Archive for November, 2011

The Three Most Shocking Beliefs of Christian Science

November 13, 2011

Title: The Three Most Shocking Beliefs of Christian Science

Text: Galatians 5:16-21

Time: October 23rd, 2011

 

I’ve presented the three most shocking beliefs of Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, and so today I’d like to round out the trio of infamous cults by presenting the three most shocking beliefs of Christian Science. To begin with, the name “Christian Science” is very misleading, because there is nothing Christian or scientific about what this church believes or practices. In fact, quite the contrary. Christian Science is a cult based on philosophical idealism, which is the belief that the only thing that exists is mind or thought. It has nothing to do with real science, which is based on careful empirical observation and testing. No. Christian Science has nothing to do with observation and testing — and everything to do with pure philosophical speculation. Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, was an armchair theologian, or in other words, she converted the philosophical school of absolute idealism into a theological system for use in her new church, the cult of Christian Science. There existed at the time a popular philosophy called idealism, which explained reality as simply mind or thought. The world exists as a reality only because we think it exists. The material world exists because we believe the idea that matter and energy exists, and so forth. Philosophers such as George Berkeley believed that everything existed in the Mind of God. Within God’s Mind we have our existence — and everything else exists also only as thoughts in the Mind of God. There is no matter, only the idea of matter. Everything is mind and mind is everything. Now from a strictly philosophical point of view, this school of thought has never been very popular because most people intuitively believe that what they experience as the real, physical world really is the real, physical world. Although, on purely philosophical grounds, absolute idealism is pretty hard to refute. In other words, if someone wants to take the position and hold to it stubbornly that everything is really only idea, not material, what can you do? A famous philosopher was once asked if he could refute the absolute idealism argument. At once he kicked a stone and said, “Thus, I refute it.” But as far as a rational, logical refutation, it’s hard to come by because someone can always claim, for example, against the stone-kicking argument, the stone only appears or is perceived to be hard; it’s only the very strong idea of hardness. It’s very difficult to go any further against such arguments. But what Mary Baker Eddy did was take the philosophy of absolute idealism and apply it to theology, Christianity and the Bible. Starting from the assumption that only Mind and ideas exist, she then reinterpreted all of the Bible and Christianity to fit this philosophy of idealism. But not only that, she used the occasion to alter the orthodox, biblical, historic Christian faith to fit her personal preferences as well. Because, after all, there were legitimate Christians who tried to apply idealism to the biblical faith in a more orthodox, traditional and biblical way during the same period. But Mary Baker Eddy’s system achieved the most notoriety, unfortunately, with all her departures from true, biblical Christianity. So what are the three most shocking beliefs of Christian Science? Let me explain. (more…)

The Three Most Shocking Beliefs of Jehovah’s Witness

November 13, 2011

Title: The Three Most Shocking Beliefs of Jehovah’s Witness

Text: Galatians 5:16-21

Time: October 16, 2011

 

Last week I wrote a newspaper article on why Mitt Romney’s Mormon religion is a cult, although that shouldn’t be permitted to stop him from running for president. The Jackson-Citizen Patriot ran my article, although they omitted my last point, how Mormons teach that Jesus and Lucifer are spirit brothers. I guess having the paper print two out of three shocking Mormon beliefs isn’t bad. I guess the last point was too shocking for the newspaper, or they thought it would be too shocking for the readers. But I’m glad God gave me a voice in the local newspaper in order to teach his Word among the people. Today, however, I’d like to shift from examining Mormon beliefs to putting Jehovah’s Witness beliefs under the microscope. Like the Mormon’s the Jehovah’s Witness religion is a false cult also – and they like the Mormons have shocking beliefs. Today I’ll outline three of the most shocking beliefs of the Jehovah’s Witness cult. They are: one, that Jesus is a creature; two, that JW’s believe their church speaks for God even after repeated false predictions of Christ’s Second Coming; three, that Jesus didn’t raise from the dead. Now most or all of these shocking beliefs are things you’ll never hear about at your doorstep with a visit from a member of the Jehovah’s Witness church; they keep these beliefs pretty well hidden until you are fully indoctrinated into their religious cult community. But it’s important that people know, understand and beware of these false teachings because for all the joking and making fun of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ evangelism techniques, they are indeed recruiting followers going door-to-door. Most of these new recruits are led astray through ignorance, deception and lies. If people really knew what Jehovah Witnesses believed, they’d be more cautious and careful about listening to church members present their teachings. What Jehovah Witnesses believe is shocking. Just like what the Mormons believe is shocking. In a few weeks I’m also going to give an outline of the three most shocking beliefs of the Christian Science church, because like the Mormons and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, this is a cult as well. It’s not as popular these days, it’s not growing rapidly, it might even be dying as an organization, but it still has influence in society today through such things as the Christian Science Monitor newspaper and radio broadcasts. But I’ll save that critique until next week; this week I’d like to focus on the three most shocking beliefs of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is a group that is out and active in most communities. Every Saturday you’ll see two or three persons walking down the sidewalk carrying a briefcase and looking like they might be businessmen or women; but they aren’t, they’re JWs trying to recruit for their church. They’ll give a friendly, reasonable presentation on your doorstep, but what do they really believe? That’s what I’d like to explain today. (more…)