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« Reply #60 on: September 24, 2006, 01:21:13 PM »

The Christadelphians

The Christadelphians have been with us since about 1848. They rose up after the Mormons, but prior to the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Seventh Day Adventists. A man name John Thomas founded the group. The Disciples of Christ denomination attempted to discipline this man for his "strange doctrines", but the discipline was not accepted by him. John Thomas drew off his own followers under their original name, "The Royal Association of Believers in New York", now known as the "Christadelphians".

John Thomas' book, "Elpis Israel" (Hope of Israel), and his successor's book, "Christendom Astray from the Bible", by Robert Roberts form the basis for the group's beliefs.

VIEW ON THE GODHEAD

The Christadelphian publication, "Key to Understanding the Bible", page 13, reads under "The Godhead"

"God is one, not three. He has revealed Himself as the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ and of all who are related to Him in Faith."

God is therefore believed to be ONLY God the FATHER. Christians do believe there is only one God. However, whereas we agree that the Father is called God, the Son, Jesus Christ, is also called God. Therefore He is likewise a manifestation of the One God of Scripture.

Prophecy calls Jesus God - Matthew

The Disciples called Jesus God - John

The Father called Jesus God - Hebrews

CHRISTADELPHIAN VIEW OF JESUS

Again, we quote from "Key to Understanding the Bible", page 14.

"Jesus Christ is not God the Son, but is the Son of God, begotten of the virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit. He was a man of our race, identical in nature with all mankind."

Jesus Christ is therefore presented by the Christadelphians as being the son of God ONLY, having no existence prior to his birth to Mary and being only a man by nature. However, the Bible plainly teaches the preexistence and eternal nature of Jesus Christ. For example, John 1:1 states,

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God." (NAS)

Verse 14 continues, regarding Jesus,

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." (NAS)

The Word, Jesus Christ, was plainly there "in the beginning". In fact, He is "before all things" according to Colossians 1:17, which chapter of the Bible portrays Him as Creator of all.

The prophecy in Micah is of special interest. Micah 52 reads,

"But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity."

The key word here is "eternity", also translated "everlasting". This is the Hebrew word "olam". This word is never used for any creature, or product of creation. It is ONLY used for GOD. This same Hebrew word is used of the Father in Psalm 90:2,

"...Even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God."

The eternal nature of Jesus Christ is also evident from 1 Timothy 1:17, which ways of Christ,

"Now to the King ETERNAL, immortal, invisible, THE ONLY GOD, be honor and glory forever and ever, Amen."

Jesus Christ did function on this earth as a man to perfectly redeem us, but this did not detract from His eternal Deity. Colossians 2:9 says of Christ, "For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form."

All is all, full is full. Jesus Christ, even in the flesh never ceased to be truly and fully God.


CHRISTADELPHIAN VIEW OF SATAN THE DEVIL

Under the heading "Devil" and "Satan" in the Christadelphian publication, "Key to Understanding the Bible", on page 15, we find,

"Devil.....Its general meaning is sin or lawlessness, whether manifested individually or politically. It is also applied to the unlawful lusts and tendencies of human nature which invariably lead to sin. It is not a supernatural being. Satan is a Hebrew word signifying "adversary", "enemy", or "accuser"."

Christadelphians therefore reduce the Devil to our own sinful lusts, and make every adversary in the Bible a "Satan". Both views are in error, as we shall see.

In Zechariah 3:1,2, we see Satan standing before the angel of the Lord, and God Himself speaks to Satan, rebuking him. Was God rebuking His own lustful thoughts? Ridiculous. Likewise Jesus carried on quite a conversation with the person of Satan the Devil in Matthew 4, verses 1 through 11. Jesus, who was perfect, certainly did not have a sinful nature talking to Him! He was speaking to a real personage, Satan the Devil. Jesus went on to call him, the "father of lies" and a "Murderer" in John 8:44. These are titles for a real person, not abstract feelings.

Christadelphians need to know that there is a real person in the world called "Satan the Devil" and he delights in having people deny his existence, for then they never gain the mastery over him.

CHRISTADELPHIAN VIEW OF SALVATION

According to the booklet, "Christadelphians" by L. Hutchins, a Christadelphian gains salvation by

1. Accepting the gospel preached by Jesus Christ and His apostles, as interpreted by Christadelphians.

2. Being baptized by total immersion.

3. Obeying the commandments of Christ.

The Bible, on the other hand, promises us salvation by GRACE alone. Ephesians 2:8,9 puts it this way

"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the GIFT of God, NOT AS A RESULT OF WORKS, that no one should boast."

We as Christians should have good works, but they are a RESULT of our salvation, not a CONDITION for our salvation.

A parting thought......

No doubt there will be sincere Christadelphians reading this, as well as Christians, so I want to add this personal note.

I understand so well how many hours you have given to your faith, always striving to improve, for I was once in a group similar to yours. Friends, please do not stumble over salvation by grace alone, because it seems too easy. First off, begin by praying an honest prayer to God, asking Him to reveal the truth to you through the pages of the Bible alone.

Set aside your Christadelphian publications for a time and really seek Jesus Christ through the pages of the Bible, and personally in prayer. You will find out that He is far different from what you have been taught. Nevertheless do not stop seeking until you find Him. After all, if you have the right Jesus Christ, you are right for all eternity, but if you have the wrong Jesus Christ you are wrong for all eternity.
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« Reply #61 on: December 11, 2006, 08:52:24 PM »

Great read thanks dream. I have some really good family friends that are mormon. They have children. I work with the father. I pray daily for them and we discuss different beliefs almost daily. They are very family oriented and they do a lot for the less fortunate. But that is where the goodness ends. I have worked a lot to bring true light and happiness into thier lives with the TRUE word of GOD but it has been an uphill battle. I pray daily that God will let me get through to them. All it would take is convincing the father and the rest of the family will fall into place if you will. 
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« Reply #62 on: October 18, 2008, 04:00:08 AM »

I think it is time to update this some.

The Westboro Baptist Church, of Topeka, Kansas, is a hate group masquerading as a Christian church. Led by the Rev. Fred Phelps, the misguided members of this church target homosexuals and a range of others with messages of hate. The church’s ourageous protest actions - the group prefers to picket funerals(!) - have earned the Phelps and his ilk much media coverage.

The church’s web site, is deservedly listed as a hate site by many internet watchdog organizations. Its content is the verbal equivalent to what you would find in any other sewer. The same is true for its companion web site.

Phelps and his followers say his civil rights advocacy in the early 1960s was “the Lord’s work.” They insist it arose from the same strict reading of the Bible that propels them to savage homosexuals. Daughter Abigail Phelps, one of several children who live near their father in the Westboro Baptist Church compound in Topeka, says Phelps “isn’t flip-flopping” from one extreme to another.

But Topeka civic leaders counter that Phelps’ metamorphosis from civil rights lawyer to anti-gay scourge was motivated by his craving for publicity and gadfly’s obsession with stirring up trouble. “He’s made himself an institution in town by attacking people,” said Bill Beachy, an official with the Concerned Citizens of Topeka, a local civic group.

Phelps’ obsession with homosexuals blossomed in 1991, when he demanded that Topeka leaders crack down on gays who congregated in Gage Park, an urban oasis near his church. Unsatisfied by officials’ responses, Phelps churned out vitriolic handbills accusing them of being “Sodomites”–and took up picketing anyone who objected to his harsh tactics.

Corruption, in Phelps’ eyes, ripples from anyone tainted by homosexuality. Likening himself to the stern 18th century Calvinist theologian Jonathan Edwards, he picketed dozens of Topeka churches. As the campaign grew, Phelps moved out across the county to castigate anyone who consorts with the enemy.

Pastor Who Takes Pride in Hate Traces the Emotion to Bible, Los Angeles Times, Nov. 16, 1999

Needless to say, the despicable teachings and practices of this extremist group fall outside those of historic, orthodox Christianity.

Phelps and his followers call themselves “primitive Baptists.” They believe in predestination, the idea that God already has selected those who will go to heaven and that everyone else is irreversibly doomed to hell.

Their mission, members say, simply is to spread this news.

“We don’t strive to change your hearts or minds,” Phelps wrote in a letter to the Capital-Journal. “Even if we wanted to, we couldn’t make you believe the truth.

“Every person who is predestined for hell will remain in darkness.”

Kansas anti-gay church embarrasses Topekans, The Oakland Tribune, Nov. 4, 2002

Despite the term ‘Baptist’ in the church’s name, the hate group - made up largely of Phelp’s children, grandchildren and in-laws - is not affiliated with any denomination. Most Christians reject Phelp’s theology and methods:

“The slogans that Fred Phelps and his group are promoting are unscriptural and very inappropriate,” says Dwayne Hastings, director of communications for the Southern Baptist Convention’s ethics and religious-liberty commission. “Southern Baptists stand on the word of God in believing that homosexuality is wrong and that, as the Bible says, it’s an abomination to God. But God does not hate the homosexual…. To those who are unaware of the orthodox Christian view of homosexuality, Fred Phelps presents a distorted and, in fact, perverted view of God’s word in his message of hate.”

Condem Sin - and sinner, by Robert Stacy McCain. Insight on the News, Volume: 15. Issue: 30, August 16, 1999. Page 32

Theologically, this group of pseudo-Christians is a cult of Christianity.

The Anti-Defamation League has collected quotations from WBC materials and other sources that “expose the Church’s views on Jews, gays, Blacks, Christians and the United States. WBC’s own words best demonstrate the wide range and disturbing nature of its hatred.” The ADL introduces its collection with an overview of the group:

At the funeral of gay murder victim Matthew Shepard, they held up signs reading “No Fags in Heaven” and “God Hates Fags.” According to their Web site, they have staged “20,000″ protests across the nation and around the world in the last decade.

Virulently homophobic, the Westboro Baptist Church has picketed the gay community at hundreds of events nationwide. Many of its fliers emphasize the race or religion of these individuals.

They believe that “God’s hatred is one of His holy attributes.” They are the congregants of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas.

Incorporated in 1967 as a not-for-profit organization, the virulently homophobic Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) considers itself an “Old School (or, Primitive)” Baptist Church. The Church is led by the septuagenarian Reverend Fred Waldron Phelps Sr., and many WBC congregants are related to Phelps by blood. His wife, several of his children and dozens of his grandchildren frequent the church.

While WBC has picketed the gay community at hundreds of events nationwide, most of the individuals protested by the Church are not homosexual. In fact, WBC most often targets people it mistakenly claims are gay or those it believes to be encouraging homosexuality. Many WBC fliers emphasize the race or religion of these individuals, suggesting that the Church’s hate spreads beyond its abhorrence of homosexuality. What appears to be anti-gay rhetoric is often a vehicle for WBC’s anti-Semitism, hatred of other Christians, and even racism, though in the 1980s Fred Phelps received awards from the Greater Kansas City Chapter of Blacks in Government and the Bonner Springs branch of the NAACP for his work on behalf of Black clients.

Trained as a lawyer, Fred Phelps was disbarred in 1979 by the Kansas Supreme Court, which asserted that he had “little regard for the ethics of his profession.”

Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church: In Their Own Words Anti-Defamation League, last accessed Jan. 5, 2005
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« Reply #63 on: October 18, 2008, 04:02:57 AM »

African cult leader responsible for mass murder/suicide still alive?

Kibwetere led the cult called the “Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God,” which ended its history in 2001 through a horrific mass murder/suicide that claimed the lives of hundreds of followers.

This tragedy occurred after doomsday predictions made by Kibwetere and his accomplice Credonia Mwerinde failed to materialize at the turn of the millenium.

A Ugandan elected official told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday that Kibwetere altered his appearance through “plastic surgery” and now lives in Israel.

He offered no proof to support this claim.

Kibwetere and Mwerinde’s bodies were never recovered. There were persistent rumors that Mwerinde may have escaped after looting the group’s assets.

However, many believe Kibwetere is dead, though his remains have never been positively identified.

It is very doubtful that such a notorious cult leader could have successfully entered Israel, which is a country known for its tight security and carefully monitored immigration.

The Ugandan cult murder/suicide probably exceeded the number of deaths at Jonestown, making it the most horrific cult tragedy in recorded history.

But due to the lack of forensic and technical assistance available in Uganda, a true count of the dead will never be known.

The Mungiki sect or “cult” has a horrific history of murder and mayhem in Kenya. Last week alone 32 people were murdered by cult members, only the latest victims of the cult’s reign of terror, reports Sunday Nation.

However, the international media rarely devotes its resources for meaningful in-depth coverage of the brutal cult killings in Africa.

Why?

When 39 members of a relatively obscure American cult known as “Heaven’s Gate” committed suicide in 1997 it made headlines and generated seemingly endless journalistic analysis.

And in 1994 when 53 members of the then obscure Solar Temple were found dead in Switzerland, that too became the focus of rapt international press concern.

The Mungiki movement may include more than 2 million members and seems intent upon destablizing a government.

Just after 2000 hundreds of bodies were recovered in Uganda, the direct result of brutal cult slayings and suicide connected to “The Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments.” But again this didn’t generate the same international news coverage that much less historically significant cults did outside of Africa .

Why?

In 1978 when 900 Americans died in an isolated cult compound in Guyana called “Jonestown” there was no shortage of journalists willing to cover that story. More than that number probably died in Uganda, but we will never know due to a lack of forensic assistance and it seems international interest.

Apparently African cult tragedies somehow don’t rate the same attention from the international media and community.

It appears that many news outlets think cult members must be white, American, European or at least from an industrialized nation such as Japan (i.e. Aum), to be worthy serious concern and meaningful in-depth reporting.
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« Reply #64 on: October 18, 2008, 04:04:34 AM »

Maharishi’s mantra for money may be his most lasting legacy

Posted in Transcendental Meditation, Al Qaeda, Miscellaneous at 1:40 am by Rick Ross

Mahesh Prasad Varma, better known as “Maharishi Mahesh Yogi,” was born near the Indian town of Jabalpur, into a scribe caste family. He died last night at the age of 91.

At times referred to as a “cult leader,” one BBC website called him a “Rasputinesque” figure.

The Indian guru promoted “Transcendental meditation,” known as TM to its fans and followers. This practice involves reciting a mantra over and over again to still the mind.

However, TM critics saw the technique as little more than self-hypnosis or trance induction.

Classes to learn TM don’t come cheap. The current list price is $2,500 for a five-day session.

Mahrishi launched his public career as the “Beatles guru.” In 1968 the British group journeyed to his Himalayan ashram to study.

But it wasn’t long before the popular band dumped their would-be teacher.

John Lennon felt that Maharishi’s claim to celibacy was a lie. Lennon said in interviews that the Beatles song “Sexy Sadie,” which includes the lyrics “Sexy Sadie, what have you done, you made a fool of everyone” was originally called “Maharishi.”

This year on January 11th the guru announced his retirement, but apparently he was already quite ill and died in less than a month.

Maharishi and his followers often made ridiculous claims regarding the power of TM, such as a mass meditation session of 7,000 followers somehow being linked to the fall of the Berlin wall and the end of the Cold War.

Maharishi’s mantra almost always included money.

The TM Web site states, “When the group cannot be maintained financially, new tensions arise in the world.” Such statements almost seem like spiritual blackmail.

Perhaps Maharishi will be most remembered for his shrewd business sense. He leaves behind the legacy of a multi-billion dollar spiritual empire.

Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported that TM has been marketed “with all the zeal of a multinational corporation — which is, effectively, what it became.”

In 1990 Maharishi moved to the Netherlands where he turned a historic former Catholic retreat into his home. The guru created considerable controversy when he attempted to demolish the landmark to suit his own taste.

One of Maharishi’s last fund raising pitches took place in 2002. The guru claimed he wanted to combat world terrorism and war through meditation.

The price tag this time was $1 billion dollars to train 40,000 TMers.

In the United States alone TM accumulated assets of about $300 million, including Maharishi University in Iowa.

Many of the guru’s remaining devotees live in Maharishi Vedic City, which is located a few miles from Fairfield, Iowa.

Maharishi may have been one of world’s most successful “cult leaders.”

That is, if measured by money, rather than mantras.

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« Reply #65 on: October 18, 2008, 04:05:41 AM »

Cult-ivating a new defense: Sect leader serving life for starving son claims he was brainwashed
Boston Herald/November 22, 2005
By David Wedge

Killer cult dad Jacques Robidoux has pulled away from the controversial religious sect and is seeking a new trial, copping an insanity plea similar to one that got his wife off the hook for their son’s 1999 starvation death.

“He’s reconsidering everything,” said Robert Pardon, a cult deprogrammer who has frequently met with Robidoux behind bars. “He’s away from the group. He’s had a chance to think. He’s cooperating with his attorney. He understands things in ways that he didn’t before.”

Pardon said Robidoux has had problems in prison and is currently in protective custody in MCI-Bridgewater after being moved from MCI-Concord with other lifers. Pardon said Robidoux, who was a leader of the sect, has withdrawn and is now questioning his allegiance to the controversial religious group.

Robidoux, 32, is serving life without parole for starving his son, Samuel, to death as part of a twisted religious prophecy. While he has always been described as a leader of the cult, Robidoux recently filed an appeal claiming he was brainwashed by the Attleboro-based sect. The claim is similar to the mind-control argument that led a jury last year to clear Robidoux’s wife, Karen, of second-degree murder charges.

“It sounds to me that he saw the deal that his wife pulled off and wants to get a piece of the same,” Bristol District Attorney Paul F. Walsh Jr. said.

Robidoux reportedly rejected an insanity defense before his 2002 trial. His trial attorney, Frank O’Boy, said he’s satisfied with the advice he gave Robidoux.

“I pride myself on always informing my clients of all of the options involved, the risks that they raise and the rewards,” O’Boy said. “But it’s the client that makes the decision.”

Sect leader serving life for starving son claims he was brainwashed
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« Reply #66 on: October 18, 2008, 04:07:07 AM »

Yoga Alliance

Yoga has become a popular form of exercise and something of a sensational craze in recent years.

Many Westerners are enthralled with the practice and hope that yoga will help them to shed pounds and firm up. Some say it may also lead to a sense of inner calm and tranquility.

Numerous yoga studios have opened up almost everywhere, from major metropolitan areas to large towns.

But how can a hopeful student find a reputable studio with a good teacher?

Most seem to rely on word-of-mouth endorsements from friends, but there are some organizations that register schools and teachers.

One such body is called the “Yoga Alliance” (YA), its mailing address is in Reading, Pennsylvania. YA was officially established just a few years ago in 1999.

But the background history of some YA board members is rather disturbing. It seems nearly half at one time or another have been involved with groups called “cults.” And some of the schools registered at YA are associated with “cults.”

For example, the alliance includes on its list of schools the 3HO ashram in Espanola, New Mexico, the Integral Yoga Center of Richmond, Virginia and Ananda Yoga of Nevada City, California.

All three of these groups have less than laudable histories and they have also often been called “cults.”

A close look at the resumes of YA board members reveals some interesting connections.

Kartar Singh Khalsa, Co-head of Teachers Outreach, is a devotee of Yogi Bhajan the founder of 3HO.

The group Ananda Marga first initiated Steven Landau, Chairman of the YA Newsletter Committee.

Carol A. Stefanelli, head of the group’s Networking Committee, once studied with Swami Muktananda the founder of Siddha.

Mary Lynn Tucker, Co-chair of the Outreach Committee, studied yoga with Swami Satchidananda and lives near the ashram the guru created named “Yogaville.”

Rich McCord, Chairman of YA’s pivotal Standards Committee, actually teaches at the Ananda Church of Self-Realization, which has been labeled a “cult” in court.

Ananda’s founder J. Donald Walters was found guilty of sexual misconduct and plaintiffs were awarded a staggering multi-million dollar judgment.

Interestingly, the last “face-to-face” meeting of the YA board was actually held at the so-called “Ananda Village,” in California.

Isn’t this a bit like the “foxes guarding the hen house”?

Anyone considering yoga classes with teachers and/or schools registered by the Yoga Alliance might want to exercise a bit of caution, before beginning any of their exercises.

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« Reply #67 on: October 18, 2008, 04:08:37 AM »

Criminal environmental extremists may be recruiting children

Some animal rights and environmental extremists have moved from the fringe to violence.

Such groups as the so-called “Earth Liberation Front” (ELF) have gone beyond the ballot box and political rhetoric to express their opinions through criminal acts.

ELF claimed responsibility for torching houses in Michigan, reports the Associated Press.

$400,000 dollars in damage was the end result of ELF’s latest hit and run guerrilla warfare. And this is not the first time they have committed arson to make a political point.

But even more troubling is the possibility that ELF may be recruiting minor children.

Authorities in California picked up a juvenile runaway, she had been traveling with an ELF group.

The 16-year-old girl was ultimately booked, reports the Napa Valley Register.

It seems that ELF is willing to work with minor children without parental consent.

The organization might be recruiting through the Internet.

Web surfers can see photos of recent fires they claim responsibility for on the ELF official website.

Some families say such extremist groups have “brainwashed” their children, not unlike destructive cults.

Groups like ELF are one more reason for parents to closely monitor the Internet use of their minor children.
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« Reply #68 on: October 18, 2008, 04:10:02 AM »

The Army of Mary

Who should determine the parameters and/or identity for a religious denomination?

Most people would answer that the historically established leadership of a religion and/or denomination has this exclusive and traditional right and role.

But some disgruntled former members and/or splinter groups seem to think otherwise.

Movie star Mel Gibson belongs to just such a group composed largely of former Roman Catholics. The actor was raised from childhood within such a religious environment.

Gibson and his fellow religionists consider themselves “traditional Catholics.”

But ironically such so-called “Catholics” have abandoned perhaps the most established tradition of Roman Catholicism, which is the teaching of one church under the direction and ecclesiastical authority of the Pope.

“We just want to be good Catholics,” says one “priest” from a schismatic group quoted by Knight Ridder Newspapers.

However, a “priest” like this has no standing in the Roman Catholic Church and is very often an excommunicate.

But some media reports persist in calling such groups “traditionalist Catholics,” whatever that means.

There is an old axiom, “If you want to be a member of the club you must abide by its rules.” But somehow this doesn’t seem to apply to “traditional Catholics.”

Instead they apparently want to have it both ways. That is, to have the status of being in the club generally, but make up their own rules.

Isn’t that non-traditional?

Catholic authorities seem to regard such splinter groups largely as a nuisance and there are only about 20,000 members in the US. An insignificant number, given the size of Roman Catholicism worldwide.

The present Pope excommunicated a renegade French priest, Cardinal Marcel Lefebvre, once a key figure in the so-called “traditionalist” movement.

Lefebvre has since died, but his faithful followers soldier on. The largest single group is the Society of St. Pius X; perhaps named after the last Pope they really liked.

The Roman Catholic Church has endured an assortment of schismatic “kooks,” “crazies” and “cult leaders,” who claim to speak for Mary, God and/or the Holy Spirit.

This burgeoning list of former Catholics includes Caritas of Birmingham, William Kamm known as the “Little Pebble,” the Army of Mary, His Community/Christ Covenant Ministries, Four Winds Commune, Friends of the Eucharist and the Magnificat Meal Movement.

The most destructive and tragic group of former Catholics was the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments, responsible for the mass murder/suicide of hundreds in Uganda.

Not unlike the problems posed by pseudo-Catholics the Mormon Church also has its share of troublesome splinter groups.

Polygamist groups that are often called “fundamentalist Mormons” practice their faith largely in Arizona, Utah and parts of Canada. They are an embarrassment to the Mormon Church, which abandoned the practice of polygamy more than a century ago.

Yet some media reports confuse the public with the label “fundamentalist Mormons” to describe these disparate sects, frequently run by absolute leaders much like “cults.”

Recently, an author apparently striving for better book sales said, “Mormon authorities treat the fundamentalists as they would a crazy uncle — they try to keep the ‘polygs’ hidden in the attic.”

His book titled Under the Banner of Heaven, places grizzly murders within the context of so-called “Mormon Fundamentalism” reported Associated Press.

An official church spokesman made it clear that such groups have nothing whatsoever to do with the Mormon Church and that those Mormons. And when Mormons do become involved with them they are excommunicated, much like former Catholics in schismatic groups.

Recently since the 1960s Jews have also endured apostates setting up their own so-called “Jewish” groups.

Interestingly, these groups, which are composed of converts to fundamentalist Christianity such as “Jews for Jesus” and so-called “Messianic Jews,” are closely aligned and supported by Protestant denominations within the “born-again” movement.

These “Jews” like the polygamists and former Catholics have no standing in the organized Jewish community.

Israel’s “Law of Return” does not recognize them as Jews and recently a Canadian court rejected one such group’s attempt to use historical Jewish symbols for self-promotion reported Canadian Jewish News.

But some media reports continue to confuse readers with a mixed bag of historically incoherent labels and/or oxymorons, such as “traditionalist Catholics,” “fundamentalist Mormons” and “Jews for Jesus,” that are self-referentially incoherent.

Even if such a group has a celebrity sponsor like Mel Gibson, it’s unlikely to be a meaningful substitute for the Pope’s blessings.

And there is a historic right of denominational leaders to determine the parameters of their own faith’s identity, which should be recognized by responsible and objective journalists, rather than misleading the public.
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« Reply #69 on: October 18, 2008, 04:11:57 AM »

Benny Hinn

No one knows exactly what salary evangelist Benny Hinn pays himself annually from his ministry’s funds, but a decade ago he stated it was more than $500,000.

Since then sources say Hinn has apparently quadrupled his take to somewhere around $2 million per annum.

How is it that this oily preacher manages to haul in so much cash?

Has everyone forgotten the televangelist scandals of the 1980s, which landed PTL Club founder Jim Bakker in prison and his wife Tammy Faye in divorce court?

Now incredibly even Bakker is back in business, plying his trade again by using virtually the same pitch.

Perhaps given such a startling reversal, it’s not hard to understand the continuing success of Benny Hinn, the peripatetic “prophet,” who hops around on a Gulfstream jet, stays overnight in presidential hotel suites and maintains a fleet of luxury cars.

After all, Hinn’s multi-million dollar so-called California “parsonage” has parking for ten.

Maybe a borrowed donkey and night sleeping under the stars was good enough for Jesus, but doesn’t this 21st Century “Man of God” deserve more consideration?

Meanwhile, Iowa senator and Baptist Charles Grassley doen’t seem much impressed by Hinn’s supposed spiritual authority. Grassley is currently investigating the minister’s finances and wants some detailed disclosure.

But Pastor Benny apparently thinks that opening up his books may be “sinful” or even “satanic.”

The evangelist envoked the Constitutional doctrine of church and state, hoping to hide behind what has been called the “wall of separation,” for his salvation.

But does making money in the “name of God,” mean special treatment when it comes to the tax code?

In a recent visit to Brisbane Pastor Benny drew audiences in the thousands. One night Hinn cooked up quite a convenient revelation. “This is a prophecy,” he said. “You are about to see the biggest transfer of wealth in the history of the world. You are going to see prosperity like you never dreamed of. Money is being transferred from sinners to the righteous.”

“Are you righteous?” Hinn asked the crowd.

Of course those assembled answered in the affirmative, anxious to get their slice of the heavenly kingdom.

But to get what they want from God, according to Benny, believers first need to put up some earnest money.

He explained, “The Jews were taught by God how to give. When they brought their gifts to the Lord, it was only the best…God deserves the best. You give God the best and you’ll get the best from him. Are you here for God’s blessing? What are you going to give the Lord tonight?”

By “the Lord,” what Hinn really means for practical purposes, is himself.

So “sowing the seed” with “God,” literally means giving your money to Benny Hinn.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald Hinn hauled in about $800,000, through just three performances.

Benny Hinn would make the fictional “Elmer Gantry” blush.

After all, in the end Gantry appears to have a conscience, but Benny Hinn does not.

Preying upon people that are sick and suffering by telling them that they must pay to receive God’s blessings, sounds more like blackmail than preaching the Gospel.

CultNews receives regular emails from Benny Hinn supporters, who say that criticiszing him is tantamount to “coming against God.”

This self-proclaimed prophet is supposedly an “annointed” hero, and not a huckster.

CultNews has also been told that it’s a plan of the “devil,” to raise questions about Benny Hinn, which could incur God’s holy wrath.

But Jesus answered questions and advised his followers to “love” their “enemies.”

And critically evaluating leaders is certainly well-within the parameters of the New Testament. In Galatians Paul quite harshly criticized and then condemned corrupt leaders.

And as recorded in Acts Peter didn’t automatically rebuke Paul’s critique of his teachings. Instead, Peter slept on it and subsequently realized that Paul was right.

So should Pastor Benny receive any more consideration than Jesus or the apostles?

Charles Grassley certainly doesn’t seem to think so. And it probably didn’t take a “prophecy” to prompt the Iowa senator’s concern about Pastor Hinn’s finances.

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« Reply #70 on: October 18, 2008, 06:07:18 AM »

Good information dw. Was wondering if you could do something on morris cerullo? My oma watches him and benny
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Rev 21:4  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
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