Carlos Heyer recently gave a sermonette1 to instill fear into any member who would dare to fellowship, or have companionship, with a “Laodicean,” or someone “in the world.” His reason for giving this sermonette was due to “new people coming into PCG who weren’t aware of the no contact ruling.”
Those new people were probably also unaware that Heyer cherry-picked the Scriptures in order to get his point across.
HWA=Herbert W. Armstrong
PCG=Philadelphia Church of God
Heyer has been noted to flatter certain ministers; i.e., calling Herbert Armstrong “our Prophet or King1, and in this sermonette calling Gerald Flurry “Christ’s man.” The words “Christ’s man” are not in the Bible. HWA’s fruits proved he was never “Christ’s man.”3 GF is not a “Prophet” or a “King.” Those titles only belong to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Laodiceans Have Idols?
“…the Laodicean brethren have idols that they won’t let go and that prevents them from being here with us in the Inner Court.”
These “idols” according to GF in his Malachi’s Message are getting “the focus off [or revolting against] the Philadelphian Standard.” Since the “Philadelphia Standard” is a buzzword that means the physical and spiritual standard that PCG established through HWA’s ministry, and since PCG can’t get through one message without quoting Herbert Armstrong to the point of deifying him, wouldn’t that in itself be an idol? An article by a former member will explain this much more: “Idolatry in the Philadelphia Church of God.”
Reframing Matthew 12:30 and Twisting Jesus’ Words
One of PCG’s huge “faults” is that their ministers cherry-pick Bible verses to try and enforce this “no contact” policy. One they use is Matthew 12:30: “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.”
Why doesn’t Heyer read this passage in context starting back at verse 22? That would have shown this is covering an incident of Jesus casting a demon out of a man who was blind and dumb, and healing him, and then speaking to the Pharisees in verses 31-32 about blaspheming the Holy Spirit, because they had accused him of performing the healing by Beelzebub.
Heyer reframed Matthew 12:30 by saying, “We know that Christ has only one church and one Work and anyone who is not supporting that Work is scattering abroad.” Where in the Bible does it say that Christ has only “one church” or “one Work”? Those words are not found in the Bible. Those who have placed their faith and trust in Christ alone as their personal Savior are already in the “true church.” (I John 5:13) And the only time the words “one work” are mentioned is when Jesus said to the Jews in John 7:21: “I have done one work, and ye all marvel.” Heyer has twisted the words of Jesus.
Members Need to Review Malachi’s Message?
Heyer said, “Maybe it’s time that many of us review Malachi’s Message.” So members are not only to “read over and over” Mystery of the Ages as Brad Macdonald told them, but now they are also to “review” MM. That doesn’t leave much time for reading the Bible without GF’s material.
Rebelling Against the Philadelphia Standard
Heyer went on to give two “examples” of how someone can rebel against the “Philadelphian Standard” which he said was “set by Christ in His church” and how he “has seen members over the years put themselves out of the church by their improper contact with Laodicean relatives or friends.” First, no such passage in the Bible exists about a “Philadelphia Standard”; only what GF and HWA have concocted. And no one “puts themselves out of the church” (PCG); it is the ministers that throw them out when they have broken the rules or questioned GF.
Example #1 – The Member Who Believed God is Love
The first story (example) he told was about a member who believed God is love, quoting I John 4:16 (“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him”) and had been “telling everybody we should fellowship with everybody because God is love and God loves everybody.”
Since we’ve already seen how Heyer handles the Scriptures, it’s seriously doubtful if I John 4:16 was the verse this member used. It was more likely I John 4:7 & 8: “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” Or it could have been I John 4:8: “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”
Heyer said, “That person is no longer a member and for years has been asking to come back” (a story which is impossible to verify, but sounds doubtful) and that it was “contact with Laodiceans that got this person to be blind.”
Yet no mention is ever made of those that are glad they left and go on to have a much better life without PCG’s abuse, manipulation, and control. This can be seen by reading testimonies and letters on ESN. Two excellent ones are:
Example #2 – The Single Member Who Married Outside the PCG
Then he told another story (example) about a single member “with few prospects in the area of marriage” who listened to a “Laodicean acquaintance’s advice” saying to get married outside the church with a person that really liked them and “then later on you can come back.” Heyer said they did that and “years later, that ex-member was knocking on the door. Let me back in. This is horrible out here, with children and a failed marriage, and a lot of things.”
This is another story that is impossible to verify, but it is the same fear of the “outside world” that Fred Dattolo tried to get across in his March 2021 Bible Study. (See Fred Dattolo Gives a Warning to PCG Members).
Heyer said there was no “God family vision” in that “wicked advice from that Laodicean tongue.”
(NOTE: Be sure to read at the end of this critique what Fred Dattolo said about not helping Laodiceans.)
What is Being a Friend of the World?
Heyer said that example about the single member reminded him of James 4:4: “Who ever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” Not loving the world is also found in I John 2:15 which Heyer didn’t quote. But that verse shows that not loving the world means not loving the things in the world. It doesn’t say not to love the people in the world. Not loving the world as James goes on to say is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. How would avoiding Laodiceans come under that?
Again, why didn’t Heyer quote other verses in the book of James like James 2:8-9:” If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect of persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.”
PCG doesn’t want members to think for themselves; therefore, they will always say “Satan will get a hold of your mind.” It is not Satan getting a hold of their mind; it is GF keeping them from thinking for themselves by keeping their mind controlled with threats and fear.
Another verse he cherry-picked and twisted was II Thessalonians 3:6 when he said the Bible clearly says to “withdraw yourselves from such persons.” Then he added the words, “from those that turn their back on the Truth, the Truth they once knew” to make one think those words were at the end of that verse. However, Paul is talking about withdrawing from men who were walking in idleness. Reading verses 6 through 8 clearly shows that. Paul is talking about those not working.
Twisting Matthew 10:35-37
He next cherry-picked Matthew 10:35-37 which is another favorite of PCG (basically the same as Luke 14:26). In context it is saying our loyalty to Jesus must come before our loyalty to our family (meaning we must love Jesus more); otherwise it would be a violation of the Law to say we are to hate them.
See: “What did Jesus mean when He instructed us to hate our father and mother (Luke 14:26)?” (from Got Questions).
Heyer likes to say, “And this is what Christ said.” Why won’t he tell what else Christ said, for instance:
“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Mark 12:31)
“But I say unto you, love your enemies,” (Matthew 5:44)
The fact is, Heyer, GF and all the other PCG ministers, choose which verses they want to give because it is for the sole purpose of keeping members from fellowshipping with these “Laodiceans” and others in the world so they won’t find out about the lack of love, the control and abuse, how others have suffered in PCG;, begin to compare notes, see the truth, and then leave.
There are many other verses about loving others that Heyer doesn’t like to quote and disregards. A Bible concordance or e-Bible software can be a great aid in helping to find them. Here are some:
Paul said: “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:8)
John said: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)
King Solomon said: “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.” (Proverbs 3:27)
See the love chapter: I Corinthians 13.
Heyer is only pulling out the verses he wants in order to enforce this “Laodicean policy.”
Heyer said, “The measuring is going on. We’re all being measured.” There is nothing in the Bible about Christians being “measured.” We are complete in Christ. (Colossians 2:10) This is simply another buzzword.
Victor Vejill Says “No Good Laodicean”
Heyer quoted words from a sermon by Victor Vejil:
“A Laodicean refuses to let God rule them. They follow a man, not Christ and His government. Prove this to yourself if you have not already done so. You need to cut them off from fellowship. Laodiceans can pose a real danger to us. Satan will use them to make us lukewarm like they are. Satan used Laodiceans to destroy the Work of God after the death of the end time Elijah. There is not basically a good Laodicean, a harmless one. There is no such thing.”
Fred Dattolo Says Trust God to Take Care of Laodiceans
Heyer brought up how Fred Dattolo recently said in a sermon: “Trust God to take care of our Laodicean brethren as we work diligently to help God to bring them and many others to repentance and thus save as many lives as we can.”
This “saving many lives” is referring to saving them from being martyred in the Great Tribulation. Seriously, how much is Dattolo or any PCG minister really concerned about anyone being martyred at in the Great Tribulation? Or are they more interested in making members fearful? “God hath not given us a spirit of fear;” (II Timothy 1:7)
Dattolo tells members to “trust God to take care of the Laodiceans, but in the meantime they encourage members to show their lack of love by “avoiding them.” Jesus said we are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14) and not to put our light under a bushel (vs. 15) l. In so many words, members are to only “love the brethren in the church” (not outside in the world).
Dattolo Says God is Trying to Get Their Attention
The following was on the International Announcements for October 30, 2021 and are Dattolo’s words:
“If someone leaves and starts having lots of trouble whether it be financial trouble, or whatever, it is “God’s way of trying to get their attention in order to bring them to repentance.” (He used II Peter 3:9)
Repentance from what? In the minister’s mind it means repentance from “disobeying God’s government” (i. e., disobeying GF).
Taking II Peter 3:9 Out of Context
Reading II Peter 3 in context it shows it is talking about false teachers that were questioning the slowness in Christ’s return and that God desires all to be saved but He will not force anyone. It is not talking about God trying to get a former member’s attention to “bring them to repentance.” A fuller understanding of this verse is found in this offsite article (scroll down to where it says “What does 2 Peter 3:9 mean?’)
Craig Winters and Colleen Winters Disfellowshipped and Marked:
These are quotes taken from PCG’s “International Announcements,” October 30, 2021, and read by Fred Dattolo:
Craig Winters [age 64] and his wife Colleen [age 61] have been disfellowshipped and marked.
Using II Peter 3:9 and II Thessalonians 3:6, Dattolo says:
“This includes more than direct personal contact. It is important that we do not stand in God’s way or obstruct His love for these people. We should refrain from involvement in their lives until they are being led by God’s Holy Spirit and been brought back into the fold [PCG] once again. No matter how difficult their situation may be, God loves them more than we can.”
Withdrawing and not helping someone when they need help is not love. Read the story Jesus told of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) and see if this fits how members are to treat Laodiceans that need help.
Fred Dattolo Reads From 1981 Article by HWA
Dattolo took much time to quote the words of Herbert Armstrong in “Can We Fellowship With the Disfellowshipped?” (May 4, 1981 Worldwide News) You can read the full deplorable article here in PDF.
God Says to Love Your Neighbor
“Love thy neighbor.” (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 5:43; Matthew 19:19; Matthew 22:39; Matthew 12:31; Romans 13:9;
Galatians 5:14; James 2:8)
This sermonette which was focused on the “No-Contact” policy to avoid Laodiceans contains no love of neighbor and goes against everything that Jesus taught.
Sermonette critiqued by D. M. Williams
Exit & Support Network™
November 6, 2021
Article by Greg Nice (“Must We Avoid Them?”) Quickly Removed From PCG’s Website (January 11, 2016 letter) [Note: Here is the original 2010 article by Greg Nice that was removed: Must We Avoid Them? by Greg Nice (PDF)]
1 “What is a Laodicean?” (sermonette given October 23, 2021 by Carlos Heyer, HQs pastor, Latin America regional director.
2 January 13, 2021 PCG letter.
3 Refer to “Questioning HWA’s fruits.”
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