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View Diary: The Quasi-Cult Behind "The Path To 9/11" (48 comments)

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  •  moral government = free will (0+ / 0-)

    YWAM may or may not qualify as a cult.  But in terms of theology, it was at the outset squarely liberal, and that is where it comes in for criticism from the evangelical "mainstream," if one could use such a word as mainstream in describing this world.  Broadly, Judaism and Catholicism accept, with limits, the concept of personal free will;  historically, Protestantism, by contrast, embraces predestination, an all-controlling God.  Moral government, as a freewill philosophy, is reformist in the context of the evangelical world.  There is no question YWAM was originally a moral government movement;  they seem to have backtracked lately or at least gone underground with it.  Moreover, they have been criticized for "going native" in their third world missions;  that is, accepting and valuing local cultural practices and incorporating them into YWAM's worship styles.  Most people would say that is liberal.  Again, this has made some "mainstream" evangelical commentators uncomfortable;  the word "idolatary" has been bandied about.

    One cult-like thing about YWAM;  it is damn secretive about what it does stand for.  Anyone been able to figure it out from their websites?  I sure can't.  I infer that they are inwardly confused and divided and have a problematical relationship with their original embrace of moral government philosophy.

    As for the tenor of YWAM's politics, as opposed to its theology, follow the money.  They reportedly gave $10 million to rightist ministers in Ohio and they are up to their necks in this "Path to 9-11 Scandal," so that is easy to figure out.  They may be theologically progressive, but they are politically real conservative.  Is it possible to be both at one time?  Of course it is.

    •  Interesting Take (0+ / 0-)
      What you say is certainly possible, but I'm not sure it's actually all true.  Calvinism surely taught predestination, but it was never the whole of Protestantism.  What's more, America has moved decisively away from it's early Calvinism.  Both the First and Second Great Awakenings were, one could argue, premised on free will, and greatly diminished the influence of predestination as a doctrine in American religious thought.  aspTrader wrote "the MGT movement had intellectual roots in the revival movements in the United Status of the 1840s."  As I said elsewhere, I'm not an expert on this. But it's not surprising to find such roots.  Both liberal and conservative tendencies were expressed during this time.  (The Millerites came out of this same social context, for example.)

      "Fundamentalism" like most words has several different meanings.  Typically, in a Christian context, it refers to a belief in Biblical inerracy and literalism.  Evangelicals are not so narrowly defineable.  Their theology

    •  I agree with everything you've said (0+ / 0-)

      I certainly believe that the MGT and YWAMers tended, when I knew them, to be reformist/progressive or "liberals" on some theological and "worship" styles.  Clearly, however, they are conservative on political matters to the point of even lying in the Disney/ABC docudrama.  It will be interesting to watch what the YWAM organization does as these lies become more well-known to YWAMers themselves.

      I was wrong about something I implied upthread.  Namely, that MGT had it's main roots in the 1840s revival movement spearheaded by Charles Finney.  Certainly, Charles Finney was a significant influence on Gordon Olson and Harry Conn.  I have't thought much about these matters for 25-30 years so I have forgotten some things.  But in browsing the web a bit last night, I now recall that it was Pelagius who strongly argued within the church about free will.

      I also appreciate your side comment: "...if one could use such a word as mainstream in describing this world."  Very humorous.

      Having grown up a pentecostal protestant and being now being married to a hispanic practicing catholic, I get a bit confused.  I like to confuse my children too on these matters by calling myself the "catholic atheist" in the family.  They're just getting old enough now to appreciate the comment and it's fun to do to get them to think.

      ...the New York Times...All the Lies We've Decided to Tell You

      by aspTrader on Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 11:05:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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