Sunday, January 11, 2015

United Church of God In All Its Awesome Glory....



The Church of God splinter group based in Cincinnati Ohio loves to present itself as a dynamic growing church that is bringing in untold masses of new members who have never heard of Herbert Armstrong.  Expensive advertising campaigns are promoted as "spreading the gospel message" to the world that is an outstanding success.

The picture below is of one of those enormous congregations.  The person who posted this says: 
 "This is a real photo of a UCG meeting place. A UCG member says "Such an inspirational meeting hall, from the carpet upward."

Double click to enlarge to all of its awesome glory!

Um....since when did carpets become inspirational? Somehow I do not see anything about this picture as "inspirational."  Am I missing something????  Depressing and sad is more like it!

17 comments:

Connie Schmidt said...

In all fairness, the city that this is printed from is not listed. If it is from a major metro, then that would be depressing, but if it were from say, Bangor Maine, then it is reasonable that it would be a small group. After all, the first century church were almost exclusively small house churches.

What city/congregation is this from?

Anonymous said...

Maybe those are the inspirational carpets that have inspired church leaders to maintain and support stalkers and sexual predators within their ranks.

Anonymous said...

We need a new Jelly song about this.

Silence said...

Such a small congregation, even smaller than Holladay's "20-30 people" description of many UCG congregations. There are 16 people in frame, including the song leader. This has to be in a really remote area.

Anonymous said...

It is inspirational that any few are willing to carry on.
Wherever 2 or more of you are gathered together, Christ is in the midst.
Little flocks are not to be dissed bro.

Byker Bob said...

Actually, that hall is reminiscent of several of the places in which my family attended during the 1960s. Pretty much your standard issue hotel meeting room. I suppose that if there is anyone out there who still finds rubber chicken appetizing, then a room in which business people are typically served this might be inspiring as well.

So far as my own personal faves go, probably the Pasadena Civic Auditorium was the most inspiring. The bullshit factor surrounding Herbie's Last Erection (the current Maranatha Auditorium) really spoiled that for me. HWA never thought the "dumb sheep" were of sufficient culture to enjoy it. So, he would invite only the beautiful and cultured people to the events. The one story regarding its history that I fondly remember is that when Lucille Ball was told that there was no smoking allowed, she flashed a withering sneer, dropped her cigarette on the carpet, and crushed it out with her high heels. The takeaway for Herbie is that none of his sheep would ever, ever have done that!

BB

Anonymous said...

We're not dissing the little flocks, bro.

We're praising those thousands who've had the courage to GTFO, the schisms and splits that have divided a few wealthier splinters with larger congregations into many weaker splinters with tiny congregations, and the bad leadership that ultimately makes the end of a bad thing called Armstrongism possible.

As for the big j.c., well, I have some healthy skepticism he's any more real than Apollo and his oracle at Delphi. Just a persistent relic from the ancient world. I have even better cause to conclude that he was never in the midst of any congregation of an Armstrongist cult, no matter how many or how few were gathered together, or how "inspiriational" that may have "felt."

Anonymous said...

"Such a small congregation, even smaller than Holladay's "20-30 people" description of many UCG congregations. There are 16 people in frame, including the song leader. This has to be in a really remote area."

There are actually 17, plus, I predict, a couple of audio/video guys you won't see in the picture who make the whole show possible and are thus too busy to sing hymns on most occasions. If this is the opening set of hymn singing, we also can predict that there are a few "calculated" stragglers who make a point of minimizing their "time in" and horrible depressing hymns sung by showing up at some point during the sermonette period, bringing the total that showed up on this day to no more than 24. We can also count the chairs: 34. This will be more than the maximum number of people they usually expect.

The songleader is off to one side, meaning that cable is running to the video projector. I don't see a minister, do you? Meaning the pastor is not there this week. Despite UCG's promise to not be a "video church" I think that most congregations are at least half of the time now. UCG rules are that everyone who gets up in front of the congregation is supposed to wear a suit jacket, and he's not wearing one.

As numbers dwindle to below critical mass, I think we can expect a general breakdown. Promises will go by the wayside, rules will be abandoned, more people will take "church" less seriously and will show up late if they show up at all. I believe we can see all of these trends in this one picture as the death rattle begins to set in even among Armstrongisms largest and most vibrant sects.

Anonymous said...

Having also noted this photo on FB, I have a feeling it may be from their feast site in India.

Anonymous said...

But, wasn't there a cowboy who graced this blog for a time, telling us of the wonderful growth that the United Church of God is experiencing?

If you can't trust a cowboy, then who can you trust?

Surely, Cowboy Joe had no raison d'ĂȘtre for exaggerating the UCG's growth, no?

old EXPCG hag said...

Did I see a Homer Pigeon flying around the room??

Silenced said...

Anonymous,

Good points. And there may yet be more stragglers who are late for church. We have no idea at what point in the standard COG service this photo was taken.

So basically, this is a commonly small COG congregation. Good on people for fleeing UCG.

Anonymous said...

The covers over the chairs are a real scream...

LOL

Ronco

Anonymous said...

Might they be singing, "not many wisemen now are called? The COG's seem to brag that their smallness is a sign that they are Gods flock. Jesus did say that his flock is small but he didn't say that his flock is shrinking as is the case of the UCG and other armstrongite groups.

Anonymous said...

"The COG's seem to brag that their smallness is a sign that they are Gods flock. Jesus did say that his flock is small but he didn't say that his flock is shrinking as is the case of the UCG and other armstrongite groups."

From another point of view, the smaller they get, the more "sure" they become that they are indeed the flock Jesus spoke of. Until they blink out of existence and the sureness of these now nonexistant people becomes infinite. Or perhaps negative infinity. This function could only ever be plotted on the imaginary numberline anyway.

Minimalist said...

They should quit UCG & meet in a living room

Why pay for a hall for these paupers?

50% of people in GCI/Splinters are now people of Color!

What happened to all the White 'Israelite' members?

Black Ops Mikey said...

You can see a typical meeting in a living room down past the middle of the page.

I count 24 members.

Can you spot them all?