PODCAST: On Apologetics and Cults (The Evidence for the Truth of Christianity #11 with Daniel Whyte III)

Welcome to The Evidence for the Truth of Christianity in Light of World Religions podcast. This is episode #11

I am your host, Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International.

Today’s passage of Scripture is John 1:1-5 which reads: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”

Today’s quote is from Fyodor Dostoyevsky (F-yo-dor Dosto-ev-ski). He said: “Even those who have renounced Christianity and attack it, in their inmost being still follow the Christian ideal, for hitherto neither their subtlety nor the ardour of their hearts has been able to create a higher ideal of man and of virtue than the ideal given by Christ of old.”

Our topic for today is titled “On Apologetics and Cults” from “The Encyclopedia of Apologetics”

11. Ask strategic questions. You will not be able to force on a cultist your opinion of what a verse means. But if you can help the cultist discover problems in his theology for himself, this will be very effective. One way of doing this is by asking strategic questions based on key verses, all the while remaining tactful and kind. To illustrate, consider a cultist who claims to believe in the Bible but denies the absolute deity of Jesus. You might ask this person to read aloud from Isaiah 44:24, where God says, “I, the LORD, am the maker of all things, stretching out the heavens by Myself and spreading out the earth all alone”. Then ask the cultist about his or her interpretation of Colossians 1:16, which speaks of Jesus: “By Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him”. You might ask the cultist this question: “If God Almighty is the Creator of all things in Isaiah 44:24 and Jesus is the Creator of all things in Colossians 1:16, what does this say about Jesus?” Using questions such as these can help the cultist come to a correct understanding of the Bible.

12. Be aware that many cultists have been trained to answer your objections. For example, if you say to a Jehovah’s Witness, “Oh, you’re that group that denies the Trinity,” he has been specifically trained in how to respond. If you say, “We’re already Christians in this house,” he has been trained what to say in response. If you can keep in mind that the cultist is just feeding you rote responses that he has been trained to say, it will help you to remain patient in dealing with him. No matter what programmed responses a cultist regurgitates to you, it is best to continually bring the discussion back to the Bible.

13. Be ready to answer the cultists’ objections. As you share biblical truth with cultists, they will inevitably raise some contradictory points. They will raise objections that need to be answered. You should make every effort to answer such objections. Christians are instructed in 1 Peter 3:15 to always be “ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence”. So, for example, if the cultist to whom you are speaking objects to your claim that the Holy Spirit is a person and not a force, have your Bible handy and be ready to demonstrate that the Holy Spirit has all the attributes of personality—such as mind (Romans 8:27), emotions (Ephesians 4:30), and will (1 Corinthians 12:11).

14. Beware of the cultists’ fear of disfellowshipping and shunning. Cultists are typically instructed that unquestioned obedience to the cult is expected of them. If a cultist questions or rejects a teaching of the cult, he can be disfellowshipped—kicked out of the organization. The reason unquestioned obedience is expected in certain cults is that they are considered God’s prophet and mouthpiece. To question the authority of the cult leader, then, essentially amounts to questioning God’s authority.

15. Share your testimony with the cultist. You may not be an expert in the Bible. You may not be an expert in theology and doctrine. You may not be an expert in what a particular cultic organization believes. But you are an expert in what the Lord has done in your life. So, if you share nothing else with a cultist, do share your personal testimony. Focus especially on the grace of God, and how you know you are completely forgiven of your sins and are going to heaven because of what Jesus did for you at the cross.

Today, dear friend, we will continue reading the Preface of “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis:

I hope no reader will suppose that “mere” Christianity is here put forward as an alternative to the creeds of the existing communions—as if a man could adopt it in preference to Congregationalism or Greek Orthodoxy or anything else. It is more like a hall out of which doors open into several rooms. If I can bring anyone into that hall I shall have done what I attempted. But it is in the rooms, not in the hall, that there are fires and chairs and meals. The hall is a place to wait in, a place from which to try the various doors, not a place to live in. For that purpose the worst of the rooms (whichever that may be) is, I think, preferable.

It is true that some people may find they have to wait in the hall for a considerable time, while others feel certain almost at once which door they must knock at. I do not know why there is this difference, but I am sure God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait. When you do get into your room you will find that the long wait has done you some kind of good which you would not have had otherwise. But you must regard it as waiting, not as camping. You must keep on praying for light: and, of course, even in the hall, you must begin trying to obey the rules which are common to the whole house. And above all you must be asking which door is the true one; not which pleases you best by its paint and paneling.

In plain language, the question should never be: “Do I like that kind of service?” but “Are these doctrines true: Is holiness here? Does my conscience move me towards this? Is my reluctance to knock at this door due to my pride, or my mere taste, or my personal dislike of this particular doorkeeper?”

When you have reached your own room, be kind to those Who have chosen different doors and to those who are still in the hall. If they are wrong they need your prayers all the more; and if they are your enemies, then you are under orders to pray for them. That is one of the rules common to the whole house.

Dear friend, we will begin reading “Book 1, Chapter 1” of “Mere Christianity” in our next podcast.

Let’s Pray —

Before we close, dear friend, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will.

May God bless you and keep you until we meet again.