Monday, December 3, 2012

United Church of God: Income Continues Downward Spiral



Things are not rosy in the disUnited Church of God.  What was once seen as Armstrongism's best hope, has turned into a ruptured and fragmented irrelevant sect with an expensive office building complex and an infrastructure it is struggling to support.  The income level has dropped so dramatically that the new UCG Chairman, Robin Webber has sent out a pleading letter to the membership for more money.  Typical of Armstrongism, this is another letter letting the membership know that they should be sending in extra money because UCG is the greatest thing on earth.

UCG members got to experience the Feast at official UCG sites around the world.  These sites were funded, in part, by money from the Home Office.  Ministers sent by HQ preached at these sites and the membership should not forget that!  You experienced a great Feast because of UCG. Plus, since we are all one big happy family, you should be more than willing to open up your wallet.

Webber writes:

We have some very important matters to discus with you in this letter.

But first, we hope you had a very inspiring Feast of Tabernacles. As you will see in the November United News, we had an encouraging increase in attendance over last year. Many members commented to us about the peace, unity, and harmony they experienced–and we are very thankful to God for that.

This years Feast sermon video was titled,”Fitly Framed Together”. Our vision mirrors God’s desire of a Church led by His Holy Spirit, joined and knit together by what every member supplies, with all doing their share,and growing in love to fulfill God’s great purpose for humanity–to bring many children to glory (Eph. 4:16, Heb. 2:10)”
Now that Webber has the positive  back patting comments done with it is time to get to the meat of the letter.  Money!

But now we have a special request. As you may have heard, we recently asked all employees and ministers to cut back expenses from their already lean budgets. This was so we can continue to direct our God-given resources to to proclaiming the gospel and serving you.

Please remember brethren, our ministers are sacrificing their lives for YOUR benefit and it is YOUR duty to support them!  Our hard working employees are doing God's work in the world and they need your financial support too!  We are working sooooooooo hard.  Just look at us!


And that’s why today we’re asking you to make a special offering. Since the unnecessary upheaval of a couple years ago we have been tapping into our modest financial reserves to fund our gospel outreach, provide congregational care, and sustain important Church programs like our youth camps. The Churches income has been stable and we deeply thank you for your continued commitment and dedication. But we must find ways to cut expenses and raise income if we are to effectively continue the work of God.

Brethren, because you are withholding money, we are going to have to eliminate the youth camps!  It's all your fault.  If you would only give more money we would not have to hurt the children.  It will be on your shoulders when little Johnny is told that the summer camps have been done away with causing him to run off and join a gang.

The UCG membership are already funding the high lifestyles of the minister and Council of Elders.  These are "kept" men.  Men who have never worked an honest days worth of manual labor like the membership have been struggling within this economy.  High food prices, high gas prices, sky rocketing utilities, rising health care costs, and a failed economy, have hit the general membership hard.  The ministers not so much. They still make their full salaries. Not a single one has offer to take a large pay cut in order to save the summer camps.


If Webber and the rest of the Council want the members to step up to the plate then let the Council make the first move.  Take large pay cuts!  Reduce your income for the first time in your lives.  Get a real job.  Be MEN for once.  When will the COG 99% stop funding the 1% in the hierarchy?

30 comments:

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

No2HWA said, "If Webber and the rest of the Council want the members to step up to the plate then let the Council make the first more. Take large pay cuts! Reduce your income for the first time in your lives. Get a real job. Be MEN for once. When will the COG 99% stop funding the 1% in the hierarchy? "

MY COMMENT - Standing Ovation!!!!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Webber is already off to a "wonderful" start as President of UCG. The Feast offerings have been counted and should have been a BIG boost to "The Work". Now, instead of reducing expenses...he and others in the UCG leadership want more of the members hard-earned income. I don't know what Feast he and the others that supposedly comment on how great and unified this Feast was, but it was anything but that where we were. The main attitudes we saw were lack of joy, anger, and self-righteousness. All very fitting to this corrupt organization. They lost our money and it looks like many others have seen the light.

Douglas Becker said...

The Churches income has been stable and we deeply thank you for your continued commitment and dedication. But we must find ways to cut expenses and raise income if we are to effectively continue the work of God.

The income has been stable.

There is no crisis, there is no emergency: The income has been stable.

Oh sure, prices have gone up a bit, but the salaries are about the same (and that picture may be somewhat better with the ouster of the former president), but the income has been stable.

So it's time to panic!

Time to cut back!

Time to demand MORE!

I don't get it.

Oh, wait... it's Robin Webber.

Douglas Becker said...

Prepare to lower your standard of living!

Now where have we heard that before?

Oh, now I remember.

Every time Herbert Armstrong went on a spending spree.

And the principle is as true now as it was then: Members -- tighten your belts, because we're just about to loosen ours (in spite of protests to the contrary).

[It should be fun to follow the adventures of Victor Kubic as he goes forth in his travels to convert Middle Eastern European descendants who have been keeping the Sabbath for centuries to lure them into keeping the Feasts... and into British Israelism -- and they can all sing Kumbaya as they join with United to provide even more stable money for the UCG coffers. As my friend, Alan Knight, told me: The support for keeping the Feasts for Christians in the New Testament is weak. Maybe it's time for an eschalogical overhaul, seeing that God is not abundantly blessing United and they want to take the curse to others, it seems.]

If I seem harsh consider the lies United is wallowing in. They know very well their church history is a fraud. All you have to do is check out "Daughter of Babylon" by Bruce Renehan over at AmbassadorReports.com for the proof that they all know church history is bogus. Yet they continue to lie.

If they really believe Revelation (are they atheists?), they would know that if they don't stop lying and don't quit being false prophets that they will burn.

Wait!

I get it!

They lie to you and then take your money!

Steve Kisack said...

Sounds like a Herbie "co-worker"("money") letter."Mr Rader, Mr Portune and I....I beat Mr Rader to the bank to start this plan going...Gawd's work needs IMMEDIATE CASH...Gawd's work SERIOUSLY NEEDS MONEY! The most serious crisis since 1947 and 1948...A number of brethren came to the aid of the WORK then with from $1,000 to several thousand each(In 1947??suckers!). Can we do as well proportionately today?". My god! Wake up, people!

Anonymous said...

Robin Webber does not live in the lap of luxury. His house is a plain track home, in a very average to low average neighborhood.

He drives an old beat up Toyota Corolla, with a dent in the fender.

He does not wear designer suits, nor owns fancy expensive things. He is a humble man.

He pastors FOUR far flung congregations, writes for the Good News magazine, AND serves as the Chairman for a multimillion dollar corporation.

He works 12 hour days, and does not receive a retirement benefit, nor a salary that is any where near equivalent compensation for the work title in the normal corporate world.

There may have been extravagance once upon a time in the WCG with HWA , but to describe Robin Webber or any of the UCG council as living as such currently is simply ridiculous.

I wouldnt take the job. Pays too low.

Douglas Becker said...

I thought the Chairman of the Board got around $100,000 per year.

Does anyone really know the salary grid?

Given the usefulness of the eschatology, an all volunteer organization would seem appropriate.

Anonymous said...

I've heard the UCG ministers still get the full WCG salary - now $80,000. And their Leaders are paying themselves well into the six-figures.

Repeated requests to their headquarters to provide data on executive and minister's salaries are not responded to (of course!)

Anonymous said...

The lead up to the UCG-COGWA split were all about the money.

When the guys like Vic Kubik and Darris McNeeley finally built a large enough coalition on the council, the bloodletting began. The normal abusive tactics usually reserved for slaves were turned on each other. Back in WCG, Vic Kubik learned how that you can manufacture reasons to fire people if you treat them badly along with unilateral demands to submit. Slave might comply, but whip crackers and slave masters are used to special VIP treatment and they take the bait every time.

So they got rid of about 1 million in international subsidies per year and about 8 million (80K x 100 masters) in salaries I guess. They must have miscalculated on the number of slaves that would escape their plantation though. Income must have dropped more than 9 million per year. Now they can't afford their big-budget marketing schemes to lure new slaves into the deserted cotton fields?

Send more cotton! (The green kind.)

Byker Bob said...

You have to wonder what would happen if the leadership concept of being inspiring enough, or doing an inspiring enough work, and letting those things cause people to want to contribute were implimented, rather than whining, and begging for money.

You also have to wonder about members, or the organization being blessed by God, and trusting Him rather than constantly whining and begging for money.

I'm just glad that the non-ACOG church I attend understands these principles, and is actually growing as a result.

This is another area in which the splinters have a bad hangover from their original influence. Some lessons are difficult to learn, and some are seemingly never learned.

BB

Anonymous said...


The only reason the UCG got anyone at all is that the WCG totally blew apart after almost a decade of JWT's doctrinal changes which ended in him turning against everything that HWA had ever taught. Some people from the WCG landed in the UCG. The UCG started off with high hopes in 1995, but since then it has done nothing but split and splinter and decline. There has been a steady stream of decent people either leaving, or getting expelled from, the UCG while unrepentant, unconverted perverts have been welcomed in. For whatever reason, this is the UCG way.

The UCG would like to give the impression that good people go there. More likely, any decent people just go home and stay home. An honest look at the local UCG congregation reveals that some of the greediest, sexually immoral, dishonest, abusive, slanderous people from the WCG ended up in the UCG. The "upheaval" [UCG-COGWA church split] of a couple years ago does not seem to have been "unnecessary" at all.

The best outcome by far that one could reasonably hope for would be for the UCG's income to decline enough that they cannot afford any more of their false advertising to try to ensnare any more people. The abuse that people would receive in the UCG might be one reason that God is not going to bless that mess.

Perhaps the UCG is the Laodicean era of the church that HWA predicted would come. That would explain the unreasonably bad behavior of the people in the UCG, and why Jesus will puke it out according to Revelation. Or, maybe the UCG has nothing at all to do with Bible prophecy. Maybe the incorrigibly wicked behavior of people in the UCG exists because they just simply are a bunch of rotten, lying, degenerates.

Anonymous said...

So, what are you saying, Anon? In your opinion, is the independent (Ron Dart) livingroom churches of God the way to go?

Anonymous said...

Another interpretation is that anon is saying that good people realize that people who go to churches become corrupted by the bad company, and wise people avoid bad company. They stay home. Or maybe they go out and have a nice relaxing brunch on a Saturday morning before heading to the beach. Much better company all-around.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:33 says, "Or, maybe the UCG has nothing at all to do with Bible prophecy."

Let me turn that around this way: Bible prophecy has nothing at all to do with the UCG, or with anything else in the real world.


Anon 5:28, in connection with avoiding Sabbath services, you use the phrase, "Much better company all around."

So you agree with Mark Twain's opinion of religious companionship? "Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company."

Me too.

Therrit Stans

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...
"So, what are you saying, Anon? In your opinion, is the independent (Ron Dart) livingroom churches of God the way to go?"



Livingroom COG?

Heck NO!

Try Bedroom COG.

Stay in bed and get some rest on the Sabbath like you ought to. Skip the heresy, slander, abuse, and stress in the COGs.





Anonymous said...

A comment on Anon: December 3, 2012 4:33 PM
I am not associated with UCG or any other WCG splits, but I know a lot of the people who are members or at least attend their services. The accusations that this person made are totally unjustified. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t problems not does it mean that I support any unjust or corrupt behavior. Any civilized individual will recognize that the bulk of people in any group such as these are no different than the world around it. To make such blanket statements reveals a nature that is as corrupt as those being accused of the corruption mentioned.

Anonymous said...


I checked out the various larger COGs and learned the truth about them the long, hard, expensive way. To be honest, it was probably necessary for me. Frankly, if someone had merely told me how corrupt and degenerate the larger splinter groups are, I probably would not have believed it.

The people in the splinter groups were supposed to be the true Christians with the Holy Spirit who were holding onto the truth of God that they had been taught by HWA. Instead, many of them act like outright perverts with evil spirits who are getting into endless heresy and bad and malicious personal conduct.

I still believe in God and the Bible, but the COG scene today is an absolute disaster. God is allowing it, at least for now, and I see no human solution to the problems. The fact that people who supposedly have, or at least once had, the truth of God are behaving so perversely that they really do deserve to go into a Great Tribulation makes me remember HWA's theory that a Laodicean era was to come.




Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...
"I am not associated with UCG or any other WCG splits, but I know a lot of the people who are members or at least attend their services. The accusations that this person made are totally unjustified. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t problems not does it mean that I support any unjust or corrupt behavior. Any civilized individual will recognize that the bulk of people in any group such as these are no different than the world around it. To make such blanket statements reveals a nature that is as corrupt as those being accused of the corruption mentioned."



Be of good cheer anonymous, not associated, non-member of UCG. There is a cure for your type. What is left of the UCG after about half of its U.S. ministers left a couple years ago would now like some more money from those who remain. Step up with your wallet and help them if you wish.

Don't just write the usual boring words of emptiness that the ignorant think are so reasonable and clever. Go to the UCG. Hand over some money. Learn the truth before you write any more untruths.



Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

A comment on Anon: December 3, 2012 4:33 PM
I am not associated with UCG or any other WCG splits, but I know a lot of the people who are members or at least attend their services. The accusations that this person made are totally unjustified. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t problems not does it mean that I support any unjust or corrupt behavior. Any civilized individual will recognize that the bulk of people in any group such as these are no different than the world around it. To make such blanket statements reveals a nature that is as corrupt as those being accused of the corruption mentioned.


Not any civilized individual. An informed, rational, civilized individual will not make such assumptions at face value.

Scientific studies reveal an inverse relationship between professing morality and exhibiting moral behavior. Makes a lot of sense. Sermons/"fellowship" are talk, and talk is cheap. I guess you've forgotten Melvin Rhodes already?

Anonymous said...

An Anon comment: ”The UCG would like to give the impression that good people go there. More likely, any decent people just go home and stay home. An honest look at the local UCG congregation reveals that some of the greediest, sexually immoral, dishonest, abusive, slanderous people from the WCG ended up in the UCG. The "upheaval" [UCG-COGWA church split] of a couple years ago does not seem to have been "unnecessary" at all.”
My comment: I do not know which local congregation this person is referring to, but I suspect all congregations have at least a few contented sane people that are responsible citizens in the communities where they live. They may even have high moral standards with peaceful enjoyable family and community relationships that are examples of what human life should be.
I doubt those expressing the anger, animosity, and bitterness they experience will have a great deal of creditability, especially when the focus seems to be on the love of money.
Of course I could be wrong.

Douglas Becker said...

Not seeing much evidence of God in the UCG: One would expect to see the fruit of the Spirit and stability -- just not seeing it.

Byker Bob said...

Theme song for the ACOGs: The Jeff Beck Group's cover of an old Freddie King song, "Goin' Down"

The words? "Goin down! Down, down, down, down, down! Got my big feet in the window, and my head is hangin' down!"

BB

Assistant Deacon said...

"Perhaps the UCG is the Laodicean era of the church that HWA predicted would come."

Is this supposed to be a humor site, and I've just been missing it?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...
"Any civilized individual will recognize that the bulk of people in any group such as these are no different than the world around it."



Obviously you are not familiar with COG theology. The church people are supposed to be different than the world. The problem with the UCG is that it is the same as the world.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...
"To make such blanket statements reveals a nature that is as corrupt as those being accused of the corruption mentioned."



I suppose that in your worldview there cannot be any "whistleblowers." If anyone says anything about what is going on, you will have a knee-jerk reaction and say that they are just as corrupt as those they expose.

I won't get on your case too seriously since it appears obvious that you just do not know what is happening.

The COG idea about the Laodicean era is that Jesus said, "You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked" (Revelation 3:17, NIV).

Of course, your type would accuse Jesus of being as bad as the things he accused others of in his blanket statement.


Anonymous said...

A personal comment:
It is difficult to make comments here due to differences in beliefs. Some comments I make are due to a concern regarding changes that have a negative influence on how people relate to other people. I personally believe that human relationships play a major role in the development of families and communities that will reflect the desired perfection in our human existence.

Right now the whole world appears to be “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked". Experience has taught me that it doesn’t help to tell a fat person they are fat. If they do not already know it; telling the person does little good and broadcasting it only makes a bad situation worse. I will admit that I do not have first hand information regarding all of the problems that exist in religious organizations, but as I pointed out I am well aware of the human nature problems.

One thing that seems to be overlooked is the fact that we are not qualified to make a judgment on other peoples internal condition and while external behavior may be a strong indicator the needed internal transformation is up to God or the individual. Specific corruption, abuse, and the like must be addressed at the level of its existence and not through blanket accusations.

I believe there should be a stronger effort to improve education regarding what is acceptable behavior and instruction on the right procedures for instructing our children and those who would receptive.

I am not sure what blanket statement Jesus made you refer to, but it must be realized that Jesus was not an imperfect man telling other imperfect people their problems. In fact he voluntarily took upon Himself all of the bad things done by other people enabling them to be freed of the penalty these bad things create. At least that is the biblical story.

If I have offended someone it wasn’t intentionally. I am still working at improving my communication in these comments.

Anonymous said...


"Specific corruption, abuse, and the like must be addressed at the level of its existence and not through blanket accusations."


The corruption, abuse, and the like in the UCG IS being addressed at the level of its existence.

It is WIDESPREAD, MULTI-LEVEL corruption, abuse, and the like, from many at the bottom of the UCG all the way up to the Council of Evil members at the top who support it.

That is why the UCG has been in decline from shortly after its beginning in 1995 and will continue to decline.

The problems with the people in the UCG are so serious and so severe that there is no hope for it.

For an indication of what the current leaders in the UCG will do to it, just look at what some of these very same people did to the WCG when they were in it under JWT. Many of the problems in the UCG are there specifically because that is exactly what the current leaders of the UCG actually want.



Anonymous said...

Thanks anon 5:27, your concern is duly noted, as are your kid-gloves.

To respond in like manner, thanks for telling us we're fat. We already knew you thought that. It's okay though, we think you're fat too. But please don't take that in the wrong way, because that would make me feel sad.

More to the point, in a nice way, you're trying to tell us that we have no right to draw any conclusions as to the "holy" mess that we came out of (Armstrongism) let alone speak them, and so please shut up and go away, but in the nicest possible way. Maybe we would prefer to appear fat to you, however strange that might seem.

A previous anon post cited Rev 3:17 in reference to the Laodiceans, but the gospels record many blanket accusations attributed to Jesus leveled at the Jewish authorities of his day. Your attempt to plead ignorance is kind of silly, no? Anyway, following your logic, if, back in Jesus' day, pissed off Joe Schlomo made a blanket condemnation of the Pharisees for their "corruption, abuse, and the like" on Thursday it was a sin. But if Jesus came along on Friday and said the same thing, *word for word* well then that would have been okay. This is called an ad hominem argument, and they are neither legitimate nor helpful.

Moving on, you've concluded that every blanket judgment that people attribute to Jesus was perfect, but every blanket judgment that anyone else might make is a sin. Aren't these just two blanket judgments of your own design? Your injunction against blanket judgments probably doesn't apply to you though. Is this hypocrisy? Would it be okay if I made a "specific" judgment here and said that it was? No? Aww. Now I feel sad.

Please can I make one concluding remark? No? Tough, I will anyway. When you say, "the desired perfection in our human existence" recognize that "perfection in our human existence" is an oxymoronic thing to say. Also, recognize that there might be people who do not "desire" that because they value their sanity more than an ancient anthology of short fiction and poetry, however strange that might seem.

Assistant Deacon said...

"Right now the whole world appears to be 'wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.'"

If we were to take off our gloom-and-doom-colored glasses, we might see the world a little differently:

Assistant Deacon said...

Sorry, here's the link, for some reason it wouldn't take the html code:

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/11/24/opinion/johnson-progress-overlooked/index.html?iid=article_sidebar