‘‘Tis the Season…. to join a cult.
I forget whether it was Vice, Complex, Vox or one of those media outlets with a catchy name & hipster reporters that did/does a special report on “The Believers”… it was Vice, you can check out the series on their YouTube. The series is interesting, a kind of mini docuseries on Faiths / Beliefs around the country. The first one highlighting a group located here in my town of Salem, called the Satanic Temple. That episode really didn’t bother me and I understood their argument for first amendment rights. What I felt watching the people who associated with the satanic temple is a great sadness. It made me think that a lot of the people who follow this temple are more in it for the pomp. They really like wearing black shirts while throwing up devil horns as they probably think of themselves as the “rock n roll” religion. Seeing some of the young minds attracted to it, and even some older, I had this gut feeling that most of them had never experienced real evil. Real evil isn’t what you think, it’s not the demented serial killer, it’s the family man who lies about his life and turns on the ones who depend on him and kills them when they aren’t looking - like that recent news story in Colorado. I couldn’t help but feel, when seeing these people who showed up for the satanic temple event, that almost none of them had been in real spiritual warfare. None had ever encountered a malicious spirit or demon, maybe they don’t even believe in that kind of stuff, but As much as I don’t encourage this - maybe they should to see how tormenting it can be. From all those I know who have encountered such, not any felt comfy and wanted to keep it around. I also felt that being mad at God isn’t reason to seek the satanic temple. Now the satanic temple is political, so they claim to be nontheistic. But they use the word Satan in their title to do more than evoke, they use it because it represents something. But enough of my ramblings on episode 1 of The Believers… my gripe isn’t with them, it’s with episode 2 of The Believers “Guns for God: The church of the AR 15”.
If you watch this second episode you may get a sense like I did, that this is a cult. Whenever I hear “mass arraigned marriages” - forgive me but my mind goes there.
This church has roots in Korea. It comes from the Unification church in Korea where the leader/founder represented himself as a messiah (again - how is this not a cult?). And this Unification Sanctuary church in Pennsylvania has an even more interesting take on things than their parent church. Their leader “Pastor Sean Moon” (which the followers of the old church were called Moonies) has based his faith is almost explicitly one verse in the Bible [deeply concerning] and that verse is from [the most sane of all biblical books - sarcasm] Revelations. Pastor Sean says a ton of times in this episode how the Bible states the phrase “Rod of Iron”, which thankfully Sean is on earth to translate this into today’s language as the AR 15. Now he must have some charisma because he has a following, but like so many leaders I see today - they hide behind some words they’ve mangled into representing their cause and their actions are… suspect. Whenever you have to “level up” in a church, I have a hard time believing that’s what Christ wanted.
Here’s my reality, outside a few Christian church’s, I have such a hard time relating to most of Christ’s followers today. I’ll give you my recommendations at end of this blog for the guys I believe have Christ speaking through them. But it’s because I feel so many have wandered off the path. And Christ was pretty straight forward. He told us Live is the greatest of these things I tell you to do & to love your neighbor (of course it delves deeper) but when your faiths focus is on an AR 15 and you level up to wear a crown of bullets, I feel Christ message gets lost in a tiny bit of idolatry. I hope and pray for these leaders that they guide their flock back. But if your cause is guns, then just say that, leave Christ out of it.
I don’t mean to write any of this out of anger, but rather when I watch these things I feel this deep connection to humanity and our search for faith or to believe. I have compassion for all those who wander and yet I also have a profound connection to what is recorded that Christ said, and it saddens me to see it misguiding others. It’s a basic example of love one another, forgive as you’ve been forgiven, and let your faith allow you to believe in this. I pray you reading find that Faith that helps you believe.
The one one man I listen to regularly whom I believe you can hear Christ speak through is Max Lucado. The other who I don’t listen to as often yet loved his message when I did, is Miles McPherson.
I leave you with this…
“We don’t look for things that can be seen but for things that can’t be seen. Things that can be seen are only temporary. But things that can’t be seen last forever.”
2 Corinthians 4:18 GW