I was in my early twenties when I ended up being kicked out of Philadelphia Church of God. I had not yet been baptized but it was something that I was strongly considering. While I did end up getting baptized, it did not happen in the PCG. Part of the problem being that I am special ed and have physical disabilities.
What happened was that my father had an argument with two of the ministers (Craig Winters and Jeff Greaser11) over something that my father simply didn’t feel was right or even moral. They kept demanding that he change his views to suit their own but he kept refusing. They then turned to my mother and demanded that she basically “shun” him–and she too refused. They left our home, and then called up a few days later, and told my father that he had been kicked out; they then tried to force my mother to turn on him by threatening that “unless she turned on her husband they would kick her out as well.” She again refused and they kicked her out as well.
They talked to my younger brother and tried to get him to turn on both my mother and father and he too refused and so they kicked him out of the PCG as well. They then talked to me.
Interestingly enough, I was not at all approached about backstabbing anyone in my family. Instead they told me that because I was special ed and physically disabled that God didn’t have the power or ability to use me in any way. In their words, I was essentially useless to God in all regards.
Ironically enough, at the same time that I was told that I was useless to God “because I was special ed and physically disabled, that God did not have the power or ability to use me in any sort of way,” we were also continually getting sermons, sermonettes, Bible studies, and other messages at services wherein they constantly pounded people over the head with statements that “God was all-powerful and there was nothing He couldn’t do and no one He couldn’t use.” Even though I was not yet baptized, even I noticed the inconsistency of the two statements “God can do anything” and “God can’t do this.”
After we were all kicked out of the PCG, we ended up getting an interesting bit of news from an insider whom we were still friends with. As soon as possible, they announced that our family had been kicked out for handing out “dissident” religious material. This of course was a lie but they could have cared less.
To be honest, I have reflected on this matter quite a bit every now and then and my being booted from the PCG has turned out to be a blessing in my opinion. I am with a better church, that has better ministers who don’t claim to be “as perfect as God” such as the PCG ministers did. They also do not judge the members of the church and are quite friendly and very enjoyable to be around. My parents and my brother are also in this church and we are all much happier.
1 Jeff Greaser later died.
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