The Deliver Us from Evil Conference took place on October 21-23 at the Upper Room Church in Keller, Texas. The conference website warns believers about "an assault against Christianity and the church in America. Through music, our schools, government, and even in the church, the Devil has been unleashing corruption and deception to try and steal the church's power in America, and in the world."
Steve Foss, senior pastor of Upper Room Church, delivered a talk at the conference that condemned the entertainment industry, the United Nations, LGBTQ rights, and abortion. His sermon, sprinkled with the occasional glossolalia, warned believers about demons, pop music, and the onslaught of the "gay agenda." I found part one of his talk so surreal and fear-laden than I was compelled to share excerpts.
Foss began his talk by claiming that archaeological evidence existed of nephilim, the human-angel hybrids described in Genesis 6:4 and Numbers 13:33. The nephilim, he claimed, were 30 feet tall beings who were worshiped as gods by the ancients because of their knowledge of heaven, science, and technology. The nephilim were vanquished in Great Flood, but now exist as demons looking for bodies to possess, he insisted. At the 1:14 mark, Foss accused prominent members of the entertainment industry of submitting to demons.
"The demons are always looking for bodies to get into, and what they want is to be worshiped ... Even in the words that so many in the music industry and the entertainment industry have willfully chosen to submit themselves to these nephilim spirits ... You know Madonna? She has druid priests in the recording studio, summoning spirits so she can sing her song. Now I got a question for you. If they're summoning those spirits in order to perform, what do you think's coming out through the music?"At the 2:11 mark, he mentioned Justin Bieber and Michael Jackson in the same breath as demons seeking worship.
"We've been channeling the spirits of the enemy ... because they want fame. They walk ultimately to be worshiped. It just isn't natural. It ain't natural for a whole generation to be going aaaaahhh over a kid named Bieber. Hello!? He don't sing that good! He ain't all that good-looking! ... You got little girls passing out. It's a worshiping spirit. Are you all hearing me? What they did with Michael Jackson. It is what the enemy ultimately wants. He wants to steal the worship of God. He wants to be worshiped."Foss also complained about preachers with big egos who crave the worship of their followers. Whenever someone wants to be worshiped, Foss argued, a demon is behind it.
Foss described the plagues that afflicted Egypt in the book of Exodus as God's symbolic attacks against Egypt's false gods. For example, he framed the Nile River turning to blood as God's jab at the Egyptian river god, and days of darkness as God's jab at the sun god. Disturbingly, he gleefully praised God's slaughter of the firstborns of Egypt, seemingly unfazed by the killing of innocent people in the legend. (Ironically, he condemned Pharaoh and King Herod for slaughtering innocents later in his talk.) At the 15:08 mark, he had this to say.
"The firstborn of Pharaoh was considered--not only were they considered divinity, but they were considered to be of divine birth. So the firstborn son was a god, so God killed their god! [Foss hops around; audience claps] Come on, y'all hear me. God killed their god ... See, God's not just going to sit back. God is going to execute judgment against all false gods."Foss claimed that God told him that this is what will happen to the world right now. God, he warned, will judge every false deity on earth.
At the 21:53 mark of his talk, Foss went on an anti-United Nations rant, insisting that the U.S. hates Israel, hates Christians, and seeks to undermine U.S. sovereignty.
"Don't you think for one second the U.N. has any bit of good in it. There is nothing good in the United Nations. It is ruled and controlled by demonic forces that are trying to bring about a one world government system ... Why do you think they hate Israel? And they hate Christians. Don't you think one thing about it. You know, they just tried to pass a treaty and get America to sign a treaty that would literally make homeschooling illegal. And you could have foreign troops come in, foreign police forces and officials come in, and U.N. officials come in, and actually arrest American citizens on American soil. Right now there are five major treaties that are being passed right now that President Obama has said he will sign or try to get through the Congress in the lame duck session, no matter what happens in the election. One of them is going to put a tax on the Internet. They're going to put a tax on American travel. Why? Because they want to redistribute the wealth. To take the money from America and put it overseas. One of them is going to majorly restrict guns in America. We're going to submit it to the U.N."Foss devoted several minutes to demonizing the Lucis Trust, a non-profit organization affiliated with the esoteric Arcane School. He accused the group of promoting a sinister agenda to undermine Christianity, including making divorce easy, increasing access to abortion, and normalizing homosexuality. Also, Foss fumed that one of their alleged goals was to reduce parental authority. He pointed to increasing social disapproval of corporal punishment as supposed evidence of this waning authority. At the 24:01 mark, he enthusiastically defended spanking children.
"In a lot of places, you can't even spank anymore. Man, I believe the Bible. Beat 'em, so they shall not die. You know, people say spare the rod, spoil the child. That's not what the Bible says. The Bible says spare the rod, you hate your child."Predictably, Foss condemned abortion, arguing that it goes against nature for a woman to kill her "baby". Using familiar anti-abortion rhetoric, he called Margaret Sanger a racist and referred to abortion among people of color as "racial genocide". He also condemned homosexuality, defending British bed and breakfast owners who discriminated against a same-sex couple in 2010. At the 31:27 mark, he claimed that the "gay agenda" resulted in President Obama releasing an evil spirit, which apparently had something to do with nephilim again.
"The gay agenda is so strong in America right now. It is coming at us right now, and I'm telling you in the name of Jesus, you have seen an unleashing. All of a sudden, it has turned that now, if you're opposed to gay marriage, before, it was like, well, they thought it wasn't fair and it wasn't just. Now, all of a sudden, you're hate-filled. Now, all of a sudden, you're a bigot. Now, all of a sudden, they want to pass laws against this. Ever since the President of the United States opened his mouth and released the authority of that spirit and said 'I support gay marriage', all of a sudden, this thing has shifted suddenly. [Speaks in tongues] Aw, and there he goes again, off on President Obama. Nephilim."How do you reason with people who believe things like this? How do you reason with someone who preaches that demons have infested the music industry and the United Nations? How do you reason with someone who embraces wild conspiracy theories about U.N. threats to American sovereignty? How do you reason with someone who hops around gleefully at the thought of God's slaughter of the firstborns of Egypt? How does one even reach this level of superstition and fundamentalism?
To listen to part I of Foss' talk or any of the other talks at the Deliver Us from Evil Conference, click here.
(Hat tip to Right Wing Watch)
I don't think you can reason with a person like that. You just have to appreciate that the desperation in his message goes to show that times are changing for the better, even if it is a sloooow change.ReplyDelete
Wise Fool -- Thanks for the positive reminder. I can't imagine the fear in these fundamentalists' hearts if they see demons around every corner -- they see the world changing for the better and can't seem to process it.Delete
Chief Warrant Officer Jim Wright sums up this situation very well:Delete
Cthulhu -- Thanks! I liked it so much that I'll include it in my next "commentary tidbits" post this week.Delete
Okay. He had me at "the demons are always looking for bodies to get into."ReplyDelete
Donna -- Paging Dr. Freud!!!Delete
Oooo...devils and demons! Are they related to leprechauns and elves. I think I last saw them while on a month long drunk chasing the alcohol with Oxycontin, Prozac, and birth control pills.ReplyDelete
Jono -- Just as long as you don't binge on fundamentalism! The other stuff messes up your liver, but fundamentalism can really mess up your brain.Delete
I was once an evangelical. Take my word for it there is no way to reason with their kind. Reason is Not in their playbook. You can agree or keep quiet to avoid an argument. Even in their ignorance they hold the "righteous" side, there is No argument to counter that. You can only hope that life itself will smack them upside the head and show them the 'real' side, as mine did to me. A rocky divorce can do some good sometimes, mine woke me up.ReplyDelete
W3ski -- I was once romantically involved with someone who converted to fundamentalist Christianity, so I saw the craziness with my own eyes. As much as I've tried to reason with fundamentalists and point out the flaws in their thinking, the fundamentalists I knew were impervious. Let's hope that some of them wake up someday.Delete
Robert Altemeyer has studied the fundies since 1966 and has written a book which he has made available free online. It explains why these people think the way they do and the danger they present to our country.ReplyDelete
Anonymous -- I've taken a look at Altemeyer's writings, and they're very thought-provoking. He definitely shines light on to thought processes behind fundamentalism (of all flavors).Delete