Insane Religious Speak


I tip my hat to Ahab over at the Republic of Gilead for reporting on New Apostolic Reformation preacher Lou Engle, who envisions the Biblical Nazirite vow as a transformative spiritual discipline.

What I want to report on is the insanity of this guys language. Not so much his beliefs, which are radical enough, but which are hard to discern from the language being used.

Her is an excerpt from the sermon, at around the 6:36 mark, Engle states, “Let your children burn and go for the flame.”

Now, if you’re not a Christian, or religious, or from America, then I am afraid this sentence makes little to no sense at all. In fact, it carries with it subtle and frightening undertones of sacrifice. Although most people will understand he is merely speaking metaphorically, the very phrase “let your children burn” is just, even by religious language, a poor choice of words. Much of the sermon is like this.

For example, Engle thinks “Daniel is a prototype for Last Days university students.” But what does this mean exactly? Unless you are familiar with the OT book of Daniel, then the analogy makes little sense. In fact, if you are familiar with the book of Daniel, this analogy still makes little sense.

Notice the prominent talk about fasting. For an atheist, nonbeliever, or say, Buddhist monk just tuning into YouTube to accidentally see this guy talk–much of what he is saying sounds like complete gibberish.

At around the 1:04 mark Engle’s gets ignited and preaches his weird transformative doctrine. Apparently young people who are to be like Christ  aren’t called Christians, but instead are called Nazirites. There is little difference here, except that Engle’s vision of a Nazirite practices some of the Old Law rules and regulations that non-Jewish Christians typically don’t. Other than that, I don’t see much of a distinction.

“The doom of a nation can only be averted by a storm of glowing passions. Let me say it again. The doom of a nation can only be averted by a storm of glowing passion, but only those who have it can give it away. [Cheers from audience] I would clap as well to that sound except this is who spoke those words. His name was Adolph Hitler. And if God doesn’t find the Nazirite burning man in a culture that is filled with lethargy and boredom, mediocrity, sexual immorality, God is looking for a burning man to attract once again a generation to the fires to the love of Jesus. And if God will not find his Nazirites, he’ll find the alternative. It’s Nazis or Nazirites. They said about Hitler’s rallies, people would go to his rallies as skeptics and return as blazing fanatics. It is time once again to have a generation that has the flaming tongue because they have the flaming heart for Jesus. There is no alternative.”

Listening to him talk, your first though it, “Wow, this guy is sure riled up about something. His adrenaline is pumping so hard he can’t even calm himself, and is constantly bobbing his head and swaying to and fro–frantic like.”

“God is looking for a burning man to attract once again a generation to the fires of the love of Jesus.”

Of course, this is poetic speech. At least here we can guess what he means. But when he goes on to add, “And if God will not find his Nazirites, he’ll find the alternative. It’s Nazis or Nazirites.”

Honestly, I have no clue what this means. I can take a guess. Knowing this guys is a New Apostolic Reformation preacher, I think he is saying God is looking for a chosen people to spread the passion of Christ and make others burn with the same passion for Christ.  But how come only two alternatives? Nazis or Nazirites? What does that even mean? If the mission to get New Apostolic converts fails, does that mean the rest of the world automatically transforms into a kind of Nazism? The implications of this quote are impossible to gauge, mainly because the language is so terribly confused.

Usually, crazy, incomprehensible, gibberish is a sign of mental illness. If this wasn’t bad enough, this guys physical behavior, and actions, only support the diagnosis.

For a non-religious person, this behavior looks awfully similar to the behavior of insane people. That’s not a jab at the religious–just an observation. And I’m afraid that without an clearer indication that this guy’s mind is intact, for all intents and purposes, an outsider of the faith would consider him insane. If not his actions, then his words. Especially when he tells about taking the 89 year old lady’s money, without batting an eye. The audience laughs, but he carries on, dead serious. He wasn’t kidding here, he gladly takes her money. But judging by the size of the audience, the question arises, does he really need to take the 89 year old lady’s money? Probably not.

Christians often wonder why atheists and nonbelievers just don’t get with the program. Well, the truth is, the real reason is because the way religious people talk and act seems so absurd, if not downright insane, that the nonreligious person is automatically turned off by the sheer absurdity of it all. And it’s not just radical strains of Christianity like this that hard to understand–it’s most religions. Religion in general has very unique styles and manners of language usage–not all of them easily translate into general vernacular, nor are they all easy to understand. Most of the time, this highly specialized form of religious speak makes religious believers seem, especially to the outsider, downright fruity. The problem is, how can we tell when they are genuinely bat-shit-insane, or just highly religious? Admittedly, the distinction is often hard to tell.

If you have nothing better to do, or would just like to kill some time listening to the ravings of a religious fanatic, here’s part two. Expect some more abortion talk, allusions to John the Baptist, a new age Pentecostal Intercessor (i.e. Prophet), some dominionism, and as usual more talk about flaming tongues and fasting.

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