New Age Movement

  1. Beginnings
    1. Grew in popularity during the 70s and 80s with contributions by various metaphysical religious groups and David Spangler; no headquarters
  2. Book
    1. None
  3. Beliefs
    1. Revelation (God is revealed in Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Zoroastrianism)
    2. Relationship (God is impersonal and therefore a pantheistic view is held)
    3. Redeemer Christ (Christ was a prototype for all humanity as all people can embody the Christ)
    4. Rest of Mankind (Human beings are God and therefore have unlimited potential)
    5. Relevant knowledge (Nothing is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ to an impersonal, pantheistic God. Human beings have an ‘ignorance’ problem (not sin) and through reincarnation, they can eventually reach a state of perfection and merge back with its source (pantheistic God)).

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Christian Science (Scientology)

  1. Beginnings
    1. Founded in 1879 by Mary Baker Eddy; headquartered in Boston, MA
  2. Book
    1. The Holy Bible
  3. Beliefs
    1. Oneness with the universe (God and the universe are one reality)
    2. Oneness of Christ (Jesus was a mere human who embodied ‘the Christ’)
    3. Omnipresence of Humans (Humans are God)
    4. Ousting of Salvation (You are saved when you cease to believe in sin, sickness, and death)
    5. Own heaven (You make your own heaven and own hell by thinking about them; you think rightly, you go to heaven and vice versa)
    6. Overpowering of Sin (Sin, sickness, and death can be overpowered by correct thinking)

Jehovah’s Witnesses

 

  1. Beginnings
    1. Founded in 1931 by Charles Taze Russell; headquartered in Warwick, NY
  2. Book
    1. The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures
  3. Beliefs
    1. Name of God (God has only one true name, Jehovah)
    2. Nature of God (No Trinity but One God, because it is not mentioned in the Bible)
    3. Nature of Jesus Christ in Heaven (Jesus was created by Jehovah as the archangel Michael before the physical world existed, and is a lesser, though mighty, god.)
    4. Nature of Jesus Christ on Earth (Mere human and not God in human flesh)
    5. Nature of Jesus Christ’s Resurrection (Jesus was raised spiritually from the dead, but not physically)
    6. Nature of Jesus Christ’s Return (Invisible, spiritual event that occurred in the year 1914)
    7. Nature of the Holy Spirit (Holy Spirit is an impersonal force of God and not a distinct person)
    8. Nature of Heaven (Two peoples of God: one, the Anointed class (144,000) will live in heaven and rule with Christ, and two, the ‘other sheep’ (all other believers) will live forever on a paradise earth)
    9. Nature of Hell (Hell is not a place of eternal suffering but is rather the common grave of humankind. The wicked are annihilated – snuffed out of conscious existence forever)
    10. Nature of the Believer (Soul of the human is simply the life-force within a person. At death, that life-force leaves the body)
    11. Nullification of the Gospel (Salvation requires faith in Christ, association with God’s organization, that is their religion, and obedience to its rules)

Cults of the World

I. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormonism)

  1. Beginnings
    1. Founded in 1830 by Joseph Smith; headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT
  2. Book
    1. The Book of Mormon, by Joseph Smith

3. Beliefs

  1. Progression to godhood (God the Father was once a man and then progressed to godhood)
  2. Polytheism (Three distinct gods and potentially many thousands of gods besides the Trinity)
  3. Process of exaltation to godhood (Humans like God the Father go through a process to become gods)
  4. Person of Jesus Christ (Jesus was born of a heavenly Father and a heavenly Mother)
  5. Posterity (Three kingdoms after we die and we go there depending on our faithfulness)
  6. Positivity of Adam’s sin (Adam’s sin made it possible for humans to become mortal, a necessary step on the path to exaltation to godhood)
  7. Prerequisites to Salvation (Faith in Christ plus participation in Mormon temple rituals and obedience to its “laws of the gospel.”)

Consequences of Cult Worship

  1. Doctrinal issues
    1. Cults usually contradict Christianity on various doctrinal issues. Almost all of their doctrines are incompatible with the teachings of Jesus Christ, especially the fact that salvation comes by God’s grace alone (Ephesians 2:8-9).
  2. Dogmatic issues
    1. Also, these cults’ beliefs seriously deviate from historic Christian orthodoxy or customs or practices.

Christianity and Cults

Hey, guys I have begun a study on Christianity and Cults. There are many cults today that pose threats to Christianity. According to Apologetics Index a cult is “a group or church or organization whose central teachings and/or practices are claimed to be biblical or representative of biblical Christianity, but which are in face unbiblical and not Christian in nature.”  An article in Christianity Today states “[b]eing duped and blinded by the truth is no laughing matter. So why are we so obsessed with cults?” (April 6, 2016, Cultsploitation and True Believers).

In the coming weeks, I will be posting my study on cults using three divisions:

  1. Caution of Cults
  2. Consequence of Cult Worship
  3. Cults of the world 

Let us begin with the Caution of Cults. Here are my six cautions you must be aware of when you are dealing with cults:

  1. Dishonest prophets
  2. Dishonest Christ
  3. Dishonest apostles
  4. Different Jesus
  5. Different Spirit
  6. Different gospel

The Consequences of the Fall

All of creation was cursed after Adam and Eve disobeyed God and to this day we suffer the consequences of that one bite of the apple! I would like to look at Genesis 3:14-24 and break down the curses for the Serpent and the Sinners (Man and Woman). The Serpent endured three consequences of the Fall: it was cursed, it would crawl on its belly for the rest of its life, and there would be constant enmity between it and humankind. Man also endured three consequences of the Fall: the ground he was to work on was cursed, every time he tilled the ground, it would be cropless, as “thorns and thistles will grow,’ and finally, his legacy will be constant work for the rest of his life. Work will now be tough and hard! Interestingly, the Woman also endured three consequences of the Fall: childbirth will be extremely painful for her, what was supposed to be a wonderful relationship between husband and wife, now this union will always be marred in conflict, and finally the equality she enjoyed with her husband will vanish and be turned into control as in “you will desire to control your husband but he will rule over you.”