Charismatic Christianity as a Cult

by Luke Muehlhauser on August 22, 2010 in Video

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Hermes August 22, 2010 at 6:44 pm
Hermes August 22, 2010 at 6:52 pm

If Ray Comfort went to a zoo and fell over into an area with bears, I’m not sure if I’d rush to get a ladder to help him out. Same with the other liars. Nah. I’d rush, but I’d feel bad about it later.

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Hermes August 22, 2010 at 7:01 pm

Wow. 10 minute mark. Yeah, he’s ex-gay. A guy with a glittery neck scarf and huge fashionable lapels right out of the 70s. He’s ex-gay. Right. Yeah. Just like Ted Haggard.

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lukeprog August 22, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Ray Comfort is an astonishingly evil guy.

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Hermes August 22, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Witchcraft? Killed over a 100 people, and brags about it? Exemplary human beings. Balls on barbed wire, pour on lemon juice, then get really inventive.

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Aaron August 22, 2010 at 7:06 pm

There’s some disturbing stuff in there! Children accused of being witches, children speaking in tongues, being exorcised… I wonder how many of them are brainwashed for good.

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Aaron August 22, 2010 at 7:07 pm

Just to clarify, when I said ‘brainwashed for good’ I meant ‘brainwashed permanently.’

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Hermes August 22, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Luke, absolutely. Rat bastard & liar for Jesus doesn’t quite cover it, but gets the general theme.

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Hermes August 22, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Aaron, children and adults are murdered with witchcraft being used as a justification on a regular basis.

Example: Current search on Google News for “witchcraft ~murder” [ ~murder = words like murder ].

Many of the more horrible ones are in regions of Africa, but even in India there are about 200 murders of “suspected witches” each year (page 2 of the search results for me).

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Hermes August 22, 2010 at 7:22 pm
Hendy August 22, 2010 at 8:51 pm

My last 8 years were spent with a Charismatic Catholic outreach/community. It was very powerful for me to watch that. I can’t say that it was, but over my last 8mos of doubt, turmoil, etc. I really haven’t gotten that emotional. For some weird reason when this finished it was the closest to feeling like all-out sobbing that has happened. I didn’t, but that quasi-urge was there and I can’t put my finger on what caused it.

Almost a hatred for the fact that something that might very well be a myth had so much of my life and is continuing to f*ck it over in various ways? That I didn’t do this earlier? That of all things, the answer that matters the most is so obscure and requires so much work to satisfy one’s self and others with the path chosen?

I’ll have to watch that again. Not sure what else to say but my reaction surprised me.

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Hermes August 22, 2010 at 9:15 pm

Hendy, former Catholic myself. Never got into the hard core aspects. Mel Gibson or the Catholic League (run by Bill Donohue) are alien to my experience, but like the child rape cover ups they can’t be denied either.

Take the rest of this as you want. It probably doesn’t apply to you.

Here’s something that might be somewhat helpful: Treat any religious entities as your servants.

What I mean is that since you have recently detached yourself from the RCC, you might still have a vivid image in your imagination where some religious figures are still ‘with you’. To deal with them, write. Tell them what you think of them. It’s BS nonsense, but potentially cathartic. Kinda like a letter to yourself, even if it is a twisted Disney version of you.

* * *

Unrelated: Found out in the last year that the chief priest at my childhood church was moved because he raped some children. Haven’t had the nerve to bring this up with a friend of mine — a clever and talented man with unnecessary crushing levels of guilt — was a victim of that bastard or not. I’m hesitant because (as far as I can tell) he’s clinging to religion more instead of seeing that it might be part of his problems. His ex-wife is vengeful. While he’s not perfect, he is a good person and not abusive or vengeful.

I know that he’s one of those creative and viable people who deserves his children, and they deserve him. Yet, he has two tangible demons; his ex and the religion that removes his vitality and legitimate claims to pride.

I intend to try and help him, though it’s not an easy task. Earnest help can be seen as a threat very easily.

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TDC August 22, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Eww….

That made me feel sick. So much manipulation. The worst part was when those poor children were being ostracized and threatened because people thought they were witches.

Second in line for me was the part where Ray Comfort was manipulating that poor kid and giving him a guilt trip. Wish I could say that wasn’t “true” Christianity, but I’m not so sure.

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al friedlander August 23, 2010 at 11:55 am

“a clever and talented man with unnecessary crushing levels of guilt ”

“Yet, he has two tangible demons; his ex and the religion that removes his vitality and legitimate claims to pride.”

“While he’s not perfect, he is a good person and not abusive or vengeful.”

This saddens me quite at bit. From what I’ve seen, I also agree that religion can sometimes make a sufferer fall into a ‘cycle’ of guilt and low self-esteem. Religion praises being ‘humble’, so they see this as a justification to continue their self-loathing (secular society also values ‘humbleness’, but a different type that respects oneself when need be). It’s kind of tricky, but I swear it’s true

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Reginald Selkirk August 23, 2010 at 4:00 pm

To Ray Comfort: stealing $1 and stealing $100 may both be wrong, but they are not equally wrong. Committing adultery and looking lustfully at a woman are not equally wrong.

And if bearing false witness sends one to hell, your foreword to Darwin’s Origin has earned you a reserved seat in one of the inner pits.

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Hermes August 23, 2010 at 5:31 pm

To Ray Comfort: stealing $1 and stealing $100 may both be wrong, but they are not equally wrong. Committing adultery and looking lustfully at a woman are not equally wrong.

It’s about purity. Ray’s god can’t abide any blemishes in it’s presence, just as it couldn’t in the OT. A fleck of dust or being covered from head to toe with welts are equal to it’s infinite self-centeredness.

And if bearing false witness sends one to hell, your foreword to Darwin’s Origin has earned you a reserved seat in one of the inner pits.

Well, Ray doesn’t believe any of it anyway. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be such a soul-sucking hypocrite.

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Matthew D. Johnston August 23, 2010 at 6:34 pm

It’s about purity. Ray’s god can’t abide any blemishes in it’s presence, just as it couldn’t in the OT. A fleck of dust or being covered from head to toe with welts are equal to it’s infinite self-centeredness.

This was one of the things that struck me hardest on the “I actually used to believe that?” scale when I left the fold. That any being, let alone a god, could ascribe higher moral value to a virginal monastic life than a vibrant self-giving—but ultimately flawed—life is beyond me. It defies every analogy to meaningful moral human interaction that I can think of.

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James Onen August 24, 2010 at 12:09 am

Where I live – Kampala, Uganda – this is typical Christianity. Absolutely nothing outside the norm here.

I just wish the philosophically sophisticated moderate/liberal believers we interact with on this blog knew just what kind of madness their religion is causing in my part of the world.

I once showed “JESUS CAMP” to a workmate and her comment was “wow, I wish my kids could be like this!”. Benny Hinn, meanwhile, comes down here at least once every 2 years and most recently held a “fire” conference where each person had to pay $50 dollars just to get in. Of course, the offertory buckets made their rounds later with believers coughing up their meagre savings in order to get “God’s miracle”. Even the poor tea girl at my place of work went for this meeting.

Evangelicals have, over the last 30 years done extensive damage to our society here in terms of exploiting poor people, promoting superstitious thinking, and fostering the most vicious kind of homophobia imaginable.
Then they have the audacity to ask – ‘why are atheists so angry?’

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Reginald Selkirk August 24, 2010 at 6:21 am

From Ghana: Atheists are “superior” and “smug”.

There’s a lot there to feel superior to.

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James Onen August 24, 2010 at 6:58 am

@ Reginald Selkirk

From Ghana: Atheists are “superior” and “smug”.
There’s a lot there to feel superior to.

Oh dear, oh dear – the person who wrote that article is one flaming idiot.

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Hermes August 24, 2010 at 7:52 am

James, if there was something I could offer to help those in Ghana I would. As it is, I’ve yet to find a ‘magic pill’, or unmagic one for that matter.

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Hendy August 24, 2010 at 8:31 am

@Hermes:

Thanks for the thoughts. I do write on my blog about things like this. The post from last night was about a meeting I had with my men’s group pastoral letter and our “wonderful” conversation over dinner…

@James:

So interesting. A friend of ours was in Tanzania for 6mos as a nurse and described funeral orgies, unanimous female circumcision after the first child, a desire to keep every woman pregnant, and constant requests by about every man in the village for her to sleep with them. I asked what religion they are and she said Christian or Muslim. She said that Christianity didn’t really change anything because they didn’t see how religious superseded culture.

It’s interesting to hear another report of things like this and to have seen it in the video. I got into a discussion about this with Justin @ FaithHeuristic who was boasting of the increases in Christianity in 3rd world countries. I know very little except the testimony of my friend who was there and so I asked him if he thought it was such a good thing…

Perhaps not? I guess time will tell. He thinks things will improve.

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