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- 1 NPOV Problems
- 2 Editing problems
- 3 Poor Scholarship of Jim Jones/Gerald Flurry Comparisons
- 4 Does Gerald Furry Have a Police Record?
- 5 PCOG Info
- 6 Divorce
- 7 Where on pcog.info is the verification?
- 8 Neutrality
- 9 Removal of Controversy section
- 10 Biased
- 11 Cult Defined
- 12 Preserving Armstrong's Legacy or Destroying It?
- 13 Moving more unsourced opinion
- 14 This is a Biography - not a theological discourse
- 15 Is he even remotely notable?
Just what is "one of the worst kind of cults?" Are there deaths due to membership in the cult (Branch Dividians or Jimmy Jones, for example)? The article, and this section in particular, is POV pushing (see WP:NPOV). If there is verifiable information about this as a cult, then produce it. The readers of Wikipedia can make up their own minds. It is either that, or someone is likely to come along and suggest this for deletion as an Attack Article. Let me know if you need any help with cleaning this up. Ted 04:34, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
- Looks like the POV problems are coming in again. The article now has a majority of citations (as primary sources) from the so-called "Exit Support Network"?
There are several places where I don't understand what you are trying to do. In particular is the second sentence in the Cult topic. What does the material in red mean? I presume it is a reference of sorts, but it doesn't come out that way and I have no way to see what you want. In addition, we don't normally quote primary sources. Summarize and link (or add a footnote).
Finally, pulling several paragraphs out of a website word-for-word is plagiarism. Write it in your own words and give a link. Good luck with your editing. Ted 05:23, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
Some of the criticisms of Mr. Flurry as well at of British Israelism and newspaper prophecy are totally valid, but there are several places where the article repeats itself; not very professional. It can definitely be compressed and made to read like an article rather than an editorial.
By the way, the red means there is a link for an article that has not been written yet but can be by a user. —Preceding unsigned comment added by BlastFurnaceCanada (talk • contribs) 02:33, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Poor Scholarship of Jim Jones/Gerald Flurry Comparisons
I would like to address the interesting comparisons between Jim Jones and Gerald Flurry. I noticed one discussion page posting has drawn quite a comparison between the act of cutting off family members by the two groups.
I read the article on Jim Jones in Wikipedia. Actually I think it’s a good source on him: the writers and editors have no ax to grind. Notice that it states that he ”…authored a booklet, called "The Letter Killeth" pointing out what he felt were the contradictions, absurdities, and atrocities in the Bible.” There’s little comparison there: the one man hated the Bible and Gerald Furry clearly believes it is God’s word, giving the individual a spiritual direction in life, instructing the church, and filled with hope for mankind—that God is planning on bringing happiness and sincere morality to all peoples—including family members who have been cut off for the time being. The reasons stated by Flurry and the PCG for cutting off family members were based on an apparently rapidly evolving situation in terms of the spiritual views and attitudes of those family members, and the ruling was taken from the Bible in the context of that rapidly changing situation.
Notice this passage from the Wikipedia article on Jim Jones, showing almost line by line how comparisons between Jones and Gerald Flurry are problematic at best and absurd at worst:
“…Jim sold pet monkeys door-to-door to raise the money to fund his own church  that would be named Wings of Deliverance. He later renamed his church the Peoples Temple, located in Indianapolis. He gained respectability when he became an ordained minister in 1964 in- the mainstream Christian denomination, Disciples of Christ. The church was exceptional for its equal treatment of African Americans and many of them became members of the church. He started a struggle for racial equality and social justice, which he dubbed apostolic socialism. Jones authored a booklet, called "The Letter Killeth" pointing out what he felt were the contradictions, absurdities, and atrocities in the Bible, but the booklet also stated that the Bible contained great truths. He was particularly fascinated with how he could manipulate people. Rather than quitting after he got what he wanted, Jones pushed the envelope to see just how far he could go before the person objected. Throughout the years the young man perfected his craft and was very skilled in his new found art. He claimed to be an incarnation of Jesus, Akhenaten, Buddha, Lenin, and Father Divine and performed supposed miracle healings to attract new members.”
Looking at that description of Jones, it’s safe to say that legitimate, scholarly attempts at research, using unbiased sources will reveal only one parallel between that paragraph and Gerald Flurry: There is a philosophy of equal treatment of African Americans in the PCG, and by all accounts it is carried out.
Concerning the ruling by Flurry that members should cut off contact with dissident family members, consider that although people may project negative motivations to rulings by Flurry, and disagree with them, the evidence is clear that he consistently reasons from the Bible, and believes that God reveals only through the Bible (as opposed to the crackpots and charlatans who claim God speaks to them directly or in dreams etc ). Other religious groups have generally attempted to reason their beliefs from the Bible this, and there is no evidence that the apostles did not do this--the circumstantial evidence is that they did (they quoted from the old Testament repeatedly), and that decision on family members was based on their writings, as well as other biblical passages.
Again, the core beliefs between the two men were precisely opposite: One hated the Bible and tried to discredit it, taking his members focus away from the Bible and on to himself--his persona. The other argues on TV and in books that the Bible teaches man "the true way to love"; he evidently loves the Bible, professes that the commandments in it are a living law leading to happiness, bases all his teachings on it as did his mentor, Herbert Armstrong, and likes to explain how the Bible has been unfairly maligned, misrepresented and misunderstood--as did H. W. Armstrong. Jones worked to put the focus on himself, and Flurry puts in on the Bible--watch his TV shows and read research his literature. He has evidently paid tithes and offerings since the mid sixties to get what he believes is the true Gospel out to the world through church literature and humanitarian programs, free of charge. Even a cursory examination shows the two men had two precisely opposite philosophies.
Notice other stark dissimilarities between the two leaders: Flurry's flagship publication, the Philadelphia Trumpet, is known for being well researched, credible, well cited, and lucidly presented. Brokers on Wall Street have been known to read the articles on the economy and send in letters with positive feedback, printed in the back. The Trumpet comes off not as a weird, inward-looking treatise, it looks a lot like an obvious attempt to warn--America especially--of the consequences of its self-destructive behavior, ballooning social problems and an impending economic and military disaster, much like Winston Churchill in the 1930's concerning Great Britain; are those the wild, alarmist rantings of a David Koresh or Jim Jones type couched in a professional looking appearance? The Trumpet cites authorities throughout its articles, and a little research by anyone on htis discussion page from objective sources verifies the true precarious state of our economy, and the devastating cyber attack launched against one of the military and infrastructure of one the former Soviet Baltic states recently verifies the vulnerability of ours, so anyone can see the truth of both assertions. Not an easy message to deliver--read about Churchill's trials and tribulations--people hated him for it, but he loved Britain and didn't want to see his countrymen suffer. Note that the reality of this present economic situation in America (and by extension the world to a degree) is verified even by a well respected Rutgers graduate school instructor for Human Resources recently pointed out to his class this impending economic storm, mentioning six or seven issues that are also cited as of evidence in the Trumpet, telling the class that one has to research our economic problems away from the corrupted, sponsor driven mainstream media to learn the truth of the situation.
Meanwhile even early on in his ministry Jones was into his quackery, evidently, and took his group away from everything, for no legitimate reason, where they could help no-one. So while a Jim Jones type will take emotionally troubled group away from society and into a bizarre isolation healthy for no one in particular--to a remote third world country or a backwater ranch in the U.S.--people like Gerald Flurry seem to week after week plug away with an outgoing concern for the welfare of America and other nations, and yet the message he gives has not led to an increase in membership for his organization--there are no inward looking evangelistic crusades to obtain new members and more money.
Is a cursory examination too shallow, and thus more research is needed? Good research is always welcome at Wikipedia. If you think you might uncover some parallels with Jim Jones, I reply that I seriously doubt you'll find anything even scarcely reminiscent. Anyone can always try to reach for parallels and stretch the facts--they are welcome to at their own peril--their resulting reputation for credibility will reward their efforts justly. Ex-Worldwide church of God members along with authorities from the State of California were so keen to do that unto Gerald Flurry's mentor Herbert W. Armstrong that they may have violated the constitution in several areas--yet they found nothing sinister or corrupt(Court records of this and newspaper articles can be found in the appendix of Stanley Rader's book, Against the Gates of Hell. Actually that church received recognition from world famous musicians who played at the church auditorium (Pavarotti, Rubenstein, Bing Crosby, ect) and famous world leaders--not very cult-like--see the article on Armstrong.)
To anyone who wishes to rebut this, I add this: do all the legitimate research you can, interviewing current PCG members--even anonymously. I welcome all the editors here to try to avoid the unprofessional habit of looking for those who agree with your first impression, thus using poor source material: i.e. websites of ex-pcg members who were put out for causing divisions (a practice which to me appears to be not at all scandalous, but rather something that was done by Saint Paul other Apostles, to whom millions still cast allegiance—research the epistles please), or citing those who strongly dislike the Bible, or what they tend to view as “Fundamentalism”, and Bible based Christianity in general.
Does Gerald Furry Have a Police Record?
My reading of the charges state he was arrested on 18 Sep 1993, which is a Saturday. I've deleted the section. If that is mistaken, put it back in the article with a better citation. Ted 05:52, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
Is Saturday a Sabbath for this group? If so, then that could be stated to clear this up. Ted 05:58, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
Saturday is the PCOG's Sabbath. In addition, they observe the same annual festivals (referred to as "annual Sabbaths") that the WCG under Herbert Armstrong observed. 22.214.171.124 07:43, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
I had redone the part about the officer's statements, but you have deleted it. It is verifyable. everything else you have done is fine for now, I've got to get to bed. it's 1:00 AM here and I go to work at 6:00 AM TTYL ted, thanks!—Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk • contribs)
Hmmm. All I see is the date, 18 September 1993. The time seems to be about 10:30pm. I'm sorry if I deleted something that cleared this up. Please put it back if it shows a date of 19 September. Thanks. Ted 07:37, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
While you have referenced www.pcog.info for several points, I can't seem to find anything on that website(please note everyone that this is not a PCG site, but a dissident site run by members who were put out of the church for causing division). It is terribly organized. It's hard to wade through all the vitriol. Where exactly can we find the material that supports your contentions? Notice how the first reference for disfellowshipping goes directly to that section. Can this be done for the others? Are there any other sources? Ted 04:31, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
In addition, I feel very uncomfortable to only use this as a source. It is clear the website was designed solely to attach Gerald Flurry and PCG. They have uncovered some interesting material (arrest records, for example), but I find it hard to distinguish between fact and fiction on their website. Ted 06:36, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
It is very factual, as reading some of the letters at Mike's Exit Network will attest. I will continue to find other sources for backing up my statements. I work 10 hrs. a day, so I can only do a little at a time. I have added some of those sources today. You may be wondering why I don't become a member of your organization ---- previous cult membership has taught me one thing .... NEVER JOIN ANYTHING!! ..... Thanks TedE, you've been a lot of help.
look into this URL: http://www.exitsupportnetwork.com/mike_ep/letters/ltrspcg03.htm#Jake%20Winters —Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk • contribs)
Exit Support Network is another attack site and cannot be cited as an unbiased source.
I'm sorry, I don't see the relevance of the YC reference. It mentions a woman, but not the incident you are discussing. Verifiability is not simply that the people exist, but that the action you mention exists. By the way, if you want to "sign" your statements here (always a good idea), use ~~~~. It automatically puts in your name and time -- valuable for keeping things straight. I will put back the citation needed messages when needed -- this is not to frustrate or annoy you. It lets other editors know that we are working on getting the correct references.
The minister of Phoenix, AZ is Jeff Greaser (see http://www.exitsupportnetwork.com/mike_ep/letters/ltrspcg03.htm#Jake%20Winters) He disfellowshipped his wife of many years Stephanie, divorced her and married a much younger woman, Kelly, shortly thereafter .... the woman at YC who won the Dell. You see, the Flurry rule is that if you are married to a woman/man outside the church, it is alright to divorce her/him and marry another within the church, because the one outside the church is "unconverted." This is one of several marriages broken up, both within the ministry and within the membership over the years. Gerald Flurry considers himself as a fulfillment of a scripture in Malachi 4 (I think it is); "Turning the hearts of the fathers to the sons, .... etc."
I am a member of said church, and I have never heard anything like that happening. I heard about the Greaser situation and personally know Stephanie Greaser -- that was an anomaly. The idea that if you are married to someone outside the church it is all right to divorce and marry inside, is completely false. I know of several people who are still married to spouses outside of the church and the ministers do NOT recommend divorce, or even present it as an admissible option. However, in some situations, there have been spouses who have become openly hostile to the church, and if it gets to an unbearable stage, THEN a divorce might be considered. -- DB
I didn't mean to infer that Wiki is a cult, I just meant that I don't "join" anything .... no offense meant. ~~~~
I'll look at other references when I get the chance. Also, remember, I can help with the proper formatting, but really can't lend a hand with the incidents -- it is completely out of my expertise. Good luck.
PS. As for Wikipedia as a cult, I sometimes run across people who treat it that way. :) Join or not as the spirit moves you. Ted 05:46, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
This is his first wife and their children and grandchildren; JENNIFER A GREASER-ARQUETTE GREASER GRANT M GREASER JARED C GREASER JEFF C GREASER JESSICA R GREASER JOHNSIE GREASER SARAH A GREASER STEPHANIE A GREASER ZANE GREASER http://stardust1.jpl.nasa.gov/overview/microchip/names2g16.html
The public record of the divorce and the remarriage would be available in AZ. The Disfellowshipment, much like the speculation and innuendo of the goings on at People's Temple and Waco, is church business and would not be in the public records. However, by reading the letters to Mikes exit network, you will see the pattern of disfellowshipments without reason or warning. The records of Flurry, Winters, Leap, Harrison, and Greaser speak for themselves.~~~~
- Response: The records of those men speak for themselves? What are you talking about? What records? Your efforts here amount to bafoonary.
In regards to citing material on that site there is a trick to make it possible to cite individual sections of that site, rather than just the whole website. The reason why the address never changes on that website is because of the sidebar that appears when one enters the site normally. The address actually refers to the sidebar. But if you simply enter it, without the sidebar present, it then becomes possible to cite individual sections, because the sidebar is removed. To remove the sidebar you simply have to enter the website through a link that does not use the sidebar. For this cause I shall add the following links here: http://www.pcog.info/ptmmtp.htm#Disfellowshipping , http://www.pcog.info/pcginfo.htm#Literature . Once you enter the site using these links it will be possible to cite more specifically. However with the sidebar removed it becomes quite difficult to navigate through the site.Redfox24 (talk) 08:03, 2 January 2009 (UTC).
If you wish to cite a section with more than one word, for example the section 'If You Want To Help'. To link simply add it as 'If You Want To Help' after the #. No _ between the words are required. However when doing this it is absolutely necessary that you cover the link with square brackets as is done when adding in a link otherwise Wikipedia will not implement the link properly. It is recommended that you check how the link works before saving it.
Also using the What's New section at the bottom while you have no sidebar is one way I have found to get around the web site gaining the necessary specific addresses. That is how I found this following link http://www.pcog.info/PGR%20Thumbnails/index.html to the leaked Pastor General Reports.Redfox24 (talk) 09:37, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
Do Armstrong-based Churches of God allow for divorce? If so, then I don't see as how allowing divorces among the ministry makes it a cult. (PS. Don't include the nowiki and /nowiki material with your signature. I did that so you can see the "~"s on the screen. Just put in 4 "~" in a row. Ted 07:02, 26 May 2006 (UTC) 14:31,
[User:184.108.40.206|220.127.116.11]] The original teachings of Armstrong, for over forty years, was that there was NO scriptural basis for divorce and remarriage. In early 1974, under pressure from liberal ministry within the Church (including his own son Garner Ted Armstrong)  he folded and aquiesced to a change in doctrine allowing divorce and re-marriage. There are still several of the splinter groups that adhere to the original teachings, claiming that Armstrong had no power or authority to change doctrine which was "revealed" to him by God .The changes in 1974 concerning divorce and re-marriage were quite strict in their interpretation, however, over the years many of the splinter groups such as Flurry's have re-interpreted and re-interpreted and re-defined and re-defined the doctrine so that it becomes tailored to fit their needs: i.e. get rid of dissident/unconverted/Evangelical/mainstream mates that might be able to persuade the member that this is a cult and "cause division" in the church. This has also given the ministry an excuse to get rid of the old and bring in the new, so to speak. Jeff Greaser of Phoenix, AZ is the only one that I can find ( I have purposely left out the names of others, since there is no public "paper trail" online to be linked to ;)), of the PCG ministry who have left a public "paper trail" that is online. I knew his wife, but since they have become so secretive in the PCG, we are no longer in contact. Since the cult of Flurry no longer allows outside communication with ex-WCG/PCG/LCG members, as well as family members who will not accept his doctrines, etc. you can see that it is becoming increasingly harder to find out the truth of what is going on behind those iron gates .
This, by the way, is what happened with the cult of Jim Jones, etc., they cut off all communication with family and friends so they can brainwash their members into all sorts of evil, thinking they are doing good. There were exposures, there were articles, there were lawsuits, but it was all dismissed as " attacks by disgruntled former members" and ignored by authorities until it was too late. This is exactly why cults such as this need to be exposed for what they are, and not allowed to be able to slip under the radar by claiming that they are a legitimate religion. This is not to say that all of the Armstrong splinters are cults or are evil, just specific ones like Flurry (others are being left out until I do more research). 18.104.22.168 14:31, 26 May 2006 (UTC) 22.214.171.124 14:39, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
I would like to address your interesting comparisons between Jim Jones and Gerald Flurry. I noticed you’ve drawn quite a comparison between the act of cutting off family members by the two groups. Though people may project negative motivations to rulings by Gerald Flurry, and disagree with them, the evidence is clear that he is consistent about his methods: he reasons from the Bible, and believes that God reveals only through the Bible (as opposed to charlatans through the centuries who claim God speaks to them directly or in dreams etc ). The reasons stated for cutting off family members were based on an apparently rapidly evolving situation in terms of the spiritual views and attitudes of those family members, and the ruling was taken from the Bible in the context of that rapidly changing situation.
So I read the article on Jim Jones in Wikipedia. Actually I think it’s a good source on him: the writers and editors have no ax to grind. Notice that it states that he ”…authored a booklet, called "The Letter Killeth" pointing out what he felt were the contradictions, absurdities, and atrocities in the Bible.” There’s little comparison there: the one man hated the Bible and Gerald Furry clearly believes it is God’s word, giving the individual a spiritual direction in life, instructing the church, and filled with hope for mankind—that God is planning on bringing happiness and sincere morality to all peoples—including family members who have been cut off for the time being.
Notice again this passage from the Wikipedia article on Jim Jones, showing almost line by line how comparisons between Jones and Gerald Flurry are problematic at best and absurd at worst:
- “…Jim sold pet monkeys door-to-door to raise the money to fund his own church  that would be named Wings of Deliverance. He later renamed his church the Peoples Temple, located in Indianapolis. He gained respectability when he became an ordained minister in 1964 in- the mainstream Christian denomination, Disciples of Christ. The church was exceptional for its equal treatment of African Americans and many of them became members of the church. He started a struggle for racial equality and social justice, which he dubbed apostolic socialism. Jones authored a booklet, called "The Letter Killeth" pointing out what he felt were the contradictions, absurdities, and atrocities in the Bible...He was particularly fascinated with how he could manipulate people. Rather than quitting after he got what he wanted, Jones pushed the envelope to see just how far he could go before the person objected. Throughout the years the young man perfected his craft and was very skilled in his new found art. He claimed to be an incarnation of Jesus, Akhenaten, Buddha, Lenin, and Father Divine and performed supposed miracle healings to attract new members.”
Also, you’ve imputed evil motives on the part of the pcg leadership in their doctrines on divorce and family, but you're obviously extrapolating much from little from a poisonously biased perspective and I need not go on.
Looking at that description of Jones, it’s safe to say that legitimate, scholarly attempts at research, using unbiased sources will reveal only one parallel between that paragraph and Gerald Flurry: There is a philosophy of equal treatment of African Americans in the PCG, and by all accounts it is carried out. Ask them yourself if you are committed to thorough research from an unbiased perspective. Do all the legitimate research you can, interviewing current PCG members--even anonymously. Try to avoid the unprofessional habit of looking for those who agree with your first impression, thus using poor source material: i.e. websites of ex-pcg members who were put out for causing divisions (which is routine historically--it was done by Saint Paul and other Apostles, to whom millions still cast allegiance—please research the epistles), or citing those who strongly dislike the Bible, or what they tend to view as “Fundamentalism”, and Bible based Christianity in general.
Where on pcog.info is the verification?
Can you at least let me know which links on the left side to click to get the verification for each of the individual points? Unfortunately, their website is not well-constructed, but we still need a way to get the verification. In addition, any verification you can get outside the source is good -- it is an attack site and so automatically suspect. Thanks. Ted 07:05, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Not all of the information comes from pcog.info. much of the information comes from pages such as Mikes exit network, Yahoo Groups, forums etc. This task is becoming much more labor intensive than I had imagined. Since you have apparently not been exposed to cults or cult-watching, I believe you are making this much harder than it needs to be. Just because someone wants to expose a person or group for what they are and what they stand for, does not mean that they are attacking that person or group. What you are considering attacks; others in the cult-watch community consider providing valuable information. By the way, pcog.info is NOT an attack site, merely an informational site exposing many of the lies that are being put forth in the name of Armstrong or of Jesus Christ and God, hence the choice of the .info, rather than .com/.org/.us etc.... If you will notice, all of his info is backed up by facts, scriptures, quotes, etc.. 126.96.36.199 14:53, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Pcog.info not an attack website? Are you kidding me? First of all I would have to say I agree with Ted, it is definately not well-constructed, and I know the creator of this website is a former PCG member who's name I won't reveal (but I certainly do know), but he was disfellowshipped from the church and also "marked" years ago, as he caused division and hostility within the church instead of leaving quietly because of his differences. The .info was used because .org was already taken by the church so the whole idea that it is an informational website is in question. .info was the only domain available.
Wikipedia is supposed to be a neutral source. Someone is trying to use this entry to make commentary and link to websites intended to defame Mr. Flurry. That goes against the nature of an encyclopedia.—Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk • contribs)
Thanks for coming here. We are trying to find verifiable information about Mr. Flurry. Some of the information is clearly true (his arrest). Others show some bias or can't be verified easily (I have marked those). I came to this page by chance while checking Wikipedia for vandalism, so I have no first-hand knowledge of the events. Wholesale deleting of material does not further the verification process. It is normally reverted by editors with little knowledge of the topic, such as I did. Bring your concerns to this Talk page and let's see if we can create a page that is true to all aspects of Mr. Flurry. Ted 02:37, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
I suppose that you think you're going to get a true picture of Gerald Flurry from Gerald Flurry?? These sites only defame Flurry because he has left such a trail of abuse behind him. If only you would take the time to read, instead of take comments out of context, you would see that everything is backed up mostly by Flurry's own words or by scripture. You had accepted all but one of the topics, and now they are all marked for citations again, I guess you just hope that I will go away and you can revert back to the first post made so all will be well in wikidom. I grow weary of trying to provide you with proofs and links when you consistently ask for more. Obviously this wiki is biased in favor of scumbags like Flurry. "If you don't have evidence that we approve of, we won't allow it." If you can't accept proof, then fine, write your glowing articles on cult leaders like this. Cause people to lose their homes, families, savings, and possibly thier lives, that's your business. I've provided you with links to Watchman Expositor, Mikes Exit Page, pcog.info, and others, yet you want more, what a joke. You said at first that I should let the wiki readers decide for themselves, yet you want to decide for them that they do not need to find out for themselves with the links I have provided. Such hypocrisy!! If I were to quote from a booki by Abraham Lincoln or Bill Clinton, you would probably fall all over yourself accepting the quote as gospel, but because someone has left the PCG because of the abuse, you consider their testimony as tainted, Lincoln was a liar and so was Clinton, just like most all of the politicians, but I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that you'd take their word for something, wouldn't you, what a crock!184.108.40.206 04:15, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
Reply: With the above paragraph, you've told everyone a lot about more about yourself than you have about Abraham Lincoln, Bill Clinton, or Gerald Flurry.
Removal of Controversy section
Have removed Controversy section in an attempt to balance NPOV about subject. The removed paragraph appears to be unrelated directly to this biography page and would be better addressed in the main entry about Philadelphia Church of God which is linked on article page as well. Preekout 18:28, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, but this page can't be taken seriously. I made some verifiable, factual edits, citing sources. They were from a neutral point of view and did not defame Gerald Flurry in any way. Before the day was out the entry went back to the way it had been -- unsubstantiated, for the most part, and clearly subjective. If Mr. Flurry or his supporters are going to play that game, then this cannot be viewed as having any credibility whatsoever. Wilburweber 21:46, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
Reply from 220.127.116.11 10:49, 22 June 2007 (UTC)jebbrady: I've seen both your edits and your criticisms for other articles concerning H.W. Armstrong, and to be honest, your use of terms like "verifiable", "factual" and your reference to "citing sources" appear to be disingenuous. Either you don't understand what those terms really mean or your point of view is so biased in the direction of ax-grinding against Armstrong and those who apparently support and like him (i.e. Gerald Flurry), that your work is something for people to be on the lookout for, in order to clean it up and maintain the integrity of Wikipedia as a legitimate, unbiased source of information. If you think you can handle a discussion about specifics, which you always seem to fastidiously avoid, then please do so.
To be defined as a cult a group need not encourage its followers to commit suicide as some here might have suggested with the Jim Jones comparison. The act of intimidation or requiring its members to cut off communication with family members who do not hold the same beliefs would most certainly define this organization as a cult. Gerald Flurry and his "government" have instructed this cults followers to cut off all communication with family members who do not believe he is the "end-time prophet" and back this instruction with the threat of a member being disfellowshipped if not obeyed.
This is true, Ted. Just because Flurry supposedly bases the policy on scripture doesn't make it an attack to note it. It is perfectly unbiased to point out that Flurry pursues this policy. In fact, your insistence that Flurry "loves" the Bible and gets this policy from it makes *you* sound biased. I hope you are not a member of the PCG! You should be more careful not to whitewash your encyclopedia entries. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 01:49, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Okay, let's do what your section heading suggests; let's define "cult": Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) cult Pronunciation Key - [kuhlt] –noun 1. a particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies. 2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult. 3. the object of such devotion. 4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc. 5. Sociology. a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols. 6. a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader. 7. the members of such a religion or sect. 8. any system for treating human sickness that originated by a person usually claiming to have sole insight into the nature of disease, and that employs methods regarded as unorthodox or unscientific. –adjective 9. of or pertaining to a cult. 10. of, for, or attracting a small group of devotees: a cult movie.
[Origin: 1610–20; < L cultus habitation, tilling, refinement, worship, equiv. to cul-, var. s. of colere to inhabit, till, worship + -tus suffix of v. action]
—Related forms cultic, cul·tu·al Pronunciation Key - [kuhl-choo-uhl] adjective cultish, adjective Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
As you can see, ANY religious organization can be "pigeon-holed" as a cult within these definitions, from catholicism to protestantism to Hinduism to Buddhism to Islam to literally ANY other group of people who all believe the same thing.
To call an organization a cult as a derogatory label simply shows your ignorance of the all-encompassing nature of the word.
The definition under heading number 6 ("A religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.") is understood and obvious in this context. Furthermore, the PCG itself accepts the label of "cult," and it satisfies the definition quite handily. It should be no problem to include it in this entry (that is, if you are interested in neutrality). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 05:00, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Preserving Armstrong's Legacy or Destroying It?
Flurry says he is the one man chosen by God to carry on the legacy of Armstrong. Most or all WCG split-offs also believe they are carrying on Armstrong's work. To this end, they have magazines, books and booklets to offer. The larger ones generally have a TV program. Flurry produces three magazines, a members-only newspaper, a TV program, and a college patterned after Armstrong's Ambassador College. Some other split-offs have on-line courses, and at least one is planning to build a college. Flurry is in the process of building a new high quality performing arts center which will be his version of Armstrong's renowned Ambassador Auditorium, but on a smaller scale. The purpose of this center is to present the church in a more positive light to the community.
Flurry uses Armstrong's name and image to give his ministry legitimacy in the eyes of his followers, prospective members, and readers of the Trumpet magazine. Flurry's college is called Armstrong College, his foundation is called the Armstrong International Cultural Foundation, and his concert series is called Armstrong Concerts. Armstrong's picture is on the cover of the book written by Flurry's son.
The PCG claims to be preserving Armstrong's written works but has reprinted less than 20 items of Armstrong literature. Even then, in some cases edits have been made to pivotal points such as the "very elect" and the role of prophets in the church. Far more Armstrong literature -- literally hundreds of items -- is available on the Internet for free from other sources. This includes old issues of The Plain Truth magazine, The Good News magazine, The Worldwide News newspaper, reprint articles, Envoys, sermons, sermon transcripts, telecasts, radio broadcasts, and many important booklets that the PCG does not make available.
The PCG reproduces the correspondence course, even calling it the Herbert W. Armstrong College Bible Correspondence Course, but they have made changes, once again altering Armstrong's legacy.
Flurry has retained many of Armstrong's core doctrines, including the fundamental "18 restored truths" that Armstrong added to the church, in addition to a great many non-core doctrines that many others regard as minor such as proper hair lengths for men and women. Flurry has held strictly to Armstrong's "Christian living" doctrines, even the controversial rulings that ban smoking tobacco and the use of cosmetics.
Flurry is building a work that mimics Armstrong's work in many ways. The college, Auditorium, concert series, and youth camps are all patterned after the WCG when it was led by Armstrong. Church publications quote Armstrong extensively. Church services are also after exactly the same format. Flurry's group keeps the seventh day Sabbath and the same seven annual holy days kept by the "old" WCG and many of its split-offs. Like Armstrong, he gives away his literature for free.
He has preserved some Armstrong doctrines that the majority of ex-WCG ministers have neglected. For example, the basic form of government: top-down one man rule. This doctrine has been rejected by many WCG split-offs because they believe it has sometimes been abused (particularly by Joseph W. Tkach).
So, in certain respects, he has preserved Armstrong's legacy diligently, but not in all.
Flurry rejects Armstrong as the Ezekiel Watchman, a change which removes an important part of Armstrong's legacy. In addition to taking on the Ezekiel Watchman title for himself, Flurry takes to himself many additional titles such as That Prophet, the Lawgiver, the end-time Prophet Malachi, the Prophet Elisha, etc. He teaches that his role as the greatest prophet since Christ was foretold in many old testament prophecies. Such claims lead some to wonder if Flurry is more interested in preserving Armstrong's legacy or building his own on the back of Armstrong's reputation.
Flurry follows Armstrong's teaching on the identity of the "lost ten tribes" of Israel. Many other WCG split-offs teach this also. He also picked up from Armstrong the notion of a soon-coming "United States of Europe" led by a European dictator referred to in the book of Revelation as the "beast" (Rev 17:12-13). This too is widely taught in other WCG split-offs.
Flurry has confused Armstrong's prophetic legacy by teaching a mixture of Armstrong's prophecies along with Flurry's own changes and additions.
His view of Middle East prophecy has changed substantially. Armstrong taught that the prophecy about the king of the South in Dan 11:40 was already fulfilled by Ethiopia (The Middle East In Prophecy). Flurry teaches that the king of the South is Iran and that this verse is being fulfilled now (King of the South). Flurry's writings contain dire warnings about Iran pushing Europe into a nuclear confrontation. He preaches that Europe will respond by destroying Iran. He believes this conflict will precede the destruction of the United States and many other English-speaking countries at the hands of Europe.
By changing the first part of the two-fold great commission of the church from preaching the gospel to preaching prophecy, he has made a fundamental change in the basic purpose of the church. At the same time, Armstrong's understanding of prophecy has been radically altered. The result of these two changes is that presenting Flurry's new perspective on prophecy has become the foremost purpose of the church. This might suggest that he is promoting his own legacy rather than preserving that of Armstrong.
Because Flurry uses Armstrong's name repeatedly, Flurry's controversial actions (taking various bible titles to himself, his reputation for "attack" sermons and his controlling policy changes) give some of his critics, such as those at the Exit and Support Network, occasion to discredit not just him but Armstrong as well. This does not seem to help Armstrong's legacy.
- The above is a very nice unsourced essay on how Horrible Flurry is to Change The Great Armstrong's Teachings. I don't even know why I'm posting it here. This is a BLP, so it should be gone period. Auntie E. (talk) 00:50, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Moving more unsourced opinion
From the doctrinal changes section:
It should be clear that some of these changes are quite controversial. For example, though Flurry claims to be the one man chosen by God to preserve Armstrong's legacy, changes such as rejecting Armstrong's role as the Ezekiel watchman are more in line with destroying Armstrong's legacy than preserving it.
In addition to the doctrinal changes in the above list, Flurry has introduced to his church countless new interpretations of prophecy. Many of these new interpretations are also doctrinal changes because many prophecies that Armstrong applied to nations are now said by Flurry to apply to the WCG, PCG and other WCG split-offs. The changes are far too many to list, but the many new booklets Flurry has written on prophecy testify to the large number of reinterpretations and new ideas. One is hard pressed to find a book or chapter in the bible dealing with prophecy that Flurry hasn't altered in some way -- often significantly. There is no doubt that he follows nearly all Armstrong's other doctrines very closely, provided that they are not related to prophecy. Yet it seems ironic that while Flurry says he is following Armstrong more loyally than any other WCG split-off leader, he has possibly made more changes than any other leader once these prophetic changes and new ideas on prophecy are included. In total, these changes constitute a radical departure from prophecy as understood by Armstrong.
None of these prophetic changes and new ideas would have been possible if Flurry had not rejected Armstrong's teaching on the role of prophets in the New Testament church (original Mystery of the Ages, pp. 244-5, 350). When the PCG reprinted Armstrong's book, Mystery of the Ages they deleted the statement, "No prophets are mentioned as having either administrative, executive or preaching functions in the New Testament Church" (pp. 244-5). As head of the church, Flurry has the role of the chief executive and administrator, and his many sermons and writings clearly demonstrate his preaching function. This change paves the way for him to claim the title of prophet (Who is That Prophet?) and preach and write about his new prophetic beliefs. If he were keeping 100% of Armstrong's teachings, he could not claim to be a prophet in the first place. This explains why Mystery of the Ages has been edited.
There is nothing in the PCG's version of Mystery of the Ages that notifies the reader that Armstrong's teaching regarding the role of prophets in the New Testament church has been removed from the book.
This is a Biography - not a theological discourse
Material not reasonably related to the person the article is about simply does not belong in a BLP. Extensive speculation and lists of theological details scarcely belong either, but the pruning needs to be done. Imagine if every detail of every religion was placed in every BLP about a pastor of that religion? References are there for readers to pursue - not or us to list every bit of minutia. Collect (talk) 13:07, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Is he even remotely notable?
This guy is a cook with a cookie church, who says silly things. But I can't find any mainstream media interest, or independent third party discusison. Can anyone else? I'm considering AfD here.--Scott Mac (Doc) 13:43, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
- Made major papers  Boston Globe in 1995,  Christianity Today, and a few others. Cited as sect leader in a number of books meeting RS. Meets notability standards for sect leaders, to be sure. Collect (talk) 14:59, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
- Ok, but do we have anything that doesn't directly relate to Philadelphia Church of God? Could we merge it?--Scott Mac (Doc) 15:01, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
- We've also got The Key of David and The Philadelphia Trumpet - all interrelated with much the same content,--Scott Mac (Doc) 15:03, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
- Merge is a good idea imo. Off2riorob (talk) 15:04, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
- If we keep it here as a short bio, then it will not be a theological coatrack again. Problem with Merge is that it practically invites the same folks to add this stuff all over again. And cut down stray stuff from those other articles as well. There are times when 3 articles will be a lot less trouble than 1. Collect (talk) 15:13, 1 February 2010 (UTC)