A little ago a preacher from Kansas, America finds himself at the centre of a controversy after he bragged that he had “cured” his son of his Islamic faith by forcing him to eat an entire Bible.
In a radio interview with TWBC-FM, the 53-year old leader of Holy Zion Topeka Baptist Church, Bill Phelps, admitted that his 23-year old son had “briefly flirted with Islam” two years ago.
Mr Phelps says his wife and him immediately took “radical measures” and were able to “bring him back in God’s light”.
“He wouldn’t listen to us when we warned him about Hell, so we figured we had to get the word of God inside him one way or another.”
The couple came up with a rather unusual solution: tying up their son up and forcing him to eat all 1,200 pages of the Bible.
He says they ambushed their son after dinner, tied him up, and kept him bound for an entire night in order to attain their objective.
“He knew we wouldn’t let him go until he finished, so he ate it all. It took him more than six hours. We spent the entire time praying and splashing him with holy water.”
According to Mr Phelps, the ceremony had the desired effect and taught his son “the danger of exploring other religions”.
He admits that his son has cut contact with his Islam since the event, but remains convinced that estrangement is due to side effects of his son’s “exposure to an evil religion”.
The preacher’s claims have stirred a lot of mostly-negative reactions on the social media.
While some people recognize that his actions were motivated by good intentions, most readers denounce his violent and authoritarian approach of fatherhood. Many people have even suggested that the couple committed a hate crime by assaulting their son because of his religious beliefs and should be jailed.
In a different case, we also come across a video in which Nigerian Christian children and their friends beat up their mother, tearing her clothes, leaving her naked after a pastor allegedly told them that she was a witch and the reason they were not prospering.
Children and their friends beat their mother after a pastor told them she is a witch and the reason they are not prospering!… Kana ndimiwo, kuita here uku? I hear it happened in Nigeria! pic.twitter.com/fz0du0BL4c
— Caesar Zvayi (@caesarzvayi) February 28, 2018
It is in light of these and other incidents that are happening in our Christian community that we would love to shed more light on religious extremism that seems to be taking over our supposed-to-be sane community.
Religious extremism, fundamentalism, violence and terrorism can be found around the world in worrisome supply.
The term Religious Extremism describes faith-based actions that are deliberate attempts to cause harm to other people. It includes violent religious movements, routine asceticism that is extreme enough to cause medical concern, beliefs that cause harm through denial of medicine or mental harm through abusive family behaviours.
Religious tolerance, multiculturalism and equality are the particular targets of extremists. Their own religion provides guidance that trumps any secular law or any concept of Human Rights.
Although all mass movements breed the occasional extremist, the horrific spectres of oppression and violent coercion have resulted mostly from Abrahamic monotheistic religions such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and to a lesser extent from other traditional religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism especially as a result of battles against multiculturalism.
Most justifications for religious extremism are fundamentalist in nature, based squarely on religious doctrine, strictly interpreted. The declining strength of religion in the face of secularisation means there are fewer middle-ground religionists to rein in extremists.
As for Christianity, we have had a very troubled past when it comes to violence and extremism. Problems with tolerance of other religions and beliefs began from its very inception within the Roman Empire and to the extent that we have insisted over the centuries that its way is the only true way, leading it to develop a militancy and a tendency toward fundamentalism.
Christian Emperors like Constantine had to deal with constant violent inter-denominational conflict, and time and again had to rule in favour of one side or another, with bloodshed and violence resulting from each new division that appeared.
In modern times, some of our sects remain the strongest campaigners against LGBTQ equality, family planning, science education, child abuse and gender equality; all of these battles have seen emboldened members committing acts of violence and atrocity against their perceived enemies.
Although many national governments are involved in thwarting extremism, very few succeed in making direct progress, especially when there are people who still say neutral principles of law’ does not apply ecclesiastic dispute.
So we hereby advise that the best way to avoid these extremists is to improve our education, amend our chauvinistic and overpowering doctrines, have a job security and family stability, among other things.
Resource: World News Daily Report
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