CULTS/HERESIES (Part 2)
- Some define it more widely than others so there is a range from heresies to cults
- could be commercial, psychological manipulator and exploiters, and are not limited to religious sects. Usually a cult starts from heretical cells. Heresies if taken further will become cults.
Cultic Behavior: having ideological beliefs and philosophies to disseminate to people through pulling and holding them together by charismatic relationship; having a popular charismatic leader that people look to and lift up; demands total commitment to the group
Cultic Beliefs: teaching opposes or denies essentials of orthodox Christian faith; subverting, destabilizing and destroying the core of Christian faith; they appear Christian but in reality is an enemy of the faith. An example is Oneness Pentecostal who believe God is Jesus only and not the Father or the Holy Spirit.
They use the same vocabulary and languages as Christians do but define them differently – some describe it as a Trojan Horse. Heretic beliefs depart from orthodoxy in these subjects:
- Revelation- claim special revelation/knowledge from God to them with special authority;
- God – distortion of the true God and his attributes – e.g. He is only love and no wrath and there is no judgment from God;
- Christ – he is only divine or only human, or he is an angel;
- Salvation – promotes either legalism or license to sin; e.g. Christians are not sinners and there is no need to confess sins;
- Church – they are the only true church; demands loyalty to a charismatic leader and they lead people away from the Church (meaning other fellowships of Christians);
- Future – claim divine revelation, knowledge and authority about Christ’s return.
Why are people drawn to heretic groups or cults?
They have special tactics to recruit, convert and hold people by targeting the weaknesses that people have – love bombing, close attachments.
Those who are vulnerable:
- No training or little knowledge about the truth;
- having gone through emotional crisis and are needy of love and care;
- who lack rational thinking because of confusion through physical or psychological disorders;
- who seek recognition, attention, or satisfaction of their ego or power; that is why we see famous celebrities in cults.
“One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet" (Pr 27:7)
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.
Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief" (Pr 14:12-13)
We have a responsibility to the gospel, to the church and to the Word of God, and to care for those who are misled and fall into the trap.
The best safeguard is to have a mature grasp of the scripture and become discerning. How the Bible talks about it?
a. _____________________________ (2 Tim 2:24-25)
b. _____________________________ (Act 17:11)
c. _____________________________ (1 John 4:1)
d. _____________________________ (Heb 5:12-14)
e. _____________________________ (Eph 4:12-14)
f. _____________________________ (1 Thess 5:21-22)
Permission obtained from authors. Please state “JLHCG: https://jlhcg.wordpress.com” when forwarding.