New religious movements are often subject to criticism, as is the case with the two belief systems mentioned in this article. You will encounter information about the Confederate Nations of Israel and the Toronto Blessing, which touches upon issues of polygamy and the physical responses related to a religion.
Confederate Nations of Israel
Following in the footsteps of Mormon fundamentalism, the Confederate Nations of Israel is a combination of church and political organization that was organized in 1977 by Alex Joseph. The founder of the religion actually served as mayor of Big Water, Utah from 1983 to 1994. The group is comprised of many different denominations and combines spiritual doctrines with political beliefs.
With plural marriage being one of the practices of the Confederate Nations of Israel, it is often grouped as a sect within the Latter Day Saint movement and Mormon fundamentalism. However, not all people follow the practice of polygamy as they come from different religious affiliations. It is estimated that out of all their members, about one-fourth are practicing polygamists. Very few of these members have ever been affiliated with a Latter Day Saint denomination. It is also stated that the organization embraces “Catholics, Protestants, Eastern religionists, atheists, and sexually-active homosexuals” as members.
After Joseph died in 1998, the practice of polygamy seemed to end in Big Water. Children now attend public schools and women are encouraged to live freely and gain an education.
The Toronto Blessing
British churches called the revival and other associations that started in January of 1994 as the Toronto blessing, which involved the Toronto Airport Vineyard church (now known as the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship).
The church is located in Toronto, Ontario in Canada, which draws people to their conferences and meetings with reports of healing and personal transformation. The neocharismatic evangelical Christian church sponsors such gatherings, which have also been called the Father’s blessing, the Anointing, the Awakening, and the River and the Fire.
The religion centers on the blessing, which is known to cause “falling or resting in the Spirit,” shaking, crying, and laughter often referred to as ‘holy laughter.’ It has also been reported that some participants have roared like lions. The religion claims that these reactions of the body are a physical manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s presence and power.
The reception of the religion was met with a mixture of criticism and acceptance. Some Christian leaders were happy to see a renewed faith in North American Christianity, while others viewed it as something potentially dangerous on a spiritual level. Some critics believe the odd manifestations should be taken as warnings, while defenders state historical evidence that the experiences have a positive effect on the lives of participants.