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Thread: Catholicism Cult?

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    Question Catholocism Cult?

    Hi Everyone! I'm brand spankin' new here, and I'm excited to meet new people and hopefully grow deeper in my walk with Christ.

    I recently stumbled across an article which called the Roman Catholic church a cult. Although I do believe that the Catholic church is way off in many areas, I've never before heard it called a cult! I have some friends who are deeply committed Christians who happen to be Catholic, so I do not believe that all Catholics are lost.

    Any opinions on the matter?
    "Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you deal with it." Charles Swindoll

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    Talking

    Greetings Flip, welcome to the zoo just kidding (love the Barney Rubble, by the way, he's very hip)...

    Roman Catholicism a cult? YES, I do believe the system is quite cultish indeed.

    When folks think of cults, then tend to think of some far out, wacked out group of bran eatin' politically bizarre folk in the hills somewhere (okay, so maybe that's just me, but you get the point).

    Fact of the matter is, that's not really what a cult is. While that does loosely define one, so also does this:

    Any religious organization that departs from Biblical Christianity.
    Any religious group centered around a man or system, and not Jesus Christ.
    Any religious group that promotes it's own writings and teachings over and above, and/or being on equal ground with Holy Scripture.

    If you, or anyone else have ever been able to take the time to really study the teachings of the RC church, you'll find that they do indeed meet the definition of a cult.

    Are there true, born again, blood bought, sold out for Jesus Christ believers, within the Catholic church? I have no idea, the only ones I've ever met that fit that description, LEAVE the Catholic church.

    Same applies to folks that fit that description who also leave the JW organization, and the Mormon cult, and Eckankar, and any other cult out there. And they all say pretty much the same thing - once their eyes were opened to the false doctrines being taught, they could no longer stay (which makes perfect sense to me).

    Just because I've never met a Biblical Christian that was indeed inside one of these groups, does not mean they aren't there, it just means I've never met one.
    "SOLA SCRIPTURA… GRATIA… FIDE… CHRISTUS… DEO GLORIA" Scripture alone, being our final authority, teaches us that salvation is by grace His grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, for the glory of God alone.

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    In my opinion most Christian denominations have faults which are not biblical. BUt having studied cults, I can assuredly tell you that none of these Christian denominations I am thinking of, including Catholic, are "cults". The Catholics just have more faults, according to scripture. A cult does not profess that JEsus Christ was the only begotten Son of God, who died on the cross for our sins, & rose from the dead. Catholics believe it!! I recently found out that JEhovah's Witnesses do not believe it, therefore they are a cult.

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    Debbiek, I haven't even looked up the definition of "cult," but I'm curious if you have. Do you believe that the making of a cult within the church deals only with that of Jesus' identity? It makes sense to me - I just want to get my mind straight on the matter. That word, 'cult' just scares me enough to want to be sure I know to what I throw the term at!!

    So many things bother me about the Catholic church. Where do they get some of the things they teach? And, why in the world do they call their priests "Father"? Oof-da that bugs me!! Another major prob I have is that they believe that they are the only 'True' church, and that all other denom's will not be saved.

    Christ _ Alone, I like what you said, that most born-again Christians who are Catholic do leave the church. It makes sense to me. In fact, I don't know why they would even want to stay in such a "dry" environment! When one becomes born-again, it seems to me that they would desire Charasmatic praise and worship. Maybe not all, but it seems to fit.
    "Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you deal with it." Charles Swindoll

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    Very good points Flip & I'm with you on this. But not all Christians are Charismatic, and some Catholics ARE charismatic. I dont derive my definition of a cult from a dictionary. I have studied/joined cults in the past & I know what separates them from us=Jesus. So my definition is from personal experience. THe Catholic religion believes they are on the right church grounds because their church is built on site where Peter started his church. BUt the spot of dirt the church is built on is irrelevant, so I guess they consider the Pope an appointed apostle. There are 2 threads about false doctrine & deception & defilement under theology. I also want to know what things are not acceptable, according to Scripture. I have no quarrel with the catholics & other Christian denominations having faults, unless they add to or take away from scripture or Jesus or salvation. SOme matters are clear, some are debateable & circular. But I'm still studying the matter myself. I enjoy this scripture on the subject of these minor church faults: Romans 14:22 (NCV)- "Your beliefs about these things should be kept secret between you and God. People are happy if they can do what they think is right without feeling guilty".

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    Catholicism is a cult because it teaches you are saved by works, and not grace alone / faith alone. They teach that you are saved by the grace of God plus works.

    Catholics also teach that you have to be Catholic in order to be saved. Is that not an addition to the finished work of Christ?
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    I was raised Catholic ,years before I was born again, & I was never taught, nor was either of those things insinuated to me. They believe that a Christian SHOULD do good works for others & scripture backs this up. Your website here is a good works, but you are not doing it to gain salvation. HOnestly, they don't teach that.

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    From Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994)

    1129. The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation" (emphasis in original). [Sacraments are "necessary for salvation?" I think not.]

    1213. .... Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: 'Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.'

    1227. .... Through the Holy Spirit, Baptism is a bath that purifies, justifies, and sanctifies.

    [Hmmm, Baptismal regeneration?]

    1459. .... Absolution takes away sin, but it does not remedy all the disorders sin has caused. Raised up from sin, the sinner must still recover his full spiritual health by doing something more to make amends for the sin: he must 'make satisfaction for' or 'expiate' his sins. This satisfaction is also called 'penance.' [See! Works needed to "expiate" sins.]

    I believe the above comments by the Vatican are enough to confirm them as heretics in my opinion.
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    Ah, penance yes is wrong . It's not the same as doing good for the needy. The sacrements, as they call them, are like baptism , communion, & marriage. Catholics believe in 3 types of baptism. Water is only one. For example, faith in Jesus, through grace is salvation, and if a person is on their deathbed & no water is near, they can still go to heaven & are considered baptized by fire/faith/holy Spirit, one of those I think ,it's been a long time. To say that a fornicator could go to heaven without the sacrement of marriage would be wrong, so the Catholics are right about that. Penance is totally wrong according to scripture, but to call them a cult, depends on your definition of a cult. My definition of a cult is one group that does not profess Biblical Jesus. Your definiton of a cult is different. Also, it depends on your definition of a Christian. Catholics believe in Biblical Jesus, so they are Christians. BUt my my definition of a cult, they are not a cult, yet by your definiton of a cult, they are a cult. And that's ok.

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    Cool a cult or not a cult...that is the question!

    Debbiek, I think you're right. If a typical Catholic, one who believes that Jesus is the Christ, would die, I believe that he or she would go to Heaven. I think that's what it takes to be given a pass into Heaven: Acceptance and belief that Jesus is God's only remedy to sin. - the Messiah -. It's a bonus to be born-again, as it makes for a better life on earth, however, one may simply believe in Jesus and still be okay, eternally speaking.

    Therefore, you have shaped my opinion, Debbiek. I do recognize many incorrect stances held by the Catholic church, but it is very difficult to deem them as cultish.
    "Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you deal with it." Charles Swindoll

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    Re: a cult or not a cult...that is the question!

    Originally posted by Flip Special
    Debbiek, I think you're right. If a typical Catholic, one who believes that Jesus is the Christ, would die, I believe that he or she would go to Heaven. I think that's what it takes to be given a pass into Heaven: Acceptance and belief that Jesus is God's only remedy to sin. - the Messiah -. It's a bonus to be born-again, as it makes for a better life on earth, however, one may simply believe in Jesus and still be okay, eternally speaking.

    Therefore, you have shaped my opinion, Debbiek. I do recognize many incorrect stances held by the Catholic church, but it is very difficult to deem them as cultish.
    I'm a little confused here. First of all, a typical Roman Catholic, does NOT only believe that Jesus is the ONLY remedy to sin. RC doctrine teaches that the remedy was His death on the cross, PLUS works, PLUS time in purgatory. Right off the bat, the doctrine of salvation in the RC is not the doctrine of Scripture.

    Secondly, being born again is the ONLY way to eternal life with the Father. Simply believing in Jesus is not enough. Even demons believe, and tremble - yet they certainly are not saved.

    I find it striking, that folks find it so hard to see these truths about the RC church, when they're right there in plain sight.
    "SOLA SCRIPTURA… GRATIA… FIDE… CHRISTUS… DEO GLORIA" Scripture alone, being our final authority, teaches us that salvation is by grace His grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, for the glory of God alone.

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    Hi everyone,

    As an EX-Catholic who saw the light and rejected the legalistic teachings of the RCC-believed the truth of my salvation through Christ, ALONE,: and who rejoices in his freedom from the slavery of Catholicism which only teaches the "wages of sin" without teaching "the free gift of eternal life" that belongs to all who are willing to have it, I can speak from my own experience. (By the way, BELIEVING the good news of one's salvation is NOT a work, Rom 4:1-5, Gal 2:16, Eph 1;13-14).

    First off, I believe that there are Catholics who are born again believers, who will be with our Lord forever, perhaps far more than we realize.
    I have communicated with several Catholics on other Christian forums. There is one in particular you would almost think she was Evangelical rather that Catholic.
    I am not against individual Catholics, but I am against an institution that teaches a false gospel of salvation through human effort. That teaches that Christ's suffering, death and resurrection were insufficient to give us complete forgiveness and eternal life. I am against an institution that says that part of the New Testiment is true and part of it is false; that either denies or distorts the teachings of Christ and the Apostles as recorded in the New Testiment. That teaches that Christ's mother, who was a redeemed sinner just like the rest of us, is the "co-redemptorist" along with Christ; that according to the gospel according to the Vatican, our salvation requires Mary's intervention.

    So, what is the RCC?
    I think it has got to be one of Satan's cleverist schemes. Satan figured out that if you can just get a marriage of institutional Christianity and the state you can have far more power to confuse and delute Christ and His message than persecution could ever produce. The devil has had this "church", alive, running, and deceiving the world since the time of Constantine.

    Is it a cult? Perhaps worse!

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    Philo,

    thank you for that insight, from a "been there, been delivered" point of view.

    Praise God, that He brought you out.
    "SOLA SCRIPTURA… GRATIA… FIDE… CHRISTUS… DEO GLORIA" Scripture alone, being our final authority, teaches us that salvation is by grace His grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, for the glory of God alone.

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    Hi All,

    Although there are many definitions of cult, virtually none that I know of would classify the Catholic Church as cult. From a sociology of religion point of view, a cult is a new religious movement, centered around and devoted to a living leader, that promotes unusual teachings and practices. Cults usually are aggressive in proseletysing and are somewhat coercive in keeping followers in line. The leaders often claim exclusive religious truth and demand absolute allegiance from their followers. Recent examples of cults would the Branch Davidians and Jim Jones outfit.

    So you see that trying to pin the cult label on the Catholic Church just doesn't work and is just an attempt to deligitemize through name-calling. You can disagree with the Church and call her heretical and what not, but you cannot call her a cult. That is misinformed and an abuse of the term.

    Philo, you said: "The devil has had this "church", alive, running, and deceiving the world since the time of Constantine." I assume then that you believe the Church before Constantine did not deceive the world. Have you ever delved into what the Church taught before Constantine? I think you will find some traditional (what you would consider heretical) Catholic doctrine there too. For example, the teaching on the Eucharist is very clearly articulated in the ancient Church.

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    Below is a story of a saint executed by the cult of roman catholicism...

    WEYNKEN, A WIDOW, DAUGHTER OF CLAES, OF MONICKENDAM, BURNT TO DEATH IN THE HAGUE, THE 20TH NOVEMBER, A, D. 1527

    On the 15th of November, 1527, Weynken, daughter of Claes, was brought prisoner from the castle of Woerden to the Hague, whither on the 17th day of the same month, came also the count of Hooghstraten, Governor in Holland. On the 18th, the aforesaid Weynken was arraigned before the governor and the full council of Holland. There a woman asked her:

    "Have you well considered the things which my lords proposed to you?"

    Ans. "I abide by what I have said."

    Ques. "If you do not speak differently, and turn from your error, you will be subjected to an intolerable death."

    Ans. "If power is given you from above I am ready to suffer." John 19:11.

    Ques. "Do you then, not fear death, which you have never tasted?"

    Ans. "This is true ; but I shall never taste death, for Christ says: 'If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.' (John 8:51.) The rich man tasted death, and shall taste it forever." (Luke 16:23.)

    Ques. "What do you hold concerning the sacrament ?"

    Ans. "I hold your sacrament to be bread and flour, and if you hold it as God, I say that it is your devil."

    Ques. "What do you hold concerning the saints?"

    Ans. "I know no other Mediator than Christ." (I John 2:19.)

    Ques. "You must die, if you abide by this."

    Ans. "I am already dead." (Gal. 2:19.)

    Ques. "If you are dead, how can you speak?"

    Ans. "The spirit lives in me ; the Lord is in me, and I am in Him." (John 14:20.)

    Ques. "Will you have a confessor, or not?"

    Ans. "I have Christ, to Him I confess; nevertheless, if I have offended any, I would willingly ask them to forgive me."

    Ques. "Who has taught you this opinion, and how did you come to it ?"

    Ans. "The Lord, who calls all men to Him; I am also one of His sheep; therefore I hear His voice." (John 10:27.)

    Ques. "Are you alone called?"

    Ans. "No; for the Lord calls to Him all that are heavy laden." (Matt. 28:11.)

    After many like words Weynken was led back to prison. During the two following days she was entreated and tempted by various persons, namely by monks, priests, women, and her nearest friends. Among others, a woman came to her, prompted by sincerity, who commiserated her after this manner:

    "Dear mother, can you not think what you please, and keep it to yourself? then you will not die."

    Weynken replied : "Dear sister, I am commanded to speak, and am constrained to do so ; hence I cannot remain silent about it."

    Wom. "Then, I am afraid, they will put you to death."

    Ans. "Though they burn me tomorrow, or put me into a bag, I care not; as the Lord has ordained it, so it must be, aud not otherwise ; I will adhere to the Lord."

    Wom. "If you have done nothing else I hope you will not die."

    Ans. "As for me, it matters not; but when I come down from the hall, I cry bitterly, and it grieves me to see that these good men are all so blinded; I will pray the Lord for them."

    Two Dominican friars also came to her, the one as a confessor, and the other as an instructor. The latter showed her the crucifix, saying: "See, here is your Lord and your God." She answered : "This is not my God; the cross by which I have been redeemed, is a different one. This is a wooden god ; throw him into the fire, and warm yourselves with him." The other asked her in the morning of the day when she was to die, whether she would not receive the sacrament, adding that he would willingly administer it to her. She said: "What God would you give me? one that is perishable, and is sold for a farthing?" And to the priest or monk, who rejoiced that he had read mass that day, she said that he had crucified God anew. He said :

    "It appears to me that you have fallen unto error?

    Weynken replied: "I cannot help it, my Lord and my God, to whom be eternal honor, praise, and thanksgiving (Rev. 4:11), has thus given it unto me.

    Ques. " What do you hold concerning the holy oil ?"

    Ans. "Oil is good for salad, or to oil your shoes with." I Tim. 4:4.

    In the middle of the week she was brought before the Court, and when she came into the hall, the monk went up to her, and held the crucifix before her face, saying: "Do recant before sentence is passed." But Weynken turned from the crucifix, saying: "I adhere to my Lord and God; neither death nor life shall separate me from Him." (Rom. 8:39.) As she stood before the judge, the monk whispered into her ear: "Fall down upon your knees, and ask the Lord for pardon." She replied : "Be still: did I not tell you, that you should not draw me from my Lord."

    The Dean of Naeldwijck, subcommissary and inquisitor, read the sentence, in Latin, from a document, and repeating it in Dutch, said briefly, that she was found to be in error with regard to the sacrament, and that she immovably adhered to it; hence he decided that she was a heretic, and delivered Weynken to the secular arm, with the protest that he did not consent to her death. He then retired from the council, together with his two associate ecclesiastics.

    The chancellor immediately read, that she, as reported, had been found obstinate, which could not be passed by without punishment, and that she should be burnt to ashes, and all her property be confiscated.

    Then Weynken said: "Has all been done now ? I beg you all, that if I have harmed or offended any, you will forgive me."

    The monk then said to her : "Now for once kiss your Lord and God."

    She answered: "This is not my Lord."

    As they were leaving the council chamber, the monk said to her that she should call upon our Lady to intercede for her.

    She replied : "Our Lady is well content in God."

    Monk: "Call upon her."

    Weynken: "We have Christ, who sitteth on the right hand of His Father; He prays for us." (Romans 8:34.)

    On her way from the hall to the scaffold or place of execution, the monk said : "Behold for once your Lord, who died for you."

    Weynken: "This is not my Lord and my God; my Lord God is in me, and I in Him."

    Monk: "Consider! will you condemn all these lambs, and are they all condemned?"

    Weynken: "Not all; judgment belongs unto God." (Heb. 10:30.)

    Monk: "Do you not fear the severe judgment of God?"

    Weynken : "God comes not to condemn sinners, but to give them peace." (Luke 9:56.)

    Monk : "Do you not fear the sentence which you must suffer in the fire?"

    Weynken: "No, for I know how I stand with my Lord."

    On the scaffold there stood one who said to Weynken: "Mother, turn to the people, and ask them to forgive you, if you have offended any." This she did. Then she assisted the executioners to put the powder into her bosom. Here the monk again tempted her with the cross; but she pushed it away with her hand, turned around, and said: "How you tempt me? My Lord and my God is above." She then went gladly, as though she were going to a marriage ; and her face did not once betoken fear of the fire.

    The monk said : "Will you not always and firmly adhere to God?"

    Weynken said: "Yes, indeed."

    Monk: "Now you will have to go into the fire; do recant."

    Weynken: "I am well content; the Lord's will must be done,"

    Monk: "This is not the will of the Lord; the will of God is your sanctification."

    The executioner said: "Mother, cleave to God and do not suffer yourself to be drawn away from Him."

    In the meantime this pious heroine went alone undaunted to the bench, and stationed herself at the stake at which she was to be burned, saying, "Is the bench firm; will I not fall?"

    The executioner then made ready the ropes with which he was to strangle her. The woman took off her neckerchief or veil, and put the strap around her neck.

    Then the monk exclaimed, "Mother Weynken, will you gladly die as a Christian?"

    Ans: "Yes, I will."

    Ques: "Do you renounce all heresy?"

    Ans: "I do."

    Monk: "This is well. Are you also sorry that you have erred?"

    Ans: "I formerly did err indeed, and for that I am sorry; this however is no error, but the true way, and I adhere to God."

    When she had said this, the executioner began to strangle her, which when she felt it, she cast down her eyes and closed them, as though she had fallen into a sleep, and gave up the ghost, on the twentieth day of November, A.D. 1527.
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    We should humbly give God our thanks for Weynken and others like her who endured fire and sword for the truth. May we be found worthy disciples, accepting and treasuring the freedom they died to give us. We should also repent of all ingratitude and grumbling, all dissatisfaction for the lack of trivialities we cannot take with us when we leave these bodies. If any of us are called to martyrdom, may we go as graciously and bravely as she. I hope every member of this discussion forum will read and be touched by Weynken's story.
    "In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, charity." - St. Augustine of Hippo

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    Hi Kermie,

    Despite my very enlightening and definitive explanation of the term cult, I see that you persist in calling the Catholic Church a cult. Oh well. Alas, there isn't anything more I can do.

    But what is the point of your post?

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    "centered around and devoted to a living leader"
    uh..the pope.

    "that promotes unusual teachings and practices."
    unusual is relative, but in light of the bible, praying to Mary, etc. is highly unusual.

    "Cults usually are aggressive in proseletysing and are somewhat coercive in keeping followers in line."
    Works based salvation and ritual confesion seem to fit this description.

    "The leaders often claim exclusive religious truth and demand absolute allegiance from their followers"
    Papal words, along with church tradition, words of early fathers and saints are held on equal ground with the Bible and not to be questioned.

    "Have you ever delved into what the Church taught before Constantine? "
    The early church didn't have the luxury of the cannonized New Testament, and therefore, did make some mistakes. Ignorant mistakes however, are a far cry from the purposeful departure from the gospel that the RCC has taken.
    Hmmm. WHo would've figured?

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    Hi jhamrick,

    "centered around and devoted to a living leader"
    uh..John Calvin

    "that promotes unusual teachings and practices."
    unusual is relative, but in light of the bible, preaching double predestination is highly unusual.

    "Cults usually are aggressive in proseletysing and are somewhat coercive in keeping followers in line."

    As I recall Calvin's regime got so repressive that they kicked him out of town for a while. Oh, and what about Michael Servetus who got burned at the stake?....

    But playing this kind of game doesn't get us anywhere does it? Take your pick of just about any Protestant denomination and you can apply all or part of the definition of a cult to it at some time in its history. The fact is that denominations coming out of the Reformed tradition are not cults. They are well established denominations by anyone's definition. By the same token, Catholicism cannot be a cult either. It is not a new movement. It goes back to the beginnings of Christianity. The fact is that no serious and reputable scholar of religion would call the Catholic Church a cult. Disagree with her doctrine and practices if you must, but don't engage in this silly name-calling.

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    1.) I'm no Calvinist
    2.) I'm no serious reputable scholar of religion, but actually a great deal of them do call the RCC a cult. The cult of Mary? Ever Heard that term? I didn't make it up, serious reputable scholars did.


    So what you are saying is, other than the loose condition of being a "new" movement(another relative term), The RCC acts exactly like a cult. Hmmm.
    Hmmm. WHo would've figured?

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    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-15-05, 11:41 AM
  2. Eastern Orthodoxy...a cult or not?
    By gsr in forum Old Miscellaneous Archive
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 08-10-02, 10:45 AM

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