Monday, June 17, 2019

Church of God – the royalty free franchise business



With over 400 splits and splinters, the COGs have become one of the best franchises to own, especially when you consider there are no royalty fees and the marketing materials are free.

The owners have the advantages of running a pyramid style business where the benefits flow to the top tier without any fear of prosecution associated with the pyramid marketing model because it is run as a church. The other big advantage is the elimination of most business taxes because of non-profit and church taxation rules.

In the guise of church management and preaching, the owners get free travel, free cars, and tax reductions on their personal living costs.


There are several models:      
· Multiple congregations – collect money from each local group and send to HQ
· Single group – not as much money, but simpler lifestyle, plus can be run without added employee expense.
· Prophet model – need to claim some special revelation.
Marketing model is well established:
· Free literature (these days you can use pdfs which eliminates mailing costs).
· Threaten end of the world scenarios with only your followers escaping.
· When money gets tight, threaten followers with the lake of fire if they don’t send you more money.
· Claim 10% of all income, claim a portion of 2ndtithe, add a third tithe, plus 7 Holy Day offerings, plus special offerings, special project offerings, and building funds.
· Persuade people to leave you money in their wills.
If you go with the HQ model, you can have amazing perks like your own TV show, personal plane, and even your own university where the teachers can further indoctrinate your followers.

Biggest problem to overcome – since having “Church of God” in your business name is a requirement, with over 400 existing businesses in your franchise model, it is getting really difficult to come up with a unique name.

One suggestion is to use the city names used by the 7 churches in the book of Revelation.

Philadelphia is already taken, and no one wants to be called Sardis or Laodicean, but Ephesus and Thyatira are more positive names.

Otherwise you are left with adjectives like:
      · Continuing (taken – isn’t that amazing!!!)
· Bloviating
· Windy
· Sustaining
· Lasting
· Persevering
·     Loving – no forget this one – it just does not fit



submitted by TLA



32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Flatulent Church of God

Anonymous said...

HWA had "Radio" Church of God when the name put him at the cutting edge of modernity.

Maybe it's time for the Bitcoin Church of God, where all tithes and offerings must be submitted in bitcoin, to elude nosy government investigators?

Anonymous said...

About names, maybe it's time to get with the Greek and start using "Ekklesia" to open up new options:

EGO -- Ekklesia of God, Overcomers

LEGO -- Laodicean Ekklesia of God, Overcomers (this one might face trademark challenge, as LEGO™ is practically a religion for some.

MEGA -- Maranatha Ekklesia of God, Abiding

Anonymous said...

Note the straw man arguments in Herbs rant such as "I will not accept you as my ruler. I reject you as my king, as my ruler.... I will decide it myself (what is good or evil)".
'Ruler' in HWA culture, is being stripped of ones adulthood and being micromanaged by his Gestapo ministers. This is no biblical. For instance, God warned Israel against wanting a king, pointing out his lording nature. "I will decide it myself" is in fact inherent in "prove all things." It means a private interpretation of scriptures rather than a minister, in Roman Catholic Church style, dictating members beliefs.
Herb added to, and butchered the bible with his so called paraphrasing.

Anonymous said...

This is the only reason most of these splinter groups are in existence. Money. UCG, LCG and Theil are prime examples of this. These men have no marketable skills other than taking other peoples money to keep them in their comfortable lifestyle.

SHT said...

Excellent post TLA

Tonto said...

Time to go modern in the COG. Ideas...

* Driver Less Church of God- No ministers whatsoever!

* Home Delivery "Grubhub" COG -- Just order what you want and have it delivered to your door.

* Artificial Intelligence COG-- Just you and your computer! You get to interact with a virtual pastor and virtual congregation!

* Gamer COG- Church is just one very sophisticated online game, where you score "tithes", "members" and "campuses" in a sort of FarmVille type of fashion!

* MLM COG-- you recruit new members and get a percentage of the take from your "downline" as they recruit new members too!

* Pay Per View COG-- Can be ordered as a cable service, bundled, or segmented, just buy what you want!

* Ashley Madison COG-- Internet mingling and relationship management, from just finding others to fellowship with and read the Bible with, to even more nefarious activities.

SHT said...

GAMER COG - Tonto - I like this one.

Seek followers! Choose your doctrines! Evangelize! Rake in your tithes! How will you do as a RULER? Start small and build up by converting, but beware! Apostasy and free choice threaten to dissolve your empire! Will other Churches do a hostile takeover? Will other churches steal members? Will members rebel if you're too hard? If your prophecies fail, will everyone leave? Play YOUR Cards as well!

*Hostile Takeover Card
*Vicious Rumor Card
*Caught In The Act Card (Several scenarios for each card)
*Buy a Jet Card (This could bankrupt you or enrich you)
*Church Split Card (UH OH! You dont want this one!)
*Dissident Infiltration (UH OH! You don't want this one!)

And More!

LEVEL ONE - Home Church/Living Room
LEVEL TWO - Motel Room (10 to 15 members)
LEVEL THREE - Conference Room (15 to 30 members)
LEVEL FOUR - School Gymnasium (30 to 60 members)
LEVEL FIVE - School Auditorium (60 to 90 members)

RAMP UP TO XP 2 - START A COLLEGE/CAMPUS

LEVEL ONE - Admin Building w/ Meeting Hall
LEVEL TWO - Initial Dorms (Add ons available)
LEVEL THREE - Science Hall
LEVEL FOUR - Fine Arts Hall
LEVEL FIVE - Library
LEVEL SIX - Natotorium
LEVEL SEVEN - Auditorium

RAMP UP TO XP 3 - BUILD FEAST SITES

LEVEL ONE - One Feast Site
LEVEL TWO - Two Feast Sites
and etc.

* Lose a Feast Site if: Your attendance declines or you fail to fill a Feast Site up beyond 30% of capacity.

HOW DO YOU WIN?

Eat up all the other churches until every church except yours goes bankrupt - watch out so you don't go bankrupt first!



Anonymous said...

Everyone is forgetting the worse abuser of them all COGWA they pretend to be the most harmless group. On the contrary, they suck in the most money never give a real IRS accounting of it. They say we don't need to know, it is Gods money. But are they not to preach the gospel to the whole world. We all know how that's turning out. Oh wait to feed the flock is the other commission yes they do just enough knock out drops to keep the members comatose

Near_Earth_Object said...

Sarcastic posts like this one have no beneficial effect on Armstrongists. And such posts are only a brief chuckle for those who have exited.

Armstrongists view themselves like Noah and his followers building the Ark in a godless society. They are zealously busy doing God's work and people like those of us who contribute to this blog are the mocking reprobates whose destiny is to be incinerated in the ovens of the Tribulation. They read the posts, in some cases, but do not respond to them because they know that those of us who scornfully criticize Armstrongism will get our comeuppance in the Tribulation. And we will be cringingly repenting before them in the 100 Year Period.

The owner of this blog and its contributors should address the crucial question: "How do we really communicate with Armstrongists. What we are doing is having no effect. How do we penetrate the veil of profound deception." I can assure you that this is not an encouraging picture. The Millerites survived 1844, the Armstrongists survived 1975 and the Branch Davidians survived 1993 - all cut from the same unyielding Adventist cloth.

Anonymous said...

NEO, you are mistaken.

Armstrongists who read this blog are already skeptical of their leadership, as their leadership has told them not to read this blog. This means that any Armstrongist willing to read this blog is willing to lie to his ministers, which is a pretty big step in the direction of leaving his ACOG.

Yes, many current Armstrongists recoil at some of what is posted here. However, the posts on this board are time-bombs, and when a current ACOG member starts to have experiences that remind them of posts they've read, they'll take those posts as confirmation of their feelings, and will make it easier to leave, or at least to complete the process of emotional/mental/spiritual subjugation to their group, even if they retain nominal membership for social purposes.

Anonymous said...

We've already had the Intercontinental Church of God.

Now, with increasing numbers of members reaching extreme old age, perhaps it is time for the Incontinent Church of God.

When you ask them what's the most important item in their Statement of Beliefs, they'll answer: Depends.

TLA said...

The reason for my post, is the lack of desire of the various COGs to get together, was one of the things that finally led me out.
When you read in the Bible that we are meant to love one another and not be divided, and see there is no desire for any of these groups to work together, then you start to realize this is not a godly religion - it is just a business, and the members are the merchandize.

Anonymous said...

NEO

Like pathos, logos, and ethos, there are multiple methods of making an argument. I was reading this blog back in LCG before it was called out from the pulpit and I felt I received more or fuller information then what I would receive from HQ. As long as news and information not readily available from HQ is published this will remains valuable resource. I applaud Dennis for his posts challenging scripture and current dogma. SHT posts to those of a Christian perspective, and Gary offers insights while balancing and running everything..

I think we have a good mix of ideas and opinions. The best thing for the future and former COG’ers is the chance to see differing thoughts expressed while they determine the path that gives them their desired outcome.

Anonymous said...

1251, the only thing cogwads stand for is their paycheck. most meaningless, do nothing group ever. slimy.

Anonymous said...

It's all about money and power. What isn't. Well I guess sex, for younger folk.

As Ezra Pound said, the USA was sold to the bankers. As Benjamin Franklin said, it was the bankers that started the American Revolution by refusing to accept the US Script (currency). As Bismark said, it was the Bankers that started the US civil war. WWII was fought because Hitler's monetary policy completely bypassed the international central banking system. The new Reich's Bank abandoned international gold reserves; issued its own interest-free currency which was backed only by the productive capacity of the German People. In retaliation the international bankers refused to accept the Deutsch Mark on the foreign exchange. Germany, then, simply bartered her products, by-passing the middleman. Visible to the entire world, Germany had defied the global bankers, dug herself out of a pit of debt and despair, thrown off her shackles and became the most prosperous State in Europe. The worldwide banking empire was jeopardized. Germany had to be destroyed and blamed for everything.

Anonymous said...

12.51 PM
I had a look at the COGWA web sites, and I must admit, they look weak in doing a work.
Presumably, they and the other ACOGs are diverting a higher percentage of their income to minister pensions.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:51

You have an over emotional interest in COGWA. Your accusations that they do not properly file their accounting is a serious claim.
Where do COGWA say no one needs to know about their accounting ?

Slow day in UCG HQ ? Still hurting that they got away.

Anonymous said...

Comment was made saying: "...Biggest problem to overcome – since having “Church of God” in your business name is a requirement, with over 400 existing businesses in your franchise model, it is getting really difficult to come up with a unique name..."

Once upon a time, I mentioned to a "living" elder some scriptures that indicated that Satan was ultimately going to be destroyed and never return, but he did not want to believe the scriptures b/c he was so ingrained with the junk food of a theory that "spirit cannot be destroyed." At the time I was associated with an "Outreach Program," but it did not have the phrase "Church of God" in it and the elder insisted that God's Church had to have that passive phrase "church of god" or it could have nothing to do with God's Church.

As we know today, there are numerous groups (maybe 100s), associations with that passive phrase of "church of god."

Back years ago, about 1998, when I spoke to that "living" elder I did not have the presence of mind to ask him if he thought that Flurry's "Philadelphia church of god" was God's Church since it had that phrase "church of god" in it. Hindsight sometimes is 20:20!

That elder is still associated with the "Living church of god," which today I don't consider to be living or any part of God's Church; however, I do think that elder is still "living" b/c I haven't heard of his death.

So much for unique names for God's Church!

Time will tell...

John

Tonto said...

John at 6:19. Christ became human and died, and was nowhere existent for 3 days. So I guess, spirit can be destroyed, or at least it presents an interesting question, and indeed, TIME WILL TELL!

Anonymous said...

@ 6:19 AM, perhaps you know that when Rod Meredith rebelled against the government of his Global Church of God, several former Global elders begged him not to name his new church "Living Church of God." They pointed out the problem of Revelation 3:1, and suggested that if he was determined to use "Living" it should be "Church of the Living God" so that "living" would be describing God rather than the church. Rod, however, insisted that since there was already a group called "Church of the Living God" he would go forward with his preferred name. Once the government paperwork was submitted, Rod then found out that there were already several groups calling themselves "Living Church of God," but Rod insisted on keeping his preferred name.

Then, when LCG moved to Charlotte, Rod purchased a building just off Sardis Road. It's as if he was subconsciously trying to tell LCG members the truth about their church without actually telling them.

SHT said...

Perhaps the COG's should go "Spacey" with their Church names. They do believe they are going to remake the Universe, do they not?

1. Solar System Church of God
2. Intergalactic Church of God
3. Eight Planets Church of God
4. Asteroid Church of God
5. Milky Way Church of God
6. Space Estate Church of God
7. Warp Speed Church of God
8. Satellite Church of God
9. Quasar Church of God
10. Aurora Church of God
11. Corona Church of God
12. Corona Church of God (for another reason)
13. Globular Cluster Church of God
14. Magnetic Church of God
15. Nebula Church of God
16. Black Hole Church of God
17. Time Space Church of God
18. Comet Church of God
19. Orbital Church of God
20. Intergalactic Church of God
21. Star Church of God
22. Stardust Church of God

Or, why don't they just cut to the chase of their belief:

23. The Apostle Herbert W. Armstrong Church of the Faith Once Delivered

Tonto said...

SHT - How about the "Interdimensional Church of God" or even better---

"The Twilight Zone Church of God"

Anonymous said...

Sexually Transmitted Church of God.

Fake Good News Church of God.

Ethnically Cleansed Church of God.

100% Organic and Natural Church of God.

Permanent Testament Church of God.



Anonymous said...

I suspect some former ministers of being in it for the money, or a least for their job. One former minister seemed to indicate that he knew the Book of Revelation was pagan 30 years ago. If so, why didn't he preach that? Has he explained that yet? Was he an atheist even then? Was he a subversive all along? It makes me wonder.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever noticed the parallels between the administration of WCG and many of the current cog groups to the Catholic Church that most of them label as the great whore?

For instance, The Catholic Church claims to be the "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic" church. One, meaning that they are the "one true church". Holy, meaning that they have been set apart for a divine or special purpose by God. Catholic, meaning that they are God's universal church. Apostolic, meaning that they trace their roots and traditions to the apostles of Jesus. While we did not call ourselves "catholic" we did call ourselves "Worldwide", or "Global", or now we have one that calls itself a "Worldwide Association". We also claim to be the "one true church" set apart by God for His purpose, and we claim that we teach "Apostolic Christianity" and try to trace our practices or traditions back to the apostles.

The similarities do not end there however. They have a pope or "Vicar of Christ" who claims to be the earthly "representative" of Christ. We had "God's Apostle" who also claimed to be a spokesman or representative for Christ. Many in the cog movement revered him and continue to do so much as Catholics revere their pope. Most COG "headquarters" still proudly display this man's portrait prominently in their office buildings, and some even on their websites.

Many of the cog groups have maintained a highly structured hierarchy, much as the Catholic Church has, with various "offices" coming in under whoever their chief leader, president, pastor general, or head evangelist may be. Some have a board or council or elders, who meet with the "head" and discuss doctrinal or administrative decisions of their various institutions. This might be somewhat equivalent to the Catholic "College of Cardinals" who perform many of the same tasks for the Pope in Rome. They claim to model themselves much like the apostles did, with Peter as their "chief" with the pope or head naturally assuming Peter's supposed position or office. Many COG groups have what they call "regional pastors" which might be roughly equal to the Catholic position of archbishop. According to the website newadvent.org "An archbishop or metropolitan, in the present sense of the term, is a bishop who governs a diocese strictly his own, while he presides at the same time over the bishops of a well-defined district composed of simple dioceses but not of provinces. Hence none of these subordinate bishops rule over others." These "subordinate bishops" might be about equal to a local pastor, who might have elders or local elders which could be equated to "priests" working beneath him within his local area. And under all of these is the lowly "deacon" which in both systems would be considered among the lowest of the hierarchy.

My question for my brothers and sisters is simply this. How do we reconcile this government model that is used so extensively with scriptures like Matthew 23:8-12? Does it make the system OK if we simply exchange the words for father, priest, pope, rabbi, bishop, etc. with other terms such as pastor, elder, director of church administration, pastor general, God's apostle, etc., even if those in these positions are seen to have at least some of the same responsibilities and "authority" as their counterparts? Is there really only one high priest, and is there really a priesthood of all believers, as we read about in Hebrews? And, can we say our leaders follow the instructions in 1Peter5:2-3, leading by example, but not lording over or "exercising authority" over us, when these very people make so much of their own "authority"?
Concerned Sister

Ronco said...

The Church Militant:

Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Church of God (ICBM-COG)

TLA said...

They have to do a lot of tap dancing to explain why when Peter was the chief apostle (Peter primacy doctrine), James made the final decision at the Jerusalem conference in Acts 15.

Yes - it seems when it comes to hierarchy, the Roman Catholic Church of the middle ages is the model for WCG and its franchises.
The only difference is the inquisition can only lead to excommunication - torture and death are no longer allowed.

Ronco said...

We all know Arby's has the meats, but the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Church of God (ICBM-COG) has the nukes!!!

Anonymous said...

Tonto,June 18, 2019 at 7:32 AM, said: "...John at 6:19. Christ became human and died, and was nowhere existent for 3 days. So I guess, spirit can be destroyed, or at least it presents an interesting question, and indeed, TIME WILL TELL!..."

Yes, Tonto, when the Word was made flesh, the Word ceased existence:

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." John 1:14

When Jesus died, He also ceased existence.

For that reason, perhaps also among other verses, neither the Word, nor Jesus, could claim to have lifted a hand to heaven, and said the following words:

"...I live for ever." Deut 32:40

John

Anonymous said...

Anon,June 18, 2019 at 7:44 AM, said...

"...@ 6:19 AM, perhaps you know that when Rod Meredith rebelled against the government of his Global Church of God, several former Global elders begged him not to name his new church "Living Church of God." They pointed out the problem of Revelation 3:1, and suggested that if he was determined to use "Living" it should be "Church of the Living God" so that "living" would be describing God rather than the church. Rod, however, insisted that since there was already a group called "Church of the Living God" he would go forward with his preferred name. Once the government paperwork was submitted, Rod then found out that there were already several groups calling themselves "Living Church of God," but Rod insisted on keeping his preferred name.

Then, when LCG moved to Charlotte, Rod purchased a building just off Sardis Road. It's as if he was subconsciously trying to tell LCG members the truth about their church without actually telling them..."
******
That interesting history I was not familiar with; however, once GLOBAL (some pronounced it as: "GO Baal"), a friend and his family left the former WCG and told me Jesus Christ had personally moved from WCG to Global. He had no proof for indicating that, but it was enough justification for him and his family leaving WCG.

Whether Rod called his group the "living church of god" or "church of the living god," it seems to be like Rod was exalting himSELF, his church, his group as being the most important part of the phrase...as if Rod were the engineer driving a train at the front, and that "of God" bit? That was like God is an afterthought, as if it were the unimpressive, unimportant, caboose of the entire train just being dragged along.

Yet, virtually all of the xcogs referred to themselves as if they were "God's Church," where one would think the word "God" was the most important word in the phrase, to be followed by the Church. Oh, they may want to use an adjective in between like God's Worldwide Church, God's Humble Church, God's (choose another adjective) Church, but phrases like that are active with the word God up front.

Perhaps the churches are just churches of god, very passive and wimpy, so they don't mind throwing the word God on the end. Will any of them change their names so they con't come off as wimpy, passive?

Time will tell...

John

Frank Fisher's Dog Blog said...

There are groups of Church of God members that are loving their heavenly Father
and his Sons and Daughters and everyone that they come in contact with as a light to follow.
There were issues in all the Churches of God as there are issues in every church because
we are human, but there have also been profound changes in the ministry and congregations
in the attitudes, not doctrine...cause 90% is biblical, that have made them very warm, loving
places to attend. At one time we were too top down or autocratic, but that has changes as well. Just remember if any on you have issues with our doctrines, we are an apostolic church and follow only what Christ and the Apostles taught. There are warnings in scripture about adding to or taking away from what the Bible teaches. The reasons that most Catholic and Protestant churches think that our doctrines are wrong or just plain weird is that we follow the the original teachings, not what was added to or subtracted from in the second to 4th centuries...ie...remove the Passover, replace with Easter, remove the Feast of Tabernacles, replace with Christmas etc, Just about all, if not all of the beliefs of the Catholics and Protestants are direct replacements for what God originally intended for his Church to believe. The real killer, is that they are orchestrated to hide the meaning of why mankind was placed here in the first place! Do yourself a favor and challenge your own beliefs. You will find that many of them are simply not in scripture.
One example would be the immortality of the soul That is Hellenistic concept, not a Hebrew one. The Bible says...Ezek 18:4  Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. If a soul was immortal, why then could it die? Also, does it not say in the following scripture that only Christ has immortality? 1Ti 6:16  Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. So why are you taught something entirely the opposite? We were taught to challenge our beliefs, to not believe a man, but our Bibles.
Will any of you do the same starting today?

Frank Fisher