Presentation on theme: "Witnessing to the Cults “Brethren, see the poor sinners round you slumbering on the brink of woe; death is coming, hell is moving, can you bear to let."— Presentation transcript:
Witnessing to the Cults “Brethren, see the poor sinners round you slumbering on the brink of woe; death is coming, hell is moving, can you bear to let them go…?”
Witnessing to the Cults Have you ever seen a Mormon missionary walking down your street and hope he didn’t see you? Have you ever had a Jehovah’s Witness knock on your door and you ignored him because you didn’t want to “debate” him? Have you ever wondered if there was any way to talk with them?
The Purpose of All This “This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3- 4). The purpose of these powerpoints should be to arm the believer with a proper knowledge of what the cults believe about major doctrines like God, Jesus Christ, and salvation. These powerpoints by no means will be extensive in content, but should serve adequately to familiarize the believer with the beliefs of the cults.
Witnessing to the Cults “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.” (Jude 3; NIV) As Christians, we have a mandate to “contend/fight for the faith.” Why? The faith has been attacked and needs to be defended!
Witnessing to the Cults More from Jude: “Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh (vv ; NIV).” Our mandate here is to people. While we do need to defend the faith, we must remember that other people are involved in this battle.
What is a Christian Cult? A group of people polarized around one’s interpretation of the Bible. Examples: ▫Joseph Smith and the Mormon Church ▫Charles Taze Russell, Judge Rutherford, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses ▫Mary Baker Eddy and Christian Science ▫Etc.
What is a Christian Cult? The people of the cults have been trained to use these interpretations as a sort of boundary, fencing themselves in when it comes to how far one passage of the Bible can take them. As Christians, we have boundaries too when it comes to how far we can interpret Scripture, but these boundaries come from what Scripture says, not what someone else says what Scripture says.
The Origins of the Cults Origins vary depending on the group you’re referring to. ▫Charles Taze Russel had problems with the local church and led a bible study to teach what the Bible really says. ▫Joseph Smith was confused about what denomination to be a part of and opened himself to demonic forces to know what Scripture says. When it all comes down to it, origins of a Christian cult comes from ignorance of biblical theology.
The Origins of the Cults As a side note, knowing biblical theology and how to rightly study Scripture can be a great defense against the teachings of the cults. The cults don’t find any necessity in knowing how to interpret Scripture correctly because they teach that their leader’s interpretation of Scripture is flawless and infallible.
The Power of the Cults Despite the various origins of the different cults around us, the true origin of the cults is satanic. Satan wants to distort truth, especially the Person and work of Christ.
The Power of the Cults Is it mean to condemn these groups as being powered by Satan? Don’t these groups do many good works in society and fund events that push conservative values? You bet they do! It is important to remember, however, that though these groups may seem to be on the side of “good;” always willing to defend conservative values in our society, that doesn’t necessarily mean they believe in the same God, Christ, and teachings as we do.
The Power of Christ In reference to the false apostles of his day, Paul writes, “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds...” (1 Corinthians 11:13-15).
The Power of the Cults Empowered by Satan, the cults have thrived since their beginnings ▫The Watchtower Organization (Jehovah’s Witnesses) can produce more literature in six months than all the presses of the Christian denominations can do in a year. ▫The Mormon Church has literally bought their way in advertisement, from highway billboards to ads on TV with testimonials from Mormons.
A Proper Attitude to the Cults Given all this, what should our attitude be to the people involved in Christian cults? A Common Attitude among Christians: ▫The “Avoider” Common mentality Just avoid them! They’ll go away… Yet, in the words of the late Dr. Walter Martin, we can’t be like the ostrich, sticking our heads in the sand, and pretending that the cults will go away like a bad dream.
A Proper Attitude to the Cults Another Common Attitude among Christians ▫The “Bulldozer” A more proactive approach to the cults. Fight/Condemn them on the spot for being in a cult and for not believing in the true Jesus. Remember…more than likely these people have been raised in their own “church” thinking they had the true faith. Their mindset isn’t to actively destroy our faith, but to share their faith with us. While they are certainly being used by Satan, they don’t know that, and it’s our job to present the true Gospel to them, in truth as well as LOVE.
A Proper Attitude to the Cults The Proper Attitude ▫We have a mandate to not only share the Gospel to them, but to be Christ to the cults as well. On the one hand, we shouldn’t love the people of the cults intensely without sharing the Gospel to them. On the other hand, we shouldn’t do the opposite. There needs to be a balance between “love” and “truth” here.
A Final Word People whose job it is to handle money are so good at their job that they can tell a real dollar bill from a fake one just by handling the bill in their hands. As believers, the same should be true for us. The cults know what they believe and why they believe it. Therefore, we should know what we believe and why in order to provide a good defense for the Gospel we aim to defend.