A cult is here defined as that which looks to anything other than the living Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, righteousness, satisfaction, fulfillment, revelation, wisdom, power, or solutions or that is of any spirit other than the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit. Often times, cults look to a "different Jesus." Cults are often identified as organizations, but they really are spirits or ideas, and they infiltrate organizations and churches to varying degrees. Cults do not want to be identified as cults, and rationalism, modernism, and liberalism are not exceptions.
Meaningless Definitions of Cult:
Merriam-Webster OnLine defines a cult as "a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also: its body of adherents." Of course, this brings up the question:
To many ungodly Christians, born again Christians are regarded as unorthodox and spurious.
Another dictionary gives this definition: A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false.
Many Jews and Muslims consider all Christian Churches to be cults.
Some Christians consider any who do not accept the rapture theory as being a cult, while other Christians are suspicious of those who do accept the rapture theory.
Some consider any who do not belong to their particular organization to be a cult.
Some consider any who follow a Scriptural Church government to be a cult.
There are many definitions of the word, cult. Indeed, many people assign the label, "cult," to any who do not agree with their rationalized suppositions, speculative theology, or man-made orders and rituals. Many of these theologies and man-made orders are actually extra-biblical or even anti-biblical. Again, we define that which looks to anything other than the living Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, righteousness, satisfaction, fulfillment, revelation, wisdom, power, or solutions or that is of any spirit other than the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit, as cult-like behavior. It is our belief that we need to trust in the Lord, Jesus, who is the Christ.
The tendency to easily classify an organization as a cult is a disorder in the Church. Often, competitiveness between denominations will cause one organization to label another as a cult. (Incidentally, competitiveness between groups of Christians is not part of the Church for which Jesus died. This competitiveness is actually part of the world.) While it is important that every shepherd warn the flock about the dangers of true cults, it is also important to be able to discern the Body of Christ as the apostle, Paul, exhorts us in First Corinthians. Of course, Satan loves it when Christians are divided and not getting along.
The list of meaningless definitions could go on, so how does http://www.SeekFind.net define a cult?
Anything short of perfection in following this Jesus is a tendency toward error, but, to my knowledge, no one has ever followed Christ perfectly. For that reason, this site draws a line in the sand at the point that people begin to depend on self-righteousness. All human goodness movements are thus considered cults by this web site.
All movements that exalt the human intellect--leaning on human understanding--are designated as cults by SeekFind.net. Considering raw human reasoning to have the ability to add to or take from Scripture is certainly considered cult-like thinking by SeekFind.net, though this type of thinking is a common, almost automatic, human failing.
Human efforts at righteousness as opposed to leaning on the power of the Holy Spirit are another example of depending on something other than Jesus.
Exalting an organization, a body of doctrine, a person, or any other thing--these are all alternatives to lifting up the living Christ.
Denying that Jesus Christ is the unique Son of the unique God the Father would certainly be the doctrine of a cult. Denying that Jesus Christ came in the flesh would indeed be the doctrine of a cult. Denying that it is Jesus Christ Who lives in every person who trusts in Jesus for deliverance from sin, sickness, death, and hell would also be the doctrine of a cult.
A word about equivocation
Cults, such as liberalism, atheism, or Naturalism, love to use a method known as equivocation to confuse and deceive. Equivocation muddies the meanings of words in order to deceive. A cult member will give a meaning for the word, "cult," such as: "The formal means of expressing religious reverence; religious ceremony and ritual," and then point out that a Christian Bible-believing Church fits that description so a Christian Bible-believing Church is a cult. They will do this knowing fully that it is a rare person who thinks of a cult as the local Christian Bible-believing Church. The sole purpose of this type of equivocation is to confuse and deceive.
A follower of liberalism will use the same equivocation technique. He or she will point out that there is a meaning of liberal that means to reach into one's own pocket and help the less fortunate. How different that is from what most people mean when they say, "liberal." As far as giving goes, a liberal in present-day terminology is a person who reaches into someone else's pocket and gives that person's money to the poor and then takes the credit for being compassionate. How different the two are!
The same could be said for atheists, naturalists, materialist, evolutionists. And we could give several examples for each of these, but that wouldn't cover the subject. Their ways are changeable so you cannot know them. They'll come up with a new story and deception next week.
A different Jesus:
Some create a pretend Jesus, one who is not God. The real Jesus is God.
Some create a pretend jesus that doesn't fit the Bible or that creates a story with the Bible as a backdrop. There is the Archangel Michael, the Satan's brother story, the intercourse with Mary story, etc.
Some speak of jesus as god and that we all can become gods. This, of course, denies the unity of the Triune God.
Some worship the god of forces, an impersonal force god like the one in Star Wars. This belief is incompatible with the God who wrote the Bible.
Some say that Jesus did not come in the flesh. They may say that Jesus is a divine principle, a Cosmic Christ, the bright white christ light, or some other thing. Whoever denies that Jesus Christ came in the flesh is an antichrist.
Some say that Jesus Christ is just human nature achieving at top potential. This is sometimes referred to as the human potential movement. They say that we all have "Christ in us" and our job is to "get in contact with it" and achieve our inner potential. There is, indeed, something inside every person even if they don't accept Christ as their Savior and Lord, but that thing that is in every person is not good; it is deceitful and desperately wicked, and no one can know it? We don't discover Christ within; we accept Him and invite Him in.
Some say that Jesus not historical, that is, they claim that He never really lived. This bold claim also says that Jesus has not come in the flesh.
Some say that Jesus not God, contrary to the Bible, which says that Jesus is God.
Some say that Jesus became the Christ when he attained Christ-consciousness at age 30. This is also contrary to the Bible.
There is the two-Jesus concept, which says there is the outer historical and inner mystical Jesus. This is not the Jesus of the Bible either.
There are some who say that Jesus is just one of many ascended masters, like Buddha and Mohamed.
Many cults say that Jesus was just a good man or a prophet or a teacher. That could not be true, because Jesus made claims for Himself that must be true. If they were not true, then Jesus would have been a liar, but they are true and Jesus is not only God, but He is the Truth.
Some claim that the Holy Spirit is not God but rather a force emanating from God.
Last updated: Nov, 2011
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Appeal to Possibility
Argument to the Future
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Scriptures About Marriage
The Reason for Rejecting Truth
Witness on the Internet
Flaky Human Reasoning
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Mind Designed to Relate to God
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Public School's Religion
Public School Failures