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...]

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...]

Special Topic: Rejoice Ministries and the “D” word

Note: This message is edited and cross-posted from a thread on the NLQ Forums. After my father divorced my mother (he was not a Message believer, she was), she learned that Message women were not allowed to remarry, as per William Branham’s doctrine of the “natural law of polygamy” preached in the sermon “Marriage and [Read More...]

Mythbusting the Message: Misogyny

William Branham’s attitude toward women has already been the subject of much commentary. The Apologetics Index notes, “In spite of his apparent humility and consecration, Branham had great difficulty controlling a strident, hateful attitude toward women.” Indeed, in telling his life story, Branham admitted to loathing women as a young man: But I can remember [Read More...]

Love is corrective

The doctrine of “love is corrective” assumes that there is always an error to be corrected. [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 [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 [Read More...]


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