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During the 2011 Church of God in Christ Call Meeting (national business meeting), held in Memphis, the Report of the General Board issued a summary  which says that the denomination intends to ramp up its efforts to change its public image. But what’s the motivation? The report ironically seems to paint the church as a victim of virtual boogeyman forces out to destroy its name, image and reputation.

“We are experiencing a viral media culture where truth and untruths are mingled together to produce sensation. Sometimes this occurs at the cost of reputation, livelihood, and humiliation. The Church must become more assertive in managing “her” own story about her role in world affairs. The selection of a Public Relations Manager is one of several ways we are going to “get ahead of a story” and offer a integral [sic] context to contrast the forces that take delight in minimizing our effectiveness and impact in the lives of hundreds of thosands [sic] of people in their every day lives.”

One solution, the church believes is to hire a “public relations manager”. As before when the issues cross clergy sexual abuse, financial mismanagement, and abuse of authority especially with COGIC leaders, the language becomes shadowy and generic. For instance,there is no explanation as to how the public relations manager position is different from the one created for Bishop Brandon Porter or the (presumably) paid media relations position of Diedre Malone.Is this just more useless spending by an administration trying to keep its dirty secrets from seeping out or is it a legitimate makeover by a church under the gun?

Yes, there are great new plans and initiatives, for Fatherhood, cutting expenses and creating training. The real concern pops us when you say you are going to “create new streams of revenue”.  What exactly does that entail? Will you be presenting a report to the congregation for transparency purposes? There were some serious financial questions raised late last year when an elder pointed out his concerns of misdirection of funds.

The problem with COGIC’s new strategy is akin to catching a child with his hand in the cookie jar. Asked if he is getting cookies when he shouldn’t be, the child responds: “But John’s dad called him a bad boy for getting a cookie before dinner, so you shouldn’t scold or punish me”. Redirecting attention from one’s own sins is the oldest trick in the book. Adam and Eve tried it in the book of Genesis.

COGIC dances around (or intentionally ignores) the real problem, which isnt a so-called  “viral media culture” (reportcogicabuse.com) or “forces that take delight in minimizing our effectiveness”.  It uses the same “viral media culture” to release its church propaganda.  The real problem is the fact that far too many of its own clergy are sexual wolves preying on unsuspecting sheep. And the church’s leadership does little — if anything— to resolve the problem. Instead of dealing righteously with legitimate victims who have suffered real and sustained sexual violence, the report paints the church as an innocent victim of  sinister viral media forces.Everyone is online. It’s a fact of life. Either you get with it and use it or you die. Simple.

Of course, they would NEVER name such forces lest people seek out the truth…and find it. What do you think?

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