Saturday, April 5, 2014

Jumping Off Bridges And Drinking Kool-Aid

"But Mom," I'd plead with a slight whine, "everybody's doing it!" Each time I attempted to use that line of reason, I felt confident that she would see my  logic and agree to whatever request I presented at the time.

Instead, being a good mother, she'd counter with the same question (which I hated): "If everybody jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge, would you do that too?"

Several years later, she and I watched TV news reports in horror. A pastor named Jim Jones had moved his communal church, The People's Temple, from the San Francisco Bay Area to a settlement in Guyana. In 1978, Congressman Leo Ryan visited "Jonestown," and learned that members were being held at the compound against their will. When Ryan attempted to take those people back to the United States, he was shot and killed.

Knowing that Ryan's homicide would result in more U.S. government officials investigating Jonestown, Jim Jones persuaded his congregation to drink Kool-Aid spiked with Valium and cyanide, telling them that mass-suicide was the only escape from those who would kill their babies. Okay, he made no sense. But he made sure that group pressure would minimize resistance. Except for a few who managed to escape into the jungle, everybody drank the Kool-Aid. (Source)

The fact that "everybody's doing it" no longer persuades me to follow a course of action. My first responsibility is to return to God's Word to see whether or not current church trends line up with sound doctrine. Although I may suffer consequences for refusing to follow the  crowd,  drinking the Kool-Aid of popular trends must never be an option. Mom taught me well!

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