Defining a Cult

DictionaryChristians have adopted their own terminology throughout church history especially theological terms to define a multitude of doctrines and concepts found in scripture. One definition that has appeared in recent years  in regards to defining a false group of Christians who teach other than the orthodox doctrines of Scripture is the term cult. The expression is especially used today to warn others of groups who may be a danger to the Christian faith. The general consensus amongst Christians is that a cult is a group or a sect that possesses teachings that are outside the scope of orthodox biblical theology. In short, these are groups who deny one or more fundamental biblical teachings about God, His Christ or salvation. Such groups would include the Watchtower Society, Latter-Day Saints, Seventh-Day Adventists, Christian Scientists, Christadelphians, Oneness Pentecostals and many more.

The term “cult” defined in this manner is perfectly o.k. even though it isn’t its original means.  I wonder if the definition granted to cult today as a religion that is unorthodox or extremist is the most accurate. Could we be a little more particular in our usage of this term? Most people would not label the Roman Catholic Church as “a cult” because they are orthodox in their view of the Trinity and the Deity of Christ however many ignore their false teaching on the doctrine of salvation by their incorporation of a works based salvation through human effort including the mass, indulgences and a multitude of other religious activities. Are Roman Catholics a part of a cult? Well, it depends who you ask.

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The Lord Supper as per Watchtower Theology

Lord supperThere is generally some confusion when a discussion breaks out with a member of the Watchtower Society when discussing the Lord’s Supper since most Christians are not aware of the two-class theology that they insist upon.  Most Christians don’t understand why only some individuals can partake of the Lord’s Supper while others cannot.  I thought I would share this presentation by Mike Felkner on why some “Jehovah’s Witnesses” partake of the Lord’s Supper while others don’t. Mike does a good job in explaining the two-class theology and how this impacts their views on the participation in the remembrance feast.

Which is Worst: Believing in the Trinity or Being Dishonest?

CaptureAnyone who knows anything about members of the Watchtower Society or as they are called “Jehovah’s Witnesses” knows that one of the primary disagreements that Christians have with their theology is their understanding of the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. They acknowledge the pre-existence of Christ (which is a step above Oneness Pentecostals) but understand Christ as a created being who was the Archangel Michael who took on humanity. Obviously with this understanding of Christology comes a denial of the Trinity.

A few years ago, the Watchtower Society published a small booklet titled “Should You Believe in the Trinity” which was meant to educate us poor deceived Trinitarians about our seemingly “unbiblical” doctrine. This booklet actually backfired and Christians began to notice some interesting facts about the booklet mainly that it had allot of quotations yet no footnotes attached. This caused some researchers to examine these quotes and find their sources. What they discovered was a wide spectrum of misquoting of various sources including the early church fathers and an appeal to anti-Christian sources to substantiate their claims.

I thought it would be worthwhile for my readers to see a response to this booklet (Part 2) with the actual photocopies of the books the Watchtower quoted in their booklet. I felt that this might be a topic to bring up when some nice Watchtower folks visiting on Saturday mornings.

 

Watchtower Annual Conference

This weekend will be the annual convention of those individuals who associate themselves with the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society who claim the name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” in the region. There will be thousands of people convening to the Moncton Coliseum for three days of speeches, a few minutes of boasting about their works with a few bible verses thrown out there for good measure. I thought it might be useful to for those who have little knowledge about these nice folks from the Watchtower who come to your door on Saturday morning. Here are a couple of videos to get a good feel for the history and theology of the Watchtower Society. (Part 1 / Part 2 )

Also, feel free to take a look at some of the websites that we recommend on the sidebar of this blog!

A Small Update on the Watchtower’s Blood Policy

I thought this article from the National Post on some updates on the blood policy in regards to the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society might be worth mentioning. It seems that in the case of children that there will be far less interferance by the organization when a medical doctor feels that blood needs to be administered. This is not a huge step in the right direction but certainly might save a few lives in the process.  It will be a blessing when the day comes when they realize that this policy is pure biblical eisegesis and more based upon pride than facts. I am convinced that they will actually overturn this policy in the same way they had overturned their stance on vaccinations and organ transplants in the past.

 

The Mayan Calendar, The Watchtower Society, Dispensationalism & The End of the World

tumblr_lp5vqyDmXd1qfuohco1_400As you can see from the date of this post, today is December 22, 2012 and I am still capable of posting a blog post. What this essentially means is that the prediction that the world would end on December 21, 2012, based upon the Mayan Calendar, didn’t come to pass. To some this was a surprise but to others it wasn’t. The Mayan to my knowledge, never predicted the end of the world through this calendar but it was based on an assumption by some individuals. There were many folks who believed the end was near with some were even contacting NASA to see if the prediction could be true out of some sort of possibility or fear that it might be. Regardless of all the panic, the world is still in tact and another day has dawned. The only benefit from this false prediction is that there might be a few people who may have given a moments thought to the idea that it could happen that the world will end some day.

I heard much ridicule in my place of employment by my colleagues who couldn’t help but see how foolish it is to make such predictions. How could anyone think that the world could end especially without some massive build up prior to the end of the human race. Some of my co-workers couldn’t understand why a Christian like myself wouldn’t make a big deal out of this but as a Christian who is an Amillennialist, why would I made a big deal out of a prediction based upon a New Age Religion. I believe that Christ will return but that no one knows the day of that return and that we who are Christians should live in light of the fact that our Lord could return at any time. I believe the return of Christ is my blessed hope because that is the day that there will be a New Heavens & New Earth so I don’t see the end as something negative but the positive step towards God’s final redemption.

Continue reading “The Mayan Calendar, The Watchtower Society, Dispensationalism & The End of the World”

Mormons & The Watchtower Society Videos and an Update

early_watch_tower_coverI came across a series of videos by James White on the topics of Mormonism and the Watchtower Society (Jehovah’s Witnesses) which I found useful for any christians out there who would like to know more about what these two religions believe. I could serve as a good introduction and might be helpful in responding to the claims that these groups make. You can access the videos here.

Also, just as a quick note, I have set up a Facebook page that is available for any who are into the Social Media Frenzy that is Facebook. Please feel free to click on the link on the sidebar and visit this page. Be sure to “like us” while you’re at it and support the Moncton Christian!