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The aberrant pseudo-Christian cults are united against grace and faith alone for justification/salvation.

Spend some time in a Christian debate or discussion community for awhile and you will learn a few things. First and foremost is that there are so many different ways that people believe and teach about certain biblical topics. For those who are NOT well studied and versed on what is and what is not orthodox Christianity can get confused easily. There are only two groups of Christians. Those who adhere to orthodox teachings and those that hold heterodox or aberrant heretical teachings. The difference is that between true Christianity and Pseudo-Christian cults.

While the vast and flagrant differences of the cults on various doctrines and teachings is the first and most obvious thing that a participant or a lurker in those type forums will learn, the most prominent theme and common denominator among them is their united assault against salvation by grace alone, through faith alone. While most cults claim to be the only true church and the only ecclesiastic outlet of salvation, all cults stand united in denying that salvation is by grace apart from works.

Most cults will add baptism as a work we must do to be saved. Some will add the doctrine of Christian sinless perfection saying one must become sinless to be saved. Some will add a certain Sabbath day observance, restrict the use of musical instruments in church or require certain rules for dress and entertainment. But they all pervert and unite against the truth of justification/salvation by faith alone in Jesus atoning life death and resurrection.

Other marks of a cult.

Pseudo-Christian cults Have many other doctrinal distinctives that differentiate them from mainstream Christianity. While different Cult apologetics groups have given different definitions as to what doctrines are essential and non essential to orthodox biblical Christianity, the variances are minor. All list generally contain the following.

1. The necessary affirmation of the virgin birth of Jesus.
2. The necessary affirmation of Jesus literal death burial and resurrection.

Both of these denote Jesus’s divinity and the Triune nature of God.

3. The necessary affirmation of salvation/justification by grace through atonement.

All apologetics groups affirm these three as essentials. Below these “prime” essentials is a level of sub-prime essentials which would include doctrines on the nature of God, the nature of man, the nature of sin and the biblical precepts of heaven and hell and divine judgment, etc. etc.

Cult apologetics pioneer Walter Martin defined a cult as follows,, In his 1955 book The Rise of the Cults: An Introductory Guide to the Non-Christian Cults, Martin gave the following definition of a cult: “By cultism we mean the adherence to doctrines which are pointedly contradictory to orthodox Christianity and which yet claim the distinction of either tracing their origin to orthodox sources or of being in essential harmony with those sources. Cultism, in short, is any major deviation from orthodox Christianity relative to the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith.”

The glue and the sticking point that holds the cults apart from the real church is legalism. Legalism is mans efforts to appease God and justify himself through any kind of self effort. By far what the cults have most in common is legalism. In many cases that may be the only thing they have in common. Yet as you will learn they will all come together to say that salvation is not a gracious gift of God but must in some way be earned.

The question is sometimes asked in these rooms why don’t we just give the room up to so and so or so and so group? Have you ever entertained the idea of what that would result in? If all the “faith aloners” pulled out what would happen?

The only mutual point that ALL Pseudo-Christian cults share is their alliance against grace and support of human effort to obtain salvation. Once the debate over Salvation by Grace or by works was removed IT WOULD GET VERY INTERESTING IN THESE ROOMS. Don’t you think?

We would get to see people argue over who is the most perfect and deserving to get to heaven, which baptism by which church saves, and of course lets not forget which church is the one and only true church.
You will never see Cults come together to argue which cult is correct and which are not, but you will find that they will rally together and to refuse salvation by grace.

So lets imagine that all the “faith aloners” left and it was just various groups that are united against grace but very much at odds with each other over other matters. What would happen and which cult would be preferred over the others if we all left or just conceded and said OK salvation is not by grace?

CULT UNITY? by Damon Whitsell is licensed (FOR YOUR FREE USE) under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at ABOUT CCL

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