How to fake it like a Message girl

Women in the Message of the Hour are not allowed to wear makeup. They are taught two standards of beauty: “worldly” beauty, which allegedly sends men packing into a boxcar bound for hell, and “godly” beauty. Roughly translated, “godly” beauty means being a skinny natural blonde with clear skin who manages to make her frumpy [Read More…]

On Counterculture

“Culture” is a fraught concept just about everywhere. In the academy, people debate what it is and whether it’s a useful term at all. In some Christian circles, culture is that thing you fight against in order to follow God. Evangelical Christianity in America is counter-cultural. There’s a problem with counterculture: it’s wholly dependent on [Read More…]

One year!

I’ve been writing this blog for a year now, which means a number of things: The world hasn’t ended yet, so (according to Message lore) the earliest possible date on which the Rapture could have occurred and left me behind is August 27, 2008, 11:59pm. I haven’t been stricken down by lightning, cancer or bad [Read More…]

The Message vs. the Gospel: Lust and Responsibility

One Sunday, about a year or two before I left my Message church, my pastor warned us that one of our own had fallen away. She was the primary pianist for a small church in Maryland. Unmarried and in her early twenties, she was someone I’d always looked up to as a smart woman, an [Read More…]

You Aren’t What You Eat

The main message of the Message is this: the world is ending soon, and only those with the Holy Spirit will go in the Rapture and escape the Earth’s final burning torment, known as the Tribulation. This is the foundational idea upon which the Message adds multiple layers of doctrine. Here are some examples of [Read More…]

The Message vs. the Gospel: What Defiles You?

William Branham’s life story is published in a book series called Supernatural (no relation to the TV show, although they’d make an interesting combination!). Branham’s story is about growing up as the son of a moonshiner and a 15 year old girl, impoverished, wearing corn husks for shoes, and being conscripted from an early age [Read More…]

Hatred and Modesty

Women’s clothing is a favorite pig to roast in the Message. Some preachers, like one “Brother Ron” who frequented youth camps in the early 2000s, would deliberately play the crowd for laughs by mimicking women applying nail polish or mascara. We were supposed to infer from his exaggerated performance that the women who spent time [Read More…]

It’s not because you left the Message.

I decided that, lacking time to write in-depth blog entries, I’m going to refocus my efforts on shorter posts and, with luck, keep my blog updated more often. That said, I have been thinking lately about misfortune and our human tendency to believe, despite all evidence, that the world is fair and that suffering is [Read More…]

Reading Recommendation: A Logical Refutation of Branham’s Message

I received an email today from Nathan Rivera, a former believer who was born and raised in the Message. He has written a book titled A Logical Refutation of Branham’s Message, which you can download and read as a PDF. Nathan also has a blog which can be reached here: I have read Nathan’s [Read More…]

It’s (not really) the end of the world as we know it (again)

The internet is abuzz with the fact that tomorrow is evidently going to be the last day on mortal sod for God’s elect. According to Harold Camping, president of Christian broadcast network Family Radio, the world is unequivocally going to end on May 21, 2011, and the destruction of the unbelievers will be complete by [Read More…]