RSS

False Cults : An Introduction by Dr. Johnson C. Philip & Dr. Saneesh Cherian

24 Feb

As promised, here is our series on cults. Take your time and get the most out of the information we provide.

————————————————————————————————————————————————
Bible-believing Christians have always been weary of teachings, doctrines, movements, and organizations that take people away from the Biblical faith. Thus all conservative and evangelical churches have given unusual attention to false cults and false teachings and also to methods needed to fight these movements. This kept Cults away most Evangelical churches for a long time, but now they have begun to attack the evangelical believers with a renewed zeal.

 
In the last few decades the false cults have given much attention to fishing or people-trapping. Using the latest psychological information, they have discovered the causes for resistance and also the methods to overcome it. Many of the groups have been producing massive handbooks on people-catching. These books explain religious-salesmanship in the minutes detail. Even the strongest objection that can be raised by an evangelical Christian is mentioned, along with the cultist strategies to nullify this opposition.

 
Thus the cultist who knocks at our door today is a person vastly different from his predecessors of yesteryears. In the past it was a battle only of doctrines, but today it has turned into a highly sophisticated doctrinal-psychological assault from them. Yet the war can be won, and we can defend our faith (and the spiritual balance of our family-members), provided we are armed with a single weapon: the Sword of the spirit.

 
Using the Sword of the Spirit requires a bit of preparation on two fronts. First, we should be thoroughly acquainted with the sword itself. Second, we should be knowledgeable about the enemy and his strategies. The first part is done by a thorough study of the major Biblical doctrines, and that is not the aim of this book. The second part is done by studying the cults in some detail, and that is what we propose to do in the coming pages.

 
A Cult is a religious group or movement that attacks or questions the major tenets of the historical Christian faith. Many minor subjects are also attacked, but these do not pose as serious a danger as the previous category. The purpose of such attack is not to expose any genuine errors in our doctrinal understanding, nor to reform any failure, but to destroy the cardinal doctrines. The ultimate aim of this destructive work is to replace Biblically sound doctrines with the petty, erroneous, and even blasphemous doctrines of the false cult.

 
The Cultic phenomena has today become such a powerful means of gaining power and money that it is now seen even beyond strictly religious circles. Thus though originally cults were mostly of religious origin, today they can be of non religious origin too. Such divers is the origin of cults today that it has become necessary to classify them into four slightly overlapping groups. The details of this classification ate given in another part of this book.

 
Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, etc. are classified as major world religious. These world religions exist by virtue of their independent world-views, and not by denial/building upon the foundation of any other major religion. Cults are smaller groups formed primarily upon denial of some tenets of major religions. The deviating path embraced by the cults and the major religion with which they compete are often very clear. There might be some religious as well as cults that do not fit the above definition. However, there are other factors like historical background and conventions that help us to distinguish even such groups.

 
One special aspect of the cults and movements discussed in this book is either their hatred for Christianity or for their competition with the true Christian faith. It is either this spirit of competition or their desire to eliminate the Christian faith that makes it important to study them. It is a battle in which there is no neutral position
In spite of all talk and discussion about False Cults many Christians are still not convinced that we need to be seriously concerned about them. Worse, many of them tend to ignore the widely seen sheep-stealing and loss of evangelical Christians to False Cults. Part of the reason is ignorance.

 
Many people are ignorant of the scale at which False Cults are doing their work successfully. On the other hand others feel that just ignoring it all will automatically solve the problem. Both of these outcomes of ignorance can be fatal for us.

 
As we write these lines there are many of our beloved friends who are blissfully ignorant that right now their children are playing with the fire of False Doctrines. These doctrines come to them from books, periodicals, their friends, hostel roommates, and also from determined Cultists who feel that these children are a promising target for their “fishing”. We have been warning these parents for quite some time, but they have been ignoring the problem and patronizingly smiling at our ignorance about their family. They feel that even if the whole world turns to False Cults, their own children would never desert their parents. Usually the eyes of these parents open too late for them to do anything.

 
Almost everyone has seen free-style wrestling at least on TV. There are almost no rules, and the wrestlers try to win by any method that they deem helpful. This often leads to much bloodshed and injury before one of them is declared the victor.

 
Now let us assume a situation where one person attacks the other without being constrained by any rule. On the other hand, the other party has to fight back but only within rules. Obviously it is an unequal battle in which the `Free’ wrestler has tremendous unfair advantage over his opponent who is rigidly controlled by rules. The first one can fight fair or foul while the second one cannot at any time cross the boundaries. The situation is so heavily loaded in favour of the first person and against the second person that the second wrestler can win only if a miracle takes place.

 
We Bible-believing Christians are like the wrestler constrained by laws. Our integrity and ethics never permitting us to cross the boundaries of decency and propriety. Yet the cultists are often free to win converts at any cost. And they never spare any efforts to defeat us.

 
Now consider a situation where the first wrestler (and his weapon) is totally invisible. Now even a miracle cannot conceivable help the second wrestler to win. Yet many times that is our situation. The cultists are already waging an unjust and unprincipled war against the Bible-believing people. On top of that they would become an “invisible” adversary if we remain ignorant about them and their tactics. Even the cleverest and most experienced war strategist cannot fight a battle when ignorance is coupled with inequality of rules.

 
There is no question of neutrality here. Either we defend our territory or they come and enslave us. In such a situation, it is a must to know about the enemy. They are not going to play fair, and we cannot force them to change their ways. However, they cannot easily prevent us from knowing about them. So at least in this matter we should not put ourselves in a disadvantageous position.

Advertisements
 
Comments Off on False Cults : An Introduction by Dr. Johnson C. Philip & Dr. Saneesh Cherian

Posted by on February 24, 2016 in academics, Bible, church, comparative religions, controversial issues, education, faith, family, leadership, theology

 

Comments are closed.

 
%d bloggers like this: