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Christian Sects

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By ladylyrics
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The purpose of this paper is to provide a documented overview of the major "Christian" sects, or what some have called cults. We are using the term sects to avoid the much more complicated concept of cults. Specific attention is given the essential biblical doctrines which they deny. No information is given on the origin and founders of the sects, since this is of relatively minor importance to the apologetic task. Guidelines are supplied to help the Christian worker in his communication of this information. An extensive bibliography is provided and recommended for further study.
The source of doctrinal authority for spiritual truth is crucial. The source(s) which a group acknowledges will tend to determine the entire doctrinal framework of that group. This area, therefore, is the foundational issue between biblical Christianity and the sects. Biblical Christianity acknowledges the Bible alone as authoritative, because it alone is inspired by God. The sects also usually acknowledge the Bible as the inspired word of God. However, most of them claim that other writings are also inspired. These writings become the final doctrinal authority, since they are usually the grid through which the Bible is interpreted. Some sects ("Jehovah's Witnesses" and "The Way") believe that the Bible alone is inspired, but claim to have the uniquely correct interpretation and/or translation of the Bible. This interpretation becomes in practice the final authority of the sect.
A. Acknowledgement by sects that the Bible is the inspired word of God: 1. Mormonism: "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God." 2. Christian Science: "The Bible has been my only authority. I have had no other guide in "the straight and narrow way" of Truth. In following these leadings of scientific...

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