but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord
There a has been alot of media stories lately about Jim Jones and the People's Temple tragedy that ended 30 years ago in a mass suicide and murder.
I really never knew what happened or who was involved. When you read the history and what people did and saw you see some scary parallels to some popular modern day influencers.
Jim Jones was a mixture of bad Scripture interpretation, preying on fears of trends in culture, and extremely influential speaking skills. Jim Jones was a great communicator. Those that followed him never questioned his authority. Questions meant disloyalty. From the testimony of those whose consciences forced them to walk away, they did it queitly, in guilt and fear.
The history lesson with the Jonestown tragedy is that of all the 'movements' or communities one could find to garner their allegiance, anything done in the name of God, especially if it speaks of Christianity (even in the broadest terms), should never go unchecked. It should be completely obvious to align itself with sensible and sound biblical doctrine. Not just in the name of Jesus, but with Jesus Christ as Lord. God is not kept himself a secret, so in faith like Christianity there should never be secrets, always open, always visible, always a verifiable accountability. We have all have heard it so many times, "there are no loner Christians". Agreed, because we are, and live, in community. The New Testament is pretty clear about the local and universal body of Christ being spiritually linked together. Well, likewise, three should be no such things as loner churches, either.
"but test everything; hold fast what is good." 1Thess 5:21
Anyways, one the reasons this story fascinates me is that a peaceful, multi-racial community and cohesiveness was forging.
"It spoke of hope. Of connection. All these races and cultures living and working together, very successfully for the most part."
It is so sad that something with so much potential ended so tragic and horrible... no wonder people are afraid to reach out to each other and trust God. A challenge only the love of Jesus can break through.
Here are some recent stories on the Jonestown tragedy...
A vision of hope, dashed by madness and death
Leader plotted with cyanide
30 years later