Friday, August 8, 2008

Arnold Murray: Wolf in disguise?

While at the Southern Poverty Law Centre's website last night, I noticed a new article about Pastor Arnold Murray of the Shepherd's Chapel in Gravette, Arkansas.

You may know this guy for his "chapter by chapter, verse by verse" approach to studying the Bible; and the fact he is a "newspaper" evangelist, tying nearly every major news event to Scripture. Or maybe you may know him for an incident in 1998 when during a live taping of the "wild feed" to stations for syndication a critic in his audience called him a "blasphemer." Murray pulled out his briefcase, and the shot of his desk cut to the logo of his church, but the audio showed him saying, "Here, take this 9 mm to that boy!" When it was later shown on John Stewart's The Daily Show, it became a sensation. Or the "angel footprint" fossil. Or the time he predicted that the 1980 explosion of Mount St. Helens presaged the coming of the anti-Christ the following year (which, of course, didn't happen).

What you may not know about Murray, what the Exempt Media has ignored or chosen to ignore but what has been well known in more informed circles, is that Murray is considered a hero by many in the White Identity movement; the concept that God made whites superior to all the other races on the planet. While Murray himself specifically denounces racism, it is a fact that he was ordained fifty years ago by members of what can be politely called the "White Identity" movement. He also is very critical of a group called the "Kenites."

For most Christians, the Kenites are analagous to the Midianites, the tribe into which Moses married. Murray's followers, however, believe that the Kenites are a demon tribe created when Eve had sex with Satan and it was this marriage that produced Cain. I think you know where this is going by now.

From this, Murray implies it was the Kenites that were responsible for the death of Christ, that the Kenites won the 6-Day War in 1967, and so forth. He states point of fact that the Kenites infiltrated the Jewish community and then claimed themselves to be Jewish. He also calls the Talmud "the filthiest piece of literature ever wriiten."

The "Serpent Seed" heresy has been an unfortunate part of Christianity for centuries; indeed it was acceptable (in the eyes of Christians) until the Holocaust to use the Bible as justification to persecute the Jews. And, as the SPLC points out -- as have others for years -- websites are dedicated to the identity of who the Kenites are. In the minds of the vast majority of Murray's followers, there is no question: It is Judaism. The whole of Judaism.

It's hard to believe that there is an audience for this, but Murray's program is shown on Sundays in 225 cities in the United States, basically every media market except New York City; and in one to four hour blocks. He's one of the few televagelists who doesn't ask for money, but his followers make sure his message stays on the air and that he's well cared for.

Several of his former students have been disillusioned enough to call him out, saying he's just playing a game of semanitcs; that Murray really is preaching anti-Semitism in disguise.

What to make of this guy? Well, someone who would pull a 9mm on a critic of his, on live television; someone who calls his legitimate critics "numbskulls, Bible-thumpers and yo-yos" and refuses to give interviews -- including to the SPLC -- should be approached with extreme caution. Not to mention he uses his own calendar -- not the Jewish one -- to set his own dates for religious holidays, such as this year when he celebrated Passover on April 5 when it actually began on April 19.

Jesus said that we as Christians should preach to and baptize all nations. He didn't say only the Jewish people, or to ignore the Jewish people all together. Murray's followers may indeed include people from multiple races and ethnicities but amongst the flock are those who believe their enemies should be excluded from the promise of salvation.

The scary thing is people actually believe the stuff Murray preaches. I guess as long as he pays his television bills he'll manage stay on the air. But station managers ought to take a very close look at this man. In the age of the Internet, it is possible to reach out to people circumventing traditional media. But the "medium is the message" as Marshall McLuhan said, and if you pull the plug the Exempt Media will send the message that it will not be a tool to any kind of racism -- actual or implied. If I was running a station, I would politely tell Pastor Murray, not on my station.

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Anonymous said...

I read this artical and as an avid Arnold Murray watcher it is clear that the author of this artical does not listen to or watch Arnold Murray, at least not enough to understand what Arnold Murrah teaches. It is clear that the author of "Arnold Murray: Wolf in disguise" knows absolutly nothing about Kenites or what the name Kenite represents or that the inhabitants of Judah are not all of Jewish decent from the tribe of Judah but instead are in fact wolves posing as Jews the same way people pose as christians in churches. Not everyone in a church is a christian, not everyone in Israel is a Jew. The term Kenite is no different than the term Christian, only a Christian is one who follows Christ and a Kenite is one who apposes Christ. This artical was not written by an inteligent or reliable source, this was written by someone looking to cause trouble.

BlastFurnace said...

It's not specifically what Murray teaches that's the problem. It's how his followers intrepret what he's saying that's the problem. Many only hear what they want to hear. If Murray made it clear, without contradiction, that racists were not welcome in his church or to contribute financially to his church then that would go a long way to clarify the issue. He hasn't done so enough which is what makes it problematic.

Anonymous said...

Those who have eyes to see and ears to hear... all others will be confused ;)

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that you think SC is a white supremacist group LOL. I've been a student for pretty near 20 years and that is simply not the truth. My handsome only grandson is half black, and his new baby sister is half Vietnamese. My step dad is Greek. My husband and I are both lily white and these members of our family are loved and cherished, not only by us but by Christ as well. If you listen to others and aren't studying with the chapel I can see where you might get an idea like yours, but please study deeper and you'll understand.

BlastFurnace said...

Not all members of the Chapel are racists. But some are, and if they are interpreting Pastor Murray's teachings to their own perverted goals, then it is dangerous and needs to be called out.