Cartwright’s Journal out: PCG Information and DNA related to Anglo-Israelism


The latest issue (#155, print date September-October 2013) of The Journal was sent out electronically several hours ago.

There were two items that I felt readers of this page might be interested in.  The first had to do with someone named Richard Burkhard trying to secretly visit the headquarters’ Feast of Tabernacle’s location for the improperly named Philadelphia Church of God (PCG).  Here is some of what he wrote:

I quietly asked a man standing outside a church-convention business office a biblically suggestive question: “I was a stranger and you took me in?”

His answer was a disappointing shake of the head. No, he would not let me attend the Feast of Tabernacles, even though his group considers it a commanded annual assembly for believers in God. We stood inside Armstrong Auditorium in Edmond, Okla., the showcase building of the Philadelphia Church of God (PCG), on Sept. 19, 2013.

If I had purchased a ticket to one of the auditorium’s artistic events, there probably would have been no issues. But attending a “free” worship service on a Thursday morning clearly was another matter. “Only baptized members of the Philadelphia Church of God can attend,” the man told me.

But there was something he didn’t know know. The Feast of Tabernacles had begun the night before, and, in a rarity for the PCG, an outsider had been allowed inside the auditorium’s main hall for a service from start to finish.

Driving down I-35 I hadn’t traveled to Edmond, the site of the PCG’s headquarters, to rescue someone from what some consider an oppressive and spurious church. I wasn’t there to recruit people away, or even cry aloud in the auditorium lobby as Jesus might have done in John 7. Armstrong Auditorium simply was the closest Feast site to my front door, and my job  situation allowed me to attend only on the holy days specified in the book of Leviticus, along with a weekend. It was my desire to worship God…

The PCG has gained a reputation as being far more restrictive than the old Worldwide Church of God ever was…

I admit I didn’t attempt to register in advance. I didn’t want anyone in Edmond to know an outsider was coming…

No recording allowed

The unnamed song leader made it clear during opening announcements that, while picture-taking was allowed almost everywhere (a change from Ambassador Auditorium, which restricted such things), no audio or video recording was allowed of any PCG messages. Copies wouldn’t even be sent to congregations after the Feast.

Nice special music

There were lengthy announcements about Feast rules, including an ominous note that only people wearing Feast badges were allowed inside the building. I wasn’t wearing one. An old one from prior Feasts I had attended would not have worked, because the PCG badges had a big picture of the Arm- strong Auditorium on them. After a flawless presentation of special music by a Feast choir, the main opening-night message was a video sermon by Pastor General Flurry…

Coded scriptures for the PCG

The Flurry focus was on how the books of Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah have a Feast-time “key of David” message. It’s a “coded message,” he said, that’s “specifically for the Philadelphia Church of God today.” Y et he turned to only two sections of 2 Chronicles during the opening video and cited a letter from Elijah in 2 Chron- icles 21 to buttress his claim that Mr. Armstrong contributed to the work of God beyond his death in 1986, as “shown in the book of James.” (You have to read Mr. Flurry’s booklet on Jeremiah to understand that, he said.)

Bricket Wood purchase delayed

Mr. Flurry admitted during his section on 2 Chronicles 21 that the PCG’s attempt to purchase the old Ambassador College campus in Bricket Wood, England, is “going slower than we would like.” He gave no other details.

Raising the universe’s ruins

Mr. Flurry said the future, which will include “raising the ruins of the entire universe,” promises to be “more beautiful than Herbert W. Arm- strong College.” Armstrong College (AC) was visible three times during his message, thanks to an overhead helicopter camera, with emphasis on Armstrong Auditorium and the Arm- strong Foundation office across the driveway. He revealed at one point the auditorium cost “upwards of $25 million,” including landscaping…

Security not sympathetic

Thursday promised two services, at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. I arrived for the morning service about 30 minutes in advance…

“Where’s your badge?” a man asked as I approached the door. I was directed toward a registration table in the building’s outer court, where I admitted my name was not on the roll My admission gained me an escorted trip inside to the business office, where my name again was missing.

I used to be registered with but no longer remember my user name and password. At that point the business manager came out for the final discussion. He noticeably was not wearing a badge with “Armstrong Auditorium” on it. I tried to explain I attend with another Church of God group that had its closest Feast site much farther away. But I received no words of sympathy.

Only baptized members of PCG could attend, he said, perhaps forgetting the children some members brought with them. “You have to be of like mind,” he explained.

The Elijah question

I should have asked him what “like mind” meant. But I think I already knew the answer. He probably would have given me the “Elijah question,” asking if I believed Herbert Armstrong was the end-time Elijah. The PCG admitted in its magazine, The Trumpet, long ago that people were not invited to its services unless their answer to the Elijah question was yes.

“You’ve got to work on that,” the manager told me about my failure to belong to the PCG. “I brought a nice offering to give,” I said in a last attempt to persuade him. He shook his head. At least the PCG maintained principles similar to what Peter told Simon Magus in Acts 8:20.

I do not believe that Richard Burkhard should have tried to go there.  I am not convinced that PCG is truly a Church of God (though some of its members probably are truly COG).  Furthermore since PCG’s Feast of Tabernacles’ sites and weekly church services are not open to those that will not submit to some improper extra-biblical beliefs, it makes sense that he would have been asked to leave once he was found not to have gone along with PCG’s positions on those matters.

PCG’s Elijah position requirement to attend its services is not biblical.  It also has a variety of unbiblical positions.

The other article in this issue of The Journal that I wanted to quote part of here was by Reginald Killingley related to DNA:

With advances in science come advances in knowledge. We have arrived at a tipping point that prompts this submission of a modest proposal for a scientific research project. The project would attempt to ascertain whether there is a DNA basis for the theory of Anglo-Israelism…

Just recently, three studies employing such research were featured in popular news media. They describe some of the tools scientists have at their disposal to determine with considerable accuracy the movements across the miles and millennia of multiple peoples.

Different DNA lineages

According to National Geographic’s project, one study provided evidence that “the people who lived in Central Europe 7,000 years ago had different DNA lineages than those that lived there 5,000 years ago, and again different to those that lived 3,500 years ago.”

It showed definitively that from 5500 B.C. to 1500 B.C. the region that is today Germany saw at least four stages of significant migration and settlement. The stages were highlighted by marked shifts in the genetic composition of the popula- tions in the region. Researchers focus on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). This type of DNA is passed down, almost unchanged, from a mother to her children, thereby allowing geneticists to probe the maternal histories of populations.

Mutant sharings

By studying the mutations or changes in mtDNA sequences, re- searchers have been able to develop a record of maternal ancestry and to group different mtDNA lineages to- gether based on shared mutations. Another recent study focused on the ancestry of Ashkenazi Jews who dispersed into Central and Eastern Europe in the early Middle Ages. Their ancestors migrated from Pal- estine after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Researchers analyzed mtDNA sequences from people across Europe, the Caucasus and the Middle East…

The theory traditionally used name markers as indicators of migration patterns, but now it’s possible to use genetic markers to indicate population transfers across geographic boundaries. (Killingley R. Are we the lost tribes? Check our DNA to find out.  The Journal: News of the Churches of God, September-October 2013, pp. 5,24)

I have done some highly limited research into this and do believe that DNA evidence does provide some support for the Anglo-Israel position.  That being said, in order to properly conduct such a DNA test would be expensive and more importantly would have to be properly set up–and that would be much more difficult than some seem to believe it would be.

I would also add that work involving skull shape has long supported at least parts of the Anglo-Israel position.

The Journal also had other articles and the usual advertisements and letters to the editor.

The Journal itself is available by paid subscription (though Dixon Cartwright says some subscriptions are free to those who cannot afford it) and often tends to take a non-Philadelphian era view of certain church matters.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Teachings Unique to the Philadelphia Church of God Simply calling oneself ‘Philadelphia’ does not make one so (see Revelation 3:7-9), nor does Gerald Flurry calling himself “that prophet” make it so. This article provides many quotes from this group which tries to look faithful.
The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time for Christians? Is this pilgrimage holy day still valid? Does it teach anything relevant for today’s Christians? What is the Last Great Day? What do these days teach?
The Elijah Heresies Does the Bible teach that there will be a future Elijah? Must it be Herbert W. Armstrong?
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. A video of possible interest may be Will Will USA Spying Help the Beast Power?
Will the Anglo-Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now essentially the most faithful in the Church of God, which is best represented by the Continuing Church of God.
Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of GodContend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3, NKJV),  “Let brotherly love (Philadelphia) continue” (Hebrews 13:1) “…continuing stedfastly in the teaching of the apostles” (Acts 2:42 YLT). So, what does that really mean in terms of specific beliefs? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Declaración de las Doctrinas de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. Here is a related link in Tagalog: Paglalahad ng Mga Paniniwala ng Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. Here is a related link in Kiswahili: KATIKA LUGHA YA KISWAHILI.

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