Its fascinating to read the recent posts from y'all. Seems to be loads of memories flooding back and being recalled and confirmed here.
ThePetitor - you wrote recently "As Mister Black often used to quote, “All that is required for evil to abound is for good men to do nothing.” which I had been thinking of posting here just before reading your quote.
It did and does make me think. How is one to view people - who one knows, and are by all accounts themselves utterly good, honest , hard working, kind and well-intentioned people - people who might not be the ones responsible for all the harm we read about here - but are or were just regular congregants, helpers,and "supporters". "Sandwich makers" :)
See - I don't view the typical "sheep/shepherd" metaphor often recounted in the new testament as being a positive relationship. Are humans something to be "herded" ? do we need dogs to scare us into getting back into "the fold" - and prepared for the final slaughter ? to be eaten ? mere fodder for some other "higher" unfathomable cause ?
This seems to be the model of the SMC way. and I of course don't accept it in any sense- whether for cultish reasons or even religious ones. As you might have guessed I fall into the "unherdable cat" mode. But maybe thats me and just a few others. Those one - dare I say - with more individuality, and i suspect creativity. It seems to me it takes sheep with a very limited sense of imagination to stay in folds such as SMC. Am I wrong ? is SMC a hive for new and creative ideas. Or are they cookie cutter people ? Happy to be moulded.
But back to these "sandwich makers" - are they culpable ? a side of me says yes- another, no.
I was tempted on reading ThePetitor's "All that is required for evil" quote to reply with another one from physicist Stephen Weinberg, but i'm going to quote my own modified and nuanced version of Weinberg's:
"With or without dubious un-evidenced beliefs, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes dubious un-evidenced beliefs"
Should one judge or condemnt SMC members who themselves did no wrong, but as regular tireless faithful helpers - nevertheless - because these helpers refused to ask deep questions and reassess things - and maybe see no wrong in people like DR etc - are in effect helping the ongoing infliction of harm by others - say DR etc ?
Of the people I know personally in SMC - one side of me gets extremely judgmental - but another - a more I suppose deterministic side - considers certain personality traits of these individuals and concludes that these persons simply don't have what it takes to discern the "elephant in the room" - the nakedness of the emperor. They know of no other way. Regulars here - will not be surprised that I personally attibute a lot of this down to a substantial inability or reluctance to be sceptical. Even in terms of intuition. I can think of two SMC people I know personally who were the subjects of financial scammers - people who lied and conned. And yet neither seemed to either have the intuition - the "discernment" - or "inside tip form the holy spirit" to tell them that they should not be getting involved in any way with these rogue individuals. And these individuals i am talking about are VERY close and loyal to the inner circle of Lady Diana. Or at least were. I can remember them waxing lyrical about her as if she was some super haloed saint, sent form above. I remember getting my suspicions - my sceptical antennae raised in the air - about DR pretty much immediately back then. All to be confirmed decades later on this forum.
And meanwhile there is all this talk of "revival" ( and i gather there's hype going on right now regarding some supposed revival activity in wales ) yet all I see is gullibility.
So my point is should these "Nice" people be held to account for simply being gullible ? Because i'm sorry - quite a large number of SMC congregants - clearly are guilty of the crime of gullibility here. If gullibility is in any way a crime. Or should I just accept people for who they are ? They can be no other way?
On another related note - whils't battling insomnia I came across an interview with a very interesting person who was a member for 40 years of a sect that originally was based in Finland and Sweden called the Laestadian Lutheran Church. He has recently written a book about this, while considering leaving the sect ( which he eventually did ) called "An Examination of the Pearl".
The interview - which is in the form of a podcast discusses in detail what it was like growing up in, what some have called of this denomination, “a cult” and tackle the issue of original sin and seeking forgiveness for being human.
It made me think so much of SMC. Even though this is more of a "strict brethren" type, and not pentecostal.
It is a fascinating and moving interview. Skip to time ( in minutes ) 5:10 for the start of the interview ( theres some sceptical stuff at the beginning you can all ignore )
The interview is here"
Maybe one of you cool people might even want to contact the podcasters to be interviewed yourself !.
And book info here;
His book ends with this:
"In the calm waters of a pool of reverence, even a drop of criticism creates disquieting ripples. No doubt my bluntness and, at times, even bemusement about sacred matters will cause discomfort for those who have never heard their faith discussed with anything but devotion, piety, and praise. I’m sorry about that, I really am. I wish there were a way to honestly share the knowledge I’ve acquired over these past years without some of those who have been my closest friends taking it as an act of betrayal. I have already lost many of those friends, and know that I am likely to lose more. Please don’t think it hasn’t weighed heavily on my mind"
Edited 7 time(s). Last edit at 06/21/2013 11:05PM by Clive.