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Another popular defense given by those who call themselves Christians and belong to GLOs is that they are built on Christian principles but are not religious entities. But, if it walks, talks and quacks like a duck, then it is a duck. Take a closer look. GLOs have a system of institutionalized beliefs, practices and attitudes which are demonstrated through ritualistic/ceremonial activities and foundational literature behind closed doors, underneath all the “social and moral good” carried out in the public eye. In addition, there is the mention of a generic “God” that is not defined and celebrated uniformly by all members. This is the greatest deception because it gets them off the hook for claiming to be a religion; there is no obvious link to one obvious God. But again, this is the deception that promotes the reasoning that GLOs are not religious entities.
Take a closer look: protocols, scrupulous conformity, spiritual connection, a system of beliefs, symbolic rituals, songs of praise to the organization itself; these are all characteristics of religion. The terminology used is highly religious, particularly spiritual loyalty to the organization: pledging one’s heart, mind, body, soul, or spirit (any variation of these terms). The most tell-tale sign that these are indeed religious institutions is this spiritual surrender and spiritual connection that occurs in the taking of the oaths and/or in other activities within the internal practices of the organization. This is, in and of itself, is a true attribute of religious practice. Hence the only thing missing is the title of religion. Everything else seems to fit.
What is celebrated uniformly by all members is dedication to the organization and its belief system—its own individual organizational culture that has been created by men and women who have pulled their influences from a myriad of religious systems (yet they claim not to be a religious organization) as well as social definitions. All have pledged their souls, minds, spirits and bodies to this organization not only in deeds ( i.e. crossing the burning sands) but specifically in words by the verbal confessions of spiritual surrender to the organization, and all that it represents; this includes association to false gods and claiming their validity. As such, there is assimilation to these un-Christ-like beliefs; for example those who celebrate wisdom and intelligence do so under the covering of Minerva being the goddess of wisdom. Conversely, there is also assimilation to Christ-like ideals such as compassion, love, service, fidelity, honesty (which I find particularly interesting in a culture that avidly promotes secrecy --lying by omission), and brotherhood. Discreetly, it seems the generic “God” is left generic to cover for the subtle reverence of other deities and false supreme beings that shape the various rites of passage within these organizations.
As we can read in the Bible, Christianity is not a hybrid faith. These organizations, in the oxymoronic claim not to be “religious” systems or organizations, are actually borrowing heavily from religious influence, making it a system of hybrid beliefs; social agendas propel the causes of these organizations. The brotherhood and sisterhood created are those that are built on the foundations of these organizations, which are clearly not marked by exact Christianity, but other elements as well.
The question arises for those who call themselves Christians, especially those who are in Christian leadership, and who also belong to GLOs is: how can you be spiritually pledged and yoked to an organization that does not exclusively revere the Biblical Trinity as the only deity of its religious influence? Whether the organization calls itself a religious entity or not, the culture of the organization is not holistically Christian and once you have gone through the initiation rite of passage, you have made a spiritual connection to this entity and have consequently adopted this culture. This is not the same spiritual yoke that exists among members within the Body of Christ because there has been a different spiritual connection established between members of the Body of Christ and members within GLOs. The two are not spiritually harmonious in the beliefs they hold. One of these entities exclusively upholds the righteousness of Jesus Christ as its foundation and culture and one of these entities does not. To associate with both is spiritual adultery.