Today marks the 30-year anniversary of one of the most shocking and disturbing non-natural disaster costing American civilian life before 9/11. The man at the center: Jim Warren Jones (1931 - 1978) - a preacher who founded the integrated People's Temple, a radical ministry based on a combination of enthusiastic religious and socialist philosophies. Link
Jones is a self proclaimed prophet, who formed the People's Temple - a cult in California. He had a loyal following of about 1000 multiethnic people, who had donated their entire life savings and joined his commune in Guyana - a remote South American jungle compound he later called "Jonestown". When possible illegal activities came to the attention of the authorities, Congressman Leo Ryan, staff aide Jackie Speier and a few journalists investigated.
The investigators arrived Nov 14, 1978 to meet Jones and the community. On Nov 18, Ryan arranged for about 16 temple members to leave the settlement with his group. On the airport tarmac, members of the Jonestown security unit shot and murdered Ryan, 3 journalists and one defector as they attempted to leave the airstrip. Ten other people were wounded but survived.
Rather than face charges, Jim Jones committed suicide and convinced virtually all of his followers to do the same. Jones preached this as a "revolutionary death", the ultimate sacrifice. It was one of the largests mass
30 years later, America reflect on this horrific tragedy and we want to ask ourselves -
What do we learn from this?
The People's Temple was by all definition - a CULT. However, its origin was Christian-base. Jim Jones belonged to a mainline Christian denomination and was ordained in the Christian Church/Disciples of Christ. He received degrees from Indiana University and Butler University - however, Jones did not received any formal theological training. But he had the charisma and leadership to move (ie. brainwash) people to believe in him, his cause and his interpretation of salvation.
The mainstream fundamental Christian Church knows what a Cult is. They preach about cults in sermons and they teach it in their seminaries. A Cult is not the visible, overt Satan Worshippers that sacrifice animals, practice witchcraft and drink blood anymore. Today, cults are completely disguised as pure Christianity - applying distorted Biblical Scriptures and massively spread false doctrine of heaven and salvation.
Real Christianity (the ones that would call themselves that) have identified the following Religions as CULTs. These religions are consider Christians Without Christ: Link
- Mormons: The Church of Jesus Christ of the of Latter-day Saints, Book of Mormon
- Jehovah's Witnesses: the JWs - Watchtower Bible and Tract Society
- Moonies: Unification Church - The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, Sun Myung Moon
- New Age
- Christian Science Church
- Church of Scientology
- Church Universal and Triumphant
- Children of God, Family of Love
- Worldwide Church of God, of Armstrong
- Spiritualism, Spiritualistic Churches, Spiritism
- Unitarian Church
- Unitarianism ... Universalism.
- Unity School of Christianity
Other Christian Cults: More List
- Gnosticism, Neo-Gnosticis, Agnosticism.
- Way International.
- Holy Order of MANS.
- Church of the Living God.
- Rev. Ike, United Christian Evangelistic Association
- International Churches of Christ (ICC) (ICOC)
- The Way International
- Holy Order of MANS
- Church of the Living Word
- Crossroads Church of Christ, the Boston Church, the Central London Church of Christ
Catholics without Pope
- The Old Catholic churches
- The Polish Church
- Society of St. Pius X and Fraternity of St. Pius X, Lefebvre,
- Palmar de Troya, Seville, Spain, Clemente Dominguez
- Bayside, N.Y., Veronica Lueken
So, are you a member of anyone of these sect? If you are, the mainstream Evangelical Fundamental Christian Church acknowledge your belief as a Cult. But don't be alarmed! Your church is protected by the Constitution!
However, my question is, would the mainstream fundamental Christian Church boldly and vociferously denounce your religion, protest in front of your church and actively try to pass legislation to remove legal rights or benefits?
The answer is NO!
I personally find the Evangelical Fundamental Christians hypocritical!
The Christian Church and Religious Leaders would spend countless resources, time, money and energy to attack two main political issues of today: Abortion and Homosexuality. They would demonize and vehemently protest abortion clinics, gay rights, same-sex benefits, etc. all in the Name of God! Christians would circumvent the Law to protect and defend believers who would bomb clinics, discrimination, gay-bash, destroy civil rights for gay men and women and any civil disobedience all in the Name of God! The scripture: Love your Neighbors as yourself does NOT apply!
But with Cults, the same God-Loving, God-fearing "Jesus is Lord" Believers would tolerate and turn a blind eye to. Even when these Religious Cults misinterpret the Holy Scriptures and spread false doctrine, this is pure SACRILEDGE - yet it is ignored.
But if an Abortion doctor or a Gay Activist rips the Bible apart - it will be on the tongue of every tele-evangelist and Sunday Sermon across America who would then encourage all Believers to raise money and fight back!
Jonestown is just one tragic reminder of a Cult. Of course Jim Jones and his false doctrine doesn't exist anymore - but other similar cults are alive and thriving today.
Why don't the Christian Church protest and fight against these Cults????
Apparently attacking someone's false religion (whatever it may be) is consider intolerant and unacceptable.
But attacking a Woman's Right to Choose and Being Born Gay is Biblically sound, necessary and honorable to God!
And what I find disturbing is that both Christians and Cults seems to be united when they preach against homosexuality and abortion.
Christians are so SCREWED UP!
Here's a reminder of Past Cults that had made headlines:
- Branch Davidians, "Waco", David Koresh (Vernon Howell), 82 death
- The Family, Charles Manson, 8 death
- Jeffrey Lundgren, destructive Mormon splinter group, 5 death
- Order of the Solar Temple, 53 death
- Heaven's Gate, 39 death
- Aum Shinrikyo, subway gas attack in Tokyo, Japan, 1995
- Snake Handlers, Serpent Handlers
- Movement of Restoration of "Ten Commandments, in Uganda, 924 death
In the last decade, we have heard about leaders of Catholic Churches and Christian religions that have commited acts of pedophilia, polygamy, sex abuse, forced marriages, sex with prostitutes and recently sexual consent begins at puberty. The hypocrisy of the Church is undeniably overwhelming!
So - What do we learn from this?!
The Christian Church have always stated that God is the Answer to your Life.
But I say Religion is the Root of Evil and Hatred on this Earth.
Believe whatever you want - this is your Right. But don't impose your Religious Beliefs on the Constitution!