My experience accosted by the World Mission Society Church of God

To others, this is offensive. To me, this is beyond fun. I was at a gas station with a friend at 12:30am with a friend when a man dressed in a suit and tie power walked in our direction. My first thoughts were that this guy might need something or wants money. Instead, he asked me if I had read the Bible. Great, I like the Christian street preachers, I’m still waiting to hear the whole “Have you ever told a lie? Then you’re a liar” bit. but unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, this was not that kind of encounter. zhang_gil-jah

This man, whose name is Keith, immediately went on to tell me that just as there is a “God the Father”, there is also a “God the Mother”, and showed me a picture of her. This was the picture to the right.

Right off the bat, I realized that he was not a normal Christian. Second, I wanted to get technical with him and say “God created gender and therefore he could not be subject to gender”, but then thought that might be too much for the moment. He got his iPhone and started showing me that God created humanity in his name, suggesting male and female, and since every living being has a gender God must also have a gender. He then said that because God refers to himself as “we” in Genesis, that it must mean that there’s a plurality and that Ellohim means “Gods”. I am still not certain if he meant plurality of Gods or plurality of parts of God within the hypo-static union.

At that point, and after several attempts, I finally got him to listen for a moment. I asked him if he was familiar with Semitic languages, which he said no. I said Hebrew and Arabic are in a family of languages and since I speak functional Arabic, I can speak about this with a degree of authority. In Semitic languages, there is such a thing as a “royal plural”. But as I was explaining this to him, it seemed like he was so excited, he was just waiting for his turn to speak and was not really listening.

Now, around this time I mentioned to him that I am a Muslim. Almost by definition, that means that the Christian Bible is not a primary source of guidance for me. But he entirely used the Bible as his basis. But I ignored that problem for now. He randomly went into the Sabbath being Saturday. I don’t disagree with him, but what did that have to do with me? He made another point about Isaac haven been given the covenant, but I did not follow him. He said something about how Jerusalem refers to his “God the Mother” figure.

A funny moment was when he randomly jumped to how the “Bride of Christ” is his “God the Mother”. I said the Christians interpret the Bride of Christ as the Church. He immediately said that they are wrong and worship Satan. I said they would say you are wrong, upon which he immediately said “yes, but they are wrong”. I said again “right, but they would say you are wrong and you worship Satan”. This back and forth happened 4 times, but it did not sink in for him.

At this point a good 10 minutes had passed and I did not want to leave my friend waiting around as I talked to this crazy guy, so I said I had to go. He said he wanted my number upon which I very bluntly said I was not going to give my number to a person I just met, but would like his email address or website. He flatly told me that he is not interested in hearing opposing views because when a prophet comes, you do not listen to Satan. I tried to tell him that there is a difference between “listening to Satan” and entertaining valid questions. But that fell on deaf ears. In the end, he told me that the only way to heaven was through his faith. If I was not in “polite mode”, I would have told him that he’s a polytheist and idol worshiper. I also thought this morning that his faith must be weak if it cannot even hear reasoned criticism. But it did not occur to me.

One thing I could see in his eyes was his absolute conviction of his faith, an impatience with hearing others, inability to stay on topic which suggests that he is so convinced of his faith that there are multiple thoughts going on in his head at the same time and he cannot control himself. He did not want to listen, understand or know his audience. I went to their website and there are a few observations I have:

  • They focus on pushing forward their specific doctrines based on the Bible, rather than general topics that might appeal to non-Christians;
  • They are big on self-promotion and pointing out their awards, their community service and how much people love being in the faith, work with the UN, etc;
  • Their videos use a lot of “constructed emotion”, through background music or showing smiling faces, etc. Its more image than substance.

I do not know much more about them, I am not certain if they are a cult or not. But I want nothing to do with them.