Vol. 7, No. 2
~ Page 12 ~
Generally speaking, denominations are much kinder to the Bible than are cults. The Evangelical denominations in America still claim allegiance to the Scriptures, though the mainline denominations do not. However, with the cults the primary allegiance is to what the leader or the organization says rather than to what the Bible teaches. They spend countless hours attempting to overthrow the plain teaching of the Bible, even going to the expense and trouble to make "translations" of the Scripture that read the way they want them to read rather than the way any of the ancient manuscripts do read. Other cults will come up with some sort of a book, or the writings of their original leader that, so far as they are concerned, amount to: (1) the leader's unimpeachable explanation of what the Bible says, or: (2) overrule the teachings of the Bible with their later book or creed.
To illustrate what we mean, we take a look at one of the doctrines of a large cult which teaches that Jesus was not God incarnate, that he is not eternal and that he is not God in the same sense Yahweh is. Consequently, for years and years they denied the plain statement that Jesus is the Word, and that he is God found in John 1:1-6. Finally, they made their own "translation" of the Bible in which, with absolutely no manuscript evidence whatsoever, they made read as follows: "In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god." Hence, Jesus becomes "a god" with a little "g," and we are polytheists! Is this change based on research of the ancient biblical manuscripts? No, because there are no manuscripts known to the world that contain this reading. This change is based on a doctrine held by the cult, which in order to satisfy the unwary, they now claim is in the Bible. Hence, we see that the authority of the Bible is relegated to a place of inferiority when it challenges the theology of the leadership of the cult!
Many cults claim to be receiving regular new revelations regarding their faith. One of the largest and most dominant in the world today really needs a new revelation to explain how the American Indians, commonly known as "native Americans," can be lost tribes of Israel when two things are true. (1) There were no lost tribes, and (2) native Americans have no DNA in common with the ancient people of Israel. Native Americans migrated to this land, not from Palestine, but from the Far East, the DNA tests show conclusively. We need to watch for a new revelation from this group. A few years ago, after the great Civil Rights Movement in this country, this same cult had to receive a new revelation saying that men of color could now belong to the priesthoods of this cult. Heretofore, they had been forbidden to do so because of the color of their skin! It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Bible, to the cultist, has no weight or importance at all. What is important to them is for people to accept whatever their leadership says about biblical teaching on the nature of Elohim, the matter of salvation or any other matter upon which they may have spoken.
Cults usually have strange and unbiblical views on the Holy Spirit as well as on the nature of the Father and the Son. One prominent one insists that he is only an active invisible force. When this writer asked one such person to explain that many years ago, he said the Holy Spirit is like the radio waves that are broadcast through the air. They influence in some way, but they are not a person. Yet the Bible says the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:1-5). Again, anytime the Bible disputes what their people are taught by their leaders, the leaders must be accepted and the Bible relegated to second place, or even further down the list of priorities.
If the Bible is not all it claims to be, then all of religion is folly!