Have you heard of Joel's Army, aka a U.S. "Christian" paramilitary movement at least 125,000 strong?
Edited on Sun Aug-31-08 03:49 AM by Dark
Tattooed across his sternum are military dog tags that read "Joel's Army." They're evidence of Bentley's generalship in a rapidly growing apocalyptic movement that's gone largely unnoticed by watchdogs of the theocratic right. According to Bentley and a handful of other "hyper-charismatic" preachers advancing the same agenda, Joel's Army is prophesied to become an Armageddon-ready military force of young people with a divine mandate to physically impose Christian "dominion" on non-believers.
"The pitch and intensity of the military rhetoric of this branch of the global Dominionist movement has substantially increased since the beginning of 2008," writes The Discernment Research Group, a Christian watchdog group that tracks what they call heresies or cults within Christianity. "One can only wonder how long before this transforms into real warfare with actual warriors."
Snide jabs at traditional church services are fairly common at Bentley's revivals. In fact, what takes place onstage at the Florida Outpouring looks more like a pro wrestling extravaganza than church. On stage, Bentley and his team of pastors, yell, chant, and scream "Fire!" and "Bam!" while anointing followers.
Both Bentley and Crowder are enormously popular on Elijah's List, an online watering hole for a broad spectrum of Joel's Army enlistees, from lightweight believers who merely share an affection for military rhetoric and pastors who dress in army camouflage (several Joel's Army pastors are addressed by their congregants as "commandant" or "commander") to hardliners who believe the church is called to have an active military role in end-times that have already begun. Elijah's List currently has more than 125,000 subscribers on its electronic mailing list.
Rick Joyner, a pastor whose books, The Harvest and The Call, helped popularize Joel's Army theology by selling more than a million copies each, goes the furthest on Elijah's List in pushing the hardliner approach. In 2006, he posted a sermon called "The Warrior Nation -- The New Sound of the Church," in which he claimed that a last-day army is now gathering and called believers "freedom fighters."
"As the church begins to take on this resolve, they will start to be thought of more as military bases, and they will begin to take on the characteristics of military bases for training, equipping, and deploying effective spiritual forces," Joyner wrote. "In time, the church will actually be organized more as a military force with an army, navy, air force, etc."
Attendees are called upon to fast and pray for 40 days and take up culture-war pledges to lead abstinent lives, reject pornography and fight abortion. They're further asked to perform "identificational repentance," lugging along family trees and genealogies to see where one of their ancestors may have enslaved or oppressed another so that they can make amends. (Many in the Joel's Army movement believe in generational curses that must be broken by the current generation).
"There's an Elijah generation that's going to be the forerunners for the coming of Jesus, a generation marked not by their niceness but by the intensity of their passion," Engle continued. "The kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force. Such force demands an equal response, and Jesus is going to make war on everything that hinders love, with his eyes blazing fire."
Michael Barkun, a leading scholar of radical religion, notes that in 1958, Branham began teaching "Serpent Seed" doctrine, the belief that Satan had sex with Eve, resulting in Cain and his descendants. "Through Cain came all the smart, educated people down to the antediluvian flood -- the intellectuals, bible colleges," Branham wrote in the kind of anti-mainstream religion, anti-intellectual spirit that pervades the Joel's Army movement to this day. "They know all their creeds but know nothing about God."
The Gates of Hell
She may have real cause for concern. As Wimber, the late founder of The Vineyard, put it in one of his most famous and fiery sermons, one that is still frequently cited by Joel's Army followers: "Those in this army will have His kind of power. ... Anyone who wants to harm them must die."
"A look at the home website of Palin's church tends to be revealing. Among other things, a particular Assemblies buzzword associated frequently with Hillsong A/G and New Zealand Assemblies churches shows up ("Destiny", here, is a buzzword for "Joel's Army", and is being preferred even as the phrase "Joel's Army" is getting enough negative spin that even the Assemblies is now having to do some rather massive spin control); cell churches are promoted (of the same sort that are linked to short-term and longterm psychological damage and are among the most coercive tactics ever documented in spiritually abusive groups). The church, like a number of other large Assemblies churches, is the center of a dominionist broadcast TV center whose programming is carried across multiple channels in Alaska.
In a trend that has been recently documented by no less than Southern Poverty Law Center (in its recent report on the Joel's Army movement), the church operates a Seven Project-esque targeted recruitment campaign aiming at teens (this is common across the Assemblies and across "Joel's Army" groups in general; fully a third of the documented national-level front groups operated by the Assemblies target teens).
And...believe you me, Palin's church is definitely "Joel's Army"."
4. Okay, let's be clear: these people are so scary the Assemblies of God think they're too extreme.
When John Ashcroft's crazy Pentacostal sect is warning you that a group may be "too extreme," that--in hurricane terms--is a Category 6 in a system that only counts up to a category 5.
Knowing there is a sect of 120,000 people in America (I'm guessing 5000 are spies) prepping to stone folks like me (and possibly you) to death makes me think "Hey, why I am supposed to be afraid of Islamic theocrats again? Can we keep some of that tax money here so I can apply for personal bodyguard to protect my family from the christofascist threat?"
I hate to hear people say they are going to get a gun, we as a nation need to melt or destroy every gun on the planet. not pass them out to everyone. If you get guns then you are no better than the 125,000 crazies/killers that we are talking about
If We the People decided to get rid of all guns, these nutball Joel's Army people would find a piece of Scripture that claims Christians should arm themselves, decide God's Word overrides Man's Law, arm themselves to the teeth and get one of Monica Goodling's appointees to decide Christians are exempt from the gun ban.
Please say it wouldn't happen, because you know it would.
What we need to do is get rid of all Bibles. I'm sorry, I know there are a lot of decent people who believe in a loving God, but these people have overridden that. Arsenic, cyanide, dynamite and machineguns all have viable uses, but in the wrong hands all of them can kill. A Bible is even more deadly than a jar of cyanide if placed in the hands of a Joel's Army type, so we must ban them now.
Sarcasm tag not in place because, as of right now, I'm not kidding. Ban the Bible. It has caused too much pain over the centuries.
125,000 armed brainwashed morons sounds scary. But we are a nation with 60,000,000 people and over 200,000,000 *privately* (excluding law enforcement and military!) firearms. In the grand scheme of things they are insignificant. They will be killed if they try any foolishness. For the record, as a southerner, this kind of idiocy is nothing even remotely new to me. These guys and their ilk have been running around the woods for forever....
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