PCG’s 2010 Feast At Kalahari

Philadelphia Trumpet, December 2010


A while back someone forwarded me a letter titled 2010 Feast At Kalahari.  Yesterday, the author granted me permission to post it:

Feast or Beast    “2010 Feast At Kalahari”

What a happy time!!! Looking forward to the Feast of Tabernacles. A whole year of saving and planning for the most joyous of God’s holy days. The gathering of all His people. My husband and I made our preparations, sent in our reservations and received our confirmation. We were so happy looking forward to the feast at the Kalahari Resort.

Our plane ride went smoothly even though I am afraid of flying. I had faith all would be well. We checked in to our lovely room at this beautiful resort with so much to offer. We could hardly wait to receive our badges so we could attend opening services. Then it happened without warning; not a single word before the feast up until the time we walked to the badge table!!

My husband gave his name and he was asked if he had duties, he very politely said no one had assigned him to any, then the unsmiling women at the table very coldly said “you will have to wait a half hour”. We politely said thank you and left although we had arrived at the time assigned in the feast brochure. Approximately one hour later we returned, my dear husband gave his name and received his badge, he then gave my name. A cold chill ran through me for I don’t know why but I soon found out, the man looked at his list and very coldly said “your name is not on it, there is no badge for you.”

My husband said “that can’t be so, I always send our names together; we always attend the feast together”.  The man pointed to another man at the end of a long table and in a loud harsh voice while looking at me like I had sinned “go speak to that man”. At this point I started to feel ill inside, my health is not the best, we are not young so that was not the best way to be treated. We however walked what felt like a death march to the end of the table with a lot of unfriendly eyes glaring at us. When we approached the man at the end he asked in a stern gruff voice and no smile what the problem was. At this time I was visibly shaken but my husband explained what we needed and again looking through a list he said loud and rudely “your name is not here, no badge for you. Go to the business office and speak to officials there”.

While feeling like I had committed some awful crime, we again walked by the long table of glaring unsmiling feast goers to the office where the worst was yet to come. Never in my life did I expect to be treated so badly or so disrespectfully. Next I was greeted by four grey haired old ladies with pads in their hands sitting around a table; I guess they were judge and jury speaking for God the way they acted. They drilled me on weather I paid my tithes, if I obey the Sabbath and the Holy Days which I do. Next asking if I was baptized to which I explained that I was studying toward that goal; now however I may reconsider. Again they announced my name was not on the list and I was not welcome to attend any services and cast out like a dog.

Is this the way God wants His feast conducted? No notice before making expensive travel plans, no indication of feast changes, no love and warmth expressed, certainly no pleasant greetings. Only non church folks were pleasant. This experience left me so shaken I could not speak, feeling like a leper or the worst sinner on earth. But didn’t Christ welcome all who wanted to come to His table to hear His words, to receive His forgiveness? Would Christ approve of my treatment?

I am at a loss to explain what happened here; feeling only pain, rejection, embarrassment and loneliness.

A large sign was placed at the end of the hallway; I am sure it was meant for me; that read Convention Center for Meeting and Event Attendees Only, barring the way to the meeting hall. I passed it anyway hoping to be able to sit outside and maybe to hear some of the beautiful choir singing since my husband was inside and I insisted he attend; he was not cast out, only me. To my surprise there were guards stationed at all doors during the services.

What has happened to this glorious week which should bring such joy and unity; but for me a nightmare? All week I was avoided by the group called The Philadelphia Church of God’s

“Good people” just because I did not have a badge. No one even smiled or spoke to me!

I’ve had a full long week to live with this and think about the treatment of exile in my very expensive resort room at Kalahari. I’ll never be quite the same after this very trying experience. This rejection makes me ask, is it me or somewhere along the way did this group of people who started out on the right path led by Mr. Armstrong under Christ go astray. I find it hard to believe that if you believe in God and His word that you would hurt another human being as badly as I was hurt just trying to sit with my husband, hand in hand lovingly together as we have done at the feast for years, listening to beautiful music, inspiring sermons and fellowshipping.

I feel that our Almighty God the Father was looking down on this Feast of Tabernacles 2010 and said “I am sorry you did this; this is not what the feast is all about!!”

In a sense, there is little new in the above.  PCG has always had what I consider to have been extra-biblical requirements for attendance and membership.  Now, as I did not attend (nor try to attend) PCG’s Feast site, I cannot personally verify the details, so the above reflects the opinions of one woman (and may or may not accurately convey PCG’s intended handling of this type of matter elsewhere or with someone else–but I would also add that when I did run into some PCG members around the Feast in Tobago a few years back, they did smile and were cordial to me).

If the Jews in the New Testament times had similar attendance policies (which they, in a sense, did later adopt for a while), the Apostle Paul and others would not have been able to do the jobs that Jesus gave them to do.

I have always considered the so-called Philadelphia Church of God as misnamed as I never considered that it had Philadelphia love, but instead had Laodicean tendencies to have the wrong priorities.

PCG is, of course, entitled to make their own policies.  And since Laodicea essentially means “people decide”, PCG seems to be fulfilling that as certain of its requirements seem to be contrary to scripture.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include the following:

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.
What is a True Philadelphian? Many claim to be part of the Philadelphia era of the Church, but is claiming enough? This article has biblical and historical evidence about who really are the Philadelphians.
Are the Laodiceans the Modern Sadducees and Pharisees? Discusses similarities of the Sadducees and Pharisees to various COGs in this end-time.

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