Is The Church of the First Born a Cult?

Is The Church of the First Born a Cult?

Posted in the Oklahoma Forum

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Simone

AOL

#1 Jun 18, 2009
Clearly, some of this church's practices and doctrines seem to to be "cultish", and beyond the pale. Particularly disturbing is that there have been many deaths occuring within this group that could easily have been prevented by early diagnosis and simple medical treatment.

There have been many other deaths in other states than those listed in this website, such as Oregon and Indiana, for example. Oklahoma is home to a number of "Church of the First Born" sects however.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/medical8.ht...

"Church of the First Born: This group is mainly active in Colorado and Oklahoma. The sect promotes the use of prayer to heal; they do not believe in doctors or medicine.

Jason Lockhart, 9, of Enid, OK died of a ruptured appendix in 1982-DEC.

Desiree Camren, 3, of Cushing, OK died after a treatable illness. Testimony at the trial indicated that the parents knew the child was dying but attributed it to God's punishment because the father had not been attending church.

Angela Sweet, 7, of Olathe, CO, died in 1990-JUN of a ruptured appendix.

Jordan Northrup, 4 months, in Redding , CA, died in 1991-JAN of meningitis and pneumonia. 3

Loyd and Christina Hayes are members of this church in Albany OR. They were charged with criminally negligent homicide in the death of his 7 year old son. The son died in 1994-NOV from a treatable form of leukemia. After the 1986-APR trial, the father was given 5 years probation, and ordered to report any serious illness or injury to any child in his care. The mother was acquitted. He filed an appeal on 1996-JUL. The state has also appealed, because the judge did not sentence Hayes to prison, as specified in the sentencing guidelines.

Joshua and Mindy Glory are members near Clifton, CO. Their infant son, died on 1999-FEB-28 contracted pneumonia and bacterial meningitis. He was not treated and died. The parents were charged and were sentenced to 16 years probation.

Billy and Barbara Reed of Clifton CO withheld medical treatment in favor of prayer for their three-day-old son, Billy Ray. A treatable heart condition was not detected. He died in 2000-JUL. He seemed to be recovering, but later stopped breathing. Paramedics were called but were unable to revive him.

On 2000-JUL-17, Ruth Berger-Belebbas of Olathe, CO refused medical treatment as she was about to give birth. The fetus was stillborn.

In early 2001-FEB, Amanda Bates, 13, died from diabetes in Grand Junction, CO. Her parents withheld medical treatment. Her death was ruled a homicide by the Mesa County coroner, Dr. Rob Kurtzman."
Gracelyn

Cushing, OK

#2 Jun 18, 2009
CULT!!!!!!

it is amazing how these people seem to get a simple probation!! I don't understand how a child dies of NEGLECT and there is NO prison time...what is up with that??? I am completely shocked!

“Greetings and Kind Regards”

Since: Apr 09

USA

#4 Jun 22, 2009
Yes they are wackoooooooooooooooooooo's
GirlFawkes

East Wenatchee, WA

#5 Jun 22, 2009
Most of the groups of COFB definitely have some of the earmarks of a cult; some more than others. The ones who regularly engage in shunning and marking to enforce doctrine are the worst. The threat of group expulsion is most definitely a cult tactic. When you consider that many of the COFB were born and grew up within the church and have little or no resources to turn to, the threat of shunning is literally a threat to the well-being, security, and lifestyle of the person being threatened. It is a powerful incentive to toe the line- or else.

I would like to add that your list of victims is far from being complete- these are just the handful of cases that were prosecuted and made it to the mainstream media. Children within the COFB are dying EVERY year, such as Zachery Swezey of Brewster, Washington, who was allowed to die in his bed of a ruptured appendix as his parents prayed over him. Most of these cases are never prosecuted due to the high expense and uncertainty of challenging first amendment principals. However, the first amendment was never meant to trump other accepted federal and state laws and the laws regarding child neglect and abuse are very clear. Religion is no excuse under the law and prosecutors across the nation are beginning to realize this.
Simone

Claremore, OK

#6 Jun 23, 2009
I agree the list of Church of the First Born "deaths by heresy" is incomplete. I don't think the complete list would fit on this post, and even the Rick Ross site, the most complete database hasn't some of the most recent deaths listed.

The following is a post about Zachery Swezey's death on the WA forum. This should NEVER have happened! Zachery died right while his parents were in the home!!!!
When their prayers DIDN'T WORK, that should have be a clue to get the child to the emergency room.

Civilized Christians take their children for check ups, in case an early diagnosis is needed, instead of playing God, and risking loosing a precious child. I don't know how they can live with themselves. I couldn't.

http://www.topix.com/forum/state/wa/TOUOID15M...
Scarlett Dove

Tulsa, OK

#7 Jun 23, 2009
What about al these so called FAKE (faith) healers such as Benny HInn, Oral and Richard Roberts, Peter Popoff- these people have been found to be fakes and frauds time and again- yet they come back and do it all over again.
I beleive these people are demons- God would never ask for a dime-
People- please quit sending these fakers you hard earned money. All they do is pay for more tv time, that buys them and theirs things you and yours will never ever have because you are too busy buying those fakes big houses, fancy cars, jets, and offshore bank accounts that are huge!! Truly Bernie Madoff probably has not stolen anywhere near the amount of cash these lying cheating fakers have.
Stop giving them a dime... they don't need it- God knows you and your prayers...no money needed!!
OH REALLY

Grand Prairie, TX

#8 Jun 23, 2009
This brings back memories of a time I went to church with a family friend and the preacher was praying for a kid who had acne. They told this poor child to just believe and it would happen. I was small and remember sitting there watching this whole group of people praying for this kid. Then all of a sudden he falls down on the floor shaking. I've never ran so fast in my entire life from that church! I thought they killed a kid for having pimples!(Sorry just thought after reading all the serious stories a laugh was in store!)
Simone

AOL

#9 Jun 23, 2009
OH REALLY wrote:
This brings back memories of a time I went to church with a family friend and the preacher was praying for a kid who had acne. They told this poor child to just believe and it would happen. I was small and remember sitting there watching this whole group of people praying for this kid. Then all of a sudden he falls down on the floor shaking. I've never ran so fast in my entire life from that church! I thought they killed a kid for having pimples!(Sorry just thought after reading all the serious stories a laugh was in store!)
I can imagine what a child might think after witnessing something like that. Must have been a "Shakers" church. LOL
OH REALLY

Grand Prairie, TX

#10 Jun 24, 2009
Simone wrote:
<quoted text>
I can imagine what a child might think after witnessing something like that. Must have been a "Shakers" church. LOL
You got it! I was afraid to say what kind of church it was, afraid to infuriate someone!

Since: Jun 09

Pampa, TX

#11 Jun 24, 2009
I have not heard of this church until now. From what I read here I believe that it is a cult. I however do believe that God does heal. He has healed me twice. Both times I was under doctors care and treatment. My family also are seen by doctors. I see nothing wrong with consulting a doctor including for check ups. I also disapprove of the way healing is put on display. There is no need for it because it is between the ill person and God. When the ill person is not able to pray elders are called upon to assist. It is all explained in the bible. Unfortunately, doctors and hospitals have killed their share.

“Greetings and Kind Regards”

Since: Apr 09

USA

#12 Jun 25, 2009
So is this the church of Adam? he was the first, well not really but you know the first of god so to speak
AMERICAN

Tahlequah, OK

#13 Jun 25, 2009
All of you crack me up, you have never been to there church so your going on what the media tells us, mostly lies!!! They try to make more of stuff than needs be!!
Simone

AOL

#14 Jun 25, 2009
Sorry American, but the accounts of Church of the First Born's deaths are fact, not made up by anyone here, or the media.
Simone

Tulsa, OK

#15 Jun 28, 2009
GirlFawkes wrote:
Most of the groups of COFB definitely have some of the earmarks of a cult; some more than others. The ones who regularly engage in shunning and marking to enforce doctrine are the worst. The threat of group expulsion is most definitely a cult tactic. When you consider that many of the COFB were born and grew up within the church and have little or no resources to turn to, the threat of shunning is literally a threat to the well-being, security, and lifestyle of the person being threatened. It is a powerful incentive to toe the line- or else.
I would like to add that your list of victims is far from being complete- these are just the handful of cases that were prosecuted and made it to the mainstream media. Children within the COFB are dying EVERY year, such as Zachery Swezey of Brewster, Washington, who was allowed to die in his bed of a ruptured appendix as his parents prayed over him. Most of these cases are never prosecuted due to the high expense and uncertainty of challenging first amendment principals. However, the first amendment was never meant to trump other accepted federal and state laws and the laws regarding child neglect and abuse are very clear. Religion is no excuse under the law and prosecutors across the nation are beginning to realize this.
This is all very true GirlFawkes...this church group has been errantly using the religion card and allowing these tragedies for all too long, and allowing unnecessary deaths in their group and families. How tragic.
You'd think after awhile it would sink in that a "church" and it's members have no God given right to impose their beliefs on every person in the group who's "faith" level may not be up to their "standards".
Patriarch Abraham is held in esteem by all Christendom, but on close inspection it becomes clearly evident that Ole Abe didn't walk in perfect faith ALL THE TIME! No one does...or can.
sheila

Sherman, TX

#16 Jul 17, 2009
what chuch members say now about their belief in only god deciding their survival is now different than what they said before there was so much media attention.take it from someone who was born into the church.the church is more of a scam than a cult.no one but me will tell you what really goes on inside the family.
sheila

Sherman, TX

#17 Jul 17, 2009
no one but me will tell you what really goes on in the church of the firstborn.
duh

Erick, OK

#18 Jul 17, 2009
no they are mostly good people some take faith to a extreme but for the most part they dont, they just have some peculiar ways, they aint snake handlers or anything like that. they just dont believe in doctors yes and some of them die what appears to be a very seemingly tragic death, but what about the 100's of thousand that get healed. they never report on that; good news doesnt sell.
Simone

Tulsa, OK

#19 Jul 23, 2009
Healing and the Question of Miracles

Among other concerns of everyday life, the problem of health looms large. Christians look to God for healing, but debate over how God heals is sometimes heated. Many newspaper articles could be cited to describe cases in which parents have insisted that a seriously ill child can and should be healed entirely by faith and prayer, while doctors insist that the child's only hope for survival is medical treatment. Such cases often get into the courts, where the issue of religious freedom is raised.

If a devout prayer is indispensable even in times of health, how can a patient neglect it, particularly when he takes medicine?

1. The patient must not despise the physician, nor his medicine, nor think that if he is destined to recover, God can restore him without medicine, and that if he is destined to die, the medicine will be of no avail. No, to think thus were to tempt God. God has not promised to help us without means; and what God has not promised, we cannot ask of him. Those who despise medicine and die, are guilty of their own murder.

2. Yet he must not set his trust upon the physician and his medicine, but upon God; as it is declared to be one of the sins of King Asa, that in his sickness he did not seek God, but the Physicians, and trusted them more than God. 2 Chronicles xvi. 12.

3. Between these two extremes, the patient must select the golden mean. With his lips and his heart he must pray, and take the medicine in firm reliance upon the helping hand of God; then he may know that there is a blessing upon it.

The Christian and the unbeliever may take the same medicine, but one sees the Creator at work in all the natural processes of medical care and the other doesn't. One has faith and the other doesn't, and that is what distinguishes between Christian and non-Christian in such a situation. The Christian need not look to God as an additional cause of healing alongside of, or instead of, doctors, nurses, medicine, radiation, et cetera, but sees God at work through those instruments. To despise the medical processes which have been made available in the world, and to think that faith must do without them, is really to despise the goodness of God's creation.

But can't God heal miraculously? Certainly God can do that-even when all natural possibilities seem to be exhausted. We certainly should not give up on God simply because we see no natural way for healing to occur.(Nor, on the other hand, should we assume that a healing must have been miraculously unmediated simply because we do not at present know natural processes by which it might have been effected.) However, the question being addressed now is not about what God might do, but about what God does do. It is clear that the vast majority of healings, including those of committed Christians who trust in God for life, take place through natural processes.

It is possible to understand the rational sequences which lead to the divine works of creation without the necessity Of assuming continual divine intervention.

There is among some Christians an unfortunate tendency to overemphasize the miraculous, as if only direct interference with the laws of nature could show God at work. It is significant that, in the Gospel of John, Jesus' displays of power-such as the healing of the official's son (John 4:46-54) or the giving of sight to the blind (John 9:1-17)-are called "signs" (semeia). It is only faith that will see in any sign, whether miraculous or not, God to whom the sign points. The person who will not believe will not be persuaded (Luke 16:31).

The Christian need not look to God as an additional cause of healing alongside of, or instead of, doctors, nurses, medicine, radiation, etc., but sees God at work through those instruments.
http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/1987/PSCF12-87Mu...
Simmons

United States

#20 Aug 1, 2009
Child neglect is still child neglect whether done for "religious" reasons, or not. If it results in the child's death or permanent disability, it's squarely on the parent's shoulders.
Simone

United States

#22 Aug 1, 2009
ABC wrote:
What Church is not a Cult?
Africanus......the Body of Christ, His True Church, the called out ones, the ekklesia, the believers who love and obey Him.

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