WHAT IS A CULT or SECT?
It is not a biblical term! Who decides what should be classified as cultist?
WHAT IS A CULT?
The term "cult" is from the Latin word "cultus," which refers to
worship and religious devotion. In Christianity it is used today of a
religious sect, particularly those sects which seriously deviate from the orthodox traditional church which in themselves are far away from Bible Christianity.
Let's have a look at the bigger picture. True Christianity is biblical. When pagan Rome morphed into papal Rome, it persecuted anyone who promoted and lived according to the Bible. They were burned to the stake and often tortured until the found relief in death. This Anti-Christ became the norm for today's Christianity and is considered by most to be true Christianity when it is not. Rome's cult of Mary is popular today. Yet most Bible loving Christians stand condemned as cults and sects.
Since the term "cult" is not a Bible one, there is no absolute
definition of it. Webster's College Dictionary gives three basic
definitions of a cult: "a particular system of religious worship,
especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies; a group that
devotes itself to or venerates a person, ideal, fad, etc.; a religion
or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist."
According to the Dictionary of Cults, Sects, Religions and the
Occult, a cult is "a relatively small, often transitory religious
group that commonly follows a radical leader. In recent times,
orthodox Christians have used the term to describe those religious
groups that deny the Trinity and specifically the deity of Jesus
Christ. Their teachings are contrary to historic Christian orthodoxy."
Walter Martin, in The Kingdom of the Cults, defined a cult as "any
religious group which differs significantly in some one or more
respects as to belief or practice, from those religious groups which
are regarded as the normative expressions of religion in our total
Because of this variation and uncertainty in the definition of the
term "cult," it should be employed cautiously and should be plainly
defined by the user.
This editor believes Bible terms describing error are much more
helpful. These are terms such as "false prophets" (Mt. 7:15; 24:24);
"heresies" (2 Pet. 2:1); "heretic" (Tit. 3:10); "false teacher" (2
Pet. 2:1); "false apostles, deceitful workers" (2 Co. 11:13);
"doctrines of devils" (1 Tim. 4:1); "tradition of men" (Col. 2:8);
"evil workers" (Ph. 3:2); "another gospel" (2 Cor. 11:4; Gal. 1:6),
"antichrists" (1 Jn. 3:18); "evil men and seducers" (2 Tim. 3:13);
"deceivers" (2 Tim. 3:13); "every wind of doctrine" (Eph. 4:14);
"them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine
which ye have learned" (Rom. 16:17).
One of the chief errors relating to the use of the term "cult" today
is in limiting the basis of biblical separation to only a few
"cardinal" doctrines. A book published in 1976 entitled Whom Then Can
We Believe? (Maurice Burrell and J. Stafford Wright, Moody Press)
dealt with a number of groups commonly labeled as cults: Christian
Science, Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Theosophy, Armstrongism,
Spiritualism, and Christadelphianism. Note that such things as Roman
Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Theological Liberalism are not
We believe the authors erred in limiting their doctrinal tests to
"that which all the churches, Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant,
including the denominational churches, have always regarded as the
truth about the being of God as drawn from Scripture." Thus not only
do these authors not treat the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodoxy as
cults; they treat them as largely sound.
Denominations are not the standard for truth; the Bible is! And
Scriptural authority is not limited to part of the Bible or to
certain teachings of the Bible, but extends to the whole Bible. God
nowhere instructs us to base our judgments upon or to establish
doctrinal unity by finding common ground between the major
We do not dispute the fact that some teachings of the Bible are more
important than others, particularly in regard to salvation. The
doctrine of the Gospel is more important than the doctrine of
fasting, for example. Yet the Bible enjoins God's people to exalt all
Bible doctrine. We are to preach the whole counsel of God (Acts
20:27; 2 Tim. 4:1-6). We are to earnestly contend for all the faith
which was delivered to us (Jude 3). We are to forbid ANY doctrine
which is contrary to Bible doctrine (1 Timothy 1:3). We are to
observe Bible doctrine in every detail, to keep it without spot (1
Tim. 6:14), as a solemn trust which has been committed to us (1 Tim.
Yes, there are "damnable heresies" (2 Pet. 2:1), which refers to
doctrines that are "fatal," meaning that if a person does not accept
them he cannot be saved. These include doctrines such as the Person
of Jesus Christ, including His Virgin Birth, Sinlessness, and Bodily
Resurrection; the Nature of God, including the doctrine of the Holy
Spirit and the Trinity; Justification by Grace alone; and the
Infallibility of Bible inspiration and its Authority as the Sole
Standard for Faith and Practice.
Yet the passages of Scripture previously cited (Acts 20:27; Jude 3; 1
Tim. 1:3; 6:14,20; 2 Tim. 4:1-6) do not allow me to pick a few Bible
doctrines and exalt these as the sole basis for fellowship. We must
stand on the whole counsel of God, and that tends to limit fellowship
The doctrine of sanctification is important. The doctrine of eternity
security is important. The doctrine of the church is important.
Pastoral standards are important. The woman's role in Christian
service is important. Prophetic doctrine related is important. The
doctrine of separation is important. Doctrine related to evangelism
and world missions is important.
Let me give a practical example of what I am talking about. Many
refuse to label the Roman Catholic Church as a cult, because the
Roman Catholic Church believes in the deity of Jesus Christ, the
Trinity, and certain other "cardinal" Bible doctrines. In our
estimation, this is a useless debate. Whether or not the Roman
Catholic Church is defined as a cult is not very important. The fact
is that it teaches a false gospel which mixes grace and sacraments,
faith and works together; it teaches "another gospel"; and even if
every one of its other doctrines were scriptural (and we know that is
far from the case) it is cursed of God as were the Galatian heretics
of old (Galatians 1).
Another example. I do not believe that the Assemblies of God are a
"cult" by the aforementioned definitions or that all of those who are
involved with the AG are unsaved. But I do know that the AG teaches
many false doctrines which are contrary to the Word of God and I
therefore cannot fellowship together with them. For me to contend
earnestly for the whole counsel of God creates a barrier between me
and the AG. This is only one example of countless which could be
Thus the term "cult" is not necessarily a helpful one. In fact, it
can be dangerous.
[Distributed by Way of Life Literature's Fundamental Baptist]
Most cultic is the belief held by many, is, pre-destination. This doctrine paints CHRIST as a fiend and not as a Friend, who brings
men and women into the world who possess no choice, for according to Presbytarianism and others, they have been eternally
predistined to spend a few years on this earth and then burn in hell for ever and ever. This ranks with the vilest affronts against
our GOD who is love.
"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that
any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.--2 Peter 3:9
"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds
should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth
another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have
not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him."
2 Cor. 11:3-4
Note: How did Satan using a dumb animal to deceive Eve? By using the tongue! We believe
that the first deception will also be the last, Satan uses speaking in tongues!
What is another JESUS? If it is the Lord of the Sabbath, then I can rest assured, that I have
the right Lord JESUS!
What is another Spirit? One that does not convict the Sinner of sin! One that does not
produce the fruits mentioned in Galatians 5.
What is another Gospel? We preach the one and only Gospel of Revelation 14:6, but with
the added emphasis of the arrival of GOD'S judgment hour [in 1844] resulting in
keeping all the Commandments of GOD by the faith of JESUS [Revelation 14:12].
Salvation is free. Eternal life is a free gift from GOD. We cannot add any good works, but we are
saved in order to do good works [Ephesians 2:10] and JESUS had to die to atone for us
habitual lawbreakers, so that the righteousness or right doing of His law might be fulfilled
inside us [Romans 8:3+4].
If the simplicity of CHRIST in our minds is being corrupted, it is by cultic attitudes or sin. The
notion that cultic teachings is always contrary to orthodoxy is a false one. Have a look at
the Greek Orthodox churches and see the worship of icons and idols!
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men,
after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." Colossians 2:8
It was the western Orthodox church that introduced Greek philosophy into Christianity and
having removed the second out of the 10 Commandments, introduced idolatry. Instead of
orthodoxy, a cult should be detected by the Bible and nothing else because tradition is often
contrary to the holy Word of GOD!
So called Christian Apologists condemning biblical practices as cultic only because they
themselves do not wish to practice true and faithful Christianity!
THE GALATIAN HERESY
The Galatian heresy consisted of the gospel of circumcision according to Gal2:7 to which the church
had fallen back to. This shows clearly that the law of Moses is meant here.
However, opponents of GOD’S Ten Commandments will always use
Galatians to promote the wicked lawlessness as described to us in 2. Thess.2.
The question is asked: Do you promote taking GOD’S name in vain, bear false witness, curse and
swear, dishonor parents and authority and allow
fornication and adultery, Sabbath breaking and covetousness which the Bible condemns? They quickly
answer: No! They do not mind the
9 commandments of the holy moral law that are not easily visible. But they do object strongly to
CHRIST’S Seventh Day Sabbath because all can
see them practicing.
Not even an Old Testament person could be justified by the law [Galatians 2:16]. This is further
explained by the apostle by saying: “But if, while we
seek to be justified by CHRIST, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore CHRIST the
minister of sin? GOD forbid!”---Gal. 2:17
Saints and sinners at the same time. Comprehensor et viator. Who have attained the goal and at the
same time travelling towards it.---Martin Luther.
Paul’s last word, forbid. See where else he applies this. “Is the law against the promises of GOD? GOD
forbid! For if there had been a law given
which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.”---Gal. 3:21.
So here it clearly says that no law was given to give life [eternal].
By the same apostle: “Do we then make void the law by faith? GOD forbid! :yea we establish the law.”
Here is a rebuke to all New Covenanter’s who are de-establishing the law of the10 Commandments!
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? GOD forbid! How shall
we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?---Romans 6:1,2.
“What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace?GOD forbid?---Rom.6:15
We all should know that sin is the violation or transgression of the law of the 10 Commandments.
“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? GOD forbid! Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had
not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”---Romans 7:7.
The great Protestant doctrine of justification by faith makes it very clear that justification means the
“declaration of being declared righteous and not the making of the believer righteous intrinsically.
It is imputed and not imparted!
The Devil has decided that those who call sin by its right name are legalists! A legalist is a unsaved
person that is trying to be saved or justified by good works or law-keeping. He makes this the root, whereas as
a saved person makes works his fruit of salvation! [Eph.2:10].
The term under the law also means to be under its condemnation as a sinner and wilful violator.
But the judgment demands that we keep all ten [James 2:10-12; Eccl.12:13,14] and not the law of
Moses which he wrote on papyrus scrolls. Only what GOD wrote on
monumental stone which cannot be nailed to the cross of CHRIST!
First justification, then sanctification and finally glorification is the order of salvation. After this
probationary life comes the judgment.
Because eternal life is a free gift from GOD we cannot purchase it with good works. But in the gift
package comes the love for GOD and His holiness or else it is a counterfeit gift.
The gift of the Holy Spirit brings it all to us, faith, love, hope, the works. All we have to
do, is accept and apply them. The Holy Spirit will lead to
sainthood and holiness even though we feel our utmost unworthiness. Lord, where did we feed and
cloth you? We are not aware of it because you are working out your life in us and by our daily dying
to self and sin [Galatians 2:20] plead for fresh supply of grace every morning!!!
The most complete and trustworthy investigation should examine the work of history professor
Dr. Leroy Edwin Froom and his four volumes work called "The Prophetic Faith of our Fathers."
His extensive research into the faith of Christianity and Adventism is a monumental work that most
Critics love to avoid!
Apologetic index uses the the Roman Catholic Church which worships images, statutes and relics, the
Eastern Orthodox which worships icons, and the fallen Protestants who no longer know how to protest,
as a measuring rod to gauge who is a cult and who is not, forgetting the cult of Mary.
Apologetics index has no room for Froom!
The list here does not mean that I condemn them as a cult/sect, but rather that they are big enough
in numbers to attract the attention of the counter cult movement and being criticized as counterfeits!
To start with, the tabloid press often pictures them as being dangerous. Protestantism has inherited from Rome
enough unbiblical doctrines to be cults and sects themselves. How closely do you follow the sinless JESUS?
Christianity is very complex. The ecumenical movement concentrates on the 99% they hold in common. The alter-
native religions are offshoots of Christianity and the word sect is 'accurate' not insulting. Most are trying to go back
to original Christianity. Why can't they agree on what the original is?
rejecting the doctrine of the trinity and their denial that JESUS is GOD, are closest to Arianism. Arius being the
teacher. Unitarianism can be traced back to Laelius Socinus [1525-1562].
Founder and prophet Joseph Smith [1805-1844]. GOD the Father and JESUS CHRIST appeared to him in vision
telling him that all the churches are wrong and that he should join none of them. In 1823 he had another vision by
the angel Moroni telling him of the golden plates buried in a nearby hillside. In 1827 he was allowed to dig them out
and translating them from the ancient Egyptian language into English and it became the book of Mormons. Smith
also belonged to the Masonry. They practice polygamy.
Also known as Plymouth or exclusive Brethren. Dispensationalism is their main feature and they have no central
administrative body. Their main founder was John Nelson Darby [1800-1882]. Dispensationalism teaches that GOD
was all law and a stern judge in the O.T. while the new t. is the age or dispensation of grace doing away with all
law. Yet church members are so exclusive in keeping completely apart from the world as the Bible teaches it. Yet
recently at the 2008 election in Australia, it was shown that they gave the Prime Minister John Howard a consider-
able amount of money for political purposes.
The New Apostolic
Founded by Edward Irving and others in the early 1830's England. The Irvingate movement was originally involved
with the great advent awakening before delving into spiritualism. Edward thought to speed up his preaching of the
coming of JESUS by calling on the spirits and gift of tongues. He died before he could be tried by a London court
for heresy. In 1863 the Germans split from the U.K. parent church and did very well in growth. The origin the
secret rapture theory can be traced back to a vision by Miss Margaret McDonald of the same movement. Both
Edward Irving and Miss McDonald were Scottish.