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Cults 101default

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A study on the subject of Cults,

A study on the subject of Cults,

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  • 1. CULTS DEFINITION  SOCIOLOGICAL CHRIST’S WARNING STRUCTURE GROWTH OF THE  CULTIC CULTS METHODOLOGY CULT  DANGER OF THE CHARACTERISTICS CULTS CULT CATEGORIES  TYPE OF CULTS DOCTRINAL  HOW TO DEAL WITH CHARACTER CULTIST  APOLOGETICS
  • 2. Cults The word cult comes from the French culte, and is rooted in the Latin cultus, which means "care" and "adoration." That idea comes from the Latin cultus - the past participle of colere, which means "to cultivate." The word was used in the sense of "to worship or give reference to a deity." Today, the term "cult" can refer to: : formal religious veneration : worship : a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also : its body of adherents : a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents : a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator <health cults> a : great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book); especially : such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad b : a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion Source: Merriam-Webster Definition
  • 3. WHAT IS A CULT? A GROUP OF PEOPLE GATHERED AROUND A SPECIFIC PERSON’S MISINTERPRETATION OF THE BIBLE. ARE GROUPS THAT CLAIM TO BE IN HARMONY WITH CHRISTIANITY BUT DENY FOUNDATIONAL CHRISTIAN DOCTRINES (such as the TRINITY or the Unique deity of JESUS CHRIST.)
  • 4. 3 APPROACHES in DEFINING a CULT SOCIOLOGICAL APPROACH: DESCRIBES THE LIFESTYLE OF CULTS BEHAVIORAL APPROACH: JUDGEMENT IN AREAS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL OR BEHAVIORAL ABUSE, SUCH AS AUTHORITARIANISM & SEXUAL ABUSE… EVANGELICAL APPROACH: PRIMARILY DOCTRINAL OR THEOLOGICAL, & SEEKS TO EXAMINE THE GROUP’S BELIEF SYSTEM & INCLUDES A VALUE JUDGEMENT FROM AN EVANGELICAL PERSPECTIVE BASED ON A STANDARD OF CHRISTIAN ORTHODOXY.
  • 5. INCORPORATION OF THE APPROACHES FOR A WORKING DEFINITION A CULT IS A RELIGIOUS GROUP WHICH CLAIMS HARMONY WITH CHRISTIANITY BUT WHICH EITHER DENIES OR MISINTERPRETS ESSENTIAL BIBLICAL DOCTRINES; AND/OR PSYCHOLOGICALLY OR BEHAVIORALLY, WHICH TENDS TO USE EXTREME & UNETHICAL TECHNIQUES OF MANIPULATION TO RECRUIT, ASSIMILATE, CONTROL & RETAIN MEMBERS.
  • 6. WARNING OF JESUS MATT. 7:15-17, 23; JESUS GIVES US A WARNING ABOUT THE COMING OF THE CULTS. “WATCH OUT FOR FALSE PROPHETS. THEY COME TO YOU IN SHEEPS CLOTHING BUT INWARDLY THEY ARE A FEROCIOUS WOLVES. BY THEIR FRUIT YOU WILL RECOGNIZE THEM.” WHAT JESUS WAS WARNING WAS THAT CULTIST WILL LOOK , ACT, AND SOUND LIKE CHRISTIANS.
  • 7. FACTORS FOR THE GROWTH OF CULTS1. FULFILLMENT OF THE WARNING GIVEN BY JESUS & THE APOSTLES. (Matt. 24:23- 26; 2Pet. 2:1-3.)2. BREAKDOWN OF THE FAMILY.3. FAILURE OF THE CHURCH. “The cults thrive because Christians are lacking in biblical & theological understanding.”
  • 8. DOCTRINAL CHARACTER OF THE CULTS How do you know if a religious group is a cult? Cults deviate from biblical Christianity in several key areas of doctrine. FALSE TEACHING ON THE NATURE OF GOD. The central feature that distinguishes cults from biblical Christianity is the doctrine of the Trinity. CULTS TEACH FALSE VIEW OF JESUS. 2Cor. 11:4, Paul warned about false teachers teaching another Jesus… FALSE TAECHING ON SALVATION. All cults have a work-oriented Gospel… EXTRA-BIBLICAL REVELATION & THE SOLE AUTHORITY OF THE BIBLE. Cults claim that extra-biblical revelation is given to the leader whose words are seen inspired by God & equal to the Bible. The leader’s words & writtings take precedence over the Bible.
  • 9. Go to “ Counterfeit Christs Introduction 1”CounterfeitChrists A study of false saviors and false salvation "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”-John 8:24
  • 10. SOCIOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CULTS AUTHORITARIANISM  OPPOSITIONAL ELITIST MENTALITY  SUBJECTIVE ISOLATIONIST  PERSECUTION CLOSED- CONTIOUS MINDEDNESS  SANCTION- LEGALISTIC ORIENTED LIFESTYLE  ESOTERIC (mysterious, private) DIFFICULT EXIT PROCESS  ANTI-SACERDOTAL Life in the cults is marked by fear of judgment, preassure, and legalism. This is very different from what we are taught in the Bible.
  • 11. CULTIC METHODOLOGY METHODS CULTS USE TO WIN CONVERTS MORAL DECEPTION, cults use Christian terminology to win converts. AGGRESSIVE PROSELYTIZING, Although many Christian groups use aggressive evangelism, they do so out of love for God and a desire to see others come to know Christ. Many cultist feel guilty if a day or so goes by without them proselytizing. SCRIPTURE TWISTING, Cultist quote verses in the Bible that support their position, but skip over the verses that do not, they interpret the text & not the whole context…
  • 12. 1 PETER 3: 15WE MUST BE PREPARED BY KNOWINGTHE WORD OF GOD TO DILIGENT STUDYOF IT.WE MUST OVERCOME OUR FEARS ANDLOVINGLY REACH OUT TO CULTMEMBERSEXERCISING THE FRUITS OF PATIENCE& GENTLENESS AS WE SHARE THETRUTH.
  • 13. DANGER OF THE CULTSThe rise of the cults pose a serious challenge to the church because they present several dangers to the church an families involved.1. SPIRITUAL DANGER, 1 Timothy 4:1, “…that in later times some will abandon the faith & follow deceiving spirits & things taught by demons.” So the ultimate force behind the cults is the evil one. Gal. 1:8,…2. PSYCHOLOGICAL DANGER, The mind controlling techniques used by the organizations can cause immense damage mentally & emotionally. Living under the pressure, guilt, & dependence on the organization has proven to have tremendous negative effects on individuals.3. DOMESTIC DANGER, Loyalty to the organization supercedes loyalty to family,4. PHYSICAL DANGER, …
  • 14. CHRISTIANS ARE CALLED TO: STUDY & KNOW THE WORD OF GOD. 1 TIM. 3:15 CHRISTIANS SHOULD MASTER THE BIBLE SO THAT THEY WILL not BE DECEIVE BY ANY FALSE TEACHING. TITUS A COMMAND TO BE ABLE TO CONFRONT & REFUTE FALSE TEACHERS. ACTS 20 EVERY CHRISTIANS IS CALLED TO KNOW THE TRUTH SO WELL THEY CAN CONFRONT FALSE TEACHING, & PROTECT THEIR CHURCH & FAMILY FROM IT.
  • 15. Cults use the Bible to support its position in a host of interpretive errors: Taking verses out of their immediate context. Refusing to read verses in the entire biblical context. Inserting their theological presuppositions into the text. Altering the Biblical text to suit their needs. Latching onto one verse to interpret a host of others. Changing the meanings of words. Proclaiming some passages to be figurative when they contradict their doctrines. Adding to the Word of God.
  • 16. TYPE OF CULTSTO BETTER UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCES IN CULTIC GROUPS EASTERN MYSTICAL ABERRANT (departing from the right) CHRISTIAN PSYCHOSPIRITUAL OR SELF IMPROVEMENT ECLECTIC/SYNCRETISTIC PSYCHIC/OCCULT/ASTRAL ESTABLISHED CULTS EXTREMIST/POLITICAL/SOCIAL MOVEMENTS
  • 17. 10 RULES IN DEALING WITH CULTIST BE PRAYERFUL, 2 COR. 4:4; EPH. 6:18-20; 2 THES. 3:1-2, WE ARE IN A SPIRITUAL WARFARE BE PATIENT, THEIR ANGER MAYBE ASIGN THAT YOU ARE CONVINCING THEM YOU ARE RIGHT. BE POLITE, 1 COR. 13:5 BE LOVING CHOOSE ONE, TWO or THREE MAIN ERRORS OF THE CULT, BE ABLE TO REFUTE THEM THOROUGHLY, AND STICK TO THESE MAIN POINTS.