Friday, August 21, 2009

On The Most Dangerous Cult

Nathan JonesPDFBy Nathan Jones

One of the signs of the end times is a great proliferation of false doctrines and teachers (Matt. 24:11,24; 2 Pet. 2:1). So, I wondered, what group would be considered the most dangerous of these false cults today? Could it be the Mormons, the Jehovah Witnesses, the Masons?

Eric BargerThe question was taken to one of today's foremost defenders of the faith, Eric Barger, the founder and director of Take a Stand! Ministries headquartered in the Dallas area. Eric is an authority on the cults, the New Age, and rock music today. From his past as a former drug addict and rock n' roll musician who was deeply involved in the New Age movement, Eric has emerged since he gave his life to Jesus Christ to become one of today's greatest defenders of Christianity in America.

You, too, might be surprised which cult Eric says it actually the most dangerous.

Eric, just which group do you believe is the most dangerous cult out there?

I believe the most dangerous cult is any person, church, or denomination who doesn't faithfully represent the First Century Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is those who claim to be Christian, but do not present the Biblical truth. And, they are all around us.

I have often said the Liberalism that teaches another Gospel inside our churches is way more damaging then all the satanist getting together on Halloween night to pray out in the middle of a clearing and do a ritual.

More people will go to Hell who are sitting in a church on a Sunday morning thinking everything is hunky-dory because they have been baptized, or they're good people, or they have heard a message, or they gave God their one hour a week, or whatever it might be — some other way then through the cross and blood of Jesus. That is what liberalism teaches, that it is all about good works. That's called the "social gospel." We have seen it take over the mainline denominations who were once very evangelical a 100 to 150 years ago.

Christianity is not a self-styled religion. We have beliefs, and the beliefs have been left behind. We have doctrines that held us together. Paul's charge to Timothy was to go preach the Gospel and reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and doctrine.

We better know what those doctrines are. People think that it is out-of-bounds to mention that somebody who would call themselves a Christian is a cultist. When you look at the central or essential doctrines of the Bible, if people are not holding onto those central doctrines, like for example you would find in the Apostles Creed, what makes us Christians? What could possible make that term stick to us?

What are the essential core doctrines that we are talking about? Well, they are the blood of Jesus, how you are saved, about the inerrancy of the Scriptures, about who God is, and about the deity of Christ. Those are the central doctrines of the faith.

Now, we can disagree about prophecy and all those other issues, and how to baptize someone, sprinkle or dunk, all those issues. We can disagree on those things and be agreeable and loving and call each other "brother." But, when someone comes to me and says, "Well, I am a Christian, but I don't believe the Virgin Birth." I will say, "Well, listen, you can call yourself a Christian, but I can't call you brother. If you don't believe that Jesus was born of a virgin, then He couldn't have been the Savior."

Why are we monkeying around with Christianity or something called Christianity, or somebody who says the Resurrection is irrelevant? Those two things — the virgin birth and resurrection — are the big things. Those two things seem to be the hot buttons, and they are the things that have caused the liberal theologians of 150 years ago or so to begin to disavow many the doctrines of the faith and pull so many into cultic apostasy.


Laura said...

I find this article disturbing: If someone doesn't know about the virgin birth at the time of salvation, then he or she isn't really saved? If someone doesn't understand the cross at the time of salvation, then he or she can't be saved?

When I was 8 years old, I didn't understand any of those things, but I understood about sin and that I needed a Savior. I didn't even COMPLETE gospel until I was in my late 20s, but I was definitely saved at age 8.

So what exactly is Mr. Barger saying? Becoming a Christian is not about how much we understand or whether we understand everything correctly. It's about realizing a need and accepting the only solution for that need.

Otherwise, young children and, indeed, most people would never be saved!

Nathan Jones said...

Oh no, Laura, Eric's not talking about salvation. He's talking about liberal doctrine that denies the virgin birth and resurrection. An understanding of those two things aren't necessary for salvation, of course, but a denying of them puts one's claim to being an evangelical Christian in question. We'll elaborate more on Monday's article.

All4JHWH said...

Laura, I don't think he was talking about those who are ignorant of these specific issues. He was talking about those who know what the Bible teaches (the virgin birth and resurection of Christ) and then blatently deny it! Yes, salvation does come through faith and if you had that faith in Jesus when you were 8 then, yes, you were saved. But if you grew up and learned about the claims of Christ (the virgin bith and resuraction) and then denied them, than do you really have faith in God? I beleive that is why Jesus said that the kingdom of God belongs to such as these -little children - because their faith is a blind faith and it is that strong unwavering faith that God desires from us. SO...I do not think that what you beleive contradicts what Mr. Barger was saying because he was talking about those who are knowlegable enough to be spiritually mature but CHOOSE otherwise.

All4JHWH said...

I am very bothered by the ‘Emergent’ thinking that is permeating our churches (and has been in some denominations for a while) about our means of salvation. Many churches are giving way to the belief that there must be something else that we must do for salvation besides trust in the fact that our savior died once for the covering of all sins. Some of those beliefs involve reciting something or doing a specified number of “good” acts or donating a specified amount of time or dollars to charity and/or if they don’t do enough of these things on Earth than they will be given more time to do them after they die – a kind of “Plan B” for salvation. These beliefs make a mockery of the death of Christ and his blood that was shed for us and they are the most dangerous stumbling block for all Biblically illiterate “Christians”.

I was thinking about this today and happened to turn on the radio when, ironically, the preacher said something that made it all clear in my thinking. The preacher I heard on the radio was talking about the practice of Jewish priests.

He said that in the temple of God, Jewish priest were forbidden from having any chairs and this was because they were to constantly be at work offering sacrifices for the atonement of sin. As long as there was sin they were not aloud to rest in the temple but were to continue in the work of receiving forgiveness through the shedding of blood. When Christ came however, he died once for all finishing the WORK of salvation. He offered the final PERFECT blood atonement for all sin so that nothing else needed to be done to receive forgiveness and this is why the Bible says that He sat down at the right hand of GOD. His work was finished at the cross!

So to all those trying to work at being ‘good enough’ – stop it! Trust in the transforming power of His blood and his Holy Spirit will change you without any effort from you! We can try with all of our fleshly efforts to do good things but there is no righteousness without the His indwelling Holy Spirit! So rest in Him - His yoke is light! PRIASE GOD!

I have found a several verses below. The last one (in Revelation) brought my thinking ‘full circle’ on this subject and when I read it I was in awe! I have read this verse a hundred times but never really thought about it in light of this subject until today. It is written specifically to these ‘Emergent’ (apostate) churches that we are beginning to see these days (to the church at Laodicea).

Hebrews 1:2-3

Hebrews 10:10-13 10And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. 13Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool,

Hebrews 12:1-3

Revelation 3:20-22 20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 21To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

son of thunder said...

I can't comprehend how someone can deny the virgin birth and/or the resurrection and still say they are Christian.

Laura said...

Bear with me here, as I try to sort this out (I'm in need of some iron to sharpen my dull iron):

So what Nathan and All4JHWH are saying is that if you accept Christ and then later deny the virgin birth and resurrection, then you lose your salvation? I'm sorry, but I don't buy that either. Whether I retain or lose my salvation is NOT up to me, and it never has been!

A person can certainly be deceived in what he or she believes about God. In fact, we are ALL deceived to a certain extent about one thing or another, but that deception NEVER means we lose our salvation. After all, how can someone be "unborn again"? The things that happen to a believer at spiritual birth are 1) not done by the believer himself and 2) can't be undone by the believer himself.

Salvation is a work of Christ from beginning to end, and there's no such thing as losing that salvation--even if I'm deceived about something as important as the virgin birth or resurrection.

glen walling said...

i agree with whats said on here , but what concernes me is what is NOT considered scripture (the doctrine issue)
i believe in YHWH, and his son yahoshua, and that he died for our sins and was resurrected and ascended to heaven, and his ten commandments
but i also believe that certain parts of gods word were removed from the bible relatively recently even scriptures that jesus acknowledged and his disciples, such as the apochrypha books (at least)
as this article said, i chose to discover the real 1st century truth of christianity rather than the traditions passed down, whether they be protestant,catholic, whatever

Nathan Jones said...

Laura, all your comments are about salvation, which is a blessing. But, salvation is not the topic of Eric's comments. He's talking about wolves in sheep's clothing and how we can identify them by their false claims as related to Jesus, not the saved sheep.

Glen, there are very good reasons why the Apocrypha, Lost Books of Eden and others were left out. Getting back to the First Century Church is a good thing, but you will find most of these left out books such as the Gospel of Thomas were written hundreds of years after Jesus died and for their gnostic (spirit good, matter evil) teachings.

You wouldn't want to base your faith and salvation on books the Holy Spirit didn't inspire, right?

glen walling said...

i agree nathan there are a lot of weird scriptures out there, all i'm saying is the only way we truly know what is inspired or not is from the holy spirit, not neccesarily what is canonised from the time of king james or not
i'm always open to correction and don't make assumptions

son of thunder said...

Laura, the people Eric is talking about are not the deceived (which wouldn't happen so much if Believers would just open the Book and read it once in a while!), but the deceivers. Those people who know they are propogating a lie. People who twist the Word to match what they believe; i.e., on the CiP program, Eric was talking about John 3:16 not meaning that Jesus came to die for the people of earth but for the planet itself. They've turned the Word into a social gospel to advance a liberal, ecumenical agenda.

Billy said...

They say you can't judge a book by it's cover but I think you can judge it by it's supporters.

The Nazis loved Mein Kampf. The Jew haters loved the document (can't remember the name of it) "exposing" the Jewish conspiracy to rule the world. And from what I can tell it's the liberal humanist new agers type crowd that love these so called lost books of the Bible.

Nuff said far as I'm concerned.

son of thunder said...

I, myself, have never read any of the "lost" books of the Bible (but, I did read the DaVinci Code (barf!!!), which is based on that garbage) because I know most of them were written well after the 1st century. Some can't be dated and some were written only 300 years ago or so.

As for the apocrypha, I have read it. Most of it is nonsense. But the books of the Maccabees are interesting in that they tell a lot of history between the testaments. Along with the origin of Hannukah.

Junbuggg said...

We are off topic here, but since you brought it up, I do think that one can loose their salvation. I can't recall the verses, will try to look them up when I get a chance, but I have read some verses that seem to touch on this, giving warning about it.

I'm sure Nathan knows the verses I am referring to.

Nathan Jones said...

Junbuggg, I tend to believe salvation is always secure in God's promise - John 10:28-30 (NIV) "28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. 30I and the Father are one."

Now, can we snatch ourselves out of the Father's hand? The verse did say "no one." Buuuut, the Bible also teaches that we can lose that salvation if we stop trusting in Jesus (Gal. 5:4, I Tim. 4:1, and Heb. 6:4-6).

Rebellious, unrepentant conduct can ultimately lead a person to the point where he, in word or in deed (or both), rejects Jesus as Lord and Savior of his life. Since his acceptance of Jesus is what led to his adoption into the family of God, this subsequent rejection of Jesus will result in his being disinherited from the family. The book of Hebrews teaches this very strongly in the following passages: 2:1-4, 3:12-14, 6:1-8, 10:16-31, and 12:12-17. Another powerful passage that teaches the same principle is 2 Peter 2:20-22 where a person who has come to know the way of righteousness and then decides to return to the world is compared to a dog who returns to its own vomit.

This is not a matter of losing one's salvation one day and regaining it the next. The book of Hebrews says that once a person has "fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame" (Heb. 6:6).

I've quoted partly from Dr. Reagan's article What Must I Do To Be Saved?, which is well worth the reading.

Junbuggg said...

Thanks Nathan, and that was a great article...I have read it.

Yes, I agree that no one can snatch us out of God's hand or steal our salvation from us....the part about us being about to take ourselves out of His hand is what I was referring to. And I have met a few people that are among that group, sadly. Now, people can and will argue all day about this....that they never really belonged to Him anyway, or they would not have chosen to reject Him. This may be an accurate statement some times, but not all the time. Since retiring from my work outside the home, I have more time on my hands for "blogging" and am aware from some of these conversations that the major thing that causes this, are questions that start creeping in about what the Bible does not tell,evolution, earth age, etc. They had good solid faith, until they started questioning things (for what ever reasons) because the Bible did not tell us "EVERYTHING". They just can't let it go, and just have "faith". Even after I point out the fact that God never asked us to believe in Him because of all the "proof" He has given us, but to believe in Him through "faith"....and that to believe through faith requires much more out of a person, than believing because they have obvious proof sitting in front of them.

Buggg :-)

son of thunder said...

Junbuggg, you and Nathan wrote down exactly what I haven't been able to express adequately.

My thoughts are that when you start denying certain, inalienable doctrines such as the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, Creation, and Jesus being God in the flesh, you open yourself up to demonic influences. It's like asking the first question recorded in the Bible: Did God really say...?

Junbuggg said...

Yep, you got that right Thunder ~

Anonymous said...

Eric sounds like a cult leader to me.