Category | PSEUDO-CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS
ABRAHAMIC & WESTERN RELIGION
Since Christianity first began, many different Pseudo or ‘sub’ Christian belief systems have emerged. Beginning with the formation of the early church, philosophies and different cults have infiltrated Christian churches in efforts to recruit believers to their faction or to discourage and distract believers with different variations of Christian beliefs or religious heresies.
A pseudo-Christian religion is any religious group that has its basic belief system rooted in or originated from the/a Christian doctrine, or Biblical background.
Countless Christian sub-groups have risen up over the centuries, almost with every generation has a different group of believers set out with various ideas to bring in believers and build church of their own. Typically, they are identified originally as a type of heresy or apostate by the traditional Christian churches, most Pseudo-Christian religions develop their own foundational system of belief over a certain period of time that becomes quite different from traditional Christian beliefs.
Difference between Pseudo-Christians & Traditional Christianity
Pseudo Christian Groups, Churches or Factions differ primarily in their doctrinal belief system from traditional, Biblical Christianity. Typically they accept a different ‘Bible’ or additional doctrines that contradict the original Biblical doctrines of belief.
The most important doctrines stressed by traditional Christianity that define the boundaries of the ‘Christian belief system’ primarily relay on two main points:
- Knowing and believing in the true God (according to how He revealed Himself to us), and
- Defining correctly how he relates to us (i.e. salvation).
For the most part as long as a belief system agrees with traditional Christianity on whom God is and how He relates to us (and what these points define), then it is considered a part or denomination of Christianity.
Pseudo-Christian belief system do not agree with the traditional beliefs defined by Christianity on these two primary points, and will deviate from these primary doctrines in one way or another.
CAUTION WITH CULTS
The term cult has a very loose definition – a group that centers their devoting or admiration over something.
This very generic definition could be applied to anything from religious groups, to football fans, or even a fitness group. It is a term that could literally be applied to almost any group of people, from anyone trying to benefit society, to those whom perform more devious activities.
However, the word ‘cult’ typically stirs up a malevolent idea in our minds when we think about it, as we apply the term in a more narrow view as some form of practice that is used to manipulate or control others. This is why it is important to properly define our understanding of ‘belief systems’ and all that they imply.
‘Belief systems’ are well known to be very powerful. As many religious leaders have understood over the centuries, if you can control a person’s belief system, you can potentially control who they are, the way they think or their actions, because you are manipulating the way they define reality. This is true about when it comes to every form of belief system; from governments (ideologies), to atheistic and humanistic philosophers (philosophies), to the various theological religious cults (religions) that have developed over the centuries.
Morality also teaches us the difference between selfishness and working for personal gain, opposed to doing things for selfless reasons. We find the acts of selfless giving are admirable, but at the same time it must be done so through a person’s uninhibited free will.
These God given rights are reflected in the Bible, which tells us;
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. – 2Corin 9.7
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. – James 1.27
Kindness and love are attributes that our moral sub-consciousness strives to achieve, of which we find to also be desirable and admirable. We know that we desire goodness and crave moral decency, to help others in need and find affection for one another. A moral belief system, or true religion will help a person grow in all areas of their life, and seek the prosperity of all people.
… knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? – Romans 2.4
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. – John 13.35
It is important to understand the difference between true religion and false teachers. Freedom, free will and liberty are God given rights that our moral sub-consciousness fights for, and make it a point to achieve. Any religious or belief system that denies you of your personal rights, free will or discourages rational, intelligent discussions of good criticism is usually a potential warning sign they are trying to get you to join a cult.
Everyone needs to be cautious of any group that seeks to gratify themselves and drain their member in the process. False religions and cults are those that in their deepest core seek to deceive people for their own personal gain. Even though they talk a good talk, in the end the fruit of their works reveal whom they really are.
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? – Matt 7.15-16
And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. – 2 Peter 2.3
I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. – Rom 16.17-18
(They) having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions – 2 Tim 3.5-6
This does not mean that every intellectual approach, study or criticism is good; or that maturity is not needed to look into certain situations. A child should not be researching explicit content until they are mature enough to understand and handle the information, and the same goes with certain people and what they are ready to handle when it comes to spiritual things. However, as a broad and general concept, you have to be cautious of leaders whom are seeking their own personal gain, and are not interested in helping you grow personally.
This does not exclude a leader that is simply ignorant of a fallacy in their teaching or an overly dominate attitude or personality. This is also why it is important to talk to and help correct someone you feel maybe misleading others and work on a mutual understanding, helping them understand a critical point of view.