Thursday, June 25, 2015

Jeepers Creepers I

Previously unknown species of Christian cults/sects creep out from under every stone.

Did you know that there is a danger of you going to hell if you:

1. Call Jesus "Jesus".
2. Don't speak in tongues
3. Watch TV.

Well, that's according to a couple of  Christian cults/sects that have come to my notice of late. In both cases it looks as though a sect member has crept onto my church premises and deposited their tracts which I then find. Here's the first tract:

(Click to enlarge)

This one threatens hell and damnation if you don't have an accredited reception of the Holy Spirit, (as accredited by them of course!) - what they recognize as "speaking in tongues" is regarded as important evidence of this. They also threaten damnation for TV viewers. I have a hunch that the people who left this tract are the so-called "Potter's House", a sect who meet not far away from my church. According to their Wiki page "Potter's House" expect a true Christian believer to speak in tongues and they also have a dim view of TV viewing. However, that's just a guess.

Here's my second tract:
(Click to enlarge)

If you read this tract you will see that they talk in very stern and condemning tones about anyone who refers to Jesus as simply "Jesus" and/or regards him as a friend. Some spiritually conceited blockhead has written an incoherent footnote on this tract that tries to get around the passage in John  15:14-15 where Jesus refers to himself as a "friend"; this person simply cannot see that "friendship" is a mutual extrinsic property brought about by mutual relationship: Viz: If A is my friend then it follows that I'm a friend of A. I know very little about this second sect except that the tract gives an address in Germany.  I actually first came across this group when they put tracts on the cars in the car park at my church. See here:

When I find a tract from some hitherto unknown Christian group there is a simple rule of thumb I use to test the likelihood that the tract is from a strongly sectarian group: Look for passages in the tract that criticize other Christians as at best inferior and at worst hell-bound - when you see that you know they only accept themselves as authentically Christian.

This characteristic of condemning all people outside one's cloistered holy remnant as at best spiritually compromised and at worst satanically evil as an all too common and recognisable human trait. As we can see from the above, apparently quite innocuous behaviors (or absence of certain behaviors) are regarded by sectarians as enough evidence to consign people to eternal tortures and at the same time are considered clear cut signifiers separating out the sheep from goats. I've said the following before but it bears repeating: It is easy to imagine that the very human traits we see above could be exploited to promote acts of violence: Firstly, if these sectarian people have little problem in accepting innocuous behaviors as evidences of the presence of evil and therefore deserving eternal tortures in hell it would be no big deal for them to think that "goats" deserve physical death. Secondly, these sectarians have such a mechanical and literal way of interpreting the Bible that I shudder to think what might happen if the New Testament contained injunctions to kill apostates, heretics, blasphemers, and unbelievers. Fortunately for us in the West, the NT is very explicit about not spreading Christianity by the sword (.....but then come to think of it what about the "inquisition"?).  But there is more than one way to disseminate fear: heavy hints about the wrath of God and hell if one leaves a sect is another way of keeping people in line. The irony is that in theory Christianity  removes the fear of sin and death, and yet these cultists know how to reintroduce it!

It would be a nice idea to get together a sect/cult database that tabulates all the traits of the different cults. However, I've more pressing things to do! 

No comments: