Silenced has an excellent post today on the desire of the Churches of God to live on the "fringe" while trying to maintain an air of respectability. Silenced looks at UCG's recent attempt to try and be hip and cool with a series of videos trying to make God cool. UCG is trying to imitate the successful series of videos and books by Rob Bell called NOOMA over the last few years. UCG cannot even come close.
Silenced is correct in calling UCG's video's "Trojan Horses" as they try to infiltrate mainstream Christianity. Their videos may look harmless on the surface, but it's the deadly message inside the horse that is going to cause problems.
Living on that lonely edge has deterred growth, the COG withering on a vine of its own planting as it continues to promote a closed culture of control and unorthodoxy for its own sake. COG attempts to distinguish itself from the packs of other doomsday followings haven’t made the church stronger or more recognizable, nor has it added power to its message or microphone. Instead, the COG is left to dwell in obscurity even while trying to pour more money into its media projects. What most COG groups don’t seem to understand is that growth problems aren’t rooted in a lack of money and resources, things it constantly tries to hustle from its members for bigger and better toys. Rather, its message isn’t gaining popularity or recognition because it continues to embrace HWA’s legacy of rejecting the mainstream in a world it’s trying to warn.
In short, the cult’s message just isn’t inherently appealing to most and it hasn’t figured out a way to package fringe beliefs in more publicly-palatable packaging. COG tactics are outmoded and obsolete in the digital age, its words don’t resonate with the current generation and it simply comes across as insane.
Take UCG’s recent series of short clips, including the infamous Sand and Drive. These were attempts to flirt with mainstream Christian imagery and messages as a Trojan horse for its more unorthodox teachings.Read their excellent entry here: Packaging the Fringe