PCG: Non-Contact Policy & Gerald Flurry Marking


Many have asked me about PCG’s cold harsh policy about contact with those that it considers to be Laodicean.

I received an email from from one who asked stated, for the purpose of this post, “identify me as Adrian D., a deacon with a young family that served the Milton, Ontario congregation”.  He provided me his last name at my request and I have not posted it at his request.  He is not with LCG and considers himself to be “independent” at this time.

He titled his report “Reign of Error”.  Since I am more concerned about the policy issue (as opposed to how PCG internally handles dissenting views of its members) and Adrian reported quite a bit, I am posting below his opinions of what happened from some of his Prologue, a July 2007 letter, and part of his resignation letter today as follows: 


In December, 2005, Gerald Flurry, Pastor General of the Philadelphia Church of God (PCG), issued a surprising edict to all PCG members (see appendix) – they must immediately cut off relationships with all friends and family members who are or were members of the PCG’s parent church, the Worldwide Church of God (WCG), but who have not become members of the PCG. (The WCG was founded by the late Herbert W. Armstrong.) Gerald Flurry labels these people “Laodicean” based on his interpretation of Revelation 3:14-21…

My original study, dated December 2006, was submitted to the local minister, Fred Dattolo. In formulating a response, he sought the assistance of the Regional Director, Wayne Turgeon. Wayne Turgeon, in turn, sought the assistance of a number of other unidentified ministers and/or students to assist in the PCG’s official response. Their response was finally presented to me at the end of May, 2007. The reasoning presented in their official response was unsound and unscriptural. As the Regional Director was unable to provide an adequate answer to my question, in July 2007, I wrote directly to Gerald Flurry pointing out the problems in the reasoning and asking for clarification. I was told by Wayne Turgeon that I had “jumped the order” and that he would redirect my letter back down to Fred Dattolo and if he could not address it, only then would Wayne Turgeon forward it to Gerald Flurry. I reminded him that this was the same question I originally asked in December 2006, which both he and the local minister were unable to adequately answer. Within a week of submitting this letter requesting clarification, I was publicly suspended. (Suspension is supposed to be a private matter to allow an individual to sort through a personal problem without his or her reputation being tarnished.) Shortly after my public suspension, I was told …

I would not be permitted to attend the Feast of Tabernacles (an annual festival which all Church of God members attend in accordance with Leviticus 23:34)…

During the nine-month long process of trying to get an answer from the PCG ministry to a very simple question, I kept my question in the strictest confidence. I told no member in the PCG of these letters or the issue I had with Gerald Flurry’s ruling. On August 11th, 2007, I was publicly suspended for the question I raised. I interpret this public action as the PCG’s willingness to allow our conversation to continue in the public arena.


Adrian D.
Former member of the Philadelphia Church of God mailto:adriand070707@gmail.com

Clarification letter of July 7, 2007:

Mr. Gerald Flurry
Pastor General
Philadelphia Church of God
PO Box 3700
Edmond, Oklahoma
USA 73083

Dear Mr. Flurry:

Re: Policy to Cut Off Laodicean Parents

I am writing directly to you as it is clear to me that in responding to my Bible study, dated December 2006, strenuous efforts were made by the multiple authors to maintain anonymity. I am aware that, even though: i) the response was on blank paper rather than Philadelphia Church of God (PCG) letterhead; ii) the response was not signed by anyone; and iii) the response never references anyone by name; no correspondence of this nature would be released without your direct knowledge, participation and approval. I shall respect the desire for anonymity throughout this letter by referring to “the authors of the letter”, “one of the authors of the letter” and/or “the local minister”.

Based upon my review of your letter and my discussion with the local minister on May 30th,2007, I understand the Church’s official response to my question regarding your policy and the 5th commandment to be:

1. “Mr. Armstrong’s April 1980 Good News article entitled ‘When One is Disfellowshipped, Which Family Comes First’ is the bedrock of the policy not Matthew 10”.

2. “The key to the ruling is that Laodiceans have chosen to disfellowship themselves from the one true Church”;

3. “All Laodicean brethren choose not to fellowship with the PCG, consequently, they are demonstrating that
a. they don’t care about the truth and/or
b. they have a fundamental disagreement with the PCG”;

4. “If they are not supporting God’s man, they are in rebellion against God’s government”;

5. “Parents are not exempt from the decision to cut off people in rebellion against God’s government”;

6. The policy, “while it may cause pain, does not cause harm” and therefore does not violate God’s direction in Matthew 10:16 to be as harmless as a dove;

7. “The goal of the policy is not to coerce people into the PCG but to protect God’s sheep from Laodiceans”;

8. “Mr. Flurry has more of the Spirit than anyone else and thousands of people are praying for him. Therefore, we should have the faith to trust God’s government to do what is right”;

9. “Logic is subject to interpretation and so cannot be relied upon.”

10. I should “see the possibility that this might be right and just obey it”…

I am still open to being shown, from the scriptures with sound reasoning, how this policy does not violate God’s Law.

In Christian love and with all due respect,

Adrian D.

Resignation letter of 9/11/07:

Mr. Gerald Flurry
Pastor General
Philadelphia Church of God
PO Box 3700
Edmond, Oklahoma
USA 73083

Dear Mr. Flurry:

Re: Resignation from PCG

It has been one month since my suspension on August 11th, and it is clear to me from Mr. Fred Dattolo’s September 7th email barring me and my family from attending the upcoming Holy Day services, that my suspension is of an indefinite duration. I am also aware that local ministers do not have the authority to make such decisions. Suspending me for asking a question that you and your ministers are unable and/or unwilling to answer and then preventing me and my young family from attending the upcoming Holy Day services as a result of your inability is beyond hypocritical, it is indefensible…

I know it is discomforting for you that I will not accept intimidation or sloppy, unscriptural reasoning from you or your ministers…

As a deacon, I have worked closely enough with the ministry over the years to be fully aware that…he is paid to defend your opinions. In this email, he stated that I “disagree on a fundamental doctrine of the PCG, with its leader and with the brethren—a doctrine that has been thoroughly vetted and substantiated from the Scriptures.”

Clearly, he is confused. First, your policy is not a fundamental doctrine. The foundational doctrines of the PCG were established prior to your security crackdown. Second, it has not been thoroughly vetted and substantiated from the scriptures. That’s the whole point of the exchange we’ve had and that you have struggled with for the past nine months. You have been unable to substantiate your position with God’s word… 

You are troubling the church by reigning with the error of Jeroboam and forcing God’s people to forsake His law. You have said repeatedly that we must test our leaders. Through this nine month process, I have tested you and found you wanting. You are long on coercion and short on scriptural reason…

In conclusion, to suspend me for asking a legitimate question, which you and your ministers struggle to answer, is beyond the pale. It reveals an underlying attitude of complete disrespect for God’s word and God’s people. As a result of this nine-month process, I am deeply disappointed in you and I have lost respect for you.

Rom 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

In accordance with Rom 16:17, it is my unfortunate duty to mark you as one which causes divisions (dichostasia) and offences contrary to the doctrine which I have learned. Please remove me from your membership list and all your subscription lists (i.e., The Philadelphia Trumpet, The Philadelphia News and the Royal Vision). I want nothing to do with the corruption that I have witnessed firsthand. I leave you with a final thought from Sir Winston Churchill:

“The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”


Adrian D.

Comments by COGwriter:

I could have told Adrian that he would ultimately be suspended by PCG for doing what he did as there is not proper scriptural justification for PCG’s harsh policy.  But of course, if he would have contacted me prior to his departure from PCG they may have put him out for that.

I do not know all the details about what happened.  I did contact Fred Dattalo who, while confirming the basic information (Adrian had problems with a PCG doctrine, objected to it, did not agree with how it was handled, and left PCG), he did not agree with how Adrian portrayed the specifics (he essentially seems to believe that PCG exercised proper concern, discretion, and governance in handling this and that Adrian has not).

For the record, Fred Dattalo told me the following concerning Adrian D’s Reign of Error packet (which I forwarded to him):

I’m not surprised by how you’ve chosen to portray Adrian’s submission and my response. However, since I spent an inordinate amount of time explaining this to you in detail, I would think, that in the interest of “accuracy,” since you are mentioning that you contacted me, you could at least add a couple very basic things…

Almost every time he quotes me, my words, as I said before, are distorted, twisted or recast in a different context. Consequently, a different understanding emerges—one that is dishonest. And by the way, I’m not saying he does all of this with malice aforethought…

And by the way, he was not suspended for asking questions about the Laodicean policy. As he himself admitted, he first submitted his questions eight months before he was suspended. So, how “accurate” and fair-minded are you going to be?

In response to Fred Dattalo’s comments to me, Adrian D. responded with the following:

I find it amusing that Fred Dattolo got permission from the highest levels in the PCG to break their own ruling and spend an ‘inordinate amount of time” conversing with you in detail. They are obviously running scared now that they’ve been exposed.  During my exchange with him, he never said anything was twisted or dishonest…

If they are so concerned about being quoted in context and “accuracy”, they should publish the anonymous letter, authored by multiple people, that Fred Dattolo read to me, but would not allow me to keep or take ‘verbatim’ notes on. That way, everything will be ‘in context’ and everyone can judge for themselves. To do otherwise is disingenuous.

More Comments by COGwriter: 

Irrespective of the details in handling this particular case, the fact is that I believe that PCG often abuses authority and has many teachings that are beyond (and in several cases in contradiction) of what the Bible teaches or even allows. 

I, of course, do not believe that PCG is part of the Philadelphia portion of the Church of God (an article of related interest may include Are the Laodiceans the Modern Sadducees and Pharisees?).

I do, however, specifically agree with Adrian that PCG’s non-contact policy is unbiblical, is in contradiction to the teachings of the old WCG, and is simply not nice.  However, as Adrian has learned, explaining this to PCG’s leadership will not change their position. 

The following seem to be the main points in Adrian’s “Reign of Error”document (contact him directly if you want the document itself and PCG if you wish to hear their side):

1. What PCG’s policy actually is (the announced policy is available as a pdf link to PCG’s Non-Contact policy ).

2. That PCG’s policy is wrong.

3. That Adrian told PCG why he thought the policy was wrong.

4. PCG offered no real biblical proof that Adrian was wrong.

5. PCG suspended Adrian basically because they had no scriptural response.

6. PCG still feels that their policy is right.

7. PCG still has offered no legitimate biblical explanation for their policy.

Those who wish to see a pdf of PCG’s original December 2005 announcement of this odd policy can click on the following PCG’s Non-Contact Policy from its Pastor General’s Report.

While I believe that PCG’s policy has hurt PCG and made some of its non-biblical doctrines apparent to those within it that were unable to see it before, at this time I see no indication that PCG leaders view it that way.  The PCG approach to this and many other doctrines is simply opposed to biblical COG teachings.

Those truly interested in the truth about PCG’s teachings should see the pdf link to PCG’s Non-Contact policy as well as read the article Teachings Unique to the Philadelphia Church of God.

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