If you can believe that we are descendants of a race of Aliens called Thetans then whether you're a Christian or not doesn't enter into the equation! I guess!
To show how insidious different belief systems are, and how they are not that much different from each other whether they be Christian, Islam, Judaism or Scientology, I give you this example.
Some Christian congregations, particularly in lower income, urban areas, are turning to an unlikely source for help â€” the Church of Scientology.
So, why are observant Christians embracing some its teachings you ask?
Two pastors who spoke recently with CNN explained that when it comes to religion, they still preach the core beliefs of Christianity.
But when it comes to practicing what they preach in a modern world, borrowing from Scientology helps.
The Scientology Comparative Theology Page â€œwas created to promote the scholarly study of the public and private beliefs of Scientology and Dianetics.
These beliefs are then contrasted with Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.â€The Rev. Charles Kennedy, of the Glorious Church of God in Christ, a Pentecostal church in Tampa, Florida, and the Rev. James McLaughlin, of the Wayman Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, are among the theological hybrids.
They say they are not scared off by programs with ties to a church that critics say has aggressive recruiting, secretive ways and rigid theology.
As men of God rooted in Christian values, they do not see Scientology as a threat to their faith, but rather as a tool to augment it.
(There is no compatability between the teachings of Christianity and those of the Church of Scientology - regardless of which â€˜moral codesâ€™ Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard borrowed from to start his commercial enterprise. -Ed.)
Scientology was founded in the 1950s by L. Ron Hubbard, a science fiction writer. Followers are taught that they are immortal spiritual beings called thetans. Although the church says there is a supreme being, its practices do not include worshipping God.Critic Rick Ross, a court-certified Scientology expert, sees something more sinister at work. He warned that mainstream acceptance makes it easier for the Scientologists to achieve their ultimate goal â€” new recruits.
â€œIâ€™m looking for solutions, and the people that I help, they donâ€™t ask me who L. Ron Hubbard is,â€ said McLaughlin, who works with addicts. â€œYou know what they say? â€˜Thank God.â€™ â€
â€œTheir hope is that through these programs, people will become more interested in L. Ron Hubbard, what else Mr. Hubbard had to offer, and this will lead them eventually to Scientology,â€ Ross said.
Hubbard, the man who created Scientology in 1952, has an unusual CV for a religious and spiritual leader. As well as being a writer, he was a congenital liar: quite simply a â€œcharlatanâ€. That was the view of a High Court judge in 1984, who said Hubbardâ€™s theories were â€œcorrupt, sinister and dangerousâ€œ.
Research resources on L. Ron Hubbard The church has long been in the headlines for practices critics say are little more than cult-like mind control. It is also known for its stable of devout celebrity followers.
And according to published reports, Scientology has been recently diversifying its outreach to include other religions and ethnic groups.
â€œScientology is evil; its techniques are evil; its practice is a serious threat to the community, medically, morally, and socially; and its adherents are sadly deluded and often mentally illâ€¦ (Scientology is) the worldâ€™s largest organization of unqualified persons engaged in the practice of dangerous techniques which masquerade as mental therapy.â€ - Justice Anderson, Supreme Court of Victoria, Australia, quoted atWhat judges have to say about ScientologyKennedy admits other pastors have criticized him, but the disapproval is not enough to discourage him. He insists that he has witnessed the changes â€œThe Way to Happinessâ€ has inspired in people. He also maintains that the Scientologists, many of whom he calls friends, are successful at outreach and getting desired results.
At Kennedyâ€™s C. L. Kennedy Center, free tutoring based on Hubbardâ€™s â€œstudy techâ€ philosophies is provided to dozens of children and some adults. Kennedyâ€™s daughter, Jimirra, is one of the instructors. She said â€œstudy techâ€ and the Scientology orientation classes she attended helped her graduate from high school and become a poised woman.
Though Jimirra Kennedy insists she does not ascribe to the religious side of Scientology, she still considers herself, at least in part, Scientologist. â€œWe say this all the time and I know my father says this, but I am like a Pentecostal Scientologist, thatâ€™s what we are.â€
Critics like Ross are alarmed by such a blurring of the lines. They consider it a marketing win for Scientology.
In Houston, McLaughlin says he is not one to argue with success. Driven by a need to address the rampant drug problem in his community, McLaughlin spent years searching for a solution before he discovered â€œNarconon,â€ Scientologyâ€™s nonprofit drug rehab center, in 2001.McLaughlin trained at Narconon and brought the techniques back to his community to launch â€œFirst Step Faith Step,â€ a program that combines Hubbardâ€™s methods with the teachings of Christianity.
He claims a 70- to 80-percent rehabilitation success rate.
Kennedy and McLaughlin said they have never lost a member of their congregations to Scientology.
â€œI think that they truly believe that this may help their communities, but in my opinion, theyâ€™re naive,â€ Ross said. Scientologists, he added, â€œhave their own agenda.â€The Church of Scientology would not grant CNN an interview, nor would its representatives answer questions about the Hubbard-based programs.
Constant efforts to contact them by our crack "Perspective" research staff have failed as well!
Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God at www.God-101.com and the blog "Perspective" at http://God-101.blogspot.com