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Apostasy                           Cults


2 Corinthians 11:13-15   For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14.  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15.  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

*  Cults as I define them, are groups that hold to teachings that are contrary to Christian  
   doctrines and beliefs. Many of these groups gather around a specific person and their
   misinterpretation of the Bible. The danger of these groups to the body of Christ is that
   they upset the faith of Christians, who are not rooted and grounded in the foundational
   teachings of Christianity.

Mention the word cult to some people and they have images of devil worship and strange practices. In truth many cults have acquired a certain community respectability, by their hard work and good deeds. The danger is not their deeds but the doctrines that they teach. While we can commend their good deeds, we cannot place our stamp of approval upon them as legitimate Christian churches. Teachings that refute the Trinity, the Deity of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Birth, the Holy Spirit, Heaven and Hell ( to name a few ) are doctrines of demons ( 1 Timothy 4:1 ). We are to love the people and pray for them but we can not offer to them the right hand of fellowship,  as the scriptures says:

2 Corinthians 6:14-15   Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what  
fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light  
with darkness?
15.  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with
an infidel?

Amos 3:3   Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

One of the deceptions of cults, is that they; many times use the same terminology as   Christians but their meanings are not the same. An example of this, is the Way  Internationalís teaching concerning the Holy Spirit. The Orthodox Christian view of the Holy Spirit is that He is God, the third person of the Trinity. The Way teach that the Holy Spirit is holy spirit, which is the gift that God gives to  men to replace manís spirit, which ceased at the fall of Adam. Their is a vast difference between the two teachings.

*  When talking with a member of a cult, they leave you with the impression that the two
   of you are talking about the same thing, even though they know better. That is deceitful
   and should tell us something.

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*  Most cults base their salvation upon their works and affiliation with the group that they  
   belong to. As Orthodox Christians, we know that our salvation is by faith in Jesus
   Christ and by the work of His cross.
   Christians must not be ignorant of Satanís devices and if need be  (JUDE 1:3 earnestly
   contend for the faith.)

* The best way to combat these groups, is to make sure that Christians are firmly rooted
   and grounded in Godís Word. Sadly their are many that are tossed to and fro by every
   wind of doctrine ( Ephesians 6:14 ).

*  I once heard a Christian sister say ( concerning a certain cult group ) ďOh, they are such
   nice peopleĒ. Nice is not under consideration, a rejection of Jesus Christ will send a
   nice person to Hell, along with those that follow them.

2 John 1:7-11  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.
8.  Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
9.  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.
10.  If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
11.  For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

* The mistake of many Christians is to invite certain groups into their homes and allow  
   them to share their teachings; which almost always causes confusion, to the point of
   upsetting the faith of some. The scriptures says receive them not into your home.

*  Most Christians are aware when it comes to cults such as the Davidians founded by
   David Koresh but are unaware of the ones that hold a respectable standing, in our
   communities; passing themselves off as Christian churches.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15   For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14.  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15.  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

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Some Earmarks of Cults

1.   Center around an individual or an individualís misinterpretation of the Bible.

2.   Adhere to the interpretations even if proven wrong.

3.   Hold an individualís writings to be in equal authority with Scripture.

4.   Add to, take away or change the Bible to suit their teachings.

5.   Maintain that they are the only ones that are right.  

6.   Maintain that they have a new revelation.

7.   Maintain that they alone, are Godís chosen.

8.   Must earn their salvation by works.

9.   Attack the foundational doctrines of Christianity.

10.  Lord over their members with an iron fist.

11.  Encourage their members to break ties with families etc
 

See contending for the faith for a chart of basic beliefs of several cult groups.

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