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#34 / Jonestown Theology: Lenten Explorations in the Valley of Death

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Wikimedia / Nancy Wong

Wikimedia / Nancy Wong

 

“I’m the best friend you’ll ever have.” -Jim Jones

 

For many years, I didn’t have a ton of friends. So, my friend was a very important friend. I suspect my friend knew that I needed a friend. It probably wasn’t difficult to see. Over time, my friend became less of a friend and more of an abuser. From jokes to lies to hits to other attacks, I felt like less and less of a human. I didn’t know what to do. I was trapped. Through it all, I remember the abuser repeating, “I’m the best friend you’ll ever have.” For a long time, I believed him.

 

Jim Jones was no dummy. Recognizing the immediate power of placing himself as the best thing that would ever happen to the community, Jones used the phrase to kill. When you hear the words, “I’m the best friend you’ll ever have,” you’re hearing the devil. The only way to beat back the devil is to say with deep conviction, “No…you’re not.”

 

Amen.

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