Too many in PCG have not been abiding by the Laodicean policy, which has necessitated Fred Dattolo to give a high-handed, fear-filled sermon on this topic entitled “God’s Laodicean Policy.”1 This article will touch on the main points and question if this is really “God’s policy” or “Gerald Flurry’s policy.” Be aware that Dattolo took many Scriptures out of context.
Fred Dattolo has always been hung up on the Laodiceans and how rebellious they are. In this sermon, he really “cracked the whip” on those in PCG who evidently have not been abiding by this policy, also known as the “no contact ruling.”
Dattolo can sound so pious and so nice but when he gets going, his words are anything but nice.
First, he asked the question whether it wasn’t discrimination for God to “call a few in this age and not the rest?”
This is presumption as the Bible doesn’t cover any such subject.
After quoting Acts 10:34, where Peter said “God is no respecter of persons,” he said, “We are called now so we can learn to be teachers and rulers in the new world.”
What he is saying is that we are not called for salvation in spite of what John 3:16-17 says:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
A Massive Educational Plan
He said it’s “a massive educational plan” and continued with: “There is a heavy responsibility to overcome the world now and resist the Devil so we can teach it to others as God has taught us. We must come out of this world and actually conquer the Devil in order to be those rulers and leaders. Those called later will have a much easier time. So in a nutshell it is all about doing the Work.” [For a definition of words “the Work” see Buzzwords (or loading the language).]
What a twisting of Scripture! This is taking the words “overcome the world and resist the Devil” and matching it up with “so we can teach it to others as God taught us.” Same with taking the words “conquer the Devil” and matching it to “in order to be rulers and leaders.”
Keep in mind that what he is saying is all taken from the teachings of Herbert Armstrong which were cobbled together by taking Scriptures out of context and then twisting them to formulate a false gospel, which we have thoroughly covered in our two reviews of Mystery of the Ages (available as PDF downloads).
Then he talked about receiving power (God’s Spirit). “Doing this Work we quality to rule over the rest of the world.”
There is nothing in the Word of God that says we; i. e., PCG members, quality to rule over the rest of the world if we are “doing this Work.”
He said “it all boils down to how much we support the Work.”
Again, no scriptural reference. This goes right back to supporting “this Work” with our financial support.
Every Laodicean Has an Idol
He mentioned the first commandment and said, “Any other pursuit that comes between us and God is an idol. “Every Laodicean has an idol of some sort that prevents them from being here.”
What about the idols in GF’s life? Read: Idolatry in Philadelphia Church of God.
“We can’t worship God half way. There is no middle ground.”
Then he quoted Matthew 12:30: “He that is not with me is against me.”
Read the entire chapter. Jesus is talking to the Pharisees, not to so-called “Laodiceans.”
The Unpardonable Sin
He read vs 31 about the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and said, “I hope we can see the danger if we abandon God’s Work after we have been called.” … “That puts us in danger of committing the unpardonable sin.”
This chapter (Matthew 12) reveals that the Pharisees were rejecting Jesus as the Messiah, not “abandoning God’s Work.”
The unpardonable sin has been covered on our Q&A under “Can I commit the unpardonable sin?”
John 6:29 (which Dattolo did not quote says, “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”
James 1:8 and 4:8 were quoted about being “double-minded.”
Hebrews 6 was another chapter he quoted from to create more fear in their minds, saying “if you commit the unpardonable sin you can’t be brought back.”
See our Questions & Answers under “Can we ever lose our salvation?” which will cover this.
Why We Cut Them Off
Then he tried to show “Basic policies of the Laodicean policy and why we cut them off” and quoted various Scriptures:
He read Romans 16:17 about “mark them and avoid them.”
The verses from Romans 16-23 is Paul talking about watching out for false teachers and avoiding them. Wouldn’t this apply to GF and his ministers?
“They have got to repent or they are going to lose that spirit and their eternal lives.”
See our Questions & Answers under “Can we ever lose our salvation?” which will cover this.
Others passages he picked from the Bible:
II Thessalonians 3:6, 14 and said, “We can’t have rebels in the church, and Laodiceans are certainly that way.”
These passages are actually a warning against idleness.
I Timothy 6:5 “supposing that gain is godliness.”
Wouldn’t this describe GF? There are many places on our site that talk about GF boasting in his riches and accomplishments.
II Timothy 3:5 “having a form of godliness”
Wouldn’t this again describes GF and leaders of PCG?
Titus 3:10 “reject heretics.”
He is using the word “heretic” here to mean divisive. But who is really dividing families? Is it not GF and his ministers?
“The people who have left the womb of their mother (‘the church’) cannot possibly grow. They are going to need to repent or they are going to die.”
This is nothing but fear.\
Separation of Family Members Sometimes Required
II John 1:10-11 “if they do not bring this doctrine” (i.e., the doctrine GF teaches) “These include anyone who is disloyal to Christ, including your family.”
Luke 12:51-53 He used this verse to be able to say, “a separation of family members is sometimes required.” Then he tied it in to the first commandment.
“They [Laodiceans] are either for God or against God.”
It is the PCG ministers who are either for family or against family.
“Peace at any price is not God’s purpose.”
What a twisting of Scripture. God is a God of peace not of confusion (I Corinthians 14:33) and Dattolo is showing he is good at causing confusion in people’s minds. What he is saying is “having peace in your family when one or more of them are Laodiceans is not God’s purpose.” Scripture tells us “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18) It doesn’t say live at peace with everyone, unless they are a Laodicean.
Matthew 10:34-39 “I came not to send peace but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. …” He said the words “at variance is much stronger than “set at variance” that some translations use.”
Christ’s arrival to the world brought great division, which is what these scriptures are talking about. It is His message that causes division, that separates. Nothing here about cutting off Laodiceans.
He said “it doesn’t contradict the 4th commandment” (“Honor your father and mother.”)
He does not give his rationale for this because it is not based on Scripture. It’s all about obeying what Gerald Flurry has decreed in order to keep those inside from leaving.
Abandon Everybody if You Have To
“Abandon everybody you know if you have to.”
Mark 10:29-30 “Left means to send away, go away from one, abandon. When you have to give up, when you have to abandon your family, God promises you another family, a more important family.”
The last part of verse 29 says: “for my sake, and the gospel’s.” This is talking about following Jesus. It does not say we are to abandon our families (including our children) who need our support
See: Identifying Marks of an Abusive Group which shows isolation is one of the marks.
Dattolo will often quote from different commentaries the parts he wants, but ignore the other parts that talk about grace and mercy.
“Draw closer to your family in the church.” (PCG)
When members cut off from their blood relatives outside of PCG, they have no where else to go but to their “family” in PCG, which is not a real family but only a “family” that loves with conditions attached. It’s the only “family” they are left with, and which is exactly what GF wants. Again, isolation is one of the characteristics of an abusive group.
“Why does God have this policy? Because He loves us and wants to protect us. Laodiceans pose a real threat and they pose a danger to us.”
Protect “us” from what? From finding out the truth about GF and PCG? Is this truly “God’s policy” or “Gerald Flurry’s policy”? The “threat” and “danger” is that the so-called Laodiceans might cause the person in PCG to start thinking about what’s wrong with PCG, especially GF’s strict rules and lifestyle, and/or the member might hear some critical (but true) information that GF doesn’t want them to find out. The “Laodicean” might cause the member to wake up and leave. That is something PCG can’t afford to take a chance with.
“Satan used the Laodiceans to destroy the Work of God.”
How can anyone destroy the work of God? “But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.” (Acts 5:39) But Dattolo is referring to the changes in WCG doctrine in 1995 when the leaders decided (and had planned for some time) they wanted to mainstream, which is what many cults today are doing.
Cut Them Off and Cast Them Out
“There should be no doubt in our minds that we need to cut them off.”
II Timothy 3:4 traitors. “We are to avoid traitors. Satan is a traitor… all those who are disloyal to God and His government. There is no higher treason that being disloyal to God after He has begotten us with power to do that Work. We are to avoid such people.”
This passage is talking about the last days to come. Again, twisting of Scripture and taking it out of context.
Revelation. 11:2 “Those that are the Laodiceans (in the outer court) need to be cast out of our presence until they repent. It is like spiritual quarantine. Half of them will repent in the Tribulation.”
Nothing in these verses says half of the Laodiceans will repent in the Tribulation. This is a teaching fabricated by Gerald Flurry who got it from Herbert Armstrong. The book of Revelation says that those who hear Christ’s knocking at the door in the Tribulation and open to Him will be saved. The promise to the believers in Laodicea is: “To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.” (Revelation 3:21)
“Never think you can outwit the Devil without God’s help. But God won’t help you if you are careless with the Laodicean policy. You are on your own and you will never succeed.”
This is a threat coupled with fear.
“They are in rebellion and they are liars and they will lie to you.”
Or is it more that they might tell you the truth about PCG?
“Satan will use them to exploit your weaknesses. He will use them to get to you if you flout the Laodicean policy.”
“If they want to run around in rebellion against God, let them go. Satan would like them to stick around so they can do their dirty work in the church of God.”
The “dirty work” is telling anything that GF doesn’t want you to hear. GF wants to control your information as all religious cults want to do. See: Lifton’s Eight Criteria of Thought Reform.
Those Who Have Grown Up in PCG
“What is our responsibility toward those who have grown up in the church, have understood, but leave; who have not yet received the H.S.? They are Laodicean in spirit. They have to be cut off to some degree.”
“This is dangerous knowledge whether we are baptized or not.”
It’s only “dangerous knowledge” to those who believe GF’s words.
“If they are of age, they too must be cut off in some measure, not completely as those who are baptized. This policy applies to our children even if they are not baptized.”
“Have to have a policy of limited contact with those who grew up in the church, were never baptized, but reject God’s truth.”
For a definition of “God’s truth” see Buzzwords (or loading the language).
“It should be limited to every month or two. Limited in the amount of time you spend with them. It is not appropriate to party with them, but you can have an occasional meal with them. An occasional meal does not include family reunions. Limit them to short visits every month or two for a few hours at most.”
“Ministerial judgment may be required at times. If the child grew up in the church; how old they are; how old were they when they stopped attending; maybe one parent was attending, one wasn’t. Speak with your Regional Director and he can take it to GF if needed.”
“Sometimes we have unconverted relatives that have a difficult time with our policy.”
Quoted Mark 8:38 and said, “If we are ashamed of God and His truth, ashamed to be able to explain that to people who need to know, then He is going to be ashamed of us.”
This is not what this Scripture is referring to. It is talking about being ashamed of Christ. Nothing said about “His truth” which equals PCG truth. Read it in context.
“We should never be intimidated by unconverted relatives who question our actions.”
“The first thing you do is be familiar with what the Bible teaches”
The problem is, PCG members are not familiar with what the Bible teaches, only what GF and his ministers tell them it says.
“and the second thing is pray fervently about it. The answers may vary in each instance. [he gave a few words to say] It will depend on the situation.”
“Don’t back down.”
Falling Prey to Human Reasoning
“We can fall prey to human reasoning; i.e., they were never converted, they aren’t hostile; they had a legitimate reason to leave the church; they are basically good as they keep some of the commandments; you are strong enough to withstand the danger. If you think any of these things, you are already deceived.”
“Some of the Laodiceans keep some of the commandments, but if they are not here in God’s one true church, if they’re not here supporting God’s Work and His only Apostle, Prophet, and King, [read Biblical Titles Gerald Flurry Has Appropriated for Himself] does that impress God? Absolutely not. They are in rebellion. I don’t care how many commandments and stuff they keep, and think they keep. They’re not here. They’re not doing what they were called to do.”
God Doesn’t Listen to Laodiceans
Quoted Isaiah 1:12-15 and said, “God doesn’t listen to the Laodiceans, even if they keep the Sabbath and the holy days, or think they do. And we don’t listen to them either. They are violating the first and most important commandment of all, of refusing to let God rule them, and they have betrayed God. They have turned their backs on the only reason they were called and given the power of the Holy Spirit to DO THIS WORK. To back God’s Apostle. To get the Work done. This Work is about saving lives, physically and spiritually, and that’s why the Laodiceans have blood on their hands. They’re doing their own thing instead of helping grow God’s Work and reach out to the largest audience possible. Again, that is high treason and it’s something none of us can condone in any way, shape or form. And that’s another reason God tells us to cut them off.”
There are several things wrong in the above paragraph. God does not cast out or cast away those who come to Him:
“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37)
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:24)
We are not under any “Apostle, Prophet or King” which are titles GF has given to himself in order to keep those under him submissive and obedient. It is all about not leaving PCG and GF losing his source of income.
“So let’s be unified on this policy as never before.”
Conclusion by ESN:
One needs to step back and honestly analyze this “Laodicean policy.” A policy that causes, and continues to cause, misery, grief, suicide and even death. How could something like this be of God? The God of the New Testament (contrary to GF’s “god”) is a God of mercy, forgiveness, and compassion.
How many families have already been torn apart by this ungodly policy we will never know.
Has this policy brought good fruit? No! It has brought only bad fruit.
All abusive totalitarian churches are known to engage in such methods. In fact, these groups abuse their members and there is always a difficult exiting process involved.
Contrary to what Dattolo says, PCG members are not “supporting the Work.” They are supporting GF’s need for material possessions and power. They are supporting a man who has magnified himself more than Christ Jesus.
The ones who have “blood on their hands” are not the so-called Laodiceans, but are any who support and enforce this wicked Laodicean policy which has caused nothing but abject suffering in the lives of countless people.
Sermon critiqued by D. M. Williams
Exit & Support Network™
June 26, 2022
Making Money Is More Important to Flurry Than Keeping Families Together (Talks about GF using Matthew 10:34-38 to separate families and what this Scripture really means) [January 30, 2017]
“Stephen Flurry Was Arrogant and Unfeeling The Time I Told Him Off.” (about the no-contact ruling) (April 12, 2020)
Recommended Testimonies & Articles:
New No-Contact Ruling From Gerald Flurry
Regarding unbaptized children and non-baptized spouses of PCG members.
Gerald Flurry’s Sermon: Exposing Satan
Covers the “no-contact” ruling regarding “Laodicean” family members. Includes at end: A Letter to Gerald Flurry (from one impacted by the “no-contact ruling.”
An Open Letter to Gerald Flurry and the PCG Ministers by Dan De Gennaro
Fred Dattolo is one of several ministers that Dan De Gennaro holds responsible for the death of his daughter Janet, due to the no-contact policy.