Posts tagged ‘charismatic’

Slain in the Spirit… by an Atheist?

slain1.jpgSome of us here at de-conversion, as well as many of our readers, come from, or are affected by, Pentecostal/Neo-Pentecostal movements. HeIsSailing reminisced on several posts, including one on glossolalia, and another on self-exposed charlatan, Marjoe Gortner; Roopster also posted a humorous clip by an infamous prosperity gospel teacher. If you are in the United States, even your politics are infused with Charismatic non-theology. The dynamic attributes of the movement has obviously led to a relatively flexible belief system which is all loosely based on a few passages in the New Testament. Some Pentecostals take a more “moderate” stance, accepting Biblical priority, whereas others prefer the voice and actions of the Spirit. A few follow the disciple’s example of living a poverty-stricken life, while many flock to the health-and-wealth promises of Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, and Joyce Meyer.

However, if people want wealth from their religion, Christianity isn’t usually the place to start – just taking a look at the first book of the New Testament should be enough to scare away any religious gold-diggers. No, charismatic Pentecostals do not win converts by Biblical exegesis or even appealing to the heart: they proselytize via the sensations…

Continue Reading December 12, 2007 at 8:15 am 67 comments

Christianity vs. Christianity: Who will win?

boxing matchI remember as a teenager, a friend’s mother devoted a lot of her energy to get me “saved.” Here I was, the son of a preacher, living a life I thought was dedicated to God, but because I did not participate in communion each week and did not believe I needed to be baptized to be saved, I was destined to spend eternity in hell. Oh, and the church I attended used musical instruments and females during worship.

From this side of the fence, I have to laugh about all the petty arguments we had within Christianity and how quickly we were to condemn other sects to hell because of their beliefs or their lack of beliefs. Mormons and JW’s of course were the biggest transgressors for not accepting Jesus as God. Catholics were a close second with their belief in purgatory, their “worship” of Mary and all those “idols” of the Saints; so they too were sliding down that grease poll straight to you know where…

Continue Reading September 16, 2007 at 10:52 pm 60 comments

Myths and the Creation of Meaning

Loch Ness MonsterI listened recently to a fascinating radio broadcast where Adrian Shine was discussing how, to date, he had failed to find the mythical watery monster of Loch Ness (Saturday Live, BBC Radio 4, 18/08/08).

Two things made this conversation interesting for me and took it above the realms of the usual “the-monster-must-exist-coz-I’ve-seen-pictures” story. First, this man was no fool. He was a serious naturalist who had spent over thirty years exploring and collaborating in over 200 university projects on the loch. He writes in learned journals and can do the science.

Secondly, when asked why he hadn’t found the leviathan, he simply stated that it didn’t exist. At least, there wasn’t a shred of scientific evidence that it did. And he should know, because he has spent the best part of a working life doing the sonar, going in the submarines, looking in the mud, sampling the plankton, testing the photographs, and analysing the data…

Continue Reading September 10, 2007 at 6:48 am 13 comments

Don’t Mock the Second Coming of Jesus Christ…

…or you may get mauled by a she-bear..!!

BearSince my recent comment about irrelevant and forgotten old radio Bible teachers, I thought I would re-publish this rant from my old website. It is several months old, and I am beating up on a dead guy, but hopefully some of the younger folks out there can relate. Dig?

It was darker than usual this morning due to turning the clock ahead an hour, so I was able to pick up a distant AM station on my drive into work. It was broadcasting a rerun of one of those ancient J Vernon McGee Thru The Bible programs. He was working his way through 2 Kings when he hit this troublesome passage concerning the prophet Elisha…

Continue Reading August 26, 2007 at 2:15 am 26 comments

New Age Christianity

Norway MapNorway is a constitutional monarchy without separation of Church and State. The constitution declares the “Evangelical-Lutheran religion” to be the State’s religion, and also requires the king to hold to and protect this religion. You can imagine, then, that when Princess Märtha Louise (who, had not law at the time of her birth favored males, would have been heir to the throne) decides to start up an independent school which will educate its students in such New Age concepts as healing, reading and contact with angels, by media dubbed “the angel school”, there’s gonna be some public discussion. When this occurs during summer—when there’s simply less news for the media to write about—it’s caused massive media coverage.

Reactions are varied, of course: a televangelist condemned her as being a demon from Hell; a range of people condemned her as a fraud and for immorally profitting from people’s spiritual needs (some of them hypocritically looking the other way when they, as employees of the State Church, do the same); a lot of people demanded that she withdraw her membership in Den Norske Kirke, the State Church; the Princess herself thinks that, had she lived some hundred years past, she would’ve been burned as a witch; and a lot of people, including Crown Princess Mette-Marit, spoke out in her defence.

As an atheist, this fight between religions is both amusing and depressing. In my eyes, Christianity and New Age-style healing, miracles, contact with angels and the like are all contestants on the same, irrational game field…

Continue Reading August 14, 2007 at 2:05 pm 39 comments

A Nostalgic Trip Down Pentecostal Lane

This filmclip is from the Academy Award winning documentary Marjoe, a film in which evangelist Marjoe Gortner exposed himself as a charlatan. This type of ultra Pentecostalism is the crap that I was raised with during the late 60s- early 70s Jesus Movement. From the looks of it, it was filmed at about 1970 – about the time my mother used to frequent these types of services and bring me along to experience the power of the Holy Spirit. Watch at your own risk – this 10 minute clip includes hyper-emotional preaching, anointed handkerchiefs, speaking in tongues, pleas for seed-faith offerings, and people slain in the spirit. This is truly a pagan freakshow, and I witnessed it all as a youngster.

Continue Reading July 6, 2007 at 9:47 am 20 comments

Spiritual Abuse

Yesterday, HeIsSailing posted a light hearted post. Today’s post is not so light. In fact, if you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a pretty easy going guy. However today’s topic is one of the issues that totally pisses me off and will cause me to lose my cool – it’s called Spiritual Abuse. I was inspired to write this post after reading Rebecca’s story on her blog.

Woman CryingAbuse, in my opinion, is the definition of evil – child abuse, spouse abuse, animal abuse, spiritual abuse, or any other form of abuse. Abuse occurs when someone uses their authority or their strength to inflict physical or emotional damage on another individual. A large part of religious teachings is the elevation of a certain group of individuals (such as priests or pastors) over another group of individuals (the laity). In any such structure there is the opportunity for abuse.

Sadly, there are many religious leaders who are insecure, weakminded individuals. When given authority and power, these individuals will abuse it…

Continue Reading June 21, 2007 at 9:30 am 47 comments

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Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

de-conversion wager

Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.



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