Definition of False Teacher: One who presumes to teach in the Name of the Lord when God has not sent him.

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False Teacher – Buff Scott, Jr.

Reformation Rumblings
BUFF SCOTT, JR.
__________

A New Cult Has Been Born

SPECIAL NOTE TO MY READERS— I have been in correspondence with a host of cult members under “The Path Of Truth” organization. You may connect to their Website by clicking on http://www.thepathoftruth.com/statement-of-doctrine.htm. I have confronted many cults in my lifetime, and written in detail about their eerie beliefs, but this new cult caps them all. It’s leaders and members are subtle, manipulative, and resemble to the “t” the self-righteous Pharisee in Luke 18. For more, continue reading.—Buff

It all started when two of the cult’s leaders, Paul and Victor, responded to last week’s column, Will Doctrinal Defects Keep us out of Heaven? From there the exchanges evolved into a large number of their members jumping into the exchanges and spewing their doctrinal venom and accusations all over my computer screen. Let me condense this as much as possible.

  • This cult is peppered with major elements of a number of sects. Although they call Calvin a liar, they have adopted one of his principal creeds, Free Will—that is, the unregenerate man cannot choose to serve the Lord, for he does not have the free will to do so. This, of course, slaps Jesus in the face, for He declared, “If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God…” (John 7:17).

  • This cult has utilized a major component of the Seventh Day Adventist sect—namely, believers today are to honor and celebrate the Jewish Sabbath

  • As strange as it may seem, these cultist zealots have borrowed another cult’s chief doctrine, universalism—simply, that everyone will ultimately be reclaimed and saved, including Satan.

  • These cult members come over as having attained complete doctrinal knowledge. They seem to consider themselves as “not being like other men,” carry a mindset of having arrived while others “who are not of them” are stranded in the valley of ignorance. They are, in reality, as per their walk and the self-righteous Pharisee’s walk, in the same category—condemned by the Master.

  • It’s leaders claim to receive new revelations from the Lord. Consequently, to disagree with them is equivalent to disagreeing with the Lord.

  • They distort, misuse, misrepresent, twist, and manipulate scripture to their own advantage. No one’s interpretation of scripture is correct unless it coincides with theirs. This element, of course, is common with all cults.

  • Anyone who disagrees with them has devised his own religion and has ousted himself from the Lord’s domain. And I could go on-and-on about their weird and eerie teachings and creeds.

At this juncture, allow me to introduce what is commonly accepted in the Christian community as symptoms or earmarks of a cult, after which I ask you to compare the symptoms to the austere group under investigation. A good definition of a cult is:

Allegiance and devotion to any human person, or to any human principle, or to any human standard as a means of eternal salvation is cultism.

I affirm that any movement, sect, church, religious party, or denomination that falls into this category is either wholly cultic or partly cultic. Having stated this premise, I now want to list a number of cultic characteristics. The following marks of distinction are not listed in order of importance, but are chosen randomly.

  • They practice separatism and devote much of their time trying to proselyte others.
  • Their efforts to convert others are underhanded and manipulative.
  • The group’s leaders claim to be God’s prophets or messiahs or apostles who receive “divine revelations.”
  • They teach that all other churches and groups are lost unless they surrender what they have and join them.
  • Their leaders are dictatorial and demanding, either directly or subtly.
  • They claim to have the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
  • Members are expected to attend study sessions where they are firmly indoctrinated (“brainwashed”) with the group’s mundane creeds and human theories.
  • They resent having their doctrines and creeds questioned.
  • They believe salvation and afterlife are found only in their camp.
  • Those who desert the group are judged evil and apostates.
  • They dictate almost every facet of the members’ lives—sexual, social, domestic, political, and spiritual.
  • They deny that God has other children scattered over the hills and valleys of sectarianism.
  • They believe God’s elect are found only within the borders of their own enclosure.
  • Honest dissidents are disciplined, avoided, and excommunicated.
  • They insist on strict conformity to the group’s doctrinal standards.
  • Their teachings contradict plain truth.
  • Their source of authority is of human origin.
  • They require a new convert to be rebaptized, even though he was sincerely baptized previously.
  • They have devised their own translation of the scriptures and prohibit any translation not approved by them.
  • Members are expected to give large amounts of money and ample energy and time to the group’s activities.
  • They allege to be the only legitimate interpreters of scripture.
  • They wrest scripture to foster their belief system.

There are other cultic marks unknown to this scribe, but these are sufficient to establish our premise. The cult under study may not carry all of the earmarks mentioned above, yet she possesses enough of them to fall into the category of cultism.

What features separate a non-cult from a cult? Here is a partial list of those features:

  • They confess to being redeemed sinners in need of God’s grace.
  • Money, elaborate edifices, plush offices, power, and control do not occupy their time and energy. Rather, ministering to any in need and sharing as a communal people are accentuated.
  • They see themselves as only part of the one body of believers, and affirm that wherever God has a child, they have a brother or a sister.
  • They do not claim to have truth cornered or God corralled.
  • They comfortably acknowledge their mistakes and weaknesses, believing that God shames the proud but extends grace to the humble.
  • They are believers only, but not the only believers.
  • They place their confidence in Messiah Jesus, not in flesh and blood or palpable organizations.
  • They view heaven as life hereafter, not earth as heaven.
  • They accept all those God accepts, and they love those the world hates.
  • They do not seek public recognition or fear public scrutiny.
  • They don’t make unrealistic claims or promote ridiculous agendas.
  • They see Jesus as a healer, redeemer, and peacemaker, not as a conspirator and false prophet.

Concluding Remarks— A cult never admits to being a cult. Some cults lay no claim to religion or divinity. Atheistic communism is cultic, yet she denies religion and rejects spirituality. Most cults are non-violent—that is, they’re not physically or militarily combative. But when we ponder other forms of injury and abuse they bring to bear upon their followers, they’re as guilty as those who use guns and knives. Judgment of the severest kind awaits those self-proclaimed prophets, messiahs, and money-mongers who twist innocent minds and deceive receptive and hungry hearts.

“Reform your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place.”—Jer. 7:3.

Click HERE to read our correspondence with Buff Scott, Jr.

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