (reproduce after our kind as God commanded); we need to have food to survive, and we need to have a money to buy what we need. I remember thinking, "Huh? Natural survival is considered 'lust'?" We were to suppress those things, but we weren't allowed to suppress how much we gave to "the church"!

  113.   I was talking to an ex-member who told me that there was a man in their congregation who wanted to attend Ambassador College to become a minister. The local congregation, located in the Appalachian region, loved this man and fully supported him. He was rejected by AC, so this member called HQ's wanting to know why. "It's his Southern accent," the minister explained, "We don't want people to hear him and to think we're dumb!"

  114.  I remember a teaching many years ago explaining why Jesus did not return in 1975 as HWA predicted. The idea was that because Herbert Armstrong figured out the time God was forced to change it. That way the teaching that no one knows the day nor the hour would be preserved.

Amazing Statements Made by Philadelphia Church of God Ministers

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