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,, 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 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 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.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

In A Cult Group Everyone Has Friends

In a cultic group, everyone has friends.

Friends who love on you to make you feel a part.
Friends who manipulate you for your own good.
Friends when you learn to stop asking questions..
Friends that spy on you to make sure you’re “pure.”
Friends when you fail to jump through the hoops.
And friends who you think you can trust ..
                                                       but you’re not really sure.

So what's really the difference between the "truth" and the supposed lie of the world outside it?

Let this little video break it down for you.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Jimmy Swaggart's "Message Of The Cross" Examined

In 1998, I wrote a post for an Internet bulletin board which became the most popular article on Spiritwatch Ministries' website entitled "Why Jimmy Swaggart Still Needs To Repent." I voiced my opinion of the sullied ministry of the legendary Pentecostal minister and stated that, in my opinion, for all of the supposed repentance he's exhibited concerning "the error of his ways" Swaggart still has a lot to repent for and a lot to answer for. 

Every month for years, as we check our stats, the article is always the most accessed of all we've written on the Spiritwatch site. There are apparently a lot of people who have questions about Swaggart's influence and want an alternative view of it and the Spiritwatch Ministries article has given one such view to a lot of them. It's always been a bit astonishing as to just how many of them have read this article. I've never quite understood why until, after a relatively recent lull in the ongoing spiritual warfare I've engaged in with the Remnant Fellowship cult for the past decade, I have had time to study Swaggart's never-ending reinvention more closely.

I believed then as I do now that Swaggart's greatest spiritual need is to publicly repent for the social and spiritual offenses that his moral failures, personal rebellion and mockery against Christian church authority has committed against the Christian Church, as well as the arrogantly elitist example his leadership currently exhibits that is undeniably divisive and borders on the cultic.

It was not then - and is not now - my intent to focus upon what he secretly did with prostitutes from Louisiana to California. This point, however, is pathetically, entirely lost upon the authors of the "fan mail" we've received regarding the article for years. They are mostly anonymous, occasionally thoughtful but are all sincere expressions of feral rage over my opinion. To these people, I did nothing but dig up Swaggart's moral failures in an outrageously scandalizing manner and made them the focus of the article. That wasn't the case, but these Swaggart disciples simply wouldn't see it in any other way. So they've spent a lot of bandwidth and time screaming about how unforgiving and ungracious it was to keep bringing up Swaggart's "sin", how ungodly and vicious it is to kick a man whom "God is using."

What these sadly deluded folks utterly failed to realize is that my entire concern in this first article was about a matter far more primal, basic and serious: that Jimmy Swaggart Is STILL in need of repentance for an inner defilement that has become so much more subtle than ever.

Even after his moral failures and downfall, Jimmy kept on keeping on. It's clear that during the past decade, Jimmy Swaggart Ministries (JSM) still struggled mightily just ahead of television station creditors, a critical media that had him pegged as just another cartoon of televangelism worthy only of a cheap laugh, and a church that had largely written him off as an embarrassing, hypocritical and judgmental maverick. The merchandising of his religious wares is as tenaciously pushed as is his continually rehashed campmeeting revivalism in his half empty Family Worship Center in Baton Rouge. Undaunted by his self-imposed isolation from Christendom, Swaggart pressed on to buy blocks of airtime where ever the TV markets offered an opportunity for his telecasts. He sold off tracts of land owned by JSM around its' ministry headquarters to developers and rented properties to keep the bills paid. He sold his gospel music and Bible commentaries at unbelievable prices as "Spirit-inspired Biblical scholarship" to whomever would buy them. Whatever could be done for the sake of "the Work" that could move his own product line of teaching and his Gospel piano plunking was tirelessly pursued.

While my own ministerial labors in grappling with the deceptive cultism of Gwen Shamblin came to completely dominate my time the past decade, Swaggart stayed busy as well rebranding himself as a lonely voice in the wilderness who was one of the only sources of divine truth on the earth - in much the same way Shamblin views herself as an exclusive mouthpiece for God. With that kind of shrill and elitist posturing, most believers, including myself, had come to view him as a head with it's chicken cut off, thrashing about in phantom life just before finally keeling over into the silence of a back alley somewhere. Still sounding every bit like a marginalized loose cannon on the fringes of the church, Swaggart's voice seemed destined to fade into obscurity. No one, including myself, believed he'd ever rise again out of the morass he'd created for himself.

How wrong we all were.

To everyone's surprise (excepting his faithful remnant who stood with him), Swaggart's wobbly rise from the ashes of his self-inflicted funeral pyre has slowly taken an awkward flight. The light bills still get paid, the toll free phones are still manned and "Campmeeting" goes on. He continues to preach, to produce daily religious programs, some headed by his wife Frances, his son Donny and his grandson Gabriel, and to continue to seek allegiances with churches still open to his example. He has swapped out his three piece suits for a more business casual look and filled his soundstages with sets to contain panels of yes-men preachers and post production suites. The shilling of his publications, gospel music CD's and teaching DVD's is a never ending enterprise throughout his daily programming. A preacher with such gifting as he enjoys will never quite fully fade away. Swaggart's suavely polished oratory and pulpiteering is an asset that had gained him an audience and a ministry empire across the Southeast and is now serving him again.

What has become clear is that Swaggart has based his ascent from obscurity upon one central conviction. This is what Swaggart calls the "Message of The Cross."  I finally found time to study Swaggart's doctrine on this point and was shocked at what I found and stirred by the Word and Spirit of God to share what I found. You can find two new articles on Swaggart's take on "the Cross" on the Strange Fires page of our site and how he has exploited Christian adoration of the cross of Christ to his own empire-building agenda. It is truly one of the most revolting things I've seen in a long time.

Click here to read them. We'll need to hire more secretarial staff to probably handle the fan mail now. Well, you got to do what you got to do when it comes to standing for truth in an apostate age filled with false brethren and false teachers.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Truth About Cults Is Still Truth About Cults - No Matter Where You Find It

There's nothing more pithy or provocative then those little portable bits of advice we can hear in modern proverbs. Sayings. Portable bits of advice. Folk wisdom. They are always so cautionary. Sometimes they turn up on places as diverse as toilet stalls to church signs. But they leave you thinking and mulling over an insightful thought given to you in a highly compact form.

So as a blogger began to share her own personal views about her personal exploration of the Remnant Fellowship cult via the Weigh Down Workshop, and finally her own ultimate conclusions about it, one wonderful proverb comes to mind:

There's nothing more tragic than to see a beautiful fantasy slain by an ugly fact.

Oh, I love this. It's an awesome read. It shows the cultic apostasy of Remnant still can be seen for what it is, no matter how much window dressing they move around, how much Photoshopping they do or how many glowy little testimonies they can cite. There is a God and He doesn't require diets to prove Himself, either.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The LDS Political Agenda: Hidden In Plain Sight

The following is from an LDS apologist site: evil and intolerant "antis" (Christians who oppose Mormonism) didn't write this but Mormons themselves did and the bold face emphasis is mine:

On 7 April 1842, Joseph Smith received a revelation titled "The Kingdom of God and His Laws, With the Keys and Power Thereof, and Judgment in the Hands of His Servants, Ahman Christ," which called the for the organization of a special council separate from, but parallel to, the Church. Since its inception, this organization has been generally been referred to as "the Council of Fifty" because of its approximate number of members.

Latter-day Saints believe that one reason the gospel was restored was to prepare the earth for the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Just as the Church was to bring about religious changes in the world, the Council of Fifty was intended to bring a political transformation. It was therefore designed to serve as something of a preparatory legislature in the Kingdom of God. Joseph Smith ordained the council to be the governing body of the world, with himself as chairman, Prophet, Priest, and King over the Council and the world (subject to Jesus Christ, who is "King of kings").

So much for separation of "church and state."

The article concludes that:

The Council never rose to the stature Joseph intended. Members (which included individuals that were not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) were sent on expeditions west to explore emigration routes for the Saints, lobbied the American government, and were involved in Joseph Smith's presidential campaign. But only three months after it was established, Joseph was killed, and his death was the beginning of the Council's end. Brigham Young used it as the Saints moved west and settled in the Great Basin, and it met annually during John Taylor's administration, but since that time the Council has not played an active role among the Latter-day Saints.

To an LDS apologist's perspective, of course, this enigmatic "Council Of Fifty" was just one of those discarded forms of theocratic government the - sniff - apolitical LDS Church has no longer any guidance from.

To quote the legendary and illustrious researcher Colonel Potter: "Horse hockey."

LDS political ambition to rule the planet is still very much alive. So is ignorance about it.

The corporate entity of the Fifty may not exist. But within the elite circle of the LDS leadership, the delusion that it has the exclusive right to be kingmakers is still very much is in place. Janis Hutchinson's excellent article details this rather concisely here.

And Lordy, Lordy, where are the journalists sniffing this out when you want them around?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mitt Romney's Institutional Racism: Sorry, Wrong Skin Color

No one's asking Mitt Romney the questions he needs to be answering, which might shed light upon the measure of his ability to lead the United States in a Presidential role .. such as why he hasn't fessed up to his role in the institutional racism of the Mormon Church.

In 1978, the Mormon Church finally decided that its black members could hold priesthood offices that essentially affirmed their status as honest to God human beings of equal worth before their god Elohim. In that year, the long standing and binding rejection of any black LDS member participation in these higher levels of Mormon spiritual hierarchy was finally officially set aside - thanks, of course, to the dictates of Elohim by a "divine revelation" commanding that the practice be stopped. The LDS theology that relegated black people to a second class status has never been repudiated, though.

And Romney has been part of the spiritual machinery of Mormonism that helped perpetuate that.

Don't believe me. Get the facts. For an excellent overview of how thickly this legacy has congealed around the feet of Romney, click here for an excellent video discussing this, click here.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Just Another Day In The Apostasy, Part 3,867: Gay "Orthodoxy" and "Orthopraxy"

Orthodoxy is compliance to a set of beliefs that are viewed as normal and orthopraxy are those practices which stem from these normal beliefs. To deviate from these things gets you anything from raise eyebrows to verbal burnings at the stake.

You can realize how far things have gone toward the endtime apostasy when you can read of the latest ripping of a Christian who takes a public stands against homosexuality and the exaltation of those who demand it be accepted as "normal." This is the new orthodoxy and orthopraxy of the spirit of the age. Woe be to those who dare cross their paths with anything like an objection.

That's because, it seems, those who cross it get noticed and dispatched pretty quickly. Kirk Cameron, one-time 1980's TV actor and Christian actor, was quoted in a recently aired CNN interview as saying of homosexuality that he believed it was "unnatural":

"I think that it's detrimental, and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization."

Such a verboten opinion, spoken so directly in a secular media spotlight controlled by liberal interests utterly given to affirming, protecting and militating against any perspective that might question its infallible worldview, was a red flag waved in the face of a herd of bulls. Within hours, Cameron was demonized as an antisocial misanthrope by gay rights organizations, movie stars and the entire blogosphere - while new klieg lights were shone upon the inspiring magnimity displayed by Hollywood's rallying for the Cause.

Homosexuality may have been permitted or smiled at throughout ancient pagan culture and history, but no pre-Christian civilization that advanced humanity to any degree has ever arisen that viewed homosexual family units as a basic building block of its society. Monogamous heterosexual relationships that founded stable social systems were the norm. The social conventions of today that the politically correct elites of today demand - which include same sex marriage, parenting and the social infrastructure that empowers them - were never relevant then and should not be so today. This is what Cameron was getting at. While heterosexual monogamy and romance is rapidly becoming as subject to fickle relational change that views open marriage, swinging and free divorce as part of modern life, it still is where society is advanced. Homosexuality is a sterile social option that does not result in family units and neighborhoods that are more or less stable. Proceeding as it does now, society will indeed begin to find more undue pressure on it than ever before because of it's willingness to recognize instability as a new building block for its already morally corrupt heterosexual culture. For this reason, homosexuality was recognized as being a deviant form of human relationship that Scripture condemns but that of course is no longer the way things are viewed now, of course.

For Christian objections to this kind of gender bending have no place in society, as one Christian employee of a Macy's in San Antonio, Texa found out last year at Christmas time. Foolish, benighted woman! She should have known that in the New Orthodoxy of the last days apostacy, that gays, lesbians and "transgendered" people are "who God created them to be and are authentically living it out", as the Reverend Mick Hinson of a local branch of the Metropolitan Community Church. To imply a man in makeup and woman's clothing is not a woman smacks of intolerance to the indignant pro gay culture, when actually it's a sign of people whose minds are so open that their brains have fallen out.

The Christian objection to homosexuality has long ago been deftly redefined as "outdated bigotry and hatred for those who are different" according to one analysis offered by the noted social commentator and cultural engineer Perez Hilton. He ended his lament of Kirk's "intolerance" with a righteous snort that 

We'd say that those qualities are far more "destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization" than homosexuality could ever be, wouldn't you, Kirk?

It is they who are the true champions of "real tolerance" and "meaningful diversity" - such as the Chicago Theological Seminary, a seminary of the United Church of Christ, the same denomination that the good Reverend Jeremiah Wright, one time pastor of President Barach Obama, has been a part of for decades. The gay rights movement has long ridden the coat tails of the civil rights movement to gain the cultural wedge it has exploited to make racial equality and sexual orientation a part of "basic human rights."

You can read here what it means to be a part of this new "orthodoxy/orthopraxy" at the Chicago Theological Seminary. It's just another day in paradise .. before the end comes. Homosexuality has been, is and forever will be, according to Scripture, a sinful practice no worse than any other. It doesn't matter who says so or how many voices go quiet on it. The Word of God is still plain about it .. and that judgment will fall upon those who engage or support it.

So regardless what anyone, including Clint Eastwood, may say,  God's Word stands unchanged. The new gay orthodoxy and orthopraxy may do or say what it will, but I will stand on His Word alone - even as the endtime apostasy continues its slouch to Gommorrah.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

"I'm A Mormon": When LDS Cult Recruitment Tries Too Hard To Show "They" Are Just Like "Us"

While doing other things, this link came up on a random YouTube search right on top of a video I watched.

(I"m sure I can say a whole lot more about this sophisticated manner in which advertising that specifically targets viewers of certain YouTube videos with solicitations for more contextually driven links that are meant to hook them into clicking onto a paid advertisement, but this article will do the job nicely, so I just got spared explaining it.)

It's part of the "I'm A Mormon" campaign being conducted by the ever media-savvy Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It's not an advertised link: being that it's a targetted one and the fact that I, a countercult researcher and Christian minister got pegged to this deliberately was most intriguing to me. I smiled when I saw this ad and could not, of course, viewing it. You can check it out here if you want.

The link I clicked is a concisely scripted, cutely filmed glimpse into what we are told is the home life of one Cassandra Barney. She's a mom whose artistic career is clearly a big part of her children's upbringing. It's pacing, energy and overall thrust is the unabashed product of Mormon Church marketing strategies meant to evoke emotional connections to sell their product, that is, the invitation to identify and maybe even become a Mormon. There's no subtlety here and no high pressure sales pitch by earnest young LDS missionaries ready to enthrall with more heartwarming emotional manipulation. It's plainly meant to make you connect with Mormonism through Mormons, trying to show that they aren't the "Others" on the fringe.

This relentlessly cheery and purposefully public outreach aimed at attracting disillusioned people searching for a faith that speaks to them, is a massive presence all over the Internet as well as in the proverbial boots on the ground where Mormons socialize and serve alongside non LDS people in civic and social scenarios. Using animated voice over and just the right kind of low key background music to set the mood, the video at the end of the link says that Barney "used to think I was meant to be something I'm not."  She candidly shares a personal insight that is aimed at resonating with her audience and getting them to realize her LDS faith is just the most enjoyable and personally liberating force in her life:

I don't know why more people don't do this 'cause it's stinking fun. .. I used to think that there was a thing that I was supposed to be that I didn't quite fit, and one day I realized I totally made that up and that God wants me to be an individual but doing that with what I've been given. .. My name is Cassandra Barney and I am a Mormon."

It's really sad, however, to see an obviously very articulate, spiritual and yes, fun woman who enjoys a healthy connection with her own gifting and talent that she shares with her family become so grotesquely exploited. I truly do hope that Mrs. Barney does indeed come to understand that to be told to be something you're not really is at the heart of the religion she's helped to peddle to the masses.

I hope she's comes to figure out that she's not meant to really be a literal goddess wife, rendered eternally pregnant for all of eternity to populate a planet with her god pant-wearing husband in the next level of "Forever Family" in the galactic Beyond. Or at least that she doesn't have to keep playing up how far she's been allowed to wander on her leash in a LDS culture that has very clearly defined roles on who the individual is and exactly what women are meant to be - namely religious chattel for whom "Biblical submission" equals a condescended subservience dominated by their lord and master husband, even to the point that they need him to be resurrected. That would be swell.

Surely this campaign would have nothing to do with the 2012 Republican Presidential campaign. Certainly, just because LDS church-subsidized marketing surveys and focus groups discovered that the views of Mormons are actually viewed as antisocial "Others" would have nothing to do with that (or Mitt Romney's own awkward attempts to be seen as an ordinary Joe)! Surely the Mormon Church would never be so political. It's just all about helping people see, in an election cycle, how really upright and nice Mormons really are. Would someone ask Mitt Romney what he'll name his first spirit baby in the afterlife to come?

Of course, taken at face value, the LDS Church's insistence that this multimillion dollar ad campaign is just to show us how "us" Mormons are. It would also certainly not have anything to do with the very real and very portly elephant in the Mormon parlor room: that this cult's recruitment is hitting all time lows globally with a simultaneously devastating exodus of Mormons from the church which can no longer be ignored by the LDS "Brethren" leadership. Campaigns about being ex-mormons probably aren't all that much of an issue, therefore.

We're just glad Cassandra has done what she can with what she has been given. I do the same thing myself and appreciate the opportunity to build upon her work.

It's like, you know, a Bible? I swiped it from the Marriott we partied at.
Inside, an old lady wrote she was wanting to share it. Ain't that nice of her?  

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Catholic Chronicles By Keith Green

Years ago, in the mid 1970's when contemporary Christian music actually was a Christ-centered countercultural force that truly edified and energized the Christian church, one musician rose above it to bring to bear upon it a radical call for consecrated holiness and world missions unlike any other. Taken from us far too soon in 1982, that man was Keith Green, the legendary piano playing prophet whose music contained not only some of the most beautiful and passionate Christian ballads of all time (such as "Easter Song", "Your Love Broke Through" and "Oh Lord, You're Beautiful") but also the most biting, satirical and convicting as well (listen to "Altar Call", "Asleep In The Light" and "The Sheep And The Goats" and be ready to feel for broken bones afterward).

Over the years, his music has become a collection of musical ministry that has encouraged, rebuked, challenged and blessed millions of people. But what a lot of people have forgotten is that Keith was also a dynamic personal evangelist and Bible teacher as well as a writer. He used his Last Days Ministries outreach to advance his ministrations by writing, printing and distributing newsletters and tracts that tackled many hot button issues no one else was talking about such as abortion, homosexuality, the need for Christians to be involved actively in world missions and the encroaching of worldliness in the church. What many forget is that Keith's studies led him to tackle these issues at a time when the evangelical movement long before the so-called "religious right" arose and that his focus did indeed captivate a church relatively unencumbered by the plastic cultural glitz it would create in the 1980's that has made it so irrelevant in so many circles in society today. In short, his influence was profound and yet, profoundly all too brief.

One of those studies led him to address, in a singularly memorable style, one of the most untouched issues of all and that being the divide between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. He authored, in his own direct, factual and uncompromising fashion four classic articles he called the Catholic Chronicles through LDM that were turned into tracts. One of the very first tracts I ever got in my hands after leaving the Navy in 1983 was his "Chronicle I"  that for a young ex-Catholic like myself who at the same time was coming to discover his music was a life changing work. I had already come to realize how completely blinded Catholicism had made me to the truth of the Gospel and found an absolutely chilling 1982 visit to a church in Rome itself bringing that agonizingly home to me. But Keith's in the Chronicles would be my first introduction to what a defense of the Christian faith should be and I never forgot them, having saved those tracts in my files here even to this day.

Sadly, LDM, not long after Green's death, discontinued publication of the Chronicle tracts. In a letter I have somewhere filed away in the Spiritwatch archives which I can't get my hands on, Green's widow Melody explained that Keith had been having a change of heart about them and was going to have them pulled any way before the plane crash that killed him and several other people, including two of his children. So they were quietly iced away .. and certainly, none of the influence of the Roman Catholic pro life movement who worked closely with Melody's "Americans Against Abortion" outreach could have had anything to do with that. Of course not.

You can tell, I guess, that I'm more than a little skeptical about this and how profoundly disappointed and saddened by Melody and LDM's position on this.

Conscience and conviction of the Holy Spirit has gripped me for years and I can no longer sit on this explanation as the final word on this magnificent work that Keith has done.

Once again, Spiritwatch Ministries is relinking the original webbed versions of the Chronicles to our home page which we created years ago and took down at LDM's request. What Keith sang years ago is still true:

Make my life a prayer to you
I want to do what you want me to
No empty words and no white lies
No token prayers no compromise

I wanna shine the light You gave
Through Your Son You sent to save us
From ourselves and our despair
It comforts me to know You're really there

Ironically, Melody wrote this song .. about not compromising and about shining light to those in need of it.

Keith said God led him to write them. I feel God has led me to reissue them in a form that will help others blinded like myself. I must obey Him and not the fear of man which a corrupt and apostate church can so easily impose on you. Roman Catholics clinging to Catholicism are still lost and need their blinders removed, such as I did. They need the Gospel and Keith knew that, Betty. You'd better deal with it.

Therefore, if you'd like to read these, click here to do so. They are linked on the Spiritwatch site also.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Another Sign Of The End Time Apostasy: When Bad Movies About The End Go To The $5 DVD Bin And Beer Commercials Bluescreen It In.

This will be another attempt to try to blog regularly.

I feel awful that between my busy personal life, my work and a lot of other to-dosm I have so much going on locally here that I don't get time to write here as much as I can. The political extravagances we've seen this past week just demanded I plop myself down here at the computer to stir some up. So, if you're following the progress of our research on the website articles, I want to thank you for your patience and emails and support. So here's an update:
  • I'm presently working on a long awaited article on Jimmy Swaggart's so-called "Message Of The Cross."  The tenor of the ravings I've read in the nasty emails I've been getting from some of his disciples has finally convinced me I need to do this. More than a few of them just can't see how truly confused the Lone Ranger evangelist actually is despite the megalomania he displays on his massive new media presence as well as his rule from the JSM HQ in Baton Rouge.  I'd love to follow it up with one about his Expositor's Study Bible, but I just don't have time for that, unfortunately, just now.
  • The response to paganism that has also been under glass for years is finally getting finished. This article is the completion of the work I started out years ago on how Wicca and paganism has been digging into our society. It's so completely mainstreamed, as well as the New Age itself, and has largely been forgotten by a no less dangerous and yet far more literally destructive spirituality, that being Islamic jihadism.
  • I have much so work for the Strange Fires page to get cracking on that I've been unable to do as I contended with the Remnant Fellowship cult heavily the past decade or so. The completion of foundational articles on the dumbing down of the Pentecostal movement from its Biblical roots as well as on the utter lack of discernment rampant within it are two very big articles we've had on the back burner for some time. 
Now, back to our blogging here ..

As I see it, one of the sure signs we are actually in the Biblical end times, apart from bad theology on church signs, is when awareness of the coming end of all things has become so widespread it's used for the backstory of television shows and CGI-driven movies put out by Hellywood - I mean Hollywood.  It's when we can contemplate mass global destruction

Themes drawn from an army of screenwriters who offer flashy send ups of the book of Revelation as well as a graphic depiction the end of the world are now a dime a dozen. Humanity has long been given prophetic insight by the Christian scriptures, among other places, that the end of the world is a very real event more known by how many people live ignoring its arrival. Movies about the end of the world got a real spike around the cultural non-event called Y2K that was supposed to spell the end of civilization as we knew it. But they've been long preceded by all kinds of other treatments, from the 1950's science fiction prophecies of alien invasions ("War Of The Worlds") the thirty years of fear of a Cold War nuclear holocaust ("Fail Safe" among them), and even worries about meteor strikes on the earth itself ("Armageddon"). 

So with the culture's renewed interest in ancient prophecy, from the ramblings of Nostradamus to ancient cosmologies, as well as Biblical prophecy itself  that refers to the utter devastation of the world in places like Revelation 6 , the film makers have to up the ante, raise the unthinkable, and milk these themes for all they can to fill seats with concession chomping and bored movie goers in search of what they know is a cheap thrill.  Movies from the "Dunwich Horror" to "The Omen" to "End Of Days" have horrified and also delighted millions of them over the past 40 years, and have ensured enough of a cash flow that Madison Avenue won't ignore .. and, as I saw earlier this afternoon, are exploiting themselves ..

It shows how jaded, calloused and completely self-deluded we've become. When the end comes, no one will believe it because it wasn't seen on TV or the big screen. Just another bit of slouching to Gommorah.

The real horror of real destruction that visited New York, Shanksville and Washington DC on the morning of September 11, 2001 has been far more urgent, terrifying and life changing. We're already tuned out over that, long ago. A letter to the editor at a newspaper on the eve of the 10th anniversary of that day of infamy couldn't say it any better: click here to read it.  

Between Harold Camping's offspring and the Mayan calandar, we'll see more of this. I'm sure.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Dissing Protestantism: Rick Santorum's Just Being Roman Catholic. What's The Surprise?

The strange phenemonon of electoral opportunism that is the annual presidential elections in the United States, has taken another one its' patented weird twists among the Republican candidates in a campaign that seen some really bizarre ones.

Recently a clip of a talk given by Roman Catholic and Republican candidate Rick Santorum surfaced in the media. He said this at a 2008 forum with students at Florida's Ave Maria University, founded by Domino's Pizza mogul Tom Monaghan. In it, Santorum essentially dismisses the Protestant Judeo-Christian ethic and Protestantism as being "gone from the earth." 

It's a rather revealing look into the mindset of hardline Roman Catholicism as it sees those not under its control. It has once again opened up in public discourse the very real divide between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism itself.

“We all know that this country was founded on a Judeo-Christian ethic, but the Judeo-Christian ethic was a Protestant Judeo-Christian ethic. Sure, the Catholics had some influence, but this was a Protestant country and the Protestant ethic. Mainstream, mainline Protestantism. And of course we look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is a shambles. It is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it. So they attacked mainline Protestantism, they attacked the Church, and what better way to go after smart people who also believe they’re pious — to use both vanity and pride to go after the Church.”

While pundits, talking heads in the media, commentators and others fuss over Santorum's supposed distinction between "mainline" and "mainstream" Protestantism (of which Evangelicals are a part), they miss a big point here. Catholicism doesn't care how Protestants define Protestantism. Those who are doctrinally or practically Protestant rather are fond of the labels, revel in them, and even use them to show how much "righter" we are from others.

But Catholicism doesn't care. The entire Protestant world is under the curse of God for questioning Rome's doctrine and authority. Don't believe me? Google "Council of Trent" and do some reading. Check this church's document tracing how many curses of God that the Roman Catholic institution has placed on anyone who doesn't agree with them .. or this nifty site.

Tom Monaghan is a Roman Catholic uber conservative and is known for his philanthropic penchant as well as RC uber conservative community creation. He flies in the rarefied atmosphere of blissfully dogmatic and supremely self-confident Roman Catholic uber conservatism. In short, in Monaghan's worldview and therefore in the places he's bestowed his millions of dollars, Rome is home and the Council of Trent is the word of God.

It's hard for Protestants to understand the complete subjugation of independent thinking, dialogue and autonomy of faith in Christian liberty that the culture of hardline Roman Catholicism exerts. You simply can't get the impact of Santorum's statement until you grasp that point. In traditional Roman Catholicism, especially the species that Santorum played to, this has been an unquestioned authoritarianism for centuries.

Santorum and Monaghan are among the many Roman Catholic powerbrokers who rub shoulders with all kinds of interesting people - like Catholic cardinals who protect deviant pedophile priests, part of the dark underbelly of Catholic religio-politico social realities no less Byzantine or secretive than those in Protestant ones. Monaghan has the unusual burden of having to explain his close association with a specific Roman Catholic cardinal who has been under grand jury examination in Philadelphia for his collusion with covering up the filthy and abominable deeds of priests who molested children.

The sharp media will start asking questions about the propriety of a Presidential candidate whose worldview INTOLERANTLY (there's the 25 cent PC word) and summarily dismisses Protestantism as a corrupt aberration. I have had toe to toes with RC apologists who said the exact .. same .. thing, and known that is what they truly actually believe because that is what Rome says about it, end of discussion.

Romney is going to get a huge bump out of this one .. but the sharp media will ask about his cult's history of feral rejection of non-LDS Christianity as a "perfect pack of nonsense" itself.

But LDS and Roman Catholic cultism aside, the point is that in this RC worldview Santorum speaks to, Rome is home. Protestants need to submit to it without question or languish under God's curse. Santorum knew his audience and knew the patronage it enjoyed from hard liners like Monaghan, who represent Catholicism at its hard linest: he chose his statement deliberately because it shared in this obviously bigoted worldview.

Never mind that morality in largely Roman Catholic lands across the world is degenerate and spirituality is as nominal/seasonal as always - that Catholics turn up in church only at weddings, baptisms, funerals, Christmastime and maybe at Easter. Never mind that free indulging of sinful pleasure is celebrated in places like Rio's de Janeiro's Carnival and New Orleans' Mardi Gras just before Roman Catholics then put their holiness game faces on and start practicing Lenten sobriety. This is what goes on when Rome is home.

Papal blessings on order .. down the street from the Vatican, 1982

The spirituality and morality of Protestantism is under the curse, right? We'd EXPECT, per Santorum, to see it failing. But never the Holy Roman Catholic Church, founded on Saint Peter. Ohh, noooo ..

But - God forbid - the votes of the accursed Protestant electorate get passed over! That would be ... unchristian!

Just when I thought I might have found the least odiferous of candidates I might vote for, I think I will sit this election out. They all stink.