Monday, June 18, 2012

A Tale of Two Cults

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."

I could not have picked a better beginning for this article than the first paragraph from A Tale of Two Cities.
This classic's opener paints the perfect picture for the dawning of two religious sects. The emergence of two life changing schisms. The start of, "A Tale of Two Cults".

   The year was 1823. A troubled young man struggling with the truth of Christianity wandered into the dark and misty woods to ponder his future with the church of God.
   The year was 1870. A troubled young man struggling with the truth of Christianity wondered about hell, the diety of Christ and the Holy Spirit and his future with the church of God.
These are the beginings of what are perhaps the greatest manipulation of minds in the history of man.
The young man from 1823 (left) was Joseph Smith Jr. who founded "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" The Mormons.
The other from 1870 (right) was Charles Taze Russell, who layed the foundations of what would become the "Jehovah's Witnesses".
As we delve into these "religions" and breifly look at their beif systems, as well as their regulatory system, we will see a pattern emerge that clearly falls into the catagory of cultism. So as not to miss the tale tale signs, let us first define the word cult. What is a cult or what defines it?

CULT - Any group which deviates from Biblical, orthodox, historical Christianity. e.i. They deny the Deity of Christ; His physical resurrection; His personal and physical return to earth and salvation by FAITH alone.

These are but a few qualifications that we will be looking for in this article.

Let us first look at Mormonism. What is it that would cause us to classify them as a cult?
Joseph Smith taught, “God Himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!” Mormonism also holds to a plurality of Gods and contends that “as man is God once was; as God is man may become.” Additionally, the Latter-day Saints compromise the nature of the God-man, Jesus Christ. In Christianity, Jesus is the self-existent creator of all things. In Mormonism, he is the spirit brother of Lucifer who was conceived in heaven by a celestial Mother and came in flesh as the result of the Father having sex with the Virgin Mary. (That is a story within it's self.)
Also, in sharp distinction to orthodox Christian theology, Mormons do not believe that the Bible is the infallible repository for redemptive revelation. In their view, the Book of Mormon is “the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion.” Two further revelations complete the Mormon quad, namely Doctrines and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price. Doctrines and Covenants is a compilation of divine revelations that includes the doctrine of polygamy. Not until threatened by the federal government did Mormon president Wilford Woodruff receive a revelation relegating polygamy to the afterlife. The Pearl of Great Price is no less troubling. It was this extra-biblical revelation that was used by Mormonism to prevent African Americans from entering the priesthood and from being exalted to godhood.
Now although these examples make it perfectly clear that Mormonism is not a Christian faith and contributes to the "cult" theory, lets look at what many would say REALLY makes Mormonism a cult.

Lets start with "The Keys of Priesthood". Perhaps the most power that the Mormon leaders have on it's members. What are the Keys fo Priesthood? Well, "President" Joseph Fielding Smith explained:
These keys are the right of presidency; they are the power and authority to govern and direct all of the Lord’s affairs on earth. Those who hold them have power to govern and control the manner in which all others may serve in the priesthood. All of us may hold the priesthood, but we can only use it as authorized and directed so to do by those who hold the keys” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1972, 98; or Ensign, July 1972, 87).

Who Holds the Keys of the Priesthood?

According to Mormonism, Jesus Christ has always held all of the keys of the priesthood. When He first called His twelve Apostles, Jesus gave all of them the priesthood. John 15:16.
Before He was crucified, Christ gave the keys of the priesthood to Peter, James, and John. This was done on the Mount of Transfiguration. (See Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 158; Matthew 17:1–9 However, in the centuries that followed the death of the Apostles, these keys were lost; and before men could exercise the priesthood again, these keys had to be restored. For this reason the Lord sent Peter, James, and John to the Prophet Joseph Smith to restore the Melchizedek Priesthood and the keys of that priesthood. D&C 27:12–13.
These sacred keys have been given to all the Apostles and prophets of the Church and are held by the prophet and Apostles of the Church today.
Imagine the control this "religion" /cult has on it's members teaching this kind of herecy. It's members actually believe that the appointed President or "prophet" has the full power and authority of Jesus Christ.
WOW! No wonder it is so difficult to convert or share the truth of God with these people. They actually believe that they are obeying Christ.

Mormon missionaries are controled by strict rules and conditions. The following link will explain those conditions, for I haven't the room to list them all here. The list is quite extensive.
Women are not exempt from the control of Mormonism either. Again, due to room constraints, I am forced to post a link that shares some incredible testamonies of former Mormon women. The tyranny they endured is heartbreaking to say the least. To say the most infuriating!
As we can see, Mormonism fits the criteria of a Cult.
Let's now take a quick look at the Jehovah's Witnesses. What do Jehovah’s Witnesses believe? Close scrutiny of their doctrinal position on such subjects as the deity of Christ, salvation, the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, and the atonement shows beyond a doubt that they do not hold to orthodox Christian positions on these subjects. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Jesus is Michael the archangel, the highest created being. This contradicts many Scriptures which clearly declare Jesus to be God John 1:114, 8:58; 10:30. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe salvation is obtained by a combination of faith, good works, and obedience. This contradicts countless scriptures which declare salvation to be received by grace through faith John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5. Jehovah’s Witnesses reject the Trinity, believing Jesus to be a created being and the Holy Spirit to essentially be the inanimate power of God. Jehovah’s Witnesses reject the concept of Christ’s substitutionary atonement and instead hold to a ransom theory, that Jesus’ death was a ransom payment for Adam’s sin. As we can clearly see Jehovah's Witnesses, also fit into the little box called a CULT. But what about that control thing? Does the Johovah's Witnesses have any control on it members? Well, lets look at a few things..
Jehovah’s Witnesses are not allowed to accept blood transfusions for themselves or their children, believing that this is the same as eating blood and is forbidden by the Bible. Many of Jehovah’s Witnesses have died because of this restriction the Watchtower Society has placed upon its followers. In the past the Watchtower Society has forbidden its followers to get vaccinations or accept organ transplants, many people died needlessly before the Watchtower Society changed its rules and allowed these procedures. They still hold fast to the prohibition of receiving blood transfusions.  Nationalism: Jehovah’s Witnesses are not allowed to salute the flag of any nation, recite the pledge of allegiance, stand for or sing the national anthem, run for public office, vote, or serve in the armed forces.
Holidays: Jehovah’s Witnesses are not allowed to celebrate Christmas, birthdays, Easter, Thanksgiving, or any other holidays, claiming they all have pagan roots. Associates: Jehovah’s Witnesses are not allowed to associate with non-Witnesses including family. Exceptions are made if the non-Witness family member is living in the same household.               Well, it seems, though these are but a few of the controling factors of the Jehovah's Witnesses, that they too are in perfect alignment with the CULT definition. The control of the Jehovah's Witnesses leaders are in full force. Dictating ones personal lives is not faith in, or the gospel of, Jesus Christ.
The serpent has been decieving man since the begining and he had two major victories in the 19th century in the "Tale of Two Cults".