Posts Tagged ‘church’

Religious cults

I was listening to Rachael Khon’s Spirit of Things today, they were talking about coercive religious cults when it occurred to me, aren’t all religious cults coercive? Aren’t they all about forcing all sorts of laws and regulations on people which they aren’t supposed to question because all those laws etc. supposedly come directly from God. And since your local leader/preacher/priest is a representative of God, naturally you’re not supposed to question them either.

So what’s really the difference between the Moonies and the RCC, or the ROC for that matter (for those of you who don’t know ROC stands for Russian Orthodox Church it’s like the Russian Version of the Catholic Church only in Russia it’s more like the RCC in Poland). And I often get a rather strange feeling when I hear orthodox priests condemning sects, since after all aren’t they essentially just another sect, if you look at them objectively?

I think for the first time questions began popping up in my head when I was trying to find something (truth, God) with local baptists.  It was around about that time that the first Mormon missionaries turned up in our city and all those baptist preachers suddenly began talking about the dangers of Mormonism in their sermons. I had to check them out for myself though. So first I attended a service at the local Mormon community and I was rather disappointed and puzzled somewhat too, because it was just like a baptist service except they used water instead of wine for communion.

So what is really the difference between the Mormons and the Baptists? Sure the Mormons’ theology is several centuries younger and the Baptists claim theirs is based on nothing but the bible, Solo Scriptura and all that cow, you know,  but in truth there’s all those preachers that publish thousands of books every year interpreting the shit out of the bible.  And truth be told some passages in the bible are so obscure and esoteric in form that most people can never make sense of them. You’d have to have studied the languages they were originally written in plus the history of the peoples that wrote them to understand what the authors actually meant to say. Some famous examples come to mind, like the gates of Hades that won’t be able to defeat Christ’s church. One baptist friend of mine was convinced that since the passage mentioned the gates of hades it meant the church was going to attack the hades at some point in the future, while in actuality the gates in ancient Hebrew was often used to refer to the elite of a city, since those people would gather at the gates to talk business.

Now where was I? Sects, if it acts like a sect it must be a sect, so my point is all churches are essentially sects, it’s just that some are not as crazy as others in the conventional terms of the word crazy. And in some sense, to be a true follower, don’t you have to repent, and doesn’t repentance mean metanoia or change of thinking and isn’t a change in the way you think a form of going insane? It’s fine line I suppose, between being nuts and being a good Christian, a lot finer than most religious business operators would like to admit.

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