Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Hypocrisy of Cultist Authority

I was at lunch with my wife today and two things came to mind that were said and done in a previous cult we attended: 1st, the "pastor" got up after a conference and stated "Shepherds don't beget sheep, sheep do. If a shepherd did, it would be an abomination." on the face of it, he's right. But in the context he said it, he's wrong. What he was teaching on was outreach by the church, and likening himself to the shepherd and therefore stating it isn't his calling to convert everyone, but rather the "sheep" in his cult. I'll examine that a bit later.

The next thing that happened was he started having everyone in his church watch a series of DVDs that were recorded of and by a "pastor" in the USA that has apparently (I have no reason to doubt this claim) converted thousands, possibly tens of thousands, of people to the UPCI in different cities. The series was on how to teach a Home Bible Study using a specific study guide.

The problem with this is that our former pastor states that it is an abomination for a "shepherd" (read pastor in the UPCI allegory) to beget sheep, then commends another "pastor" for doing just that and holds this man up as an example. Now, I agree that a single person converting thousands of people to a belief system is impressive and takes a lot of work. I even grant an amount of admiration for the man's dedication and passion. I disagree with his fundamental doctrines, but I admire the Mormon missionaries as well for giving a portion of their life freely, but I disagree with them too.

But admiration for passion does not change what was said and done. So I have to ask the question: If it's an abomination to do something, then why would you commend someone for doing it? There's many things labelled as abominations in the Bible, but we don't commend those things. So then I started thinking about why he would do these two things, and I believe I came up with the solution: In the Bible, there are places where the calling of Pastor/Deacon/Elder is synonymous with things like Shepherd and Doctor, but it isn't stated that they are literally those things. The problem that arises in a cultist atmosphere is that the "authority" takes on themselves the authority and position of God, rather than the actual position they are to be in, namely, a fellow laborer with ALL of God's people, not just the other elitist authority figures.

Growing up in the UPCI, it was always weird to me that when we went to camp meeting, the ministers all ate in a separate room in the cafeteria with a closed in door. As well, they were to be ushered to the front of the line when it was meal time etc. Now, I know the Bible talks about honour where it's due and all, but Jesus made it clear that the apostles were to wash each others feet, and that commandment was extended to the rest of the brethren as the Church grew. Jesus also said that the greatest among the brethren was to be a servant. How then do you justify the elevation and segregation of the "ministry" to a place where they are not ministering to people, but rather being worshipped as greater than the rest of the Church? I was at a conference about a year and a half ago (UPCI), and there was a special dinner for the ministry and their families. It was not open to the rest of the church, and when I went in to ask my now ex-pastor something rather urgent regarding his children and a youth event, I was informed by a bystander that I wasn't supposed to be there. This person didn't know me or why I was there, and yet was arrogant enough to tell me to leave. What if I was a homeless person desperate for a meal? I was just kicked out of a meal where, supposedly, a whole bunch of "ministers" would have had an opportunity to minister to someone.

Many of the so-called ministry in cultist organizations are hell-bent on living a higher standard than the people "below" them, and even justify this by saying that they have a right to so that everyone knows they're "blessed" (one man apparently said that he should have TWO CADILLACS to prove God's blessing on, and that because they spend time in prayer and fasting and Bible study to preach, they should be honoured. But wait, there's more: Paul said that they have a right to be sustained by the offerings of the Church. So now, they want to be sustained by your tithes (see a previous post on that one), eat separately because they are apparently above you (seems a lot like what God condemned Peter for regarding eating with Gentiles), and not be required to convert the lost as they are "Shepherds" (many still do which is hilarious in light of the statement about abominations).

Let's turn it around: If a sheep goes and finds a goat (or any non-sheep animal), and brings it back to the flock and makes it look like a sheep, is it a sheep? Heck no! It's a goat! So then now we have sheep deceiving the shepherd!!! The only one that can beget sheep is Jesus Christ, the Lamb. It's our lifestyle and testimony and freedom that will witness to people, not our status in a cult.

A true Elder/Shepherd/Pastor/Deacon would never want to be elevated and honoured in such a way. He would be embarrassed and refuse the attention as the only one worth honouring is God. Even Jesus Himself said there is none good but God, deflecting the statement made by the rich young ruler. Paul, the greatest apostle, said that "in me dwelleth no good thing". The Bible says to pray for our leaders. It does not say they are to receive preferential treatment.

If you are in an organization like this, you are in nothing more than an elitist, Pharisaical, un-Biblical cult. I hope this helps you understand why so much seems wrong in many UPCI "churches".

God bless you

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