A Forgotten Religion

A tiny congregation in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, has achieved something seemingly impossible: gaining notice in one of the world’s top newspapers.

Recently, The New York Times noted the “second chance” that the “forgotten religion” of Faithists has received. A onetime Christian church, whose members read from the King James Version of the Bible, has instead grasped the “Oahspe Bible,” a book written by a 19th-century dentist-turned-spiritualist named John Ballou Newbrough.

Newbrough’s faith—which, interestingly, included adherence to a vegetarian diet—flourished briefly but sputtered and died. His book remained, and now the Brooklyn congregation has grasped it as a way to keep going in the face of dwindling membership: “We were getting smaller and smaller and smaller all the time,” congregation leader Anthony Linton told the paper. He added, “How do we reach people in a changing world?”

It’s questionable just how much of a foothold the Faithist movement actually has. The newspaper article describes perhaps a dozen people at a worship service and perhaps a national community of 200 or so. If Newbrough’s religion is undergoing a revival of any sort, it’s one of the smaller ones in history.

Ironically, there’s a more historic religion that’s been forgotten by millions over the years, even though they might use the faith’s name. Tens of millions of today’s Christians, including those who say they read and revere the Scriptures, have abandoned key principles found in the Bible and in the earliest Christian churches.

The Fourth Commandment, for example, has been forgotten. Instead of worshiping God on the seventh day, the Sabbath, as the Bible commands (Exodus 20:8–11), millions make their way to church on Sunday—a day which has no particular significance in the Bible.

These same Christians have lost sight of Bible prophecy, which says we need to watch for Jesus’ soon return, and they disregard that death does not mean one “graduates” immediately to heaven or hell, but rather a period of rests in the grave until the resurrection.

Also neglected by many who name the name of Christ are the ancient counsels—confirmed by the latest science—about temperance, health, diet, exercise and, yes, trust in God. If followed, rates of serious diseases would plummet, and many would be spared an early demise.

Perhaps the most amazing fact of all is that this message isn’t hidden in a storefront church or tucked away in an obscure manuscript from the 19th century. This “forgotten” message of authentic Christian faith and practice is found in the Bible so many have in their homes! Pastor Doug’s book, The Ultimate Resource, can guide you in exploring and discovering what true faith is all about! Click here to read it now.

—Written by Mark A. Kellner

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