Download In the World for December 3 here.
FAITH IN THE WRONG PERSON
The notorious Charles Manson died in prison on November 19. Claiming to be Jesus and Satan in one person, he collected a group of impressionable followers that became known as the “Manson Family.” He preached about “Helter Skelter” (a term he took from the Beatles’ song of the same name) to describe an impending apocalyptic race war that his followers would incite. This pitiable group of people placed their faith in Manson as their “messiah.” They succumbed to his demented ideas and followed his instructions to commit the infamous Tate-LaBianca murders in southern California during the summer of 1969.
LACK OF FAITH IN THE RIGHT PERSON
Peter’s strong words to his audience delivered a guilty verdict for their complicity in the death of Christ. They were guilty because they followed false teachers and failed to recognize in Jesus the one whom God had sent to be their leader. This pattern has continued throughout history. People have turned to evil leaders and away from the true author of life.
- What is lacking in people’s lives that causes them to become disciples of people such as Charles Manson? How might faith in Jesus have prevented people from being pulled into Manson’s circle of influence?
- What causes Christian leaders to become cultish in their leadership style? What examples can you think of? How does following misguided leaders and giving them control over our thoughts and actions dishonor Christ?
- Peter mentions the ignorance of the Jewish people and their leaders. Is ignorance ever an excuse for doing evil or failing to do what is right? Explain.
—Charles R. Boatman
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