Lately, as I have been reading different books, I've wondered for me, and for you: Have you ever stopped to think about what you really believe? I'm talking theology here: you and God. Do you believe in God? Really? Why? Why not? Well, here in America, and around the world, religious cults are growing...you probably know a Jehovah's Witness at work, or maybe a Mormon. Well, they may not have told you specifically that's what they are, but one day you'll find out.
So often, these ordinary people we live, work, and interact with, are so sincere in their beliefs. Often times, they have not had their questions answered in the Christian Church--it could be for a number of reasons...so where do they turn? They turn to the place where they can get an answer! Bible? No, most folks don't turn there today, unfortunately. That's where they SHOULD go (and all of us too), but they'll ask a friend, a co-worker, someone they play ball with. As with mormons, or JW's, these friends are as sincere as you and me, who are evangelical Christians, but they claim they are Christians too. (did you ever stop to think that one can be sincere, but sincerely wrong at the same time?) They'll claim the Bible as theirs too, and use language often times a Christian will recognize. However, a cult is a cult specifically because some aspect of Biblical Christianity has been distorted; not only this, but it becomes a "religion", where the soteriology (salvation aspect) is man-made, or accomplished in man's strength. Traditional Roman Catholicism, though not a cult, of course, claims salvation by works; Jehovah's Witnesses--saved by doing door-to-door "warning" or evangelism; Mormons--also by works, one becomes a god; and so forth. Often times there is much truth in their beliefs, taken from the Bible--but it is out of context and distorted to fit a specific man-made method of salvation. It has been said before that "a man who will not stand for something is quite likely to fall for almost anything".
The danger to true believers in Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, is that cults might be presented in a "favorable light, appearing to be objective (which our culture today highly values), does little or nothing for Christianity except to encourage weaker Christians to dabble in what is a dangerous hobby." (Walter Martin, The Kingdom of the Cults; p.21).
So, if you think you are a Christian, and if you call yourself one: know what you believe! If the average Christian were to become familiar with the great foundations of our faith, he/she would be able to detect these counterfeit elements that are so apparent in the cult systems that set them apart from Biblical Christianity.(Walter Martin, The Kingdom of the Cults; p.23-24)
Know what you believe!