So which church is a cult?

SoulFood

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radarmark
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Re: So which church is a cult?
From what Waymarker is saying any group deviating from his word produces bad fruit, they are rotten (I just turned around the two statements). I do not remember any canonical justification for the Trinity, so I doubt any unitarian Christion group (Unitarian-Univeralist, Oneness Pentacostal, Universalist Qualers) deviates from Jesus' word. Jews just do not accept the NT canon, so they by definition do not stray from his word.

ax et amor vincunt omnia, radarmark

*** "From what Waymarker is saying"
Waymaker is an anti-trinitarian, this should be commom territory for you yet you can not get along????


NONE of the sects/cults you mentioned (add Quakers to that too) accept the deity of Christ, which is certainly AGANIST Him and Christian teachings.
 

radarmark

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Well, let us just agree to disagree. 1John1:5 is scientifically discernable as an addition, besides why did not the early Church Fathers bother to use it as source material when they were discussing the Trinity during the Nicean era?

If being a trinitarian is necessary to being a Christian, what about the other famous fractures -- like monophysitism or Revelations (the Ethiopeans do not consider it part of canon, the Armenians rcommend you do not believe it, no Orthodox Church uses it in Litergy). Do these beleifs (which go back much further than your or my Protestantism) make them "Sects" or "cults"?

It is possible to consider Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as three separate divine entities or aspects of one entity whgich is greater than any of the three and still believe in the literal diety of Christ Jesus. These may be different than your beliefs but I (and most of the world) do not believe either against him or his teachings.

P.S. the vast majority of Quakers are trinitarians, we are not very exclusionist, so unitarians, universalists, Buddhists, Jews, atheists, and pagans all are welcome (at least to most Meetings).

If you wish to consider these groups along with Unitarians, Universalists, and Quakers as "sects" or "cults" that is an abuse of either term. If you believe that non-Trinitarians and Monophysmatics and the Armenian Church and the Ethiopean Church and the Coptic Church all "against him and Christian teachings", I suggest you pay attention to the plank in your eye before you point out the mote in ours.

Pax et amor vincunt omnia, radarmark
 

bob x

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The linguist-geek's view: religio was from a Latin root "to hold onto" or "to pass down" (like relegate and relic) while cultus was "worship" or "adoration" of [some particular figure], as a fairly generic term, that is, the Romans would call what the priests at the Capitoline the "cult of Jupiter" just as much as they would call Christianity the "cult of Jesus". If we are to distinguish "religion" and "cult", I would say that all religions start as the "cult" of some founder, and a cult becomes a "religion" if it gets passed down to generations that never knew the founder. First-generation Christianity was a "cult" but when the movement kept going after everyone who had seen Jesus was gone, then it was a "religion"; and Mormonism is a "religion" by now, although it just started as the "cult" of Joseph Smith. Scientology remains the "cult" of L. Ron Hubbard and it is doubtful it will get passed on to enough people who weren't around in Hubbard's day to become a "religion".

A common pattern is that when a "cult" leader passes, some other leader who takes over tries to make it all a "cult" about him now. Bananabrain is undoubtedly familiar with the cult of Shabbetai Zevi (a "messianic" claimant) and how a major faction of it subsequently became the cult of Jacob Frank. Early post-Smith Mormonism barely escaped becoming the personal cult of Brigham Young, but his attempts to introduce new doctrines (Jehovah = Adam, for example) fell flat. Miscavage, the new leader of Scientology, wants to make it all about him, but he is woefully lacking in charisma.
 

Nick the Pilot

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Bob,

Yes, we should add that part to the definition: the organization is based around one charismatic person who the other people must adore and obey. No questioning of the dictator leader is allowed at all.

Are there any cults that do not have one, single charismatic dictator person?
 

wil

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Bob,

Yes, we should add that part to the definition: the organization is based around one charismatic person who the other people must adore and obey. No questioning of the dictator leader is allowed at all.

Are there any cults that do not have one, single charismatic dictator person?

So does the Dalai Lama fill the bill? The Pope? The President? The Queen?
 

Nick the Pilot

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Now this is a cult: This is the polygamist Warren Jeffs.

Witness: Polygamist leader ruled with heavy hand - Yahoo! News

SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) — A polygamist sect leader convicted of sexually assaulting two underage girls ruled his followers with a heavy hand, banning parades, dancing, Sports Illustrated magazine and even the color red, a sect member testified Saturday at his sentencing.

Warren Jeffs, 55, is the ecclesiastical head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which believes polygamy brings exaltation in heaven. More than 10,000 followers consider him God's spokesman on Earth.

A jury convicted him Thursday of sexually assaulting two underage girls he had taken as brides and could sentence him to up to life in prison.

Prosecutors have been trying to show in the sentencing phase of the trial that Jeffs ruled the FLDS with a far heavier and crueler hand than his father, who Jeffs succeeded in 2002. Ezra Draper, who was raised in the FLDS, returned to the witness stand and testified that while Rulon Jeffs allowed fun activities such as parades and dances, his son put a stop to them after rising to power.

(cont.)
 

SoulFood

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being a trinitarian is necessary to being a Christian,

Of course it is - which tells you how many Christians there REALLY are.....
 

Nick the Pilot

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"Yes because I definitely disagree"

--> The lesser part is the disagreeing, the more important part is the agreement, and being happy in celebrating the other person's right to have a differing opinion. Without a minimum of respect for each other's religion, discussion is impossible and becomes mere prostelyzing.
 

IowaGuy

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Yes, we should add that part to the definition: the organization is based around one charismatic person who the other people must adore and obey. No questioning of the dictator leader is allowed at all...

Take a look at North Korea. Look at how every building seems to have a picture of "The Great Leader" hanging on the wall.

Hi Nick, since you live in Asia what's your opinion of the Thai royal family? My understanding is that no criticism of them is allowed in Thai culture. When I traveled to Thailand there were pictures of the King all over Bangkok, yet the royal family's influence seemed fairly benign in the Thai culture. They seemed to be revered by many Thai citizens including my host family. One could make the argument that the Thai family is "worshipped" by the Thai citizens.

I generally think of "cult" with a negative connotation; could a cult actually have a net positive impact on some societies?
 

Nick the Pilot

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IG,

I'm not familiar with Thailand at all (never been there), so I don't know what the situation is.

I think that, by defintion, a cult is a bad thing.

My question about Thailand is, how do they deal with people who do not "adore" the Thai king? Are people who disagree with the king thrown in jail? How much dissent and free speech do they allow?
 

Manxboz

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Religious sects that refuse the doctrine of the trinity, especially denying the deity of Christ is the first to come to mind. Such as jw's, mormons, oneness pentecostals, unitarians, etc.

You mean the doctrine put in place by the Catholic Church? The trinity is not expressed in the Bible, any avid student knows this, the Catholic Church have even admitted this.

Jesus did not talk to himself on the Cross, or did he? If Jesus was God, then why did he refer to His Father and not say 'Me'?
 

radarmark

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Soul Food, at least we know where we stand. Nick, giving Soul Food respect is precisely what I meant.

Pax et amor vincunt omnia--radarmark
 

donnann

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They are all cults. A lot of them are probably racially divided. They brainwash people into believing things that no one could possibly prove. In other words they're organizations that are based on delusion. They hide behind laws that their people wrote up themselves like "Freedom of Religion," to prevent their people from getting locked up in insane asylums. What pigs fly out of my ass? Really? They're message rarely gets across. In the end we're all human. They're businesses under the guise of non-profits. But why should they be getting the notoriety for being charitable organizations when the ideas that make them what they are not original to their organization, and can be proven to have come from one heritage? So that they can continue to bs people?

How do you know everyone on earth is only human? Doesnt the bible make reference that you may be etertaining angels and not know it? Just because you have not personally seen something do you really discount all of the witness accounts documented as to miracles and such?
 

SoulFood

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--> The lesser part is the disagreeing, the more important part is the agreement, and being happy in celebrating the other person's right to have a differing opinion. Without a minimum of respect for each other's religion, discussion is impossible and becomes mere prostelyzing.
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but, this is a large board with many different forums, and this is after all the "Christianity" section....:cool:
 

wil

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but, this is a large board with many different forums, and this is after all the "Christianity" section....:cool:
You are entitled to your opinion, you are correct.

But the old WWJD comes to mind.

How mnay Christian Sects would Jesus recognize as following him?

"The message of Jesus as I understand it," said Gandhi, "is contained in the Sermon on the Mount unadulterated and taken as a whole... If then I had to face only the Sermon on the Mount and my own interpretation of it, I should not hesitate to say, 'Oh, yes, I am a Christian.' But negatively I can tell you that in my humble opinion, what passes as Christianity is a negation of the Sermon on the Mount... I am speaking of the Christian belief, of Christianity as it is understood in the west."
"I consider myself a soldier."
"I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ."
Talking about the Gospel passage of the rich young man, he said, "St. Mark has vividly described the scene. Jesus is in his solemn mood. He is earnest. He talks about eternity. He knows the world about him. He is himself the greatest economist of his time. He succeeded in sermonising time and space - He transcends them. It is to him at the best that one comes running, kneels down and asks, "Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" And Jesus said unto him, "One thing thou lackest. Go thy way, sell what thou hast and give it to the poor, and thou shall have treasure in heaven - come, take up the cross and follow me." Here you have an eternal rule of life stated in the noblest words the English language is capable of producing." Let us seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, he said, and the irrevocable promise is that everything will be added upon us. "These are real economics. May you and I treasure them and enforce them in our daily life."
"Of all the things I have read what remained with me forever was that Jesus came almost to give a new law - not an eye for an eye but to receive two blows when only one was given, and to go two miles when they were asked to go one. I came to see that the Sermon on the Mount was the whole of Christianity for him who wanted to live a Christian life. It is that sermon that has endeared Jesus to me."
"Jesus occupies in my heart," said Gandhi, "the place of one of the greatest teachers who have had a considerable influence on my life. I shall say to the Hindus that your life will be incomplete unless you reverentially study the teachings of Jesus... Make this world the kingdom of God and his righteousness and everything will be added unto you. I tell you that if you will understand, appreciate, and act up to the spirit of this passage, you won't need to know what place Jesus or any other teacher occupies in your heart."
"The example of Jesus suffering is a factor in the composition of my un-dying faith in non-violence. What then does Jesus mean to me? To me, He was one of the greatest teachers humanity has ever had."
"in Jesus' own life was the key of his nearness to God, that he expressed as no other could, the spirit and will of God... I do believe that something of the spirit that Jesus exemplified in the highest measure, in its most profound human sense exist... If I did not believe it, I should be a sceptic, and to be a sceptic is to live a life that is empty and lacking moral content. Or, what is the same thing, to condemn the human race to a negative end."
"I refuse to believe that there not exists or has ever existed a person that has not made use of his example to lessen his sins, even though he may have done so without realising it. The lives of all have, in some greater or lesser degree, been changed by His presence, His actions and the words spoken by His divine voice... I believe that he belongs not solely to Christianity, but to the entire world; to all races and people, it matters litle under what flag, name or doctrine they may work, profess a faith or worship a God inherited from their ancestors."
"Seeming failure is not of the law of Satyagraha but of incompetence of the Satyagrahist by whatever cause induced. The name of Jesus at once comes to the lips. It is an instance of brillant failure. And he has been acclaimed in the west as the prince of passive resisters. I showed years ago in South Africa that the adjective 'passive' was a misnomer, at least as applied to Jesus. He was the most active resister known perhaps to history. His was non-violence par excellence."
"stagger humanity without shedding a drop of blood," by following the example of "Gentle Jesus, the greatest passive resister the world has seen." Though Jesus died, Gandhi said, "He lives in the memory of all true sons of God."
would-be saints have always tried to imitate Christ, and Gandhi's aim "to live the Sermon on the Mount" puts him in that tradition, even to the point of martyrdom.
want to tell others what I feel so particularly keen about, namely what is called non-resistance, but what is essentially nothing other than the teaching of love undistorted by false interpretations…This law has been proclaimed by all the world's sages, Indian, Chinese, Jewish, Greek, and Roman. I think it has been expressed most clearly of all by Christ…
 

NiceCupOfTea

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There is Christianity as a tradition and Christianity as a label that some chooose to apply they are different things both are valid but they are not the same.
 

wil

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There is Christianity as a tradition and Christianity as a label that some chooose to apply they are different things both are valid but they are not the same.
And are either Christianity?

Not saying they aren't. But tradition is a big word, it is this denominations tradition or that denominations tradition.

It also relegates the word into understandings of old and doesn't allow easily for change. "That's not the way we do it" (or see it, or believe it)

To me a simple explanation of tradition is as follows
There was a young mother making a roast for her family and her daughter was helping her prepare everything. The mother cut the end off the roast and then placed it in the roasting pan. The daughter asked, "How come you cut off the end?" The mother replied, "Well, that's the way my mother always made her roast, but I don't really know why she did it. Let's call her and ask her." So, the woman called her mother and asked her why she cut the end off her roast. Her mother replied, "Because that's the way my mother made her roast." This got her to thinking, so she called her mother (who was still alive) and asked her why she cut off the end of the roast before cooking it. Her mother replied, "Because it wouldn't fit in the pan."
 
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