PCG Responds to FOX 25

Gerald Flurry of the Philadelphia Church of God
Gerald Flurry


PCG took exception to the reporting of it on FOX 25 last week (this was covered here, please see PCG on the News) as what reported today:

Church responds to TV news report

Mark Schlachtenhaufen
The Edmond Sun…

During a Monday morning press conference on the Edmond campus, Stephen Flurry responded to what he called an attempt by the station to connect the PCG to the 51-day Waco siege, which ended on April 19, 1993, when dozens of people, including Davidian leader David Koresh, died in a fire.

“The one we took the greatest offense to was the connection that they tried to make between our church and what happened down in Waco, Texas, in 1993,” Stephen Flurry said.

He said in the report, FOX25 cited a letter written by an anonymous ex-member who noticed a change in Gerald Flurry’s thinking that took place in 1993, when he allegedly became more paranoid.

“This just so happened to be the same year that David Koresh had his confrontation with the FBI,” Stephen Flurry said. “To make that sort of dishonest and really illogical connection we feel like was just disgraceful, yellow journalism at its worst.”

He said the PCG felt it had to come out to say this is not the case, and anyone who is fair and objective, anyone who has seen the campus and the PCG’s work, knows the sincerity behind its actions.

Joe Spadea, FOX25 news director, said the station stands by Winkler’s work, which was based on “exhaustive” and objective investigative reporting. Spadea said the station would have been at the press conference if it had been notified in advance, and that it was not “shying away” from the event.

Stephen Flurry said the report, based on innuendo and aired during a ratings period, was geared toward increasing ratings, which would mean increased revenue for the station. The report was aimed at scaring Oklahoma City and Edmond residents about what the church is or is not doing, he said.

“To me, they’re the ones scaring people to get money,” Stephen Flurry said. “We don’t scare people to get money. Our people give voluntarily, and they give because they believe in this work.”

Regarding the financial giving, Stephen Flurry said the PCG has members who obey the “tithe command as we see it.”

Shane Granger, PCG marketing director, said the second tithe does not come to the church, but is saved by members for their own expenses and spiritual enjoyment attending biblical annual festivals.

The third tithe is contributed every third year, Granger said, and goes not into church operations, but for the support of its widows, orphans and poor, taking that burden off public tax rolls.

Granger said the Bible is clear that many people, not just church members, will survive the coming time of trouble. “We have never said otherwise,” he said.

Granger said the church took issue with the statement that police and the FBI investigated the PCG, but prosecutors have not charged the church with a crime.

While The Edmond Sun was not able to get a comment from the Oklahoma City FBI office by press time, Jessica Brown, spokeswoman for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, said the OSBI has not conducted a past or current investigation into the PCG.

Kevin Woodward, undersheriff with the Logan County Sheriff’s Office, which has legal jurisdiction over that area, said his office has not received any recent complaints about the PCG. But about a year ago, Woodward’s office conducted a “flyover” of the PCG campus, a preventative measure to see if everything was “on the up and up” and to be sure there would be no Waco-like incident here. http://www.edmondsun.com/homepage/local_story_337004953.html?keyword=leadpicturestory

As I mentioned before (PCG on the News), even though I believe that Gerald Flurry is a false leader (I do not accept his claim that he is a prophet), I believe that FOX 25 took some unfair shots at PCG.

However, perhaps I should also add that when someone on that newscast stated that tithing at PCG was voluntary (and it was not Stephen Flurry), that was inaccurate as I do not believe that those who have tithable income and do not tithe can be members in good standing with PCG.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Tithing Questions and Some Answers Addresses some non-biblical arguments against tithing. Should people tithe?
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 claims to be faithful.
There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God? This is an article for those who wish to more easily sort out the different COGs. It really should be a MUST READ for current and former WCG members or any interested in supporting the faithful church. It also explains a lot of what the COGs are all about.
Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them.

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