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Cults

Part 1

On a number of occasions during my two decades of pastoring, we have been accused of being a cult. It has been brought to my attention lately as well, that this has been said of our Church. This has always been the result of our refusal to compromise our convictions like so many Churches of our day. It has always been the liberal compromisers who have called us that.

Years ago a sharp, well-dressed young man came to our Church. I thought he was a Christian and so when he came to the altar to pray I thought that possibly he wanted to join Faith. He had come to be saved; stating that I had preached his life, which was a failure. He was living with a young woman at the time. The moment he got saved, he became a changed man. He told me he could not afford to move but intended to break off the immoral affair immediately and would sleep on the sofa. This he did and also started to witness to her. She came to Church and made an empty profession of faith in Christ, which was void of true repentance. She also continued to seduce him. When that did not work, she went to a Church in Crestview and tried to get him to go also. The Pastor there told her we were a cult and he would have us investigated. I sent word back that I would be honored to have him investigate our beliefs. Can you believe a Church could be called a cult by a Pastor for believing Heb. 13:4 which states, "Marriage is honorable in all and the bed undefiled, but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge."?

We have been called a cult for our belief that men and women should dress modest according to the Scriptures. We have been called a cult because we preach against many of the socially accepted and promoted issues which are clearly condemned in the Bible. We have been called a cult for our stand on the King James Bible. Many people use the word "cult" to describe any person or group that opposes their godless living and lifestyle.

According to Dr. Charles Braden, professor of History and Literature of Religions at Northwestern University, "A cult is any religious group which differs significantly in some one or more respects as to belief or practice, from those religious groups which are regarded as the normative expressions of religion in our total culture...a group of people gathered about a specific person or person's interpretation on of the Bible."

Fundamental, Bible-believing, Christians can trace their origin and doctrine from the Bible in a straight line to the First Century and Christ Jesus. Our faith, doctrine and practice is clearly laid out in Scripture. The only person one could point to as the founder of this group is Jesus Christ. (See Eph. 2:19-22 and 1 Cor. 3:9-11)

Part 2

In the last thirty or so years there has been a reversal of concept of what a cult really is. In article #1, I gave a definition of a cult. Briefly, it states that a cult is a religious group that differs significantly from those regarded as the normative expressions of religion in our total society. There was a time in America when the "normative expressions of religion" was Biblical Christianity and when a religion was referred to as a cult, it was from a Biblical, Christian view. A cult was defined in relation to fundamental, Biblical Christianity, and those claming to be "Christian" yet not holding to fundamental, Biblical truth were rightly classified cults. My, how things have changed! Now we have Churches like ours holding to fundamental Bible truth classified as cults.

A true cult can be traced back to a founder who has deviated from the normative expressions of religion. For example, the Jehovah's Witness can be traced back to Charles Taze Russell and J.F. Rutherford, Christian Scientist can be traced back to Mary Baker Eddy Glover Patterson. The Mormons can be traced back to Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. The Unity School of Christianity can be traced back to Charles and Myrtle Filmore. These all deviated from the "normative expressions of religion" and are rightly called "cults." The most glaring departure of the cult from the Christian faith while claiming to be Christian is in the doctrine of the deity of Christ as is the case of the above mentioned. See 2 John 7-11. "For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist...Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any onto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him on into your house, neither bid him God speed; For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds." Have you believed the truth set forth in the Word of God about Jesus Christ? Jesus said, "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." Jn 8;32

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