Cults a problem of terminologyIt may be necessary also, in the course of discussing terminology and its dishonest recasting by cult systems, to resort to occasional polemic utterances. In such cases, the Christian should be certain that they are tempered with patience and love, so that the cultist appreciates that such tactics are motivated by one’s personal concern for his eternal welfare and not simply to “win the argument.”  A Christian must attempt to lead the cultist to a review of the importance of properly defining terms for all important doctrines involved, particularly the doctrine of personal redemption from sin, which most cult systems define in a markedly unbiblical manner.  Listed below.

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand.  John 10:27-28

Encountering the Cultist:

Cults a Problem of Terminology

 

Whenever a Christian encounters a cultist, certain primary thoughts must be paramount in his mind:

(1) He must strive to direct the conversation to the problem of terminology and maneuver the cult adherent into a position where he must define his usage of terms and his authority, if any, for drastic, unbiblical redefinitions, which are certain to emerge;

Cults a problem of terminology(2) the Christian must then compare these “definitions” with the various contexts of the verses upon which the cultist draws support of his doctrinal interpretations;

(3) he must define the words “interpretation,” “historic orthodoxy,” and standard doctrinal phrases such as “the new birth,” “the Atonement,” “context,” “exegesis,” “eternal judgment,” etc., so that no misunderstanding will exist when these things come under discussion, as they inevitably will;

(4) the Christian must attempt to lead the cultist to a review of the importance of properly defining terms for all important doctrines involved, particularly the doctrine of personal redemption from sin, which most cult systems define in a markedly unbiblical manner;

(5) it is the responsibility of the Christian to present a clear testimony of his own regenerative experience with Jesus Christ in terminology which has been carefully clarified regarding the necessity of such regeneration on the part of the cultist in the light of the certain reality of God’s inevitable justice.

It may be necessary also, in the course of discussing terminology and its dishonest recasting by cult systems, to resort to occasional polemic utterances. In such cases, the Christian should be certain that they are tempered with patience and love, so that the cultist appreciates that such tactics are motivated by one’s personal concern for his eternal welfare and not simply to “win the argument.”

Let it never be forgotten that cultists are experts at lifting texts out of their respective contexts without proper concern for the laws of language or the established principles of biblical interpretation. There are those of whom Peter warns us, who “wrest [the Scriptures] unto their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16). This is an accurate picture of the kingdom of the cults in the realm of terminology.

Looking back over the picture of cult semantics, the following facts emerge.

1. The average cultist knows his own terminology very thoroughly. He also has a historic knowledge of Christian usage and is therefore prepared to discuss many areas of Christian theology intelligently.

2. The well-trained cultist will carefully avoid definition of terms concerning cardinal doctrines such as the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the Atonement, the bodily resurrection of our Lord, the process of salvation by grace and justification by faith. If pressed in these areas, he will redefine the terms to fit the semantic framework of orthodoxy unless he is forced to define his terms explicitly.

3. The informed Christian must seek for a point of departure, preferably the authority of the Scriptures, which can become a powerful and useful tool in the hands of the Christian, if properly exercised.

4. The concerned Christian worker must familiarize himself to some extent with the terminology of the major cult systems if he is to enjoy any measure of success in understanding the cultist’s mind when bearing a witness for Christ.
We have stressed heavily the issue of terminology and a proper definition of terms throughout this entire chapter. It will not have been wasted effort if the reader has come to realize its importance and will be guided accordingly when approaching the language barrier, which is an extremely formidable obstacle both to evangelizing cultists and to giving a systematic and effective defense of the Christian faith against their perversions.

Walter Martin’s Religious InfoNet – Kingdom of the Cults  Article Source

 

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