Garth George writes:
In requiring its men to swear an oath of loyalty and obedience to Brian Tamaki, the Destiny 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.