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A Cult a Cult?
Q & A
Essential Christian Doctrine
***Essential doctrine is what divides Christianity from cults such as, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Masons, Scientologists, United Pentecostals, etc. To pervert, twist, or change the basic doctrines that form the foundation of Historic Christianity is absolutely forbidden by God, yet something that all cults do. The Bible warns us to protect our faith, and ultimately, the early Christian martyrs died defending Christianity. Jude 3, 1 Peter 3:15.
- The authority and inerrancy of the scriptures (autographs)
- The Nature of God
- The Trinity
- The Creation
- Jesus Christ
- Christ's Death, Burial & Resurrection
- The Holy Spirit
Explanation: The Authority and Inerrancy of scripture in the original manuscripts. We believe the original copies of scripture were verbally inspired and without error. Today's Bibles are copies of copies of copies and are not completely inerrant as were the originals. By comparing the mistakes in the copies we have today, we can see that the original manuscripts were inerrant. We do not possess the originals but the copies we have today are incredibly accurate and reliable. We believe in Sola Scriptura, which means that the Bible alone which is general revelation, is all that is necessary for instruction in faith and practice. Tradition is reliable and helpful only as far as it agrees with scripture. 'Do not go beyond what is written.' 1 Cor. 4:6.
Explanation: The Nature of God. God is Spirit (non-coporeal, immaterial) and is not a material Being. Any material entity would have to be physically and visably locatable, but God does not possess a physical body and therefore is not physically, visibly, or materially locatable. Rather, God transcends location and time. Time is a measurement for change or decay and God is immutable, non-changing, and eternal, therefore God is not affected by time and transcends time and location. God exits in-and-of-Himself (aseity) and is actively present (omnipresent, emminent) within and to His entire creation.
Explanation: The Trinity. The Trinity is an absolute Essential tenant of the Christian faith. There are 3 planks to understanding the Trinity. 1) We serve One God. 2) The Father is God, Jesus is God, and The Holy Spirit is God. 3) The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct (different) from one another. Direct referral to the Trinity can be seen in more than 700 places within the Bible. Trinitarians are Monotheistic in their belief, which means they believe in One God, revealed in 3 Persons (Triune). We are not Tritheistic (belief in 3 Gods). We are not modalistic (belief that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are different stages of the ontology (Being) of God. We are not polytheistic (belief in many Gods). We are not pantheistic (belief that everything is God), and we are not atheistic (belief that there is no God).
Explanation: Creation. According to the scriptures, creation took place in time past by God through His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Creation was completed in 6 days and 6 nights but whether or not they were 24 hour days or day-ages is an open-house debate and a secondary though important issue. The basic laws of science militate against darwinian evolution which opposes creation and are perfectly suitable and complimentary to special creation. God created the world and is actively in control of the world.
Explanation: Humanity. God created humans in His image and likeness. This means humans were created with the communicable attributes of God. Attributes like speech, rationality, volition, contemplation, reason, etc. Humans do not possess the incommunicable attributes of God such as God's intrinsic holiness, omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, perfection, immutability, etc. Humanity is a created order of being designed by God to receive fellowship and direction directly from God, its source of creation. Adam, the first human, fell in sin when tempted by satan and therefore all future generations of humans are born with a sin nature and doomed to hell. Salvation can be found only by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
Explanation: Sin. True sin is the desire to be independant of God and the determination to fulfill self grandisement. This sin causes many other small acts we call sins like smoking, stealing, murder, adultery, bearing false witness, etc. True sin is called iniquity and it describes the reason why we sin. We sin because we are iniquitious. We are bent. We are evil. This iniquity comes out in a variety of ways. Born again believers possess the holiness and righteousness of Jesus Christ, but that righeousness is ours only in position while practically we are evil outside of the foreign righteousness of Christ that is imputed to our account. Born again believers remain sinners as long as they are alive and believers are commanded in scripture to confess their sins, thus keeping their communion with God at an intimate level.
Explanation: Jesus Christ. Christology. Jesus Christ is Theantropas, 'The GodMan.' Jesus Christ is God's Son and is God by nature existing throughout eternity as Creator. Jesus is the 2nd Person of the Trinity who came down from heaven to be born as a human through the Virgin Mary, according to the plan and purpose of God. Jesus now possesses 2 natures; His Divine-nature, and His human-nature. Jesus lived a life of sinless perfection and at the proper time was crucified on a cross for the sins of the world, thus making a way for the reconciliation of the universe and all creatures. Jesus Christ is distinct from God and The Holy Spirit and the only Person within the Godhead who has a material human body.
Explanation: Christ's death, Burial and Resurrection. Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross between 2 thieves on Friday before the Sabbath (Saturday) according to the Bible. He was buried and on the 3rd day (sunday) He rose from the grave appearing to many. 40 days later He permanently ascended to heaven in His human body to sit at the right hand of God.
Explanation: Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God by nature and is distinct in Person from God the Father and Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is active in the world convicting the world of sin and actively indwelling (relationship) believers. In time past the Holy Spirit was active in the creation of the Universe. The Holy Spirit moved the Prophets in the writing of the Holy Scriptures.
Explanation: Salvation. Soteriology. Salvation can be found for fallen man by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. The ability to find that grace is also a gift of God. Responding to that grace is a freewill act of man. Grace is an undeserved, unearnable, free-gift, paid for by someone else and given freely to you. Just because man was given grace (free-gift) does not presuppose that someone did not have to pay for that gift. Jesus Christ lived a perfect life for us and as us, and then paid our debt when our sins were nailed to His cross at Calvary. There is no other way to be saved except the righteousness of Jesus Christ be imputed to our lives. Romans 10:9-10 * If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart, man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.