Saturday, June 13, 2015

UCG's "Compass Check" Youth Magazine - Another Epic Failure In The Works?


For many years the United Church of God tried to produce a magazine similar to the WCG YOUTH magazine.  Just like the youth of the WCG who never read the YOUTH magazine, the youth of UCG did not care for Vertical Thought either.

Like all of the various splinter groups of the Worldwide Church of God they are failing to draw in and grow with younger folk.  All of the Churches of God are currently dying off as the older WCG related generations die off.

Lecturing  the youth of the church with mindless Armstrongite drivel is not impressing any of them.

They are leaving.

Vertical Thought could not keep them in and Compass Check will not either.

At least with Vertical Thought the name implied one direction, upwards.  The Compass Check has no fixed point.  As one person on a proCOG site said,

Compass Check” does not show any direction, but rather, that one may be off track and has to reorient themselves. A compass has 360 different points, but only one can be correct; whereas, “Vertical..” has but one point – upward and outward from one’s base – a 90* angle from horizontal.

They would be better off (send a stronger message/emphasis) to have retained “Vertical Thought” which only points one way. And abandon the “Compass Check” which could allow 359 different wrong ways vs the one good way. Clarity in vision is better than clouded, diffused, and misdirected vision – even if accidental.

Ouch!  UCG is setting itself up for another epic failure.  Over the last several years since it imploded UCG has one failure after another.  All of the glossy propaganda they spit out every other week is nothing more than a smoke screen.  UCG members are just as disillusioned as those in other COG's.  People are asking WHY they even remain any more.  

The only real hope the youth of United Church of Godr have is to leave when they are of age.  There is a glorious world out there waiting for them to change it.  As long as they remain within the cultish walls of UCG they will never truly be free.


R.L. said...

UCG youth camps have had daily "Compass Check" devotionals for years. The UCG Home Office used to have them during Monday morning staff meetings, as well - and they were posted online, when Clyde Kilough was UCG President.

The name comes from the goal of pointing believers toward "true north" - as in the Biblical indications that God dwells toward the north.

That's what is meant. The way other people twist it in comments may reveal which way THEY are really pointing.

Black Ops Mikey said...

United lost its moral compass long ago, if they ever had one.

What sort of compass do you think the UCG is offering?

Certainly not a moral one....

Anonymous said...

Whether the disUnited Church of Godlessness calls their worthless magazine Vertigo Thought or whether they call it Compass Lost will not change the fact that these godless leaders raised their own children to be godless, and it does show.

Anonymous said...

Let me suggest a new name for the UCG youth magazine." The straight and narrow path"
out the door so they can have a real life in the real world.

Anonymous said...

There was always this idea in the air about how important it was to teach the youth, to "engage" the youth . . . .

Some parents discovered that their teens were ready to follow the path, go to "God's College," and, maybe, become one of the "elite," maybe become an EMPLOYEE of the church -- Oooooooooo! -- with a guaranteed spot in the Place of Safety.

Some other parents discovered that, long ago, their teens had made the decision to, AS SOON AS THEY WERE ABLE, start their OWN life and get out of this insane excuse for a church, and warnings about the lake of fire (or "God" allowing an accident to occur to them) be damned.

It looks like there were -- are -- more, much more, of the latter. Way to go, young people! Way to use those brains God gave you.

Anonymous said...

With the mainstream churches experiencing decades of declining membership, the C of G can't expect to do any better with new packaging. The problem goes way beyond packaging.

Byker Bob said...

During the 1950s and 1960s, there was one relatively new existential threat. The bomb. Young people were very conscious of it, because school officials naively held "air raid drills" based on the old, pre-nuclear, WWII model, not acknowledging that in a nuclear blast, depending on closeness to ground zero and size of the bomb, everything within X number of miles is incinerated. Also, the fact that the entire nation of Germany had literally gone crazy, and the ethnic cleansing which they had inflicted on non-Aryans were prominent in virtually everybody's memories. HWA was preaching that the peace we enjoyed was just a temporary respite, that the Germans would rise again to finish the job because they were Assyria and we were Israel.

People today are not only accustomed to living with multiple existential threats, they are also somewhat immune to the fear rhetoric associated with solutions proposed by some claiming to know how to deal with the threats. Germany has been relatively stable, scientists have controlled such things as Ebola, Avian Flu, AIDS, and the morphed out aquariaum algae that was taking over many areas of the oceans. The prophecies which many prominent theologians have repeated have a track record through recent history of abject failure. Plus, most people realize by now that worst case scenario would be so devastating, that people would literally need to be removed from the planet in order to enjoy protection. So, it is ridiculous to believe that significant numbers of the youth population could be scared into a system of legalism to which they would need to enthusiastically adhere in order to "qualify" for protection for which deeply flawed humans were the gatekeepers.

Frankly, in terms of basic attraction, young people who are attracted to the Christian lifestyle find the huge infrastructure associated with the mega-churches in every community to be more supportive. How could a small congregation of, say, 150 people provide the competing opportunities for private schooling, sports activities, family counselling, neighborhood groups, group participation in community service organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, fellow members with whom to interact in the neighborhood and in public school or college classes, and a huge dating pool? Youth in such groups as Calvary do study their Bibles and are better rooted today than were those to whom strings of Armstrong proof texts seemed convincing in past decades. They have something solid with which to compare the cultic teachings of small, offbeat groups.

So, no. A new youth magazine is not going to be a demographic-changing silver bullet for UCG, or any of the other splinters. Back in the day, we got mighty tired of virtually every PT or Tomorrow's World article ending with the disclaimer that there is no real solution until Jesus Christ returns, and the implied altar call that accompanied it. Youth of today are far more sophisticated, and are even less likely to accept that sort of message.


Anonymous said...

"'Compass Check' does not show any direction, but rather, that one may be off track and has to reorient themselves."

This is but one of many problems not just with Armstrongism, but with religion in general.

Yes, it's true, one may be off track, but that assumes something that is not in evidence, namely the track. It also assumes that churchmen are capable of identifying something that you and I cannot, the means to "reorient" oneself.

Armstrongism, and religion in general, claims that there is a track or orienting beacon, and that they can help you to find it. But are either of those claims true? It's one thing to assume these are true, which is usually called "faith," but where the proverbial rubber meets the road, religion always comes up empty-handed. They are never actually able to produce either the orienting beacon or that there is anything at all you need that they can help you with.

Moreover, in spite of the old mantra, "it's about a relationship between you and god, and that you shouldn't let the faults and foibles of mere ministers interfere with that," this is actually just apologetic equivocation. The fact is, these ministerial faults and foibles demonstrate that even if there were an orienting beacon at least in theory these men are just as unable to find or use it, and thereby benefit from it, as they claim you, the average Joe Blow member will benefit from it. So in what way are they able to help? Is this not the blind leading the blind? It is an charade that they play with the members, pretending to have something of substance, and trying to keep the sheeple misdirected and confused enough so that they never realize their minister is actually bankrupt and nothing more than an empty-handed charlatan. They're no better than the coldreaders that James Randi has spent his life debunking.

And that's not all. The idea that Armstrongism is about a relationship between you, the member, and some version of the christian gods is also a subject of apologetic equivocation. When it serves their interests, such as when Melvin Rhodes gets caught fraudulently holding the highest office in UCG, they demur, claiming to be just "ministers" who stand off to one side acting as "helpers of your joy" (and some joy that is too...) However, at other times, such as when United is ready to disUnite itself from anyone who isn't ready to bow down and worship the despotic oligarchs, they will explicitly claim the status of the Levitical Priesthood (I'm looking at you, John Elliott!) But if UCG's ministry in any sense are priests, then you, the average Joe Blow member, do not have direct access to god in the first place! Your access to god is ONLY through them! Which is it?

The problem is, Armstrongism, and religion in general, is a scam. They claim there's an orienting beacon, by which at least some people can do a "Compass Check," but the ministry's own performance shows even they can't find such a beacon. So what do we need them for? We don't. They need our money, and that's the long and short of it.

Black Ops Mikey said...

They could temporarily increase interest by having a picture of Jurassic Pratt on the cover.

Anonymous said...

The United Church of God members actually need a "Buttocks Check", which, with the help of modern forensics, will reveal that their current leaders have been reaming them mercilessly ever since they were members of the WCG.

Anonymous said...

Not sure where you get your information but Vertical Thought was highly liked and still like by future generations.

Blake Hawkins said...

I'd just like to put it out there: I'm a 16 year old who's currently attending Ucg. This morning I searched "compass check ucg" because I wanted to read another article from compass check before I left for school. It's ironic that I came across an article stating that "Lecturing the youth of the church with mindless Armstrongite drivel is not impressing any of them." while I was searching for the magazine itself. LOL. I loved vertical thought! And I was really disappointed when it was cancelled.

To add, I don't read because people tell me to. I don't want you to think I was "forced" into reading compass check this morning.

I don't mean to argue, but please don't make prejudice assumptions about opinions other than of your own. Not everyone hated YOUTH Magazine. Not everyone hated Vertical thought. And not everyone hates compass check.