A while back, probably a year or so at least, I was in a discussion with an older man and I explained to him about different cults. This gentleman is the type of person who goes back and gets other people’s ideas and thoughts before forming his own opinion which is seen as wise by many but this is the path to more confusion: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).
The man came back and informed me that other religious groups are labeled as cults if they do not believe or agree with certain doctrines. In a sense this is true but the beliefs and thoughts that determine whether or not a group of people belong to a cult are those that are held as their founding principles and the way to determine whether or not the group’s beliefs deserve such a label is gauged by God’s word: “But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God” (Acts 5:39).
One of the reasons why we have so many different denominations is that man has created different traditions and added to God’s word. Nowhere in scripture is John the Baptist referred to as a Baptist nor is Paul labeled a Pentecost or Methodist and so forth. Baptist is known to mean baptizer which is what John did as he baptized Christ. While there is nothing wrong with a denomination in itself or labeling yourself as belonging to a certain denomination, the problem comes in when the denomination goes away from what Christ teaches and many denominations are guilty of this: When this is the case, God is not involved: “For God is not [the author] of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints” (1 Corinthians 14:33).
The Baptists love to baptize and there is nothing wrong with the idea of baptism as Christ was baptized and billions of others since. Baptism is a good gesture but there are many people who believe that if a child is born and then dies without being baptized then that child goes to hell but this is not found anywhere in scripture. There are other denominations that belief that Christ is not the Savior nor is there an actual Trinity and before studying this article, I was unaware that there is a specific term for this group, nontrinitarianism. While I knew that was a belief that Christ is not God, I was unaware that a specific name for this group exists but this is how Satan works and he works rather well.
Think about it. If we, as Christians, are not involved in God’s word then we are not focused on truth. If we are not focused on truth then we are going to use emotion and human knowledge as it is given. Unfortunately, much of the information that we are taught in school is wrong and the further secular that our institutions grow, the more confused that society becomes and this is as true for church as it is in education and politics. For example, if Christians are fighting each other on what doctrines are true then it’s likely we are not in God’s word which is how different groups accept doctrines such as Christ not being God and denying the Trinity and it only gets worse from here: “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you” (Deuteronomy 4:2).
Revelations 22:18-19 has an even graver warning to those that add and/or take away from God’s word: ”For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” In other words, God’s word must be kept the same, always, and should never be added to or taken away from as it was written a certain way for a particular purpose and just because I say you’re wrong or you say I’m wrong is irrelevant because all that matter is what God says.