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Non-Christian Religions & Christian Cults

Definition of a Christian Cult

Chapter Illustration

What is the definition of a Christian Cult?  A Christian Cult is defined by what they believe about Jesus.  What does historic Biblical Christianity teach us about Jesus?  The Bible teaches us that Jesus is the One and Only True God from eternity past who had no beginning and will have no end.  We are also taught that this One and Only True God is of one essence, only one God, but is a Trinity of three Persons:  The Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Further, the Bible teaches us that God the Son, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, in time took on a full human nature with all of its human attributes by conception of the Holy Spirit through the Virgin Mary so that Jesus Christ of Nazareth is now, and will be throughout eternity, one person with a fully Divine nature and a fully Human Nature.  This means Jesus has two full, complete and separate natures but is one Person.  Further the Bible teaches us that Jesus lived a Human being's life on this earth for 33 1/2 years with all of it's human limitations by humble submission to God the Father; and that through this humble submission He was crucified, died, was buried and then on the third day rose His dead physical human body back to life as a glorified human body, and that forty days later he ascended to heaven and now sits at the right hand of God the Father with a full human and Divine nature, and will so forever.

A Christian Cult is anything which deviates from this Biblical teaching about who Jesus is.  For example Mormonism teaches us that Jesus was first a man who in time became a god and is now part of the godhead of three persons which makes up the Mormon trinity.  Notice that this trinity is three gods of three separate essences, not one God of one essence manifested in three persons.  Note also that the Mormon Jesus is not first the one and only True God from eternity past who who in time became a man also, but that he was first man who became a god of many gods.  They also teach that Jesus' birth came about through Adam's, the god of this world, sexual relations with Mary, thus they teach it was not a virgin birth through conception of the Holy Spirit, but the result of a man's, who became a god, sexual relationship with another human being:  Mary.  Since they do not teach the Bible's teaching on the Nature of God and since they teach Jesus was a man first, not God first from all eternity, therefore this constitutes them as a Christian cult, not a Christian religion.

Jehovah Witnesses & the Watchtower are also a Christian cult.  They teach that Jesus was first Michael the Archangel the first and greatest creation of Jehovah God, who became a man, died and rose spiritually, not bodily, from the dead.  The Jehovah Witness's Jesus is an Angel, not the One and only True God, and not a man.  They deny both his humanity and His divinity and as a result are classified as a Christian cult.

Some groups of Christianity would also classify some Pentecostal Religions as cults also because they believe in what they call Jesus Only meaning they do not believe in the Bible's teaching on the Trinity, but believe that God is only One person who manifest's himself at times as God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.  They don't believe these are three separate persons who make up the One and Only True God of one essence, but that God is one essence and one person.  However they do teach that God in the person of Jesus Christ is fully God and Fully Man but one person.

Any time a religion deviates from what the Bible teaches us about who Jesus is, that he is fully God first and now also fully Man, but one person, that is a Christian cult, not a Christian religion.  Therefore, both Catholicism and Protestantism are classified as Christian religions.  They both agree on who Jesus is and that this One and Only True God of one essence is a Trinity of three Persons:  The Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Where they disagree has to do with their position on Authority and what constitutes Salvation.  The Protestant Church teaches that God's Word the Bible is final and highest authority over the Church, its leadership, and its members.  The Catholic Church, while acknowledging that the Bible is God's Word, teach that Historical Church traditions and the teaching of the Church are of higher authority than the teaching of Scripture.  The Protestant Church teaches that Jesus' salvation for our sins is received through faith and through faith alone, not by any works of ours.  The Catholic Church teaches that Jesus died for our sins so that we can now work our way to heaven.  But concerning the nature of God and the nature and person of Jesus Christ, both Protestant, Catholic and Eastern Orthodox religions are in complete agreement.

For further discussion on the Nature of God and Jesus Christ, see the following articles:

Next:  Jehovah Witnesses
Non-Christian Religions & Christian Cults
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