For decades the various Churches of God have sought ways to reach new converts. Some things they have come up with have been rather good, and others things that should have been relegated to the trash bin of history.
This brings us to today, and oh what a stinker we have to see! Our very own Almost-arrested but not-arrested, Almost-ordained, but not-ordained, Elijah Amos, Joshua, Zechariah, End-time Witness, prophet, apostle, future martyr, Mayan authority, Catholicism authority, end time prophecy authority, Doubly-blessed but not blessed to start a church, Bwana Dr. Robert Thiel has started his new Animation Channel in order to convert the minds of young people into the "truth once given."
Like any good Church of God leader, Bwana Bob starts his very first animation with the Church of God's favorite topic,
Should a first date be between two experienced pickup artists interested in fornication? Or should it be between a man and a woman who would like to actually know each other better? Does the Bible give any guidelines that Christians who date should pay attention to? If so, what are some? This brief animation shows a worldly pickup date at a bar, and an inelegant, but appropriate request for a date in a more open environment. Dating should be fun and involve communication, and not regrets. So, check out our animation on worldly vs. Christian dating.
What makes this video doubly worse is that the Doubly-blessed Thiel is the voice of the animation! Imagine being a youth and having to listen to this shit! Oy!
In order to help get information out to a wider audience, we in the Continuing Church of God have decided to produce some short animations that we plan to initially put up on YouTube.
This may be somewhat unique to us as I personally have never been part of a church that used a lot of animations (I only remember a two-minute animation in the 1970s used once as part of a World Tomorrow telecast related to Gehenna fire). The first CCOG animation is related to dating and our forthcoming booklet on the subject.
To try to reach all, we must also consider their demographics. Younger people are looking for more short bursts of information, and people are more used to being entertained in modern times.
So, while we will continue to have sermons, long articles, etc. (stronger meat), we are looking to provide some basic information (milk, starter food) in forms that more would be comfortable to start with. Plus, everyone who has been around for a long times does not always need strong meat. God made a variety of physical foods, and in CCOG we are trying to provide a variety of spiritual foods (magazines, websites, sermonette videos, sermon videos, personal contacts, visits around the world, baptizing trips, youth camps, church and holy day services, radio appearances, and now also videos). Radio appearances, of which I have done over 100 since CCOG formed, should be considered mainly along the “milk of the word” line.
Consistent with biblical admonitions, we need to “Memorize his laws and tell them to your children over and over again” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7, CEV) as well as “turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers” (Malachi 4:6).
Since very young children tend to have their hearts turned towards their parents and vice versa, I have long believed we need to, in addition to teaching parents (which is something we have always striven to do), better reach young people in their teens and above. Animations look to be one way to do that (and yes, church youth camps, which we have each year are also another specific step we have taken).
But let it be understood that while the use of animations is mainly focused on people from age 13 to 30, animations should also be effective for people of almost all ages.
Notice something that the late Pastor General of the old Worldwide Church of God, Herbert W. Armstrong, had in the last letter sent out before his death:
It may be that the Work that God has given me to do is complete, but not the Work of God’s Church, which will be faithfully doing God’s Work till Christ, the True Head of this Church, returns … Remember brethren, this is not the work of Herbert W. Armstrong … The greatest work lies ahead … Never before in the history of the Church has it been possible to reap so great a harvest. It has only been made possible through modern technology, beginning with the printing press, radio, television ... Each of you must commit yourself to support God’s Work … God’s work must push ahead as never before. God is opening up new doors in television(Letter, 1/10/86).
The use of animations looks to be a door that we can use to reach others that we may not otherwise reach as well as those not as likely to want to read long articles and/or to watch long sermons. Hopefully, after watching animations, many will want to learn more.The use of online television services like YouTube, and modern computer software to make animations, is a NEW DOOR IN TELEVISION.
My hope and prayer is that the short animations, combined with relevant free book offers, will help others develop more interest in true Christianity. This is another way to get the witness out to the world.