I’d been living by the tenets of Armstrongism for almost all my life due to my father’s influence from early on. I was never officially baptized into PCG, but the way I was living my life meant it made little difference. The only reason we weren’t “in” the PCG was because of our remote location in the eastern United States. Now I see that that was actually a blessing.
Like I’ve read on your website, I was of much the same mentality as true members. I believe I stumbled across this site a few years ago but blew it off as typical hate-filled “traditionalists.” It was only after a life threatening car accident this January that I wondered why God would allow that to happen to me when the agnostic and non-practitioner were unharmed.
It spurred me to take on the Bible cover to cover since I had never done so (had simply read what Philadelphia Church of God told me to). When I got to the listing of the commandments in Exodus it hit me. PCG had emphasized that the sacrifices were done away with because of Jesus’ sacrifice. But they have long taught that other commandments like the Sabbath commandment are still in effect because it was “ordained for ever and ever” just like the animal sacrifices. This made me reconsider the opinion I had of the “skeptical traditionalists” so I sought out the review again.
After reading the testimonials and reviews and experiences on this website, I immediately threw away my tickets to go to Gerald Flurry’s speaking campaign. It’s ironic how PCG has always emphasized the duality of God, because they have their own duality–a two-faced duality.
The facade they put on through their website, Philadelphia Trumpet and Royal Vision, belie the sinister nature underneath. How could a church that offers free “enlightenment” with no obligation to pay be a threat? I’d seen so many evangelical programs throughout my years that did nothing but solicit funds and it made me sick. This “church” seemed different, honest, genuine. Only because I was on the outside apparently.
Despite not being in the PCG, I still lived by its edicts and direction. In the end it still ruined a great portion of my life. I lost many career dreams and opportunities because of the Sabbath. My extended family has always been uneasy around us; thankfully we never knew of the “no-contact rule” (not to mention the triple tithe rules). I lost the love of my life because she could not stand my beliefs and my disdain for other forms of Christianity. During the last six months I’ve spent more than one night deciding if I was going to eat my gun (considering that the PCG would shun me for owning a gun in the first place).
A technique that I learned back on debate team and through politics is to always accuse your opponent of what you yourself are guilty of. And PCG does this well. “Don’t believe me, believe your Bible!” “The deceived do not know they are deceived,” etc., etc. I’ve been such a fool, and a lazy fool at that.
I’m surprised that no one has gone ballistic on this organization. It’s shown itself to be so malicious, corrupt and damaging that it’s enough to drive one mad. I just hope that I can restructure my life now to a point where I can feel normal again. I still check the Trumpet website and some of their prophecy still leaves me wringing my hands because it seems very accurate compared to what they’ve preached. But enough of their doctrine is so twisted that I can never go back.
I’m left in limbo now with little idea of what to do. Go it alone, which would be even more isolating than what I was doing before? Choose a church? Which church? I do feel relief that my eyes have been opened, but I still feel like I’ve paid a great price for it. Self-esteem, confidence, trust–all have been eroded now and will take a long time to rebuild. I still don’t know how to tell my father who has been in it for over twice as long as I have.
Despite my current condition, I do want to thank you for what you are doing for people like me and those who are far more entrenched than I. Hopefully enough members will realize soon enough to stop supporting this swindling, manipulative organization before too much more damage is done. Keep up the good fight and never yield and always reach out with the compassion and love that you have demonstrated on this website.
In Jesus’ name,
October 16, 2006