Sunday, April 12, 2015

UCG Attempts To Re-brand Its Self As Hip And Up to Date Due To Its Embarrassment Over Its Imagined "Gospel" Message



After the epic failure last year of its billboard campaign that brought in one possible member at a cost of close to 250,000.00, the UCG has had to come up with new ways to draw in the gullible public.  With the widespread use of smart phones and tablets people are moving away from reading printed materials. Not able to draw in new members through billboard campaigns, it has to resort to other avenues.

After being humiliated by Dave Pack's most superfantabulous web site ever in the history of humanity, the UCG realized they needed to change and become fresh and appealing.



The Internet team at the United Church of God is always looking for ways to improve our visitor's experience. Over the past several months we've been very busy building something that we think you'll love! We're very happy to say we're almost ready to unveil the new UCG.org website!

One interesting thing you will notice when you check the page out, it no longer "preaches" a "gospel" message on its main page.  That embarrassing message is relegated to several clicks away. It tries to present a washed up and sanitized version of  who the UCG is as a church on its front page.

The Internet has changed really quickly! For years the strategy was to put as much content on your homepage as possible so search engines could find your site and make sure that visitors could find the information they were looking for. With advances from search engines, this isn't the case anymore. We're planning to move all gospel-preaching content off of the "United Church of God" section of the website, and really focus in on who we are as a Church.

We're going to give visitors a much clearer way to find a congregation near them and a really good idea of what they can find when they get to services. We'll show them our outreach efforts, sermons, and even invite them in to watch a webcast Sabbath service so they can answer God's calling.

34 comments:

Jesús Christopher de la Cruz said...

IOW:

"I'll bet that if I move all descriptsions of my products off my homepage, those buggy-whips will start flying off the shelves!"

Repeat after me:

NOT

A

MARKETING

PROBLEM

Anonymous said...

Really? A web cast view of their services and sermons? That is really going to work well. That is about as exciting as watching paint dry. They better prepair for the rush of people trying to beat the doors down to get into their church services!!!

Minimalist said...

Pushed even further to the backburner will be their hateful Anglo-Israel heresy that they don't want the public to see!

Anonymous said...

Soooo, the gospel is not a part of who they are as a church? Bold admission.

Anonymous said...

Soooo, the gospel is not a part of who they are as a church? Bold admission.

UCG is no different from most other ACOGs in this. They aren't even real churches. They are tithe-farms. You can believe pretty much whatever you want, as long as you send your tithe to the men in charge and you don't challenge your pastor's right to teach whatever he wants.

Just look. Living/Global had a minister teaching that Blacks were true Hebrews. UCG has had Trinitarians. PCG even had one minister who for about a decade wouldn't teach Malachi's Message.

As long as you affirm the ministry's divine right to receive your money, most other details are negotiable.

NO2HWA said...

Most of this post came from a UCG member who is appalled at UCG's "new" direction.

Black Ops Mikey said...

Just part of the springtime behavior.

Black Ops Mikey said...

"We've redesigned the site from the ground up..."

This suggests that we should take a hard look at their newly redesigned website when it comes out so we can benefit from any ideas it may present to adapt in a way that makes our own efforts that much more successful.

It's important to keep close tabs on the technology of your enemies because superior technology wins wars.

Anonymous said...

I am a member of the UCG. I am not happy with this, "let us swing open the doors and let everyone in" approach. Several years ago someone came into our local fellowship and tried to stir-up division in our congregation. After some time passed he was told to leave. Upon leaving he told the minister that he was a closet atheist and his whole goal was to cause division. We need to go back to a time when people where more carefuly screened before they are invited to services.

Anonymous said...

I am a member of the UCG. I am not happy with this, "let us swing open the doors and let everyone in" approach.

Then you're basically out of luck. Most other groups have adopted that approach, which was also HWA's approach in Oregon.

If you want to go to a church that screens attendees, try PCG or RCG.

Yes, you could try COGWA, which also screens attendees, but if you were going to leave UCG for COGWA you would have done so already.

Black Ops Mikey said...

Well then, The Church of God The Eternal in Eugene, Oregon is the place for you: They're so conservative that they keep Pentecost on Monday and follow the old Divorce and Remarriage rules of the time prior to the 1970s.

And if that doesn't convince you, rest assured that if you can finally get to attend services you will find that they lock the doors when services begin.

It's not clear if that's to keep strangers and critics out or to keep members in, but in any case, this is going to be the place for you, and, like the song says, they are programmed to receive but you can never leave, at least until after services when the doors are unlocked... we hope.

Anonymous said...

"We need to go back to a time when people where more carefuly screened before they are invited to services..."

...said no legitimate church, ever.

Jesús Christopher de la Cruz said...

Actually, my guess, is that the underlying cause of the UCG-COGWA fiasco was because the guys who are in charge of UCG now want to make a protestant mega-church out of it. Don't forget the current UCG leadership were true-blue Tkachies who were gung-ho for the changes if it meant they could still get a paycheck. Under Joe Sr. things could have gone on for the foreseeable future just find. Then came the Christmas Eve sermon, and they realized that Joe Jr had finally wrested power from his father, so these ministers changed their colors back and jumped ship.

UCG's current leaders, who also were in charge of UCG when it first began, and saw it as "their church," and had wanted UCG to grow, and they thought that if WCG had grown, then a kinder and gentler WCG would grow even faster. They're not hung up on who their member base is. They're not committed to any particular doctrines. To them, UCG is just a business that they're hoping will make them rich.

But after 15 years of UCG not living up to what they think is its potential, and blaming the UCG-turned-COGWA top brass for those failures, they had enough and wanted to take "their church" back and finally get it moving toward the mega-church they'd always hoped for. They definitely didn't want to squander assets on new land and buildings. They wanted to invest it in sales and markeing and big media purchases and new initiatives to start bringing in droves of new tithepaying "converts." They wanted to spend money to make money. That's what they said they wanted to do at the time: focus on preaching the gospel (as a sales tool). And that's what they've done.

So confident were they that under their "new and improved" leadership they could turn UCG into a mega-church, they were willing to dispose of half of UCG's financial base in order to get the control to take UCG down this new path of aggressive sales. Surely, they thought, aggressive sales would soon fill up the newly vacant folding chairs each Saturday and then some. Nearly 5 years later, it hasn't panned out.

UCG leaders are not interested in keeping existing members happy any longer than they have to. Their plans involve diluting UCG with a new base of people who, under the surface at least, are evangelicals. Little splinter COGs don't have the power to enforce conformity. But WCG's implosion shows that even then only half or less of those who were long-time members for 20, 30, or 40 years even, were true believers of HWA's doctrines. Under the surface, the rest still believed the way they always had, and were thrilled to go back to keeping christmas and easter finally! Splinters like UCG concentrated those who were true believers of HWA's doctrines.

Droves of new "converts," if they ever show up in sufficient quantity, will mean that UCG will doctrinally become something akin to what Joe Jr. has made of the old WCG. And that's just fine for current UCG leadership. In fact, my guess is, they're figuring that those droves of new "converts" will eventually drive out UCG's existing member base. They'll find homes in other splinters, and UCG will be free to become the megachurch they've always wanted, and its leaders can finally live in the opulence the their mentor, HWA did. As for those who funded it and got it off the ground, you're not members of the corporation. You're outsiders. You're dispensable.

Byker Bob said...

Ah, yes. Another time-honored tradition of Armstrongism here. Dealing with appearances. What could you expect from a movement founded by someone with an advertising background?

They really need to eliminate all of the pet theories and nuances of Herbert W. Armstrong from their belief system, but their own members won't let them. So, they will be stuck with zero to little growth for the near future.

BB

RSK said...

"We need to go back to a time when people where more carefuly screened before they are invited to services."

Anyone who is willing to throw away money as tithes and say what the ministers want to hear is capable of getting access to a COG of that type. I do not know why anyone would WANT to do so - lets face it, theres no perks to gain unless you somehow get into the paid hierarchy, and with the low attendance numbers across the board I cant imagine the yield would be that high vs the effort.

Anonymous said...

I am a COGWA member who came to Charlotte on business and wanted to check out LCG. I popped into LCG headquarters to get info on where to go for Sabbath services (it was a Friday afternoon). They refused to give me the address of services and were totally unfriendly and unwelcoming. The refused to let me attend services without first having met with a minister and, although I've heard there are over a dozen ministers in the building, none of them were available. In shock, I turned around and left.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, you could try COGWA, which also screens attendees..."

This is not true in our area. There are plenty of 'outsiders' that regularly attend services with us. (Yes, I attend with cogwa, but don't follow the corporate rules)

Byker Bob said...

I don't know whether anyone else out there has recovered to the point where they can watch PBS's "Nazi Megaweapons" series but, if you can, it is fascinating.

There was a segment on the SS broadcast in my area this weekend. In it was chonicled how Heinrich Himmler collected a veritable army of typical Nordic Aryans, who could verify at least 100 years of pure Germanic ancestry, with perfect eyesight, and a minimum height of 5'10", youthful and healthy. He then totally indoctrinated them in Aryan mythology, and provided extensive finishing, education, and training.

By the end of the 1930's, this army functioned as the police force of the German nation, as administrators of the slave labor camps, and as an elite paramilitary group used in the internal defense of Germany. Anyone who dissented and spoke out against Hitler, anyone of non-approved ethnic heritages, and anyone with non-mainstream political views was rounded up and taken to the camps to be used as captive labor in the public works projects and war effort. The SS was everywhere, and nothing escaped their attention!

Adjacent to Dachau was a veritable country club for SS members, with swimming pools, athletic and social activities, all in opulent settings, for the guards and their wives and children. As the war advanced, and as more Poles, Slavs, Jews, and Russians were rounded up and transported by rail to the camps, they became death camps as opposed to slave labor camps. Gas was used prolifically.

At the conclusion of the program, I found myself saying, "Shit! Most of the elements of this are just like Herbert W. Armstrong's vision of the Millennium!"

BB

RSK said...

And they dont eat duck.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:02 wrote:

"But WCG's implosion shows that even then only half or less of those who were long-time members for 20, 30, or 40 years even, were true believers of HWA's doctrines. Under the surface, the rest still believed the way they always had, and were thrilled to go back to keeping christmas and easter finally!"

That's not true in my case. I was a 20+ year member and was perfectly happy with the doctrines. I had no interest in Christmas and Easter.

I was a non-ministerial employee at the time of Joe Sr.'s Christmas Eve sermon (and was present at that sermon). Being an employee, I saw how cruelly they treated anyone who objected (especially ministers) and I came to one conclusion: These new doctrines may be true or they may be false but Joe and his gang are not people that I would trust to teach me anything new.

I stayed in WCG until the following summer when the local pastor, after proclaiming loudly all spring that we could all live together, scheduled a YOU work party on Saturday afternoon. So I joined UCG.

After a couple of years of being happy in UCG I witnessed enough hypocrisy that I started reading outside theology and ended up in a mainstream church.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who was a true believer at the time of Joe's sermon but eventually left the whole mess.

Black Ops Mikey said...

These days, it's a little hard for people to owe their allegiance to a remote "Headquarters" (/ "Home Office") without a local church building. This is the lesson that the UCG should have learned at Big Sandy.

The problem with this is that capitalization of buildings in local areas sap resources from a central hierarchy living mostly as a virtual world involving rented halls (which might not always be available).

Having a "church" without local facilities makes UCG and every other Armstrongist group look exactly like what they are: Cults.

There's no good way to overcome that in the modern world especially since most other denominations have real estate for their parishoners locally.

Anonymous said...

I am a COGWA member who came to Charlotte on business and wanted to check out LCG. I popped into LCG headquarters to get info on where to go for Sabbath services (it was a Friday afternoon). They refused to give me the address of services and were totally unfriendly and unwelcoming.

LCG leadership greatly fears COGWA. Thanks to the internet and to friends in the group, most LCG members now realize that COGWA has remained much more faithful to old HWA doctrines, while LCG has gone off into strange new "upgrades" to the old teachings.

It used to be that LCG could dismiss COGWA because COGWA "got government wrong" compared to LCG. More recently, however, as LCG members recognize that LCG and PCG have the same form of one-man nepotistic family tyrannical government, COGWA's government system, which relies on brotherly (Philadelphian) love among the ministry, looks a lot better at retaining the truth and avoiding abuses than LCG.

When Rod Meredith dies, expect a huge LCG exodus into COGWA. Anticipating this, LCG leaders already fear their members becoming too knowledgeable about COGWA.

Jesús Christopher de la Cruz said...

Anon5:23 wrote:

"'But WCG's implosion shows that even then only half or less of those who were long-time members for 20, 30, or 40 years even, were true believers of HWA's doctrines. Under the surface, the rest still believed the way they always had, and were thrilled to go back to keeping christmas and easter finally!'

That's not true in my case. I was a 20+ year member and was perfectly happy with the doctrines. I had no interest in Christmas and Easter. I was a non-ministerial employee at the time of Joe Sr.'s Christmas Eve sermon (and was present at that sermon). Being an employee, I saw how cruelly they treated anyone who objected (especially ministers) and I came to one conclusion: These new doctrines may be true or they may be false but Joe and his gang are not people that I would trust to teach me anything new. I stayed in WCG until the following summer when the local pastor, after proclaiming loudly all spring that we could all live together, scheduled a YOU work party on Saturday afternoon. So I joined UCG.
"

Well, you sound exactly like me at the time! I thought the "new" doctrines were bollocks. They weren't even new, they were 1700 years old! I could see these doctrines were being forced down people's throats, which isn't how "belief" works anyway. I new about all the abuse, the litany of lies, and Joe Jr's strategic planning to try to "sell" it at the right time and in the right way so as many as possible would buy it. The way he was constantly pushing his dad, saying that he was going too slow. Unfortunately for Joe Jr, he might as well have been a bull in a china shop. Members who were content to go along with that either had mushy brains or thought going back to their previous ways wasn't such a bad idea. I had no interest in keeping christmas or easter, and I still don't. I wasn't enamored of UCG, but it seemed like the best of a bad set of options. I stayed in WCG until the winter of '96-'97 before leaving for UCG.

"After a couple of years of being happy in UCG I witnessed enough hypocrisy that I started reading outside theology and ended up in a mainstream church. I'm sure I'm not the only one who was a true believer at the time of Joe's sermon but eventually left the whole mess."

It took me quite a bit longer to leave UCG than it took you, but I did so because I came to conclusion the whole "god" proposition didn't hold water or have any force in reality. But like you, the hypocrisy of it all had a lot to do with with dis-delusion-ment.

What I was saying is, those who were were committed to WCG doctrines at that time were going to leave and join a splinter. People who were non-committal stayed put. So a winnowing took place. That's the terminology we used at the time. People who were committed to WCG doctrines got concentrated in the splinter churches.

My point being, that's who UCG's stable tithe-paying financial base is to this day. The upshot of which, being, if UCG ever does succeed in bringing in those droves of protestants, their stable base of committed Armstrongites are going to be very uncomfortable that their cozy comfort zone is being invaded with people who don't believe the way they do. Either they'll succumb to the pressure to accept new beliefs now, or more likely, they'll wind up fleeing to find a mew comfort zone in a new or existing splinter. Fortunately for them, UCG's leaders are failing miserably at their plan, so everything looks secure for them for the time being. But they should be forewarned. Their current customers are only there as long as they are useful. UCG leadership is not there to serve them. They don't care about 'em. They've got other plans.

NO2RCM said...

The big obstacle to anyone going from LCG to COGWA is Larry Salyer. Meredith is the COG's best propagandist. He has been spewing vile hatred for years, but Larry Salyer has borne the brunt more than anyone. You rarely see anyone go from LCG to UCG for the same reason -- Meredith propaganda. You even see upset LCG members say, "There's no where else to go." They don't realize they have been suckers for Meredith's self-serving propaganda. They need to wake up and realize all this bunk they've heard from him for years is nothing more than ploy to keep them from leaving no matter how bad things get.

Anonymous said...

"But WCG's implosion shows that even then only half or less of those who were long-time members for 20, 30, or 40 years even, were true believers of HWA's doctrines. Under the surface, the rest still believed the way they always had, and were thrilled to go back to keeping christmas and easter finally!"

I dont mean to come off as Debbie Downer here, but some portion of that former-WCG-but-not-joining-minigroups element left theism behind entirely as a result. I wouldnt rush to paint them as "thrilled".

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with throwing away hundreds of thousands of dollars?

Hey, if you're a UCG minister making good money for being an asshole, the answer is "Nothing!"

Anonymous said...


“We're planning to move all gospel-preaching content off of the 'United Church of God' section of the website, and really focus in on who we are as a Church”


Preaching the gospel (that is, the “good news”) of the soon coming (as HWA might add) kingdom of God was a big thing with Herbert W. Armstrong all along.

In Herbert W. Armstrong's last book, called Mystery of the Ages, in Chapter 6 – Mystery of the Church, under the subheading Real Purpose of the Church, HWA wrote, “This ENTIRE GREAT COMMISSION--proclaiming the GOOD NEWS of the coming kingdom, and 'feeding the sheep'--is a COMBINED administration and function of the Church.”

Some of Joseph Tkach's accomplices who helped him to destroy the Worldwide Church of God are now in control of the disUnited Church of Godlessness (UCG). It looks like they are now trying to slip in major doctrinal changes under the guise of a web-site redesign.

Gerald Flurry and his PCG impostor cult were way ahead of these other schemers. Gerald said early on that HWA had preached the gospel (implying that it was over and done with), and that with a new church era comes a new commission to the Church to warn the Laodiceans. There are, indeed, many devilishly clever ways to pervert the gospel, or replace it with something else, and even totally get rid of it.

The Lesson To Remember: Satan is very persistent in trying to stop the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom of God, especially as the coming of the kingdom draws nearer.

Anonymous said...


If anyone is offended by the picture of the pig putting on lipstick, they need to face up to the fact that the UCG does allow makeup, and that many UCG people are swine.

Redfox712 said...

In regards to NO2RCM's comment I would like to state that when I first saw a recruitment telecast by UCG on the Internet I was stunned to see that they taught essentially the same thing as LCG, namely that a European Empire would soon arise to conquer America.

Now I knew about UCG and that they were related to LCG and PCG but, then being a deceptively recruited follower of LCG, I had read that UCG was different so (HWA's) God could not possibly be with them, I thought.

Yes, UCG and LCG are very similar. The reason LCG keep emphasizing the differences is to separate LCG members from any competition so LCG's members just keep on paying those tithes.

Anonymous said...

It all makes sense now. The UCG seems to be going in the same direction as the Tkatch led WCG. It is only a matter of time and the UCG will be a part of the mainstream evangelical landscape.
Praise Jesus!

Anonymous said...

"Why so many denominations?"

...said the person researching the Church of God movement, c. 2015.

Anonymous said...

Folks, don't hold your breath waiting for any explosive growth of the UCG.
I remember Joe Moeller asserting that his beloved UCG was experiencing explosive growth, but closer examination showed there had only been two new members.


Anonymous said...


“Folks, don't hold your breath waiting for any explosive growth of the UCG.
I remember Joe Moeller asserting that his beloved UCG was experiencing explosive growth, but closer examination showed there had only been two new members.”



This might all be just a misunderstanding of what was actually said or intended. He probably meant that the UCG was exploding in the sense of blowing up with the result being more splinters everywhere.

With all the demolition experience that the current UCG leaders got in the past while helping the Tkaches to totally destroy the WCG, they will be able to blow the UCG to smithereens. All the while they will talk so as to make people think that they are talking about exploding growth if that is what they want to think.

Jesús Christopher de la Cruz said...

Debbie Downer wrote:

"'But WCG's implosion shows that even then only half or less of those who were long-time members for 20, 30, or 40 years even, were true believers of HWA's doctrines. Under the surface, the rest still believed the way they always had, and were thrilled to go back to keeping christmas and easter finally!'

I dont mean to come off as Debbie Downer here, but some portion of that former-WCG-but-not-joining-minigroups element left theism behind entirely as a result. I wouldnt rush to paint them as 'thrilled
'".

Yes, Debbie, I didn't attempt to address every possible category that a person could potentially fall into, or every possible option that a person could exercise if they found themselves in WCG in 1995.

As a result, the potential category of former-WCG-but-not-joining-minigroups went completely unaddressed. I never described them as "thrilled" or "not thrilled." Please notice, I never made any claims about them at all.

What I did claim was that of the average members who elected to join up with a splinter group they tended to do so because they were committed to HWA's doctrines. (I was truly surprised to learn that for many ministers, this was not true.)

I also claimed that, of the average members who elected to stay put in WCG, they were more than willing to dispense with HWA's doctrines at the drop of a hat and suddenly appear to adopt other, suddenly recommended doctrines, just because someone suggested it. I am not sure what these people would have done if someone suggested they jump off a bridge. (My own theory is that many tended to return to whatever they had been prior to joining WCG, the intervening show of adherence to HWA doctrines notwithstanding.)

If anyone wants to contradict THESE claims, please, feel free to do so. All I ask is, if you want to contradict claims that I did NOT make, please, do not address such contradictions to me!

My point here, however, was that average members committed to HWA's doctrines tended to get concentrated in the splinters, while those who were not, tended to wind up elsewhere.

I REPEAT: The POINT I was TRYING to make is that average members committed to HWA's doctrines tended to get concentrated in the splinters, while those who were not, tended to wind up in ANY OTHER PLACE of your choosing.

I was committed to HWA's doctrines initially and joined UCG. Eventually I left UCG as an agnostic. Never have I ever had any impulses to waste money on a tree, or waste time decorating it. Seems like a silly thing to do, but that may just be me...

For my own part, so long as I was committed to HWA's doctrines, I was in a splinter. When I ceased to be committed to HWA's doctrines and left theism behind entirely, I ceased to be in a splinter.

I don't know why people with poor reading comprehension like Debbie Downer keep trying to correct me for things I never said.