May 20, 2018

Christian Beefcake, Part 2

When I was growing up in the Nazarene church, Sunday school teachers and youth leaders told us that almost every other Christian church was wrong.  Some were only a little off, so we could be friends with members, visit their churches, and even, if necessary attend their colleges.  But some were dangerous: we should be polite to them, but not try to make friends, lest they draw us in to their Satanic beliefs.  And some were so dangerous that we couldn't even talk to them.

I don't have those prejudices now, of course, but I still thought it would be interesting to look for beefcake among the "sinners," to see what all the fuss was about.  I already did 1. Evangelicals and 2. Moderate Chrsitians. Now it's time for the "cults" and "Catholics."




3. Cults.  Nazarenes defined "cult" as a group that reveres a book other than the Bible.  They often had other heterodox beliefs as well, but the main thing that gnawed at Nazarenes was that other book.  Since they would try to convert us, we shouldn't be friends with them, and of course we couldn't visit one of their churches.










Mormons.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was nearly as strict as the Nazarene Church, prohibiting alcohol, tobacco, dancing, and so on, and they were deeply invested in evangelism, which Nazarenes respected.   But they thought that the Book of Mormon was just as inspired as the Bible, so we had to stay away.

There's a 99% chance that these swimmers from Lone Pine High School in Highland, Utah, between Salt Lake City and Provo, are Mormons (top photo).


Jehovah's Witnesses.  Just as eager to proselytize as Mormons (the difference was, Mormons came by two, both male, and Jehovah's Witnesses came by three, one or more female).  They had "their own Bible," and believed that only 144,000 people would get to heaven.  Be polite, but say "no" to any tracts they might try to pawn off on you.

No Jehovah's Witnesses colleges - they disapprove of higher education.  But I found this photo of a cute guy with some of their literature.









Christian Scientists.  Did our Sunday School teachers really believe that we would be swayed by that big, empty building downtown, where they taught that the physical body doesn't exist and sickness is an illusion, based on Mary Baker Eddy's Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures?  Maybe because of their influential magazine, the Christian Science Monitor?

No Christian Science colleges, that I can find, but a key word search resulted in this photo.  It's from a website called "Women's Wrestling."









4. High Church Christians, or what Nazarenes called "near-Catholics" and "Catholics."   Highly liturgical services (a lot to read and recite), priests rather than ministers, clerical vestments, and a lot of "empty rituals," like Communion every Sunday.  Emphasis on church hierarchy and the sacraments rather than personal salvation.  Plus they allowed drinking, smoking, dancing, movies, all sorts of evil practices.  Some members were just brainwashed, but many were literally possessed by the devil, and extremely dangerous.

We weren't supposed to talk to them except when absolutely necessary, or look them in the eye, or go near one of their churches.

So of course I sought out most of my friends from near-Catholics.






Lutherans.  Broke away from the Catholic Church under the direction of Martin Luther, but still close enough in theology and practice to be a danger.  The problem is, our town was about 80%  Swedish Lutherans, and I went to a Swedish Lutheran college, to the horror of the Nazarenes.

There was a Roman Catholic college nearby.  I could go there instead.

Trinity Lutheran College swim team.









Greek Orthodox.  Or it could be Russian Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, Latvian Orthodox, or any of those Eastern churches that didn't recognize the Pope.  We just happened to have a Greek Orthodox church in town.  No Pope, but otherwise the whole "empty superstition" bit: veneration of the Blessed Virgin, saints, icons, Eucharist, baptism, priests, monks, nuns, on and on.










Roman Catholic.  According to the Nazarenes, the worst of the worst, worshipping the anti-Christ.  Catholic churches were pits of vile degradation.  When we went to Europe, we were not allowed to set foot in a Catholic church, even as a tourist attraction.

So of course when I was living in Los Angeles and home for the holidays, and the preacher's wife asked what church I was attending out there, I said "Catholic."

See also: Sinner Beefcake Part 1

1 comment:

  1. There is a Christian Scientist college in a tiny downstate Illinois town, Principia College. An alumni was Terry Melcher, Doris Day's record producer son - and one of Charles Manson's original targets (Melcher refused to consider Manson's music tapes, Melcher at that time was the West Coast A&R guy for Columbia Records). Link here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principia_College

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