Even after their spiritual leader went to prison, life continues for the group that says they’re leaving everything in God’s hands.
If you spend a day walking around the remote property of the Lord Our Righteousness Church in Northern Union County, and you wouldn’t believe you were amongst what New Mexico State Police call an apocalyptic cult.
One member of the group, Anaiah, says, “God brought us out here into this wilderness place, to bring us into a quietness not only in our environment but into our hearts.”
The 2008 arrest of their spiritual leader, self proclaimed messiah Wayne Bent, rocked that quiet.
Since then, the group of about 35 say they’ve become even closer.
Bent’s son, Jeff Bent, says, “When persecution comes, people tend to drop whatever remaining differences they have, and kind of collectively pull together.”
Now, while they wait for their messiah to return to Strong City, they look forward to the time God takes them and all Christians off this earth completely.
Bent’s lawyers have filed an appeal, and are awaiting the response from the state.
Theologically, the Lord Our Righteousness Church (aka Strong City), is a cult of Christianity since its teachings and practices fall far outside the boundaries of the Christian faith it claims to represent.
Sociologically the group has cult-like elements as well.