The myth of the failing world

The end is near, it’s nigh at hand The bride is gathering, the world is failing Israel’s awakening, nations are breaking Our prophet taught us, we believe The end is near This is the refrain of a song frequently crooned after services by the song leader in my church. It is accompanied by a mournful, minor-key melody that instills a sense of cold urgency in the hearer. I used to sit through it, my teeth gritted, afraid to walk out… Read more

The Eagle Scream

William Branham delivered nearly all of his messages in a bellowing, screaming voice. Message believers usually call this the “eagle scream,” or the “voice crying in the wilderness,” a passion inspired by God. It would send chills down your spine. I often felt like a child scolded by a force much greater than myself as I listened to Branham’s recorded sermons (or sat in church, where his followers did their best to emulate his delivery), convinced that the screaming voice… Read more

The burden of being a witness

Sharing the Message with someone for the first time is a terrifying process for the believer. You’ll never see Message folks picketing a funeral like the Westboro Baptist Church, or handing out tracts in the mall. The Message is usually transmitted from friend to friend, in a sober, cautious way. “The Message is heavy,” my mother explained to me recently. “I didn’t want to share it with [my friend], but she kept pulling it out of me. I didn’t want… Read more

The fear of falling apart

During his altar calls, William Branham liked to tell a story about a young deacon’s daughter who rejected the voice of the Lord for the last time. It was a popular story, and unsurprisingly so, for it was based around the chilling words of the girl herself.* It was the perfect example of the sin and destruction that awaited those who left the Message. If we left, we could rest assured, without the Message we would fall apart. (more…) Read more

The fear of falling away

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. Hebrews 6:4-6. Growing up in a Message church, I lived in… Read more

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