Skip to comments.How to tell the cult group from the Church? Know the truth!
Posted on 09/15/2009 8:21:31 AM PDT by Colofornian
HI, wed like to talk to you about Jesus Christ!
Standing tall, two young and well-dressed American boys at my door broke the ice instantaneously. Happy to see them, I said that we were Christians too. What happened next, however, took me by surprise and left me scrambling for words. Stating that they were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they said they wanted to talk about a prophet and a book given to the prophet by God. Though a little shaken, I refused to hear their ideologies they left only to return another day in a bid to coax me.
In todays world, cults are very much a reality. Cults are widely prevalent in our country, in our city too. An unexpected encounter with cult members can leave us disturbed. As Jesus warned, during the last days, there will be many people proclaiming different ideologies in His name. It is our duty to be vigilant and strong in faith.
Gods Word says that many deceptive spirits will be on the loose, waiting to swallow the unaware. So do we know how to discern deceptions? We may know that their claims do not align with Gods Word, we may even understand that their belief is not the Truth but how do we handle encounters with cult members? How do we prepare ourselves to face the challenges of the last days? One way is to be aware of the different cults and to understand their approach.
Take the case of Mormons. Mormonism and polygamy go hand in hand - an attractive proposition for todays world. Mormonism has a good number of followers in the US and several other parts of the world. But the Mormons have been in Chennai as well for nearly a decade now and have slowly yet steadily increased in numerical strength.
A conversation based on such beliefs can perturb anybody, especially if we are not prepared. THE CHRISTIAN MESSENGER spoke to a cross-section of senior church leaders, who threw light on how we could tackle such encounters. Each of them shared valuable insights on how to be prepared always, how to answer cult members, and how to watch and pray.
Pastor P Vijayaraghavan of the Apostolic Church said, I know that the Mormons have been around in Chennai for about 10 years. Theyve grown a lot and that wouldnt be possible but for their polygamous behavior. He agreed that as believers, we should know Christian truth well enough to be able to decipher cults.
Cult groups have something novel to offer to people and especially exploit their gullible nature, said he said.
Pastor Arthur Devadoss of Hosanna Ministries had an interesting anecdote to share.
The Mormons gave me their book sometime ago and I didnt even bother to read it. They came back for the book and fought with me, he said.
However, Pastor Devadoss is worried about another new church group.
There is a new group called the Indian Church of Christ that approaches people with visiting cards; they worry me the most. They speak the local language and lure youngsters to join them. They, too, propagate polygamy and immoral relationships, he said.
He has briefed his congregation well about such cults and has asked them to stand up for their beliefs. In case they are unable to do so, he asks them to just invite the cult followers to their church or refer them to the pastor. Theyll never trouble you again, Devadoss affirmed.
Pastor Jayakaran Emmanuel of Power House Church echoes this view.
Its better for you not to entertain them. Since we know their beliefs are misleading and untrue, dont encourage them and they wont approach you further, he said. Is there anything else that a believer needs to be aware of to tackle these cultists?
Rev. D.C. Premraj, Presbyter of St. Georges Cathedral, said: There are just a few things that we should watch out for. First, we should be strong in our beliefs. We must make an effort to understand what we believe in. Second, as our faith and belief grow, we must be grounded Biblically. Our foundation must be clear and strong in Gods Word. Third, during any such encounters, check for Biblical context. Anyone can quote from the Bible, but we must know how relevant and contextual it is.
Confirmation classes and Bible studies conducted by churches are aimed at making the believers steadfast in their faith, Rev. Premraj added.
Pastor Jagadeesan Kalyanakumar of Harvest Christian Assembly quoted Ephesians 4:16: Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. He added: The rule of thumb is that if you know the original, you can identify the counterfeit. And the more familiar you are with Gods Word, the better you can discern and safeguard yourself from deceptive doctrines.
In all this, the Bible is the final authority to check any doctrine. Sola Scriptura, meaning the Bible alone, is the key theme in the churchs reformation of the 16th century.
The Jehovah Witnesses, for instance, proclaim Jesus to be an angel with extraordinary powers. But the Bible very clearly says that He is the Messiah, the only begotten Son of God who revealed God and his love to humanity (John: 3:16). Another example, the Mormons scripture includes the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.
As Christians, Pastor Joshua Jeyaseelan, Tamil Baptist Church, said: We have one revealed Word of God which is the Holy Scripture (II Timothy 3:16). So any new doctrine or cult has to be analyzed and understood in the light of the Scripture.
Pastor Vijayaraghavan said, We must know how to identify a cult and thats by knowing what they are. Cults are major deviations from orthodox Christianity relative to the Bibles cardinal doctrines such as the Trinity, the deity of Jesus Christ, the second coming, millennial reign, and salvation by the grace of Jesus Christ.
It is our responsibility to understand our beliefs, our stand. Just like the wise man that built his house on the Rock, if our foundation is strong and built on Jesus, it will not be shaken.
Today, it was I who met with the Mormons, tomorrow it could be you. Let us watch and pray for the salvation of cult members and for God to grant us the wisdom to stand strong in His Word.
"Obviously the holy practice (of polygamy) will commence again after the Second Coming of the Son of Man and the ushering in of the millennium." (LDS apostle Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966 edition, see pp. 577-579 for context)
If anyone wants to know why I post what I post, this is a decent summary from the point of view of an Indian Evangelical.
Besides, over the years a dozen or so Lds missionaries --out the literal million-plus they've sent out -- have visited me. I'm hospitable. I invite them in. We dialogue. They move on. Hopefully, they haven't felt "threatened." With a few, we've met repeatedly. Been on good terms.
Hey, I'm hospitable to them. I simply hope they return the "e-living room" treatment when I visit those who fund the resources Lds missionaries take with them.
I find that my “No Trespassing” signs work pretty well for keeping the Mormans and Jehova’s Witness folks away from my door.
I don’t know what the point is of posting this on a political web site. If the purpose is to create division, I think most of us have learned to brush that off, praise God.
The article has an intemperate tone.
It’s posted in the religion forum. This isn’t a solely political website.
If you do not wish to see RF posts, do NOT use the "everything" option on the browse. Instead, browse by "News/Activism." When you log back in, the browse will reset to "everything" - so be sure to set it back to "News/Activism."
“I dont know what the point is of posting this on a political web site. If the purpose is to create division, I think most of us have learned to brush that off, praise God.
You are on the Religion Forum of FR. If you don’t want to see any religious articles, you can adjust your settings.
Jesus was the Archangel Michael before he was born in the flesh.
Satan is Jesus' brother.
There is no Trinity (because their founder couldn't understand it.)
The "Holy Spirit" doesn't exist as a moving force or part of God.
Jesus has not always existed...he was a created being, not "with God at the Beginning."
Since the Bible says you should "only worship God", those multiple parts of the Bible where people worshiped Jesus (Disciples in the boat, Wise men from the East, etc.) are re-translated as "payed obeisance to Jesus".
And since EVERYBODY knows the Wise Men were really Astrologers, their worship doesn't count, of course.
There's more of course, but those are the highlights. We had to ask them about this, as the prepackaged spiel about "here comes the Kingdom of God don't you want to be part of it) left this stuff out. It is worth noting that although the Bible says if a prophet is wrong about any tiny thing, his word is not of God, the JW's have proclaimed Christ's immanent return a half dozen times in their history and been wrong. (Current church dogma is that Christ "returned secretly" to Earth in 1914. You remember that, right? When His toe touched the mountain and shattered it so the whole world heard? Remember?)
As an anti-mormon you continue to be obsessed with all things LDS. I am continually surprised that this website which is conservative and freedom loving continues to promote thru loose moderation attacks on any religion. All conservatives should seek to unite against the dark oppression that exists and seek a more Christ-like dialogue between each other. I’m sure my comment will spark mass postings (usually canned and rebroadcasted) from the normal dozen or so anti-mormon folks. You know who you are.
Tried to keep that neutral...kill it if anyone gets in a snit.
Tried to keep that neutral...kill it if anyone gets in a snit.
I am Catholic, which is why I am aware that writing articles that use innuendo and exaggeration is sinful. It violates the 8th commandment.
Sounds like it belongs right here in the Religion forum. BAD RELIGION.
#1, Re: political web site -- you can set your settings so that "religion" section headlines don't pop up on your screen. (That way, you can toolie & 'temperate' away & not be 'bothered' w/any religious overtones at all)
#2, nobody forced you to read the article -- or comment. 'Tis a Free Republic world & you could zoom on by just like we all do whether it's a chicken-dressed up teen standing roadside gyrating, or billboards, or TV commercials.
If the purpose is to create division...
#3, Perhaps you just don't understand that the supposed first words expressed to the founder of Mormonism by his unnamed entities who appeared to him was to...
...label ALL other churches as unjoinable (he later called all Christians "apostates")
...label ALL Christian sect professing believers as "corrupt"
...and label ALL Christian sect creeds (Catholic, Protestant AND Orthodox) as an "abomination" to the Mormon god.
IOW, we don't even need to "create divisions" because Joseph Smith, Jr. opened up the widest divisive frontline you could ever imagine -- all right from the get-go!
If you don't believe, feel free to peruse any Mormon Pearl of Great Price "scripture." (Just go to Joseph Smith - History, verses 18-20...it's all there in black & white)
Sorry, my comment was intended for Colofornian.
The Mormons kept coming to my door until I started asking about their having to call their women to heaven and them being "Eternally Pregnant". When I asked about their Elders belief in the "Mother Ship" and the Planet Kobol - they said I really did know something about Mormonism. When they asked if I had read the Book of the Mormon, I said I had (I read it twice) and said that the Bible is far superior to me.
The "Witnesses" stopped coming after I asked why didn't Christ come bodily and Establish a visible world government in 1914? and how were folks bodies preserved since then? (Rather than being Frozen as they want to now).
How ya feelin’ Pete? Head spinning yet from getting smacked around? LOL
Would you like cheese with your whine.
Well, you didn't address this to me, but let me ask you: By your open critique of somebody's religious expression on this thread, are you yourself then thereby engaging in an "attack" upon a religion?
And if you are, then why are you violating your own personal standard?
If you don't think you're attacking somebody's religious expression, it sure sounds like a disagreement -- a critique -- and so please explain the "degree" of difference you see between a so-called "attack" and critique? (One man's critique is another man's "attack", eh?)