Three Major Pseudo Christian Movements
A person falsely called a Christian; a person who falsely claims to be a Christian, a pretended Christian.
Of, relating to, or characterized by pseudo-Christians or pseudo-Christianity; falsely called or professing to be Christian.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in William Fulke (d. 1589), theologian and college head. From pseudo- + Christian, after post-classical Latin pseudochristianus false Christian Compare Byzantine Greek ψευδοχριστιανός.
While there may be several kinds of cults, we are interested in the “pseudo-Christian cults.” These are the groups that call themselves Christians, but really are not.
There are several characteristics of a cult. Here is a partial list of characteristics that are common to them. Every cult does not necessarily have all these characteristics, but all cults have some of them.
• Typically, there is a central human character who has a controlling influence over the cult members even years after his death. The Heaven’s Gate cult, the Fundamental Latter Day Saints (FLDS) group, or the Jim Jones cult are examples.
• Behaviour is cliquish to the extreme. They teach that if you are not a member of their particular group, you will not go to heaven.
• They participate in the esoteric, i.e. they may claim to have a specialized and secret knowledge that can only be apprehended by those in the group.
• Another tactic is to withhold aspects of their theology until you are well entrenched within the group. You may not learn about the strange and aberrant aspects of their teachings up front. Mormons fit into this category.
• They put extreme pressure on their members to stay in the group. They may teach, for example, that to leave their church body condemns the person, sometimes even to a hell even worse than if they had never been part of their church in the first place. In some cases, leaving the church also ostracizes you from your own family and friends. This is especially true of both Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. (This is also true to an extreme among Muslims.)
• They overbearingly warn you against reading religious materials that are not published by their group. This tactic is a method of mind control. God wants us to seek Him freely (2 Corinthians 3:17). Intellectual honesty begins with a willingness to consider evidence contrary to one’s current view. A forced adherence to a belief system is artificial, thus not honoring to God. Any group that discourages you from reading other materials in order to seek the truth is almost certainly a cult. Jehovah’s Witnesses are the prime example of this.
• Cults typically use Christian terminology, but pour different meanings into the words. This is why they so easily trap people. For example, heaven, hell, salvation, Jesus, faith, gospel, etc., may have very different meanings than those of the historic orthodox Christian faith (Galatians 1:6-9). Mormons are especially guilty of this.
• Thus, cults usually have a different Jesus than the one of the historic Christian faith. Mormons, for example, use Jesus in the name of their organization (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) but they have constructed a Jesus far different from the one in the Bible. For example, they say that Jesus is the spirit brother of Lucifer (the devil)—denigrating the unique position of Jesus. The Bible warns about this very serious error (2 Corinthians 11:4). Mormons also say that Jesus is merely the “god” of planet earth, and that there are many gods—one for each planet. Mormons thus really teach polytheism, which is contrary to the God of the Bible. The Bible teaches that there is only one God (who appears to us in the three persons of the Trinity).
• Cults invariably teach that salvation is by your good works. But what makes Christianity unique versus all other religions is the teaching that salvation (entry into heaven) is by faith, not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9). While orthodox Christianity teaches that nobody is good enough to earn their way to heaven, every cult has developed some system of obedience that the member must follow in order to get to heaven. Biblical Christianity teaches the importance of good works in the life of the believer, good works being an evidence of a true saving faith. But good works come as a result of faith—not as an initial requirement for eternal salvation. (See I’ve lived a pretty good life. I’ll go to heaven, if there is one, won’t I? and our Christian Cram Course).
• Pseudo-Christian cults typically use the Bible as one of their source texts. But they emphasize other materials—books or pamphlets—published by their own group, as being on par with the Bible or as the last word in biblical interpretation. When you study these other works, you will find that they conflict with the Bible in key areas. (A basic law of logic says that if two things contradict each other, both cannot be true.) Such contradictions discredit these teachings. Truth is internally consistent, not contradictory. Mormons, for example, have other books besides the Bible.
• Jehovah’s Witnesses have their own version of the Bible. This is another tip-off that something might be amiss. Scholarly examinations of their New World Translation Bible have shown it to be filled with purposeful errors designed to mislead the reader and conform to pre-conceived theological ideas.
• Others have simply chosen to deny the authority of Scripture, choosing what to believe is true and discard or ignore what they don’t like. This may be particularly deceiving as these folks may actually be part of “main line” Christian denominations. While some might merely call their teaching heretical, others may go further and consider them cultic.
Orthodox Christianity, Essential Beliefshttp://www.faithfacts.org/world-religions-and-theology/cults-and-heresies#christian
Over the centuries, Christian leaders have agreed on certain elements that are key to the faith. While this is not necessarily all-inclusive, below is a list of the essential beliefs that are consistent with “being a Christian.”
• There is one God. While there is only one God, he exists in three “persons”—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Thus, these three manifestations of God exist in one divine being or essence.
• God, the Father, made everything that exists—visible and invisible—and continues to sustain it.
• Jesus Christ, is true man, and at the same time is of the same nature and essence as God the Father. As the Son of God he is truly divine. That Jesus was born of a virgin is supporting evidence of his dual nature of both man and God. He lived a perfect life while on earth, having come to suffer and die for mankind as a ransom for our sins. After he died on the cross and was buried, he came back to life on the third day after his death (was bodily resurrected), an event which had been predicted in the Bible.
• God, the Holy Spirit, is also true God and is to be worshipped and glorified as such. The Holy Spirit invites each person to partake of Christ’s blessings which are offered to us, and to experience a personal relationship with Christ. The Holy Spirit gives us the saving knowledge of Jesus, our Savior, so that we can trust and believe and rejoice in Him. The Holy Spirit also comforts, guides, and sustains us in the faith.
• God is perfectly holy and perfectly just. Mankind, from Adam on, has separated himself from God by sin and thus deserves death and eternity in hell. (Note: Some Christians define hell as eternal conscious punishment, other define it as annihilation.) Nobody is good enough to meet God’s standard of holiness.
• Salvation is the condition of being saved from sin, death, and God’s wrath. Because Jesus lived a perfect life in our stead, by his crucifixion to take the punishment for our sins, and by overcoming death in his bodily resurrection—believers can confidently look forward to eternal life in heaven. Salvation is given by grace through a living faith in Christ; that is, it is a gift from God to all who repent and trust in Christ as Savior and Master.
• Baptism is a means, an instrument of, or a sign of acceptance of God’s grace.
• Jesus’ own teaching and his attitude toward the total truthfulness and supreme authority of the Bible—God’s inspired Word—make the Scriptures our final rule for faith and practice.
• All believers in Christ are members of one spiritual body, the Church.
Pseudo-Christian Cults or Sects
These following links are to recommended articles exposing the teachings and dangers of Pseudo-Christian Religion.http://www.spiritual-research-network.com/pseudochristiancults.html
PSEUDO CHRISTIAN CULT:
4.01.04.02: (The Jesus of the Cults and religions) Another Jesus
4.01.04.17: Church of Religious Science
4.01.04.00: Church of Christ (Cambellites)
4.01.04.22: Harold Camping FamilyRadio.Com, Family Ministries, Inc. [Books: 1994? and Time Has An End]
4.01.04.24: International Church of Christ (ICOC)
4.01.04.38: Seventh-day Adventists
4.01.04.39: Shepherding Movement
4.01.04.41: Snake Handling Pentecostal Sects
4.01.04.42: Spiritualism (Spiritualist Churches)
4.01.04.53: Word Faith
POSSIBLE CHRISTIAN SECTS
4.01.04.09: Possible Sects?: Charismatic Movement
4.01.04.32: Possible Sects?: Plymouth Brethren
4.01.04.33: Possible Sects?: Pentecostalism
MOVEMENTS PENDING INVESTIGATION
4.01.04.04: Pending Investigation: Apostolic-Prophetic Movement
4.01.04.07: Pending Investigation: Bible Students
4.01.04.08: Pending Investigation: British New Church Movement
4.01.04.15: Pending Investigation: Church of Armageddon
4.01.04.16: Pending Investigation: Church of God (Restoration)
4.01.04.23: Pending Investigation: Iglesia ni Cristo
4.01.04.25: Pending Investigation: Jesuism
4.01.04.29: Pending Investigation: Local churches
Cult Comparison Charthttps://carm.org/cult-comparison-chart
This chart is a simplification of various groups and their beliefs. It is, to be realistic, an oversimplification. But it gives the reader an idea of where the groups stand.
|The Church||God||Jesus||Salvation||Jesus’ Resur-rection||Scripture
and writings associated
(The Truth to compare against)
|Jesus Christ||That Jesus saves from sin||Those who are saved||Trinity: 3 Persons in one God||God in flesh||by Grace||Jesus rose in the same body he died in.||The Bible alone|
|John Thomas (1805-1871) founded 1848||Faith in Christ and baptism||Members of their church||One God as one person||Created being. A man with a sin nature||Baptism is required||Yes||The Bible is inspired. Elpis Israel, Eureka written by founder.|
|Christian Science||Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910)||Religious beliefs of Jesus’ teachings, not the atonement.||A collection of spiritual ideas||Impersonal Universal Presence||A man in tune with the Divine Consciousness, not the Christ.||Correct thinking||No||Bible, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Miscellany|
|Islam||Muh-ammad||Faith in Allah and works||n/a||One God: Allah. Non Trinitarian||Created being. A prophet. Not God.||by Allah’s grace and man’s works||No.||Qur’an, Hadith|
|Jehovah’s Witnesses||Charles T. Russell (1852-1916) founded 1879||Jesus opened the door for us to earn our salvation||Members of their church||One Person||Created being. Michael the archangel who became a man||Keeping the command-ments, being in their Organization||No||Bible, Studies in the Scriptures, presently the Watchtower and Awake Magazines|
|Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints (Mormons)||Joseph Smith (1805-1844) founded 1830||Jesus’ atonement plus the Laws and ordinances of the gospel||Members of their church||Triad – 3 gods.||Created being. The brother of the devil and of all people||Resurrected by grace, saved by doing works.||Yes||The Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price|
|Oneness Pentecostal||N/A||Faith in Christ and baptism||Members of their church||One Person modalism||God in flesh||By faith and baptism “in Jesus’ name” in their church||Yes||The Bible|
|Theosophy||Madame Helena Blavatsky (1831-1891) founded 1875||n/a||n/a||God is a principle||Created being. A great teacher||*||No||The Secret Doctrine, Isis Unveiled, The Key to Theosophy, and The Voice of the Silence|
|Unity||Charles Fillmore (1854-1948) founded 1889||The overall principles of Unity||A collection of spiritual ideas||Impersonal Universal Power||Created being. A man, not the Christ||Adopting the correct Unity thought principles||No||Bible, Unity Magazine, Metaphysical Bible Dictionary.|
|Way International||Victor Paul Weirwell (1917-1985)||Earned||Members of their church||One Person||Created being. A man, not God in flesh||By works||Yes||Bible, Jesus Christ is Not God, Power for Abundant Living|
original source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/End_times#Latter-day_Saints_and_Mormonism
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