Saturday, November 25, 2017

UCG Admits No One Wants To Climb Their "Ladder of Involvement"



United Church of God envisions itself as the paragon of truth that no one else gets quite as right as they do.  They believe this in spite of the fact their own brand of "new and improved" Church of Godism has never become the shining light for all of the Church of God to look to for Christian virtue.

From its embrace of embezzling bank managers, coddling ministers who got off sexually harassing women in the church, to encouraging members to lie under oath about a minister who was a stalker.  UCG's pure Christianity was so pure that it imploded several times since its inception, first with David Hulme splintering off and then with 174 ministers jumping ship along with thousands of brethren to form Church of God a Worldwide Association. Then the entire church watched as its chairman had to resign over "unchristian behavior".

Is it any wonder they struggle to appeal to the public as a place people would want to experience God?  Especially when it seems like UCG sees its journey for its members as progressive steps up a ladder. Who would even want to get on the ladder in the first place?

What "pearls of great price" does UCG possess that ANYONE would actually want to have?

UCG's ladder of progression has rungs that are broken or entirely missing as it worships the law over that inconvenient dude they are ashamed to publicly talk about.
I conducted a session that resulted in a lot of discussion, entitled: “First Contact Counseling.” The title suggests that our ministry may be given “leads” of people who take an interest in our proclamation message. The reality, however, is that we no longer have a line of people coming to us. We have to find them. We have to become “fishers of men.”
How can we reach out in the world where we live with the spiritual treasure and pearls of great price that we have acquired? We know that God calls people, but what role do we have in engaging them? We spoke of the “ladder of involvement” that all of us have climbed from first contact with the truth to committed membership through baptism. Is the ascent unimpeded from someone’s first exposure to God’s way all of the way up to engagement in the congregational environment? Do we provide the rungs needed to climb this ladder? Are the rungs solid, or are some broken? If the path is not clear, a person’s growth can stop.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is perfect. A ladder is what you climb in a competitive corporate environment. These "ministers" have told the truth about themselves!

Anonymous said...

UCG is the biggest mess ever. I stupidly followed them when they left WCG. What a horrible and most unimaginable mistake I could have ever made. The corruption that infected WCG was only compounded in UCG. The same men who caused issues in the WCG came over to UCG where they just as abusive if not more. I will never set foot in a church again as along as I live.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that these ministers know only how to deal with, and take advantage of people in a 'closed system.' Trying to increase numbers by pleasing potential ' customers' is foreign to them. Instead it's all about administering 'Gods government.'

DPR567 said...

When I left Worldwide in Tupelo, Mississippi back in the summer of 1994, I NEVER wanted anything to do with any breakaway groups because I knew it would be the same assholes that treated me like shit. Give it a few years and those ACOG cults will fall away and good riddance!

Georgia Peach said...

6:03 AM, I attended the Tupelo congregation in the mid '90's. Would you mind it if I sent you an e-mail?

Connie Schmidt said...

Marcus Lemonis on his show "The Profit" often states what a successful enterprise needs.

The big three are to have good--
1) Product
2) Process
3) People

Here is where UCG falls short...

***In the Product department, facilities are rented second and third tier locations or worse, and may require long drives to get to. The sermons are often amateurish, boring or irrelevant. Dwight Armstrong music is bad, and passe . To be in a COG, is a high demand proposition in terms of financial, family, and time. Other high demand groups that practice tithing, such as the Mormons and SDAs , have beautiful facilities, lots of activities and good quality sermons, traveling and good semipro music performances on a regular basis, and are conveniently located. The top of the pyramids, whether they have been Pasadena or Cincinnati , have or had, good stuff , always at the expense of the bottom 99%.

*** Process. This is where the development of growth through new membership and their advancement comes into play. After some 22+ years, the amount of people that are becoming part of UCG through new growth from their marketing is virtually nil. It has not and does not work and is just spinning wheels to give an appearance of effectiveness. Even second generation retention is very poor. The advertising , although very costly, is producing new people in all of the COGs at a cost of more than $50 to 100k a piece. This is called "acquisition cost" and it is way too high to produce a sustainable business model.

*** People . COG demographic score very much into the AARP retirement category. Nothing wrong or evil about being old, but if it is accompanied with an "old attitude" and a hankering to old Armstrong culture ways (such as power suits and ties, hierarchy, unempowerment, and passivity) rather than practicing "creative destruction", personal evangelism and creativity, then the culture is doomed. Even 65 year old McDonalds understands that you have to upgrade the menus, replace and rebuild aging units, and change their marketing. Being stuck in time is DOOM for any organization.

So UCG gets failing grades in all 3 categories. Companies like Radio Shack, Sears, Penneys , Kmart etc. were all stuck in the same ruts and all fiddled while Rome burned. Will UCG do the same?


Anonymous said...

No ones mentioned it, so here goes. Our minister in the 1980s told us from the podium that the song 'Stairway to heaven' was written by a former Ambassador College student who was bullied into going there, and hated the place. So the song is about Herbs church, him being the pied piper in the song. The tithes and offering are people buying their way (staircase) into heaven. Notice Herbs 'two roads' (give/get) in the song. The 'lady' is from memory the aunt that forced him to go to AC.
Perhaps former students of AC can add can shine some light on this claim.

Byker Bob said...

It is an AC or WCG urban legend and yet another conspiracy theory, and I've heard several variations over the years. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant have had to defend their authorship of that song on several occasions, most recently against the heirs of the late Randy California of Spirit.

One of the reasons why some tend to believe this urban legend is that Armstrongites, theoretically, aren't allowed to lie. There were also stories about a student who learned to levitate and bend spoons through telekinesis while at AC, and tales of demons bouncing and rolling the basketballs in the AC gym in Pasadena in the late hours of the night.

BB

Cognac Willie said...

Anon 954, the so-called ministers of the WCG were always spouting off claims such as the one you cite. Altho in actuality Page and Plant wrote "Stairway..", the false claim circulated around WCG was that an AC student wrote it, and when the nominally-inspired ministry validated this falsehood from the stage, another lie received substantiation with the inspired utterance from the mouths of the fools that masqueraded as ministers. The same claim was made about several other songs also. Conversely, it was also claimed by some in WCG that "Stairway.." was written directly by Satan, since Page owned Aleistar Crowley's mansion. I also heard Doug Horseshit give a UB sermon (as the vital finale to coming out of sin) about backmasking and the mastering of albums at a secret Satanic studio, attacking innocents such as ELO, CSN, and the Beatles. I had worked in the music industry intensively in LA after my AC years and knew many of these people, but somehow I was never invited to their secret Satanic mastering sessions. Even weirder yet, I sat thru and endured these and other boring and ignorant diatribes for many years, even tho knowing they were false, before finally putting the cultic fear factor away and escaping from the insanity. Like a real backmast on the J Geils album, "No Anchovies Please," says, "It doesn't take a genius to tell the difference between chicken shit and chicken salad." Now that must have been talking about WCG, right?

I love Christmas said...

The song was written by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. It had NOTHING to do with Armstrong, Ambassador College, or any student.

nck said...

11:19

Well there is a "california" connection to Robert Plant. And of course Alesteir Crowley. Bricket Wood was a "cove" after all. Crazy Brits, but more connection to Satanic play the record backwards than with a barber shop quartet.

nck

Byker Bob said...

I would rule out anything that any official in Armstrongism had to say about rock or any of their other unapproved genres of music. Research-wise, they treated music just as they did any of their other hook or buzz topics. They drew conclusions first, then went around attempting to find reasons to support those conclusions. Bogus.

They, of course, jumped on backwards masking right at the start of the "Paul's dead" hubbub. Thing is, if you played all of HWA's sermons backwards, sooner or later you'd find something that sounded Satanic. I believe they also went after the anapestic beat. It was fine for Wagner, but not Dionne Warwicke.

It's all mind-control, people. And, it is not even valid or credible mind control.

BB

Gordon Feil said...

Connie, valid comparisons. UCG's problem is that isn't relevant. There is no significant segment of the church market to whom UCG is able to position itself as having net value. The typical COG is not seen as a place for healing the emotionally broken and ill, but I think that is what the church market wants. Life is tough and people want help coping.

UCG spends a lot on advertising, but advertising does not build a brand. It only maintains a brand. What builds the brand is public relations. PR is free and it is people telling other people how great the product is. Sometimes it is through personal contact, and sometimes it is through endorsements via the media.

Anonymous said...

Reminds of the time I heard a minister say that Michael Jackson was interested in attending Worldwide Church of God. That was a crock-of-shit.

Cognac Willie said...

BB, I always contended the same thing, that if you play HWA or anything backwards, eventually you'll hear something weird. And speaking of weird, Weird Al Yankovic actually had two backmasks, one which proves the satanic backmask connection for those in WCG when he said (backwards) "Satan eats Cheez Whiz." A second one pokes fun at those obsessed with backmasked listening; "Wow, you must have an awful lot of free time on your hands." Robert Plant himself denied any backmasking on "Stairway...", saying something like they had better use of their time to do anything that dumb.

Anonymous said...

What genius level guitar work in this song. Nice to see that Page and Plant are still alive and performing. The drummer died from over eating, don't over eat folks.

Anonymous said...

Wait! Then maybe the Stones didn't write Sympathy for the Devil! LOL

Connie Schmidt said...

I played David Pack "backwards" and it actually made more sense than when he speaks "forward"!

Anonymous said...



The disUnited Church of Godlessness is where unrepentant, unconverted, unbelieving perverts go to behave very badly while playing church. Many of the perverts who like to hang out at the UCG are not even signed up as members of the UCG.

The UCG wants to bring in unbelieving weirdos and get rid of any true believers. So, the UCG has a lot of unbelieving weirdos hanging around and spouting off their own crazy theories. If anyone goes to the UCG, they'll run into these people who do not believe in the UCG. Why should anyone put up with such an ungodly mess?

Anonymous said...

According to Wikipedia both Page and Plant were interesting in the spiritual/occult.

"Plant's lyrics with Led Zeppelin were often mystical, philosophical and spiritual, alluding to events in classical and Norse mythology..

The appearance of four symbols on the jacket of Led Zeppelin's fourth album has been linked to Page's interest in the occult...In the early 1970s Page owned an occult bookshop and publishing house,.."

The lyrics of Stairway to heaven does sound very much like Herbs church. Another example, Elvis Presley was a subscriber to Herbs The Plain Truth Magazine. Herbs church did have influence.
We don't know for certain, but a lot of co incidences.

Anonymous said...

what mumbo jumbo is this ? climbing ladders of involvement ? This sort of new age confusing psycho babble, which has been going on since 2010 or thereabouts, in UCG is only ever FREE advertising for COGWA. Yet they fail repeatedly to realize this.
Many have jumped ship already, many drift around. UCG has become neither one thing nor another. differing fractions pulling UCG in different directions. The ultra liberals think UCG should step out in Faith and not worry about losing any money. At least that would be honest if not also suicidal. The moderates want the same as the ultra liberals but neither have the courage nor the honesty to admit they hate God's Holy days and his Holy ways.
So UCG is forever stuck in no man's land. Rejected by true believers as being lukewarm and not to be trusted and overlooked by potential new members as being odd.
The curse and the fate of being neither one thing nor another.

Cognac Willie said...

The reason Pack makes more sense played backwards is that, he will claim, he is speaking in inspired tongues. Careful not to suggest that he has the gift of tongues, tho, lest he be claiming double inspiration and the presence of secret messages imbedded in his jibberish.

RSK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

This is true. Children are not safe from them. The ministry seem to be blind to it. People are not putting up with it, they disappear without trace to avoid the hellish behaviour that is permitted. Woe to themselves. Hypocrites.

RSK said...

Heh, when I did records, I specifically recorded some bits in reverse, but it was impossible to get anything really clear that would play both forward and backwards. Which was the fallacy of the whole "backmasking" 80s fracas in the first place. But boyyyy was it a moral panic.

RSK said...

Perverts in UCG! Perverts in PCG! Are LCG and RCG also full of kidmolesters too?

Mackward Basker said...

RSK asked:

Are LCG and RCG also full of kidmolesters too?

GCL neht dna GCG trats ot yenom fo stol dna stol evag sivaD esuaceb gnilddif-yddik s'sivaD noD detarelot htidereM doR

Anonymous said...

Can you share who was the chairman who had to step down for "unchristian behavior"? I missed that event.

Anonymous said...

Connie - concerning your comment about UCG's failed efforts at growth, I hear that there are some scattered congregations that are taking things into their own hands, using things like Google Adwords and have some degree of success, at a whole lot lower cost.

RSK said...

I see. ah, money. covers such a multitude of sins.

Anonymous said...

Melvin Rhodes

Anonymous said...

Actually, 4:30, Meredith took hundreds of thousands of dollars of Don Davis's money, then kicked him to the curb once the big sum of money was gone and Davis was just another ordinary tithe-payer. Just like he brought Patrick Scarborough to Charlotte in hope of getting Patrick's trust-fund money from a big insurance settlement. Once Meredith's hopes of getting the money were dashed, he had no use for Patrick anymore.

This kind of conduct is what Gerald Weston supported for more than 20 years as a member of Meredith's Council of Elders. The "ladder of involvement" in LCG is that the leadership flatters a wealthy member, gives him attention and position and pulls him up the ladder, then strips him of his wealth, then pushes him off the ladder as useless.

Anonymous said...

4.47 PM
Google 'UCG chairman steps down.'

Anonymous said...

"Actually, 4:30, Meredith took hundreds of thousands of dollars of Don Davis's money"

Not only that, but Davis was right at Meredith's side when Meredith started both GCG and LCG. Davis was more Loyal to Meredith than anyone. And Meredith unceremoniously kicked him off the council of elders in 2005. There was no reason given. In fact, the move was never announced.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:09 wrote:

Davis was more Loyal to Meredith than anyone.

That's the problem. He was more loyal to Meredith than to God.