Thinking Out Loud

March 2, 2018

There’s King James Only, and then There’s Hardcore King James Only

Filed under: bible, Christianity, cults — Tags: , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:08 am

We’re having some fun going back over old posts because it’s our 10th Anniversary week and next Wednesday is the 400th Wednesday Link List (WLL). We actually found the very first use of WLL as the title and decided to try the links to see what worked.

But in the process, we also found this and couldn’t resist posting it to Twitter. I wrote a simple set-up:

When being King James Only ain’t good enough.

If you want to be real King James Only you need to be using the British edition. Otherwise, your Christ may be the anti-Christ.

and then posted it:

I almost immediately heard back from a respected author who I consider at the epicenter of all things King James Only related. (See below for book information.)

Is this for real?

Yes, James, it is. We thought you’d seen it all!

We couldn’t find the actual page on the website of the church which had posted this, Jackson Summit Baptist Church (tag line: an independent, fundamental, Bible Teaching, conservative worship, King James using Baptist Church*) but we did find a link to the text where we found it at the now-defunct but still visible Stuff Fundies Like where it’s existence is substantiated in the comments including these:

• FWIW, “saviour” is five letters in Greek, and has three consonants in Hebrew. Of course, this makes me a “Bible corrector,” one of the worst insults that could be used by a die-hard fundamentalist.

• “Christ” has six letters in English. Rats. I used to like that title. Guess it’s satantic like savior.

• [Paragraph which precedes our quoted text]”Because the King James Bible is not copyrighted, secular publishing companies are making many minor changes to the standard text so that they can please certain groups which translates into extra sales for them.”

• I have to wonder if this affection for Elizabethan British spelling could be cured by language education, something in which most Americans are deficient but Fundies make an art form. “Savior” in a few other languages:
Retter (German, 6)
frelsara (Icelandic, 8)
frelser (Danish and Norwegian, 7)
verlos (Afrikaans, 6)
pelastaja (Finnish, 9)
salvator (Latin, 8)
salvatore (Italian, 9)
salvador (Spanish, 8)
sauveour (Old French, 8)
sauveur (French, 7)
Slánaitheoir (Irish, 12)
Is it possible that the number of letters in a word doesn’t mean squat? But then again, I’m leaning on my own understanding…

…Yes, the whole thing shuts down when you speak more than one language, but then so does the entire translation debate itself.

The way I see it, when many of these people enter eternity, the Lord is going to look at them and just say, “Seriously?”


*Their real tag line is “Holding Fast the Faithful Word,” but the above appeared right afterwards along with a short defence. Jackson Summit located in Millerton, Pennsylvania (just south of the NY state border) and is currently between pastors, so if this sort of thing is up your alley, you might want to apply. Also if you’re reading this on March 2nd, today is Carolyn Oldroyd’s birthday. And if you waded through the rest of the comments at SFL, yes they still have the SWAT ministry for teens.


I can’t recommend James White’s book enough, especially if you’re new to this discussion. Even if you don’t have a huge interest in the issue, you’ll find the parallel verse-by-verse discussion makes a great platform for personal Bible study. I actually own two different editions of this and I believe I’ve read each twice, but then again my vocation sometimes puts me in the middle of the debate. The King James Only Controversy: Can You Trust The Modern Translations, Revised Edition. (Bethany House, 2009, paperback)

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January 30, 2017

What are the Criteria for Calling Something a Cult?

cults

 

Years ago, I recall hearing about or reading a book titled The Mark of a Cult. One factor I remember specifically was exclusivity. Recently I talked to someone who had a family member converting to a fringe sector which prohibits fellowshipping with outsiders; ie. Christians from other denominations. I gave him what was on that day my best advice, but as the days have passed I have grown more concerned about their exclusivity doctrine.

I went off in search of this factor in lists of “marks of a cult” or “signs you’re in a cult” and didn’t see it listed. However, the internet offers many rabbit trails and I thought you might like to see some of the lists. I never did find the book reference I was looking for either, but decided to compile all this material on one page so it could be helpful to many of you. The term cult is often used differently in the broader population than it is among Christians, so it’s good to define your context when discussing this topic.

These are excerpts from much longer articles.

At the website BBFOHIO:

There are four identifying marks that a person should avoid when joining himself or herself to a church (assembly, congregation, organization, etc.). We have them outlined with a simple acronym:

A-D-D-S

Authority other than Scripture.
Deviation from the Trinity doctrine of God.
Departure from the true Bible Doctrine of Jesus Christ.
Salvation by works and not by grace through faith alone.

From Questions We Wanted Answered (.pdf):

1. Supplementary Revelation
2. Spurious Leadership
3. Faulty Christology
4. Financial Pressure
5. Dubious Hope

The DVD The Marks of a Cult as reviewed by Tim Challies:

Add: Cults add to Scripture.
Subtract: Cults subtract from the person of Christ.
Multiply: Cults multiply the requirements of salvation.
Divide: Cults divide the loyalty of believers.

From the website Christian Courier:

1. Unquestioning commitment to a domineering leader
2. Dissent and discussion discouraged
3. Cult members lavish the leader in luxury
4. Polarization of members
5. Rebellion against other sources of authority
6. Alteration of personality

From the website ex-cult.org (greatly edited):

1. Their leader/s may claim a special, exclusive ministry, revelation or
position of authority given by God.
2. They believe they are the only true church and take a critical stance
regarding the Christian church…
3. They use intimidation or psychological manipulation to keep members
loyal to their ranks…
4. Members will be expected to give substantial financial support to
the group…
5. There will be great emphasis on loyalty to the group and its
teachings…
6. There will be total control over almost all aspects of the private
lives of members…
7. Bible-based cults may proclaim they have no clergy/laity
distinction and no paid ministry class…
8. Any dissent or questioning of the group’s teachings is discouraged.
Criticism in any form is seen as rebellion…
9. Members are required to demonstrate their loyalty to the group in
some way…
10. Attempts to leave or reveal embarrassing facts about the group may
be met with threats…

I thought it was interesting that this last point also contained:

Some may have taken oaths of loyalty that involve their lives or have signed a “covenant” and feel threatened by this.

That reminded me of some of the “survivor” and “spiritual abuse” websites I often read.

Finally, from Christian Arsenal:

1.  Does it attempt to attack or change the person, work or Deity of Christ?
2. Is salvation by a new unique non-scriptural method, works, or something other than faith in Jesus and His work on the cross?
3. Is membership with this group required for salvation?
4. Is the Doctrine of the Trinity compromised?
5. Does it attempt to change the teaching about the person, Deity, and/or work of the Holy Spirit?
6. Is the Holy Spirit credited with revealing things that are contrary to what He has already revealed in the Bible?
7. Is God being made to seem more like man?
8. Is man is being made to seem more like God?
9. Is someone or something being presented as an authority equal to or superior to the Bible?
10. Is the teaching or interpretation of one person or select group of people seen as the only acceptable material or guide by which you are to study the Bible?
11. Does it edify the Church and build up the body of Christ or does it seek to give glory to a person or organization?
12. Are claims and/or prophecies made that cannot be substantiated or that have failed to come about?
13. Are terms commonly used in “Christianity” redefined and given new “non-biblical” meanings?
14. Is the teaching or activity consistent with the New Testament?
15. Is this a matter of tradition, culture and emotions or is it Bible?
16. Does this group or teaching force interpretations of scripture passages that make the Bible contradict itself?
17. Does movement or group produce healthy well-balanced growing Disciples?
18. Is the teaching, movement or group focused on the entire message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ or are they focused only on a few specific issues? (For example end time prophecy, deliverance ministry, healing campaigns, prosperity teachings etc.)


The graphic image used above is from CultWatch.com (the article linked goes into greater detail than space allowed us here.)

November 22, 2015

Door to Door Evangelism: Marginal Groups Willing to Invest the Time

Several years ago I met with a man who was a somewhat lapsed Episcopalian (or Anglican as we say here) who had been meeting on a monthly basis with some Jehovah’s Witnesses. He had a lot of questions about various issues, and so he invited them into his home and they returned regularly, staying about an hour each time.

There was a time when Evangelicals were very big on the concept of door-to-door outreach and visitation. Many a Saturday morning in the 1950s and 1960s might be spent in twos or threes ringing doorbells in a local neighborhood.

But as time went by, people tended to associate the “two by two” approach with only two groups: Mormons (LDS) and Jehovah’s Witnesses. These two groups took ownership of this method of proselytizing, with the result that today it’s not widely used by others.

Before anyone starts dismissing these groups out of hand, I want to commend the approach for the following reasons:

  1. It’s Biblical. The disciples were sent out in this manner. I’m not sure that by concluding that certain groups had taken over this approach and the simply giving up, Evangelical Christians did the right thing. What contact do we now make with our surrounding neighbors?
  2. They deliver. If the last few years of Missional Church has taught us anything, it’s taught us the importance of being sent. So much of what the church calls “outreach” is really “in-drag.” Millions of people are falling through the cracks of printed brochure distribution or mall campaigns or e-mail invites. But it’s harder — though not impossible — for them to ignore a knock at the door.
  3. The people who this man met at his front door were willing to invest the time with him. On hearing that, I made sure that I took out as much time as he wanted. Fortunately, the phone at my workplace didn’t ring and no one else needed to see me. I would have given him all day.
  4. They knew their subject matter cold. He was impressed with both their depth and their passion as they presented answers to his questions and introduced their beliefs, and also how their various doctrines fit together. It’s important that we are able to do the same. It has been said that of all the religions on earth, Christians are the least acquainted with their own sacred writings.
  5. They are optimistic about the results. I asked one Mormon missionary what would constitute the ideal “at the door” contact. He replied, “Someone who hears the message, receives the message, and commits to be baptized.” I asked if he’d ever heard of that happening all in the very first visit, and he said, “Yes, for sure.”
  6. They followed up. They returned to see him several times.

Hopefully through meeting with me he met someone with an equal passion for and knowledge of the true Christian faith. I encouraged him not to seek answers from the single source he has been using, and told him about a variety of resources available online. We continued meeting and while in recent years the contact has been somewhat fleeting, he always knows where to find me.

April 16, 2015

Going Off Course

Filed under: cults — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 9:30 am

img 041615Yesterday I was looking at a bit of the history of the Children of God cult, also known as The Family. I’m not including a link here because parts of the story simply are not edifying. Like many Made-in-America cults (and some in Western Europe) the thing that is often highlighted is a very liberal view of appropriate sexual behavior.

Sometimes these organizations begin around the distinctive doctrines of a very small-c, charismatic leader. But other times there is a drift away from Christian orthodoxy that happens bit by bit, year over year. (It’s also possible for an organization that has drifted to have a reformation and return to orthodoxy, as happened with the core membership of The Worldwide Church of God.)

Here’s an analogy. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. If I decide to visit my neighbor across the road and two houses down, and I line myself up from my front door to his front door, and I am in fact 5% off, I will still make it to his door. Five percent isn’t much when you’re only taking about a hundred steps. But if I am a rocket scientist, aiming toward the Moon, and I am out even 1% on my calculations, I could easily be wrong as to where the Moon is going to be on the day I need to begin orbit.

So it could be argued that some organizations move, over time, into false cult status. The adjective false before cult was common in previous generations because, by definition, any separated group could be considered a cult; today the word has shifted and the false — plus the implications of wrong teaching, authoritarian leaders, separation from society, etc. — is assumed. Did they start out 1% or 5% off course or did something happen that bent the straight line they were on? It’s interesting that a tendency, disposition or inclination is called a “bent.”

Christian bloggers and watchdog ministries are very quick to point out the perceived error of everyone else (but themselves) but we don’t have many mechanisms in The Church that would be considered preventative. You don’t know someone is sick until they exhibit symptoms, but maybe we should have a ‘blood test’ that would tell us if someone is going off the rails.

However, it can also be argued that bank tellers know how to recognize authentic currency not by looking at counterfeit bills, but carefully studying real ones. Spending time immersed in the weekend teaching and mid-week Bible studies connected to mainstream Christian churches is sufficient to keep us all on the right path.

May 2, 2014

Glenn Beck @ Liberty U.: Another Perspective

Much has already been written about the decision by Liberty University, the institution founded by Baptist Jerry Falwell, to invite Mormon talk-show host Glenn Beck to be the speaker at its April 25th Convocation. The thrice-weekly events are described as the “largest weekly student gathering in North America” (I think I’ve got that verbatim) and include top Christian authors and pastors, but sometimes civic leaders as well.

You can watch the entire lecture here.

The hinge on which all the discussion turns is whether or not Mormonism can be considered a branch of Christianity, a marginal group, or an outright false cult. Most Evangelicals would place the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) outside the Christian camp.

James Duncan of the blog Pajama Pages goes to great lengths to demonstrate the central doctrinal differences, and also documents that the University, clearly knowing they had a potential tempest ready to boil, informed students that they would receive a $10 fine if they failed to attend, something that university apparently has the power to do.

Liberty-University-ConvocationI am in agreement with what Duncan is reporting, but want to point out that I was recently told by a University representative1 that in order to keep its accreditation, Liberty could not continue to have “Chapel” three times a week, so they came up with “Convocation,” a slightly different use of the term than the one with which some of us are familiar. The concept is that a variety of speakers are introduced thereby avoiding any backlash that the meetings constitute a campus church service.

Had Beck stuck to political analysis common to outside speakers, we wouldn’t be having this discussion; but instead he went a different route, presenting a faith message that was sermon-like in style.

Had the university presented a number of Convocations as part of a series on comparative religion, we wouldn’t be discussing this either, but that wasn’t the case, there was both tacit and overt endorsement, especially by making the lecture more than mandatory.

My greater concern is that this was one of the final Convocations of the year; it’s Beck’s Christian college graduation-styled speech that will stick with students.

I am sure that with Beck’s busy schedule, getting a speaker of his caliber was probably considered a coup by the administration, and perhaps the pivotal end-of-April date was all that was available. But for me, the sermon seemed somewhat lacking and perhaps even a bit awkward. There was Beck, reminding the audience occasionally that he comes from a different denomination, but trying to affirm is Evangelical compatibility through his belief in the atoning work of Christ on the cross.

But he spoke of the Grand Councils, Mormon terminology, and used other words which meant one thing to LDS followers but would be heard differently in Falwell’s Baptist backyard.

Despite the passion and skilled rhetoric, the message just rang hollow.

Were I a student there, I think I would have said, “Who do I make the $10 check out to?”


1 Liberty recruiter with a display at a spring event.

November 17, 2013

“Faith Healing” Church Leaves Staggering Number of Child Deaths

Many of the infants, children and teens connected to a faith healing community with roots in Idaho and Oregon who have died all have one thing in common: Their last names. Reporters for TV station KATU have been following this story for several years and note that local cemeteries reveal the recurrence of certain family names, but recently a reporter was tipped off concerning ten new deaths over the last couple of years.

I learned of this from a short post that Rick Hiebert did at Bene Diction Blogs On. The church community in question sees this as a religious liberty issue; that they are within their rights to choose to let their children’s life hang in the balance of prayers offered on their behalf, even though our modern world provides a medical option.

The story links to this video at KATU-TV. (Text provided.) You’re encouraged to watch it, but it is both sad and disturbing.

The Wikipedia article on the Followers of Christ linked above notes:

…The church is also known for legalism  and a male-dominated society.  The members of the church frequently greet each other with kisses on the lips;  members of the church are often pejoratively referred to as “kissers” by others in Oregon City, and in other communities where large concentrations of Followers of Christ are found.  According to church members, children raised in the church attend   but do not socialize outside the church once reaching middle-school age.

During the latter part of the twentieth century, the church began to attract attention from authorities in the state of Oregon due to an unusually high mortality rate among its children…

Canadian sidebar: “An Alberta, Canada couple who were members of a different church were successfully prosecuted by authorities when their child died under similar circumstances; the law there did not provide the same faith-healing exemptions that were found in Oregon.” (Wikipedia)

November 8, 2010

And Then There’s This Website…

I found this after the woman in question took a HALF PAGE advertisement in the Toronto, Canada edition of Metro, the commuter newspaper.   Half pages don’t come cheap.

It ran on October 18th, 20 days ago.  It linked to this:

www.thepeacelady.com

Nothing like a website that cuts to the chase, right?

I decided to look up the individual video clips which comprise the website at their source on YouTube.   Less than 100 views each.  Not a single comment.  (Well, maybe one.)

I figured you guys might want to help her out with her stats.

But seriously…Why do people do this?   Who is the intended audience?  What is the intended result?  How clear is the message?   What do I do (as Andy Stanley would say) to ‘discern the next steps?’

Better yet, here’s a good question for today:  Have you ever personally known anyone who was part of something religious that was, for lack of a better (kinder) term, “incredibly fringe?”  Did you ever challenge their beliefs or spiritual modus operandi?

Learn more about The Peace Lady here in this December, 2009 report.   If you live in Toronto and you’ve seen the woman on the bridges in the white robe “blessing” the traffic; yep…it’s the same person.

August 26, 2010

The Cultization of Calvinism

It happened again yesterday.

My son got a package in the mail from the Christian camp where he did a four-week leadership training course, containing a magazine and other resources.

John Piper was on the cover of the magazine, there were advertisements for Crossway Books and the ESV Study Bible, a couple of references to Mark Driscoll, a reference to the Together for the Gospel conference.  And many such clues that this was not really a mainstream Christian publication.

I’m okay with that.   I told him he should make an effort to read every article.   I’m glad the camp took the time and expense to send it to him, along with an encouraging personal letter from the two directors of his leadership course.   We actually worshiped in a Christian Reformed Church just two weeks ago.

But it was another reminder how there are different clusters of people, belief and thought; and how, just as Calvinists of previous generations were somewhat segregated by Dutch ethnicity, today New Calvinism has emerged as a dominant (especially online) cluster.

Some of you probably like the word cluster over the word cult, but in fact, any identifiable group fits the dictionary definition; the problem is that we’ve tended to use it in the last 30 years or so as an abbreviation of false cult, which is another matter entirely, usually involving unique books and writings considered to be divine, and often the presence of private compounds and Kool-Aid.   However, of the eight definitions of cult at dictionary.com, only #6 indicates “a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.”

The decision by the largest online Christian book distributor to set up a separate site just for people of Reformed doctrine is another example of this.  The company has massive buying power, and has a large share of the Christian book business, but surveys revealed it was seeing only a trickle of commerce from Calvinists because they preferred to buy from their own sites, where presumably materials are carefully filtered.   The larger company had no choice than to do that filtering.

But this is something that neither Charismatics nor Catholics have ever propelled them to do.    The Charismatic and Pentecostal world — as any visit to the Elijah List site will confirm — has its own authors and a large supply of its own worship music, distinct from the mainstream worship we hear on Christian radio.

But Calvinists are readers, and as the blogosphere indicates, many are also writers, though a good percentage of the bloggers employ more of a ‘cut and paste’ approach to content generation.   (With, I might add, a great overlap into another emerging subgroup, the Academics.   American prosperity has permitted large numbers of U.S. Christians to enjoy advanced and continuing education, but much of the writing, as Acts 18:15 and 2 Tim 2:14 reminds us can consist of quarreling about words which leads to strife.   See also this post.)   On the other hand, other brands (or cults!) of Christianity tend to be more about about doing which is why the internet has, just as one example, a critical shortage of Salvation Army bloggers, as I noted in back in May ’08.

But because of the fragmentation taking place, I suggested to the senior editor of Christian Retailing magazine that instead of just having Charismatic and Catholic specialty bestseller charts, they should also have a Calvinist or Reformed specialty list each month as well.   Really, if they’re going to do the former two, they might as well do the latter.    But what if he takes my advice?

The result would be distinctively Reformed shelves in Christian bookstores (which probably already exist in some) where Calvinists could browse the shelves untainted by titles which disagree with their views.   And what is the result of that?

The larger picture is that it takes Reformed people and Reformed literature out of mainstream Evangelicalism, and takes mainstream Evangelicalism out of the Reformed sphere of awareness.   It increases compartmentalization; a kind way of saying it advances what I’ve termed here the cultization of Calvinism, which, I would think from God’s perspective at least, is rather sad.

What is, in a discussion like this, the better part?

I believe one of the healthiest dynamics of Evangelicalism has been the cross-pollination that takes place through inter-denominational dialog (Br. – dialogue) and worship.    Instead of conferences where only one theological brand is raised, we need to encourage events in which a variety of voices are heard.   Instead of bloggers posting blogrolls where they are afraid to list someone who is outside their faith family, we need to be familiar with the much wider Christian blogosphere.    Instead of encouraging Christian young people to only read certain authors and one or two particular Bible translations, we need to encourage them to study the wider compendium of Christian thought.

Basically, we need to avoid situations where our personal preferences lead to being cut off from the larger, worldwide Body of Christ.

Paul Wilkinson

July 3, 2010

When Scripture Becomes Conversation

Filed under: apologetics, cults — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:13 am

About ten days ago I walked in a conversation one of my staff members was having with a member of the LDS or Mormon church.   We were quite busy and so I started dealing with her, leaving my staff member to deal with other customers.

She was hoping to find some LDS material from their in-house printing company, Deseret Publishing, and I gently explained why it is that you don’t see those materials in a Christian bookstore.

But once I’d drawn a few lines in the sand, she was comfortable staying as I was comfortable continuing the conversation.

The thing that impressed me was how — without citing chapter or verse — the scriptures of her faith flowed out of her conversationally.   I could tell when she quoting something versus when it was just her talking, though she didn’t make a big deal out of it.   Of course, I don’t know if she was quoting Doctrine and Covenants, or Pearl of Great Price, or The Book of Mormon; while conversely, she was impressed that I could name those books off the top of my head.

I don’t know how many quotations our conversation contained.   I was able to spot two or three but there may have been more.    It was natural, effortless.   Biblical quotations flow from me just as easily — either quoted or instantly paraphrased — though I wasn’t trying to match her line for line, as it wasn’t that type of discussion.  But maybe that’s why I recognized what was going on at her end.

She remained convinced that I would be won over if I would simply sit down and read The Book of Mormon, though she failed several times to truly hear me when I said that I do, in fact, actually own one and have read large sections of it.

I’m reminded again of two quotations:

Of all the major religions in the world, Christians are least acquainted with their own scriptures.

And this one:

A faith community that does not impart its sacred writings to its young people is one generation away from extinction.

Sorry, I don’t have the sources on those at hand.  But obviously, either my LDS friend, or whoever has been mentoring her, gets it.

June 8, 2010

The Westboro Children: Casualties in the Crusade of Hate

Much has been written about Fred Phelps, the man whose interpretation of scripture — the gospel of hate — represents about 0.000000001% of Christians, but somehow manages to garner an inordinate percentage of media publicity.

But what of the children that we see in the images of the Westboro protesters?   What absolutely warped upbringing are these kids experiencing?

ABC News decided to dig a little deeper and ended up at the home of Steve and Luci Drain and their three children.   After watching the nearly nine-minute segment, it was Lauren Drain who captured my interest; their estranged daughter, now in her mid 20s, who was voted out of the family:

  • “They sing lullabies about people going to hell,” she told Chris Cuomo in an exclusive interview.
  • “I saw some hypocrisy, and I mentioned them and they hated it,” she said. “You’re not supposed to question anything.”
  • Eventually, she said, when she was 21 the members voted her out of the church and out of her home, including her own parents… and the same night she was voted out she said her family sent her to stay at a hotel and cut off all communication.
  • A week later, Lauren Drain returned home to pick up her belongings and said she found that her youngest sister Faith already had been taught to hate her…”I raised her from the time she was born. I used to watch her every day. And a week later, she is happy I’m gone.”
  • As for the daughter they have lost, Steve and Luci Drain said they don’t miss her and don’t think they would ever allow her back.  “Why would I miss her?” Steve Drain asked.
  • Lauren Drain said she wishes she could speak to her younger brother and sisters, to tell them she loves them and that the hate they spread is not the true message of God.  “I miss them and I love them and I really care about them, and God doesn’t hate everyone. God has mercy on people, God forgives people,” Lauren Drain said she’d tell her siblings.

While much of the story focuses on her younger siblings, it is Lauren who gives the piece perspective.  Unlike Nate Phelps, about whom a lengthy post on this blog was published twice in 2009,  who has walked away from Christianity entirely, Lauren seems to have kept some core beliefs about God intact, or has worked to reconstruct belief, seperating truth from lies.

As I watched the parents totally “write off” their eldest daughter, I wondered how such people read the parable of the prodigal son; how do they reconcile the love that the boy’s father lavishes on him, even after the son rejected everything and squandered his father’s money?

I suspect that passage is never studied at Westboro.   Ditto the woman at the well in John 4, or the woman caught in sin in John 8.

You can read the ABC News report,  go directly to watch the video, or catch both, as I did yesterday at the N.I.F.T.Y. Christian blog.  (On the video, be sure not to miss the one child being hit by a car.  The authorities should remove these kids — the children are being put at adverse risk — and they should do it soon!)

And say a prayer tonight for Lauren, as she attempts to live a new life.

Lauren, if you’re somehow reading this, be strong in the Lord.

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