Polygamy & Judging Righteously

organgrinder

Well-known member
How do you define a cult? Anyone that rejects the Trinity?
There are a number if things that define a cult, Aaron. Fenuay wants an answer to his question and ruled out two groups (charismatic and evangelical) with a broad brush stroke and no specifics. He listed characteristics that can apply to every church. Didn't say how many people, etc. Makes it sound as if the pastor is solely responsible for his people. And never responded to the issues of the Corinthian church which Paul ministered to yet had issues-- lots of them.
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
I wish it were easier to find a church I was comfortable with. But I was also wondering which church Theo said the Bible told us to join. Does he just mean the church as in the body of believers?

I agree that no one church is 100% infallible and teaches perfect doctrine.
I also believe no Christian has theology 100% perfect.

But you can find the difference between churches which are ANTI-Biblical (such as Mormonism), and churches which are pretty Biblical.

I have found a church that I believe is "fully" Biblical. They have have some (minor) false teachings, but if they do, I don't know what they are, just as I don't know what (minor) errors I have in my own theology. For one thing, I think communion should be presented with real wine, and not grape juice, but I'll put up with that in order to be taught correct theology in the presence of an amazing congregation of believers.

Contrast that with Mormons, who use water, which isn't even "the fruit of the vine".
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
That's probably what he meant, but to me, that's a church where you can believe anything you want.

I don't know whether that remark was directed at me or OG.
But in my case, I DON'T believe we should be in a church merely because it is "comfortable".

The only sense where it's good to be "comfortable" in a church is when the comfort comes from knowing that the church teaches Biblical doctrine (which is not found in Mormonism). That's why Mormons have to constantly attack the Bible.
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
How do you define a cult? Anyone that rejects the Trinity?

There are various factors which determine a "cult":

Doctrinal issues:
- denying sola Scriptura;
- denying the Trinity;
- denying the deity of Christ;
- denying monotheism;
- denying salvation by faith alone;

Organizational factors:
- having a charismatic human leader, instead of focussing on Christ (there are many who believe, and I agree, that if Smith wasn't killed in Carthage, Mormonism would have died out long ago).
- isolating themselves from society (eg. Jim Jones and Jonestown);
- controlling what media and books the followers can read, and prohibiting certain resources
 

organgrinder

Well-known member
I'd say my definition of rotten fruit is the same as anyone else's. Rude, arrogant, hateful, judgemental people who do not behave in a Christ like manner. Those who are truly part of the body of Christ have good fruits. They behave with love, tolerance, kindness and righteous judgement with love. As far as what is left... Not much, and that makes the search more difficult. But that doesn't indicate that one should join a church of rotten fruit. But you still didn't answer.. which church do you recommend I join? Is there one that you believe is good and teaches Biblical truth?

And if we are not supposed to judge where others are in their walk how do we know who is a good pastor and who is a false prophet? How do we know what the flock is in need of if we do not "judge". Righteous judgement is supposed to keep us from following lies and all manner of false doctrine. Without it we have no guide as to how to find other Christians. Which then, without judgement, would mean these forums would be non existent.
I would like to know what you expect in a church:
1. Doctrinally regarding the nature of the Godhead

2. Salvation
3. Afterlife
4. Function of the church body as to ministry in the church and the community at large.
5. Role of the Bible. Is the Bible sufficient and inerrant?
6. What do you expect the local church tondo for you?
7. What do expect to do for the local church?

What churches do you have in your area? You ruled out evangelical and charismatic using a broad brush with no specifics. All that are left are cults and liturgical churches. You need to specifically identify what you are looking for.
 

Fenuay

Well-known member
I agree that no one church is 100% infallible and teaches perfect doctrine.
I also believe no Christian has theology 100% perfect.

But you can find the difference between churches which are ANTI-Biblical (such as Mormonism), and churches which are pretty Biblical.

I have found a church that I believe is "fully" Biblical. They have have some (minor) false teachings, but if they do, I don't know what they are, just as I don't know what (minor) errors I have in my own theology. For one thing, I think communion should be presented with real wine, and not grape juice, but I'll put up with that in order to be taught correct theology in the presence of an amazing congregation of believers.

Contrast that with Mormons, who use water, which isn't even "the fruit of the vine".
Yes they do. But honestly I don't particularly care what sacrament is composed of just that it is done each week. I don't think that once a month is how it is supposed to be.
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
Yes they do. But honestly I don't particularly care what sacrament is composed of just that it is done each week. I don't think that once a month is how it is supposed to be.

I'm tempted to respond, but since the response would have nothing to do with Mormonism, I will refrain. If you wish to continue this discussion in a more appropriate forum, please let me know.
 

Fenuay

Well-known member
I would like to know what you expect in a church:
1. Doctrinally regarding the nature of the Godhead

2. Salvation
3. Afterlife
4. Function of the church body as to ministry in the church and the community at large.
5. Role of the Bible. Is the Bible sufficient and inerrant?
6. What do you expect the local church tondo for you?
7. What do expect to do for the local church?

What churches do you have in your area? You ruled out evangelical and charismatic using a broad brush with no specifics. All that are left are cults and liturgical churches. You need to specifically identify what you are looking for.
I want a Bible teaching Church. I believe in the Triune God. I believe salvation comes from Jesus Christ and that faith and baptism are evidence of a "rebirth" in Jesus Christ and works are evidence of faith. Afterlife is really kind of unimportant. I believe it will be the happiest and most wonderful thing we can imagine and beyond. God promises that we will experience joy. I think the role of the Church is to act as Christlike individuals as specified in Galatians 5:22-23. We are to demonstrate the changing power of Christ and His love. The behaviors I have seen from Evangelicals have been completely against this scripture. So I will not accept that they show true Christ like conversion and love. They can claim to be Christian and born again and saved but their behavior is that of one who isn't. I will not be that person. As for the Bible I believe the Bible is the word of God. I love my Bible and I use it daily. It is a nourishment to my soul and reminds me of Christ's love for us and how we should love others. I want the Church to welcome new people and show them Christ's love. That is what I want. I expect them to teach the Bible, offer sacrament, and a church family! There should be love and welcoming. Showing others that we love and follow Christ here. I have seen Baptist churches do this and some Charismatic churches. I believe charismatic churches are following the adversary when they practice certain "gifts" and I think they challenge God when it gets to the extremes of snake handling etc. And as far as what I will do for the church, well I expect to serve others. Show the Christ's love. Help those who are in need and any other activity I am able to help with! I'm happy to be involved and offer all I have to help in any way I am able. I'm not sure what other specifics I can offer organgrinder. I like Lutheran churches but around here we only have Evangelical Lutheran churches. We have Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Seventh Day Adventist, Nazarene, Quaker, Non Denominational, one mega Church close by, LDS, Greek Orthodox, and a few other small town churches. What denomination do you think has a good grasp of the truth? I know you will say not Mormon or JW. What do you say about the others?
 

Fenuay

Well-known member
I'm tempted to respond, but since the response would have nothing to do with Mormonism, I will refrain. If you wish to continue this discussion in a more appropriate forum, please let me know.
I would like to and I was thinking that these posts will likely be moved since they aren't about Mormonism. Where can we discuss it Theo?
 

organgrinder

Well-known member
I want a Bible teaching Church. I believe in the Triune God. I believe salvation comes from Jesus Christ and that faith and baptism are evidence of a "rebirth" in Jesus Christ and works are evidence of faith. Afterlife is really kind of unimportant. I believe it will be the happiest and most wonderful thing we can imagine and beyond. God promises that we will experience joy. I think the role of the Church is to act as Christlike individuals as specified in Galatians 5:22-23. We are to demonstrate the changing power of Christ and His love. The behaviors I have seen from Evangelicals have been completely against this scripture. So I will not accept that they show true Christ like conversion and love. They can claim to be Christian and born again and saved but their behavior is that of one who isn't. I will not be that person. As for the Bible I believe the Bible is the word of God. I love my Bible and I use it daily. It is a nourishment to my soul and reminds me of Christ's love for us and how we should love others. I want the Church to welcome new people and show them Christ's love. That is what I want. I expect them to teach the Bible, offer sacrament, and a church family! There should be love and welcoming. Showing others that we love and follow Christ here. I have seen Baptist churches do this and some Charismatic churches. I believe charismatic churches are following the adversary when they practice certain "gifts" and I think they challenge God when it gets to the extremes of snake handling etc. And as far as what I will do for the church, well I expect to serve others. Show the Christ's love. Help those who are in need and any other activity I am able to help with! I'm happy to be involved and offer all I have to help in any way I am able. I'm not sure what other specifics I can offer organgrinder. I like Lutheran churches but around here we only have Evangelical Lutheran churches. We have Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Seventh Day Adventist, Nazarene, Quaker, Non Denominational, one mega Church close by, LDS, Greek Orthodox, and a few other small town churches. What denomination do you think has a good grasp of the truth? I know you will say not Mormon or JW. What do you say about the others?
I am partial to non or interdenominational churches. I attend one and it is a mage church here in northern Idaho. Our mission-- to reach the world for Jesus one person at a time and live life ijn small groups to establish relationships to grow.

we have baptism every week and they are celebrated. We have communion every week and coming from a Roman Catholic background I find that very scriptural. The church is elder run and there are evangelicals, charismatics and non-charismatics on the elder board. There are no conflicts because it isn't a central issue to salvation.

The Bible is the sole rule of faith and serving and meeting needs in our community is a big deal. Lots of ministries to help folks including those who struggle with alcohol and drugs, pornography, etc. Unlike many mega churches, our pastor drive a Toyota from the mid 2000s. No six figure salary. His preaching lectern is made from deer antlers. The word is preached even if it steps on toes. There is no ambivalence on sexual morality or acceptance of a non-Biblical marriage despite what the U.S. Supreme Court legalized.

People were free to wear or not wear masks during COVID, and no shame or finger pointing for those who did or didn't. we had 600 men and a men's breakfast in March. The previous month it was at 175.

Do we do everything I like. No. Is the pastor human and make mistakes and irritating towards folks at times. Yes, by his own admission which is followed up with repentance and forgiveness. I have never seen a more transparent pastor or pastoral staff. We realize we are all broken and need Jesus every single moment. I miss liturgical seasons because I think they are meaningful. we don't do them. I can celebrate those at home.

You will find in every church-- the one I attend included-- folks who are just attending because it is culturally acceptable or because there is a good program for the kids. You will see folks trying to make business deals because they are good church going folks. You will see folks who may be just plain nasty because they are hurting and haven't figured out to get help or even want help. You will find folks who are critical of everything from the style of worship music to what the pastor wears on Sunday morning. Lots of folks have a critical spirit, looking at the outward appearances but missing what is really going on in the spiritual real.

Don't get caught up in that.

Try your non-denominational church, and not just once or twice. Try it for two months and see what happens. And it is not the pastor's job to "feed" you. You are responsible for feeding yourself with the written word of God every day. Do not look for the perfect or near perfect church before getting involved. However, get involved. Concentrate on the positive, especially the important doctrines as Theo pointed out. The rest take in stride. My wife and I did that when we became involved with our church. We both felt more "comfortable" in another church (charismatic) that checked all OUR boxes. God had other ideas and told us no, ...I want you over here. It was the right move as God was in the midst of it.

Did that mean the other church was "bad" or had rotten fruit? No. It just wasn't where God wanted us.
 

Fenuay

Well-known member
There are a number if things that define a cult, Aaron. Fenuay wants an answer to his question and ruled out two groups (charismatic and evangelical) with a broad brush stroke and no specifics. He listed characteristics that can apply to every church. Didn't say how many people, etc. Makes it sound as if the pastor is solely responsible for his people. And never responded to the issues of the Corinthian church which Paul ministered to yet had issues-- lots of them.
I don't think the pastor is solely responsible for his people. I'm a she.
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
There are various factors which determine a "cult":

Doctrinal issues:
- denying sola Scriptura;
- denying the Trinity;
- denying the deity of Christ;
- denying monotheism;
- denying salvation by faith alone;

Organizational factors:
- having a charismatic human leader, instead of focussing on Christ (there are many who believe, and I agree, that if Smith wasn't killed in Carthage, Mormonism would have died out long ago).
- isolating themselves from society (eg. Jim Jones and Jonestown);
- controlling what media and books the followers can read, and prohibiting certain resources

Another factor I would include would be "hidden teachings", that only insiders have access to, which would include cults like Mormonism and Scientology.
 
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