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Peer Pressure: I Believe Because Others Do

John Collins4/1/2012 4:30:00 PMPeer pressure in the church is one thing I've never touched on, but it was brought up in another post. I felt this is something that really needs to be addressed.

Taking examples from many conversations over the past few months. I am combining conversations with several people in several different states. Let me generalize:

Q) Brother Branham Lied. Several times. Doesn't that bother you?
A) No. I believe there was a reason why he said what he did.
Q) Have you ever stopped to consider the scriptures that tell us what happens to liars?

Notice there is an empty answer at the end.

Q) Why would I continue to believe in things that simply are not true? Because everyone else I know does?
A) People have known for years that some of these things are not true. What harm is there in believing in it?

This one is the reason I wrote my book and included my testimony. It could have taken my life. It has taken the lives of others. It has driven some from Christianity altogether.

Q) I can't find a single prophecy that can be confirmed. All were "prophesied" 20-30 years later, and most didn't even happen like he prophesied from hindsight. Explain.
A) Well, I can tell you one: He prophesied I (this person) would be the paster of the church
Q) Doesn't the Bible say that if one prophesy fails, not to listen to that prophet?

Notice again, an empty answer at the end. This one ended up with me being "shunned" from that particular church, and not in a way that is according to the Bible.

Q) I'm finding several teachings that simply don't line up with the scriptures
A) Yes, but what about the healings?
Q) Didn't brother Branham himself quote that "gifts and callings are without repentance?
A) Yes, but what about Donnie Morton? He was healed!
Q) Have you ever looked into that?
A) I dont' need to! Everyone in the message knows about Donnie Morton's healing. It was even in Reader's Digest
Q) Did you know that the Reader's Digest article itself told that Donnie Morton died of the exact disease brother Branham claimed to cure him of?
A) ummmmmmm ... no

Would we have even thought that Donnie Morton was healed had we not heard our preachers and WMB incorrectly tell us that he was healed?

Q) If the teachings did not line up with the Bible, how can we be sure this "message" was from God?
A) What about the pillar of fire that hung over his head? George J. Lacy of the FBI verified that it was the first and only supernatural photo
Q) Did you know that Mr. Lacy was never in the FBI? That he was paid to give a report on the photo? And that his report simply stated that a light [any light] was shining on the camera?
A) Well, it hangs in the hall of science in Washington DC. Isn't that proof enough?
Q) Did you know there was never a hall of science? And that it is in an archive drawer with the same type of reports on Joseph Smith?
A) really?
Q) Did you know that the Bible says that "even Satan disguises himself as a bright light?"
A) It does???

Had we not been told that the photo was "supernatural" from birth, would we even think that it was of God? Wouldn't we think it was a double-exposure or a light from the ceiling?

Q) When he preached the "Seven Seals", there is only about 15 minutes of substance in each sermon, all of which comes directly from the Bible and books by Clarence Larkin. The rest is all about a hunting trip. Wouldn't such a divine revelation have some "meat behind it?"
A) Seven angels flew above his head, vindicating that message. It was higher than any cloud can form, investigated by the US Government, and is a mystery to this day
Q) Did you know that he wasn't in Arizona when that cloud formed?
A) No, but God has the power of space and time. He was there, I believe it.
Q) Did you know that the cloud was formed over three hundred miles north of where he was hunting? And that the US government's report explained exactly how a THOR missile detonation caused that cloud? And that it has statistical information that shows it drifting at an altitude where clouds form from northern California eastward across Arizona?

If we were not told lies about this cloud from birth, would we have even believed that it was supernatural?

Q) How do we know this message was from God?
A) A light shone from the heavens when brother Branham was baptizing, and God spoke from the heavens saying "As John the Baptist was sent {...}" Newspapers all the way to Canada reported this! How can you deny it?
Q) Have you ever stopped to think about that? Such a tremendous sign from the heavens, wouldn't there be monuments placed here, and thousands of believers instead of a little handful in Jeffersonville?
A) No, but God hid this from their eyes
Q) Have you ever looked at the newspapers brother Branham claimed to have this article?
A) No
Q) Did you know that not one of the papers carrying the associated press content carried the article as brother Branham claimed?
A) Really?

Think about this one for a moment. If someone told us that their church was vindicated by a light and a voice from heaven, wouldn't we think they were crazy and investigate it? Wouldn't we start to wonder why nobody else had heard of this? Wouldn't we search this one out for ourselves?

Q) Why do you believe the MSG? Because everyone else does?
A) No. I believe because I known in my heart that it is right?
Q) Have you ever searched it out for yourself?
A) ummmmm. No.

So here are my questions for all:

1) If we had never been told about this message, what in the Bible would have pointed us to it?
2) If these healing campaigns were on TV with today's "televangilists", and we saw prayer cards that contained the name, address, and sickness being retold to the afflicted, what would lead us to believe they were not being read by the ushers?
3) If we were never told since birth that WMB was Elijah the prophet, and we saw several visions that were told long after the event happened, and told incorrectly, would we believe WMB was a prophet?
4) If a man came to us today and told several conflicting stories about his early years and asked us to follow him, would we follow?
5) If then we believed it because we were taught to believe it since birth, why did our fathers believe the message with all of these problems? Was it because of the healings? The lights? What is more important than the Truth?