The Dim-Post

October 29, 2009

Superstition

Filed under: general idiocy — danylmc @ 8:07 am

The Herald has a story about Destiny Church:

The leader of Destiny Church, Brian Tamaki, who not long ago anointed himself bishop of the church he founded, has now proclaimed himself the church’s “spiritual father” and designated the male members of the church as “spiritual sons”.

The story was written by Garth George, who also has an opinion column on the subject. He writes:

how 700 Kiwi men could accept this nonsense and swear lifetime fealty to a mere fallible mortal is quite beyond me.

It’s amusing and a bit absurd that members of Tamaki’s church see him as a ‘spiritual father’, but George is a  Roman Catholic who presumably believes that when he takes communion he is eating the flesh and drinking the blood of a murdered God born of a virgin, which is also pretty fucking daft. H L Mencken said it best:

We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.

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38 Comments »

  1. What’s that line again? Oh yeah… Christianity:

    “The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree”

    Comment by Vanilla Eis — October 29, 2009 @ 8:17 am

  2. Tamaki is still a whack job

    Comment by god — October 29, 2009 @ 8:20 am

  3. Kyle: Do you realize how retarded that sounds?
    Mr. Connolly: Is it any more retarded than the idea of God sending his only son down to die for our sins? Is it any more retarded that Buddha sitting beneath a tree for twenty years?
    Stan: Yeah, it’s way, way more retarded.

    Comment by JD — October 29, 2009 @ 8:24 am

  4. It’s pretty telling that the centre of Destiny Church isn’t God, but Brian Tamaki. I see echoes of L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology, though without Tamaki writing crap SF novels.

    I mean, honestly, “Bishop is the tangible expression of God”? Isn’t that what every child is meant to be?

    And Tamaki is one of the most well-known representatives of God in NZ? Not on my planet he bloody well isn’t.

    Comment by Ataahua — October 29, 2009 @ 8:27 am

  5. The man of God supposed to have spiritual fathers or parents that could have done the ordaination as a Bishop, but if non is found and he genuinely thinks his ordaination is delayed and could not find anyone to do the rituals that is left for God to judge. My prayer is that he should work straight and focus on the true and living God. The eyes are now on him. Do not judge the Bishop, but pray for him for God’s direction. The ministry work is not easy. Satan is not tired of tighing rope on people’s neck and turning them any direction they want just in order to make sure that the name of the Lord we serve will make no effect in the lives of His people. This is manipulation and lies. God is in control. He is the owner of the entire universe and no one, I mean no body should question His authority. The lies of the devil is for the moment. You need not to tell them please I beg you to leave me. They come like a thief in the night and forcefully tigh your neck, legs, and hands and command you in any direction they want. As a child of God you should be in charge. Command them like a soldier and they will loose their grips and move away. The Bible says resist the Devil and it shall flee. Nevertheless our master Jesus went to the grave to master their tactics and on the third day he resurrected and took the power from them and gave it to you and I. That a child of God sometimes been supressed and God allows you to have idea of what is going on in your environment does not mean you should remain on the floor crying everyday for forgiveness. Get up and dust yourself. Declare the words of the Lord that says in John 1:12 That as many that belive in Him, to them He called sons of God even to them that beleive ONLY in His name. Also reminds the devil that there is no condenmination to those that beleives. You got the power to cheat the devil as he cheated you. When you run for your dear life, you have cheated the devil. Do not remain in your past. Move forward for there is power in the word of God.
    I bless the readers.
    Thanks,
    Princess Nkeiruka

    http://pastorhannahonwuka.homestead.com

    Comment by Princess Nkeiruka — October 29, 2009 @ 8:38 am

  6. wooop wooop wooop

    body snatchers

    Comment by dontknowthat — October 29, 2009 @ 8:41 am

  7. “He has the courage to stand up and say publicly what he believes, which, of course, makes a lot of people uncomfortable.”

    Garth George, on Brian Tamaki, NZ Herald, June 8 2006.

    Comment by sammy — October 29, 2009 @ 8:43 am

  8. “The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree”

    You just can’t stop talking about Global Warming, can you.

    JC

    Comment by JC — October 29, 2009 @ 8:45 am

  9. Ataahua said, “I see echoes of L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology”

    Naa. Scientology was just a satire on Christianity that took on a life of its own (and started making money which is nice).

    Comment by Mark Wright — October 29, 2009 @ 8:49 am

  10. JC: I think we’re calling it climate change now.

    Comment by Vanilla Eis — October 29, 2009 @ 9:00 am

  11. Well just when you think Brian might be mellowing out as his predicted milestones of Destiny controlling NZ by 2008 have kind of slipped by. The most recent comment from him was something about lightening up on homosexuals cos he had been chatting to air stewards (who in his mind must all be gay) and they were ‘ok’. But a recession is a good time to up the ante with your flock. Whack-job indeed.

    Comment by pkiwi — October 29, 2009 @ 9:25 am

  12. Just keep away from any Kool-aid he may offer…

    Comment by Leopold — October 29, 2009 @ 9:36 am

  13. “JC: I think we’re calling it climate change now.”

    Whatever, the end of the world is nigh, and we better make some good acts of contrition.

    JC

    Comment by JC — October 29, 2009 @ 9:56 am

  14. @ Princess Nkeiruka said “They come like a thief in the night and forcefully tigh your neck, legs, and hands and command you in any direction they want.”
    Princess, you should report that kind of stuff to the police.
    You won’t find many converts here, but good luck on health reform in the US.
    P.S. I liked your blog: Hannah Onwuka’s Blog

    Comment by Adhominem — October 29, 2009 @ 10:24 am

  15. how 700 Kiwi men could accept this nonsense and swear lifetime fealty to a mere fallible mortal is quite beyond me.

    Indeed. And yet IIRC George approves of 120 MPs (not to mention all members of our police, defence forces, judiciary, and even our teachers) being forced to swear lifetime fealty to a mere fallible mortal in the person of Betty Windsor.

    Comment by Idiot/Savant — October 29, 2009 @ 10:28 am

  16. Cosmic Jewish Zombie

    That would make a great name for a Rock band.

    Comment by Phil — October 29, 2009 @ 11:25 am

  17. You all laugh, but while you sleep, immortal shapeless creatures are taking over the world.

    Comment by George Darroch — October 29, 2009 @ 11:37 am

  18. Disappointing link, George. I was hoping for Cthulu.

    Comment by Eddie Clark — October 29, 2009 @ 11:41 am

  19. @Eddie.

    http://www.fredvanlente.com/downloads/WhyWeHere.pdf

    Comment by Pascal's Bookie — October 29, 2009 @ 12:13 pm

  20. I usually don’t dig Garth, but he has excelled himself this time. A fantastic piece of reporting. He’s probably the first mainstream media person to (at last) identify Destiny as a Cult.

    However instead of his little apologetic comparing Tamaki with the Pope, I think a comparison with the teachings of Christ would have been more effective. Tamaki is a whacko preying on the poor. Worse than Labour even! ;)

    Comment by ropata — October 29, 2009 @ 12:13 pm

  21. [...] Superstition The Herald has a story about Destiny Church: The leader of Destiny Church, Brian Tamaki, who not long ago anointed [...] [...]

    Pingback by Top Posts « WordPress.com — October 29, 2009 @ 12:15 pm

  22. A fantastic piece of reporting.

    Yeah…who knew he actually DID reporting?!

    Comment by StephenR — October 29, 2009 @ 12:37 pm

  23. Tamaki: “I have a harem of how many men??!! So many men so little…”

    Comment by Chris — October 29, 2009 @ 1:19 pm

  24. This reinforces my theory that someone has killed Garth George and is writing columns under his name.

    Comment by Helen — October 29, 2009 @ 1:21 pm

  25. “Yeah…who knew he actually DID reporting?!”

    I know, it’s amazing what people can accomplish when they haven’t been dumbed down by TV or radio or Internet, or modern society in general, as Garth proclaimed in his last column.

    Whether it’s passionate denunciation of other (admittedly worse) versions of his own beliefs or resolving society’s woes with a nicotine-stained Bible, the man is an intellectual powerhouse.

    Comment by Sam Finnemore — October 29, 2009 @ 1:25 pm

  26. Why don’t they just get rid of Jesus and worship Brian as the son of god instead?

    (that’s not meant as a Monty Python reference, BTW)

    Comment by kahikatea — October 29, 2009 @ 1:38 pm

  27. (that’s not meant as a Monty Python reference, BTW)

    “He’s not the Messiah, he’s a narcissistic little boy!”

    Works for me.

    Comment by Ataahua — October 29, 2009 @ 1:42 pm

  28. Seems to me hes just aging into his role.
    Suppose his next move will be to ascend into some sorta guiding spirit for the faithful when his god-botherin corpse stops gasping.
    It will not end here. Oh no no.

    Comment by ConorJoe — October 29, 2009 @ 4:43 pm

  29. The need for religion is widespread and contagious mental illness with over 90% of the world’s population infected with one or another of its many strains. Religion is usually brought on by infection by the group VI ‘Fatuous And Ignorant Thinking Habits’ virus more often known by the acronym FAITH. Symptoms involve believing something that is not only unproven but also outrageously illogical simply because someone (or occasionally a book), somewhere, says it’s true. In this respect FAITH can be considered the chronic form of the lesser mental disorder, gullibility. People frequently catch religion when asking themselves questions like “Why am I not/rich and successful/a great lover/&tc?”. In its extreme presentation sufferers will usually happily pay considerable sums of money so someone who clearly has no need of it in exchange for completely unguaranteed and wholly unverifiable spiritual benefits, for which behaviour the only explanation is that it does at least relieve them of any requirement of independent thought or intellectual effort.

    Comment by Deus ex Machina — October 30, 2009 @ 3:59 pm

  30. Faith is not a mental illness, it is what makes life liveable.

    It is a conviction based on knowledge. It is what you have when you believe that the sun will rise tomorrow morning.

    It is what you have when you enter an intersection at 100km/h believing the driver on the other road will stop.

    We live by faith.

    Comment by cj_nza — October 30, 2009 @ 5:25 pm

  31. cj_nza, that’s a different definition of faith. I’ve known the sun to rise without fail every 24 hours or so over 9000 times. I’ve seen no evidence of a God that isn’t more plausibly explainable by any number of other causes.

    Comment by Mark Wright — October 30, 2009 @ 6:40 pm

  32. cj_nza, the rising of the sun is a subjective illusion caused by the fact of the rotation of the earth. For the sun not to appear to rise tomorrow morning the earth would have to stop rotating which, given its mass and inertia, would require either some totally unforeseeable catastrophic event or a supernatural intervention. Either is, to my knowledge, not totally impossible so I don’t ‘know’ the sun will appear to rise tomorrow – but I have no reason to think the chances of either occurrence are other than vanishingly small and base my life on the very high probability that the sun will ‘rise’ on schedule, particularly as there isn’t really any viable alternative to proceeding on that basis.

    ‘Faith’ and ‘knowledge’ are mutually exclusive. I ‘know’ who won the Battle of Waterloo. Wellington’s victory is not a matter of faith. I ‘know’ who has right of way when approaching a junction and proceed on the basis that other motorists are similarly aware and will act accordingly, but nevertheless I don’t have ‘faith’ (ie “conviction based on knowledge”) that others will stop and so drive defensively, prepared to take evasive action if someone drunk, inattentive or distracted doesn’t stop as they should. ‘Faith’ would be when I approached a totally unmarked junction at speed on the basis that someone else had told me I had right of way and that other motorists would give way to me – or if at an intersection in which I had right of way I saw someone approaching who didn’t appear to be preparing to stop, but I went ahead anyway with ‘faith’ they they would.

    Comment by Deus ex Machina — October 30, 2009 @ 7:23 pm

  33. Deus,
    Your redefinition of “faith” as “belief without evidence” is incorrect. If you put money in the bank, you have faith that you’ll be able to retrieve it from the ATM later. There is a certain level of trust that the bank is reliable but you aren’t 100% certain. Similar with faith in God. He is unseen and requires a certain amount of trust from people, but his works are clearly evident to those who aren’t stuck in a bubble of hyper-rationality.

    Comment by ropata — October 30, 2009 @ 7:59 pm

  34. ropata, if I wanted to believe that I was the creation of a super-computer built by little green men on some far-away planet, seeing a world created for me in its RAM and thinking thoughts – including the thought that I was an independent individual – generated according to a running program in its multi-core CPU there is absolutely no way I nor anyone else could disprove that belief to my satisfaction. It would for me be a matter of faith, which you no doubt would perceive to be stupid.

    If you want to believe you are the creation of a benevolent bearded father-figure in the sky seeing a world created for you and thinking thoughts He requires you to have – including the thought that you are an independent individual with some special awareness of His benevolence etc. – there is absolutely no way I nor anyone else can disprove that belief.

    To misquote Malvolio, some people are born stupid, some achieve stupidity and some have stupidity thrust upon them. If the stupidity of your beliefs – of choosing to believe something for which the only foundation is that you want it to be true – fulfills some mental or intellectual shortcoming and enables you to go singing like a martyr to some totally unnecessary death I both envy and feel sorry for you just as I do the blissfully happy idiot. But if you’ve simply chosen not to let go of the comforting fairy-tails of the child because reality is vast, frightening and oblivious to our dreams, your adoption of stupidity as a coping mechanism is cowardly and contemptible.

    Ps. You are confusing faith with hope. “Faith” that an ATM will pay out is the belief that it always will, regardless of the circumstances. I do NOT have that faith which I why I do not keep all my money in one bank and have to HOPE that the banking rules and regulators will do their jobs to ensure that my money will be available when I want it back because the alternative is to keep it under my bed, which is even more stupid than entrusting it to the banking system.

    Comment by Deus ex Machina — October 31, 2009 @ 10:01 am

  35. Some people are certain of there beliefs, while others have belief in their certanties.

    Lutherism was the beginning of individualism and modernity. People formed their own personal relationship with their god, and rejected the power mediated by the Church.

    The Ratana Church is a spiritual movement, but also deeply political in it’s preservation of traditional Maori values and rejection of repressive colonial control.

    ropata @ post #20 you say “Tamaki is a whacko preying on the poor. Worse than Labour even!”
    There does seem something exploitative about Brian Tamaki,
    the way he was not appointed by his peers and the way he likes to show-off his bling. But I also think the people involved in the social network of his big “whanau” feel more empowered than they would from a more conventional Christian sect.

    Comment by Adhominem — October 31, 2009 @ 10:53 am

  36. Adhominem,
    Agree with your sentiments. I hesitate to call the church a cult, but it has many of the same attributes of one: larger-than-life dictator in charge, high-pressure tactics, isolation from the community, strict control over members, but the thing that appears least Christian (from my POV) is its focus on money and apparent lack of grace. Read my Comparison of Tamaki’s teaching with the Sermon on the Mount.

    Deus,
    Wow, great ranting.
    *applause*

    Have you been reading Cthulhu tracts again !? ;)

    Comment by ropata — October 31, 2009 @ 12:46 pm

  37. @Mark: “….over 9000 times.”

    The magic number…

    Comment by Sam Finnemore — October 31, 2009 @ 1:07 pm

  38. ropata, no. Cthulhu is a fictional supernatural being in a series of books by H.P. Lovecraft (which I loved as a kid, and always knew were fiction.)

    God is a fictional supernatural being in a series of books written by various authors in a minor, paranoid bronze-age tribe long, long ago (which I read as a kid and enjoyed, and thought adults were pulling my leg when they tried to persuade me they were anything other than fiction).

    Comment by Deus ex Machina — October 31, 2009 @ 5:13 pm


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