Tuesday, 9 February 2016

How Do Cults Get Away With What They Do?

I'm sure many genuine Christians, as well as concerned non believers, ask this all the time. The crazy teachings we hear on various radio stations from these preachers make us wonder what they're smoking.

Thanks to African pastor Conrad Mbewe, I have a concise explanation which I offer here.

Many of these cults and errant churches aren't affiliated with major denominations. Either they split off from them or somebody decided to start their own church.

The founders of the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses formed their denominations by starting new churches.

Likewise, Mohammed invented Islam because Jews and Christians

House churches also lack accountability to a central ecclesiastical authority. This fact allows the leaders of these congregations to become dictators.

In my How I Was Razed book, I wrote about a control freak house church minister who claimed to be a prophet and that his "revelations" were not to be challenged.

But is Christianity a cult since it was started by one man? I'll answer that in my next blog post.

rejected his ideas. Though the world calls it a major religion, it's still a cult because one man taught that his "revelation" was divine.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

How Do Cults Twist Scriptures?

 As I've blogged before, there's a proper way to read the Bible. When we take culture, history, and genre of each book into account, we won't go wrong.

Unfortunately for many new Christians, they don't know the difference between studying the Bible and twisting it to fit one's own ideas. This is why cults seek out new believers since they're easy to fool.

Here's one of the most-often-twisted verses:

(Matthew 18:18 KJV)  Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Charismatic preachers and deliverance ministries take this to mean that we have the power to bind and loose demons. That's completely wrong. Look at the context and you'll see that Jesus was speaking about disciplining errant believers. Nothing in that verse even hints at demons.

Some fools have even taken the following verse to mean that they should cut off limbs that "offend" them:

(Mat 5:30 KJV)  And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Christ used that as a graphic metaphor to say that whatever lures us into sin should be shunned. Sadly for some, they took the verse literally instead of literately.

I was one of those naive seekers who ended up in a cult. Nobody taught me how to read the Bible correctly. Check out my account of finding out the truth in How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. You'll easily see  that the false teacher taught me complete rubbish.

In my next blog post, I'll explain how cults get away with misleading people.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Is Christianity "All in the mind?"

This all depends on your view of Christianity. Atheists assume it's all a fable while true disciples believe it's the truth.

I wrote in a previous blog regarding the Bible being true. When readers understand the culture, history, and literary genres, all sixty-six books make sense. Having the Holy Spirit teach you also helps illuminate the scriptures to you.

Christianity not only is proven true through archeology, prophesy, and its internal consistency but it is logical. How so? God encourages people to use their minds.

Here are a few scriptures which demonstrate this:

(Romans 12:2 KJV) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

(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.

(Luke 10:27 KJV) And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

(Isaiah 1:18 KJV) Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

I could show many more verses which appeal to a person's reasoning ability but this post would become far too long. Suffice it to say that God gave us minds and expects us to search out the truth with them.

Sadly, many believers assume that searching the scriptures is only for the pastor to do. If I had done my homework, I would have discovered that the false teacher I wrote about in my How I Was Razed memoir was a fraud.

Next time, I'll deal with how cults twist scriptures to push their wicked agenda.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

What to Do About Control Freak Pastors?

In my previous post, I dealt with the whereabouts of God. All churches teach about him being in heaven. But even a church which seems to preach the Bible can be a trap. So how can you tell if one is or isn't toxic?

Through many testimonies I've heard from naive church attendees, I learned that they had their trust abused. Some were even physically violated. Crooked pastors sought to manipulate congregants into doing what their wicked hearts desired rather than doing what was the best for them.

In my case, I was lured in by the promise of "advanced spiritual knowledge" and being in an elite congregation. Not only was I taught blasphemous doctrines and outright lies but elders condemned me for lacking faith to be healed, lusting for good eyesight, having hidden sins, or having ancestral sins blocking my vision. I now know that all those supposed reasons are unadulterated garbage.

So how can believers avoid control freak pastors who teach lies and who lambaste lambs? Realize that joining a church shouldn't mean you give up all rights. If elders start leaning on you to do or not do something, and it's not a sin as described in the scriptures, leave immediately or sooner. Don't make my mistake of staying and taking unwarranted abuse.

Also, make sure that the pastors take the context, history, and customs into account when they teach from Scripture. Read the passages for your self rather than just accepting what they say about them. Learn about the cultures and politics of the times mentioned in the Bible as well. Issues like head coverings, as just one example, have been so badly misunderstood that totally unnecessary arguments and bad feelings resulted.

If you like what you're reading here, please subscribe to this blog. Much of the wisdom I'm writing here is also in my How I Was Razed book. I've gleaned it from excellent Bible scholars who know how to study Scripture. Also,  feel free to contact me with your questions and regarding my books.

In my next post, I'll show how Christianity is all in the mind.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Where is God Anyway?

I've heard that a Soviet cosmonaut once quipped that he couldn't see God when he was in orbit. Whatever people think, the Bible has the right answers to our questions.

We know that God lives in heaven but that he is also omnipresent. But how can he be in heaven and also everywhere at once?

Hank Hanegraaff has a plausible and logical explanation. He believes that heaven and our universe are superimposed on each other. Both are separated by a dimensional division. When Christ returns, this separation will be abolished and heaven will become part of the new creation.

The Bible also mentions three places called heaven or the heavens. Our atmosphere is described as one heaven, particularly when Christ said he'd be riding the clouds of heaven at his second coming.

Space is the second heaven. Scripture often speaks of the stars of heaven or the heavens pouring forth praise.
God's throne is also said to be in another heaven, apart from this sin-cursed universe.

The only way to reconcile him being omnipresent and also in one place is to realize that it's a metaphor. God condescends to our finite understanding by describing spiritual realities in ways we can relate to, hence the throne analogy.

The Apostle Paul said that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Wherever we are, we who trust in God and have surrendered our lives to him enter his presence at death. Logically, spirits have zero mass so the idea of heaven being somewhere is a category mistake.

I'm eternally grateful to the Lord for leading me out of toxic, soul-destroying doctrines and into his How I Was Razed book describes the glorious journey on which he led me. Contact me for details on how to purchase this remarkable memoir.

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Friday, 22 January 2016

Which Bible Versions Are Dangerous?

Because I wrote previously about how the Bible was carefully copied in my previous post, I also need to explain about the unreliability of certain versions. It would be wonderful if all Bibles were safe and edifying for believers but it isn't always the case.

"Didn't people decide which Bible books were to be included in it?" I sometimes hear people ask. Dan Brown and his Da Vinci Code book have shed doubts on the integrity of the scriptures but he's wrong. When the apostles were penning holy scripture, there was no central ecclesiastical  authority. Consequently, copies were copied and passed along all over Europe and neighbouring areas. Only in the fourth century A.D. did bishops meet and that was to counter heresies cropping up a century earlier.

Furthermore, the bishops made sure that the books of the Bible didn't contradict each other as the Gnostic gospels did. Since so many good copies circulated from church to church, the fake ones were easily spotted and rejected. Consequently, what we have today is what the apostles wrote.

As for bad or deliberately twisted Bible translations, two notable versions must be avoided. The New World Standard is a doctored version used by the Jehovah's Witnesses. Passages regarding the Trinity were  edited so that Christ became a created being rather than eternally part of the Godhead.

The second bastardized Bible is the   so-called Inspired Bible. It was written by Joseph Smith. He plagiarized the King James Version and added his own erroneous explanations of what the verses meant.

So which ones are good translations? The English Standard Version is a word-for-word translation. It's great for accuracy. On the other hand, the New International Version is more an idea-for-idea version. Since idioms and words don't translate perfectly into another language, the "idea" version is better for getting those concepts across. Even so, both styles of translation are valid.

Paraphrased Bibles, like Eugene Peterson's The Message, aren't as accurate since they aren't a direct translation. Even so, they are better than the Mormon or Jehovah's Witness Bibles.

I'm grateful to proper biblical scholars, some of whom I've mentioned in my How I Was Razed memoir. God led me to their radio programs so I could be disabused of the lies I learned in a cult.

In my next book, I hope to touch on many questions which I've raised here. One of those questions is why there are so many denominations. I'll tackle that in my next blog post.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Is the Bible Fiction?

As I wrote previously, miracles are God's way of validating his message. They happened in three waves in the times of Moses, Elijah, and Christ. Some miracles occur today but they aren't for showing off a preacher's holiness as the false teachers claim.

But is the Bible just fictional? An atheist wrote on one of my post that trusting Scripture is like basing society on Harry Potter books. Nothing could be further from the truth and I'll show you why.

The translators of the Bible took their job seriously. They made VERY sure to copy the most accurate meanings and idioms into their translations. Comparing texts with each other  allowed the original written document to emerge from the scripture fragments discovered by archeologists. Any mistakes became obvious and were therefore rejected.

I can't remember how many Old Testament documents currently exist but I've heard that five thousand fragments of The New Testament books have been unearthed by archeologists. Comparing these artifacts shows us that the majority of the words on them were present in all the fragments.

Furthermore, the Dead Sea scrolls show us that the books, Especially Isaiah, remained almost unchanged through the millennia. The Bible we hold in our hands has had scribal additions but none have contradicted the message of Scripture.

Since this is the case, I know that claims of the Bible being riddled with errors are patently false. I wrote in my How I Was Razed memoir how the house church minister tried to make us believe that

In the next post, I'll be writing about purported versions of the Bible and why they are dangerous to inexperienced believers.Watch this space.