Saturday, November 30, 2013

New Cults, New Victims, No Discernment in the Modern Church.

Branham: note the light behind
his head. according to his
followers it is the "apostolic
fire"
The Janet Mefford Show, had a fascinating Interview on Nov. 11, 2013, with Paul Carden from the Center For Apologetics Research. In it they discuss new cult movements in America today. Two of these I found particularly interesting because of personal experiences.

Carden discussed the groups that are followers of the late Pentecostal William Branham, (1909 1964). I ran across Branham in doing research for my book "Found Wanting:". In it Branham was discovered to have had a major influence on the notorious hoaxster and Jack Chick Vehicle, John Todd.  Branham,was one of the leading champions of "oneness" Pentecostalism, a modalistic denial of the trinity that arose in Pentecostalism at the beginning of the twentieth century.

In addition to this error he believed himself to be Gods final prophet, One group of his devotees,
http://branham.org/, refer to themselves as Voice of God Recordings , believe that his sermons were literally the Voice of God.

Among his other departures from biblical theology was the "serpent seed" that Eves sin in the Garden was intercourse with the serpent, producing Cain. (if in your youth you ever saw the original movie "Carrie" the demented mother, (the movies professing Christian of course,) spouts a variation of this. He also claimed to have been the focus of many miraculous events. Branhams following is growing, usually riding on the back of the word faith movement, especially in the Third World. Interestingly a number of his followers go to his grave every year to see if he will rise from the dead.

video
In this video Kennth Hagin prophecies the death of Branham. I suppose when you need doctrinal correction from Hagin you are indeed doomed.

video
Here Branham prophecies the death of Marilyn Monroe.


A second group discussed is The twelve tribes communities, one of the many outgrowths of the "Jesus Freak" movement. They are best known for their hippy communalism, Corporal punishment and strict control of their members. I ran into this group during my time at Covenant College in 1978. I don't
know about now but back many of the student body was still lost in the sixties counter-culture. The cult was running a restaurant called the "yellow deli", which was very popular with the student body.

Several parents from my church, including my mother came for a visit and we went to the "deli".
I found the food unmemorable and having never been enamored of the counter-culture was not impressed by the devotees. My mother, on the other hand said she was "creeped out" and felt something was wrong\ I remember at the time thinking it was just culture shock on her part but I guess her instincts were just better than mine.






sources
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/amsanchezwalsh/2013/06/the-curious-life-and-death-of-william-branham/

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