There are many religions in the world and many of them claim to be the only way to God. In the last 200 years religions which have been labelled 'cults' (derived from the Latin 'cultus,' meaning 'a group which worships or shows reverence to something') have sprung up with phenomenal speed. The word 'cult' is usually used to describe the group which deviates from 'orthodox Christianity' as revealed in the Bible, incarnated in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, proclaimed by the Apostles, and adhered to by the historic creeds of the Church. However, many who are considered 'cults' by 'orthodox Christianity' also apply the word to believers in other faiths. Since some have tried to redefine the word we will use a clearer definition which is totally in keeping with the historical use of the word:
'A cult is a group of people basing their beliefs upon the world view of an isolated leadership which always denies the central doctrines of Christianity as taught from the Bible.' (with acknowledgements to Josh McDowell and Don Stewart).
It is important to recognise that the 'isolated leadership' have the last word on everything and are 'a law unto themselves.' They are incapable of error and answer to no man, despite their many and inevitable contradictions. This was predicted in many places in the Bible and is no-where more clearly stated than in the words of the prophet Isaiah when he wrote, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:
Isaiah 6:20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
We will see this exemplified in an examination of two of the major cults of this world. At one time (in the 1960's) it was claimed that a new 'cult' was formed in California, USA, every week. Most of these were short-lived, and are therefore of little interest to the world. However, some of the more established groups of the last 150 years who have laid claim, in some form, to the title - 'the only true Christian religion' - are the Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Science, the Worldwide Church of God (Armstrongism - now somewhat reformed), the Unification Church (Moonies), Christadelphians, and the Children of God. But, despite the claims by many who claim to be experts in the religions and cults of the world, the oldest and largest 'Christian cult' of all is the 'Roman Catholic Church' - see this page! Our intention is to honestly examine the claims of these, and other, groups by comparing the writings of their leaders - their sacred writings, teaching magazines, and books - with the teachings of the Bible which they all claim to adhere to in some form or degree. Nothing will be quoted from that cannot be proven by reference to the original work or the best surviving version of a work. Most of the books referred to are readily available or can be checked from various sources, such as the internet.
We begin on the next page with the cult which has, on occasion, claimed the title of the 'fastest growing religion in the world': The Mormons