Friday, May 1, 2015

UCG's New Dung Brown "We Are Embarrassed By Our Core Message" Web Site

After United Church of God's expensive epic campaign failure at the end of last year, the UCG is struggling to make themselves more relevant to the world around them.  They had assumed that their "Why were you born?" tag line was going to draw in scores of interested new people bringing money with them.  It didn't happen.  Tens of thousands of dollars were spent on bringing in 1 single solitary person.  No one was interested in that message.  That question is not something that people in the 21st century care about or are worried about.

Recently UCG unveiled a new and improved web page.  The striking thing about this page was the "dung brown" new mast head and the fact that they admitted that they moved all information relating to beliefs and practices to other areas of the site.  UCG thinks with this new "dung colored" site that they will appeal to the younger more progressive crowd and hook them in.  Its not going to happen.  Even if they do score one or two new devotee's, once they found out how absurd some of UCG's foundational beliefs are - i.e. British Israelism - they will exit rather quickly.

Given the continuing rumors floating around on various web sites and FB pages, United Church of God is on the brink of another break up.  Various UCG ministers think that the UCG is too legalistic and that certain doctrines need to be changed.  The diehard legalists are having major butt-hurt over this and are plotting in the background to possibly form another splinter group. When COGWA split off from UCG they took  1/3 of UCG's ministry.  Of course UCG claimed this was a good thing because the useless whiny chaff were now gone.  Will this new split also rip UCG asunder leading it into an even more useless ministry?  Time will tell. In the meantime please buy some Charmine and clean up that masthead!


Anonymous said...

It's not fair to call UCG's new masthead "dung brown." Maybe it's "UPS brown," "cafĂ© au lait brown," — or maybe it's the color of beliefs that have been thoroughly examined, digested, picked over, and ultimately rejected as being devoid of nutritional value — LOL! Under any circumstances, not the most inspiring color, is it?

"That question is not something that people in the 21st century care about or are worried about."

Maybe because science has an answer for that question? It might not satisfy everyone who's looking for anthro-centric deepities, but it seems a lot more likely than the guesses of the ancients IMHO...

"Given the continuing rumors floating around on various web sites and FB pages, United Church of God is on the brink of another break up."

Do tell. I thought COGWA took 1/3 of the members, but 60% of the (paid) ministry and that 95% of those butthurt diehard legalist ministers left with COGWA. I figured the remaining ministry were prettymuch ticket-holding passengers on the train to Tkachtown.

I think the COGWA flap really caught them by surprise. I imagine there's been no small amount of recrimination and blame passed around on the "Elder's forum" over that strategic blunder. Now that they're getting around to the necessity of changing doctrine, which is the time when Joe Jr. was ready and willing to sacrifice all kinds of members—and UCG's original plan would have budgeted equivalent losses—instead they face the main battle already wounded and compromised. Did the COGWA flap essentially flush their plans to become a Protestant megachurch down the sh*tter? Will a second wound prove fatal to their plans?

I figured they'd lose another half of their members when they tried to change doctrines, but I didn't think much resistance would come from a significant number of ministers.

At the time of the COGWA split, the rumors were that Gary Petty was trying to make his exit to join with COGWA. It didn't happen. Is he one of the reactionaries?

I wonder if Vic Kubik will be so quick to say "good riddance" once again, especially if that leaves UCG smaller than COGWA? I think there will be no end of schadenfreude from COGWA when that happens, especially if noticeable numbers suck it up and flee to the already established COGWA rather than dealing with a fledgling splinter.

Just watching the "unconverted" antics, situational ethics, scriptural cherry-picking and more from the arrogant mucky-mucks who claim they have "the holy spirit" and are "led by god" is a little amusing. Especially when they have to cheat and pull so many strings to try to justify their failures and make it "appear" as though "god" really is on "their side" after all? Isn't it abundantly obvious they're just mortal men with no supernatural assistance, bickering like all the "worldly" people they look down on as the "unconverted" and unwashed masses?

Any rumors about COGWA gonna split again? I think the statistical half-life of a splinter is only about +/- 8 years, then you can expect them to decay into some even baser substance.

Anonymous said...

I fail to see how this drab looking web-site will attract any more people then the old one.

Am I missing something? Is brown the color that somehow sends a subliminal message to the mind that draws the unsuspecting person to explore this strange web-site?

Black Ops Mikey said...

Well, I suppose that they could pour fresh concrete over their Foundation of Sand and replace the termite infested timbers with new material, but after all that's said and done, it's probably not worth shoring up as the whole thing slowly collapses because of faulty construction.

You never know when the next major storm will destroy the whole thing.

Just putting up new pretty siding and a chocolate banner on the website does not make it any sort of fabrication anyone would really want to enter if they knew the condition it was in.

Byker Bob said...

They certainly could not have chosen a more appropriate color with which to portray their message. The only thing missing is some animated gif flies, complete with sound effects, with the flies periodically dropping and dying after landing on the masthead.


Anonymous said...

If the color is of cow or horse poop, maybe it will attract a cowboy or cowgirl.

On the other hand, I remember a cowboy posting here awhile back about a claimed "amazing growth of the UCG".....but then someone else showed proof that "cowboy's" claim was pure bullshit.

(It was as is a wind had blown across the prairie and blown out the candles on Herbert Armstrong's birthday cake, LOL!)

Anonymous said...

Hitler's Sturmabteilung were called the Brownshirts.

Is that like when the [future] UCG ministers laid low in Pasadena and lied and plotted while disfellowshipping so many members for believing exactly what they did, so they could retain positions of power?

Is the new UCG color in honor of those asshole UCG ministers?

Anonymous said...

This is 1995 all over again. I here a lot of rumblings about another Tkatch style reformation of the UCG from a lot of the members. Maybe it is time for me to search other COG's to attend who hold on to Gods truth.

Sweetblood777 said...

I think that the brown color indicates that they have hit rock bottom, so to speak.

They have no new ideas of how to draw in the masses in order for them to live the abundant life whether in the church or in a comfortable retirement.

As I have been saying for the past few years, read/study chapter 11 and 13 of Zechariah. I will tell you that thus far, it is all working out to what is written.

Byker Bob said...

The screw is going to continue to turn tighter and tighter, and there will be much more confusion and many more desperate moves.

1). Their end time somehow just never gets around to arriving. (They missed the big clue in 1975).

2). Number of participants in the movement continues to diminish, because a message based on British Israelism/German Assyrianism is simply no longer credible, and totalitarian church leadership is repugnant to any possible target audience.

People are simply not going to pour muriatic acid on their cereal if you relabel it as honey. The label isn't what does the sweetening. It can, however, be the whitening of the sepulchre.


Anonymous said...

"This is 1995 all over again. I here a lot of rumblings about another Tkatch style reformation of the UCG from a lot of the members. Maybe it is time for me to search other COG's to attend who hold on to Gods truth."

I guess it's time to start putting out feelers for which COG still gushes with British Israelism (God's truth) hot and thick...

Anonymous said...

Although I have not followed these issues closely, two points about UCG stand out in my memory:

1) The first was Tim Kelley at a Big Sandy students' reunion a while ago characterizing UCG to me as "a retirement program for ministers". The more I thought about it, just looking at it as an outsider, the more accurate that seemed. Nearly everything in the business model of UCG seems well explained on the assumption that that is the operable purpose.

2) The second was a detailed legal document analysis by someone, do not recall exactly who, reported in the old Ambassador Report, which brought to light the interesting point that technically and legally, the incorporated UCG consisted of the ministers only, and the members were not part of it. The members were the paying "customers" (so to speak), in the business model of the entity being incorporated as UCG. The church--legally--consisted of the ministers collectively only. A good question (if that legal analysis was correct and remains so today) is to what extent UCG members are aware of their non-existent status in UCG legally.

Anonymous said...

is this a subliminal ad attempting to bring in brown-nosers?
is brown the new beige?
why so bland?
this seems so ironic

Anonymous said...

What can brown do for you?

Nothing, apparently. But it is the color of a championship Australian football club, Hawthorn Hawks - so it can't be all bad.

Black Ops Mikey said...

United is a retirement program for the original ministers that formed it: They selected a funding program and now it is paying off as ministers, such as Robert Dick, retire. It is an elite exclusive club where technically only the original elders at the originating conference actually are 'members' -- the program is working. It's not clear that the program is being extended to the junior members of the troop, since there has been a call for a volunteer ministry. A volunteer ministry will save a lot of cash which can then be funneled into the retirement program as the UCG continues to shrink (in the first decade, I stopped counting at 40 splits in the ten years).

Now one would think that if God were behind United, He would grant the increase as needed. Of course, one would expect the administration to do its part, but He would provide.

It's clear God isn't providing and isn't really with United. They have what they have and it is like a great big deflating balloon. So now they are desperate to find new ways to entice people to buy their product through attractive advertising, but truthfully, people are looking for a church to keep the Sabbath and Holydays out there in the mainstream of society? Really? That's a tough sell and since the 1990s, Sabbatarians have had a rough ride across the board -- particularly in the United States (while atheists have doubled over the last few decades). Just what would the appeal be?

The problem isn't really isn't marketing, it's a product to market. United doesn't have one. To make things worse, the UCG doesn't have a lot to offer in the way of a community based church replete with facilities. It's more like a virtual church with centralized nearly everything. Having people come to rented halls just doesn't cut it. Marketing will fail as products that people don't want are being offered to them at an exorbitant price.

There are many things people want these days: They want real solutions to their problems concerning money, health, family, local society, food, transportation (and entertainment). They are interested in global issues when they see that it may touch them personally in some way, such as the impact of global warming, pollution, oil prices, wars (especially religious wars). They want solutions and look to innovators such as Elon Musk.

What does United have to offer?

In fact, what do any of the Armstrongists have to offer?

A place of safety? A chance to become God? Even the potential for finding true love and a mate? Resolution of world problems? Elimination of poverty? Elimination of health problems and mental illness? Programs to help with addiction?

As Dr. Phil would say, it's time to get real. The ACoGs have nothing.

And no amount of marketing is going to change the nature of the problem.

Robin Weber can observe that society is connected by their smart phones and pcs and insist that we need to be connected to God all he wants to as he did today, but in the end, UCG just isn't helping with the connections and don't seem to have much connection to God themselves.

Anonymous said...

1) "...a retirement program for ministers..."

Exactly right. In fact, that is what the whole COGWA debacle was about. The COGWA guys wanted to invest in new facilities to train new ministers because so many ministers are old and were going to be dying off and retiring. Partly I think they wanted to go home to Texas, but partly, they wanted cheaper real estate. I don't know where they thought the money for this was going to be coming from, since Jim Franks and Clyde Kilough aren't any younger.

The existing UCG council were thinking of all the cash this was going to divert from their retirement packages and their hoped-for-growth-generating-machine called "preaching the gospel." (You don't think they're preaching the gospel just out of the goodness of their little hearts, do you?) I have this on the authority of more than one UCG minister.

If there was any way possible, they were going to put a stop to the whole endeavor, and there was a way possible, though not without quite a few moral and ethical lapses and breaches, and that got them into some trouble. But yes, all to stop their retirement from being gutted out. Ironically, that trouble they got themselves into has noticeably reduced their retirement fund, and plans to make up for the shortfall haven't exactly gone according to plan. However, it also reduced the retirees drawing from it. So, perhaps it's six in one hand and a half-dozen in the other. In fact, since they gave up a greater percentage of paid ministers than they did percentage of members, they may have come out marginally ahead. And those paid ministers they lost? Yep, replaced them with free, unpaid, volunteer ministers. Don't train, 'em, just ordain 'em! Plenty of brown-nosing schmucks out there dying to be ordained. They have no idea what suckers they are, and how they're getting used.

2) "...technically and legally, the incorporated UCG consisted of the ministers only, and the members were not part of it..."

Right again. It doesn't take any sophisticated legal analysis, however, it's spelled out pretty succinctly in the constitution and by-laws, (respectively) published on the council's website:

1.2.7 Member of the Church
An individual who has been duly baptized and has the gift of God’s Holy Spirit is a member of the Church of God regardless of organizational affiliation (Acts:2:38-39; Romans:8:9). However, the term “Church Member” or “Member of the Church” as used in the governing documents of UCGIA applies only to an individual who has been duly baptized, and who is and remains a member in good standing of UCGIA, and may be listed on the membership rolls of UCGIA (where available). This is distinct and separate from being a “Balloting Member of the Corporation” as described in the Bylaws of UCGIA.

The General Conference is the only class of members of this Corporation. Qualifications of members and terms of membership are those described in the Constitution. Members shall have the rights enumerated in the Constitution. In addition, they shall have the right to cast ballots on the disposition of all or substantially all of the assets of the Corporation and on any election to dissolve the Corporation.

Byker Bob said...

Without endorsing them, Douglas, we must note that community-based mega-churches do provide for, and meet the needs of, the items you outlined in your paragraph #5. And, with perhaps 5 or 6 services over each weekend, at least 2 of those services are held on what the ACOGs are certain is their sabbath. These churches teach standards which are collectively considered to be Christian behavior, or ethics, and if one chooses to participate, there are also regular social events, and opportunities for community service on a weekly basis. There is professional level counselling for such things as financial matters, family relations, and substance dependency. I have a business associate whose son is autistic. One of the local churches has a program dealing with this, as autism is a very contemporary and large scale emerging problem, one for which people need both education, and hope. There are sports teams competing in leagues throughout the valley, and there is summer camp for the kids. Members are active in a church chapter of Habitat for Humanity, and there is also a safehouse organization which removes teenage prostitutes from the streets and administers to them, getting them involved in bankable job skills. There are food drives periodically to replenish the local food banks, and missions to impoverished third world countries.

I know. These are not traditional areas in which ACOGs choose to involve themselves, partially because they probably know that they can't compete. They are just not set up that way. And, while there will also be those who like to make sport of the mega-church concept, these churches do address areas that people actually want and need them to address, areas in which Armstrongism has abysmally failed, and therefore has no mass appeal. They represent one of the few areas of Christianity which is actually vibrant and growing. If a young couple were looking for some effective church influence in their lives, there is just no way that a secretive, anonymous, beer hall ACOG with a congregation of 50-100 people could compete! People are just looking for so much more in a church experience today! They are looking for a church that is long on fruits, and shares these fruits with the members rather than exploiting them and ripping them off.

Marketing can accomplish quite a bit. It is often why we buy specific products. However, it cannot in any way compensate for a deficit of this magnitude. There was a time when Armstrongism had everyone's attention. I mean, GTA was on the premier nationally based country music show of the day! There was also incredible street buzz. But, like the Roman Empire, somehow, they just just blew it, and there is no recovery, because the opportunity was squandered. The major resources are now divvied up, and gone.


Anonymous said...

“UCG thinks with this new 'dung colored' site that they will appeal to the younger more progressive crowd and hook them in.”

Bulldung brown represents well what the UCG's Tkach people have to offer.

Anonymous said...

UCG has 50 shades of brown.