|Photoshopped image of former NZ Labour Party leader|
British-Israelism is the dead rat that many COG insiders have decided must be swallowed. A significant number of both ministers and lay members in the less fanatical sects long ago realised that BI is just plain wrong. They'd like to see it go, but the resulting furore would be hugely damaging and divisive.
Witness David Hulme's group. Dave, a man with intellectual pretensions, reportedly tried to excise BI. The result? His micro-COG hit the rocks.
Witness a certain administrator at LCG's Living University. One day he's debunking BI, next moment there's a job offer with status and lots of moolah on offer - an easy path to a super-comfy retirement. Suddenly BI is back on the menu, a dead rat served with a garnish of parsley. His response? Pass the condiments.
The real issue, however, is that the COGs have taught BI for so long and with such uncompromising devotion that they've painted themselves into a corner. It's seen as a core belief. You have to suspect that "de-emphasis" has been suggested as a strategy more than once around the council table, but the stupider pastors won't have a bar of it. The dead rat stays!
You can't really blame the good folk in the pews either. They've been conditioned to resist "liberalism" (whatever they think that means) and shun Laodicean tendencies on pain of losing their salvation. Moreover, they've been browbeaten into thinking that the ministry knows best.
There are lots of people - a disproportionate number of them in positions of responsibility - who are fully aware that BI is horribly wrong. And yes, there are names here we'd all recognize. The effort to get rid of it is not worth the hassle, though. BI is wedded to a misplaced confidence that the movement has the inside track on understanding prophecy.
Which it doesn't.
If BI goes, the game - so, it is feared - is up.
So pass the dead rat. Perhaps it'll be more palatable with a nice jus and a side salad.