Monday, February 05, 2007

Kool-Aide Anyone? - A Look At Grace

I recently heard that a well known cult leader who began his career as the reincarnation of the Apostle Paul and later said, "Okay... I'm actually Jesus..." has NOW declared himself the anti-Christ.

Kool-Aid anyone?

I know very little about the subject, so I'm keeping information on this to a minimum. This guy gets enough press; he doesn't need the help of bloggers.

But the whole thing got me thinking; thinking about the thousands of people who follow this guy. What kind of person gets sucked into this ideal based on such a shaky foundation? What makes say, an East-Berliner give all of his worldly possessions to a Puerto Rican, based solely on a nice Italian suit and a smile? There's obviously more to it than that. But I'm just trying to figure out -- what kind of thinking is that? What's going on in your head?

It's the attraction of the cult mentality, which to me is similar to the mentality of a lot of Christians.

Cults offer different things; sense of belonging, sense of purpose, a charismatic leader, etc... Many people go to church for the same reasons. There they find community. They find love and acceptance. They also find a reason to live; a reason for existence. They also find a Savior; Christ. They are told, "believe in Jesus as your Savior, His promise that He fullfilled the debt you owed on the cross, and your sins are forgiven. You have eternal life."

And they say, "Yes. I believe.... now what?"

Here's where some churches go wrong. But the blame can't fall squarely on the church. Our nature tells us, "there's gotta be a catch. I mean, it can't just be 'believe' and that's it. I gotta be a good person, right? I have to be Baptized, don't I?" or "I have to change the way I live, don't I ?" or "I have to quit smoking, don't I?" or "I have to be Baptized by the Holy Spirit, don't I" or "I have to stop sinning, right?"

The answer to all of those questions is, no.

Unfortunately, many church "leaders" who should not be leading, proceed to add lists of rules and regulations; follow-up for the Biblically challenged.

Salvation is by faith alone. There is nothing to add to that. It is all about God's grace.

But our nature can't handle a free gift. We have to add stuff to it.

I just heard a song by Derek Webb called, A New Law.

don’t teach me about moderation and liberty
i prefer a shot of grape juice

don’t teach me about loving my enemies

don’t teach me how to listen to the Spirit
just give me a new law

Great song. Makes sense. There is nothing to add to God's promises. It's all about His promise and our response in faith. There is nothing we can do or not do that will change that. We believe, and that's it.

But someone cries out, "Yes, but...." and it all goes to hell.

It's the same mentality of the cultist. "Sacrifice is required. We must work hard. There is much to do. We must live rightly. We are the only ones who are right. Everyone else is wrong."

"We ARE the new law."

If Christ came to liberate us from bondage, why are we so bent on staying imprisoned?


Anonymous said...

Hey every 'church' has its own drink. You know for some is...
Materva, others Inca Cola, Lemonade, SweetTea, others Coke or Diet Coke, others Beer 'Bud' of course! FruitPunch,others don't drink, they fast! 40 days! etc.
I'm just savoring my espresso for now!


Fayola said...

Good one. I love that Derek Webb song, by the way. My favorite part is the minute and a half at the end(I thnk that's how long it is) that he sings "Do not be afraid."
Re: cults, Scientology confuses me the most b/c even the world can see that it's a pile of caca. Yet people are actually interested in a "religion" founded by a science fiction writer. The level of deceit is astounding.

Anonymous said...

grasshopper you are free in el evangelio.
I give you absolution from your masochistic post.

Please let people know that if they want to give a Puerto Rican their $ then send it to me, I would use it better than Miranda for God's Kingdom.


Marquito said...

Nene... Mira... gracias porque me absolvaste. Ten cuidadito por alla, que esos Californianos no respetan el Coqui!

We'll miss you brother. Hope to see you soon!

Anonymous said...

Hey the truth is that even the churches that ‘seem’ to have it all together still falter in a huge way in certain areas as well. Yes, some cults along with their strange or odd beliefs are very obvious in this town… Puerto Rican, Cuban, you name the nationality, there’s variety in Miami. Yet, some churches still swear and live by ‘extra’ manuscripts that almost become as sacred or even more to some, than the simple written Word. That can become very cultic and legalistic as well; even ‘theology’ or idolizing church fathers can also become an ‘idle’ worship… No denomination is exempt.

Serious… ‘Yell-Out’ ;-)

Marquito said...

You're absolutely right Yell-Out.

But still, I think it's those darn Boricuas that are the problem... with their alcapurrias, and their asopao, and mofongo; those are strong tools to use to tempt people into cults. Stronger even then the Westminster Confession!

Anonymous said...

Hay! Bendito Nene! ...Can't debate you on that one... Apostle,Jesus, now Antichrist... what's next? Talk show host? Rock star? Raggeatonero??