Saturday, November 26, 2011

Rethinking the Madness of Vision Forum

Spiritually abusive groups keep their followers malleable and suggestible by always keeping them a bit off balance. A group member can never quite become a master of all the demands of the group because the group is always in flux, inventing new demands, new doctrines, or twists on new doctrines. In order to remain acceptable to group leadership and maintain one's status, a follower must constantly strive to stay current with the latest musings of the leader which are usually accompanied by a unique code of language as well as a particular focus of content. The follower can never rest on their laurels, for they must continually work to remain connected to the group and acceptable to the group.

The process lends itself well to postmodern consumerism. The constantly changing, unique nuance in focus pursued by the leader creates an automatic demand for his new materials of instruction which followers must buy to stay “in the know.” This continual flux also creates a high degree of emotional arousal for the follower, even when the material does not appear to be especially provocative. The system naturally creates the sense of anticipation of learning the latest information which is also a type of stimulation, a ritual that becomes a part of the whole experience.

In keeping with its postmodern appeal, Vision Forum never seems to disappoint us in this area. Personally, I grew weary of the new crisis and focus, particularly after studying the group's material on “multigenerational faithfulness.” The doctrine sounds pleasant on the surface but actually represents some of the most distasteful perversions of Christian doctrine that I lost my stomach for it.

However, with a sufficient break from Vision Forum's idiocy, I found this latest material and nearly unbelievable, sensationalized subject matter to be most deserving of honorable mention.

First, Vision Forum's “National Center for Family Integrated Churches” held a conference this past October, and one of the sessions was actually entitled.... (wait for it) …. (drum roll)......

Need I even comment?
And the madness does not end. 

If you didn't make it to that conference, there's another upcoming conference to inform and delight the participant. As the good Vision Forum follower should desire to take dominion over everything, Doug will lead his parachurch flock into the reformation and dominion over food. (Some of the listed “entrees” have more dominion over food than others...) “Avoiding Food Heresies” should be interesting. I'm sure that Doug will come up with some colorful neologisms as loaded language to describe genetically manipulated foodstuffs, just as he created the term “medical adultery” to describe aspects of in vitro fertilization (specifically, gametes that do not belong to a married couple). It's insufficient for Vision Forum followers to watch King Corn and Food, Inc. to come to their own understanding of the subject. Christians have Doug to do their thinking for them because they are too unsophisticated to figure this out for themselves.  And Doug needs the money.

(Please note that, as a nautropath, I am no fan of GMO derived or highly processed foods. My focus is the manner in which VF sensationalizes more banal subject matter and turns all into sacrament which usually also poses some marketing potential. How much do you want to bet that VF will market aprons and coordinated headcoverings at the conference? Ooops! Maybe I've just given them some additional ideas? I doubt it. I think that they're way ahead of me.)

I'm always glad to hear that I'm not the only person who finds the Vision Forum perspective particularly troubling and deceptive. For those who are interested in delving into the subject and have read the hundreds of posts available here on this site, please visit the new blog, Rethinking Vision Forum. It features a collection of critical commentary from a host of sources pertaining to the specific problematic doctrines and teachings propagated by Vision Forum and their affiliates.

We believe that Vision Forum’s teachings are neither Biblical nor healthy, and that Vision Forum offers only the allure of the “godly family.”

This website is a hub for information on the problems with Vision Forum and its teachings, and the damages these teachings cause. In addition to generating original content, this website will pull together articles from a variety of different locations across the internet, with links listed under the pages tabs. Some articles from elsewhere will also be republished here. The goal is to pull together information from a variety of sources on the problems with Vision Forum for all to see. We have a variety of different beliefs, but we are united in exposing the dirty underbelly of the perfect Vision Forum image. (Continue reading HERE.)

I'm so glad that a group of former followers has put for the effort to organize and coordinate this much needed website, bringing the growing body of critiques of the specific teachings of Vision Forum together in one place.

And for information which delves into the Quiverfull ideology from a less critical view, please visit another great website which deserves very honorable mention, A Quiver Full of Information.