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We received this response to Are We a Cult?:
Dear Victor. Forgive me for not responding sooner. I read your “Are We a Cult”, and from the reading of your material I would determine I would fall in the category of nominal Christendom. I am sorry that you are attacked as a cult, and sorry that you call the Catholic Church a cult, and many as being nominal. I have yet to have met a person with perfect doctrine or life. Yet their faith is a testimony to His perfection. It is not about them/us, but it is all about Him. I praise God that He loves me in my imperfect understanding and my humanity. I am in no way worthy of such love, nor will ever be. Praise God for His wonderful grace in my life.
I am in no position to judge you, nor anyone. I choose to walk by love and seek not to judge others. For me Jesus is the Word and all debate about the word is futile and a waste of time. He will cleanse His ekklesia, and that being true, today I can walk in the joy and peace of my Lord to the glory of God my Father.
Bless you in your journey. If you don’t mind I don’t wish to carry on debate of doctrine. I have been there done that, and now choose to only walk in love and share only as God leads.
Your letter is riddled with spiritual error, through and through. I will prove it, unequivocally. Are you up to it? It’ll be a rough ride. Let’s see if you have the love of the truth (the only true love)… :
“And with all deceit of unrighteousness in those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, so that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie, so that all those who do not believe the truth, but delight in unrighteousness, might be condemned” (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 MKJV)
…Or any desire whatsoever to worship the Lord Jesus Christ in Spirit and in Truth:
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to worship Him. God is a spirit, and they who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24 MKJV).
You will have to come to the cross, Gil, something you have abhorred until now, believe it or not. You see, a true walk in love is about taking up the cross, and laying down your life. I think that your love is about preserving your life. That is why you wish to avoid me and anything I have to say, is it not?
You end your letter saying, “I … now choose to only walk in love and share only as God leads.” However, it seems you deny me that same privilege, yea, duty before God, as though I am either unworthy of it or incapable of knowing God’s leading, when you say to me, “If you don’t mind I don’t wish to carry on debate of doctrine.”
Because I believe I have been given to speak, I do mind, and if God wills that I speak to you, then He also minds. I will speak, Gil, and I pray you will listen.
You say, “I am in no position to judge you, nor anyone.” If, however, you deny that I speak by the Lord, are you not doing the very thing you say you are in no position to do?
You say you are sorry for two things; one, that we are attacked as a cult, and two, that we call the Catholic Church a cult. Don’t be sorry; for good reason you ought to be anything but sorry, if you truly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. On the first point, He said this:
“Blessed are you when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all kinds of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for your reward in Heaven is great. For so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12 MKJV).
We are very thankful for the awesome privilege of being identified with Him in a religious but wicked world, Gil. So are you not wrong in being sorry? Surely! Read The False Religious Love that Hates (Rejects) God, and Does God Speak Only Gentle Words?
On the next point, why are you sorry that I call the Catholic Church a cult? If you are trying to make the point, “if you do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all,” then you would have to be sorry that Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites and a brood of vipers:
“Serpents! Offspring of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?” (Matthew 23:33 MKJV).
You would also have to be sorry of what John the Baptist had to say:
“Then he said to the crowd that came forth to be baptized by him, O generation of vipers! Who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” (Luke 3:7 MKJV).
You would have to be sorry that God, by John, calls the Roman Church and all false religion, not just a cult but a harlot, and the mother of them, saying:
“And he carried me away into a desert by the Spirit. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet-colored beast, filled with names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet. And she was gilded with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with a great marveling” (Revelation 17:3-6 MKJV).
However, if you suggest that I am wrong because I call the Catholic Church a cult, you need to read The True Marks of a Cult. While members of the Catholic Church operate cult sites, condemning many without substance, using biased criteria, this document simply relays the criteria used by the Lord Jesus and His disciples, and as expressed by their holy lives. The Catholic Church is guilty of every point in that document. And you support her.
Here is an excerpt from another site (with some insertions of mine in blue), relevant to this conversation:
“We realize there are churches and organizations that are cults in the modern sense of the word. We personally know of a church that forbids church officers from having wives, requires officers to make vows of poverty, and to dress in black gowns and wear large crosses, requiring its adherents to call them ‘Father,’ tells its people when they can and cannot eat meat, requires mind control to believe that a cracker literally becomes God, directs them to pray to a dead woman and others more than to God, sells candles to help dead relatives, requires disclosure of secret sins to a church officer, denies members the right to interpret the Bible, requires a public gesture of three points over the forehead and chest, says only its members can be saved, and has been known in the past to burn opposing persons at the stake, killing, according to Henry Halley, in his ‘Pocket Bible Handbook,’ and others, upwards of 50 million souls throughout history. Are you familiar with this cult?”
Are you sorry for the truth spoken, Gil? Rather, should you not be terribly sorry for rejecting truth and defending falsehood and wickedness of every sort?
Are you not aware that the activities of the Catholic Church during the Inquisition, which took place over hundreds of years, have not been confessed and categorically denounced by them to this very day? Those who demanded recantation of truth, under threat of torture and death, will not recant or repent of their lies, murders and other numerous monstrosities against the One they blasphemously claim to represent. One can write books, and thousands have been written by saints who shed their blood for Him, concerning the endless atrocities and abominable corruptions of your “church.” And you are sorry I call the Catholic Church a cult? Are you for lies, blasphemy and murder then? You ought to get a good read in our section, Catholicism.
You say you do not wish to debate doctrine. I understand; however, are you willing to face the reason that you are not willing to do so? You speak of walking in love. Does love exclude the truth, from which comes godly doctrine?
In 1976, the Lord brought us together with a couple, Mickey and Lynn Patrick, who said, “You have the truth but we have love.” But they were not interested in the truth. We tried to tell them the two are one, inseparable, but they would not have it, like you. Soon they fell prey to homosexual pastors of a church in Saskatoon, which they were convinced was Spirit-filled, a church that claimed to walk in love. (You may have heard of it… “Mount Zion Christian Center,” run by Bill Kellers and Dave Roberts. It was at the time Henry Blackaby was pastoring Faith Baptist Church there.)
A few years after that, Lynne went to University, getting a degree with Mickey’s retirement money, found another man, divorced Mickey, and headed to California with his money, with a new career and another husband. Mickey crashed, big time, and went back to drugs and alcohol. So much for love without doctrine and truth, Gil. This is not the only incident. The Lord has taught us well these past three plus decades. He has kept and blessed us as we walk in the Truth, while all the lovey-doveys are wandering aimlessly, deceiving themselves, like you.
We had a personal incident wherein my wife fell for a man young enough to be her son. I reasoned with her and with him. They would not listen. They “loved” each other. Scriptural testimony meant nothing to them. Finally, it was truth in love, not love on its own (which is fictitious or counterfeit), which won the day. Whereas the Patricks were not spared, we were…by the Truth, by the Lord.
Holy doctrine is indispensable to anyone who will have life, my friend. You may think you have a life, but do you have life? Read Psalm 119 and tell me how much it speaks of “love” other than love of the truth? You may also read Mystery, which explains your philosophy and identifies its source.
Did Jesus say, “I am the Way, the Love and the Life”? Or did He say, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”?
Did He say, “And you will know the love and the love will make you free”? Or did He say, “And you will know the truth and the truth will make you free”?
You have a confessed aversion to doctrine, yet here is what the One you claim to love had to say by His servants, in His Written Word, about doctrine:
“And they were continuing steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine, and in fellowship and in the breaking of the loaves, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42 MKJV).
“Did we not strictly command you that you not teach in this name? And behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine and intend to bring this man’s blood on us” (Acts 5:28 MKJV).
Ask yourself: Do you think the authorities and the religious had a problem with a doctrine so bland as, “Let’s just love each other and not get into doctrine”? Or was there more to it?
Are we saved by love or by good doctrine? What does Paul say?
“Hold on to yourself and to the doctrine; continue in them, for doing this you shall both save yourself and those who hear you” (1 Timothy 4:16 MKJV).
What do you think, Gil, is it about smiles, touchy-feely, nice words and handshakes, or is it this?:
“If anyone teaches otherwise, and does not consent to wholesome words (those of our Lord Jesus Christ), and to the doctrine according to godliness” (1 Timothy 6:3 MKJV).
I suppose you think your manner and thought is godliness? Not without sound doctrine, it isn’t. Here is what doctrine, which you reject and despise, is all about:
“All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfected, thoroughly furnished to every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 MKJV).
“Preach the Word, be instant in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2 MKJV).
Did he say “love” or “doctrine”? Paul warned of the kind of thing that has you snared:
“For a time will be when they will not endure sound doctrine, but they will heap up teachers to themselves according to their own lusts, tickling the ear. And they will turn away their ears from the truth and will be turned to myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4 MKJV).
Here is what I give you, and which you reject:
“Holding fast the faithful Word according to the doctrine, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and to convict the gainsayers” (Titus 1:9 MKJV).
You do not want to debate. Fine. Don’t debate; listen, hear, believe and repent.
Here is what God has to say about the kind of doctrine that should be preached, and the kind against which, plainly, you stand, as did Elymas:
“But Elymas the conjurer (for so his name is, if translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. Then Saul (who is also Paul), filled with the Holy Spirit, set his eyes on him and said, O son of the Devil, full of all deceit and all craftiness, enemy of all righteousness, will you not stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is on you. And you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a while. And immediately a mist and a darkness fell on him, and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. Then, seeing the thing happening, the proconsul believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord” (Acts 13:8-12 MKJV).
I suppose you think Paul should have “walked in love.” He did, but not as you think. Paul stood and spoke against evil. That was his doctrine. His doctrine was unusual because the world is, and always has been, accustomed to wishy-washy, lovey-dovey, kissy-huggy adult, male, bovine doo-doo doctrine, like yours, Gil. When reality steps in, it rages and kills. You do the same. You are just a bit nicer about it…for the moment.
You are empty, without substance and that is why you shy from doctrine. You say you “have been there and done it.” May I add, “and failed,” because you had nothing worthwhile to say? You go around in your dreamy phoniness, speaking “a word” as you did, falsely so, to Henry Blackaby, who continues to do his thing, contrary to the word you delivered to him “in love.” Gil, you are not a member in good standing of the Body of Christ. Do not deceive yourself. Your love is that of this world and of the flesh.
Here is more on what true doctrine is about, which you deceitfully shun in your falsehood. It speaks against all evil:
“But we know that the law is good if a man uses it lawfully, knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous one, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for homosexuals, for slave-traders, for liars, for perjurers, and anything else that is contrary to sound doctrine, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust” (1 Timothy 1:8-11 MKJV).
Incidentally, the Catholic Church in the present day, as we write, continues to practice and be guilty of those very sins, every one of them, but oh, so righteously; it just wants to avoid doctrine and to “love.” Your doctrine of love is a common and heinous one, holding many in bondage and darkness. It is Satan’s brand of deceptive love, which is, in reality, pure hatred of God. Is that not so, Gil, or are you willfully ignorant?
And your excuse for unrepentance and hypocrisy? “I have yet to have met a person with perfect doctrine or life.”
John called on all to repent, to bring forth fruits. Jesus and the apostles called on all to repent, even as did the prophets before. Furthermore, the Lord commanded perfection:
“Therefore be perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48 MKJV).
But Gil says, “I will love; that is sufficient.” Read what John had to say about your love:
“Everyone who abides in Him does not sin. Everyone who sins has not seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who does righteousness is righteous, even as that One is righteous. He who practices sin is of the Devil, for the Devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was revealed, that He might undo the works of the Devil. Everyone who has been born of God does not commit sin, because His seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God are revealed, and the children of the Devil: everyone not practicing righteousness is not of God, also he who does not love his brother” (1 John 3:6-10 MKJV).
“Everyone transgressing and not abiding in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ, he has both the Father and the Son” (2 John 1:9 MKJV).
Yes, if you truly loved, it would be more than sufficient. The question is, “Do you indeed walk in love?” I tell you, and the Lord tells you, that no person walks in love without The Truth, Whom He is.
“Jesus answered them and said, My doctrine is not Mine, but His Who sent Me. If anyone desires to do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it is of God, or I speak from Myself” (John 7:16-17 MKJV).
The doctrine I preach to you is not mine, but His. Reject what I am given for you and you reject Him. I would not speak so sternly with you if you did not make a profession of faith, Gil, but you do, and it is not a good one. I speak for your sake as well as the Lord’s and my own.
Contending for the faith once delivered to the saints, having found it to be vastly different from the feigned one so prevalent in all its insidious forms,
Dear Victor. I appreciate your detailed response to my email. Again, I don’t wish to enter into theological debate with you. For me Jesus is the Word, and I don’t wish to debate relationship with Him according to the Scriptures. I quite know I am a sinner, but I am so thankful for God’s love, forgiveness, and reality in my life. Bless you in your journey.
God loves and I love you too.
“This will be the third time I am coming to you. By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established” (2 Corinthians 13:1 EMTV).
Hi Gil, Paul Cohen here, friend of Victor, and of you, as we both are.
While Victor’s letter has already exposed the lie of your present reply, I have something to add. Friendship and true love are an expression of truth, given for the sake of the recipient by the Giver of life. As such, what Victor has spoken to you is God’s love, forgiveness, and reality. Having rejected what he wrote, you reject all of those. You have none of those things you think to have.
Exposed by God as naked and poor, it only remains for your charade to be exposed to yourself, which will come in time, no doubt, with greater cost and trouble accruing to you in the process. Nevertheless, that will serve well to bring you to an appreciation, without which you have despised the cross and the blood of Christ, thereby lacking all that He has purchased for you. Having denied His love to maintain your own, it is now sin to you, and it will not go well for you. This is the unmovable Law of God, not subject to the subjective feelings and works of men.
Gil did not reply. Many times have we seen professors of Christ flee, taking what appears to be, by their declarations, the high road of love, when the truth is that the only love they manifest is for themselves, which destroys them.
Can you trust your senses, particularly in things spiritual, and how will you recognize the love of God?
A short letter about the things God, Who is Love, has done to man and to what end.
False love trumpets its own righteousness, coming as the self-declared defender of virtue, tolerance, and all godliness. God, however, does not accept men's persons or words, but tries the hearts. David Richardson tries to co-opt the Truth under a cover of counterfeit love, but the love of God proves to be an invulnerable stronghold from which the sword of the Spirit slays every enemy of Truth.