Peter Eddington of UCG’s Media and Communications Services posted today about the “Illegal Use of United Church of God Name and Logo” on “anonymously prepared letters that are critical of the Council of Elders”, obviously referring to the 3 New GCE Documents posted on the AC website. I thought it odd at the time that they would use the logo at the top of the letters, and it would seem odder if the authors didn’t know that UCG wants to protect its “brand”. There was a special emphasis on branding a couple of years ago, and it isn’t a far fetch to realize that unauthorized use of the logo would be confronted.
It remains a sad mystery as to how anonymous writings can hope to possess any degree of credibility, particularly when these writings also illegally use the Church’s letterhead (name and logo or seal) as a prop for legitimacy.
If this were isolated, I would fully appreciate and endorse UCG’s stance on this. However, given the current circumstances and environment, it really does seem like more legal maneuvering and heavy-handedness. I have to wonder if this falls under realm of “brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.” If it does not now, then will it?
At the same token, I want to state again that I’m not fond of anonymous tactics, either. Yet, given the current environment of retribution, it’s not a far stretch to understand why someone might do it. All I can say is that they might want to reconsider if anonymity really provides an effective solution or not.
On the other hand, does retribution against members really work? Something that some elders do not seem to understand is that we, the members, willingly come to services. The members willingly tithe. The members willingly offer prayers for the Church (not just an organization, but the entire Church). The members willingly volunteer rather than seek monetary gain.
I stress the word willingly. God did not to my knowledge arm wrestle anyone into repentance, baptism and conversion.
I sometimes point out the similarities between corporations and churches as far as leadership goes, but that fact that individuals within the organization are mostly volunteers without pay is one major difference between the two. As such, a volunteer can expect to un-volunteer at the drop of a hat and not face financial loss. The motivations are different, and thus good leadership will recognize that and act accordingly.
Or, at least it should.
Can you imagine if a food bank told a volunteer, “I’m sorry, but you’ll no longer be able to come here and volunteer. In fact, the time and money you’ve donated to this organization no longer matter”? Can you imagine how that would feel? Can you imagine the morale of the other volunteers?
Why is it that a church organization seems to believe it can get away with more than another charitable organization?
Why is it that church members will settle for less?