Sunday, December 20, 2015

Intolerance and Dogmatism Alive and Well in the Land of Shunning

The following conversation demonstrates how intolerance and dogmatism are dressed up in their "Sunday best" to appear acceptable.

Shunner: "We're champions of religious freedom."

Questioner: "So, if I joined your group, I could exercise freedom of religion with no worry of punitive action by your organization, right?"

Shunner: "Well, it doesn't work quite like that."

Questioner: "Why not?"

Shunner: "Because any questioning reveals a wrong motive. Members are expected to be teachable and loyal."

Questioner: "So a more accurate statement is that you champion YOUR religious freedom but punish members who try to exercise THEIR religious freedom."

Shunner: "This is loving discipline."

Questioner: "Would you agree that a more accurate statement would be that you champion intolerance and dogmatism window-dressed as loving discipline?"

Shunner: "You are obviously not searching for the truth. We are seeking those who genuinely want to have a relationship with God."

Questioner: "So if I genuinely believe in God and pray to him, if I read my Bible, if I believe in Jesus, your group would accept me?"

Shunner: "Yes."

Questioner: "What if my beliefs about the Bible, God, and Jesus differed from your leaders' interpretations? Would you still consider me a Christian?"

Shunner: "True Christians are those who obey directives coming from God's appointed representatives."

Questioner: "So correct me if I'm wrong, but what you are implying is that I'm a false Christian. What you are saying then is that my belief in Jesus counts as nothing and that what this is really about is belief in your leaders' teachings. That is completely contrary to what the Bible says--that no one comes to the father except through Jesus (1), that those called Christians were those who believed in Christ (2)."

Shunner: "You must come to our loving organization to be saved. And once you join, you must be willing to accept our teachings. Any who disagree are apostates and mentally diseased. "

Questioner: "How odd since the Bible clearly states the there is no other name given under heaven by which men may get saved (3). Has there been a new revelation that salvation is now found only through your organization and not through Christ?"

Shunner: "Well... er... um..."

What do the Scriptures Say?

(1) John 14:6: Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. NIV

(2) Acts 11:26: So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch. NIV

(3) Acts 4:12: And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among people by which we must be saved. AMP

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