A testimony on your site brought back all the horrible memories of when we were still members of that PCG cult. We’ve been out over a year now.
It was a blessing in disguise for us when we were “suspended” for questioning a decision that was being read during the announcements at a Sabbath service. (In the PCG, women are not “allowed” to speak out in services. Women are lowest on the totem pole and are treated worst than dogs, but that’s a horror story for another time). Being suspended, we were able to step back and clearly see what was happening and the delusion we were under. It was like the scales fell off our eyes and for the first time, we could see the Philadelphia Church of God for was it really was–a cult.
They worship Herbert Armstrong and Gerald Flurry, God the Father, and Jesus Christ, in that order.1 They control the lives of all the members, cutting them off from the outside world so they can’t see what they’ve gotten themselves into. The “no-contact policy” is just another way to control the members which has caused untold pain and suffering on all concerned. Members are not allowed to have a mind of their own or to question anything a pastor says on fear of disfellowshipment. I guess the so-called PCG pastors are so poorly trained they wouldn’t know how to answer them anyway.
They have a gated compound where they build mansions for the “elect few” and a palace (Ambassador Auditorium)–that is in reality a music hall for the community, paid and still being paid for by the poor deluded members–the PCG’s cash-cow. To the poor misguided members, they call it the “house of God” so they can guilt them into giving more money. GF and his cronies are so fearful that they’ve created a world for themselves ensuring that they and their children don’t have to be sullied by the outside world, all at the expense of the poor deluded members.
They threaten members that they will be “cut off” if they don’t toe the line–shut up and pay up. Playing on their deepest fear that they won’t make it into the Kingdom of God if they’re no longer a member of the PCG2, the “only true church of God” as they like to call themselves.
To quote a Jonestown Survivor:
“If there is any lesson to be learned, it is that an ideal can never be brought about by fear, abuse and the threat of retribution. When family and friends are used as a weapon in order to force us to stay in an organization, something has gone terribly wrong.” —Deborah Layton, Seductive Poison
I thank God that He opened our eyes and removed us from the grip of that cult. And I encourage anyone who is looking to break away that there is life after PCG and a truly abundant and guilt-free one!
Thank you for your site and the service that you are providing to those who have had their faith tested and tried by this cult.
January 17, 2013
Footnotes by ESN:
1 See John 5:23: “That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.”
2 Read the lie (along with the truth): “Only those who have qualified will inherit the Kingdom of God!”