We are often asked, "Why do you label the Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons as cults?" Although both of these groups are still considered as cults by the majority of the general public, both organizations are making tremendous efforts to try and lose their cultic label and appear as just another Christian denomination. The fact is, the orthodox Christian Church has never embraced either of these two groups as Christian in any way whatsoever. What follows is a brief definition of a cult and how Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses fit this description perfectly.
Five marks of a cult:
1. Cults or false religions usually have a single powerful human leader who becomes the cult's 'Messiah' (or highly revered/worshipped leader/founder).
2. The Cult leaders word, or teachings of the cult, become absolute truth, overshadowing the teachings of the Bible.
Mormons: The Mormons have a president (like a Mormon 'Pope') who has overall control of the Mormon Church. They claim, he can receive divine revelation directly from God, which they would regard on the same level as the Bible. The Mormon presidency is a continuing long line of presidents going all the way back to the cults founder - Joseph Smith, whom Mormons adore and practically worship. Joseph Smith was the author of the Mormon holy books: The Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrines & Covenants, which the Mormon Church regards as EQUAL in authority to the Bible. It is in these extra books that many of the strange Mormon doctrines can be found.
JW's: At its inception, the Jehovah's Witness organization was controlled entirely by its founder - Charles Taze Russell. Since then a continuing line of leaders has followed, but now the cult is really controlled by The Watchtower Societies 'Governing Body' based in Brooklyn, New York. Today this secret group of men control every aspect of the Jehovah's Witness organization, and claim to be 'God's channel of communication'. They are also responsible for the New World Translation of the Bible, translated in secret by five Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Watchtower and Awake magazines which interpret the Bible to fit Watchtower Organization doctrine.
3. Each cult uses pressure tactics to coerce members into submission.
4. Cults often urge converts to leave their families.
EXPLANATION: Both cults will strongly deny these statements, although substantial evidence supports both of these points. The following resources give thorough documentation, evidence, and firsthand accounts:
Mormons: books - The God Makers, Ed Decker & Dave Hunt, 1984 (Harvest House Publications, Eugene, Oregon) DVDs - The God Makers 1 & 2 (Jeremiah Films, 1982) www.jeremiahfilms.com
JWs: Books - We Left Jehovah's Witnesses (Personal Testimonies), Edmund C. Gruss (Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1974), DVDs - Witnesses of Jehovah, (Jeremiah Films, 1988) www.jeremiahfilms.com, Jehovah's Witnesses - A non-Prophet Organization, (MM Outreach, 1994) www.macgregorministries.org
5. Each cult denies the central truth of the Gospel: that Jesus is the divine Son of God, truly Deity, without beginning and ending. They deny that His death has provided full salvation for the human race, and as a result, salvation is EARNED by adherence to the teachings of the cult rather than trusting in the finished work of Christ alone for salvation.
EXPLANATION: Both groups deny these fundamental Bible truths, and for this reason CANNOT be regarded as Christian (no matter how sincere their followers may be). For these five basic reasons (as well as many others), true Bible believing Christians therefore label both of these groups as cultic in their teachings, and heretical in their stance. We urge those caught up with either cult to seriously take the time to study the Bible alone, without the literature of the cult and ask for God to lead them to the truth. This has been the first step for many thousands who have since left the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses, and have found that the truth is NOT in an organization, but rather in the Person of Jesus Christ.
Jesus said: "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to ME, that ye might have life." (John 5:39-40) "Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by ME." (John 14:5-6)
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