Monday 2 May 2016

Vision - the COG Edsel?

There's a quote from Stephen Elliot, one of the Hulmerous ministers who jumped ship in 2013, quoted on the anonymous COG News site.
The final print edition
"Our membership has declined, not grown. After 15 years and an estimated expense for Vision of $3+ million dollars for salaries, advertising, publishing, design, shipping, PR, video, travel and whatever, there has been no fruit from Vision or the Vision website. The only new members, other than children of members, have come because of a personal relationship with a member - not because of Vision."
Hulme's COGAIC looks more and more like the COG equivalent of an Edsel as time goes by. UCG was probably lucky when Dave slammed the car door and drove off into the sunset. The difference between Vision and Edsel? Ford only kept the thing for three years; Hulme kept throwing tithe money into the furnace for sixteen.

In what may be an attempt to airbrush the embarrassment of dumping their flagship publication, COGAIC has removed all PDF links to past issues. All you'll find now is a curated selection of articles from each back issue.


Redfox712 said...

And so another COG splinter group becomes even less relevant than it was before.

And on another matter LCG has released a new website that presents the Armstrongite dogmas while obscuring the fact that LCG has made it.

They even have a "Do Not Donate" page.

Maybe some LCG members should take that advice from LCG to heart and stop sending tithes to LCG.

Unknown said...

Playing along with the car analogy... would this make the former WCG , the GCI, headed by Joe Jr. a...


Stephen said...

In a rare moment of probably accidental honesty, Vic Kubik admitted the same for UCG, either after the COGWA split, or when he assumed the presidency, I forget which. He didn't explicitly pin it to the abject failure of past propaganda efforts IIRC, but similar implications remain inescapable.

I'm sure it just comes down to mending a few "broken rungs" in the indoctrination process. Of course, this sort of a "worldly" secular approach to growing their busin—err, I mean, church, can't help but raise some theological problems.

I've heard it said by mere members that it's wrong to try to measure the success of the church's "witness" with "numbers," and that it's really just the job of the church to "get the message out there" and if nobody wants "the truth" then that's everyone else's problem, not the church's. That means, that it doesn't matter at all how terrible of a job the church does at "getting the message out there," just so long as it gets something out there, then responsibility can, I guess, be successfully shifted. That's a nice apologetic which works at the membership level to excuse the ministry's poor "stewardship" (management). However, Stephen Elliot and Vic Kubik don't seem to take this theological escape hatch. They seem to prefer the "worldly" secular approach, I suppose, because they'd really like to have more money, and that is something that can be measured in "numbers."

But one might be justified in wondering why, if what the COGs are trying to sell is nothing less than "the truth," that they can't seem to sell it even when the price appears to be free. Anyone who's had the misfortune to hang around the COGs for any length of time knows the theological answers to this question, either that satan or god has "blinded" them, or darkened their minds, or simply refused to "call" them. If we were to take this view as "gospel," one might then be further justified in wondering why god is so successfully thwarting the efforts of what is purported to be his own "work."

What sort of a theology, includes a commission to do a "powerful" work on a god's behalf, only to surmise this god offsets it completely with an equally powerful "blindness," and also include the double-tradition of "a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand"? Surely a contradictory one. Moreover, do these ministers really expect the "broken rung" of a "god ordained spiritual blindness" can be fixed by marketing consultants? It's enough to make one wonder whether these ministers actually believe any of the hogwash they preach.

As usual, there's a simpler explanation to what's going on here than the theological one, that even below-average Joe Blows can tell fiction by any other name is still just fiction, and what looks like failure, really is just failure.

Minimalist said...

I didn't realize the 1960 Edsel was so redesigned - looks like the 1959 Buick!

Byker Bob said...

You could take the front end clip from a '58 Edsel, and exchange it for the Ford Fairlane one on a '57 or '58 Ranchero, and it fit with no modifications or adjustments. If you look at pictures of the 1960 Ford, you will see that the basic Ford body platform was given a different grill, and tail lights, and voila! Edsel. The Edsel had larger displacement FE series engines, and different interior treatments, but was very similar to the Fords. For a step up above the basic Ford, most buyers stuck with the tried and true Mercury. GM had 5 brands of full size car for the 1940s and '50s, and so did Chrysler Corp. With the Edsel, Ford was attempting to compete with Pontiac/Oldsmobile or Dodge/DeSoto, and it failed to meet the expectations of the buying public.


Minimalist said...

I meant to say their panic restyling looks like a pale rip-off of the Stunning '59 Pontiac (not Buick) with that extending metal grille division. As for the disastrous look of initial Edsels resembling, some said, well, um...