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Comparing Christianity with the Cults: The Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Error
     

Comparing Christianity with the Cults: The Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Error

by Keith L. Brooks
 

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What constitutes a cult? How does it contrast with what the Bible says?

These colorful and concise brochures will answer seven fundamental questions of life and belief. Contrasted with the truth of God's Word are cults such as Christian Science, Spiritualism, Jehovah's Witness, Scientology, Mormonism, Eastern Mysticism, Unification Church

Overview

What constitutes a cult? How does it contrast with what the Bible says?

These colorful and concise brochures will answer seven fundamental questions of life and belief. Contrasted with the truth of God's Word are cults such as Christian Science, Spiritualism, Jehovah's Witness, Scientology, Mormonism, Eastern Mysticism, Unification Church, Wicca, and others. Perfect for training or for keeping by your front door.

* Formerly titled The Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Error.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781575674339
Publisher:
Moody Publishers
Publication date:
04/01/2007
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
18
Sales rank:
833,295
File size:
2 MB

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Comparing Christianity with the Cults

The Spirit of Truth and The Spirit of Error


By Keith L. Brooks, Irvine Robertson, Dillon Burroughs

Moody Publishers

Copyright © 2007 The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-57567-433-9


CHAPTER 1

Comparing Christianity's Truth About God with the Cults


Word of God and God

• In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1).

• He is the only God (Deuteronomy 4:35).

• God is Spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).

• There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5).

• Make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).

• Jesus was baptized; the Spirit descended; the Father spoke (Matthew 3:16-17).

• From the first announcement I have not spoken in secret; at the time it happens, I am there (Isaiah 48:16).


Christian Science and God

• God is all-in-all (Science and Health, 113:16).

• God, Spirit, being all, nothing is matter (S & H, 113:18).

• God is divine, supreme, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love (S & H, 465:9).

• God is infinite, the only Life, substance, Spirit, or Soul. The only intelligence of the universe, including humanity (S & H, 330:11).

• Life, Truth, and Love constitute the triune Person called God—God the Father-Mother; Christ the spiritual idea of sonship; Divine Science or the Holy Comforter (S & H, 331:26–31).

• God is "the ever-present, I am, filling all space, including in itself all Mind, the one Father-Mother God" (M.B. Eddy, Rudimentary Divine Science, pp. 3:26; 4:1).

• The theory of three persons in one God (the Trinity) suggests polytheism, rather than the one ever-present I am (S & H, 256:9–11).


Spiritualism and God

• Infinite intelligence pervades and controls the universe, is without shape or form, and is impersonal, omnipresent, and omnipotent.

• It teaches that the spark of divinity dwells in all ("What Spiritualism Is and Does," Spiritualist Manual, 1940).

• The doctrine of the trinity seems to have no adherents in advanced circles of the spirit world. The divinity of Christ as a co-equal with the Father is universally denied.

Just as I am, nor poor, nor blind,
Nor bound by chains in soul or mind.
For all of Thee within I find;
O God of love, I come, I come. Spiritualistic Hymnal


Jehovah's Witness and God

• God's personal name is Jehovah (The Truth Shall Make You Free, p. 17).

• Only Jehovah is from everlasting to everlasting (Make Sure of All Things, p. 486).

• Jesus Christ is not One God with the Father (MS, p. 485).

• There was a time when Jehovah was alone in universal space. All life and energy and thought were contained in him alone (Let God Be True, p. 25).

• The obvious conclusion is that Satan is the originator of the trinity doctrine (LG, p. 101).


Scientology and God

• God can be whoever you want him to be (AMG Enc., p. 610).

• Of necessity any definition of God must be subjective, and we make no attempt to define God as a reality for all people. It would only be possible, theoretically, to be totally aware of God, in all manifestations, when one was spiritually advanced (The Background and Ceremonies of the Church of Scientology, p. 22).

• Each person attains his own certainty as to who God is and exactly what God means to him. The author of the universe exists. How this is symbolized is dictated by your early training and conscience (Scientology Catechism).

• The individual Scientologist is free to interpret God in whatever manner he or she wishes (Hubbard, What Is Scientology? p. 200).

• His precise nature is not delineated, since the Church holds that each person must seek and know the Divine Nature in and for himself" (Scientology, p. 17).

• There exists a life energy or force (Theta) beyond and within all.

• God is therefore the Eighth Dynamic, which is also known as Infinity (FAQS at scientology.org).


Mormonism and God

• We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost (Articles of Faith, 1).

• This cannot rationally be construed to mean that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one in substance and in person (Talmage, Articles of Faith, p. 40).

• There are three Gods ... separate in personality, united in purpose, in plan, and in all attributes of perfection (McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 270).

• God is an organized being just as we are who are now in the flesh. He is a progressive being, and possesses the capacity of eternal increase. Perhaps once a child and mortal like ourselves (Gospel Doctrine, p. 64; AF, p. 529, Journal of Discourses, 1:123).

• The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's (Doctrine and Covenants, 130).

• God is not omnipresent ... cannot be "physically present in more than one place at a time" (Talmage, dc, p. 48).

• Every man who reigns in celestial glory is a god to his dominions (McConkie, MD, p. 322).

• There never was a time when there were not gods and worlds (Young, Discourses, pp. 22-23).

• Each god, through his wife or wives, raises up a numerous family of sons and daughters (Pratt, The Seer, p. 37).

• The doctrine of a plurality of gods is prominent in the Bible. The heads of the gods appointed our God for us (Teaching of the Prophet Jos. Smith, pp. 370-72).

• The eternal Father is a progressive Being ... the capacity of eternal increase (Talmage, DC, p. 529).


Eastern Mystic Religions and God

• Brahma, the Absolute, other than which there is nothing else—without qualities, unknowable, impersonal, beyond all appearances, changes, differences.

• God is all there is. "All visible objects are but modifications of self-existence, of an unconscious and impersonal essence which is called God" (Walter R. Martin, Kingdom of the Cults, p. 239).

• God is omnipresent and almighty, and is in the heart of everyone (Transcendental Meditation, p. 61).

• In his real nature man is divine. The inner man is fully Divine. Vedanta teaches no other dogma but the divinity inherent in man, and his capacity for infinite evolution (TM, p. 58).


Unification Church and God

• God Himself told me that the most basic and central truth of this universe is that God is the Father and we are His children (CIC, p. 9).

• There is one living, eternal, and true God, a Person, beyond space and time ... source of all truth, beauty, and goodness ... creator and sustainer of man and the universe (Declaration of Unification Theological Affirmations at Barrytown, New York, October 14, 1976).

• God, being the First Cause of all creation, also exists because of a reciprocal relationship between the dual characteristics of positivity and negativity (Moon, Divine Principle, p. 24).

• God existed as the internal masculine subject, and He created the universe as His external feminine object (DP, p. 25).

• Man is the visible; and God is the invisible form. God and man are one. Man is incarnate God ... as important in value as God Himself (CIC, p. 5).

• God is just like you and me. All human traits originate in God (CIC, p. 4).


Unity and God

• God is not a person having life, intelligence, love, power. God is that invisible, intangible, but very real, something we call life. God is the total ... of all good, whether manifested or unexpressed (Cady, Lessons in Truth, p. 6).

• I believe ... the truest heathen that ever lived, he who worships the golden calf as his highest conception of God, worships God (LT, p. 126).

• God is the always present, indwelling Mind. The Father within you ... is in the spiritual realms which underlie all creative forces (Fillmore, The Science of Being and Christian Healing, p. 9).

• God is. Man is. We are now in the presence of that eternal Is-ness—Osiris and Isis are now our Father-Mother as fully as they were of old Egypt (SB, p. 229).

• God is Principle, Law, Being, Mind, Spirit, All Good, Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent, Unchangeable, Creator, Father, Cause and Source of all that is (SB, p. 15).

• God is the substance, or real thing standing under every visible form of life, love, intelligence, or power. Each rock, tree, animal, everything visible is a manifestation of the numberless manifestations, or individualities. Each ... contains the whole (LT, pp. 8-9).


Wicca and God

• Contemporary Wiccans worship the Great Mother Goddess and her partner the Horned God (Pan), but these and a host of other pagan deities are said to represent various aspects of an impersonal creative force called "The One" or "The All"—reflecting the current influence of Eastern monism popularized in New Age thought. Wiccans regard all aspects of nature—plants, rocks, planets—as having spirit (Christianity Today, 10/23/00, p. 28).

• "The One is the all encompassing unity of all things which exist. This includes that which is manifest to our limited awareness and understanding as well as that which is not. The One is infinite to a point that the human mind simply cannot comprehend its vastness" (wicca.com).

• Believe in polytheism (many gods) or pantheism (god/gods are part of nature). Wicca "... is polytheistic, recognizing a plurality of divine beings ..." (Prudence Jones, Paganism Today, p. 34).

• "As Wiccans, we acknowledged and worshiped the old gods and goddesses in the form both pleasing to them and meaningful to us ..." (Cantrell, Wiccan Beliefs and Practices, p. 18).

• "As polytheists, they may use many other names for Deity. Individuals will often choose Goddesses or Gods from any of the world's pantheons whose stories are particularly inspiring and use those Deities as a focus for personal devotions" (U.S. Army's A Handbook for Chaplains, pp. 231–236).

CHAPTER 2

Comparing Christianity's Truth About Jesus Christ with the Cults


Word of God and Jesus Christ

• In the beginning was the Word ... and the Word was God (John 1:1).

• His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18).

• The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14).

• He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory (1 Timothy 3:16).

• The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).

• No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known (John 1:18).

• Who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 1:4).

• If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile (1 Corinthians 15:17).

• Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them (Hebrews 7:25).

• This same Jesus ... will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven (Acts 1:11; see also John 14:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).


Christian Science and Jesus Christ

• Jesus is the human man and Christ is the divine idea (S & H, 473:15–16).

• "If there had never existed such a person as the Galilean Prophet, it would make no difference to me" (First Church of Christ Scientist & Misc., pp. 318–19).

• The virgin mother conceived this idea of God and gave to her ideal the name of Jesus. Jesus was the offspring of Mary's self-conscious communion with God (S & H, 29:17–18, 32; 30:1).

• Not that the human Jesus was or is eternal ... not one with the Father ... but fleshly ... Christ is "the idea of Truth," "Divine Idea," "reflection of God."

• The dual personality (Christ Jesus) continued until the ascension, when Jesus disappeared, while Christ continues to exist in the eternal order of Divine Science taking away the sins of the world (S & H, 333:32; 334:1).

• His disciples believed Jesus was dead in the tomb, though he was really alive (S & H, 44:28–29).

• To the apprehension (of his students) our Master rose from the grave on the third day of his ascending thought (S & H, 509:4–7).

• Resurrection is spiritualization of thought, not literal (S & H, 593:9).


Spiritualism and Jesus Christ

• Christ himself was nothing more than a medium of high order.

• The teaching of spirits supersedes and is an advance upon the teachings of Christianity (Spiritual Telegraph, No. 37).

• Jesus Christ was not divine. He is now an advanced spirit in the sixth sphere. He never claimed to be God manifest in the flesh and does not at present (Weisse, Demonology or Spiritualism, p. 141).

• Jesus did not claim for Himself more than He held out for others.

• His identification with the Father was the oneness of mediumship. He was a medium or "mediator" (Colville, Universal Spiritualism, p. 234).

• Jesus Christ was indeed the Son of God, as also are we sons of God (Many Mansions, p. 107).

• The miraculous conception of Christ is merely a fabulous tale (Weisse, Spiritualism, p. 141).

• Spiritualism sees in the death of Jesus an illustration of the martyr spirit, of that unselfish and heroic devotion to humanity that ever characterized the life of Jesus, but no special atoning value in his sufferings and death (The A.B.C. of Spiritualism, Q. 19).

• Spiritualism accepts him as one of many Savior Christs, who at different times have come into the world to lighten its darkness and show by precept and example the way of life to men. It recognizes him as a world Savior but not as "the only name" given under heaven by which men can be saved (The A.B.C. of Spiritualism, Q. 17).


Jehovah's Witness and Jesus Christ

• Not Jehovah God. He was the first son that Jehovah God brought forth (LG, p. 32).

• The First Creation by God (MS, p. 282).

• Jesus Christ had a pre-human existence (LG, p. 34).

• Michael the archangel is no other than the only-begotten Son of God, now Jesus Christ (NH, p. 30).

• Jesus was born about Oct. 1, B.C. 2, of the virgin Mary (LG, p. 36).

• At baptism Jesus was anointed to become the Messiah, or Jesus the Christ (LG, p. 38).

• He showed his subjection to God by humbling himself to a most disgraceful death on a cross (LG, p. 35).

• God raised him as a mighty immortal spirit Son (LG, p. 40).

• Christ was not raised in flesh, but with a spiritual body (MS, p. 426).


Scientology and Jesus Christ

• A great teacher, though rarely mentioned in Scientology.

• "The historic Jesus was not nearly the sainted figure [he] has been made out to be" (Hubbard, Student Briefing, OT VIII, Ser. 1).

• "You will find ... the Christ legend as an implant in pre-clears a million years ago" (Hubbard, History of Man, p. 38).


Mormonism and Jesus Christ

• Among the spirit children of Elohim, the firstborn was and is Jehovah or Jesus Christ, to whom all others are juniors (Smith, GD, p. 70).

• By obedience and devotion He attained to the pinnacle of intelligence which ranked him as a God, even in his preexistent state (McConkie, MD,p. 192).

• Jesus Christ was the executive in the work of creation, aided by Michael (or Adam), Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Peter, James, John, Joseph Smith, and others (McConkie, MD, p. 169).

• He was born of the virgin Mary. Elohim is literally the Father of the Spirit and of Jesus Christ, and also of the body (Talmage, DC, p. 466).

• He is essentially greater than all others, because of His unique status in the flesh as the offspring of a mortal mother and an immortal, or resurrected and glorified Father.

• He died on the cross, rose again, and is coming again in power and glory to set up his kingdom on earth (Talmage, DC, p. 472).


Eastern Mystic Religions and Jesus Christ

• All religions from times immemorial are just different branches of the main trunk of the eternal religion represented by the Vedas (TM, p. 19).

• "I don't think Christ ever suffered or Christ could suffer" (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, p. 123).

• Christ is considered to be one of a long line of "Masters" who had themselves realized divinity. They are recognized as "divine," and addressed as such. Through such individuals at various times in history, the "divine truth" was transmitted to men. His picture is frequently to be seen beside that of Buddha, or of Shankaracharya, or Yogananda, or other recognized "Divine Leaders."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Comparing Christianity with the Cults by Keith L. Brooks, Irvine Robertson, Dillon Burroughs. Copyright © 2007 The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

KEITH L. BROOKS founded the American Prophetic League of Los Angeles in 1930. He was the author of numerous Bible study courses, books, and tracts. Although Keith passed away in 1954, his wife, Laura, continued the ministry of the American Prophetic League until 1960. The League's Prophecy Monthly eventually merged with Moody Bible Institute's Moody Monthly. The published Bible study became the Teach Yourself the Bible Series from Moody Publishers.

IRVINE ROBERTSON was born in Glasgow, Scotland. He graduated from Moody Bible Institute in 1938 and served as a missionary in India for eighteen years. He is a former faculty member of the Moody Bible Institute and former professor at MBI's evening school program in Boynton Beach, Florida. He is author of several books including What the Cults Believe and Transcendental Meditation and co-author of Comparing Christianity with the Cults and The Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Error. He is now at home with his Lord.

DILLON BURROUGHS (B.A., Indiana State University; Th.M., Dallas Theological Seminary) serves as a professor of youth and culture at Tennessee Temple University. He has co-authored a number of books, including Comparing Christianity with World Religions and Comparing Christianity with the Cults and he is the author of Generation Hex and The Middle East Meltdown. Burroughs lives in Tennessee with his wife and children.
KEITH L. BROOKS founded the American Prophetic League of Los Angeles in 1930. He was the author of numerous Bible study courses, books, and tracts. Although Keith passed away in 1954, his wife, Laura, continued the ministry of the American Prophetic League until 1960. The League's Prophecy Monthly eventually merged with Moody Bible Institute's Moody Monthly. The published Bible study became the Teach Yourself the Bible Series from Moody Publishers.

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