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Registered user
Username: Cloudwatcher

Post Number: 661
Registered: 5-2009

Posted on Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 1:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


Check out this video

The Marks of a Cult

"In today’s religiously diverse and relativistic culture, labeling a group a cult may seem extreme to many people, not to mention rude. Even people who believe in absolute Truth and further believe that Jesus is the only way to eternal life can get confused about just what constitutes real Christianity. Just why are Baptists properly considered Christians, but Mormons are not? Or why is the Jehovah’s Witness religion classified as an anti-Christian cult while Presbyterians or Wesleyans or Pentecostals are simply seen as denominations within the Christian faith?
With the explosion of different sects that claim to honor and follow Jesus, how does one differentiate between true Biblical Christianity and an aberrant religious movement? Just what are “the marks of a cult?”
Join us for a journey into the heart of Biblical revelation and the constant struggle of truth against lies, the apostolic faith against the “doctrines of demons.”
This new documentary from The Apologetics Group does more than simply point fingers. It explains in great detail the absolute essentials of the Faith and just how and why Christians can properly and necessarily refer to certain sects as “cults.” Not only a tool for recognizing and understanding false teaching — and for reaching people held captive to it — The Marks of a Cult is also a powerful apologetic on the need for Christians to become more rooted in the Biblical historic faith, with its creeds and confessions, and to be better prepared to give “a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you.” (1 Peter 3:15)"

You can purchase a copy here:
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Username: Colleentinker

Post Number: 14447
Registered: 12-2003

Posted on Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 10:33 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wow...this is powerfully counter-culture! Thanks, Delina!

Apologetics is almost an embarrassment in some circles...

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Username: Philharris

Post Number: 2869
Registered: 5-2007

Posted on Friday, May 24, 2013 - 8:04 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I watched it last night. I must admit I was a little tired and missed parts of it but will go back and pick up on what I didn’t see. Anyway, since Colleen already used the word ‘powerful’ I will add that it was excellently done and very incisive. The main focus was on cults in general where they included many instances that show Adventism is another cult that attempts to falsely hide under the banner of ‘Christian’.

Well worth spending the two hours it takes to watch this video.

Fearless Phil
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Username: Craig

Post Number: 9
Registered: 2-2011
Posted on Sunday, May 26, 2013 - 7:34 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Add, subtract, multiply, divide--all marks of a cult, all found in traditional Adventist teachings and in the writings of Ellen White. This video pretty much summed it up. Praise God for the New Covenant gospel of salvation by grace ALONE, by Christ ALONE, through faith ALONE, made oh so clear by the Bible ALONE!

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Username: Asurprise

Post Number: 3101
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Sunday, May 26, 2013 - 11:40 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Welcome to the forum, Craig! :-) (In case I didn't welcome you before - I don't remember... we've had so many new members lately! Praise the Lord! \o/ )
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Username: Punababe808

Post Number: 448
Registered: 4-2012
Posted on Sunday, May 26, 2013 - 12:55 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hello, Craig.
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Username: Pnoga

Post Number: 515
Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Sunday, May 26, 2013 - 8:30 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have owned this one on DVD for a few years now, I just dug it out of my garage to watch it again. thanks for reminding me about this one, it's a good video
Registered user
Username: Colossians2v8

Post Number: 179
Registered: 4-2012
Posted on Monday, May 27, 2013 - 10:14 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for posting this, it's been awhile since I've watched it, the main host here frm Apologetics Group hosts some of my fav documentaries of all time like Hells Bells/Hells Bells 2 and the like, shedding light on the origins and intent behind modern mainstream media.

I do take exception to calling the UPCI a cult, as with all Pentecostal flavors they are a loose consortium and churches can vary wildly because they do not strictly hold to a central church hierarchy/authority (like the GC for instance), the UPCI does have more of a central structure than most, but a lot of the things they're picking at here are not really salvation issues.

The Book of Acts clearly shows people being baptized "In the name of Jesus Christ"(endquote) over and over again, in the Great Commission we're told to baptize in the name(singular) of the Father(title), Son(title), and Holy(state) Spirit(God is Spirit), I don't believe God is an abracadabra legalist and so I don't believe that people who are baptized in the name of the Trinity are lost, but there is no doubt in my mind that we should baptize "In the name of Jesus Christ"

Having said that some UPCI pastors are kind of cultic, saying they're the only real church, going as far as ministering to those poor lost Trinitarians, haha :-) Other pastors would cringe at such a teaching. They are Bible-only Jesus-only, there's no central figure or writing to sway them away from Christianity in one big mass as is the case with Christian cults, they are not deserving of the title of cult.

And frankly, just as I agree with the SDA that the Sabbath was always the seventh day and it was never changed, I agree that our peabrains cannot properly quantify God with extra-Biblical words like Holy Trinity, and the mystery of godliness is great just as it was meant to be, and I take it all on faith as a child.

Any individual church that teaches they are the only way is apostate and cultic, Jesus said I AM the Way, and there'd be wheat among tares, side by side.

forgive the rant.
Registered user
Username: River

Post Number: 8108
Registered: 9-2006

Posted on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 10:33 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jude 1:3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

When people meet, and have more than a casual relationship (I mean more than a casual hand shake, then you move on, and never get to know them) we establish some kind of relationship.

It may be that we decide we don't like them, and want nothing to do with them, nevertheless, it is relationship, and most people do not want to be disagreeable or rude.

To try and get to what I am wanting to write, lets consider more especially former Adventist, and not to try and single out former adventists as different by no means.

Yet what I am saying is that most formers at least, have relationships with family that were formed before they were ever considered (by themselves or anyone else) as former adventists.

There is a word in the above scripture that is key here, and that word is 'contend'.

A boxer 'contends' for the title, a president 'contends' for office. You get the idea...

If you could tell your relatives about the New Covenant, and they excepted that, then it wouldn't be a contention.

If I could tell my good friend who is Catholic that Mary worship is wrong, and she accepted that, there would be no contention. I really wouldn't be contending for the faith. In order to contend, I need an opponent.

We may or may not sound rude, but in many cases we will sound rude, even menacing, grumpy, disagreeable.

My heart really goes out to former Adventist, because those relationships between friends, and family are so real, and sometimes devastating. I haven't experienced such problems much, I have experienced about the same thing once in my life, and its gut wrenching, as it was my own brother who is a Mason.

Now I didn't say all this to get you folks feeling sorry for yourselves as if you were special because you are not. All Christians should be prepared to contend for the faith, and then try to teach others the importance of 'contending' for the faith.

The church by and large is ignorant. That, I think, is a true statement, and it is because of this ignorance that it is easily fooled by the Adventist church that sits down the road a half mile from me as just another evangelical church.

Again I use the words 'more especially' as pertaining to former Adventists in (I would hope) a benign way, when I say the need to contend for the faith is as up close and real as it gets.

Its pretty easy to have computer courage where people sit off a thousand miles, ensconced safely behind a computer screen, and yell.

They are not formers, they are foamers. :-)

That's not contending for the faith. Its a whole other country the size of Texas to contend for the faith as formers many times are called on to do, and I salute those who have the nerve to do it.

Registered user
Username: Mjcmcook

Post Number: 1101
Registered: 2-2011

Posted on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 11:58 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


Thank-you for your post.

Don't be a "Stranger" here on the Forum!
You have been missed!


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Username: Colleentinker

Post Number: 14450
Registered: 12-2003

Posted on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 4:35 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

River, great post! Thank you!

Colossians, Jesus said in Matthew 28:19 to "make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." These words are the direct command of Jesus, the Head of the Church, for His disciples throughout the ages.

There are passages of Scripture that are prescriptive, as is this one, and there are other passages of Scripture that are descriptive—they relate stories but are not given to us as commands. They can be examples, but descriptive passages do not supersede prescriptive ones in terms of directions for the church.

The UPCI is considered a cult because, as apologist Paul Carden explained to us several years ago, the UPCI does not hold to the classic belief in the Trinity as One Being expressed in Three Persons. Paul further explained that the foremost identifier, among apologists, of a cult is a wrong understanding of the Trinity and/or of Jesus.

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Username: River

Post Number: 8109
Registered: 9-2006

Posted on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 8:35 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Not only that, but they believe: they believe that the ability to speak in tongues is a necessary indication of a valid religious conversion.

They believe that water baptism is essential to salvation. Jesus did not say so in His conversation with Nicodemus. (John 3:3-8)

It is also necessary for them to believe there is no salvation outside of the United Pentecostal church.

They are just as legalistic as the Adventist church in things such as dress.


(Message edited by river on May 28, 2013)
Registered user
Username: Colossians2v8

Post Number: 180
Registered: 4-2012
Posted on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 8:46 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Colleen, as I said I don't believe Matthew 28 is wrong, but why wouldn't someone want to be "baptized in the name of Jesus Christ" as is shown over and over in the Book of Acts? The former method is the inherited catholic prescription, just as the extra emphasis on "Holy Trinity" is. They're both in Scripture, go with what you're comfortable with. Though as an institution, making the choice of baptizing in the name of the Trinity does help decrease Jesus and increase Mary and whatever else other important figures they want.

The "Holy Trinity" is every bit as much an invention of man as "Oneness", in fact they're almost identical, the squabble over Persons or what God has revealed Himself to man as and so on, I've seen both sides of that coin. One side emphasizes that God is Three and another emphasizes God is One, both are right and both are wrong, neither side understands the mystery of godliness.

As with the "Holy Trinity" and "IHS" and the Egyptian Trinity and the Triquetra smattered all over Bible bindings and covers yeah I think it's really weird, and the more I look into it the more weird I think it is.

We simply cannot fully comprehend the mystery of godliness, and that is to His Glory. I do not believe a strict teaching on the exact nature of godliness should be considered when weighing whether or not a denomination is a cult, quite the contrary I believe it to be a bit over the top for man to think he can neatly define the mystery of godliness, I refer both proselytizing Oneness and proselytizing Trinitarians to 1Tim 3:16 and it drives them both nuts without the need of mincing any words, that is really about the best I have to offer over the controversy :-)

It is a controversy BTW, in some cases pentecostal pastors that grew up together or studied together have taken opposing sides, Jesus said He came to bring schism/division so hopefully it's all good.

The issue's just not even in the same ballpark as SDA, LDS, etc, these are people who very strictly look to the Word of God for guidance, many of them are KJV-only, all of them agree on the infallibility of Scripture, they are not the kind to accept "new truth" or "new light" or extra-Biblical writings. To most people who have an opinion like authors etc, these are just write-offs they're talking about, not pastors who've dedicated their lives to the service of God.

I guess the UPCI have too much Jesus according to some, talk about an aberration. I don't know of any other group on the face of the earth who is said to magnify Jesus too much:-)

Anyway I've meandered long enough on this and could continue almost indefinitely so i'll turn the faucet off, I've seen Trinitarians and Oneness up in each others faces before, and it's ludicrous, they were both right and they were both wrong, it was like a comedy skit from an old laurel and hardy movie, except that feelings were being hurt.
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Username: Colleentinker

Post Number: 14455
Registered: 12-2003

Posted on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 12:28 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Colossians, I have no desire to argue with you about Oneness. The position of this forum is Trinitarian, so we will not debate this issue.

I really did not realize until I began memorizing John about a year and a half ago how clearly Jesus identified His relationship with the Father as united and yet separate. In addition, He clearly identified the Holy Spirit and His unique role in the church. There is no suggestion that God is "modal", manifesting Himself alternately as Father, Son, and Spirit. If we take the words of Scripture literally, at face value, we realize we're dealing with a mystery God has not fully explained…and yet Jesus has articulated this mystery in terms that leave us realizing that once again, reality appears to be two opposite things: God is One, and God expresses Himself in three Persons who have specific roles and relationships.

We simply cannot explain it; we have to trust Him and believe His words about Himself.

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Username: Punababe808

Post Number: 451
Registered: 4-2012
Posted on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 1:01 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What does UCPI stand for?
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Username: Colossians2v8

Post Number: 181
Registered: 4-2012
Posted on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 2:50 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

United Pentecostal Church International

They do not deserve the label cult, they butt heads with other Pentecostals over a few things, but every church has its pet-peeves, they have not supplanted the Gospel, they preach Jesus and Him Crucified and repentance from sin, to the average church member there is no real difference between the UPCI and other Pentecostal churches. I would've been a UPCI minister but for the fact that I do not believe someone HAS to do certain things to be saved(such as water baptism, but I think it's a good thing to do-Only Jesus and His Blood saves), and I still do not believe that, and I would have that problem with practically every denomination in existence. They all want to put God in a box. I know for a fact that I was saved the day He called me to read the Gospel and repent.

Colleen: Amen, we cannot explain it, I believe everything in Holy Scripture, and I glory in His greatness and mystery, I don't have Him "all figured out."

I just learned that Rick Ross was arrested, went to court, and fined over a million dollars for abducting a UPCI member back in the 90s... Look guys, I've been around them, they're a flavor of Pentecostals, no one is held against their will or brainsoiled, they were very charitable and never tried to force their views on me. I was very down and out and slept on a pew for a month or so. I was the only one sleeping on a pew, it wasn't a "compound" it was a Pentecostal church. :-)

SDA deserves the word cult because their Jesus is not salvific, first and foremost.

Here's another guy being bullied by the world about being a cult, via Rick Ross, so far I have seen nothing cultic in his sermons, and he mentions the UPCI court case and I came back here to check this thread. he says Rick also includes Assemblies of God as a cult. There are certain things I do not agree with pentecostal type holiness churches about, but I have a lot of respect for them because, well, they're about as Spiritual as you can get without going new age looneytunes, they believe in unceasing prayer, miracles, ministries/gifts of the Holy Spirit, etc... I do not believe they should be speaking in tongues in church around each other(not all congregations do)as Paul specifically taught that in public there should be only one speaking in tongues and there should be an interpreter- but hey, nobody's perfect :-)

FOTM guy as heated as I've ever seen him, talking about Rick Ross:

If you go to their fotm website you'll see Dr. Phil lying through his teeth in a video and intentionally misrepresenting this guy before a studio audience, I stumbled upon fotm sermons last week on YouTube, I don't have a definitive opinion but so far so good.

The world is not our FRIEND, folks, the world is not our enemy either, they're merely controlled by our enemy.
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Username: Chris

Post Number: 1758
Registered: 7-2003

Posted on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 8:23 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't understand the desire to identify with the term "Christian" while denying central, non-negotiable, essentials of the faith. No belief system should presume to appropriate the label of Christian if they deny any one on the following biblical teachings:

1) There is only one God.
2) The Father is God. The Son is God. The Spirit is God.
3) The Father, Son, and Spirit are personally distinct (I.e. there is real subject/object distinction and eternal relationship).

If a group or belief system wants to deny one of those core teachings, they certainly have the right to do so, but they can no longer legitimately call the belief system "Christianity". It's like calling a dog a "cat". Sure, you can do that if you want, but at the end of the day it's still a dog that can never be a cat, by definition.
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Username: Colossians2v8

Post Number: 182
Registered: 4-2012
Posted on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 10:16 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Chris, strictly speaking it is discipleship that makes us Christian, following after Christ, trying to be more like Him, believing on Him, trusting Him. Like He said a tree is known by its fruit, in a chapter of my life I got to know a UPCI congregation quite well, and they had good fruit, this overrides whatever Rick Ross has to say about them.

We are required to call out heresy, I agree, but we are still in the process of shedding the RCC concepts of heresy, and with the ecumenical movement they're starting to grow back in some churches, in that vein of thought I would be fine with a serious discussion on the Trinity and UPCI in some thread here if permitting, or some other place like CARM, wherever is suitable, it was not my intention to go on about it or upset people, but I don't see the heresy in the UPCI. Such a discussion, on my part, would center around the "personally distinct" part of your list, and how views on that aspect of the mystery of godliness could ever be heretical. I'm not UPCI, I do not identify as "Oneness" just Monotheistic, it would be sincere discussion. It would actually be refreshing because I've never even tried holding a discussion like that on CARM, where there are a lot of old relationships which kind of shuts down sincere discussion and encourages kneejerk ad hominem etc. The "personally distinct" part is where UPCI comes in, though I think they might actually agree with your wording there, individual Persons I believe is where the problem is.

Just in closing, we're monotheistic internally, but to much of the world we can be swept under the rug as polytheistic, easily dismissed, unable to live up to the below verse when asked about the nature of God, please take 2 minutes of your time to read that verse and watch the 2 minute video Wretched Radio posted on their channel where Todd Friel is talking to the muslim women about the Trinity. (I enjoy Wretched videos and coverage a lot, as well as Todd Friel, but I really viewed this as an epic failure and part of an epidemic problem in apologetics/witnessing)

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 1 Peter 3:15
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Username: Colleentinker

Post Number: 14456
Registered: 12-2003

Posted on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 2:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Colossians, strictly speaking, discipleship is not the way Scripture identifies a Christian. Being a disciple, following after Christ, trying to be like Him, trusting, bearing fruit—these are not the defining characteristics of Christians.

To be sure, these things are the fruit of being a Christian, but a whole lot of non-Christians will also claim to do these same things--including Adventists and Mormons.

Jesus' words to Nicodemus define "Christian": being born again through believing in the only begotten Son of God (John 3:3-21). As far as explaining the "Three in One" to monotheists who do not believe the Trinity or that Jesus is even God—I'm not worried about their not understanding. Adventists don't understand when I say Jesus is the scapegoat, either.

The fact is that if Muslims or Jews (or anyone) desires to know what is real and true, the Holy Spirit will teach them and reveal reality in His word. Truth as revealed in Scripture often defies explanation or categorization. It is often apparently contradictory: God is immanent and transcendent; we must lose our lives to find them; we must be born not once but twice, and so forth.

The fact that the Trinity makes no sense to Muslims is not a reason to suppose it is incorrect or should not be explained. That misunderstanding is based on the fact that their worldview is based upon the words of an extrabiblical false prophet...much as our Adventists worldview was.

Chris's definition of core Christian beliefs is accurate; one may not believe in them, but if one doesn't, it isn't honest to call oneself Christian.

I say this realizing that people can meet Jesus and be born again and still have doctrinal differences and misunderstandings. But God doesn't leave us where He finds us. He continues to push us into circumstances that drive us to His word in humility.

I'm not arguing with your personal experience, Colossians. I'm just saying that I believe the classic Christian teaching of the Trinity is what Scripture, especially the New Testament, teaches—and there's a surprising amount of confirmation of the Trinity in the OT as well.

In a real way, a person denying the Trinity cannot properly classify oneself as a Christian in a way similar to Adventists who cannot properly classify themselves as Christian—although they do.

Just one more comment: The Trinity is not a Catholic invention, nor is the command to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It was Jesus who gave this command, not a pope or papal council. Catholics took the command and warped the applications of it, but that fact does not make the Trinity or trinitarian baptism Catholic deceptions.

SDA founder James White denied the Trinity on the basis that it was a papal absurdity. People give Catholics WAY too much "credit" when they accuse them of inventing the Trinity, or of changing Sabbath to Sunday, an so on!

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Username: Bskillet

Post Number: 1020
Registered: 8-2008
Posted on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 3:23 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The word "Trinity" is simply the term Christians have chosen to give to the three points Chris made above. These points are clearly affirmed in Scripture. The doctrine of the Trinity developed simply in order to have a means of keeping these three Biblical facts in harmony.

The oneness doctrine does huge damage to the atonement because if the Father and the Son are not distinct, there is no means for God to offer a complete atoning sacrifice to Godself.

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