Black Spirituality Religion : Dr. Jesus and His Degreed Disciples

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by RAPTOR, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. RAPTOR

    RAPTOR Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Dr. Jesus and His Degreed Disciples

    by Alan Albert Snow

    One form of religious fraud that has become a growing industry in the United States is the proliferation of bogus religious schools, colleges, universities and uncredentialed frauds who use America's liberal religious tax-exemption and tax-free laws to create more uncredentialed practitioners of mail-order religious degree mills and divinity schools that require very little if any theological knowledge to be awarded an honorary or similar kind of "doctorate" in metaphysics, astrology, New Age thinking, Wicca, or parapsychology. These mail-order or storefront colleges are often accredited by equally bogus "international" accrediting organizations that were founded by the same founders of the degree mills.

    Many of these mail-order churches or ministries run ads in tabloid and New Age newspapers and magazines. They often read "FREE MINISTERIAL LICENSE!" or "DEGREES! PH.D. AND DOCTORAL DEGREES! RUSH NAME AND ADDRESS TO:..." Almost all of these mail-order religions operate out of a post office box. Even world famous outspoken atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair made use of the infamous church Universal Life Church's free credentials to found her own atheist Poor Richard's Universal Life Church which was operating out of her American Atheist Center in Austin, Texas. Her own story of her church was covered in here 1986 book, An Atheist Speaks (published by her American Atheist Press, Austin, Texas).

    Many little Bible and Christian fundamentalist ministries and churches have their own church-run ministry schools, often run and operated by only the church pastor. Many of these little Bible schools award endless honorary degrees of Doctor of Divinity to the most illiterate and uneducated preachers of their little sects, cults, and churches. All of this nonsense is legal and supported by our freedom of religion laws.

    It has always been fascination that the hillbilly televangelists on the radio and T.V. have such authoritative titles like "the Reverend Doctor" or "Doctor Minister." The style, message, and bad grammar just did not match the kind of education that a real "doctorate" should have.

    Investigation has shown that the great majority of "reverend doctors" in our most conservative and fundamentalist churches and religious programs are either very badly educated by the most loose and non-accredited Bible schools or they have no formal education at all. The credentials and degrees that are used by so many of our nation's preachers are obtained by mail-order diploma mills or are awarded by fundamentalist Bible schools and colleges by the thousands each year to preachers who are already successful in their public ministries.

    Investigating the educational backgrounds of many of the high profile ministers from the Rev. "Dr." Billy Graham to the Rev. "Dr." Jimmy Swaggart finds that most of them have either the minimal Bachelor's degree or no academic education at all. The doctorates that they all have are almost always "honorary" and were given to them by either a church board of directors or a little Bible school. After writing to several of these churches and schools, I have also received by return mail the same credentials and degrees that are used to legitimize and legalize many of the public ministries that are running and ruining the lives of millions of uninformed and unquestioning religious devotees.

    Research has shown me that most theological degrees that appear behind the names of ministers, priests, and rabbis are honorary, NOT EARNED. Almost all churches, temples, and religious organizations are in the the totally legal habit of handing out honorary degrees in order to give the appearance of importance, knowledge, and authority. In the United States, the D.D. degree (the Doctor of Divinity degree) is always honorary.

    Even the Rev. Dr. Billy Graham, whose real education was a Bible course at the unaccredited Bob James University in Florida, and the Florida Bible Institute (now Trinity College), has many honorary D.D.s awarded to him simply because he became a prominent fundamentalist evangelist and was successful because of his own natural gifts.

    He also was, for all practical purposes, self-educated. Most, and in my opinion, possibly 99% of the fundamentalist preachers on radio and T.V. have no formal educations or are badly educated. Their "doctorates" are almost always as non-academic as I have described in the report.
     
  2. RAPTOR

    RAPTOR Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Dr. Alan Albert Snow, D.D. (Hon.) is (or to the time he wrote this article) a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Judeo-Christian Origins Studies, California State University, Long Beach. He is (or was) also a charter member of the Institute for Dead See Scrolls Studies, Biblical Archeology Society, and earned his M.A. at the School of Theology, Claremont, California.
     
  3. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Brother RAPTOR ... thanks for sharing.

    I agree with the article, but am wondering, which spiritual paths have accreditation, training, etc., that would be considered beyond like question or scrutiny?

    My point is, this article / title focuses on Christianity, but i'd bet that the same applies to all spiritual paths.

    Few if any spiritual leaders have credentials that would garner more respect from the general public, than those listed above.

    If i'm wrong, please correct me, telling us what spiritual path, school, training, etc., those leaders came under and/or through.

    Most spiritual paths are secretive about such things, not as open and easily critiqued as Christianity has been done above, leaving an unbalanced perspective.

    Who are your spiritual leaders, those that you look up to, and how / where did they get their training?

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  4. truetothecause

    truetothecause Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Hotep SiS Destee...

    I gotta to thinking as I read you, that maybe is focused heavily on christianity because there are so many and it is the National Religion and the one this Nation was founded on.:10500:

    They are therefore the norm and when research is done on others, it will always be held up against them..since they set the trend and seem to be the one most studied.

    For me, and my Spiritual Path, the only one's I "look up too" Us, You, Me.
    I Listen and Learn from all and do not rely on a "degreed" persons.


    M.E.

    :hearts2:
     
  5. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Sister True ... you may be right, as it seems many here use Christianity as the standard, while loathing it at the same time.

    I don't understand that, for i would think each path must stand on its own, but what you say seems to be true ... Christianity is the chosen gauge.

    I'd not use the "worst" as the gauge for my life or argument. I'd pick the very best i could find, to use as a gauge. I don't understand the logic, but folk do it every day.

    Unfortunately though, failing to put the credentials and qualifications of one's own spiritual leaders on the table, while attempting to discredit Christians and Christianity ... is a weak argument ... one i'd not seriously entertain. It provides no opportunity for balance, growth, comparison, understanding, etc.

    It's no different than another thread i was in recently, where the Member wanted to talk ugly about the sexual escapades of pregnant teens, but not wanting to put their own sexual teenage encounters on the table.

    It's not fair or right, and i don't see how folk think they can get away with such, while considering themselves knowledgeable or wise ... though it's done here often.

    Wanting to talk about other folk's stuff, never putting their own on the table.

    A perpetual cycle to nowhere, for those that continue within it.

    Love You Sister ... Happy New Year! :grouphug:

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  6. RAPTOR

    RAPTOR Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    One of the things I take from this article, and perhaps others as well, is that we should not be so at awe
    with those who carry so called authoritative titles, and blindly hang on their every word, including the adjectives (lol),
    of someone merely because they have a title.

    I think that one of the things that the article does is caution against taking authority for truth instead of truth for authority.

    You may be right.

    Keep in mind though, it is a xian who wrote the article.

    Given his background, it stands to reason that he is gonna speak about that
    which he is much familiar with.

    I would also suggest that reader take information (if they have found useful
    info. in the article) and leave the ideology, presuming the ideology doesn't
    mesh with the reader.
     
  7. RAPTOR

    RAPTOR Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Interesting Destee, your comments.

    If you have witnessed. In another forum, a poster made the claim that
    another poster was "mis-informed" in their claims. I asked the poster,
    what information could they provide that shows that the 'accused' was
    "mis-informed". For based in my understanding, my conclusions are
    consistent with that of the 'accused', which is why I asked for information to
    the contrary. Not asking for a debate, or anything like that.

    If there is one thing I know, is that I will never know enough.

    Though subtle, I got chewed out, lol.

    I was called to task, that I should hold the accused to the same means of inquiry.

    So if it is "weak" that in "failing to put the credentials and qualifications of one's
    own spiritual leaders on the table, while attempting to discredit Christians and Christianity",
    then it is equally so..."weak" to accuse some one of being "mis-informed" while failing to provide
    contrarian information that may take the "mis" out of "mis-informed". For it to "provides no opportunity
    for balance, growth, comparison, understanding, etc".
     
  8. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Brother RAPTOR ... you skipped over my points / questions to you, which is your right, and evidence that you're willing to point at someone else's stuff, never putting yours on the table.

    A most tiresome, old, and played out position to take, but you're entitled to it.

    Much Love and Peace.

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  9. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Was this a conversation you had with me, in the other thread? If so, please give me a link.

    If not, i don't understand what it has to do with this thread / discussion.

    No matter though ... i know you're not going to speak on your own beliefs, leaders, and their spiritual qualifications ... so ... it makes what we're talking about "off topic" ... and i don't want to do that to the thread.

    Please, continue pointing out the shortcomings of Christianity and its leaders, while presenting none of your own.

    Much Love and Peace.

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  10. awo dino

    awo dino Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Beautifully said, Sister Destee. The Christian bashing gets old. If I had a dime for every fool running around claiming to be a babalawo (Yoruba high priest) because they received an initiation, but don't know jack, I'd be a rich man.
    We should base our religious discussions on something deeper. But it is such an emotional topic.



     
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