Just gonna stand there and watch me burn…

What makes people believe the Message? What makes them keep believing even when it’s become a hurtful force in their lives? I’m not a utilitarian or especially persuaded by rational-choice theory when it is applied to religion, so I don’t think that people need to “get something out of” their faith in tangible ways in [Read More...]

When Dreams Become Promises

This post is forthcoming on No Longer Quivering. As followers of God’s final prophet and members of the elect Bride of Christ, we made a lot of promises in God’s name. We promised safety to a world we presumed was in its death throes, ready to face tribulation, destruction and ultimate renewal. We promised healing, [Read More...]

Mythbusting the Message: “A Pardon is Not a Pardon”

William Branham told a lot of stories to illustrate his points. I suspect that he did this in imitation of Jesus, actually. It’s not a bad thing. Storytelling is a great way to get your point to stick in the minds of your listeners, especially when it’s a group of mixed ages. When stories purport [Read More...]

Mythbusting the Message: The Ku Klux Klan

It has been rumored that some of William Branham’s unsavory doctrines stemmed from a personal connection with the Ku Klux Klan. Such rumors are based on a misreading of Branham’s central doctrine, the Serpent’s Seed. According to the doctrine, Eve had sexual intercourse with an upright mammalian “serpent” and produced Cain, the son of Satan, [Read More...]

Anger and bitterness

My friends at No Longer Quivering and I are frequently accused of unforgiveness. The blog Steadfast Daughters was deliberately set up to accuse Hillary MacFarland and other “Quivering Daughters” like myself of holding bitter grudges against our parents and churches for the abuse we suffered. The two most common denunciations we receive, actually, are these: [Read More...]

Nothing Between

Nothing between my soul and the Savior So that His blessed face may be seen Nothing preventing the least of His favor Keep the way clear! Let nothing between As a child growing up in the Message, I was taught to search my life constantly for evidence of “idols” – things I might value over [Read More...]

Study time! Marriage, submission, and control in the Message

Let’s take a walk down Message theology lane. Today’s text is a relatively recent sermon (July 14, 2010) called Sowing the Right Atmosphere by pastor Brian Kocourek. At issue in this sermon are scriptural gender roles and the submission and headship model of marriage. Kocourek begins with Deuteronomy 6, a famous passage about taking the [Read More...]

Why Branham? Why the Message?

    Hardly anybody knows who William Branham was, much less that he has an active following in 2010. He appears only as a footnote in the history of the evangelical and fundamentalist movements. Joel Carpenter’s Revive Us Again (1999), which deals explicitly with the timeframe in which Branham came into the spotlight, totally omits [Read More...]

Mind control and the Message

    In another post, I discussed the defenses of Message believers against accusations that they belong to a cult. Believers distance themselves from accusations of culthood by pointing out that the Message is not a centralized organization, collects no money, and has no explicit creed, localized compound, or living, worshiped leader. But how does [Read More...]

Elijah, but which one?

    Message believers take William Branham to be the last prophet of the gentile dispensation, fulfilling the promise of Malachi 4:5: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.” This is, to them, what makes Branham exceptional: other evangelists might bring kernels [Read More...]


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