The Raelians forced a moral issue into the political realm -- the cloning of human beings. But they refused to offer the simple proof that would verify that a human clone had been born. So it now seems that, in spite of their many claims, a normal child had been conceived the "old fashioned" way. Yet many people still wonder, "What would a clone be like? Would it be, well... human? What, exactly, in the spiritual realm, would have occurred?"
The answers may be closer to home -- much more within our experience -- than we realize. The evidence of cloning, of course, is that the DNA is the same as that of the donor parent (not the normal mix of two parents), bearing the same age and characteristics as the donor's cells. It is not something new from the Giver of life.
So, when something seems to be a "new thing" on the earth, such as the Jesus Movement, it may turn out to be nothing but a clone -- not a fresh new beginning with life from above. The proof is plain to see. They tried producing true spiritual life on their own, but had only cloned more of what they'd once despised. They couldn't produce new life for they only continued in a new generation exactly what came before. It was reformation, not restoration.
On a smaller scale they merely repeated the failed experiment of the Protestant Reformation, which produced national churches just as compromised with the State and just as riddled with corruption as the Church of Rome from which they had sprung.
No one went back to the beginning, to the obedience of the faith that produced the first communities, just as they were in Jerusalem.1 To bring about such a restoration requires the Spirit from heaven meeting the willingness to do His will on the earth.2
The communities of the Jesus Movement flourished for a few years on the enthusiasm and zeal of the many young people who believed they were touching the very life of the first-century church. They opened their Bibles and loved what they saw. They wanted to be just like those brothers and sisters of long ago who had "turned the world upside down" and who "shared all things in common."3 They wanted to be totally devoted and sold out. Community was the test and proof of the genuineness of their faith, even of the claims of the gospel itself:
The idea of living together was to dedicate your entire life, every aspect, to following Jesus Christ. It was 100 percent commitment, a way that seemed designed to put Christianity's truth-claims to the test of real life. 4
Yet somehow nearly all of the thousands of Jesus Movement communities, cafes, coffeehouses, and ministries fell apart. Their accelerating decline virtually wiped the American scene clean of their presence in just a few short years. Their moral corruption exceeded anything they had seen "swept under the rug" in their parents' churches. Sexual sin, drug use, alcohol abuse, greed, vanity, lust for power -- ultimately it was self that ended these attempts at selfless love and outreach. Self and community had a collision and community died.
So what did the hearts of all those zealous young people receive? Was it the pure spiritual seed from heaven giving birth to communities of love and care, according to the pattern of Acts 2 and 4? Or was it only the spiritual DNA of the church next door surrounded by its white picket fence, producing only clones that ultimately bore the same go-to-church-on-Sunday likeness of their donors?
For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. (Luke 6:44)