The cult of Destiny

October 29th, 2009 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Garth George writes:

In requiring its men to swear an oath of loyalty and obedience to , the Church – having glorified the messenger above the message – has begun to transform itself into a cult.

I’ve been of the view that it has had cult like features for some time.

In a seperate article, Mr George reports:

The leader of Destiny Church, Brian Tamaki, who not long ago anointed himself bishop of the church he founded, has now proclaimed himself the church’s “spiritual father” and designated the male members of the church as “spiritual sons”.

At a special service during the church’s annual conference in Auckland at the weekend, about 700 male members of the church swore a “covenant oath” of loyalty and obedience to Mr Tamaki and were given a “covenant ring” to wear on their right hands.

A church document describes the covenant as “a solemn oath of commitment that is binding, enduring and unbreakable. You are bound to covenant … Covenant is an irrevocable, undissolvable oath of commitment”.

Just hope they don’t put him in charge of the cool-aid.

Then comes the section entitled “Protocols towards our spiritual father”, which takes 1300 words to describe in jaw-dropping detail how the “spiritual sons” shall behave towards their “spiritual father”.

Under “Public Conduct”, the sons will in all conversation always speak of Mr Tamaki in a favourable and positive light; and in formal and/or public occasions, they will always address him and his wife, Hannah, first in acknowledgments and addresses at meetings “as a sign of respect to the father of the movement”.

If any “son” is honoured either by the church or secularly, he is to mention his “mentors and role models” – Mr and Mrs Tamaki – “because Bishop is one of God’s best-known representatives in our country”.

This may give Winston ideas for some new sections in the NZ First constitution. I suspect Anderton already has such clauses in the Progressive constitution :-)

They must endorse what Mr Tamaki endorses, fully support what he promotes and ensure that what he is involved in is supported and successful.

“Whenever Bishop speaks all other talking stops: give him your full attention. Be careful not to cut in on him when he is speaking and ensure others don’t either.

“Don’t start talking or gesturing to somebody else while Bishop is speaking.”

The “sons” must never openly disagree with Mr Tamaki in front of others and must “be careful not to become familiar (which can lead to contempt)” with him “due to his friendliness and openness”.

I’m not sure what is sadder. That Tamaki himself is so lacking in self-esteem he needs a guide like this to make him feel important, or that any of his followers read this crap without bursting out laughing.

They should come to church anticipating that God will speak through Mr Tamaki and should always be dressed well at all meetings with him. “His dress code is your dress code.”

That will get interesting if Tamaki starts cross-dressing!

They must never tolerate anyone (regardless of who they are) speaking or talking critically of Mr Tamaki and his wife/family or the church. “You are not only to stop them in their tracks but warn them that they criticise you when they criticise Bishop.”

Oh yes how dare anyone criticise the great Bishop. They must be stopped.

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127 Responses to “The cult of Destiny”

  1. Sushi Goblin (419 comments) says:

    I thought Monty Python’s Life of Brian was comedy, not a documentary.

    “yea, for it is written in the Book of Cyril…”

    Mind you, people ought to be free to believe whatever they want. If they want to walk around in black clothes in homage to Brian Tamaki, that’s their business.

    I am conflicted though. Destiny does actually turn some people’s lives around. People who have no jobs, are addled in drugs and similar. It’s hard to get too worked up on their dippy manuals and dress code if they are helping people get off P.

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  2. petal (698 comments) says:

    “Just hope they don’t put him in charge of the cool-aid.”

    Don’t get that.

    As an aside, I think we may have found the new leader of the Labour Party!

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  3. Banana Llama (1,105 comments) says:

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=drink+the+kool-aid

    Here you are Petal.

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  4. peterwn (2,940 comments) says:

    hey, don’t write him off too quickly. He could be on to something big. it could be a big export earner for NZ both for tourism and tithes from overseas congregations. it could even be worth while the Government contributing to the cost of a grand temple say in South Auckland, Salt Lake City style. It has happened in USA but why not New Zealand.

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  5. toad (3,654 comments) says:

    @Sushi Goblin:

    Meanwhile, in Jonestown

    Oh, and a bit closer to home, in Rolleston Prison

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  6. Swiftman the infidel (329 comments) says:

    His followers are no more stupid than those who watch and believe Michael Moore’s movies.

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  7. Pete George (21,830 comments) says:

    Sushi makes a valid point, it’s not simply black, there are people that can be helped – to a point. But it’s difficult to avoid the corruption of power and glory, the people who get something out of subservience will be hurt if the blown up balloon of importance get’s too huffed up.

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  8. GJ (329 comments) says:

    I’m with Sushi Goblin in regards the very substantial good work that Destiny has done in South Auckland and I assume at other locations that they have Churches. In typical “Tall Popy” syndrome us New Zealanders love to pull people down that are giving it a go. (and even more so if you happen to proclaim that your a “Man of God”)
    I have from a number of sources heard fantastic reports from organisations that have either hired their facilities or know people that have had their lives transformed from their involvement with Destiny.
    What other organisation has come even close to the results Destiny has had with our Maori people. Lets give credit where credit is due.
    Also why do they keep saying he is a self proclaimed “Bishop” I thought that Bishop Eddie Long from the states set him in as a Bishop, but I could be wrong.
    Lets not judge Destiny by what the media says, but let us look at the great work that they do in their community and Judge them by that!

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  9. toad (3,654 comments) says:

    Sushi, sorry, my 7:24 was actually in response to petal, not you.

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  10. Gulag (162 comments) says:

    Leave Destiny alone they will not come to much. A good proportion of people within the group will see whatever is wrong with the organisation and leave.

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  11. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    ahem.

    Brian Tamaki is a slippery toad who steals from those less well off then himself and now is bullying church members into subservience.

    What a cock.

    I forsee the merging of the great houses of Tamaki and Bradley to form a new Christmas shopping club to rule them all.

    Mwha ha ha ha ha – jingle

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  12. fishe (142 comments) says:

    There are a many other ways of helping the poor and dependent. We don’t need to support an organisation like Destiny in order to do that.

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  13. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    Ka pai fishe

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  14. Grant Michael McKenna (1,152 comments) says:

    Bishops are senior members of the Christian clergy with spiritual and administrative authority; in churches governed by an episcopal tradition a bishop must be ordained by another bishop; in a presbyterian tradition they are elected. Bishop Tamaki is an interesting confluence of elected and ordained.
    I am interested in his campaign to be recognised as an urban māori iwi: added to the cult of personality that is developing I forsee a “Protective Echelon” being created to defend him against his enemies; however I stand by my statement in the BNP thread- facism isn’t kiwi, and although authoritarian, he won’t go down that road.
    Is he on the NBR Rich list yet?

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  15. starboard (2,447 comments) says:

    coolaid = Jonestown from memory…heh heh very good DPF…

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  16. fishe (142 comments) says:

    Grant, why don’t you think he’ll go down the facist/authoritarian road? He seems set on that course, especially with all this talk of protection from dissent and unquestioning following…

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  17. Inventory2 (9,791 comments) says:

    @ Sushi & GJ – I’m somewhat conflicted in reading this story. You’re right; Destiny Church does a lot of good, especially in disadvantaged communities. But I find Tamaki’s reported actions rather sinister; it’s a form on control-freakery, and flies in the face of Christianity as I know it. When Jesus said “He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners” (Luke 4:18), I believe that he was offering freedom from religious oppression. Tamaki’s decision to elevate himself to “Man of God” seems to me to be him imposing his will on the Destiny Church, and that’s entirely the attitude that Jesus was railing against.

    I don’t know if I’d go as far as describing Destiny as a cult, but I am sure that those who take a much closer interest in such things will be keeping an eye on developments.

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  18. wreck1080 (3,533 comments) says:

    Destiny Church is a cult of personality. Once Tamaki throws in the towel , the church will be gone.

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  19. sean14 (62 comments) says:

    Good lord.

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  20. dave (985 comments) says:

    That will get interesting if Tamaki starts cross-dressing!
    I wish he would!

    I don’t know if I’d go as far as describing Destiny as a cult,

    I would

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  21. Monty (949 comments) says:

    Is all this adapted from Helen Clark’s Caucas manual from the years 1995 to 2008 (and still in force)??

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  22. Inventory2 (9,791 comments) says:

    @ Dave – you make a strong case!

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  23. dad4justice (7,406 comments) says:

    Unlike the Klark cult which cost the country billions the destiny church saves lives.

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  24. Right of way is Way of Right (1,125 comments) says:

    This has a disturbing resonance to me. In Nazi Germany, all the members of the Whermacht and the SS were required to swear an oath of loyalty to the Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler. But there was no requirement to swear an oath of loyalty to Germany, or to the people of Germany. Some might say that drawing parallels between Destiny Church and the Third Reich is a long bow to draw, but totalinarism (Is that actually a word?) in any way, shape or form is still evil!

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  25. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    “They must never tolerate anyone (regardless of who they are) speaking or talking critically of Mr Tamaki and his wife/family or the church. “You are not only to stop them in their tracks but warn them that they criticise you when they criticise Bishop.”

    Tamaki is a raving nutjob and his “church” is a fucking joke.

    Bring it bitches.

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  26. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    Murray, Murray, Murray!

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  27. Megatron (184 comments) says:

    The only difference between Brian Tamaki and Adolf Hitler was the colour of the shirts – Brown would probably not suit Brian’s followers complexions.

    [DPF: Please don't compare people to Hitler - not even Bishop Tamaki.]

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  28. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Ha ha ’tis funny indeed to watch a fundamentalist, creationist, climate change denier attacking a soulmate. Why the Herald persists with this outdated reactionary is beyond me. But, hey, there must be a market for his luddism!

    Entrepreneur Tamaki has conflated free enterprise and free speech beautifully to make a fortune. The Catholic Church is as much a cult as Destiny is, so I think we have to be careful about applying such labels. He wants to make religion compulsory but as I point out often, in the US this is pretty much a mainstream attitude. For example, Joe Lieberman, campaigning as Al Gore’s VP candidate, said “freedom of religion does not mean freedom from religion.”

    I have heard reports of some heavy handed tithe enforcement, and I would love to hear from any ex-Destiny members regarding any questionable practices.

    In the meantime, one look at those goons on his march and I’m very grateful to Tamaki for getting those guys off the streets! But let’s hope they never get AK47s ;-)

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  29. kelsey (35 comments) says:

    I think we need to get the Scientologists to say something bad against Brian Tamaki. Then we could have them at war with each other, and kill two birds with one stone.

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  30. Rakaia George (313 comments) says:

    I am conflicted though. Destiny does actually turn some people’s lives around. People who have no jobs, are addled in drugs and similar. It’s hard to get too worked up on their dippy manuals and dress code if they are helping people get off P.

    The cynic in me thinks that people weak-minded enough to become P addicts are an excellent target group for a cult such as Destiny.

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  31. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    What? What did I say??? What?

    Jezze, you get all up one cults grill…

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  32. Right of way is Way of Right (1,125 comments) says:

    Can we compare Bishop Brian to Kim Jong-Il then? I beleive that comparison to be valid and pertinent!

    From the NZ Herald.

    In the document comes a section entitled “Protocols towards our spiritual father”, which takes 1300 words to describe in jaw-dropping detail how the “spiritual sons” shall behave towards their “spiritual father”.

    Under “Public Conduct”, the sons will in all conversation always speak of Mr Tamaki in a favourable and positive light; and in formal and/or public occasions, they will always address him and his wife, Hannah, first in acknowledgments and addresses at meetings “as a sign of respect to the father of the movement”.

    If any “son” is honoured either by the church or secularly, he is to mention his “mentors and role models” – Mr and Mrs Tamaki – “because Bishop is one of God’s best-known representatives in our country”.

    Under “Conduct Towards Bishop”, the “sons” are told that “Bishop is the tangible expression of God”, so they need to understand how to properly approach their man of God “to protect the anointing and not transgress this special relationship”.

    They are always to be respectful and honourable in Mr Tamaki’s presence. “Even though he is very sociable and open – remember who he is!” They must never be “in his face” and must protect him from outsiders who attempt to do that.

    They must ensure that Mr Tamaki and his wife are both honoured, cared for and given appropriate respect. “Bishop is a people person. Often it is better we offend others than him.”

    And since “Bishop carries our vision and our anointing for the future and hope of our families and offspring, we ought to guard, protect and watch out for him and Ps [Pastor] Hannah”.

    Under “Discernment”, the “sons” are told they must “feel Bishop’s flow and be attentive to his thoughts and directions”, which “gives unity and power to what God is saying and doing through him”.

    They must endorse what Mr Tamaki endorses, fully support what he promotes and ensure that what he is involved in is supported and successful.

    “Whenever Bishop speaks all other talking stops: give him your full attention. Be careful not to cut in on him when he is speaking and ensure others don’t either.

    “Don’t start talking or gesturing to somebody else while Bishop is speaking.”

    The “sons” must never openly disagree with Mr Tamaki in front of others and must “be careful not to become familiar (which can lead to contempt)” with him “due to his friendliness and openness”.

    Under “Etiquette”, the “sons” are told that when Mr Tamaki and his wife enter a room, they must stand and acknowledge their presence. They may sit only after the Tamakis are seated.

    And if they dine with him they wait until he has started eating before they start eating, unless he indicates otherwise.

    Under “Church Service (in house) Protocols” the men are encouraged to sit as close as possible to the front of the church to be nearer to Mr Tamaki and to be vocal during his preaching, affirming what he has to say with “amen” and “that’s right”, clapping, shouting and laughing. This sort of participation is said to build “an atmosphere that is conducive to supernatural events”.

    They are told to bring Bible, pen, paper or laptop to note down Mr Tamaki’s sermons which “shows how highly you value the Word of God from Bishop’s mouth”.

    They should come to church anticipating that God will speak through Mr Tamaki and should always be dressed well at all meetings with him. “His dress code is your dress code.” They should also look happy and smile and be friendly to all and encourage people.

    Under “Supporting Bishop’s Function & Ministry”, the “sons” are encouraged to find out Mr Tamaki’s speaking itinerary and travel to other churches and engagements to support him, because a team of men around their bishop “reflects his importance to them”.

    They must never tolerate anyone (regardless of who they are) speaking or talking critically of Mr Tamaki and his wife/family or the church. “You are not only to stop them in their tracks but warn them that they criticise you when they criticise Bishop.”

    They should celebrate Mr Tamaki’s special occasions with him with surprises on birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions or achievements.

    “Don’t wait for others to do it. It is a sign of your love and respect for him: at times give gifts to him and/or Ps Hannah. A gift means many things – love, honour and blessing them: they will feel appreciated.”

    The men are exhorted to be protective of Mr Tamaki and his family. The protocol says he “will be more criticised, scrutinised and demonised than most others because of who he is and what he carries”.

    “You will hear all sorts of statements and opinions but you must be prepared to ignore them and consistently hold him in the same high regard no matter what you hear.”

    Somewhat surprisingly, the protocol says that Mr Tamaki is human and does make mistakes.

    However, the sons must “be prepared to defend against any problems arising out of his mistakes.

    A loyal man is supposed to ‘cushion’ the effect of a mistake on Bishop and to protect him. NEVER intentionally expose his weakness.”

    It says Mr Tamaki may downplay and even discourage “sons” in overtly honouring him, “BUT that should never stop the men from doing what is honourable and what is in their heart to do”.

    “The bishop’s discomfort with honour should never rob the people of the spiritual rewards for such honourable and respectful actions towards him.

    It is appropriate, says the protocol, for men to tell others of their love for Mr Tamaki, who is “one of the most well-known representatives of God in our country”. The “sons” must reinforce and emphasise what he says and preaches and quote him as often as possible in favourable terms.

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  33. Pete George (21,830 comments) says:

    There was a movie on Rialto a couple of nights ago, Die Welle (The Wave), based on a novel which was based on a real experiment The Third Wave in the US in the 60s. Apart from timescale their are a lot of similarities with Destiny, good and worrying.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wave_2008_film
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Third_Wave

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  34. Lance (2,311 comments) says:

    There are good churches out there doing good things in people’s lives. They do not seek glory or publicity, they ‘just do it’ instead.
    Then there is the Destiny church.

    This cult of personality and blind obedience is in contrary to the teaching of the bible and is therefore dangerous. The result will be bad, both the bible and history teaches that.
    According to scripture one who is a TRUE leader must be the least of his people.. this is contrary to the latest Destiny rules where followers must wait to eat until Brian the Bishop starts first, they must stand when he or his family enter the room etc etc.
    The lesson from Jonestown was there was NO bibles found there, no questioning took place against the example of scripture. Looks to me like Destiny is on the same track by not allowing questioning.
    This is all very real to me as I have been under such a church a few decades ago. It’s all about power to these self appointed leaders.
    This is wrong!

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  35. Bryan Spondre (554 comments) says:

    Brian Tamaki really isn’t any worse than any other religious leader from Pope Benedict XVI down. As Deborah Hill Cone quoted in her Business Herald piece last week : “religion is a form of organised psychosis.”

    David all you are doing is disagreeing with Tamaki’s choice of colour scheme for the asylum.

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  36. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Oh yes how dare anyone criticise the great Bishop. They must be stopped.”

    Kinda like Obama and FOX news.

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  37. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    Don’t even get me started on the colour scheme!

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  38. Grant Michael McKenna (1,152 comments) says:

    fishe, my argument can be summarised as follows:
    Destiny states that there is an authority higher than them ie God revealed in scripture; facism extolls the leader as being supreme.
    Destiny is committed to using the legal process to gain power- courts and elections; facism seeks power ‘by any means necessary’.
    Any political or religious group can be deemed facist if one tries to push the interpretation, but I think that the use of the term to describe Destiny misses the fact that they do not claim to be supreme- Bishop Tamaki is supreme within his church, as the Pope is within his, but does not claim supremacy over society.
    Authoritarianism is not facist in and of itself- Destiny is very definitely authoritarian.

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  39. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    Josef Stalin was quite like Adolf Hitler only Stalin killed more people.

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  40. Deborah (155 comments) says:

    Hey! Big cngratulations to Danyl. He got one of his pieces into the Herald.

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  41. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    Labour must be terrified that he’s attracting all the morons, the ignorant, no-hopers, dumb thugs, and spineless poeple who like to be controlled, who would normally form their support base. I’m curious, does he have any political ambitions ? Does he tell his drones who to vote for ?

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  42. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    I recall Tamaki was playing politics with Family First? last election.

    The beauty of MMP, we get to experience all of the normal curve, even the left hand side.

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  43. Pete George (21,830 comments) says:

    I think Labour and Destiny are completely different political spectrums. And I bet Goff’s position is a lot more tenuous than Tamaki’s. No comparison.

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  44. MT_Tinman (2,795 comments) says:

    What the hell’s with this Hitler thing DPF?

    The man was just one of many and did many things rather well.

    I don’t think Tamaki should be compared with Hitler though, more Pol Pot who’s ravings (and eventually damage) were on a fairly localised level.

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  45. Rufus (606 comments) says:

    I’ve followed the rise of Destiny for a while with interest. I know people who were involved at one stage.

    Very early on I became uncomfortable with Tamaki’s seeming desire to be great. One of the marks of the great Christian leaders throughout history is humility, a wonderful character trait not very evident in Brian Tamaki. I quickly decided that he was more interested in himself.

    For all intents and purposes, Destiny is now a personality cult.

    Which is such a shame, since they do do a lot very good social work, and they are a high profile group.

    They also give Christianity a bad name.

    How can people take Christianity and Jesus’ message seriously, when they see such utter hypocrisy from high-profile “christian leaders” such as Tamaki?

    The Bible time and time again teaches humility over arrogance.

    See Jesus’ words for example in Matthew’s Gospel, 23:12 – “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

    Or Jesus’ own example – He had the right to honour, glory, wealth and riches, but Paul, describing Jesus in his letter to the Philippians said Jesus – “made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!”

    In John’s account of Jesus’ life, he describes a scene where Jesus washes the feet of his disciples – because there was no servant around to do it, and nobody else would demean themselves –

    John 13 – ” 12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

    I’d like “Bishop” Tamaki to do some more feet-washing.

    Rufus

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  46. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Put it away, see ‘the destiny party’, though i think that was the 2005 election.

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  47. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    Rufus
    I concur
    servant leadership is Jesus’s model.

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  48. LiberalismIsASin (288 comments) says:

    I had a girl from Greenpeace knock at my door who was as much of a religious cultist as any I have ever met. Seems to me that one mans creed is another mans cult. I mean, I’m catholic and in one of the comments above catholicism was described as a cult… however not once have I ever been to mass and being harangued for money or had my allegiance demanded in the style of Brian Tamaki. Anyway, peace be with you all.

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  49. BlairM (2,266 comments) says:

    Choices always were a problem for you.
    What you need is someone strong to guide you.
    Deaf and blind and dumb and born to follow.
    What you need is someone strong to guide you.
    Like me. Like me. Like me. Like me.

    If you want to get your soul to heaven.
    Trust in me now don’t you judge or question.
    You are broken now but faith can heal you.
    Just do everything I tell you to do.

    Deaf and blind and dumb and born to follow.
    What you need is someone strong to guide you.
    Deaf and blind and dumb and born to follow.
    Let me lay my holy hand (uh), hand upon you.

    My gods’ will becomes me. When he speaks, he speaks through me.
    He has needs. Like I do. We both want to rape you.

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  50. themono (129 comments) says:

    I’d like to add my voice to Murray above, as I certainly couldn’t put it better:

    ““They must never tolerate anyone (regardless of who they are) speaking or talking critically of Mr Tamaki and his wife/family or the church. “You are not only to stop them in their tracks but warn them that they criticise you when they criticise Bishop.”

    Tamaki is a raving nutjob and his “church” is a fucking joke.

    Bring it bitches.”

    What’s more, I’m serious. Bring it. Here’s my email address. http://scr.im/d

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  51. gazzaj (106 comments) says:

    I’ve been of the view that it has had cult like features for some time.

    I’ve always thought Tamaki was a bit of a cult, but “cult-features” is a bit rude.

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  52. big bruv (12,388 comments) says:

    Is Tamaki any weirder or less evil than Reverend Al Gore?

    Are the followers of Tamaki and dumber than those who have embraced the religion of Climate change? (aka Global warming until it was noted that the world was cooling)

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  53. malcolm (2,000 comments) says:

    Good on Brian.

    It’s great that NZ has an indigenous church as bigoted, controlling and which crushes the human spirit as good as any foreign-made church. And such good value at only 10% of your income (WINZ grants available). Kiwi can-do at its best. No longer must the lost and witless look to Rome, London or Salt Lake City.

    Destiny Church; Investing in the Community and Bishop Tamaki, since 1998.

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  54. Scott (1,614 comments) says:

    Some very good thoughtful comments here — though unfortunately blighted by one or two virulently antireligious remarks made by the usual suspects. Luc Hanson stands out in this latter respect.

    I am somewhat conflicted as well. In the sense that the Destiny Church has irrefutably done some great work amongst Maori folk. Many can testify how their lives have been turned around. People have got off drugs, been reconciled to their marriage partners and their children through the work of destiny church. So this must be taken into account as a very positive aspect of the destiny church movement.

    However Brian Tamaki in my view has fallen into the trap of power going to his head. A Christian leader is dependent on the work of the holy spirit to lead him or her. When a person becomes a Christian they swear allegiance to Jesus Christ through baptism. They may become members of the church and pledge to support the church financially and otherwise. However they do not swear allegiance to the pastor. Although the pastor is called to the church to lead the people, he is really the second-in-command. The pastor’s job is to point people towards Jesus. The pastor’s job is not to point people towards himself.

    In any church I have been in the congregation is expected to honour their leaders, including the pastor. This is only right. However Brian Tamaki takes it way too far. He is God’s minister — he is not God. Unfortunately this oath of allegiance does remind one of the oath of allegiance that the German army had to swear to their leader in 1934.

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  55. Gulag (162 comments) says:

    Some people do get things out of proportion. We would not want to be moderate would we.

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  56. Rufus (606 comments) says:

    Nailed it in one Scott.

    Here in Christchurch, there is a little church in Linwood, where an American couple are trying to help out the local community. And help they need. Rough neighbourhood.

    Just ordinary Christians trying to show God’s love to those who need it.

    No Harleys, no life of luxury, no big house, no flash car, just an ordinary couple.

    I have a whole lot more respect for these, nobodies really, than for the likes of our own “tv evangelist”, the Bishop, Brian Tamaki.

    Brian might have started off in a similar fashion, but it’s all gone to his head.

    Rufus

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  57. Will de Cleene (485 comments) says:

    Destiny Church should change its name to Briantology.

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  58. Philonz (89 comments) says:

    Now he just needs a documentary on TVNZ7 and some free advertising.

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  59. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,684 comments) says:

    Very good, W de C

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  60. malcolm (2,000 comments) says:

    When a person becomes a Christian they swear allegiance to Jesus Christ through baptism. They may become members of the church and pledge to support the church financially and otherwise. However they do not swear allegiance to the pastor.

    Perhaps Brian Tamaki is Jesus. How would you tell?

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  61. Matt Long (88 comments) says:

    I think Destiny’s mix of control and overbearing leaders has had a place for people who are emotionally and spiritually immature, (I have 2 relatives who have grown remarkably while attending.) however the cultish leanings of the organisation look like getting out of control.
    I suggest that if you have friends in Destiny you find a well equipped psychological helper to refer them to when the proverbial hits the fan.

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  62. Shunda barunda (2,964 comments) says:

    Brian Tamaki is simply an extreme manifestation of a particular direction many pentecostal churches have been taking in NZ and Australia for some time.
    Brian is just being honest about what many others would like to do, I think he is wrong but at least he is being open about it.
    Until Christians start demanding a bit of humility from these people this stuff will become more common.
    These people are misrepresenting the gospel and due to a false understanding that Christians can’t speak against Gods “anointed” it is not being called for what it is.
    Discernment is not the same as unrighteous judgement, it is not judging others to call arrogance for what it is, the bible actually encourages us to do this.

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  63. PaulL (5,776 comments) says:

    I’m interested in the rules for the women. Once someone gets a bit of a cult thing going, things usually go downhill for the womenfolk pretty quickly.

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  64. Brian Smaller (3,915 comments) says:

    Malcolm – I wondered about that as well. I guess some miracles would be in order. Like, he turns Warehouse clothes into Armani suits.

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  65. malcolm (2,000 comments) says:

    20 churches in 10 years? Turning around the lives of countless people? Making millions in South Auckland?

    Miracles abound. You just need to open your eyes to the Second Coming!

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  66. Pete George (21,830 comments) says:

    A problem with any rising star (self sparkled or not) is what happens when they get to a “normal” pinnacle? Power can become an addiction, and they need more and more to get their fix. Being bishop must be getting a bit boring. Where does one go from there?

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  67. ropata (117 comments) says:

    The Sermon on the Mount shows a stark difference between the teachings of Tamaki and the teachings of Christ. Emphasis added.

    Matthew 5:
    How blessed are the poor in spirit: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
    Blessed are the gentle: they shall have the earth as inheritance.
    Blessed are those who mourn: they shall be comforted.
    Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for uprightness: they shall have their fill.
    Blessed are the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them.
    Blessed are the pure in heart: they shall see God.
    Blessed are the peacemakers: they shall be recognised as children of God.
    Blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of uprightness: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

    Matthew 6:
    Do not store up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moth and woodworm destroy them and thieves can break in and steal.
    But store up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where neither moth nor woodworm destroys them and thieves cannot break in and steal.

    No one can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or be attached to the first and despise the second. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.

    And why worry about clothing? Think of the flowers growing in the fields; they never have to work or spin;
    yet I assure you that not even Solomon in all his royal robes was clothed like one of these.

    Matthew 7:
    Do not judge, and you will not be judged;
    because the judgements you give are the judgements you will get, and the standard you use will be the standard used for you.
    Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the great log in your own?
    And how dare you say to your brother, “Let me take that splinter out of your eye,” when, look, there is a great log in your own?
    Hypocrite! Take the log out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye.

    So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the Law and the Prophets.

    Beware of false prophets who come to you disguised as sheep but underneath are ravenous wolves.
    You will be able to tell them by their fruits. Can people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?
    In the same way, a sound tree produces good fruit but a rotten tree bad fruit.
    A sound tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor a rotten tree bear good fruit.
    Any tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown on the fire.
    I repeat, you will be able to tell them by their fruits.
    It is not anyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” who will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven.
    When the day comes many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, drive out demons in your name, work many miracles in your name?”
    Then I shall tell them to their faces: I have never known you; away from me, all evil doers!

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  68. jims_whare (389 comments) says:

    Time will tell whether Destiny goes the way of Jim Jones or not. The one problem I think Mr Tamaki has in his latest decision is that it flies in the face of the scrpiture spoken by Jesus saying, Call no man Father on earth for One is your Father who is in heaven….This is talking of fathers’in a spiritual sense of course. The main message of Jesus was that all men no matter what colour or richness could approach God through Himself…thats it….no need to go through a church heirachy…….thats Mr’s Tamaki’s biggest difficulty and he will answer to God for it one day.

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  69. RRM (8,997 comments) says:

    At the moment he is merely a tool, and has only taken in a few suckers. Let’s hope it stays that way.

    A little bird (who has also been a high school teacher in Rotorua and Akl) tells me that they are starting to see a lot of very thuggish solidarity among citizens of a certain race in Rotorua who are clearly having their simplistic moral conservatism and their Maori nationalism whipped up to fever pitch by Tamaki & Co. And that given a few more years that town may become a very unpleasant place to be any or all of (white, atheist, educated, homosexual).

    Oh and what Murray said at 8:27am.

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  70. Swampy (273 comments) says:

    @malcolm, most of the churches outside Auckland are small. They don’t have the Bishop’s personal appeal, which is another way of saying it is a personality cult. Also in some other centres, similar churches are already well established, and don’t want “competition”.

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  71. fishe (142 comments) says:

    Rakaia George,

    Sorry, but to jump on a point you made…We, as a society, need to get away from the idea that P/drug addicts are weak minded. “Drug addiction” (i.e. drug dependence) needs to be viewed as a medical disease like asthma or diabetes. There is certainly sufficient scientific evidence now to back this view up – from the biological basis of dependence to the genetic heritability component.

    Sure the initial choice to use drugs was theirs, but many, many people use and abuse drugs and do not become clinically dependent. And now, those ‘truly addicted’ (technical, dependent) are no longer able to choose to take drugs, or stop taking drugs. That ability has been taken away by their predisposition, environmental factors, and the changes the drugs have made in their brain.

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  72. fishe (142 comments) says:

    RRM,

    Yeah, Destiny and its force/ideas are certainly becoming a potential problem for society at large.

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  73. Swampy (273 comments) says:

    @ Shunda barunda, this sort of thing is actually not that common either in Australia or NZ. There may be one or two churches in Australia similar in scope, and a handful in NZ.

    To give some comparison, in our parts there is a very big church (4 figures), I ran into its senior leader (whom I know) down at our local supermarket buying his groceries and putting them into his ordinary family car to drive home. Do you see Tamaki going down to the supermarket, except maybe to preach or something?

    But it is true there are not that many churches in NZ like Tamaki,s or in Australia, assuming you count Destiny as one church. Destiny by and large are shunned even in the Pentecostal churches in NZ and have been for years. Tamkai should have stayed at Lake City church in Taupo where he started.

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  74. Swampy (273 comments) says:

    @fishe, the addicted person has a personality vulnerability, they should recognise it and STAY AWAY from those substances as this is the only sure solution. That is weak mindedness. You are saying they have a genetic predisposition, this is a copout, an excuse, like the druggies saying their drug addiction is justification for burlgling peples houses etc

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  75. fishe (142 comments) says:

    @Swampy

    I don’t quite agree. Ideally, those at high risk should stay away from all potent drugs. However, that is unrealistic at the moment – we have no easy way of identifying those at high risk. Additionally, whether or not it’s actually their decision to use in the first place is questionable on biological and philosophical grounds. So to call it weak mindedness is unfair and missing the point.

    And a genetic predisposition is a copout? That’s like saying having a disposition to asthma is a copout of developing the disease.

    You also need to realise that I’m talking about those clinical dependent. This is different from drug abuse. There is a population of users who abuse drugs to excess, but are not clinically dependent. They are rather different, and I would partially agree with conditions that this abuse population using dispositions etc. is an excuse/copout.

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  76. Swampy (273 comments) says:

    “Bishop is the tangible expression of God”

    Oh puleeze, this is nearly blasphemous.

    who is “one of the most well-known representatives of God in our country”.

    Now to my way of thinking, God chooses His representatives. Not the other way around. In most churches, they accept a person’s calling based on a consensus of prayer of the entire team of leaders. Most churches will not allow someone to just walk in off the street and say “I am God’s representative, all [figuratively] bow down to me”.

    Incidentally these statements compare with the claim of the Catholic Pope to be “Vicar on earth of our Lord Jesus Christ” which is one of his official titles – that is why some people believe the Catholic Church is a cult.

    Tamaki has long claimed he is the Rangatira of his church. This is a chiefly intermediary kind of authority. When Tamaki claims to be a Bishop, he is claiming different things from what most bishops or senior leaders in churches accept is the leadership role of the church. However a reason he is so popular in the Maori and Pacific Island communities, I believe, is their cultural conditioning towards having a Rangatira or chiefly authority in general life. Then they bring that into a Christian context and say there must be this Rangatira at the top of their church, and that he is someone special, more special than the senior leadership of most European churches, and that this Chief also is the intermediary between them and God (similar to the Papal claim).

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  77. Swampy (273 comments) says:

    @fishe
    A person cannot choose whether to get asthma but a person can choose whether to take drugs, or to associate with people that take drugs.

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  78. malcolm (2,000 comments) says:

    RRM, I doubt that Brian Tamaki and Destiny Church are much threat. Give it another 5 or 10 years and the cognitive dissonance in the heads of his supporters will become deafening and there will be an epiphany. And then a schism. Some new reformed Brian II will pop up and Direct Debit mandates will get changed.

    Brian will retire to the Gold Coast and periodically pop up on 20/20.

    Some people will get their money back by writing books with titles like “My Destiny: How I Escaped Destiny Church”.

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  79. malcolm (2,000 comments) says:

    @malcolm, most of the churches outside Auckland are small.

    Thanks Swampy. Maybe I should pop along to the Wellington branch. It’s not really fair to snipe from the side-lines. I might learn something.

    I few years back in London I went along to the 25th Anniversary of the miners strike at Conway Hall to hear Arthur Scargill speak. It was like having a time machine. Bob Crow was also there (General Secretary of the RMT Union and scourge of London Tube users). Strangely I saw Bob Crow standing in Lambton Quay a few weeks back so I went up and said hello. He was in NZ for some union meeting. He said NZ seemed a nice place. I told him it was better before the last 9 years of Labour!

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  80. fishe (142 comments) says:

    Swampy,

    Ok, if we assume that, then what if from then on they are not in control of stopping or not. Do we hold that initial decision, that they made unknowing of the end result and which many others in society have made (yes including alcohol), against them for the rest of their life?

    Surely it’s far more pragmatic, ethical, and effective if we view their dependence as a disease of the mind. It certainly makes for more effective treatment.

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  81. Scott (1,614 comments) says:

    Have just discussed Destiny church with a group of Christians, including three Maori, one of whom has a brother in the destiny church. They are very supportive of what Brian Tamaki is doing. They understand that in Auckland Brian and his church had been very successful in recruiting a number of gang leaders and turning them to Christ. They believe that what Brian is doing — swearing allegiance to him — is almost a Christian adaptation of the culture of gangs — who swear allegiance to the gang president. They are of the view that Brian Tamaki is doing much good among their people in Auckland and even gang leaders are turning away from their criminal activities and coming to Jesus via destiny church.

    So this is a different interpretation that I had not thought of. People who are used to swearing allegiance to the gang president are joining another gang if you like. But instead of pursuing a life of crime they have now turned to a new life in Christ. But the oath of allegiance to the pastor resonates with the culture.

    This is a very interesting concept and maybe we don’t understand what is happening at destiny church. Although I am still concerned about “has power gone to Brian’s head?” I think there is more than one interpretation we can put on these events.

    Certainly lives are being changed for the better and there are many testimonies of good things happening through destiny church.

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  82. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    I’m with – Rufus 9:28 am, Scott 10:42 am, Shunda barunda 11:46 am, ropata 12:07 pm – on this.

    As you guys point out, Pastors (aka Bishops in the KJV) are to be respected by their church, but they are also to be humble as was Christ. In a sense, the higher the position within the (local) church the greater the degree of servanthood and associated humility. So while all Christians are to be humble, this is expected even moreso from those in authority; with more authority comes greater temptation of pride and its associated lack of humility.

    Shunda also raises an important point:

    Brian Tamaki is simply an extreme manifestation of a particular direction many pentecostal churches have been taking in NZ and Australia for some time.
    These people are misrepresenting the gospel and due to a false understanding that Christians can’t speak against Gods “anointed” it is not being called for what it is.

    I have encountered this myself with friends who attend pentecostal churches. Of course ‘not touching the Lord’s annointed’ relates to physical harm – this is why David would not kill/harm King Saul (the Lord’s annointed) in the Old Testament.

    Main article:

    Under “Public Conduct”, the sons will in all conversation always speak of Mr Tamaki in a favourable and positive light; and in formal and/or public occasions, …

    Where we encounter false doctrine/teaching, which are inconsistant with the Bible, we are instructed to challenge it at the source. I have often challenged my Pastor over things I felt were inconsistant in this regard. If I did not I believe I would be in breach of God’s word myself. In the same way I expect to be held to account when I represent God’s word.

    How far Destiny goes down this road only time will tell; but, as others have mentioned, they continue to move toward what I consider to be a cult. Dangerous stuff; and good on you for raising it DPF.

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  83. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    ropata

    “…from the staggering account
    of the sermon on the mount
    which I don’t pretend to understand at all…”

    Bishop Tamaki is on Radio Live tomorrow between 1pm and 2pm.

    Give him a call 0800 Radio Live

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  84. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Are the bloggers here who delight in their point of difference(s) from MSM the same as those who decry Destiny’s point of difference(s) from MSR?

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  85. dave (985 comments) says:

    I have been advised that Brian Tamaki is to appear on Close up Tonight, 7pm, TV1.

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  86. ropata (117 comments) says:

    Scott, it’s good to hear that Destiny still does some good things, but Tamaki has a lot to answer for:
    * What happened to the $2 million raised for a “Destiny City” ?
    * How do you line up your life of luxury with the servant ministry of Jesus Christ and his disciples?
    * Why are the enormous posters of yourself far more visible than any crosses in the church?
    * Did God send Jesus to Earth and death on a cross to make Brian Tamaki have an easy life?
    * Are you serving the flock or exploiting them?
    * Have you ever studied theology or been to Bible college? (the answer is no)
    * When you rule New Zealand, would a theocracy be headed by God or yourself?
    * How did you become God’s mouthpiece?
    Unfortunately his followers are not allowed to question him.

    The Bible says “Test everything, hold fast to the good”, “Do not believe every spirit”, “Watch out for false teachers”. The Bereans were commended by Paul for testing the teachings of Apollos against the Hebrew scriptures. The doubts of Thomas were not disdained, but treated seriously and patiently. Peter was corrected about holding to Jewish rituals, and admitted he was wrong. Even in the Old Testament God routinely humbled arrogant kings. God responded graciously to many idiotic prayers (Gideon’s fleece, Elisha’s axe, reluctant Moses) because he doesn’t run a giant hierarchy based on fear, but a community of people freely choosing to follow him.

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  87. Pete George (21,830 comments) says:

    The Bible says “Test everything, hold fast to the good”, “Do not believe every spirit”, “Watch out for false teachers”. The Bereans were commended by Paul for testing the teachings of Apollos against the Hebrew scriptures. The doubts of Thomas were not disdained, but treated seriously and patiently. Peter was corrected about holding to Jewish rituals, and admitted he was wrong. Even in the Old Testament God routinely humbled arrogant kings. God responded graciously to many idiotic prayers (Gideon’s fleece, Elisha’s axe, reluctant Moses) because he doesn’t run a giant hierarchy based on fear, but a community of people freely choosing to follow him.

    Really? I don’t think Brian Tamaki is the only “preacher” to fail on this?

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  88. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Pete George 3:45 pm,

    Really? I don’t think Brian Tamaki is the only “preacher” to fail on this?

    Exactly the point most Christians are making here, Pete.
    Once Christ is replaced as the head of the local church you’re heading into dangerous territory, and have essentially become a cult.

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  89. ropata (117 comments) says:

    Pete, I think religions should propound values that enhance human existence, but theology and church history is filled with schisms and dissensions. That sorta reinforces my point about freedom of thought/speech/opinion being an important value.

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  90. Pete George (21,830 comments) says:

    The Quakers don’t look so bad.

    But, isn’t there a natural tendency for some people to want to lead, to want to have more possessions, more power, more gory? (Whoops, that really was an accidental typo, should be glory but either probably fit.) And a lot more people are happy to go along with it?

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  91. Scott (1,614 comments) says:

    Ropata — all very good points. However there may be something going on here that we don’t fully understand. And having heard today from some Maori Christians who can point to specific cases of destiny church radically helping people — including gang leaders — to repent and come to Christ. I am suggesting that the criticism he is receiving may not be the full truth.

    For example we can see that the New Zealand Herald is gunning for Brian Tamaki. They are asking people — have you got stories about the destiny church? — contact us at this address.

    Also we need to understand that the Maori people are looking for a chief. They want a pastor with a bit of manna. Someone with charisma and presence. So they will support the pastor having a lifestyle that is commensurate with the dignity and honour of a chief.

    All I am saying is that there are cultural differences that we may find difficult to understand, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not from God. Let’s face it — how many Maori people go to other churches? Some, but not many. How many Maori people go to destiny church? Multitudes!

    I just think we need to withhold judgement. Secular people will judge harshly and ascribe to Brian the worst possible motives. I don’t think people of faith should fall into that trap.

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  92. Ryan Sproull (6,661 comments) says:

    I’ve never suffered more than an elbow to the ribs and being shoved to the ground by Destiny Church members. A relatively small price to pay if it’s turning people’s lives around in the manner suggested here by some. The only question really is: could they not turn their lives around without joining a personality cult? If not, they’re getting their money’s worth.

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  93. Pete George (21,830 comments) says:

    Whose temple should be a house of prayer, not a den of thieves?

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  94. toad (3,654 comments) says:

    Have a listen to this from from a few years ago. Rather long, but VERY funny:

    Russell Brown with Pastor Brian Tamariki of The Density Church

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  95. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Ryan Sproull 4:32 pm,

    I’ve never suffered more than an elbow to the ribs and being shoved to the ground by Destiny Church members. A relatively small price to pay if it’s turning people’s lives around in the manner suggested here by some. The only question really is: could they not turn their lives around without joining a personality cult? If not, they’re getting their money’s worth.

    You should come to our church for a visit Ryan, we only do that after you’ve been attending for 6 months.
    And I have to agree with you; is it the church figure-head or Christ that draws people to the church – if the former then the warning bells should start tolling.

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  96. Pete George (21,830 comments) says:

    we only do that after you’ve been attending for 6 months.

    Elbow them in the ribs and shove them to the ground, or turn their lives around?

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  97. Ryan Sproull (6,661 comments) says:

    You should come to our church for a visit Ryan, we only do that after you’ve been attending for 6 months.

    Man, you have to be in Scientology for five years before you get to enjoy that kind of stuff!

    And I have to agree with you; is it the church figure-head or Christ that draws people to the church – if the former then the warning bells should start tolling.

    Yeah, though it’s nothing new. Churches that are too young to have apologised for mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them.

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  98. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Pete George 4:50 pm,

    Ryan gets my sick sense of humour, Pete.

    Ryan Sproull 4:51 pm,

    Yeah, Tom Cruise has a lot to answer for.
    I agree.
    The sad thing is, most churches consist of sinful men, and if you don’t learn from your mistakes …

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  99. PaulL (5,776 comments) says:

    I thought progression in Scientology was largely controlled by available funds, not by time.

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  100. Pete George (21,830 comments) says:

    Yeah, I did get the sick Kris, can I recommend a church to you that might turn your life around? One where you don’t have to worry about trying to decide what colour clothes to wear maybe?

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  101. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Pete George 5:08 pm,

    One where you don’t have to worry about trying to decide what colour clothes to wear maybe?

    Pete, in my ‘idealised’ church clothes are purely optional. And, of course, I’m the Pastor.
    Move aside Brian.

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  102. PaulL (5,776 comments) says:

    Kris K, I hope you control who comes into your church. Reminds me of a TV interview I saw of the mayor of a small town in the south of France. He was busily banning topless women from the town (the beach was topless). The reporter had a little bit of attitude and asked “why on earth would you want to ban topless women.” His only answer was “have you seen some of the topless women we get around here.”

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  103. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    PaulL 6:07 pm ,

    … and definitely no fuglies are to take up the ‘clothes optional’ regime.

    [I can see I'll have my church constitution drawn up by the end of the evening]

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  104. starboard (2,447 comments) says:

    ..Tamaki and his wife are a fraud and thieving scum

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  105. Pete George (21,830 comments) says:

    Kris, looks like you have backed the wrong horse, Tamaki says his lot are the chosen ones and everyone else has failed.

    Seriously though, while TV1 interviewed Tamaki TV3 had footage of the conference with what was said to be part of Tamaki’s speech. Watch it when it comes up on their site. Then bow to the new king. Nope, that isn’t enough. He’s God. With a strong capitalist message.

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  106. dad4justice (7,406 comments) says:

    Lots of “chosen ones”, for example, take Aunty Helen who flew away to a perk UN sex in city job so she can get close to the other yank bloke that uses NObama toothpaste.
    Good Lord, the world is insane!

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  107. dave (985 comments) says:

    Pete TV1 had the interview at the same time because Tamaki wanted it to. TV3 were showing the footage which Tamaki didnt want you to see. Campbell Live have repeatedly asked for a Tamaki interview, but they hang up on them when they request interviews.

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  108. Inventory2 (9,791 comments) says:

    I started to have serious concerns about Destiny a few years back when a former member of our church had a brief flirtation with the local branch (which was going to be a “mega-church” according to the pastor, but has since closed!). This person’s flirtation ended when she was approached by one of the church leaders in the supermaket. The leader looked in this woman’s trolley and said to her “Do you realise that if you didn’t buy chocolate biscuits, you’d be able to tithe more?” The same person told me that at another service she’d attended, while the offering was being taken, the pastor’s wife had grabbed the microphone, and told the flock “Don’t forget to write your name on your envelope, so God knows who to bless” So much for an all-seeing, all-knowing God!

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  109. Pete George (21,830 comments) says:

    I watched the end of the interview on TV1 which was mildly interesting. TV3 is a much better insight. Link now

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Secret-video-reveals-the-inner-workings-of-Destiny-Church/tabid/817/articleID/127420/cat/221/Default.aspx

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  110. dad4justice (7,406 comments) says:

    Tamaki should front up to questions asked by both TV networks. Got nothing to hide, then what’s the problem? NB: Jesus had no money.

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  111. Pete George (21,830 comments) says:

    NB Tamaki has plenty of money, but he’s God so can have whatever he can push, prod, squeeze and extort out of anyone.

    “Who is going to touch my people? Who is going to steer your children? Who is going to try and put a disease upon you if I already pre-programmed, pre-designed it? God. I am God, I am not just some man or spirit, I am god.””

    “We should hold it (the money) in the air and bless it. I pray and release for a blessing that will make 2010 a year of abundance, of great wealth, or doors opening.”

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  112. dad4justice (7,406 comments) says:

    “but he’s God”

    If he thinks that then he should be in a mental ward.

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  113. Swampy (273 comments) says:

    @Scott (415) Vote: Add rating 3 Subtract rating 0 Says:
    October 29th, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    There are a lot of “cults” doing “good things” but there are also lot of people whose lives have been completely messed up when they decided they just had to leave. I know a few people in that category myself. So the problem is that the fallout can be at a high cost personally or for society.

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  114. Swampy (273 comments) says:

    @Scott (415) Vote: Add rating 0 Subtract rating 0 Says:
    October 29th, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    All churches have genuine people in them, so they have helped these people but what is the long term consequence. YMMV as some of these cults are more extreme than others, some are relatively harmless but others certainly will cut you off from your family if you decide to leave.

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  115. Swampy (273 comments) says:

    @Pete George (1776) Vote: Add rating 0 Subtract rating 0 Says:
    October 29th, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    All cult leaders say that.
    Have a look at this site for a definition of what a cult is.
    They were one of the first to blow the whistle on Tamaki years ago (the term they use is “super-apostle”)
    http://www.cultwatch.com/

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  116. Swampy (273 comments) says:

    In the TV3 article we read this
    http://www.3news.co.nz/Secret-video-reveals-the-inner-workings-of-Destiny-Church/tabid/817/articleID/127420/cat/221/Default.aspx

    As part of his long address, Bishop Tamaki said to the gathered men:

    “Who is going to touch my people? Who is going to steer your children? Who is going to try and put a disease upon you if I already pre-programmed, pre-designed it? God. I am God, I am not just some man or spirit, I am god.”

    Some may interpret that as an affirmation by Tamaki in regard to himself.
    However most Christians are familiar with a type of speech called “prophecy” in which the person is speaking a message about God. In this sense, if this is a prophetic message, Tamaki could be assumed to be speaking about God, rather than claiming to be God.

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  117. Manolo (12,643 comments) says:

    It proves the point there are enough morons and dimwits out there willing to believe in Tamaki’s (and other religions and cults) nonsense.
    As P.T. Barnum put it: “A sucker is born every minute.”

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  118. Swampy (273 comments) says:

    @Inventory2 (3587) Vote: Add rating 0 Subtract rating 0 Says:
    October 29th, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    They have them write the name on the envelope and then record who is giving and who is not of course. Then whoever is not giving gets harrassed to give more. They usually enforce 10% on everyone. That’s why cults are so wealthy, they go around telling everyone they must give as much as possible. And the fact is a lot of Tamaki’s flock are from the lower socio ecomic strata, they are all paying for his lavish lifestyle.

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  119. Swampy (273 comments) says:

    @ Scott (415) Vote: Add rating 0 Subtract rating 0 Says:
    October 29th, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    Your points taken, however you will find Destiny is shunned by most other Pentecostal (and of course mainline) churches because of their doctrinal questionable practices. A prominent example being they recruited and raised to a position of authority, a Bible college superintendent who had been dismissed from his post for sexual misconduct. Also try to find out how many other churches suopported the “Enough is Enough” march and you will discover it was silently boycotted by many who are supposedly on the same spiritual wavelength as Tamaki (i.e. Pentecostal etc)

    Enough said, anyway.

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  120. Swampy (273 comments) says:

    Scott (415) Vote: Add rating 13 Subtract rating 4 Says:
    October 29th, 2009 at 10:42 am

    “In any church I have been in the congregation is expected to honour their leaders, including the pastor. This is only right. However Brian Tamaki takes it way too far.”

    Just in case anyone wants to know what that really means – it is like respecting your boss or supervisor in the workplace. No more than that. You can go up and talk to them (just remember that they are busy people and haven’t got time to say hi to everyone)

    In most charistmatic/pentecostal churches I have been in the people in leadership live ordinary lives in ordinary houses and drive ordinary cars, etc. They go and buy their groceries in the supermarket and stand in line at the checkout like everyone else.

    I bet Tamaki has some hired help to clean the mansion and get his groceries, maybe he has security men around his house. Probably never goes anywhere without a posse of these guys and has a really expensive car.

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  121. GJ (329 comments) says:

    Swampy. I don’t think you are right on that one. I know many churches that attended those marches. Wasn’t it over 10,000 that marched in Wellington and Destiny would have no where near those numbers!
    One thing Tamaki does have in his favour is that Jesus said if you love me, many will hate you. Tamaki must be head and shoulders above most of us on that one. Forerunners always pay a huge price. Personally I would love to see some coverage of the good things they are doing in the community. Blimy the poor guy lives under a constant barage of critism and handles it well. I thought he was OK on close up tonight.

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  122. Johnboy (13,439 comments) says:

    “Forerunners always pay a huge price.”

    So crucifixion it is then for the dirty lucky bastard. After all he is called “Brian”.

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  123. Right of way is Way of Right (1,125 comments) says:

    If I may quote the gospel according to Monty Python!

    “We worship you o Brian, who are lord over us all.
    Praise unto you Brian, and to the Lord our Father.”

    I mean seriously, “It’s My birthday, Buy me Presents!!” He’s like Cartman from South Park, the rabid narcissist!

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  124. ropata (117 comments) says:

    GJ,
    >I know many churches that attended those marches.
    Incorrect. Wikipedia has this quote from Challenge Weekly:

    VISION Network, which represents a large number of churches, says that although they were supportive of the general message of Destiny Church’s “Enough” campaign, response from its Advisory Board had overwhelmingly indicated that they preferred to see this issue handled differently … “The difficulty is that when any individual or group calls for unity on a single issue, but operates outside of a wider unity movement that others have committed to, it is more likely to create division rather than the unity which is sought”

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  125. Stuart Mackey (337 comments) says:

    It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:24)

    Tamaki is screwed on the salvation front then :)
    Besides he is on record as wanting NZ to be a theocracy, any one who claims that should be disavowed and ridiculed by all, or at least by those who can find the history section at the library.

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  126. ceak (1 comment) says:

    In regard to the plight of woman ,i do wonder, he’s asked for 700 men to swear allegiance.
    When will he require 700 woman to be married to the church , personally consummated by himself of course .
    so he can have more “spiritual children “

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  127. kiwichristian (15 comments) says:

    As for Hannah Tamaki being a “pastor”. The Bible is VERY clear on this point. 1Tim2:12 “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence”

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