Sunday, May 6, 2012

When "Mormon Moments" Go Wrong. Very Wrong.

Religious prejudices, we are told in our pluralistic day, are very bad for you. They are indications of serious moral, intellectual and personal errors in judgment as well as all of the other suspect kinds of behavior that are politically incorrect and socially unacceptable. Labels like "intolerance", "hater" and  "narrow minded" get thrown around at that point and people surely can't abide being seen in that light in our present day of broad minded inclusiveness. Prejudice is an ignorance, we learn, that must be dispelled by an open minded approach to those outside our understanding and an acceptance of their truth claims as equally valid. While moral absolutes can be agreed upon, however, this typically humanistic bit of postmodern social engineering commends a mind so open that the brains also slip out rather inconveniently.

The continued basking of the apostate LDS Church in the full klieg lights of attention received by Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney can be a double edged sword, though. While the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints continues to methodically market itself as just another ordinary Christian church that just so happens to believe it's the only true one on the planet, it's LDS culture is being given close scrutiny and its teachings reexamined. In return, the "Mormon Moment" - this season of cultural engagement by non-LDS "Gentiles" of the Church's consummate self-image and representations - has been a talk of many a blogger and many a conversation in social settings across the nation, from coffee breaks to political action committees. And the LDS Church is only too happy to oblige "investigators" at all levels with perhaps the best oiled machine of self-promotion that any religion under the sun has created. It has dazzled millions of them and deployed hundreds of thousands more LDS missionaries to spread the word of their "Restoration" and of course, among the newly dazzled are Christian ministers who feel that to harbor significant and serious questioning of LDS teaching is just a sign of the need to "rethink" that kind of prejudicial bigotry.

So when an LDS bishop requested the presence of a couple of Anglican ministers at a "fireside" dinner in an central New York LDS church, I would assume that he was doing so hoping to show how really insignificant the divide is between Mormons and Anglicans and that "what unites us is greater than what divides us", a classic mantra of ecumenical accomodation. Certainly, the erudite and essentially thoughtful approach of Anglican clergy are far more noble minded than many bigoted philistines like Baptists and other evangelicals - so it would seem to the good bishop. So I am sure he was expecting a warm endorsement of "faith in Christ" as the common ground between Saints and their Gentile neighbors.

He got very rudely surprised and the "Mormon Moment" seemed to go south. Very south.

In our frigid day of apostasy, the story is something to warm your bones by if Biblical truth and the Gospel of Jesus Christ matter to you still. Click here to read these Anglican brothers' wonderful response.

And pardon me: hold my mules while I shout a bit.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Televangelists Of Islam: Some Information

The lands around the world where the religion of Islam has had full sway have among them fully functioning, thriving and vital cultures and peoples who all look to the revelation of Mohammed, their prophet for ultimate truth. What most Westerners, blinded by their revulsion and fear of radical Islamic jihadists, do not realize is that Islam's teaching and philosophy has long been a dominant source of transformation among those who embrace it. The extremist movements like Al Qaeda have been increasingly marginalized and shut out of many Islamic societies for being the mad berserkers of rage that they are.

In a world bound by the false religion of Islam itself and subject to its violent and authoritarian influence, this cannot be - to quote the distinguished scholar of comparative religion Martha Stewart - but "a good thing."

But it must be understood that while the vast majority of Muslims practice Islam peacefully every day, in ways meaningful to their personal spirituality, they are also aware that the goal of Islam is to spread all over the earth and to establish a monolithic Islamic culture where ever it can be done. It has never hidden this agenda, one which too many of the same Western crowd of media-savvy pluralists completely refuses to see. When a website set up to proseltyze for Islam, whyislam.org, was given prime time exposure on the American USA Network, it became clear that ignorance is an equal opportunity brain lock:

The ad is part of the network's "Characters Unite" campaign against bigotry. According to an ICNA statement, the group teamed up with the network to show the ad on 130 times on USA and other networks including A&E, AMC, Animal Planet, CNN, Planet Green, Hallmark, History, Headlines Network, MSNBC, National Geographic, Oprah Winfrey Network, Travel Channel and the Weather Channel.

Rather than promote an understanding and tolerance of Islam, however, WhyIslam tells its audience that Islam is the only way. "Islam, as a way of life, is the solution to all problems of the human race, and is the only hope for the present as well as the future," the group says in one pamphlet, "Islam Explained," that is regularly handed out from WhyIslam tables and booths across the country.

Another free ride for apostasy has come about thanks to the undiscerning credulity of Westerners so devoted to stamping out "intolerance" at the cost of sound judgment of a false religion that targets the personal freedoms they claim to enjoy.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, the tragic confrontations  between Muslims across the Middle East in the "Arab Spring" have come about due to their passionate attempts to shape many a competing vision of Islamic theocracy and Islamic democracy while taking on rulling authoritarian regimes that have used Islam for it's own agenda. They have fought to gain an audience for their visions of the future from one end of Africa to deep within Asia Minor itself and beyond.

In light of these ongoing controversies ranging from the liberalism of Kuwait to the iron fist of Syrian dictatorship, the drive to set forth Islam as a way of life that engages their lifestyle continues unabated. Since the aftermath of September 11, 2001 as felt across many Islamic lands, many of those same thinking Muslims have been turning toward new expositors of their faith to help them engage with it's "five pillars".  For many years prior to that fateful day in 2001 and since then, they have attracted an enormous following.  They are, in effect, the "televangelists" of Islam.  These aren't radical mullahs who scream that Israel should be bombed back into the Stone Age. They are articulate, friendly and persuasive men who are reinvigorating Islam in a way never seen before. Without fuss, fanfare or feuding, they have become some of the most influential people in the world today you've never heard of.

Click here for an excellent article that traces their development and parallels their influence with Christian televangelists, and click here for an interesting insight into a WikiLeaked document authored in the American embassy in Cairo on the rising influence of Egyptian figures like Moez Massoud, Amr Khalid and Khalid Al Ghindy.

Christians have long needed to understand why Islam, for all of its espoused ethical superiority, is a spiritual dead end and a world religion that perpetuates blindness to the truth found in Christ alone that will save the soul and change a world of wickedness. Muslims have also long needed to understand why Christians, who can agree with them on many points, still must object to the supremacy they believe the religion of Mohammed has brought them. For both Christian and Muslim to get up to speed on this, click here for an excellent Christian assessment by a seminary professor. One outstanding website devoted to carrying on Christian and Muslim dialogue that is frank and ongoing, can be viewed here.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Organized To Accomplish Their Molestation: A Spiritwatch Real Video Presentation On Pedophilia Among Jehovah's Witnesses

Every religious community has its own distinctive character and cultic movements are no different. But few groups around are as systematically devoted to seeking absolute control over its membership as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, which takes the title "Mother" from the loyalty it demands from them. It demands complete submission to it’s claim to be as God’s “visible organization,” the only true faith in the world where salvation can be found.

And underlying Watchtower authority is a performance-based spirituality focused entirely upon Society proscribed religious works meant to prove one’s worthiness to Jehovah, in sharpest contrast to Christ-centered Christian faith as Ephesians 2:8-9 clearly defines it. Proving one’s worthiness before God comes down to doing what one is told by those who are deemed spiritually higher than you.

This unbiblical and manipulative social dynamic has been exploited by Jehovah’s Witness child molesters to gratify their own twisted lusts at the expense of thousands of children for years. Child molestation has been a filthy blight among the dark underbelly of Witness society that recent history shows they refuse to admit is a majofr issue among them. But what is far more tragic and abominable, as hard as it is to grasp, is the plain fact that the Watchtower Society’s conditioning of Jehovah’s Witness social circles and self-proclaimed religious authority is largely responsible for the perpetuation of this horror. Briefly, this is how it happens:

Jehovah’s Witness family life is relentlessly dominated by the Society’s endtimes theological compulsion to reinforce conditional love and grace in relationships between husbands and wives, children and parents. It is impossible to overemphasize how fundamental the principle of obedience is in the overall direction of the lives of Jehovah’s Witnesses as entirely dictated and proscribed by the Watchtower Society. Drawn from the Watchtower emphasis on works-based religion, obedience is seen as vital to spiritual life. Total obedience to the Watchtower’s interpretation of “Bible principles” is essential for salvation. This is a long standing social binding that is found in all authorian cults like the Watchtower. And tragically, children are then the most defenseless of all. They are to be completely and totally compliant with adult authority and are enjoined by their abusers to follow their lead and obey them completely - thus enabling them to sexually and socially exploit them at will.

How do these child abusers get away with it? They use the organization of Watchtower authority itself to do so. First of all, the Watchtower’s policy concerning internal disciplinary matters ensures that investigations into such horrid sexual misconduct must be pursued only by elders under Society instructions. Any intervention by non-Society authorities such as law enforcement and human services agencies of the state are in practice totally rejected by the Watchtower itself. So the police and child protection services in an area where the outrage was committed are kept completely in the dark due to Watchtower precept as mediated by their Legal Dept, citing “clergy confidentiality” protected under the First Amendment.

Secondly, Witnesses themselves, the products of a lifetime of organizational conditioning to obey the Society without question in their lead relating to judicial/disciplinary matters will think twice about going to secular authorities if they’ve been told otherwise, and will not do so. Fear of being viewed as a talebearing gossip who will sully the "good name" of the Watchtower Society and compulsion to follow their outrageously and impossibly unrealistic standard for judging the report of a child who has been abused (unbelievably, they must have had two eyewitnesses who saw the abuse to corroborate an act that was certainly done in a foul secrecy) have muted the natural outrage of a Witness parent whose daughter was molested by a congregation member.

And thirdly, over the years, a trilogy of Watchtower publications have defined the manner in which all local bodies of elders in Kingdom Halls around the world are to conduct disciplinary matters as “Mother” desires. For all of their lofty moral tone, there are several major guidelines set forth in these publications which in the guise of the pursuit of truth serve only to inflict spiritual abuse on sexually traumatized families. These policy guidelines in effect completely forbid any discussion of abuse by Jehovah's Witness victims as inflicted by Witness perpetrators and shame them into a quiescent silence. When the "two witness" rule mentioned above can't be followed, the matter is essentially to be dropped that and "left to Jehovah." To “leave it for Jehovah” is simply to just let the matter drop under the pretensively pious belief that Jehovah will sort things out and intervene in affairs when necessary, so therefore, no one else should deal with it. In essence, all efforts to make the offender accountable and justice to be served are to be quashed by all involved – from the molester to his victims.

The silencing of the cries of the victimized in such an isolated world by these policies couldn’t be more thoroughly and ruthlessly executed. It goes on to this day. And on and on. But the silence long ago has been broken ...

Click here to view a Real Video presentation of a talk I did several years ago on this horrific scandal at the Witnesses Now For Jesus convention at the express invitation of the legendary Joan Cetnar, well known ex-Witness who with her husband, the inimitable Bill Cetnar, both came to faith in Christ and not an organization for their salvation.

To watch how this hell on earth has been borne by its victims, watch this video below: WARNING IS GIVEN that graphic descriptions of sexual violence done on children are part of the testimony.