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Christians, do you consider all these deviant groups to be cults?

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  3. Christians, do you consider all these deviant groups to be cults?

User Info: YHWH_Saves

YHWH_Saves
1 month ago#1
As someone who adores God and the faith of Jesus, I find that the more I pry into the disjointed "body of Christ," the more odd and cult-like segments I uncover.

It's so frustrating, because it is almost impossible to preach the unadulterated Gospel without having to dispel or combat these offshoot cult doctrines at every turn.

What am I referring to?

- Hebrew Israelites - "God favors us because of our race/skin color."
- KJV Onlyist - "Any other version is a NWO conspiracy to dilute the only saving Gospel of Jesus."
- "Greek is evil. The original language is Aramaic, and the Greek translations all have the wrong God in them." (self explanatory)
- Sinless Perfection - "Jesus said and expects us to be perfect. He said 'Go and sin no more.' Stop sinning or you're a child of Satan."
- Republican Christian - "God wants to wipe Islam off the map. Gays are going to heck. God wants us to use our guns to fight our tyrannical government."
- Marcionism/Gnoticism - "Old Testament God is evil; Jesus is the real God, revealer of secret things."
- Hippie Jesus - "Moses spoked marijuana. God gave every seed for eating/smoking. Just love everyone, and forget all dogma, dude."

Lots of Christians I know are so invested in apologetics - proving that God must exist in accordance with natural laws, or because of morality, etc. - but honestly, I don't think we have any business in taking issue with unbelief so long as we're so filled to the brim with heresies and blasphemies. What form of Jesus or the faith would we point others to, should we win them over with logic/science?

I hate to be cynical, but it's becoming absolutely ridiculous to even fellowship, because someone's always heard [X speaker] who's convinced them that all other interpretations except for this or that is blasphemy, and the conversation/potential for charity is killed.

Anyone else see this?
"Man will not live off of bread alone, but by every word proceeding through the mouth of God." "You are not able to serve God and wealth.".

User Info: JDavidC

JDavidC
1 month ago#2
Not only would I disagree with every group you've mentioned, there are some other things worthy of mention:

- Eternity in Hell(fire) - "Unless you accept Jesus as a saviour (i.e. scapegoat) for your sins, you will burn in Hell for all eternity." I've never heard such nonsense. I also find the notion of eternal suffering thoroughly evil and incompatible with the definition of God. Ever heard of Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God? http://edwards.yale.edu/archive?path=aHR0cDovL2Vkd2FyZHMueWFsZS5lZHUvY2dpLWJpbi9uZXdwaGlsby9nZXRvYmplY3QucGw/Yy4yMTo0Ny53amVv
This type of nonsense needs to be debunked and stopped. This is vicious fearmongering, and is a big problem Christianity is facing.
- Eternal annihilation for the sinful - Like above, except it's "You will die a permanent death and be destroyed body and soul." Nowhere near as bad as the above, but still an epic fail as far as a god of love is concerned.
- Universalism - This is a tricky one, because if you focus only on the end result, you can lose sight of what is important. Universalism is basically everyone will eventually be saved. However, the sooner you try to save yourself from sin (with help from others and Jesus ofc), the better. It still makes sense that most people won't make it to Heaven... at first, but eventually they can in some system along the lines of purgatory. I believe this one is the right one, as it's the only one that doesn't contradict the definition of God, and I'm not aware of any alternatives.
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User Info: YHWH_Saves

YHWH_Saves
1 month ago#3
JDavidC posted...
there are some other things worthy of mention

Probably am forgetting many of them.

What prompted this was a discussion I was having with two ladies. One, interested in the faith, asked the other how she could learn to pray and become close to God. The other responds by saying, "Don't read an English or Greek-translated bible, because Aramaic is the only true one. God is an 'a******' in the Greek/Hebrew."

When I stepped into the conversation, she was nice, but insistent that Aramaic was the true version, and that Jesus was "Yeshua."

As for eternal, conscious punishment, I do believe that it exists, but is reserved for eternal beings - the angels. Even if this were somehow meant to be a metaphor for God finally putting to rest the concept of evil, I wouldn't lose anything. I base my faith on love.

Although there is much wrong with the world, much of it is within me and therefore, my role in ushering in the Kingdom is to simply love and to serve.

Glad I'm not alone in seeing how the age of information has absolutely corrupted our faith!
"Man will not live off of bread alone, but by every word proceeding through the mouth of God." "You are not able to serve God and wealth.".

User Info: JoeyBowey

JoeyBowey
1 month ago#4
You're so blatantly micharacterizing some of these groups that your post is not even worth addressing.

User Info: kozlo100

kozlo100
1 month ago#5
Only a former Christian here, but based on this I suspect you and I have very different definitions of the word 'cult'. While I see the doctrinal differences in all those groups, none of them seems overly cultish to me.

YHWH_Saves posted...
Glad I'm not alone in seeing how the age of information has absolutely corrupted our faith!


That is also a very interesting statement. Presumably you're coming from the perspective of it being too easy to be misled when there's such a glut of information, both true and false, available to everyone. I wonder though, what do you think your opinion of the Moon landing would be if we weren't living in the information age?
Time flies like the wind,
and fruit flies like a banana.

User Info: YHWH_Saves

YHWH_Saves
1 month ago#6
JoeyBowey posted...
You're so blatantly micharacterizing some of these groups that your post is not even worth addressing.

I would love to hear how. I spend LOTS of time interacting with people of each group listed. If I'm wrong, please tell me, as it's very possible that I've conversed with the wrong bunch.
"Man will not live off of bread alone, but by every word proceeding through the mouth of God." "You are not able to serve God and wealth.".

User Info: SockThief

SockThief
1 month ago#7
I have a specific description of what constitutes a cult and groups like you mentioned don't fit it. Like, someone can be KJV-onlyist and I don't think that means they're in a cult or unsaved or bad, just mistaken.

EDIT: on a second glance, I think I'll mention that I don't consider the gnostics to be Christians, although I don't see any kind of modern organization of them to the extent that I'd consider them a cult. Are they even a thing anymore?
I steal your sock.

User Info: YHWH_Saves

YHWH_Saves
1 month ago#8
SockThief posted...
I have a specific description of what constitutes a cult and groups like you mentioned don't fit it. Like, someone can be KJV-onlyist and I don't think that means they're in a cult or unsaved or bad, just mistaken.

Right. So for my list, I didn't hone in on the actual names/titles for said groups - just the defining attribute/characteristic.

Everyone who only reads a KJV isn't a cult member; if one chooses to do so, that's fine. The entire Gospel is preserved within ANY mainstream version, and I'd be no different if I went around poking fun at bible versions.

What I'm addressing here is the specific, "small" (hence why I used the term "cult") sect of people who outright condemn anything else as being heretical and/or "evil." I question the salvation of such folk, because they have elevated a bible version (not the scriptures themselves) to immutable God status. I am fearful now that I may have failed to clarify, but I hope this helps.
"Man will not live off of bread alone, but by every word proceeding through the mouth of God." "You are not able to serve God and wealth.".

User Info: YHWH_Saves

YHWH_Saves
1 month ago#9
SockThief posted...
EDIT: on a second glance, I think I'll mention that I don't consider the gnostics to be Christians, although I don't see any kind of modern organization of them to the extent that I'd consider them a cult. Are they even a thing anymore?

Maybe not in title, but definitely in spirit. There are entire underground sects of people who still believe in Jesus being a vessel for wisdom/sophia rather than an incarnate son of God, who also attribute YHWH to oppression. The waters become muddied when you introduce Luciferian (sp?) doctrines of the great serpent being from the true "god" who exalts human knowledge and experience.
"Man will not live off of bread alone, but by every word proceeding through the mouth of God." "You are not able to serve God and wealth.".

User Info: Al-Uzza

Al-Uzza
1 month ago#10
Gnosticism predates Christianity, and while it barely exists these days as an actual religion there are no cult-like behaviors other than it's hard to enter the 'inner circle' so to speak.

I'm gonna pre-empt some people and say Freemasonry is not a cult either.
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