Why Is the BIBLICAL CHURCH Called a Cult?

First, we must realize that those who do not like the “Biblical Church” are many and the enemy attempts to destroy the Lord’s Church image are constant. Secondly, many would rather go to a church where their “comfort and ease” are given importance and one cannot see that in the TRUE Church of our Lord Jesus. Third, when “Biblical Rules” are to be implemented, all sorts of accusation were made to destroy its image rather than respecting and obeying God’s command. On and on we can talk about peoples’ complaints about the workings of the church but this author would prefer to clarify why people refer to the Lord’s Church a cult.

A definition given as this author search google its meaning says; “a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object. It is also defined “A relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister – like “a network of Satan-worshiping cults or religious cults.” And another definition says; “a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing.”

The Church of Christ is a church established and founded by Christ. Those who are followers of Christ are called Christians having the great hope of promise for eternal life. Its creeds and doctrine are all from the Bible – nothing more nothing less. Christians speak where the Bible speaks and are silent where the Bible is silent. By principle, Christians practice activities that are in consonance with the Biblical teaching when there are no specific command or information that is offered. Life must be wholesome fitting to what God wants us to have – by faith and by works. They say, Christians are a cult because they abide in one person Jesus Christ whom the only one considered as Savior who delivered hope to mankind. All teaching must come from Him and all lives of people must abide in His teaching for you to be called a TRUE follower of Christ. Since cult is usually marked by a very strong, centralized authority, and since the Christians go back to the Bible as authority, is also considered a cult.

Cult if they say Christians are because they are not free to sin and encouraged to live holy after they have received our Lord Jesus through baptism. They should walk in the “newness of life” (Romans 6:4). Others charged the Christians as a cult because they are “overly aggressive” in spreading the Gospel. It is not wrong to be overly aggressive because “Salvation is at hand and must be received before it is everlasting too late” (2 Corinthians 6:2). However, Christians still go with the principle taught in 1 Peter 3:15-16 that says; but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you, yet does it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame” (NRSV). It is worth noting that an overseer or elders of the church are to be “respectable, hospitable…not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome…He must also have a good reputation with outsiders…”  It’s hard to imagine someone who is obnoxious or forceful with non-Christians meeting these qualifications. In fact, all Christians are called “to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.” (https://www.rationalchristianity.net/xian_cult.html)

Is Christianity a cult then? If we understand Jesus teaching and see the value of it, only people against Christianity calls Christians as a cult. Those who go against the teaching of Christ are the ones who “apostatized” which term means “what is not.” It denies the authority of Christ and the Scriptures. They shy away from anything firmly believed, other than the right to believe what you wish.

So, is the Church of Christ a cult? The answer is absolutely NOT. It does not force people to follow (right or wrong) but leads people to live a righteous life pleasing to God (2 Timothy 3:16). It touches the heart for a man to willingly obey with sincerity. It guides the minds of man to see God’s direction ( Psalms 119:105) by using it as a light. Christ’s Church goes with reason (1 Peter 3:15-16) and the cult does not. Cults have blind followers while the church can see the truthfulness of Jesus (John 14:6; John 1:1) who gives life and a way to the Father.

Why call the Church of Christ a cult? Critics want to build it this way to avoid people from knowing the “TRUE way” and that they continue to be blind. It is a work of Satan a long time ago that he has sown seeds that cause prejudicial attitude toward the “True Church.” In order for a man to continue in his own “worldly freedom,” he must destroy the truth and make his false teaching look true and acceptable. Proverbs 14:12 says; “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” (NKJV) Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8) NASV.

Those that are seeking for the TRUTH and had been wanting guidance, I encourage you to contact us for answers your questions and queries on matters regarding your salvation.

 

What is Life – Living Without God?

People nowadays are so entangled with the “World” and have no time for God. The demands of their needs are so overwhelming that attending to God is an extra burden to deal with. Another observation coming from a man saying; “it is too much of my time to go to Church and seek for the truth.”  People are at the age of “comfort and ease” where seeking is an additional burden to carry. We are in an age of disposables, fast food, fast computers- the internet, fast automobiles, fast travels and many other where the ease and comfort of having their needs are all easy and immediate to get. They feel like religion is out of fashion. By all of these, people treat the life around God as a hindrance to advance and by doing all things “freely.” In other words, God’s way makes a man think and meditate with Spiritual reason and values which are so hard to do. Sinful works are works of darkness. The wicked world keeps us far from this life as they can.

People think the other way around. Christ is hated because sin is loved. While we teach a man to give meaning to their lives by living a life around God, they see this as all waste of time. While we teach life is ultimately meaningless and have no hope or future without Christ, they see no immediate need for that. We teach the essence of life that we are so in need of life’s future, the hope of Salvation than a lonely stage with no audience, no one watching or caring. If Jesus Christ is not a savior of one’s life, their lives have no viable basis for hope!

Life is empty without God.  “Richard Dawkins denies the existence of God and if he is right, his opinion doesn’t actually matter. His words are merely the empty echoes of inanimate chemical reactions firing away in the evolving synapses of his brain.” If Carl Sagan was correct when he said, “the cosmos is all there is or was, or ever will be,” his words composed an epitaph of utter eternal despair” (Daryl Witmer- A life without Christ ).

God gives eternal life to those who believe.  To be in Christ is to be born again. This new birth is from heaven (John 1:12-13). It is the kind of birth the beginning of life; to be born again, is to begin to live anew. We must have a new nature, new principles, new affections, new aims. By our first birth we were corrupt, shapen in sin; therefore we must be made new creatures.  Our savior Jesus Christ came that we may have a life when He said in John 10:10“I come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.” We have to be to Jesus to have life and be entirely different from what we were before. John 17:3 says; “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” For a man to truly live, he must know our Lord Jesus Christ.

To think that man can live without God is to suppose a sunflower can continue to live without light or a rose without water. We, as children of God, is clearly admonished today: “If you seek him, he will be found by you.” This is such a profound principle that it is repeated throughout the Scriptures. The idea is that when we draw near to God, He reveals Himself to us. God does not hide from the seeking heart. Deuteronomy 4:29 says; “But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” Life without God is empty and without a purpose. To live a life without a purpose is meaningless. Let’s be happy and be optimistic about the promise that there will be life eternal for those who follow and obey God’s Word. Remember, our Lord Jesus gave that as a promise to you! (John 14:1)

Practical Atheist

Our world today has an influx of people who do not want regulations, control, policies or directives and even religion. One lady hinted that she did not grow in an environment where rules are observed and punishment is imposed upon violation of rules. Meaning, it seems that rules have never been presented since childhood and the strong opposition for punishment has been so clear. Now, what kind of society are we having with this kind of attitude of the mind? It seems to me that there is an absence of ACCOUNTABILITY. Since there are no restrictions, there are no rights and wrongs – definitely there is no STANDARD to be followed. That makes one to think that he is free to do anything – harmful or not as there are no rules to signify the acts as good or bad. The concept of Atheism can easily come in as they do not want to be subjected and accountable to the rules of God.

Atheists do not believe in the existence of God. They strongly state by definition that there is no God. Though their voice is strong, their reason to be an atheist is so weak to prove that God does not exist.

Ron Rhodes in his argument against atheism says:

“The burden lies on you to prove that evil actually exists in the world. So let me ask you: by what criteria do you judge some things to be evil and other things not to be evil? By what process do you distinguish evil from good?” The atheist may hedge and say: “I just know that some things are evil. It’s obvious.” Don’t accept such an evasive answer. Insist that he tell you how he knows that some things are evil. He must be forced to face the illogical foundation of his belief system.” (Strategies for Dialoguing with Atheists).

From a rabid Atheist to a more moderate called “Practical Atheist or Christian Atheist” both sounded the same but a little difference can be clearly seen in them.

George Smith says: A “Practical atheist, or Christian atheist, is defined as someone who believes in God but lives as if He doesn’t exist.”

Another definition says; “Christian atheism, also called non-realistic Christianity, is a bizarre form of quasi-spiritual philosophy that keeps the forms and practices of Christianity while denying God’s existence. Christian atheists attempt to “de-mythologize” Christianity, doing away with all belief in the supernatural yet maintaining liturgies and corporate worship experiences as meeting humanity’s need for socialization and the communication of lofty ideas.” (Gotquestion.org)

To sum it up, a Practical Atheist believes in God but does not do God’s will. He may believe in God’s existence but does not give importance to God’s commandments. He claims that he belongs to a religious group and goes to the church occasionally but his heart and mind is so far away from God’s teaching. He may profess his religion and yet does not have any Biblical verses to support his claim. They are likened unto a car without a gas. What is the use of a car to travel and transport people when it cannot start and run because it has no gas? What is the use of a light bulb when there is no electricity? Same in religion, what use is your faith when you do not do God’s will?

Our Lord Jesus says, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” (Matthew 15:8)

James also said the same thing; 14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your[a] works, and I will show you my faith by my[b]works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! (James 2:14-19 NKJV).

It is my aim to state that a mere belief or faith is not enough to please God. Non- acceptance of God’s existence and non-obedience of God’s commands do not make any difference. What this author is trying to say is that – Many in religious groups today tried to justify that “all is alright with God” even to the point of someone who do not know God or who deliberately ignore God – CAN STILL BE SAVED. Can you imagine that? He is saying that a car can still be a car and run even without gas or a lightbulb can still give light even without electricity! Listen to the interesting statement of a Pope.

Pope Francis, the Vicar of Christ has good news for atheists according to Catholic online. He said “Atheists can do good and go to heaven too. Jesus died and was raised for them (atheist) as well. His redemptive embrace was for all, not just a chosen few…… The Church wants all men and women to be saved. (Catholic Online) What the “Catholic Online’s” article is stressing that one who considers God foreign or not at all existing, can be saved by God. What a dream! It says, regardless of your religion – may it be christian, pagan, muslim, hindu, Buddhist, or whatever – can all be saved! There is no more church in the Bible – and Christ dying for His church is unnecessary, no more Right and Wrong. No more Word to follow. Wow! This is the same or worst than the Devil’s teaching taught long time ago in the garden of Eden! THIS IS A CLEAR LIE and OPPOSITE TEACHING FROM GOD. THIS IS NOT WHAT THE WORD OF GOD SAYS! This is not TRUE at all. It is interesting that the devil believes in God and yet the Pope claims that one who does not believe in God will be saved by God. Harold Vaughan says; “The Devil is a practical atheist. He knows there is a God, but operates as if there were no God.  He believes in God, but he does not love God. The Devil knows he will give account to God, yet he persists in his rebellion. He acknowledges God, but does not glorify God.” Stephen Charnock said, “The devil knows there is a God, but acts like an atheist; and so do his children.”

What did the truth say? There is no other salvation in any other name except in Christ Jesus –Acts 4:12. Hebrews 5:9 says; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him. Additional verses goes back to Jesus as man’s only source of Salvation. Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” ( John 11:25-26) “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also.” ( John 14:6-7) “And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.” ( Matthew 19:29) “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” ( John 5:24) There can be no other source of TRUE guidelines for man to follow except the WORD of God for him to be saved. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”

David Cariaga is the pulpit minister of Convoy Avenue Church of Christ, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Street

The Bundle of Inconsistencies in Atheism

BUNDLE OF INCONSISTENCIES IN ATHEISM

by David Cariaga 

An atheist is “a person who does not believe in the existence of a god or any gods” (Merriam-Webster)

“Many people are atheists because of the way they were brought up or educated, or because they have simply adopted the beliefs of the culture in which they grew up. So someone raised in Communist China is likely to have no belief in God because the education system and culture make being an atheist the natural thing to do. Other people are atheists because they just feel that atheism is right.” BBC Religions 

In atheism, there is no standards, no rule, no law and salvation. We are no better than our pets and any animal. We exist and when we die, we are nothing. No soul, spirit and definitely NO HEAVEN! 

Atheists claim that there is no evidence for the supernatural.

As a Rebuttal: It is the fallacy of “begging the question” to limit the definition of “evidence” to the purely natural, and then use that definition to deny any evidence exists for the supernatural. It is actually a self-fulfilling prophecy. For example, if you calibrate a thermometer to measure in the range of zero to 50 degrees, you can’t use it as evidence that nothing ever gets below zero or above 50.

So in order for atheists to prove their assertion that there is no evidence for the supernatural, they would have to devise a way to both affirm and falsify (disprove) the claim. And as one of their own famously said, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”. So since a purely naturalist philosophy can never observe the supernatural, it cannot be used to disprove it. Just as the negative assertion “there is no God” cannot be either proved or falsified, neither can the assertion “there is no evidence for the supernatural”. (2017 Words of a Feather)

Ex-atheist, Dr Carl Wieland, Managing director of Creation Ministries International is right when he says, to believe the Bible was not to commit intellectual suicide, but was the logical and consistent position to adopt.” But to an atheist, he has no respect for those Christians who were not willing to defend the Bible’s history, rather saying that “God used evolution” and the like. “The argument is not, and never has been, about ‘the facts’ relating to origins”, Dr Wieland said. “Rather it is all about how the facts are interpreted. Atheists use a framework that begins by rejecting God and His Word. Although they present themselves as rationalists and free thinkers, they are in fact bound by their biases.”

Romans 1:20-22(NIV) aptly sums it up:

20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.  21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.22  Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.

Our belief in God’s existence is in harmony with history, man’s mental and moral nature, as well as the nature of the universe. It’s the most logical and feasible world view there is. Even if there are doubts, the evidence for the proposition is better than the evidence against it. Atheism solves no problems and answers no questions, but God’s existence fits the facts of Scripture, knowledge and science. In some way, a man discovers himself when he discovers God, and he discovers in God something identical within himself. On the other hand, Atheism is unbelievable. It tells a lie and asks us to believe the unbelievable and tells us it’s true. If we start to discuss truth, it tells us nothing is true, nothing can be known. Confused as I am with their stand, I would like to take Dr. Jason Lisle when he says, “Because an atheist does believe in God, but does not believe that he believes in God , he is simply a walking bundle of inconsistencies.

The most wonderful and greatest thing about God, is that He showed how much He loved us, and that He was willing to give His Son to suffer to save us,so that we can have the hope of eternal life. From the time of creation, the Bible spoke about Jesus with the Father, and His coming to earth was predicted many times in Old Testament prophecy. He came to live with us. His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension are historical facts, and were witnessed by hundreds of people. Jesus is not an imagination of a fairy tale. He is our Saviour, the Son of God who taught us the way to heaven.

David Cariaga is the pulpit minister at the Convoy Avenue Church of Christ in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Truth Road Sign

The search for truth takes people to many different places.  Jesus said “I am the way, and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”