January 12, 2012
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The easiest way to become a leader these days is to simply begin every sentence with “God told me”. Sure enough before the sun sets you will have people slaughtering sheep and goats at your feet – that is if you are not vegetarian. So, what other tricks can one have in their bag to keep the magic going? How do cults end up deceiving many people and even Christians? An old good book published in 1980 by James W. Sire [Scripture Twisting: 20 Ways the Cults Misread the Bible] has really helped me know how to spot a charlatan. Yup, even on Christian television. Have you noticed how many cult leaders claim to have had a new revelation or new esoteric experience?
Two separate but related strains in the esoteric tradition concern us. The first is the notion that the Bible – and many other religious and non religious texts – contain a secret hidden, inner meaning that can only be spiritually discerned, what [is] called the esoteric translation. The second is the practice not only of divining the hidden meaning of already existing texts but of receiving new revelation, special communication from the Other Side which tells us new information about reality and even about Jesus supplementing biblical authority.
Esoteric interpretation assumes that the Bible does not mean what it says on the surface. …Read More!
January 4, 2012
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I am currently reading a very interesting book, Scripture Twisting: 20 Ways the Cults Misread the Bible by James W. Sire. Its actually not a guide to help you become a guru or Swami. Far from it. You see, “Jesus” is co-opted by almost every one who wants some one from the past to confirm their own vision of the ideal future. To Eastern –oriented religious groups, Jesus is an avatar – one of the may incarnations of the gods; to Christian Scientists, he is the great healer; to political revolutionaries he is the great liberator; to Spiritualists, he is a first rate medium; to one new consciousness philosopher, he is a prototype of a sorcerer who can restructure events in the world by mental exercise. It seems there is a “Jesus” for everyone.
One way in which almost any cult can have a claim to the Jesus of the bible is by misquoting scripture. For example:
Jess Stern in a book on Edgar Cayce quotes the following conversation he had with Eula Allen, one of Cayce’s followers. The topic was re-incarnation and Stearn suddenly thought of a problem:
A thought struck me. “Why, if people have lived other lives, don’t they remember anything from them?”
“But they do,” she said. “It’s just some times that they don’t remember that they are remembering. Jesus said, ‘I will bring all things to thine remembrance,’ but he didn’t say how.”
A number of errors are made here. First, this is not what Jesus said. Let us put the clause quoted into its immediate context. …Read More!