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YOU ARE HERE:   Home >  Archives >  Updates >  2005 >  November 2005 >  Cults and Religion in the News

Cults and Religion in the News

From Vampires to Jesus

Popular author, Anne Rice, came to fame and fortune writing about vampires; however, now she is writing about Jesus. Her latest book, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, has just been released and the book jacket describes it as, “her most ambitious, and courageous book, a novel about the early years of Christ the Lord, based on the gospels and on the most respected New Testament scholarship. The book’s power derives form the passion its author brings to the writing and the way in which she summons up the voice, the presence, the words of Jesus who tells the story.”

The novel deals with Jesus life at the age of seven and, though she is not certain how many there will be, Rice has announced that she plans on writing several sequels (the first of which is already underway). So why the change in direction? The October 31, 2005 issue of Newsweek reports, in 1998 Rice suffered an intestinal blockage and a sudden diabetic coma. That same year she returned to the Roman Catholic Church, which she'd left at 18. She now states, “"I promised that from now on I would write only for the Lord."

Christian Church Promotes Scientology

The youth program of the Glorious Church of God in Christ, in Tampa, Florida is utilizing and promoting materials published by the Church of Scientology. According to an article in the October 30, 2005 edition of the St. Petersburg Times, the pastor, Rev. Charles Kennedy, said "I need what they [Scientology] are doing to fulfill what I've been praying about.”

According to the same article, it doesn’t end at the church as, “Next month, Glorious Church parishioners will begin tutoring neighborhood kids through an after-school program known as Bright Sky. The federal No Child Left Behind law requires Hillsborough school officials to use public money for private after-school programs, which will get up to $1,300 per child. Although Bright Sky is not connected to the Church of Scientology and does not use Hubbard's study tech, it was created by Scientologists as a for-profit company. All of this adds up to an unusual, if not unheard of, alliance between a Christian church in the Tampa Bay area and the Church of Scientology and its members.”

How did all this come about? According to the Times article, “Kennedy and about 20 others from his 154-member church began taking weekly courses at the Church of Scientology in Tampa...Kennedy's wife, Yolanda, calls the basic study tech ‘one of the most exciting courses I've taken.’ But she draws the line when it comes to Scientology's ‘auditing’ sessions and other religious practices. ‘I'm of a different spiritual persuasion,’ she said. ‘I'm very happy with the balance I have between the two of them.’"

This is very much like what Tom Cruise said during an interview on the Today show when he told Matt Lauer, “You know, Scientology is something that you don't understand. It's like, you could be a Christian and be a Scientologist.”

It is one thing for a Scientologist to believe one can be a Christian and a Scientologist, it is quite another for one who professes to be a follower of Jesus, to infer the same thing and/or promote the Church of Scientology.