Author Topic: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?  (Read 3617 times)

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notreligus

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http://www.chocd.org/home.html

This is a ministry of Brian Cooper, formerly of the C of C.

Excerpt from the home page:

What do the Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Catholics, and the Church of Christ denomination all have in common? They each claim to have THE Way; THE Truth; and THE Life, and that no one gets to heaven without being a part of their organization! Certainly they can't all be right since their individual doctrinal beliefs are diametrically opposed to one another. On this web site we will endeavor to examine the claim of the Church of Christ to be God's sole representative on the earth today, and answer the question, "Is the Church of Christ Denomination A Cult?

We will break this study into three main concerns:

1. Who Is The Church of Christ?
      A) Are They a Denomination?

2. What Do They Believe?

      A) Baptismal Regeneration
      B) No Musical Instruments In Worship
      C) Rejection of the Holy Spirit

3. Conclusions
     A) Their Tactics
     B) Are They a Cult?
     C) Closing Comments

The meat of this study will be contained in segment two where we will examine their beliefs in the Light of Scripture. Our goal is not to proclaim them to be outside of the Body of Christ, but to simply show the errors in their claim to be the only "True Body of Christ." And though most branches of this denomination are not considered to be an actual cult, much of the organization is "cultic," and this web site will attempt to show you why.

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Offline MeMyself

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #1 on: Tue Aug 19, 2014 - 14:01:18 »
Rejection of the Holy Spirit?  What would this look like?

Offline AnthonyB

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #2 on: Tue Aug 19, 2014 - 14:54:30 »
Notreligious,

I really don't mind if people misspeak out of ignorance but I have made it clear to you but you keep making statements that are specific to a segment of the US church of Christ, without clarification.
This is an internet forum, that is international not US only please ensure that you highlight that the article that you are referring to is about the US church of Christ.
If you know your RM history as well as you say you do, (and even if hadn't I have pointed it out to you before) then you will know the fact that a segment of the US RM chose to use the same name that the largely British based Churches of Christ (in Britain and Commonwealth countries) chose nearly 40 years before 1906.

Thanks

Offline grain of salt

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #3 on: Tue Aug 19, 2014 - 15:12:03 »
Notreligious,

I really don't mind if people misspeak out of ignorance but I have made it clear to you but you keep making statements that are specific to a segment of the US church of Christ, without clarification.
This is an internet forum, that is international not US only please ensure that you highlight that the article that you are referring to is about the US church of Christ.
If you know your RM history as well as you say you do, (and even if hadn't I have pointed it out to you before) then you will know the fact that a segment of the US RM chose to use the same name that the largely British based Churches of Christ (in Britain and Commonwealth countries) chose nearly 40 years before 1906.

Thanks

Not only that- but, there is a great deal of variation even among the "US Churches of Christ."  Many US Churches of Christ would be just as anxious to distance themselves from the kinds of things discussed in the OP as you would the Churches of Christ you are familiar with.
« Last Edit: Tue Aug 19, 2014 - 15:15:43 by grain of salt »

Offline e.r.m.

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #4 on: Wed Aug 20, 2014 - 18:25:40 »
The US CoC does not even claim that no one gets to heaven without being a part of their organization.
« Last Edit: Wed Aug 20, 2014 - 18:39:25 by e.r.m. »

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #4 on: Wed Aug 20, 2014 - 18:25:40 »



Offline grain of salt

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #5 on: Wed Aug 20, 2014 - 19:49:15 »
The US CoC does not even claim that no one gets to heaven without being a part of their organization.

Well... by the same token that CofCs should not be broadbrushed as a whole, we shouldn't over generalize.

*Some* CofCs have said some pretty outrageous things.

No one can speak for the whole.  As soon as a statement is made about the whole, someone will give examples to the contrary.
« Last Edit: Wed Aug 20, 2014 - 19:52:41 by grain of salt »

Offline Mere Nick

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #6 on: Wed Aug 20, 2014 - 21:57:24 »
There's all of that, sure, but I have a hunch that notreligus is posting the things he is as though they are things we haven't known about for years. 

Offline e.r.m.

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #7 on: Wed Aug 20, 2014 - 22:13:57 »
The US CoC does not even claim that no one gets to heaven without being a part of their organization.

Well... by the same token that CofCs should not be broadbrushed as a whole, we shouldn't over generalize.

*Some* CofCs have said some pretty outrageous things.

No one can speak for the whole.  As soon as a statement is made about the whole, someone will give examples to the contrary.
Good point.

Offline DaveW

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #8 on: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 05:15:44 »
The US CoC does not even claim that no one gets to heaven without being a part of their organization.

I know they used to.  You had to have the proper name (from the bible) on the door to get in.  (so some would begrudgingly allow that "Church of God" could be allowed as well)

Offline e.r.m.

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #9 on: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 08:06:39 »
The US CoC does not even claim that no one gets to heaven without being a part of their organization.

I know they used to.  You had to have the proper name (from the bible) on the door to get in.  (so some would begrudgingly allow that "Church of God" could be allowed as well)
Wow.

Offline Catholica

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #10 on: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 08:24:47 »
Excerpt from the home page:

What do the Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Catholics, and the Church of Christ denomination all have in common? They each claim to have THE Way; THE Truth; and THE Life, and that no one gets to heaven without being a part of their organization!

With regard to the Catholic Church at least, what is bolded above is a distortion of our belief and teachings.

Offline DaveW

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #11 on: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 08:34:51 »
To answer the question in the title of the thread - NO.  They (the hard old line CoC group) are not a cult.

To be a cult one must have either A) hidden teachings and agendae that are known only to insiders and/or B) be centered around a specific person (the cult of personality).  The CoC fits neither of those categories. 

That is not to say they (the hard old line CoC group) do not have certain cultish tendancies - like the ideas they and no one else are truly saved, that they physically seperate themselves from other Christians, and that they have a handle on truth no one else has; (which comes close to A) ) but those "truths" are NOT kept hidden from "outsiders;"  so they do not rise to the level of cult status.
« Last Edit: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 09:31:54 by DaveW »

Offline Jaime

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #12 on: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 08:44:46 »
The ultra conservative cofc is definitely sectarian, but cultish? No.

Maybe some of our liberated brothers here could relect the truth and not lump all cofc's in one basket. Ultra conservatives in the cofc I have many problems with. Lumping all the cofc's rogether would make no more sense than lumping all the people that have left the cofc into a momolithic category. I know ex-cofc members that are now in the charismaric category for aure and some wx cofc members that have some views to the right of me by far.

Rail on against the ultra conservatives, but please consider some discernment when pointing fingers. If Piney dislikes a congregation, they are not in this "dastardly group." If a congregation has made Piney's rag publication, you got a keeper.
« Last Edit: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 08:48:58 by Jaime »

Offline Catholica

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #13 on: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 09:01:57 »
The quoted article uses the subversive rhetorical technique of "poisoning the well" in order to influence the reader rather than provide for an objective look.  Any time you take a subject and ahead of time make such a comparison, it is wrong.

First we would have to find an independent definition of what it means to be a cult.  And if that definition of "cult" is not something that is a negative thing, then it is not worth discussing.  The traditional understanding of what a "cult" is in not a negative thing.  The modern usage differs from that understanding. 
« Last Edit: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 09:09:17 by Catholica »

Offline OldDad

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #14 on: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 09:23:02 »

CARM (Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry) is a great resource to learn about the marks of a cult:

http://carm.org/cults-outline-analysis

What is a cult?
Generally, it is a group that is unorthodox, esoteric, and has a devotion to a person, object, or a set of new ideas.
  • New Teaching - has a new theology and doctrine.
  • Only True Teaching - often considers traditional religious systems to be apostate and it alone possesses the complete truth.
  • Strong Leadership - often an individual or small but powerful leadership group holds control of the group’s teachings and practices.
  • Asset Acquirement - often requires tithing and/or property transfer to the religious system.
  • Isolationist - to facilitate control over the members physically, intellectually, financially, and emotionally.
  • Controlling - exercises control over the members. Sometimes this is through fear, threatening loss of salvation if you leave the group. Sometimes through indoctrination.
  • Indoctrination - possesses methods to reinforce the cult’s beliefs and standards where opposing views are ridiculed and often misrepresented.
  • Apocalyptic - to give the members a future focus and philosophical purpose in avoiding the apocalypse or being delivered through it.
  • Experience - various practices including meditation, repetition of words and/or phrases, and ‘spiritual’ enlightenment with God are used as confirmation of their truth.
  • Depravation - sleep and food deprivation which weakens the will of the subject. This is uncommon, though practiced by more severe cults.
  • Persecution - predictions of being persecuted, often combined with claiming any opposing views demonstrated against them as a form of persecution.
Many have non-verifiable belief systems; For example, they would teach something that cannot be verified. A space ship behind Hale-Bop comet, or that God, an alien, or angel appeared to the leader and gave him a revelation. The members are seeded angels from another world, etc.

Often, the philosophy makes sense only if you adopt the full set of values and definitions that it teaches. With this kind of belief, truth becomes unverifiable, internalized, and easily manipulated through the philosophical systems of its inventor.

The Leader of a Cult
Often charismatic and is considered very special for varying reasons:
  • The cult leader has received special revelation from God.
  • The cult leader claims to be the incarnation of a deity, angel, or special messenger.
  • The cult leader claims to be appointed by God for a mission.
  • The cult leader claims to have special abilities.
  • The leader is often above reproach and is not to be denied or contradicted.

Cult ethos
  • Usually seeks to do good works, otherwise no one would join them.
  • They are usually moral and possess a good standard of ethical teaching.
  • Many times the Bible is used or additional "scriptures" are penned.
  • The Bible, when used, is always distorted with private interpretations.
  • Many Cults recruit Jesus as one of their own and redefine him accordingly.

Cult groups vary greatly.
  • From the ascetic to the promiscuous.
  • From esoteric knowledge to very simple teachings.
  • From the rich and powerful to the poor and weak.

Based on the above, the Church of Christ does not meet the definition of a cult.

Offline Mere Nick

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #15 on: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 09:23:14 »

That is not to say they do not have certain cultish tendancies . . .

Instead of saying "they", would you please say "some of them"?  That is, if you are interested in being accurate.

Offline grain of salt

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #16 on: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 09:27:57 »
To answer the question in the title of the thread - NO.  They are not a cult.

To be a cult one must have either A) hidden teachings and agendae that are known only to insiders and/or B) be centered around a specific person (the cult of personality).  The CoC fits neither of those categories. 

That is not to say they do not have certain cultish tendancies - like the ideas they and no one else are truly saved, that they physically seperate themselves from other Christians, and that they have a handle on truth no one else has; (which comes close to A) ) but those "truths" are NOT kept hidden from "outsiders;"  so they do not rise to the level of cult status.

But, even those characteristics you're referring to as cultish tendencies do not describe all CofCs.  I feel like a broken record, but it bears repeating:  Churches of Christ are not all the same.  So, they should not be lumped together.  Just using the qualifiers "some" or even "many" make all the difference.  Yes, some are like you describe.

Many CofCs today don't claim to be the only ones who have the truth, nor do they deny salvation outside of the name "Church of Christ."

Offline grain of salt

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #17 on: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 09:28:51 »

That is not to say they do not have certain cultish tendancies . . .

Instead of saying "they", would you please say "some of them"?  That is, if you are interested in being accurate.

Much more succinct than my post, but yes!

Offline DaveW

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #18 on: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 09:30:44 »
That is not to say they do not have certain cultish tendancies . . .
Instead of saying "they", would you please say "some of them"?  That is, if you are interested in being accurate.

Point taken. I was taking the OP to be about ONLY the hard old line CoC group. I will revise my post.

Offline DaveW

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #19 on: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 09:36:37 »

CARM (Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry) is a great resource to learn about the marks of a cult:

Those traits are certainly "cultish;" but that list seems to ignore the root meaning of "cult:" hidden.  It is from the Latin adjective cultus, -a, -um which simply means hidden.  So to really be a cult, something has to be hidden.

Offline Mere Nick

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #20 on: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 09:46:17 »
That is not to say they do not have certain cultish tendancies . . .
Instead of saying "they", would you please say "some of them"?  That is, if you are interested in being accurate.

Point taken. I was taking the OP to be about ONLY the hard old line CoC group. I will revise my post.

Oh, gotcha.  It seems that notreligus is figuring the most hardline dude imaginable is sufficient to describe all of us because we might have the same sign out front.  Well, anyone can have such a sign out front.  It isn't trademarked, or anything.  A fella could put a Church of Christ sign out front of a building and have nothing going on inside besides dog fights, dancing naked chicks, gambling and booze.

Offline Jaime

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #21 on: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 09:58:43 »
Yeah, I hope people don't judge all Baptist churches by Westboro Baptist Church's miserable activities.

Offline OldDad

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #22 on: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 10:11:55 »

CARM (Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry) is a great resource to learn about the marks of a cult:


Those traits are certainly "cultish;" but that list seems to ignore the root meaning of "cult:" hidden.  It is from the Latin adjective cultus, -a, -um which simply means hidden.  So to really be a cult, something has to be hidden.


You're kidding right? CARM does cult research - it's their raison d'être. I think they know how to identify a cult.

Try these on for size - they basically are variations on CARMs information...

http://www.csj.org/infoserv_cult101/checklis.htm

http://www.ex-cult.org/General/identifying-a-cult

Offline grain of salt

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #23 on: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 10:14:14 »
A comparison was made elsewhere to the effect (I'm paraphrasing), "well, when someone talks about the Orthodox, everyone knows what the Orthodox believe.  It's the same with the Church of Christ."

You can't compare the CofCs with the Orthodox Church, which heavily emphasizes CONSISTENCY in doctrine across Orthodoxy.

There's not a lot of consistency among Churches of Christ.  In fact, there's increasing variation these days.  I don't state that as necessarily a good thing... but just to state that, no, you really can't just say "the Church of Christ believes" X, Y, and Z, since some believe X, others believe Y, while other CofCs believe A, B, or C.

Offline e.r.m.

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #24 on: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 10:28:08 »
To answer the question in the title of the thread - NO.  They (the hard old line CoC group) are not a cult.

To be a cult one must have either A) hidden teachings and agendae that are known only to insiders and/or B) be centered around a specific person (the cult of personality).  The CoC fits neither of those categories. 

That is not to say they (the hard old line CoC group) do not have certain cultish tendancies - like the ideas they and no one else are truly saved, that they physically seperate themselves from other Christians, and that they have a handle on truth no one else has; (which comes close to A) ) but those "truths" are NOT kept hidden from "outsiders;"  so they do not rise to the level of cult status.
Thank you for the support DaveW. To my understanding it wasn't so much that the CoC believed that only people in the CoC were saved, but only people who were saved Biblically. In earlier decades, the CoC was the only one in the U.S , as far as I know, who taught Biblical baptism and therefore only those in the CoC were considered saved. But if there were any groups that believed in Biblical baptism as well, they would be acknowledged. These days there are a growing number of churches outside of the CoC who believe in Biblical baptism. The definition may still be narrow, but we didn't actually think the entity CoC saved people, only Christ did.
There's only one truth (I'm referring to salvation). There can't be multiple different truths on salvation. Either the Catholics have it, or the evangelicals and similar groups have it,  or the CoC and similar groups have it, or the Eastern Orthodox has it, etc. or none of us have it. But we can't all have the truth if we're teaching different things.
« Last Edit: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 10:39:26 by e.r.m. »

Offline DaveW

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #25 on: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 10:38:18 »
You're kidding right? CARM does cult research - it's their raison d'être. I think they know how to identify a cult.

Try these on for size - they basically are variations on CARMs information...

http://www.csj.org/infoserv_cult101/checklis.htm

http://www.ex-cult.org/General/identifying-a-cult


Yes I know that.  But who made them the end-all and be-all of defining cults? 

I maintain that to be a cult, there must be something "cultus," hidden.   Like the Mormons with their secret temple rituals and the Masons with their hidden higher level beliefs and rituals.  Or the Moonies that you learn their agenda only after you have joined one of their houses/communes.

BTW - on the first link you show here every pentecostal and charismatic group going would fit that definition.

The 2nd link shows a heavy bias toward westernized individualism which is not really biblical at all.
« Last Edit: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 10:42:55 by DaveW »

Offline Catholica

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #26 on: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 10:38:35 »

CARM (Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry) is a great resource to learn about the marks of a cult:


Those traits are certainly "cultish;" but that list seems to ignore the root meaning of "cult:" hidden.  It is from the Latin adjective cultus, -a, -um which simply means hidden.  So to really be a cult, something has to be hidden.


You're kidding right? CARM does cult research - it's their raison d'être. I think they know how to identify a cult.

Try these on for size - they basically are variations on CARMs information...

http://www.csj.org/infoserv_cult101/checklis.htm

http://www.ex-cult.org/General/identifying-a-cult


Matt Slick and CARM are far from unbiased.  These definitions that you just gave are better and less biased.
« Last Edit: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 10:43:01 by Catholica »

Offline e.r.m.

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #27 on: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 10:42:04 »
You're kidding right? CARM does cult research - it's their raison d'être. I think they know how to identify a cult.

Try these on for size - they basically are variations on CARMs information...

http://www.csj.org/infoserv_cult101/checklis.htm

http://www.ex-cult.org/General/identifying-a-cult


Yes I know that.  But who made them the end-all and be-all of defining cults? 

I maintain that to be a cult, there must be something "cultus," hidden.   Like the Mormons with their secret temple rituals and the Masons with their hidden higher level beliefs and rituals.  Or the Moonies that you learn their agenda only after you have joined one of their houses/communes.
Cults don't care about their members. It's all about the leader.

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #28 on: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 10:44:04 »
Cults don't care about their members. It's all about the leader.

That is a personality cult.  There are other types of cults like the Masons.

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #29 on: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 10:50:45 »
Cults don't care about their members. It's all about the leader.

That is a personality cult.  There are other types of cults like the Masons.
Thank you. It doesn't appear that there's a singular definition of cult. Being that it's not a Biblical concept, then it's subjective and the definition can shift. I think Matthew 23 would be a better guideline to go by instead of cult, it describes a good list of abuses.
« Last Edit: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 13:34:05 by e.r.m. »

Offline Mere Nick

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #30 on: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 11:58:34 »
To answer the question in the title of the thread - NO.  They (the hard old line CoC group) are not a cult.

To be a cult one must have either A) hidden teachings and agendae that are known only to insiders and/or B) be centered around a specific person (the cult of personality).  The CoC fits neither of those categories. 

That is not to say they (the hard old line CoC group) do not have certain cultish tendancies - like the ideas they and no one else are truly saved, that they physically seperate themselves from other Christians, and that they have a handle on truth no one else has; (which comes close to A) ) but those "truths" are NOT kept hidden from "outsiders;"  so they do not rise to the level of cult status.
Thank you for the support DaveW. To my understanding it wasn't so much that the CoC believed that only people in the CoC were saved, but only people who were saved Biblically. In earlier decades, the CoC was the only one in the U.S , as far as I know, who taught Biblical baptism and therefore only those in the CoC were considered saved. But if there were any groups that believed in Biblical baptism as well, they would be acknowledged. These days there are a growing number of churches outside of the CoC who believe in Biblical baptism. The definition may still be narrow, but we didn't actually think the entity CoC saved people, only Christ did.
There's only one truth (I'm referring to salvation). There can't be multiple different truths on salvation. Either the Catholics have it, or the evangelicals and similar groups have it,  or the CoC and similar groups have it, or the Eastern Orthodox has it, etc. or none of us have it. But we can't all have the truth if we're teaching different things.

I grew up in the Methodist Church.  Sometimes we'd all say the Nicene Creed together.  Part of it says "we acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins".  I'd suspect that of all the folks in Christendom, those who adhere to the "Sinner's Prayer" method of conversion are in the minority.   

notreligus

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #31 on: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 13:12:57 »
"Sinner's Prayer" is another claim, just like the wrongly-stated "Faith-Alone" claim, that is part of the Church of Christ arsenal used to shoot down Christians whose beliefs are not in keeping with theirs.

Who can pray but a sinner?   

The Church of Christ, as others, expect converts to stand before the congregation and recite a statement of belief.   When a sinner reaches out to God in prayer he or she is acknowledging God and a belief in Him.  What is wrong with that?  Absolutely nothing!   

The Church of Christ need to understand that people come to the Lord without a lot of knowledge about Him.   The mature believers (assuming that there are some) are supposed to disciple these new converts.   Demanding that a convert honor the Church of Christ's "ten commandments" is not discipleship.   It is legalism.   That's what troubles me about the "dipped and done" approach to baptism.   Converts are told that they are saved, contact Christ's blood, are spiritually regenerated, and are baptized by the Holy Spirit, all while they are under the water.   In short, they've received "everything."   I've seen many, many people wander away from the Lord afterward as they were never discipled.  They thought they'd already gotten all that God has for them.   

Offline grain of salt

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #32 on: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 13:23:13 »
"Sinner's Prayer" is another claim, just like the wrongly-stated "Faith-Alone" claim, that is part of the Church of Christ arsenal used to shoot down Christians whose beliefs are not in keeping with theirs.


I don't know the origin of the term "Sinner's Prayer," but I believe he's referring to the practice or belief some have that salvation is experienced through a prayer.  Some refer to it as "inviting Jesus into my heart/life."  It is often scripted where a speaker invites the audience to repeat certain words in a prayer, after which those who "prayed the prayer" are said to be "saved."  Whether we use the term "sinner's prayer" or some other name for it, that is what he is referring to.

Yes, certain semantics get borrowed and passed around... and, sometimes even misused or abused.  I daresay every tradition in Christianity has a particular lexicon.

Here is a link to a site that promotes this idea: http://www.salvationprayer.info/prayer.html.  They use the term "salvation prayer," but also acknowledge that it is also referred to as the "sinner's prayer."  No, the CofC did not make up that term.  Some evangelical circles use that term to describe what they themselves do.

Here's another:  http://www.allaboutgod.com/sinners-prayer.htm

Notice how they refer to it as the "sinner's prayer."

Quote
Sinner's Prayer - Recognizing the Need
The "Sinner's Prayer" is a term that describes the words spoken by a person when he or she has recognized their sin and their need for a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. It goes something like this:

“Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.”


If you don't like the term "sinner's prayer," then your issue is with the people who use it and call it that... not with the CofC.
« Last Edit: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 13:41:36 by grain of salt »

Offline DaveW

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #33 on: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 13:32:12 »
I've seen many, many people wander away from the Lord afterward as they were never discipled.  They thought they'd already gotten all that God has for them.

That is like handing a new-born baby a set of keys, giving him a job in a factory and expecting him to immediatly be a productive member of the community.

Not gonna happen.  Someone has to change diapers, teach him how to read, send him to school and college and THEN he can get his job and be productive.  It takes YEARS. 

Offline e.r.m.

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Re: Freedom Quest Ministries (Former C of C) - Is the C of C a Cult?
« Reply #34 on: Thu Aug 21, 2014 - 13:38:14 »
To answer the question in the title of the thread - NO.  They (the hard old line CoC group) are not a cult.

To be a cult one must have either A) hidden teachings and agendae that are known only to insiders and/or B) be centered around a specific person (the cult of personality).  The CoC fits neither of those categories. 

That is not to say they (the hard old line CoC group) do not have certain cultish tendancies - like the ideas they and no one else are truly saved, that they physically seperate themselves from other Christians, and that they have a handle on truth no one else has; (which comes close to A) ) but those "truths" are NOT kept hidden from "outsiders;"  so they do not rise to the level of cult status.
Thank you for the support DaveW. To my understanding it wasn't so much that the CoC believed that only people in the CoC were saved, but only people who were saved Biblically. In earlier decades, the CoC was the only one in the U.S , as far as I know, who taught Biblical baptism and therefore only those in the CoC were considered saved. But if there were any groups that believed in Biblical baptism as well, they would be acknowledged. These days there are a growing number of churches outside of the CoC who believe in Biblical baptism. The definition may still be narrow, but we didn't actually think the entity CoC saved people, only Christ did.
There's only one truth (I'm referring to salvation). There can't be multiple different truths on salvation. Either the Catholics have it, or the evangelicals and similar groups have it,  or the CoC and similar groups have it, or the Eastern Orthodox has it, etc. or none of us have it. But we can't all have the truth if we're teaching different things.

I grew up in the Methodist Church.  Sometimes we'd all say the Nicene Creed together.  Part of it says "we acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins".  I'd suspect that of all the folks in Christendom, those who adhere to the "Sinner's Prayer" method of conversion are in the minority.
They speak as though they are in the majority. Most non-catholic media is centered around the sinner's prayer.

 

     
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