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post #1 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-30-2008, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Jesus, Mary, Joseph & Young

THIS is why I have an opposition to modern religion and strict interpretations of the edited and parsed Aramaic books, collected in the fourth Century, translated repeatedly and each time with editorial assistance from the theologians of the day until 1604 and King Jimmy and his very heavily edited ye old English version was published. Seems some folks in the present day seem to think that a fair set of morals are really marching orders.

Thank goodness they aren't "fanatical" like those Muslim Fundamentalists. Oh...wait...



Theocratic Sect Prays for Real Armageddon


By Casey Sanchez, Southern Poverty Law Center. Posted August 30, 2008.

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Todd Bentley has a long night ahead of him, resurrecting the dead, healing the blind, and exploding cancerous tumors. Since April 3, the 32-year-old, heavily tattooed, body-pierced, shaved-head Canadian preacher has been leading a continuous "supernatural healing revival" in central Florida. To contain the 10,000-plus crowds flocking from around the globe, Bentley has rented baseball stadiums, arenas and airport hangars at a cost of up to $15,000 a day. Many in attendance are church pastors themselves who believe Bentley to be a prophet and don't bat an eye when he tells them he's seen King David and spoken with the Apostle Paul in heaven. "He was looking very Jewish," Bentley notes.

Tattooed across his sternum are military dog tags that read "Joel's Army." They're evidence of Bentley's generalship in a rapidly growing apocalyptic movement that's gone largely unnoticed by watchdogs of the theocratic right. According to Bentley and a handful of other "hyper-charismatic" preachers advancing the same agenda, Joel's Army is prophesied to become an Armageddon-ready military force of young people with a divine mandate to physically impose Christian "dominion" on non-believers.

"An end-time army has one common purpose -- to aggressively take ground for the kingdom of God under the authority of Jesus Christ, the Dread Champion," Bentley declares on the website for his ministry school in British Columbia, Canada. "The trumpet is sounding, calling on-fire, revolutionary believers to enlist in Joel's Army. ... Many are now ready to be mobilized to establish and advance God's kingdom on earth."

Joel's Army followers, many of them teenagers and young adults who believe they're members of the final generation to come of age before the end of the world, are breaking away in droves from mainline Pentecostal churches. Numbering in the tens of thousands, they base their beliefs on an esoteric reading of the second chapter of the Old Testament Book of Joel, in which an avenging swarm of locusts attacks Israel. In their view, the locusts are a metaphor for Joel's Army.

Despite their overt militancy, there's no evidence Joel's Army followers have committed any acts of violence. But critics warn that actual bloodletting may only be a matter of time for a movement that casts itself as God's avenging army.

Those sounding the alarm about Joel's Army are not secular foes of the Christian Right, few of whom are even aware of the movement or how widespread it's become in the past decade. Instead, Joel's Army critics are mostly conservative Christians, either neo-Pentecostals who left the movement in disgust or evangelical Christians who fear that Joel's Army preachers are stealing their flocks, even sending spies to infiltrate their own congregations and sway their young people to heresy. And they say the movement is becoming frightening.

"The pitch and intensity of the military rhetoric of this branch of the global Dominionist movement has substantially increased since the beginning of 2008," writes The Discernment Research Group, a Christian watchdog group that tracks what they call heresies or cults within Christianity. "One can only wonder how long before this transforms into real warfare with actual warriors."

'Snorting Religion'

Joel's Army believers are hard-core Christian dominionists, meaning they believe that America, along with the rest of the world, should be governed by conservative Christians and a conservative Christian interpretation of biblical law. There is no room in their doctrine for democracy or pluralism.

Dominionism's original branch is Christian Reconstructionism, a grim, Calvinist call to theocracy that, as Reconstructionist writer Gary North describes, wants to "get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God."

Notorious for endorsing the public execution by stoning of homosexuals and adulterers, the Christian Reconstructionist movement is far better known in secular America than Joel's Army. That's largely because Reconstructionists have made several serious forays into mainstream politics and received a fair amount of negative publicity as a result. Joel's Army followers eschew the political system, believing the path to world domination lies in taking over churches, not election to public office.

Another key difference between the two branches of dominionism, which maintain a testy, arms-length relationship with one another, is Christian Reconstructionism's buttoned-down image and heavy emphasis on Bible study, which contrasts sharply with Joel's Army anti-intellectual distrust of biblical scholars and its unruly style.

"Some people snort cocaine, others snort religions," Joel's Army Pastor Roy said while ministering a morning program at Todd Bentley's Lakeland, Fla., revival in late May.

As this article went to press, Bentley's "Florida Outpouring" had been running for more than 100 days straight. Many attendees came in search of spontaneous physical healing and a desire to be part of a mystical community marked by dancing, shouting, gyrating, speaking in tongues and other forms of ecstatic release.

<more>

Theocratic Sect Prays for Real Armageddon | | AlterNet

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post #2 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-30-2008, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Now many of the Christian Right strongly suggest that the main body of Muslims are responsible for reigning in the fundamental extremists of the Muslim faith.

Is the Christian Right willing to step up and do the same thing to this extreme group?

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post #3 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-30-2008, 02:48 PM
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Whatever happened to that "Love Thy Neighbor" stuff? And you know, grace, forgiveness, some of the other central themes in the New Testament. Here's yet another crazy group that has taken a cafeteria approach to Christianity and wrapped select items into their own Holy war. It's nuts. Not to mention scary and dangerous.
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post #4 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-30-2008, 02:51 PM
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No one cheered the invasion of Iraq in our country like the religious right. It's a quandary.

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #5 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-30-2008, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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No one cheered the invasion of Iraq in our country like the religious right. It's a quandary.
Several of the churches in our little berg had big screen video presentations just after Shock and Awe, complete with video of the bombing, jets, Bush speeches and of course platoons of military personnel in house.

It was the only time in the past three decades I did not talk with one of my friends for half a year. He was minister at the big box church at the time.

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post #6 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-30-2008, 03:06 PM
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Even (especially?) ministers lose their way...

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #7 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-30-2008, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by gerkebi View Post
Whatever happened to that "Love Thy Neighbor" stuff? And you know, grace, forgiveness, some of the other central themes in the New Testament. Here's yet another crazy group that has taken a cafeteria approach to Christianity and wrapped select items into their own Holy war. It's nuts. Not to mention scary and dangerous.
I live by the mantra of "Love my Neighbor"


(of course my Neighbor is a 19 year old hooker)
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post #8 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-30-2008, 04:05 PM
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post #9 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-30-2008, 04:05 PM
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Now many of the Christian Right strongly suggest that the main body of Muslims are responsible for reigning in the fundamental extremists of the Muslim faith.

Is the Christian Right willing to step up and do the same thing to this extreme group?
Yep. These dudes are douchebags and charlatans. All they care about is the money. They know they are shams.

If they start telling people to kill in the name of God, you can rest assured I'll be there to help put bullets in them.

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post #10 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-30-2008, 04:06 PM
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No one cheered the invasion of Iraq in our country like the religious right. It's a quandary.
Not true. Almost 90% of the country cheered. None more so than the exiled Iraqi population here.

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