PHILOSOPHY 104: Supplemental Notes to Lecture and Reading

LESSON TEN: THE WORLDVIEW OF CULTS: Cults that Attempt to Correct Christianity READING FOR THE LESSON: These Notes THESES FOR THE LESSON: The true definition, from a Christian perspective, of a cult, is a group that attempts to “correct” biblical Christianity, either with new sacred texts or a realignment of Christ’s person and work. TERMS AND CONCEPTS YOU MUST KNOW

Please note: These supplemental notes are prepared to enlarge upon the concepts and teachings found in the two required textbooks, as well as the video lectures. Some lessons will require more elaboration than others, but the normative supplemental notes will be a short summary of the teachings, and an aid for the student’s preparation for testing.

AntiMessiah Cults Deny Jesus is final Lamb of God ----------------In HistoryEbionites AntiBody Cults “No one else is saved” -------------In HistoryCatholicism AntiTrinity Cults Deny Jesus is God ----------------In HistoryIslam Liberal / Syncretist Sects “Evil is a Myth” ----------In HistoryHumanism Sexual Cults “Evil is Salvation” -------------In HistoryHedonism Mind Science Cults “Evil is Illusion” -------------In HistoryHinduism Science Fiction Cults “Evil is Extraterrestial -------------In HistoryGnosticism NEW MESSIAH Unification Church (Moonies) Baha’i Nation of Islam NO MESSIAH YET Modern Judaism 12 Imam Shi’ites th Roman Catholicism Greek Orthodox Church of Christ LDS (Mormons) Jehovah’s Witnesses Oneness Pentecostal Born-Again Jesus Movement Mainline Sects Church of England Universalism Unitarianism Satanism Children of God (Berg) Occult Christian Science Religious Science Mind Science Scientology Star Trek Apocalyptic Groups UFO cults Swedenborgianism Rosicrucianism Unity School Spiritism Deepak Chopra Theosophy Kabbalah Heaven’s Gate MCC Rastifarian Goth/Wicca (Dark Energy) New Age (Light Energy) .Prepared exclusively for Liberty University DLP by Dr. Ergun Mehmet Caner 2 WESTERN CULTS TAXONOMY CHART CORRECT CHRISTIANITY Believe Christianity needs to be FIXED REPLACE CHRISTIANITY Believe Christianity is FALSE.

Hinduism. They agree on the fundamentals. Ergun Mehmet Caner 3 THE DIFFERENCES IN DEFINITIONS Please study the chart on page two. a Presbyterian and a Baptist may not agree on issues such as polity (elders versus congregational rule) and worship style. as brothers in the faith. These differences can be theological.Prepared exclusively for Liberty University DLP by Dr. A cult usually offers new sacred books that rectify perceived failings in the Bible. is acceptable and good. An occult movement is an inversion of the biblical understanding of God and man.” It views this evil either as an energy. since He is at war with darkness. They view each other. A world religion is a movement that offers another means of salvation other than Jesus Christ by using different sacred texts. A taxonomy is a chart of categories. Jesus Christ is the God-man and the Atonement in each system. different vocabulary and different rites and rituals. a sect. and traditionally has found its strongest support in the western world. and does not view it as sinful. Darkness. Neither would condemn the other to damnation.). or correct the misunderstanding. salvation and man. and often reassigns it as “good. As an example. or did. A sect is a sister group. in this instance. Brahman. but usually they are ethical. for example. The occult embraces evil. It is a new movement. . that differs from other subgroups. what the Bible states He did. however. a cult and the occult. or adds a new chapter to the finished work of Jesus Christ. so they are sects. uses different sacred texts (The Four Vedas). a cult alleges to tell the full story. a cult is a movement that either attempts to correct Christianity or replace Christianity. a person (usually Satan) or a force. since they both agree on the nature of God. is a world religion because it speaks of different gods (Vishnu. it is important to understand the difference between a world religion. In Christian apologetics. etc. Shiva. Thus. Obviously a cult does not believe that Jesus Christ was. In regard to apologetics.an attempt to understand various things in terms of distinction. Occult movements such as Satanism would reclassify God as evil. and different means of salvation (moksha). even if they disagree on many other minor points. but as a whole is in agreement with the movement.

the Nation of Islam’s major publication.” which points to a great political leader descended from King David. and their books teach this additional method of atonement. was actually Allah incarnate! This is a violation of the central teachings of two major groups. but not the final Messiah. modern Judaism fits this category. The Final Call. These groups would include the Unification Church (known as the Moonies). this teaching takes an interesting turn. therefore."’”1 Secondly. Only and Final Messiah. is the final Messiah. In this lesson. we shall study those movements in the context of their denials of biblical Christianity. (Wallace) told him. They usually present their founder as the final Messiah. The Baha’I accept Jesus as an exalter Messiah. Rev. Though this is a biblical concept ("moshiach ben David" in Jeremiah 23:5 and Isaiah 11: 2-5). Ergun Mehmet Caner 4 As the chart notes. Wallace Fard. it is incomplete. the Baha’I. I am God. cults can be divided into two major categories: those that attempt to replace the work of Jesus Christ and offer a new way. The Unification Church teaches that its founder. “According to Elijah Muhammad. In the Nation of Islam. meaning only time God ever put on flesh) and Allah (in Islam) never incarnates (see Surah 112). and also those who believe that Jesus was a Messiah. . Modern Jewish scholars are actually looking for the “Moshiach. CORRECTING THE WORK OF JESUS CHRIST: He is not Messiah Groups Cults that attempt to correct the finished work of Jesus Christ will always begin by attacking the Person and Work of Jesus Christ. all sects of Judaism fervently deny that Jesus was the Messiah. and the Nation of Islam. but that Bahu’allah (in the 19th century) is the final coming. In any case. This would include those who do not believe Jesus was the Messiah at all. One subgroup (see chart in these notes) specifically questions Jesus as the One. Specifically. it notes. However. since Jesus (in Christianity) was the only-begotten (John 3:16. ‘My name is Mahdi. Sun Yung Moon. Salvation. and those who attempt to correct the work of Jesus Christ. there are groups that teach that the Messiah has not yet come.Prepared exclusively for Liberty University DLP by Dr. is not complete. They teach that their leader.

This would include such groups as the Church of Christ and Roman Catholicism... that God himself. and take away the veil.3 The conclusion of this teaching is also stated emphatically: The Son's share in the creative works. so that you may see. the same as Jesus Christ Himself did. Founder Joseph Smith himself said. and thus God is not Triune. In this group we can find the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. and that he is the only one who was directly created by God. It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the character of God. . God himself was once as we are now. They deny Christ as God. Here. the Creator worked4. and you have got to learn how to be gods . are saved. Their official doctrine states. known as Jehovah. that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained.Prepared exclusively for Liberty University DLP by Dr. the Father of us all. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. Ergun Mehmet Caner 5 CORRECTING THE WORK OF JESUS CHRIST: We are not a Body Groups A second group fits the description of a cult by denying that all believers. then. did not make him a Co-creator with the Father.. These cults believe that salvation can only be found in their church or group. and to know that we may converse with Him as one man converses with another. which is the universal help toward salvation. Mormonism inverts this method. and that He was once a man like us. of “correction” cults are the groups that teach that Jesus was not God. During the Second Vatican Council.2'" CORRECTING THE WORK OF JESUS CHRIST: Jesus was not God Groups The final category. The Jehovah’s Witnesses (officially known as the Watchtower Society) teach Jesus Christ was the first created being of God. and largest numerically. but believe that every believer in Mormonism will become gods.. Rather than a Co-creator. and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!. the Son was the Agent or instrumentality through whom Jehovah. Jesus was created as a spirit with divine traits. and is an exalted man. and I will show it from the Bible . “this means that (Jesus) was created before all the other spirit sons of God. regardless of denominational affiliation. however. . is eternal life--to know the only wise and true God. I will refute this idea. yea. dwelt on an earth. but he was created. then.. I am going to tell you how God came to be God. this teaching was reiterated: “For it is through Christ's Catholic Church alone.

" The Final Call 15. and to sit in glory. They seek new ways to bring peace to the earth. until you attain to the resurrection of the dead. . Mind Science groups believe that all sin. as reprinted in "The Mother Plane. 25. or death is the awful fact that unrealities seem real to human. The final two groups (“Mind Science” and “Science Fiction”) either hold to a cosmic warfare (Science Fiction) or a cosmic illusion (Mind Science). believe that biblical Christianity is antiquated and dated. the same as all gods have done before you. Some. 1982). namely. and be kings and priests to God. They replace soul winning with activism. 918. disease and evil is an illusion. by going from one small degree to another. embrace the energy forces of the universe. Ergun Mehmet Caner 6 yourselves. 1971). 3 You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth. such as the “Liberal Syncretist” groups. a mortal fear. sickness. a mistaken belief or conviction of the necessity and power of ill-health6" 1 Elijah Muhammad. 4 Aid to Bible Understanding. because they are not of God. erring belief . (Brooklyn: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York. and from a small capacity to a great one. and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings. (July 16. other than through faith in Christ. as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power. 2 Roman Catholic Catechism. but rather they believe that by indulging the flesh one finds salvation. . The cause of all so-called disease is mental. The only reality of sin. They are not true. (Brooklyn: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York. These groups desire to replace Christianity with a new form of religious thought. 1996): 19. They often deny the use of medical help (Christian Scientists) because one can defeat any disease by simple confession of truth and denial of evil. .5 REPLACING THE WORK OF CHRIST CULTS Please consult the video lecture of the four groups of cults that desire to replace Christianity. Mary Baker Eddy. 58. The emphasis in Scripture on soul winning and the absolutes of Christ as Lord and Savior are not as important as our present need for social justice and universal peace. The founder of Christian Science. wrote in 1875. no. much like Hinduism. 215. from exaltation to exaltation. The Fall of America. The “Sexual Cults” are not necessarily given to orgiastic compromise. 236. 1994 edition. from grace to grace. New Age groups that believe in the power of the flesh.Prepared exclusively for Liberty University DLP by Dr.

6:305-306. CCS.H. Ergun Mehmet Caner 7 5 Joseph Smith. 6 Mary Baker Eddy. History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1978). B. . introduction and notes. 472. 7 vols.. Roberts.Prepared exclusively for Liberty University DLP by Dr. 1996). Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (Boston. (Salt Lake City: The Deseret Book Company.