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Friday, July 6, 2012

LXXXI. Cult of Personality

Many "religions" speak of Christ. Even religions that are not compatible with Christianity often speak of Jesus. But this does not mean that these religions are correct. What does the Bible say the main ideas of Christianity are? The following are just small pieces of what Christians believe but are the most important and perhaps explains Christianity:
  1. God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. Now the Bible does not use these words specifically but do not get bogged down with that. There are things called concepts. Psalm 139:7-12 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
  2. Jesus was fully man and fully God. Jesus was God but He was also man. He felt the same things do. He knows what the flesh is all about. But He is also God because only He can forgive sins. John 1:1, In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God and the Word was God. John 10:30, I and the Father are one.
  3. Jesus was the Son of God (as man) and came to die for all mankind. How could He be the Son of God yet God at the same time? Think of it as when you give something of yours to somebody. It is from you, it is of you, it shows who you are. Now try and put yourself in that place. That is why you are not God (L. Ron Hubbard). You can't do it. But God manifested Himself into the flesh and was called Jesus. The second part is the important part here. 1 Peter 2:24, “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed."
  4. Jesus rose from the dead. Without this, our faith means nothing. If God can not raise the dead then there is no hope. Acts 10:40, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen.
  5. Jesus will return for those who believe in Him. If He does not return then His promise is a lie. If He is a liar then no one should believe in Him. John 14:2-3, My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
  6. Jesus is the only medium, or mediator, between God and man. Now that does not mean the only messenger of God. It means that there is only one way to God and that is through Jesus, no other being. If someone claims they are the only one to interpret things or the only one who knows God then they are delusional. 1 Timothy 2:5, For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus.
  7. Solo Scriptura. This idea is that the Bible alone is the sole authority by which we live. It trumps tradition and any other liturgical ideas. The Bible was written by the Apostles and fathers of the Church in 1st century AD. When John wrote the final words, the Bible can not be added to.
Beyond these that are mentioned is mostly about comfortability and practice. Such as the type of music or to use music at all is strictly based on opinion. Should leaders be called priests, pastors, ministers, or elders is also another issue that is just based on comfort or opinion (semantics), for all who are called to Christ are ministers (those who serve). Now some issues are based on translation and are open for discussion such as is water baptism necessary or just a sign of obedience. And the answer is, yes. Because as long as someone believes in Jesus then it is a personal relationship with Him. Does communion really become the body and blood of Christ or is it just a symbol of what He did? The answer is, yes. Because it really doesn't matter what you believe. If you take communion with the right heart and mind then God will honor that. If it becomes God then great. If not then you still took it with Him in mind. All that was commanded here its that you do it in remembrance of Him. These issues should not distinguish between a practitioner of Baptist or Methodist or anything else, although people do overstate these differences, and that is a shame. But if one deviates from the seven points above then they could be considered a cult.

Here are the results of last month's poll: Which of the following groups that speak of Christ, one way or another, would you consider a cult?
  • 100% said, Christian Science. This should not be confused with Scientology, the bogus religion created by L. Ron Hubbard and his book, Dianetics, which was actually just a science fiction book. One major problem for this group is that they put so much emphasis on Mary Baker Eddy. It is like her words have authority, see #6 and #7. But the major problem is that CS do not believe Jesus was God. They even think He went out of His way saying He wasn't by always referring to God as the Father. See #2. For more information about CS here is the link. http://christianscience.com/what-is-christian-science
  • 77% said, Mormonism. Humanitarians? Yes! Pacifists? Yes! Great people? Yes! True Christians? Well they have a special book called, the Book of Mormon, written by Joseph Smith. Smith found these writings on a plate in North America. He was the only one who could dictate what the plates meant. And like CS the LDS do not say that Jesus is God but only the Son of God. See #2, #6, and #7. For more information about LDS here is the link. http://www.lds.org/?lang=eng
  • 77% said, Jehovah's Witness. They are also pacifists who believe all violence is wrong which is great. But they are another group that specifically denies that Jesus is God. They even use the same scripture in point #2 above but they say it is an analogy. This group was started by Charles Taze Russell. They have created their own literature called the Watch Tower claiming they are the prophets of God, see #7. They believe that the 144,000 mentioned in Revelation is a specific number of prophets for the end times. Oddly enough there are about 115,000 JW today in the world, almost the number. They also believe in a literal 1000 year reign but that reign will only be those who are part of this 144,000. For more information on JW here is the link. http://www.watchtower.org/
  • 66% said, Deism/Theism. This just means that they believe in God but not an active one. One that just lets the universe run its course. See all the above. For more on Deism, read about John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire, Montesquieu and someone's modern description because it is not an organized religion. http://www.moderndeism.com/html/deism_defined.html
  • 55% said, British Israelism/Christian Identity. They also may be known as the Worldwide Church of God, not to be confused with local churches of God. This group believes that European/American/Caucasians are what is known the lost tribes of Israel. When the Israelites were taken into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar and were then released this group thinks instead of going back to Israel they went to places in Europe. They claim to know their ancestry and have long lists of people who may or may not have lived. They hold all beliefs of mainstream Christianity. But they believe that only those who have European blood in them are called to be with God. All of those who are not white, do not have a soul and therefore can not be saved by God. See #3. England is the new throne of David and again they can trace the lineage of Queen Elizabeth back to David. This is the same belief that started apartheid in South Africa and the ideas behind eugenics.
  • 16% said, Catholicism. The only major problem with the RC is when they pray. Many times they call to saints to stand in for them thinking they can get away with lifestyles by asking a saint to help. See #6. But the difference here is that they do pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Not perfect people but do adhere to all 7 points.
  • 5% said, Messianic Jews. Not one deviation from all seven points. The people who said this are just upset with religion. The only major difference is that this group finds their Jewish roots and uses them to gain a more clear understanding of who and why Jesus is.
  • 5% said, Protestantism. Not one deviation from all seven points. The people who said this are just upset with religion. yes. There are differences among themselves but they should not be separated from each other.
  • 44% said, Other. Explain. Seventh-Day Adventist? Unitarian?
  • 0% said, None, all roads lead to God. This is correct. No one should have said this.
What is a cult? A cult is any belief system that takes away the importance of Jesus Christ and what He did. Out of the groups that are mentioned, only three agree to all seven points. You be the judge.

(Note:  This was originally posted on Bible Lessons but was moved due to nature of content)


Shannon Petree said...

After reading this we need to look at one thing... Before we can move forward.. What is a belief? A belief is something that the mind makes up that it doesn't understand. Every religion that has been listed or not listed holds a truth to them. For instance... Jehovah 's Witnesses hold the belief "be in the world but not of the world "... so let's get that on the table... Getting to the Jesus debate... What I take away from it... Jesus went around healing people... Raising them from the dead... Before this during his "teen years" there is little to no mention of this time... It says in the bible that he was sent away to study ... From my readings of Jesus he went East... And he studied with Buddha... Many of Jesus' teachings can be traced back to Buddhism ... If we want to get technical... Jesus was a man that was awakened to the truth... Why things happened the way that they did... He knew the power that he held within.. He knew that God was within him... Just like God is within us all because Jesus did say "You can do all this and more". We have tobe awakened to the truth... Not be scared of it... We have two choices in life... One of fear and one of love... Always look for the love... And you will find the light... The God in all things

Gozreht said...

Very true. All belief systems have some truth to them, even atheism believe it or not. I am not sure if you typed the right word or not. You said Jesus studied with Buddha. Buddha originally was known as Sidhatha Gautama and he lived 500 years before Jesus. Now if you meant he studied Buddhism that is different. But then you have to watch the source you read that from. That is why #7 is so important. If an outside source adds to the holy scripture of any religion it is probably not that reliable. You also have to understand Judaism was before Buddhism which borrowed ideas from the Jewish people. So it's not so much as Jesus borrowing ideas from Buddha but maybe reinstating what Judaism stresses. I am not knowledgeable of what ideas you are referring to. I would like to know.

One difference of opinion, Jesus not only knew God was in Him, He knew God was Him. That is #2 on the list. This is where all other religions become become false no matter what else they teach.

About Jesus' teen years, I do not know why the gap. Many have claimed it is because those years were "normal" if you know what I mean. His birth is special. His childhood years that are mentioned show His authority and His acknowledgement of who He was and His age of accountability. His later years are of course the foundations of His kingdom. So his teen years would be just ours. Pimples, puberty, physical development of skills and talents, after all He was a carpenter. He probabl spent all of time helping Joseph and the family business.

Take care and let me know more about your resources and the ideas you are referring to.

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