View the story about Jim Jones. Hailed as "surreal and heartbreaking" (The Village Voice) and "chilling" (San Francisco Chronicle), this film reveals the true, tragic story behind enigmatic preacher Jim Jones and the largest mass murder-suicide in history.
My wife and I were both riveted to the documentary on Jim Jones and the People’s Temple. When I lived in San Francisco I usedd to drive by the People’s Temple, which was on Geary Blvd., in the Western Addition (close to Fillmore Ave.). In fact I lived there just months before the Jonestown massacre took place. Numerous thoughts were flying through my head as I watched this documentary. First, is a law we learn in science, “Nature abhors a vacuum.” People have the propensity to find things to fill the vacuum in their lives, be it materialism, philosophies, drugs an or religion (I am not here disparaging the Christian faith). This makes certain people supceptible to cults and cult-like leaders. Secondly, there is a Scripture that is informative to me at this point and it is found in Acts 17:11, “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures everyday to see if what Paul said was true.” When Jim Jones through the Bible through the air and the declared the book powerless, and basically declared himself to be God, no one bothered to check whether his declaration was baseless or not. The final authority in evangelical Christianity is the Word of God, when we abandon it we abandon hope. Thirdly, I was struck by how often people are drawn to the cult of personality. Jim Jones, David Koresh, “Jesuscristo Hombre – in Florida.” My understanding of people I know that were pastored by A. W. Tozer, was how plain and simple he was. He might even be considered boring by some people and yet was strength and commitment to the exposition of Scripture. Folks this is a wake up call. Where there is no accountability, where people are abused and controlled in the “name of the Lord.” Here me well, nothing good can come from that. My soul grieves for the lives that were lost at Jonestown, at Waco, in Auchwitz. As our Lord prayed, “Deliver us from evil.”
Great points Rev. Dave,
Mayra & I caught Jonestown at a cinema in the village, when it was released. I had trouble sleeping that night thinking about how people-even bible believing folks-can be susceptible to charimsa at the expense of some form of biblical orthodoxy. Sadly, we still see this happen in more subtle forms.