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What is Faithism and the Oahspe Bible?


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Faithism, Oahspe Bible
Question: "What is Faithism and the Oahspe Bible?"

Faithism is a religion based on Oahspe: A New Bible, a book written in 1882 by John Ballou Newbrough, a dentist. The book is fairly lengthy, more than three-quarters the size of the Bible. Newbrough claimed to have written the book through automatic writing. This is a spiritualist technique where a person slips into a trance and produces drawings, writing, or other effects without conscious effort. While the drawings and hieroglyphs of Oahspe were produced by hand, Newbrough claimed to have generated the text using a typewriter. The manner in which Oahspe was produced should make one extremely cautious about whatever it says (Leviticus 19:26; 1 Samuel 15:23; 2 Kings 17:17; Acts 19:19).

Oahspe: A New Bible inspired a small spiritualist religion known as Faithism. Followers of its teachings are known as Faithists. Faithism generally doesn’t take Oahspe to be inerrant or literal. Rather, they draw inspiration and guidance from it. Faithism teaches that one’s place in the afterlife is determined by how well they serve others on earth. Certain behaviors, such as eating meat, will automatically place a person in the lowest of several different heavens. Evil behavior will result in an experience much like hell. According to Faithism, however, even the worst souls will gradually progress into the higher realms. The book also talks about a lost continent in the Pacific Ocean, more or less identical to the legends of Atlantis. Oahspe also advocates a strong form of pacifism.

Oahspe: A New Bible is typical of spiritualist literature, which was a precursor to the modern New Age movement. Much of what the book advocates is in direct contradiction to biblical principles. First and foremost, the entire concept of a “new” approach to spirituality is anti-biblical (Jude 1:3). In addition, Oahspe advocates mandatory veganism (cp. 1 Timothy 4:1–3), claims many religions are needed for human progress (cp. 1 Timothy 2:5), and teaches universalism (cp. John 3:17–18) and works-based salvation (cp. Titus 3:5). Oahspe and Faithism also claim that God is merely an advanced spiritual being, elected to His position for a limited time (cp. 1 Chronicles 16:36; Isaiah 40:28).

Recommended Resource: The Kingdom of the Cults, revised and updated edition

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What is Faithism and the Oahspe Bible?

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