Seven young members of a satanic sect have gone on trial in Russia accused of four gruesome murders in which they “ritually sacrificed” their victims before cooking and eating parts of them.
Prosecutors say the murders took place on 29 and 30 June 2008 in a remote forested area close to Yaroslavl with two victims killed per night.
The self-styled devil worshippers, which included a young teenage girl, lured three girls and a boy aged from 15 to 17 to the spot by plying them with alcohol and inviting them to sit round a bonfire.
They then killed them in a sacrificial ceremony, stabbing them 666 times each in homage to the so-called Number of the Beast.
Prosecutors say the young killers then dismembered their victims’ bodies and cooked certain body parts such as the hearts and the tongues before consuming them.
They buried the rest of the remains in a giant pit which they marked with an inverted cross topped with a dead cat. Investigators say the sect was formed in 2006 and gleaned its knowledge of Satanism from the Internet, initially killing cats and dogs before graduating to homicide.
The case is being held behind closed doors but local media say all seven defendants admit their guilt. They are officially charged with murder, theft and the desecration of human remains.
(Originally posted at my old blog July 26, 2007)
During conversation the other day with a customer at Whole Foods, it was revealed that this person was, is, enamored with a “hippie movement” from the late 60’s (some say 68′, others 69′) that was situated for many years in the Seattle Washington area. The group is commonly called Love Israel, named after its founder… who’s real name is Paul Erdman. But this “organization” has gone by a few names: Jordan Village Farms, Love Is Real Family Inc., Love Family, Church of Jesus Christ at Armageddon, Church of Armageddon.
Is It a Cult Though? (click to see)
Israel Love’s (Paul Erdman) followers renamed themselves in like fashion, for example: Patience Israel, Serious Israel, Charity Israel, Abishai Israel, Honesty Israel, on-and-on. With “love” being the central tenant, this New Age cult – like most others – quickly fell into drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, family’s torn apart, bankruptcy, mind-control tactics, and yes… even death. In fact, Erdman’s sexual activities were the subject of much scandal, not to mention the fact that he fathered a dozen or more children with many different women. One dispute after another involved the group in various legal battles, which included zoning and housing violations. All this combined with the many lawsuits from families of cult members led to a mass egression in the mid-eighties of most of its followers. (The lawsuits were mainly to get back savings accounts, property and possessions back after they ere “donated” to Paul Erdmann.)
This movement got its start with revelation Paul Erdman received that indicated that he represented the authentic message of the New Testament. Thus, he and his followers felt they were the “true” Christians as well as the “true” Israelites. Old Testament dietary laws were incorporated into this group’s lifestyle while at the same time Old Testament restrictions on “altered states of consciousness” were ignored. Speaking of which, altered states of consciousness were reached by ritualized inhaling of the vapors from an industrial solvent called toluene. Paul Erdman taught that inhaling these vapors was a religious ritual that his members must follow. Follow, that is, until two members died from it in 1972; at which time this practice was “stopped.” I say “stopped” because the group continued to use hyperventilation, hallucinogens and marijuana as aids to altering consciousness. Reportedly all members of the group had visions, dreams, and revelations that explained their purpose on earth. Duh! You could include most of the “Orange Sunshine” consuming hippies in this “revelational” category. Cocaine, of course, later became the drug of choice for Paul Erdman. Shortly after the egression of about 350-or-so people in 1983, the Church of Armageddon was officially disbanded in 1985. While officially disbanded, a small core of people still follow the religious leader Love Israel. Recently Brotherhood Israel sold ecstasy to two undercover agents reconfirming the addiction to drugs this cult has.
As with other cults of the day (Manson Family for instance), the Church of Armageddon had its own connection to Hollywood. The son of the father of talk television, Steve Allen, was part of this group for some time which prompted Steve Allen to write a book on the subject. The book is entitled Beloved Son: A Story of the Jesus Cults, and is currently out of print (I have a copy of course) and should be considered a dated read, however, it is still “chalked full of nuts,” literally!
The Communal 60’s and 70’s
The hippie movement of the sixties produced a mix of Marxian communal living arrangements with a dash of Christianity and New Age (Eastern) thinking thrown in for authority in edicts and lifestyles. Groups such as At Twin Oaks (Virginia), East Wind (Missouri), Ganas (New York), The Farm, and the like popped up all over the place.
Similar to these groups the followers do not marry each other with the classical understanding of the monogamous relationship, but considered themselves married to each other in the universal marriage of Jesus Christ and are not bound by “worldly traditions” of matrimony. Love Israel and other leaders had the prerogative (still does, just with fewer people) of permitting couples temporary bonding for the purpose of having children. The humorous question is has thinking spread to the modern left of today? The Church of Armageddon got its name from Revelation 16:16 where Armageddon is mentioned as the gathering place of the end-time.
Of course. Nothing is purely negative. The group farmed and fished and they developed a free restaurant and a 24-hour inn where guests were housed and fed at no charge. Members distributed food from their farms and fishing boats to needy neighbors. But the good is outweighed by the bad theology, brainwashing, and fear tactics.
Bankrupt! (2003 article By Jennifer Langston)
No longer in the “Queen Ann” area of Seattle, likewise no longer in Arlington, the cult has had to move after declaring chapter 11 bankruptcy. Something ironic since the “Church” rejected worldly laws and governing bodies. The few members (about 30) have moved due to this bankruptcy, selling its spiritual center to a Jewish organization in late 2003. They then moved to the Canadian border and at last report had fewer than 50 members. The Love Israel Family has set up tents along 52 acres near China Bend, a scenic river bench about 10 miles south of the U.S.-Canadian border in Stevens County.
Because of the growth of the many cults during this time, there were many kidnappings and deprogramming done. Family members would pay for the cult member to be kidnapped and then have cult-deprogrammers talk these people through what constitutes the movement as a cult and try to deprogram the influence of the movement on this individual. The first taken from the Love Family was Cathy Crampton. Cathy’s parents allowed CBS to film the kidnapping and deprogramming, which was ultimately unsuccessful. Exit counseling got its start in these times, and many great books and insights have come from the study of brainwashing since.
Modern Day Thinking
Of course, in our Politically Correct environment, all opinions and actions are considered equal in weight and judgment. What is true for you may not be for me! Who are you to say I am wrong in my choice? There are no absolute moral laws. Moral choices are decided by the individual or by society and are not subject to intervention by you… if you do you are considered intolerant. This type of thinking will create more cults and more people who will unite and I am sure in the future we will hear of it. We will hear of the punch being drunk to catch a ride on a comet or to leave this horrible life for a better one. The more the West steps away from the Judeo-Christian-Grecian culture, the less rational and logical thinking will be applied to peoples personal lives. Thus, relativism will “seize the day.”
The below is from Steve Hassan’s site:
Founded by Paul Erdman, aka “Love Israel” in 1968 in Seattle, Washington. Purports to be fulfilling the vision of Jesus Christ on Earth by working toward a vision of a community that is committed to “love” one another and forgive one another.
Reached zenith of membership in the mid-80’s with nearly 400 members. Dissolution of the majority of the group came about when families of members sued for return of property turned over to the family and allegations of monetary and property mis-management occurred.
The remaining members moved to a 290 acre ranch near Arlington, Washington. During the 90’s the leader and his lead “elder” Serious have formed multiple “corporations”, one of which is The Love Is Real Family, Inc., reportedly a non-profit corporation. Additionally, Serious is the registered agent for: The Jordan Village Corp., The Golden Triangle Development, Inc., The Bistro, Inc., and The Love Is Real Family, Inc. The Bistro is a restaurant concern in Arlington, Washington, reportedly owned and operated by the family. Also reported in the Seattle Times is a evening coffee club called the Compassion Cafe. Members confirm that this is a Family concern but at this point I’ve been unable to obtain documentation to confirm this connection.
Great cultural pressure to adhere to group’s norms of dress, styles, manner of talking.
Communal living idealism, so food is regulated by the core group. Key members of the group do not go without food or sufficient provisions. Out of favor members tend not to be taken care of as well or poorly.
Early morning meetings are de riguer and the lifestyle encourages late evenings as well, therefore, not much sleep occurs.
Members are encouraged to contribute all to the family upon joining. Households are reportedly self-sufficient, but must contribute (as of 10/00) 1/3 of their income to Love so that the payments on the property may be made.
Leisure activities of the members revolve around the family actitivies. Love Israel frequently takes trips around the world, particularly Europe. Lesser members never, if ever, travel.
Must always ask permission to make major decisions. Marriages must be “sanctioned” Otherwise, less formal couplings are neither discouraged nor encouraged, although couples are encouraged to experiment outside their union.
Morning “prayer” meetings are often used for getting to what people think/feel.
If you are in favor, you get more food, greater benefits, more freedom. Out of favor and you get job assignments that aren’t as welcome… punishments, group pressure, etc.
There are many rigid rules and regulations. Dependency is wrought first by financial dependency developing into emotional dependency and “learned helplessness.
Perhaps the only real autonomous people there are Love Israel and Serious Israel.
Leaders decide who needs to know what. Likely only Love Israel, Serious and their most trusted companions know key areas of the business dealings of the two men.
Must internalize the group’s truth as truth
Loaded language techniques are rampant.
No critical questions about Love, his doctrine or his policies are legitimate. You are a traitor if you question him.
Excessive use of fear. Many of the people who have been there for 20 or so years have developed such an indoctrination to the culture that living outside the “family” has become extremely difficult.
(Wiki Source for Photo)
References and Sites Used For This Bio
- Israel Love’s website is at: http://www.loveisraelfamily.com/
- Steve Alan Hassan’s Freedom of Mind Center is a good resource;
- So to is Rick Ross’s site;
- Religion News Blog;
- Context Institute (member[s] of old group)
- Margaret Singer and others.
Some books I used:
- The Encyclopedia of American Religions, vol II. By J. Gordon Melton;
- Odd Gods: New Religions and the Cult Controversy, by James R. Lewis;
- America’s Alternative Religions, by Timothy Miller;
- The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Active New Religions, Sects, and Cults, by Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi.
Apollo Quiboloy, a Philippines cult leader who refers to himself as the “Appointed Son of God,” appears to be at a loss over the outcome of the presidential elections that saw his “anointed” trailing far behind the leading candidates.
His four million member ‘Kingdom of Jesus Christ, the Name Above Every Name’ group voted en-bloc for a candidate who eventually garnered just over three million votes.
The first person they drag out of the car (the camera doesn’t get up close, so this isn’t gruesome) I found out was 16-years old. I further found out this kid was brainwashed by his dad to think conspiratorially about many things. This father was deeply involved in an Aryan organization that looked at the government, taxes, and the like, as illegal. In contradistinction, most conservatives do not think taxes are illegal, just too high — for one example. This Aryan conspirator is directly responsible for (as is the rest of his family) in some way for murdering this young boy who looked up to his dad. His dad was just a nut.
This story is taking some large twists and turns since I have been at work. It is sad that a conspiratorial view of history and the typical projecting onto Arizona’s law one’s own criminal behavior… all the while dragging your boy along for this dangerous ride? Shame on you and people who think like you. There seems to be some racist connections involved as well as a strident anti-government approach that reminds me of my John Birch days. The Commercial Appeal has the most I have found yet on this topic, TCA posts this:
…As recently as April 10, Jerry Kane was arrested after a traffic stop on April 10 in Lincoln County, New Mexico, for concealing his identity and driving with a suspended/revoked driver’s license.
In an Internet broadcast dated May 6, Kane describes the arrest in anti-government language: “I ran into a Nazi checkpoint in the middle of New Mexico where they were demanding papers or jail.” Because he does not believe the government has the right to sanction identification, he chose two days in jail before being released on bond — “pay a ransom,” Kane said.
Ohio police records describe Kane as a burly man, 6-foot 2 and 230 pounds. Since 1983, Kane was arrested or cited six times in Clark County, Ohio, on charges ranging from passing bad checks to criminal trespass, drunken driving and driving with expired tags. Kane was charged with felonious assault in 2004 after allegedly shooting a 13-year-old boy with a “handgun-style BB gun.’’
Material on the website promoting Kane’s foreclosure-advising business displays classic rhetoric experts say is associated with anti-government groups. Topics discussed on the site include microchips inserted into people’s bodies, plots involving the H1N1 vaccine and the contention that U.S. dollars don’t constitute real money….
“Without question, Jerry Kane was mouthing some of the core ideas of anti-government, Patriot movement,’’ Potok said. “…Clearly the father was involved in the Patriot movement.’’
The white van in Thursday’s shootout was registered to a New Vienna, Ohio, organization called House of God’s Prayer, and Potok said a former FBI informant who says the building where the church was housed also once served as the headquarters for the Aryan Nations, a white supremacist group. “That was an incredibly violent bunch of people up there,’’ Potok said.
You can hear the violence in this man — video below — as he misquotes Scripture and talks about physical violence towards a woman. In the video that follows this one (found here), you can see him giving tax advice about how not to pay taxes and that they (you) are not required to pay them. He ends this video below with a short snippet on the Federal Reserve that is Alex Jones/John Birch Society type stuff.
I am pretty much as conservative as one can get, but whenever I see any crazy stuff — especially from my side — I usually say something. Loud and often. For instance, this conversation happened between two friends of mine:
A friend posted this from Alex Jones as well as recommending a movie with Alex in it:
THEY SAY “IGNORANCE IS BLISS” – IF IT IS , NOT FOR LONG ! MY FAVORITE COLLEGE PROFESSOR PUT IT BLUNTLY – “IDIOT” – “A PERSON WHO IS NOT INVOLVED IN POLITICS , WHO LETS OTHERS DICTATE TO HIM” – THIS IS REVIEW PEOPLE , BUT DUE TO RECENT TRENDS AND OUTLOOKS, MUCH NEEDED. DONT RUIN AMERICA MORE THAN WHATS ALREADY OCCURRED… BY IDLY STANDING BY. GET INVOLVED , DO YOUR PART , ITS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AS AN “AMERICAN” !! WITH ALL OUR TALENTS AS PEOPLE , I CANT BELIEVE ITS GOING DOWN (LITERALLY) LIKE THIS !
I apologize… this has Alex Jones in the movie and affiliated with it. I cannot stand this insane man who just wants to make a buck based on lies about conspiracies and the New World Order. For those who wish to have more sound resources that are reasonable and historically sound, visit:
Another friend later writes this:
Face it , the USA is over. Done. Time for states to start to succeed from this ridiculous union…. It will happen in our lifetimes. This union can’t continue. First state to bail on the USA and get back to a constitutional government that looks out for it’s own people, not foreign governments and special interest groups… Me, my lady and my dog are there.
The other friend responds:
I’LL BE RIGHT BEHIND YOU OR MAYBE , IN FRONT OF YOU. WELL , THE ONLY CONSISTENT IN WORLD HISTORY IS “THEY ALL FALL DOWN” !!
And it continues… unfortunately. (I left this one alone, but some will attest that I go after my own – Evangelical conservatives, which these two are not. I want healthy, well-balanced thinking on our side, which I even fail at sometimes… I lean Reformed in my thinking — I am a sinful, fallen, human – I will let you down.) This view that all is lost is what drove the “IRS Bomber” and others to do what they did: Bedell Update — Blog Wars: Was He Lib or Con, or Just Crazy? (Alex Jones, Joseph Stack, von Brunn, Charlie Sheen) All this negative thinking doesn’t take into account what the Founders knew what America was, calling it American Exceptionalism. That shining city on the hill. We just have to win at the polls and polish up this lamp. But we are not “done in.” We are only beginning, that’s how one should think.
Different guy. The writer is Jerry A. Kane. The shooter is Jerry R. Kane.
I thought I would pass on this correction of my original thought. Thankfully I wrote WND. This conspiratorial view is rampant, I am doing my part to clean up muddled thinking when it hits close to home, I hope you’all are as well:
If you need more evidence than a quick look at any left-wing blog that the Democrat Party has become the party of derangement, denial, conspiracy theories and blind hatred, a new Rasmussen poll shows that 35% of Democrats believe Bush knew about the 9/11 attacks in advance:
Democrats in America are evenly divided on the question of whether George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Democrats believe he did know, 39% say he did not know, and 26% are not sure.
Republicans reject that view and, by a 7-to-1 margin, say the President did not know in advance about the attacks. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 18% believe the President knew and 57% take the opposite view.
Overall, 22% of all voters believe the President knew about the attacks in advance. A slightly larger number, 29%, believe the CIA knew about the attacks in advance.
I am sure we will find out he is a 9/11 “truther” and a birther.
A teenage Jehovah’s Witness who was crushed by a car refused a blood transfusion before he died.
The teenager was a member of the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Smethwick.
A spokesman from Selly Oak hospital said: “There’s not one single policy and not one single law regarding transfusions. There’s no automatic right to override parental wishes or that of a minor. It’s a very complex area that has to be approached on a case by case basis. ”
Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught that passages of the Bible forbid blood transfusions. Members who do accept such treatment can be cast out of the church. Many Jehovah’s Witnesses carry a signed and witnessed advance directive card absolutely refusing blood and releasing doctors from any liability arising from this refusal.
Clive Parker, an elder at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses where Joshua and his family worshipped, said: “I believe he was conscious enough after the accident and he made a stand on the blood issue. He made the choice personally.”
Here is some thought on extreme Primitive Baptists. Buckle your seat belts.
I was asked by a friend to give some input on Primitive Baptists and in his and I’s search we have come across some interesting reasons as to why this group may tend towards an unhealthy vision of theology and history. I will be commenting on topics I am not an expert in but merely an arm-chair apologist/theologian, so bear with me. This topic cuts close to the debate between the hard-predestinationists, which are what Primitive “hardshell” Baptists are, and complete free-will theologies. So I will have to tread lightly here while at the same time stating my position on some of the topics dealt with here.
I find in Scripture a wonderful mix of man making choices in a limited way and God “blessing” or “cursing” (so-to-speak) these choices depending on if they are in accordance with His will or not. (More on “cursing” later.) For instance, God hardening Pharaoh’s heart, and Pharaoh hardening his own heart is a great example of these two extremes of God working all things together for His glory — as hard as this is to understand for us finite beings. As wonderful as this may sound, my main understanding of this dilemma is that it is not fully solved. Nor will it be until we can see like we are seen. The Reformers had the greatest compilation of thinking as compared to that of Catholic theology (some of which always existed as a stream of thought from Christ’s day to ours). This being said, the Reformers theology isn’t divine, neither the above apologists. Neither are James White’s or Norman Geisler’s theologies… though both may be reservoirs of sound thinking for the Christian.
Know that I am not here talking about the major doctrines concerning God’s nature and revelation, Christ’s divinity and sacrificial work, or the working of the Holy Spirit’s work in the Body of Christ being. I am not that “loose” in my theological stance like a Tony Jones in his non-stances (see pic of Toni’s blog to the right). What I am saying is that Free-Will Baptists and Primitive Baptists (PB) may have it a bit wrong and they need to meet somewhere in the middle-right somewhere. Well, the middle being a bit more Calvinist than not. The Christian faith is deep and broad beyond these essentials making many positions applicable to whom we are and the serving situation we find ourselves. All these interpretations should, however, gather around some referent, which makes some defined lines for us to be able to test ourselves to see if we are still in the faith (2 Cor 13:5).
Personally, I enjoy James White’s input on many topics, having most of his debates on DVDs. In one of these debates James White points out that Geisler may be a bit too Armenian in his theology, more than I previously thought. Both men are saved however. Many Primitive Baptists may not be able to say even this… as this theology can lead (IMHO) to some extremes, the Westboro Baptists as an example:
Phelps and his followers call themselves “primitive Baptists.” They believe in predestination, the idea that God already has selected those who will go to heaven and that everyone else is irreversibly doomed to hell.
Their mission, members say, simply is to spread this news.
“We don’t strive to change your hearts or minds,” Phelps wrote in a letter to the Capital-Journal. “Even if we wanted to, we couldn’t make you believe the truth.
“Every person who is predestined for hell will remain in darkness.”
– Kansas anti-gay church embarrasses Topekans, The Oakland Tribune, Nov. 4, 2002
These extreme Baptists also do not realize — I think — that Scripture is given by inspiration by a Being that is outside the time-space continuum by speaking to finite being’s hearts. Hardshell Baptists do not note that all of time lays before God, creation to the New Heaven and Earth, and beyond, in their reciting and formulating its theology. So when we read verses that state the Lamb (Jesus Christ) was slain from the foundation/creation of the world (Revelation 13:8), we understand that Christ had been slain before Adam and Eve were created. It is analogous to an eight-and-a-half-by-eleven piece of paper representing all of space and energy created. Drawing a line then from one end of the paper to another and marking it with Genesis on one end and Revelation on the other shows what we are looking at analogously. Granted, a horrible analogy, but it will work for our purpose here. That line is what God sees because He is not in what He created (the time-space continuum). He is the “I AM” (“I AM” Exodus 3:14: from a Hebrew verb “to be,” denoting His Infiniteness/Existence as the source of finite existence) outside that piece of paper.
So when God speaks about knowing and predestined event n our life, He is explaining a layer of ideas that shouldn’t be viewed as two-dimensional. God removing His Spirit from Samuel, or Samuel’s paganism removing God’s blessing:
What we see in these passages follows a pattern. When God removes His protective hand, he often turns the person over to Satan for destruction or to an evil spirit for torment. The devil and the evil spirits do the work, but God has allowed them to do what come natural to them for His own purpose. I know that some will have trouble with this concept, but it is thoroughly established in scripture. God does not commit wickedness, but He uses the wicked for His purpose. In the end, God will have His glory. How much better it is for us to submit to Him and obey Him willingly. (Source)
God destined all of history, but we are not automatons walking around, God gave his Gospel and told us to preach it to impact the world. Since God knows who will respond to His tugging on their hearts, He allows them the understanding to know his grace through all eternity:
Concerning the intent or purpose of the atonement, most patristic authorities held that Christ died for the sins of the world. Athanasius maintained that in the divine scheme of things “death there had to be, and death for all, so that the due of all might be paid.” Cyril of Jerusalem affirmed that “Jesus truly suffered for all men.” While not speaking clearly on the issue, Augustine seemed to suggest that Christ died for the world, although the cross is effectual only for those who believe. As for John Calvin, several recent scholars believe that although Calvin held to double predestination he also taught a doctrine of unlimited atonement. In his Institutes Calvin wrote, “It is certain that the Lord offers us mercy and the pledge of his grace both in his Sacred Word and in his sacraments. But it is understood only by those who take Word and sacraments with sure faith, I just as Christ is offered and held forth by the Father to all unto salvation, yet not all acknowledge and receive him.” In his later commentaries Calvin more clearly postulates an unlimited atonement. With regard to Galatians 5:12 Calvin affirms: “God commends to us the salvation of all men without exception, even as Christ suffered for the sins of the whole world.”
Other moderate Calvinists point out that Christ’s saving provision includes many racial benefits, such as the common blessings of life, the restraint of evil, an objective provision sufficient for all, the removal of every obstacle on God’s side for the forgiveness of sins, and the future resurrection of the dead. On the other hand, they seek to do justice to texts that indicate a special purpose for those persons given to Christ out of the world. They point out that 1 Timothy 4:10 indicates a twofold purpose in the cross, namely, general benefits for all people and saving benefits for elect believers. In a sermon, entitled, “General and Yet Particularal,” C. H. Spurgeon maintains that Christ death fulfilled a twofold purpose. “There is a general influence for good flowing from the mediatorial sacrifice Christ, and yet its special design and definite object is the giving of eternal life to as many as the Father gave him.” The observation of Charles M. Horne is instructive: “God’s salvation is one. As applied to non-Christians, it includes their preservation in this life and the enjoyment of certain blessings which come to man by common grace. As applied to believers, however, this salvation extends into eternity. This view would seem to be the best one, because it gives the power force to the word especially [1 Tim. 4:10].“ In a similar vein Robert P. Lightner claims that Christ’s saving provision reaches every member of Adam’s race. Yet its redemptive benefits are applied only to those who believe, i.e., to the elect.” Donald G. Bloesch arrives at a similar conclusion in language colored by the thought of Barth…. (Integrative Theology)
I think CS Lewis is right when he says Hell is locked from the inside. This view combines the universal power I believe the death of God on the cross should be and Scripture shows it to be, but it doesn’t cheapen it in that we must respond… however small and distorted this response may be from fallen sinful creatures, it is made Holy by Jesus’ work, not ours. I guess I would consider myself a moderate Calvinist.
This life and all the good we are given in it come from God’s grace, which is why — I suspect — that when one accepts/is brought to Christ’s finished work on the cross they can look back with their Holy Spirit goggles and we typically hear them saying (ourselves included) God was working in their lives the whole time… bringing them to this point. Blessing from God are also shared by the wicked, at least here in this temporal life it rains on both the wicked and the righteous. Every breath we take, whether saved or unsaved, is a gift from God. The crime and hatred we experience is a lack of God in the world and the rebellion of man, both current and historical. Rebellious man sometimes sees this. Theologian Millard Erickson hints at Nebuchadnezzar realizing this to some extent:
When Nebuchadnezzar comes to his senses, he blesses the Lord: “His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: ‘What have you done?”‘ (Dan. 4:34-35).
This quote shows that even a pagan can be right once in a while like a broken clock is. The saved person has better odds however. Ravi Zacharias does have some valuable input on free-will:
Okay, switching gears a bit I wanted to deal with another belief by these Baptists, it is that they believe they are closest to the early church in their beliefs and practices. This just isn’t true. If one would like to be as close as possible to the early church, become a Messianic Jew. You will notice that they are a very legalistic denomination that Paul spoke out against in Galatians. What they are missing is the mission that includes all aspects of God, one being love. Listen to the hard-Calvinistic positions… even trying to quote T.U.L.I.P
Another example of this bad theology and legalism comes from a PB site. See from one of their own sites:
- Why the name Primitive Baptist?
- What is the difference between Primitive Baptists and other Baptists?
- What is the PB view of the scriptures?
- How do PBs use scriptural precedent to resolve questions of church practice?
- How does the typical PB view his or her role in society?
- Why do PBs refer to their ministers as elders?
- Why do PBs not have schools for training ministers?
- Why do PBs require elders be male?
- Why do PBs use real wine & real unleavened bread in communion?
- Why do PBs wash feet during communion?
- Why do PBs commune only with baptized believers of like faith and practice?
- Why do PBs require baptism by immersion?
- Why do PBs rebaptize persons joining them from other orders?
- Why do PBs not use musical instruments?
- Why do PBs not have Sunday schools?
- Why do PBs not have organized programs for the entertainment of youth?
- Why do PBs not have pictures of Jesus in their churches & homes?
- What is the attitude of PBs on tongues & other miraculous spiritual gifts?
Here one ex-Primitive Baptist preacher talks about his experiences and insights during his time leading a PB church. It is 60-minutes long, but you will come away from this presentation that much more knowledgeable.
Much more can be said on this topic, but prayer and compassion should go to these people, especially the younger generation growing up in this cult like setting. We should all know church history and the rise of this thinking. I have a feeling we will see a growth in this denomination as the country polarizes.
Much Thought, PapaG