Monthly Archives: July 2014

The Family/Children of God

It is not uncommon for a cult to go through various phases of development. Since the beliefs and practices of a cult are usually based on the teachings of the founder/leader, these can change on the whims of the leader himself. This group is a perfect example of this tendency. The group was originally called the Children of God, then it became The Family of Love, then The Family, and now it is called The Family International (TFI). Along with the name changes have come several changes in doctrine and practice. Continue reading

Here is Your God!

In Exodus 32 we see a very sad story. In the many, many sad stories of the idolatrous and wayward history of the people of Israel this is surely one of the most tragic. Here we see Israel just six weeks after the awesome display of God’s power in delivering them from Egypt. With that dramatic memory still burning within them, they begin to question Moses and God. In Exodus 32:1 they express wonder that Moses, who is on Mt. Sinai receiving the tables of the Law, has been gone so long. They also have seen God just recently manifest His glory and presence in the fire, smoke, thunder and quaking of the mountain. Yet, despite all this they are questioning not just Moses, but God Himself. And so they demand of Aaron, “make us a god who will go before us!”

So what did poor, foolish Aaron do? He bowed to the will of crowd. He made them an idol, a golden calf. And when they saw it, they declared “This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.” Wait a minute… THIS is your god? Yes. They said that this golden calf, this idol made by men’s hands, is nothing less than Jehovah God Himself. They declared that this image was the Lord God, their Deliverer and Savior. Continue reading

Zen Buddhism

“What is the sound of one hand clapping?” “If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear, does it make a sound?” Ever hear these odd questions? We usually think of them as silly, humorous, even nonsensical statements. What most people don’t realize is that these are genuine expressions of Zen Buddhist belief. Called koans, these questions are meant to cause a person to go outside rational thought and experience an intuitive understanding of reality. This flash of spiritual perception, called satori, is the goal of the Zen practitioner. Zen teaches that enlightenment is not basically a matter of belief, or intellectual comprehension. Instead, it is a non-rational experience of the divine, of recognizing one’s own identity with “the all.” It is emptying the mind of thought so that a person comes into an immediate perception of ultimate truth. One man defined Zen practice as “concentration with an empty mind.” Continue reading