Exit and Support Network

Finally Free From Bondage

It has taken me a lot of courage to speak out concerning what I have endured as a child survivor of the Worldwide Church of God and then as an adult survivor of the Philadelphia Church of God. All my life I have had this belief that we must keep the old covenant in order to make it into the Kingdom of God. I have just come to realize it is a big fat lie. What we were taught (frightened into believing) was completely unnecessary.

I was in the WCG most of my childhood and grew up with the brutal and unnecessary spankings and pressure to be quieted in services. I saw a child once get hit for making an innocent noise. If you dropped a pen in the hall you'd be in trouble, too. I knew what it was like to be an outsider even though we were supposed to be "God's Family" to the world. We were shunned because of our ridiculous, unnecessary beliefs.

When my parents came out of the WCG (after it changed) and then found the PCG, I went along too as I knew no other law. I was baptized when I wasn't ready, but I did it because I was under the impression that if I did I "belonged" to the church and I (and my husband, too, who was not in PCG), would be protected and given the green light to the "place of safety" when the time came to flee. That was my main drive to be baptized, not because I wanted to give my life100% to Jesus. That wasn't the message they were batting out. It was so you could be saved eternally because this was the only "true church."

So I was baptized, but never in the entire time in the PCG did I receive the Holy Spirit (like I have come to know and love with a passion in these last few weeks). In fact, the baptism in PCG had no spiritual meaning to my life at all. I continued to sleep for another 5 years with this "church," never learning anything from the Bible and only when I did, it was enforced by the PCG and not by Scripture. It was what they wanted to re-enforce that they said we should be keeping, or doing; i. e., the makeup laws, length of skirts (they aren't in the Bible), and children being subjected to suits! Full dressed suits in summertime in 90° heat! Tell me where in the Bible does it tell you to do that? It just says dress modestly and with respect when you're at services.

Then there were the changes in doctrines to suit the ministers and the rewriting and re-changing of HWA's supposed "gospel words" which were given by the Almighty. Flurry even started "rewriting" some of Herbert Armstrong's books, leaving out certain things, and putting his name on them. That was my first wake up call. The last days turned to the "last hour" scream, putting nothing but man-made fear into us. Then the final straw came when the ministry refused to pray for my child to be protected whilst he was on the operating table for a life saving operation and which obviously God had not chosen to heal at this time in his life. Their answer was since I was allowing man to intervene it meant I did not really trust God to heal my child; therefore "God would be hands off." What a cruel thing to say to a mother who has no choice but to place her child in "man's hands" for medical intervention. That was it for me. Well, my child came through that operation sailing. In fact, he recovered better than ever and is still going great now. My faith was 100% in God that He was going to be very hands on!

So that was it. I felt a sense of freedom when I gave my resignation to PCG. Why? Because I found Jesus, not man in the Bible. I no longer interpreted the Bible nor allowed man to interpret it to me, because God interpreted the Bible to me. I stopped listening to man and starting listening to God and He gave me the truth! "The truth shall set you free." There is nothing more truthful than that statement! None of the Scriptures made sense whilst I was listening to man in that "church," not until I stepped out and said, "Just help me, God. I don't know what to believe. Open my eyes and let me see the truth." I don't think my eyes can get any wider or they'll burst!

I like singing gospel music (which in the PCG would have been considered evil and therefore not allowed). I now attend a church that is free from bondage, full of Spirit filled people that actually care about you, and I found Jesus there. Nothing is ever going to rob me of that utter joy again!

Two Sundays ago I was re-baptized. This time there was joy on my face of really giving my life to Jesus and knowing that His Spirit finally dwelled in me. When I walked away, Jesus walked with me! I can't say that ever happened in the PCG. Thanks again for this supportive website. I am finally free from the PCG!

By Michelle - Child survivor of WCG/former member of PCG
November 1, 2005


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