Re: "Jesus Christians," "Australian cult," Dave McKay
Date: December 20, 2007 10:30PM
Back in June I alerted forum readers to an article that I saw and thought it might be good for people to take a look at it. I included an excerpt so that people could get a taste of what it was about. I see Dave has twisted my post, saying something along the lines of, this is the best quote quote I could get on him. Rubbish of course, the post was purely designed to let people know about the article. But here it is:
BEWARE THOSE GROUPS THAT DECEIVE By Columnist: Pamela Hale-Burns
Press Telegram, November 25, 2006
Christians have been called many things: fanatical, self-righteous, holier-than-thou and much more.
At times, I, as a Christian, get tired of all the misunderstandings of our faith. Today, however, I am on the other side of the labeling when it comes to groups – what I call cults – that identify themselves as followers of Jesus Christ.
Those I speak of today are the Jesus Christians. Although the group has members in Sydney, Australia, London, England, Nairobi, Kenya and Los Angeles, it was reported in July 2005 as having only 30 members worldwide.
As with most cults, the Jesus Christians have some really strange religious practices that have absolutely nothing to do with who Jesus is.
First, they do not believe that the Bible is God’s Word, but that Jesus himself is God’s Word, so they follow his life.
Yes Jesus was God’s word in the flesh, but my question is this: Who among them has seen Jesus and watched his lifestyle personally? How can they know how Jesus lived if not for what has been recorded in His Word by men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write it?
This column is not to question the validity of this group’s arrival at salvation, or if they’ve even arrived, but only to show how far some will go in an effort to start their own group of worshippers.
Not worshippers of God or even his son Jesus, but of the leaders or founders of such groups themselves.
Remember seeing, as a child, the many who followed a self-proclaimed servant of God, Jim Jones, all eventually commit suicide by drinking poison at his command.
They weren’t followers of Jesus, because Jesus tells us that he came so that we might have life more abundantly. They were following and worshipping Jim Jones.
Same with the Jesus Christians: They are not following Jesus, but the group’s founder, David McKay.
McKay, who declares there’s nothing unique about the group’s teachings but that they simply put it together differently, admits their standards are a bit extreme, which turns many away from becoming a part of the group.
One such standard is followers must refuse to work. They are told they cannot serve God and mammon. McKay’s basis for this: Luke 16:13-15.
These scriptures are not against working for money; they speak against loving money. The Bible clearly states that it is the love of money that is the root of all evil (I Tim. 6:10).
Members are also told that they must forsake everything and everyone in their lives. Thus they leave their jobs, schools, families and possessions, their place in the world. The group is against private ownership and members live together in a community of other Jesus Christians in trailers and tents.
It is my belief that when someone’s goal is to take people away from the family that loves them, jobs that support them and surroundings they are comfortable in, it is in a mere attempt to make followers rely solely on a leader. That leader is McKay.
He is like Jim Jones, who moved his followers to an entire different continent to keep them from their loved ones, those who could possibly convince them that they were being deceived.
According to the Jesus Christians’ belief, people from non-Christian religions can be saved on the basis of their faith in God even if they’ve never heard of Jesus.
However, according to Scripture, Jesus says “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh to the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
The group is also against Christian churches, stating that there are several errors in the church, which could have eternal consequences.
Show me a church without issues or without some problems and I’ll show you the perfect church. There aren’t any.
As recently as last month, the group was featured on the news, where a family was trying to get their teenage son away from the group.
Joseph Johnson had been a straight-A student and was a star basketball player and track athlete as well. He had received scholarship offers from several universities.
To his family’s dismay, the Jesus Christians delivered their message to Johnson and shortly before his graduation as salutatorian from Junipero Serra High School in Gardena, California, he joined the group.
After one of its members was allegedly attacked by Johnson’s family the group decided to hold its own trial at an undisclosed location in Long Beach for the family.
Johnson’s parents and brothers were asked to be at the trial. If the family did not appear, which they didn’t, members of the Jesus Christians, including their son Joseph, would take their punishment for them, which was whipping.
“We believe that this is a radically new approach to crime, where the judge/jury only impose a sentence which they themselves are willing to take,” said McKay.
“No punishment will be handed out without written consent on the part of the person receiving the punishment. Our reason for doing this is because we are more interested in rehabilitation than in retribution.
“We believe that the elements of consent and substitution offer a truly Christian alternative to normal court proceedings. Even the idea of someone being whipped is, in our opinion, more merciful than locking someone up for years.”
The whipping, which I witnessed on the news, showed a group of young adults who seemed lost, insecure and naïve, looking for hope in their lives. They had ignorantly put their trust in and given their lives to a man seeking to grow his ego with attention and lordship over people.
Nowhere in Scripture did Jesus and his followers beat each other for punishment. So what part of Jesus’ life did they get the beatings from?
McKay says they are being persecuted because they are followers of Christ, but from what I’ve seen and read, they’ve been persecuted because they are merely causing division among families and loved ones, something Jesus never did. No one has been persecuting them for following Jesus. Why? Because they aren’t following him.
How dare McKay place his selfish mission with what Jesus’ life and ministry were about?
It saddens me that many in today’s society are looking for hope, love and acceptance so much that they resort to groups such as these who lead them astray and teach them to be separate and to distance themselves from those they love.
This is yet another attempt to confuse people in order to keep them away from the one true loving God. Jesus, God’s son, lived a life of love. Yes, he had very meager means of support, but his mission was to spread the gospel as far and as to as many as he could during his three years of ministry. He never taught against working. In fact scripture tells us that if we don’t work we don’t eat (2Thes. 3:10).
He never taught us against loving others who are not like you or don’t believe as you do. But it was he who said, “He that loves not, knows not God, for God is love.”
I am personally sick and tired of these so-called Christian groups popping up their ugly heads with their messages of bondage, not freedom.
For where the spirit of the Lord is there is liberty (2 Cor. 3:17).
These groups teach a life of barely making it. Life more abundantly is what Jesus promised his followers.
Life more abundantly does not mean you live in need. Jesus said he would supply all of our needs. We have need of housing. We have need of money. We have need of jobs. He supplies those needs according to his riches in glory.
It’s time for us to be on our guard, for ourselves and our children. Many false prophets will rear their heads and it’s important that we recognize them for who they really are: deceivers.