This is a list largely compiled based upon theological and not objective criteria. That is, regarding the behavior of the group, as previously linked and explained.
For example; Roman Catholicsim,>>>>
The most dangerous cult in history.
What is a "cult?" In his book, Rise of the Cults, Walter Martin defined cultism as "...any major deviation from orthodox Christianity relative to the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith."
A Cult is a Cult
The evangelical church today is being seduced as never in its history. It faces a danger so grave that, although we have discussed this problem before, it must be addressed again with new insight and vigor. If evangelicals succumb to the seduction, as they increasingly are doing, then their gospel witness will be submerged in confusion and could eventually be lost—a tragic and new dimension to the apostasy from which the church and the world will never recover. Most astonishing and alarming is the fact that (with few exceptions) evangelical leaders and even the major cult watchers refuse to acknowledge this threat. We are therefore compelled to address the subject once again with renewed concern.
For decades evangelicals have diligently and faithfully attempted to identify, analyze and warn the church against cults. Included in the standard list are Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Science, Unity School of Christianity, Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, etc. Yet the most seductive, dangerous and largest cult (many times larger than all of the rest combined) is not included in the list! Most cult experts refuse to identify this horrendous cult as such! Instead, they accept it as "Christian."
Worst of all, this cult (which preaches a false gospel that is sending hundreds of millions into a Christless eternity) is now embraced as a partner in "evangelizing the world" by many groups which preach the biblical gospel. Major denominations, such as the Anglican and the Episcopalian church, are involved in merger talks with this cult. The Assemblies of God hierarchy has been engaged in "fruitful dialogue" with this cult, whose members are now widely perceived as born-again Christians. As a consequence, the evangelical church faces an unprecedented crisis that threatens its very survival.
The above is a severe, solemn and devastating charge to make—a charge we have documented in the past and in support of which additional evidence will now be given. I challenge any church leader to public debate who declares that this assertion is false. If proven wrong, I will publicly repent. But if this accusation is true, then a major shake-up in the evangelical church is required, including repentance by many of its most highly regarded leaders. I solicit your help in providing church leaders with the facts they need to identify this cult—facts of which I myself was ignorant years ago when I, too, failed to identify the Roman Catholic Church as the cult it is.
What is a "cult?" In his book, Rise of the Cults, Walter Martin defined cultism as "...any major deviation from orthodox Christianity relative to the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith." Though unmentioned by Martin, Roman Catholicism is undeniably a "major deviation from orthodox Christianity" on many "cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith," and thus, by his own definition, a cult. Recognition of this fact ignited the Reformation! To deny that Roman Catholicism is a cult is to repudiate the Reformation and mock the millions of martyrs who died at Rome's hands, as though they gave their lives in vain.
But, says someone, since the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), the Roman Catholic Church no longer teaches and practices what it did at the time of the Reformation. That popular idea is false. To counter the Reformation, Rome's foremost theologians met from 1545-63 in the Council of Trent. Its Canons and Decrees, which rejected every Reformation doctrine, remain the standard authoritative statement of Roman Catholicism, and adherence thereto is required by Catholic catechisms. Opening Vatican II, Pope John XXIII declared, "I do accept entirely all that has been decided and declared at the Council of Trent." Vatican II went on to reaffirm Trent's Canons and Decrees. No, Rome has not changed since the Reformation—except superficially.
Were Luther, Calvin and the other Reformers alive today, they would denounce Roman Catholicism as the largest and most dangerous cult on earth! Yet the Christian Research Institute (and other counter cult groups) refuse to classify it as a cult. In the above book Martin emphasized that the five major cults at that time had "a following exceeding 8.5 million persons...." Yet he overlooked Roman Catholicism's hundreds of millions!
Answers to Cultists at Your Door presents another example. Its authors, Bob and Gretchen Passantino, are described as "experts in cult research [who] have spent years in counter cult ministry" (outside back cover of Witch Hunt). They include such marks of a cult as the claim that it "is the only organization on earth that is following God's will" and that its leader is "uniquely chosen by God to lead God's people" and that it alone "offer
the Bible's `true' interpretation on all matters.” Again, the Roman Catholic Church fully fits all of the criteria. It claims to be the only true church; that its pope is uniquely chosen to lead all of God's people; and that only its hierarchy can interpret scripture. Yet the Passantinos, like most other "cult experts," fail to include Roman Catholicism as a cult, though it meets all their own tests!
Mormons must blindly obey Joseph Smith and his successors; JWs dare not question The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society; other cultists must submit to their leaders. Such authoritarianism is the primary mark of a cult. The same blind submission is required of all Catholics. Canon 212 of Catholicism's Code of Canon Law requires that Catholics must give absolute obedience to their "sacred pastors." Vatican II states repeatedly that only Catholicism's hierarchy can interpret the Bible and that papal pronouncements must be obeyed without question. Canon 333 (Sec. 3) declares, "There is neither appeal nor recourse against a decision or decree of the Roman Pontiff." Vatican watchdog Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's recent 7,500-word "Instruction" declares that dissent about church teachings cannot be "justified as a matter of following one's conscience." No cult demands surrender of mind and conscience more fully or arrogantly than Roman Catholicism.
Roman Catholicism is not only left out of the list of cults by the experts, but it is explicitly approved. For example, in Scripture Twisting, James W. Sire, longtime editor-in-chief of Intervarsity Press, defines a cult as having "doctrines and/or practices that contradict those of the Scriptures as interpreted by traditional Christianity as represented by the major Catholic and Protestant denominations...." Sire makes Catholicism a standard of orthodoxy against which cults are to be judged! Yet he accuses the cults of twisting Scripture, a technique of which Rome is surely the ultimate master! Sire indicts Mormonism as a cult for adding other revelations to the Bible—but Rome has added far more new revelations to the Bible than the Mormon Church! Sire declares, "There is no guru class in biblical Christianity, no illuminati, no people through whom all proper interpretation must come"—yet that is exactly the situation in the Roman Catholic Church! How, then, does he make it the standard of orthodoxy?!
Consider also The Agony of Deceit published by Moody. Each chapter is written by a leading evangelical about a specific false teaching within today's church. While Agony mostly repeats much that was found in Seduction of Christianity five years earlier, it is another voice issuing many of the same warnings, for which we are thankful. Yet it, too, whitewashes Roman Catholicism. On page 65 it states, "Traditional Roman Catholicism...hold
to biblical inerrancy." In fact, Catholicism explicitly denies Biblical inerrancy! The next sentence does acknowledge that the "messages [of Protestantism and Catholicism] are poles apart," but moves right on without identifying the vital differences.
Page 111 declares, "The Catholic church resisted the mounting heresies with regard to the Person of Christ, and...Protestants would continue to affirm Catholic Christology." Again, terribly false! Catholicism's Christology is heretical. It denies Christ's exclusive role as mediator between God and man, making Mary "co-mediatrix"; it denies the exclusivity of His redemptive work, making Mary "co-redemptrix" (Vatican II credits Mary with a perpetual "salvific role; she continues to obtain by her constant intercession the graces we need for eternal salvation"); and it denies the sufficiency of His redemptive work, declaring that the redeemed must, in addition to Christ's suffering for them upon the cross, suffer for their own sins here and/or in purgatory, etc. A great deal more heresy is involved in Catholic Christology, such as presenting Him as perpetually an infant or child subject to His mother, perpetually on the cross, but lack of space prevents further detail. The "Christ" of Roman Catholicism is just as false as its "Mary"—as much "another Jesus" as that of Mormonism or any other cult. Let's admit it! (For more information see ‘The Catholic Catechism’ in this section.
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