Some time ago, while I was driving south on 101 in Mill Valley, I saw a road sign that read, ‘Rough Road Ahead’! I thought, man, what an appropriate sign for life and sometimes what we experience.
Some 918 people may have had warning signs going off inside, but perished because of one false teacher. Jim Jones started the Peoples’ Temple in Indiana during the 1950s. He moved the Temple to California in the mid-1960s and gained notoriety with its activities in San Francisco in the early 1970s. He then relocated to Guyana. In 1978, media reports surfaced that human rights abuses were taking place in the Peoples’ Temple in Jonestown. United States Congressman Leo Ryan led a delegation into the commune to investigate what was going on; Ryan and others were murdered by gunfire while boarding a return flight with defectors. Jones subsequently committed a mass murder-suicide of 918 of his followers, 304 of which were children, almost all by cyanide poisoning via a Flavor Aid. This historical episode gave rise to the American-English expression “drinking the Kool-Aid”.
We continue in our sermon series, Stirred Not Shaken a Study in 2 Peter. We’ll be in chapter 2, as we deal with the issue of false teachers.