Oh joy, another COGlet...
LCG and UCG can relax - at least for the moment - this time it's Gerry Flurry, imperious leader of the Philadelphia Church of God, and Robert Ardis, one of PCG's more colorful defectors, who are facing a Borg challenge. Frank Borg, to be specific. Exactly why the new splinter - Faithful Church of God in Laodicea - split off from the collective is hard to say, but it seems to be a fairly recent peeling away, perhaps just a few weeks prior to this year's Feast of Tabernacles. The new sect's two booklets (both by Frank) are dated 2009, and the website still seems to be a work in progress.
There are some who might say that Borg is an apt moniker for sects like PCG and Ardis' CGF, and the image of Gerry as "Borg Queen" does have a certain undeniable attraction. Here's Borg's take on the latest COG hemorrhage:
By 1997, it began to transpire that Mr. Flurry’s focus and commission had changed to again deliver the gospel message to the World – a commission that had already been completed by Mr. Armstrong (Matt. 24:14). Around this time God raised up another man, Mr. Robert Ardis, as leader of the Church of God’s Faithful (CGF) to head His Laodicean Work. God used Mr. Ardis to reveal a number of Truths including the deepening in understanding of the meaning of God’s Holy Days, and other vital teachings such as the fact that the Day of the Lord and the Day of the Lord’s Wrath are two separate events. To date, no other group has accepted these Biblical Truths. It became evident that, with Mr. Ardis as leader, the Laodicean candlestick was ignited and blessed with deeper understanding in a number of Biblical areas. However, Mr. Ardis also preached that the Day of the Lord came ‘as a thief in the night’ in October 1997. As time passed, the Laodicean characteristics outlined in Rev. 3:14-22 became increasingly evident in Mr. Ardis’ CGF, including a Laodicean attitude towards the Work of God (vs. 15). Among other things, by mid-August 2009, it became clear that the ‘Day of the Lord’ had not in fact occurred but was erroneously being preached. Biblical evidence proved that this momentous event is now about to occur and that an urgent warning message must go out to God’s people (Joel 1:15; 2:1). This vital information was immediately delivered to Mr. Ardis but was blatantly rejected (Hos. 4:6).
God seems to keep choosing the wrong blokes, regardless of whether their candlesticks are ignited. Maybe he should hire a consultancy firm.
Perhaps it's too much to hope that this group will be more of a thorn in the flesh to Gerry than most other Flurridian split-offs, but it does boast a mailing address in Edmond, OK., right on "that prophet"'s doorstep. Nasty!
Resistance, it seems, may not be futile after all.