Cult signs (Unitarians, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses included)

Discussions surrounding the various other faiths who deviate from mainstream Christian doctrine such as LDS and the Jehovah's Witnesses.
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Cult signs (Unitarians, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses included)

#1

Post by ochotseat » Sat May 14, 2005 1:14 am

How to recognize cults and what the Bible says about them:

http://www.afcministry.com/Arminianism_ ... newYou.htm

Matthew 7:13-29
21 "Not everyone who says to Me, `Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 "Many will say to Me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, `I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'

One path is the narrow gate that is the way for salvation, namely a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ, the true Foundation. The other one is the wide path that leads to destruction, namely all other ways that people add by teaching works, having to join a certain Church for salvation, liberalism, etc.  The contrast is simple.  Jesus then continues on warning those listening to be careful of false prophets (those who claim to speak or represent God's truth) and He points them to examine their fruits. 

http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/teachi ... Q_cult.asp

How Do I Recognize a Cult?

CBN.com -- Practically every cult has certain characteristics that can tell the careful observer that something is wrong. For instance, what does a group think about Jesus? Jesus Christ is God, Lord of all, the only source of salvation. Invariably, a cult will put something else on an equal footing with Christ. It will have a ritual that is equal to Christ, or it will have a doctrine equal to Christ, or it will have a leader who is equal to Christ. In other words, even if it acknowledges Christ as Savior, it will say that you need something else before you can get into heaven. Cults teach that salvation comes through Christ, plus their little unique way. Some cults do not acknowledge Christ at all. They may make Him coequal with their religious teachers or with certain great men of history. The quickest way to recognize a cult is by its treatment of Jesus.

Second, cults frequently attempt to instill fear into their followers. The followers are taught constantly that salvation comes only through the cult. "If you leave us, you will lose your salvation," they say.

The third area has to do with the exaltation of the leader of the cult. Cults often center around a man or woman who is trying to gain power, money, or influence from manipulating people. This appears to be the case in the Unification church with Sun Myung Moon. In the Children of God, Moses David Berg is an autocratic leader. In the People's Temple, Jim Jones drew attention to himself and asked his followers to die with him. A true leader who serves Jesus Christ has one goal, and that is to exalt and manifest Jesus. When someone says he has unique insight into God or is the special one that God has anointed to reach the world, you are dealing with cultic behavior.

A final mark of a cult is the unwillingness of the leaders to let the people grow up. A true shepherd will do everything he can to bring Christian people to maturity as quickly as he can. He will not seek to avoid necessary teaching, nor will he try to keep people from maturity. Many cults perpetuate spiritual dependence so that their followers lose the ability to make independent, rational decisions. Often techniques of brainwashing are used to create robotlike behavior.

Although there are other marks of cultic behavior, these seem to be the ones that stand out.

WHAT DO MORMONS BELIEVE?

Mormons are some of the most exemplary human beings, especially in regard to their behavior patterns and their adherence to the fundamental values of our society. But their religious beliefs are, to put is simply, wrong. They believe that an angel named Moroni left some gold tablets in upstate New York and that these tablets were discovered by a man named Joseph Smith. From these tablets, Joseph Smith "translated" the Book of Mormon, which is the foundation upon which Mormonism is built. Mormons also consider two other books, Doctrine and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price, to be divinely inspired.

Mormonism differs from biblical Christianity in several areas. Mormons do not believe, for example, that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ. Mormons must work their way to heaven. (B. R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine (Salt Lake City:1958), p. 191.)

Mormonism teaches that God is not the only deity and that we all have the potential of becoming gods. (Ibid., p. 576.) (Remember that Satan's fall came about because he wanted to be like God.) God, according to Mormons, is not just Spirit but has "a body of flesh and bones as tangible as a man's." (Doctrine and Covenants, 130:22.) They teach, "As we are, he was. As he is, we shall become." (Joseph Smith, "The King Follett Discourse," p. 9.) There has been constant revision of Mormon doctrine over the years, as church leaders have changed their minds on a number of subjects including polygamy, which was once sanctioned by the church.

In summary, the Mormon church is a prosperous, growing organization that has produced many people of exemplary character. But when it comes to spiritual matters, the Mormons are far from the truth.

WHAT DO JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES BELIEVE?

Jehovah's Witnesses believe, essentially, that to gain salvation you must witness for Jehovah; you must go out on the streets and proclaim salvation in Jehovah. They are different from Christians in that they believe Jesus Christ is only one of many gods and that He is a created being. They translate John 1:1 as, "In the beginning was the word...and the word was a god." The Greek says, instead, "And the word was God" (John 1:1).

Because Jehovah's Witnesses give allegiance only to Jehovah, they do not pledge allegiance to the flag, they do not vote, they do not serve in armed forces, and they do not hold public office. They do not celebrate holidays or birthdays. Another unique teaching prohibits them from taking blood transfusions.

Jehovah's Witnesses originally taught that the world would end in 1914. It obviously did not. They also taught that there were only 144,000 people who were going to be saved by going to heaven. When Jehovah's Witnesses membership went past 144,000, they said they were the meek and were going to inherit the earth.

A major problem with the tenets of Jehovah's Witnesses is that there is never an assurance of salvation. In Christianity, a person can know that he is saved by trusting in Jesus. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that salvation comes through good works, so they must work continuously, without ever really knowing whether they will be saved. Many of their other doctrines are not biblical either.

WHAT ARE THE PRINCIPAL BELIEFS OF MIND CONTROL, SPIRITISM, EDGAR CAYCE, AND HINDUISM?

In one way or another each of these cults focuses on the "universal consciousness" concept that human beings --

are part of a vast, timeless consciousness,
are ultimately divine,
will live forever in various forms,
can communicate with the dead or various spirits in the universe through reincarnation,
and can receive power through psychic and, in some instances, bodily exercise to transcend nature, understand mysteries, and affect their own destinies or the lives of those around them.

These groups, in the name of "research and enlightenment," "psychic research," "transcendental meditation," "yoga," etc., are actually not in touch with some great "God consciousness" or psychic power but Satan and demons. The Greek word psuche is translated "soul," and from that we get the term psychic. Most of these things deal with psychic, or soulish, phenomena. When people touch the true God, they do so through the human spirit. God does not work on the soul of man but the spirit.

The apostle Paul, writing to the Corinthians, said the psuchikos man, the soulish man, will not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him (see I Corinthians 2:14). Mind control, the Edgar Cayce teachings, and the new age movement all appeal to the soulish man, because they do not require repentance. They do not require being born again. A concept in most of these cults is that if a person gains sufficient knowledge, he can dominate and control the events of the world because he is part of god. He can manipulate god, because he is god. He is part of the universal consciousness, and as he opens himself up to progressive revelations, he in turn is lifted to higher and higher levels of understanding. As he advances, they teach, he gains authority over himself, his body, and those around him.

We must remember that the soulish realm is the realm of demons. Demons can and often do enter into this psychic area. The people who are in touch with the dead, in touch with "the other world," are not tapping into some universal consciousness. They are in touch with demons. Demons lurk behind the Hindu and other oriental religions, as well as behind the mind control teachings. As people try to exercise their soulish powers and manipulate others, they are trying to project themselves into this world of demonic power. They are not asking for a savior. They are not asking for forgiveness. Instead, they are asking for human power, for expansion of human psychic potential, and therein is their downfall. Those who stay with these beliefs long enough get deeper and deeper into them. They will sooner or later be in touch with, and perhaps even possessed by, demons.

The Bible does not tell us to get involved in sharpening our psychic powers. Such things are not of God. God will give people the wisdom they need through the Bible. And through the Holy Spirit, He will give them the power they need to live the life they are supposed to live. This inordinate seeking of knowledge about the future, the inordinate seeking of power over other people, the inordinate seeking of enhancement of human potential, is dangerous. Just entering into such activity is bad. I have heard of people who have started to levitate, and some who have had horrible faces appear to them in the night. All such things are symbols and signs that these people are in touch with demons.

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#2

Post by voicingmaster » Sat May 14, 2005 10:51 am

They [JWs] are different from Christians in that they believe Jesus Christ is only one of many gods
That's just an outright lie. They believe He is an angel. However, I do agree that their beliefs are whack.

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#3

Post by ochotseat » Sat May 14, 2005 1:05 pm

voicingmaster wrote:
They [JWs] are different from Christians in that they believe Jesus Christ is only one of many gods
That's just an outright lie. They believe He is an angel. However, I do agree that their beliefs are whack.
Are you connoting that CBN is lying? They aren't. Look at this:

http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-r005.html

JW's believe that Jesus Christ was a perfect man, and that He is a person distinct from God the Father. However, they also teach that before His earthly life, Jesus was a spirit creature, Michael the archangel, who was created by God and became the Messiah at His baptism. According to Jehovah's Witnesses, Jesus is a mighty one, although not almighty as Jehovah God is. According to John 1:1 in their Bible, The New World Translation, Christ is "a god" but not "the God." They teach that Jesus "was and is and always will be beneath Jehovah" and that "Christ and God are not coequal".

A god alludes to the possibility of more than one god, which is polytheism.
Do all JWs believe in the existence of lesser gods than Jehovah? No. Are there some who do? Yes.

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#4

Post by voicingmaster » Sat May 14, 2005 2:47 pm

A "god" can just be a being with a large amount of powers. In the Bible Satan is called "god of this world". Some humans and judges are called gods. Does that mean Satan and men should be worshiped? Absolutely not!

Calling Jesus a god doesn't mean polytheisim, it just means that Jesus was and is a power being.

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#5

Post by ochotseat » Sat May 14, 2005 4:46 pm

voicingmaster wrote:A "god" can just be a being with a large amount of powers. In the Bible Satan is called "god of this world". Some humans and judges are called gods. Does that mean Satan and men should be worshiped? Absolutely not!

Calling Jesus a god doesn't mean polytheisim, it just means that Jesus was and is a power being.
Satan's not a god. He's a fallen angel. By referring to Jesus as a god and not the god, the JWs are recognizing the possibility that other gods exist.

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#6

Post by voicingmaster » Sat May 14, 2005 5:51 pm

I know he's a fallen angel. The Biblical reference to him being a god is metaphorical in that he isn't to be worshipped, but he is a powerful being. In the Bible "god" doesn't neccessarily mean something to be worshipped. Don't believe that the Bible calls Satan the "god of this age"? (I know I said world before for some strange reason, but I stand corrected, it's age)

2 Corinthians 4:4 "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. "

As for human judges being "gods":

Psalms 82:6 "I myself have said, 'YOU are gods, And all of YOU are sons of the Most High. "


So you see, calling Jesus "a god" is not Polytheism, but rather acknowledging His power. Jesus is more powerful than Satan and the human judges, so why not call Jesus "a god" if those two are called "gods"?

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#7

Post by ochotseat » Sun May 15, 2005 1:37 am

voicingmaster wrote: 2 Corinthians 4:4 "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. ""?
Ok, it sounds like you're not getting the point. The JWs have their own Bible, which has an altered verse that refers to Jesus as a god, not God. The verse you referred to is an allusion to sin and the evils of the world. The JWs don't consider Jesus as God nor do they believe in the Trinity. They are a cult.
voicingmaster wrote: As for human judges being "gods":

Psalms 82:6 "I myself have said, 'YOU are gods, And all of YOU are sons of the Most High. "
""?
Again, that wasn't supposed to be literal. This is supported by the succeeding verse:

Psalm 82:7 (New International Version)
7 But you will die like mere men;
you will fall like every other ruler."
voicingmaster wrote: So you see, calling Jesus "a god" is not Polytheism, but rather acknowledging His power. Jesus is more powerful than Satan and the human judges, so why not call Jesus "a god" if those two are called "gods"?
Sounds like you have some connection to the hellbound JWs.

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#8

Post by voicingmaster » Sun May 15, 2005 6:28 pm

No, it's you who don't get it. In both the times that Satan and human judges were referred to as gods in the Bible, it is figurative and meant to say that they are simply powerful. Now think, it calls two other beings "god", Satan and human judges, and those two were figurative, then calls Jesus a god. Why is it that saying Jesus is a god have to be literal? Trust me, I know what I'm talking about, JWs aren't polytheists, I've researched it thoroughly. The entire reason they reject the Trinity is b/c they think it's polytheistic.

And as for me being a JW, I used to consider becoming one, but then I saw how illogical they are. However, I don't believe in the Trinity.

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#9

Post by twoedgedsword » Sun May 15, 2005 6:56 pm

Hey voice why dont you start your own religion just tear out the pages of the bible that you dont agree with and you will be good to go.

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#10

Post by voicingmaster » Sun May 15, 2005 7:44 pm

Oh, you're so clever and funny :roll:

I've studied the doctrine of the Trinity, I've looked into it very closely. And I see no reason to believe in said doctrine. And yes, parts of the Bible are mistranslated, and there is a rebuttal for each and eveyr single "Trinity passage".

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#11

Post by twoedgedsword » Sun May 15, 2005 8:00 pm

Please voice tell me something that is mistranslated and how you come to find out about it.




the Sword.

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#12

Post by ochotseat » Mon May 16, 2005 1:00 am

voicingmaster wrote:No, it's you who don't get it. In both the times that Satan and human judges were referred to as gods in the Bible, it is figurative and meant to say that they are simply powerful. Now think, it calls two other beings "god", Satan and human judges, and those two were figurative, then calls Jesus a god. Why is it that saying Jesus is a god have to be literal? Trust me, I know what I'm talking about, JWs aren't polytheists, I've researched it thoroughly. The entire reason they reject the Trinity is b/c they think it's polytheistic.

And as for me being a JW, I used to consider becoming one, but then I saw how illogical they are. However, I don't believe in the Trinity.
Hey voice why dont you start your own religion just tear out the pages of the bible that you dont agree with and you will be good to go.
Good one, Two. I guess the biblical verse and the fact that the JWs have their own versions of the Bible didn't get through her head. It looks like she also doesn't realize that all Christians believe and are obligated to accept the Trinity. :lol:

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#13

Post by voicingmaster » Mon May 16, 2005 2:36 pm

If you want to see the list, go to biblicalunitarian.com, and you can see everyone of them listed.

And btw, I'm a he.

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#14

Post by August » Mon May 16, 2005 2:46 pm

Voicingmaster, we have been down this road before. Your website does not come close to rebuking all Scripture related to the Trinity. You keep referring us there but are not prepared to actively engage in a discussion about it.

I repeat my request, since you keep on saying that you can rebuke ALL of the Scripture dealing with the Trinity:

Rebuke the Trinity as seen from the following Scriptures. Please quote the Scripture, original language, as well as the theological and historical sources of your rebukes.

John 10:30; John 10:38; John 12:45; John 14:7-10; John 17:10, John 14:16; John 15:26, Proverbs 30:4; Matthew 11:27, Isaiah 40:28; John 1:3; Col. 1:16, Neh. 9:6; Col. 1:17; Hebrews 1:3, Genesis 17:1; Genesis 32:24-30; Genesis 48:15-16; Judges 6:22-24; Judges 13:21-22; Job 19:25-27; Hosea 12:3-5, Genesis 1:1; Exodus 23:20-21; Numbers 21:6; Psalm 24:10; Psalm 45:6-7; Psalm 102:1-14; Psalm 102:24-27; Psalm 110:1; Isaiah 6:1; Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 8:13-14; Isaiah 9:6; Isaiah 40:3; Isaiah 40:9-10; Malachi 3:1; Matthew 1:23; Matthew 3:3; Matthew 8:29; Matthew 9:6; Matthew 11:10; Matthew 22:43-45; Matthew 28:17-18; Mark 5:6-7; Luke 4:12; Luke 4:33-34; Luke 8:28; Luke 9:43-44; John 1:1-2; John 5:17-18; John 5:21-23; John 10:30-33; John 12:41; John 12:45; John 20:28; Acts 7:37-39; Acts 20:28; Romans 1:7; Romans 9:5; 1 Cor. 1:3; 1 Cor. 2:8; 1 Cor. 8:6; 1 Cor. 10:9; 1 Cor. 15:47; 2 Cor. 1:2; Galatians 1:1; Galatians 1:3; Ephes. 1:2; Ephes. 6:23-24; Phil. 1:2; Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 1:2; 1 Thes. 1:1; 1 Thes. 3:11; 2 Thes. 1:1-2; 2 Thes. 2:16-17; 1 Tim. 3:16; 2 Tim. 1:2; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:8; Hebrews 1:10; 1 Peter 2:8; 1 John 5:20
Acts 17:24-25 (NIV)
"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. [25] And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else."

//www.omnipotentgrace.org
//christianskepticism.blogspot.com

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#15

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Mon May 16, 2005 3:45 pm

Good old august, always goes for the weakpoints-lack of evidence 8)
"My actions prove that God takes care of idiots."

He occasionally stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.
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An atheist can't find God for the same reason a criminal can't find a police officer.

You need to start asking out girls so that you can get used to the rejections.
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