The First Assembly of God Church has a Fear Factor ministry that had youths swallowing live goldfish â€” if they were up to it. The church's youth minister says it teaches children about fear, but a grandparent questioned it and a pet shop owner called it animal cruelty.
"Fear Factor" is a reality TV show in which contestants compete by participating in dangerous activities or by eating stomach-turning foods for cash prizes.
"We need to be realistic about what the Bible says about fear and not be afraid to share our faith in school," youth minister Anthony Martin told the TimesDaily in a story Thursday. "We can't let that fear rule our lives."
Martin said the ministry's participants are between the ages of 14 and 21 and that they had to get their parents to sign a waiver to be involved.
Annonymous, Sounds like you are making too little a deal about this. Those snakehandling churches have more on these so-called "Assembly of God" people (At least the snakes are mentioned). The Assembly of God needs to get back to the word of God. Then their members will know truly how to stand in times of trial and not be afraid. I wouldn't make such a big deal out of it if these people didn't go around claiming to have the "full gospel." Their fruits show otherwise and they should be exposed. If they had the full Gospel, this goldfish swallowing ritual would not be needed. Something is lacking in a big way among them.
I can't believe that these 'word of faith' people call themselves Christians. There was a time when people actually could look upon Christianity and think it was a serious religion worth considering. I came out of an AG church and it makes a complete mockery of Christ, his person and work.
Since God commanded animals to be sacrificed, as well as permitted them to be used for food (Gen. 9:3), which has not changed in the NT, I would rather use Deut. 22:6-7 as a basis of objection, as this case law implies we are to conserve the creation for the sake of our neighbors (love thy neighbor, 2nd table). Prov. 12:10 is also pertinent here. The 6th Cmdmt. speaks to preservation of human life, not all life.
It's all about doing crazy things to get people into the church and then doing the same crazy things to keep them coming. The Fear Factor, whether in the church or society is a sign of paganism in our culture and specifically a violation of the sixth commandment. We are not to endanger our lives or the lives of others, but preserve life.
The sixth commandment also extends to non-human creatures. We are not to treat the creation anyway we please, because the creation belongs to God - animals, plants, etc. David Reese preached a good sermon here on the sixth commandment, speaking of a biblical treatment of creation.
Must not be many pentecostals/charismatics here. Or they're having a hard time finding a scriptural defense, despite the title "Pastor Defends Swallowing Goldfish." If the Bible is still the only rule of faith in the Assemblies of God (which seems to be less and less), the pastor will never give a good enough defense to satisfy me. This is totally rediculous....goldfish? Even the snakehandlers have more New Testament to go by.
On Sunday morning, January 24, 1861, Charles Spurgeon closed his sermon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle with these words:
â€śAn unholy church! It is of no use to the world, and of no esteem among men. Oh, it is an abomination, hellâ€™s laughter, heavenâ€™s abhorrence. And the larger the church, the more influential, the worst nuisance does it become, when it becomes dead and unholy. The worst evils which have ever come upon the world, have been brought upon her by an unholy church.â€ť
If this is supposed to be an "Assembly of God" why are they resorting to such tactics not even described in the Word of God? Sounds like they've been watching too much TV...and God's ways are not the world's ways (as in TV shows, etc.). Sounds like a form of self-righteousness and boasting of human tradition and works (I swallowed more fish than you, etc...)...simply rediculous, but I'm not surprised.