Summary: With every ounce of religious freedom comes great weighty responsibility to defend religious truth. I firmly believe that we can know religious truth! Just as we know that there is truth in science and math, there is spiritual truth found only in Jesus
Counterfeit Christianity: The Cult Connection
The year was 1783, when America officially recognized its independence from England. A fiery pastor named Ezra Stiles steps into his pulpit with a sermon entitled, “The United States Elevated to Glory and Honor”. In it he predicts that in due time this nation would, “Embosom all the religious sects and denominations in Christendom.”
The greatest accomplishment to our Founding Fathers was that every single human being on this soil can worship whoever and however they see fit.
When the First Amendment was finally ratified in 1791 it states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
And keeping with this, James Madison our 4th President wrote, “The religion…of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man….”
Please don’t misunderstand me…freedom of religion is vital to the success of America, but with every ounce of religious freedom comes great weighty responsibility to defend religious truth.
I firmly believe that we can know religious truth! Just as we know that there is truth in science and math, there is spiritual truth found only in Jesus Christ the only Begotten of God.
Dr. Walter Martin states with such clarity, “Into this whirlpool of stagnant human philosophy and perverted revelation came the Son of God, who, through His teachings and example, revealed that there was such a thing as divine humanity, and through His miraculous powers, vicarious death and bodily resurrection, cut across the maze of human doubts and fears and was lifted up, to draw all men unto Himself. It has been wisely observed that men are at liberty to reject Christ and the Bible and the Word of God; they are at liberty to oppose Him; they are at liberty to challenge it. But they are not at liberty to alter the essential message of the scriptures, which is the good news that God does care for lost souls…”
Notice that Jude:
a. Determinately writes. Vs. 3a “Diligent to write”
Genesis 19:15 - Lot was urged literally “hurried” by the angel to get out of Sodom.
b. Exhaustingly warns. Vs. 3b “Exhorting you”
c. Earnestly witnesses. Vs. 3c “Contend earnestly”
“Contend” = fight or agonizes
In Paul’s day an athlete would push himself to the point of agony in order to compete well!
d. Sufficiently wrote. Vs. 3d
“Once for all delivered” = a completed task! Literally that can be translated…the faith was completely delivered in the past.
e. Diligently watches. Vs. 4 “Men have crept in”
“Crept in” = secretly or stealthily! Under the radar!
Acts 20:29 “I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.”
That is happening everyday in churches across this nation!
1. The Diabolical Story of Cults.
Little did the Ezra Stiles know that within 150 years later America has gone further than to just recognize every religious denomination, but now the kingdom of the cults as well! Before 1860, cults were unheard of in America!
Someone has said, “A man who will not stand for something is quite likely to fall for almost anything.”
Studying the subject of cults ought to be considered serious business to every N.T. church, but sadly those days are fast becoming obsolete!
Romans 12:9 “…Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good.” NLT
Everyday in America, more and more territory is being taken from Christianity, especially in Latin America, Africa and the Far East!
Dr. Jan Van Baalen is so right on when he wrote in his book, “The Chaos of Cults”, “The cults are the unpaid bills of the church.”
I was recently watching a documentary on counterfeit money in the United States. It costs businesses millions of dollars every year. I learned that the American Banking Association has a school for bank tellers to go through for 2 weeks.
During this time not one counterfeit bill goes through the hands of the teller. The objective is that every person must become completely familiar with the original so that the counterfeit bill, no matter how much it looks like the original, it has no chance to fool the teller!
It is paramount that Christians once again become so familiar with the foundation of the faith before they are fooled!!
Fact: While businesses are loosing millions of dollars in revenue to counterfeit dollars – Christianity is loosing millions of lives to counterfeit doctrines.
George Gallup states, “This is the most crucial decade in History. Designer, a la carte religion flourishes as traditional Christianity is undermined by counterfeits.”
2. The Psychological Structure of Cults.
How do we define a cult? Any religious group that:
· Is in search of any new kind of mystical experience.