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.THE BASIC TRUTH ABOUT FALSE RELIGIONS & CULTS
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
Anyone reading through even a small number of e-mail replies from people involved in the many false religions/cults will find the same pattern from 'active members' (or even former members!). The Bible warns that three simple SIN factors prevent people accepting the truth of God's Word - which is found only in the Bible: PRIDE (John 5:40-44), IGNORANCE (Ephesians 4:18), and MORALS (John 3:19-20)! So how do these people expose themselves to you? Have you ever known anyone who belongs to a religion/cult and tells you, 'It might not be the most correct or truthful belief system, but I'm happy in it and it suits me' Please let us know if you ever hear this expressed in any way! Unfailingly, they either present a low profile front (especially ladies!) or they (invariably men!) will come right out and tell you: 'You must become a Roman Catholic/Mormon/Muslim etc.'
What they won't tell you is that believing in the Bible is the right thing to do - and they certainly won't be able to supply any credible reasons for doubting the awesome Word of God!
However they introduce themselves - whether angry, polite, or flattering - they will often claim they know more than we do about 'their religion' and some even admit its faults while suggesting they know more of its faults than we do (although it is obviously impossible for them to know just how much knowledge we have!). They will invariably claim there are errors in our articles and even offer to help us correct 'these faults'. We always ask them to go ahead and just give at least one example of an error in our articles. Result? We have never, ever, received a single reply to this suggestion. The other constant is their inability to answer any point we make, no matter how devastating it is to their claims.
It would be easy to make excuses for these people but, at the end of the day, they demonstrate all three sins. Sad, but true. But saddest of all is the fact that it is only the God of the Bible who can set these people free from the Satanic trap they are still in - yet they refuse to turn to Him and tacitly insist that 'the truth' they have is sufficient to carry them through life. But 'after death comes the judgement' (Hebrews 9:27) where little games of 'truth' will matter no more.
Satan has a little game to deceive every person on the planet - even if it's a fanatical devotion to some form of sport, perhaps through a devastating connection such as gambling! All of us have it in us to devote our lives to some form of pointlessness and Satan will encourage us in this while God will keep probing us and giving us opportunity after opportunity to follow Him.
The Lord Jesus spoke in many parables and He made it clear in these that salvation is by faith in Him alone. The imagery of the door in 'The Parable of the Door' is absolutely clear as always. What is the door? What is the way that leads to life? The answer is: The Lord Jesus Christ. He said, "I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved" (John 10:7-9). Again, He said: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). Those verses throw light on and give the only proper interpretation to the parable.
That is crucial for Christianity, but not so for other religions and cults - although they may pretend otherwise. It would make little difference to most of the world's religions and cults if their founder were someone else (they routinely amalgamate their false prophet or guru with their version of Jesus), or even if they had no founder at all, for essentially they all claim to have collections of spiritual truths (or claims to truth) and methods, all of which could exist without their founder. They have sprung up throughout known history and once someone claims to have discovered a 'new truth' or a modification of an existing truth they begin to gather followers - some people love nothing more than a new fad or guru to follow! That is the nature of the world's religions and cults.
Christianity is not in that category, however. Nor is Jesus like those other religious figures. Jesus did not merely show the way to God but said emphatically: "I Am the way." He did not claim merely to know the truth, but said - equally emphatically: "I Am the truth."
Note: The 'I Am' statements of Jesus prove irrefutably that He claimed to be God and equal to the Father!
We have pointed out the reasons and importance for this statement clearly (see this page) and never been refuted by any religionist/cultist. That - and a colossal amount of allied evidence - proves irrevocably devastating for all other religions and cults.
Please don't let Satan deceive you (or anyone in your family or your group of friends) with one of his false religions and follow the Biblical advice to make sure of ALL THINGS before you commit your life to an unknown spiritual quest that may entrap you for your whole life but also determine your future in Eternity:
Acts 17:11 (KJV) - These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 (NASB) - 19 Do not quench the Spirit; 20 do not despise prophetic utterances. 21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil.
Whether or not people choose to accept the incredible evidence for the Word of God (see this page), it is a fact that only the truth found in the Bible can free any man or woman from their sin because Scripture informs us:
1 John 5:18-20 (NASB) - 18 We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. 19 We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
''The evil one', Satan, has easy access to those who are not 'born again' and 'kept by God' and this is where he employs one of his most damaging deceptions by persuading those in the world to accept his additions to the Bible. For Muslims he has the Qur'an, Mormons have 'The Book of Mormon' (and other 'add-ons'), and others have their equivalent 'holy books' to usurp the Bible. Roman Catholics and others have 'popes' or an equivalent ''guru' who tell them what the Bible really means instead of allowing the Comforter, the promised Holy Spirit of truth (Jn 14:17) to lead them into all truth (Jn 16:13), as Jesus told all of His disciples (John 8:31-32):
"If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."
Finally, since all other religions and cults are false, then they will all endeavour to denigrate Jesus and His Gospel both by adding 'holy writings' (or 'spiritual teachings' through their leader/guru) and by trying to adjust the Word of God (the Bible alone!) by these methods.
Thus it is that Jehovah's Witnesses have produced their own Bible, the New World Translation, which contains both dreadful mis-translations of key verses (particularly those that clearly point out the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ!) and added words to change the clear meaning of God's Word.
The Roman Catholic Cult has a similar method called 'The Catechism' in which their 'popes' have adjusted the Word of God as it suited them coupled with a huge number of colossal and laughable fabrications - such as 'Brown scapulars' and 'Papal Infallibility'.
All religions and cults use the same methods to adjust God's Truth to mankind and this is one good reason that He put a clear warning to us all in His final Word to us:
Revelation 22:18-21 (NASB) - 18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book. 20 He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.