[DIVINE ART OF SOUL-WINNING —7th file]
WORKING AMONG FALSE CULTS
I. ROMAN CATHOLICISM
The wise worker will remember that Roman Catholics
have from childhood learned to revere their church, and
resent any criticism of it. Any controversial issue
should, therefore, be avoided as far as possible. There
are many things which are held in common by both Catholic
and Protestant, and these should be known by the worker,
e.g., the deity of Christ, the atoning blood, the
inspiration of the Scriptures.
The Catholic, however, does not believe in
justification by faith alone, nor that a person can be
saved apart from the instrumentality of the church. The
Virgin Mary is in reality given a larger place than Christ.
It is also a help no know something of those saints of the
Roman Catholic Church who are familiar to Protestants as
well: Augustine, Francis Xavier, Madame Guyon–and to
quote hymns by Father Faber, the author of “Souls of men,
why will ye scatter,” and many other beautiful hymns. The
worker should buy and use, in dealing with a Catholic, the
Douay Version of the Scriptures, which varies very little
from the Authorized Version, except in the notes which are
regarded as equally inspired.
Some useful suggestions by Mrs. Turnbull are:
Try to center conversation on Christ as much as
Stress the possibility and joy of being assured of
salvation, and knowing the forgiveness of sins.
Never seek to defend Protestantism.
Do not dwell on the sins of the Roman clergy.
Do not argue on the priority of Protestant or Roman
Catholic church, or as to whether Peter was the first Pope
Avoid appealing to history, as Roman Catholics have
learned a totally different account of the Reformation
A useful approach is to confess a high regard for the
Virgin Mary, and ask the inquirer if he believes he should
do as the Virgin commanded. The answer will, of course, be
in the affirmative. Then quote John 2:5: “Whatsoever He
saith unto you, do it”, following this up by saying that
He said: “Ye must be born again” (John 3:3). The way is
then clear to urge the necessity of regeneration. Show
what regeneration is from 2 Corinthians 5:17. Distinguish
baptism from regeneration by reading 1 Corinthians 4:15
with 1 Corinthians 1:14. The baptism of Simon (Acts 8:13,
21-23) did not regenerate him.
Show further that salvation is not by works (Romans
4:5; 2 Tim. 1:9; Eph. 2:8,9). Show him that those who
become sons of God by receiving Christ may enjoy assurance
of salvation (1 John 5:13; John 10:27-29; Acts 13:38,39).
Urge the necessity of confession, first of sins to God
(1 John 1:9); then of Christ to men (Rom. 10:9-10). Show
that there is ONLY ONE MEDIATOR between God and men–Christ
(1 Tim. 2:5).
Since the Bible is largely banned to the Roman
Catholic, encourage him to read his Bible, for “the
entrance of thy word giveth light.”
The denial of the deity of Christ–and consequently of
the Trinity. Jesus was merely a good man, the Holy Spirit,
an influence. The atonement is unnecessary, since sin is
merely a defect which education will remove. The Bible is
neither inspired nor infallible. The supernatural is
scorned. It is obvious that the task of the worker is to
deal with the inquirer concerning the Person and work of
Christ. Dr. Evans suggests the following method:
1. Show that he cannot have the Father without the Son
(1 John 2:22,23; John 14:6; Matthew 11:27). To disown the
Son is to shut the door of knowledge of the Father.
2. Show that salvation comes in no other way, save
through the person and work of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). If
Christ is rejected, what then? (John 8:21,24).
3. Show that it is God’s will that men should believe
on His Son (John 5:22,23; Phil.2:9).
4. Show the awful guilt resting on one who rejects
Jesus Christ as his Savior (John 16:8-10; 1 John 5:10-12;
5. If necessary prove from Scripture the deity of
Christ. Divine names (Acts 3:14; John 20:28); divine
attributes (Mark 2:8; Matt. 18:20; John 1:1), divine works
(John 1:1-3; Col. 1:16); and divine worship (Matt. 14:33;
28:9), are ascribed to Him.
III. CHRISTIAN SCIENCE
Let the worker have some idea of what Mrs. Eddy,
the high priestess of the cult, teaches. The following
statements are quoted from her book SCIENCE AND HEALTH,
“GOD is ‘divine principle…not personal [cf. Isa.
43:3]. CHRIST ‘is incorporeal, spiritual, the offspring of
Mary’s self-conscious communion with God” [cf. 1 Tim. 2:5].
The Holy Spirit is ‘divine science’ [cf. John 14:16]. It
was impossible for MAN ‘never born and never dying to fall
from his high estate’ [cf. 1 Tim. 2:14 A.S.V.]. ‘Whatever
indicates the fall of man–is the Adam dream.’ ‘Man is
incapable of SIN’ [cf. 1 John 1:9; Rom. 3:23]. As to
ATONEMENT, ‘one sacrifice, however great, is insufficient
to pay the debt of sin’ [of which she has told us man is
incapable] [cf. Heb. 9:26]. The DEVIL is ‘a lie, belief
in sin, sickness and death’ [cf. Matt. 4:3,4]. ‘There is
no MATTER’ [cf. Gen. 1:1] ‘Man is never SICK’ [cf. James
5:14]. ‘Man is incapable of DEATH’ [cf. Heb. 9:27].
PRAYER: ‘The habit of pleading with the divine mind as one
pleads with a human being…is an error which impedes
spiritual growth’ [cf. Matt. 6:9; John 15:7].”
To perceive the origin of Christian Science, read 1
John 4:1-3, for it denies that “Jesus Christ is come in the
flesh.” The Christian Scientist accepts the Scriptures as
inspired (albeit claiming the same inspiration for SCIENCE
AND HEALTH), so the worker has something to go on.
Ask the seeker to whom he prays, if God is not a
person. Can he pray to a principle? Seeing he does not
believe in a personal devil, ask how evil originated. If
the Devil is only a lie, can a lie be punished? (Rev.
20:10). If man is incapable of death, ask if he would
stand up and allow someone to shoot him. Having shown the
untruth of Christian Science from the Scriptures given
above, and unveiled some of its fallacies by the
questioning method, lead him to Christ, the Sinless
Substitute (2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13; 1 Peter 2:24; Heb.
9:22). To prove that curing of sickness is no proof of
divine origin, use Matthew 7:22,23; 2 Thessalonians 2:8,9.
They are those who believe that all men will be saved
in the final restoration of all things. The arguments to
use with deniers of Hell have already been given. Their
main Scriptures are I Timothy 2:3,4, and I Corinthians
15:22. The former expresses the desire of God’s heart,
but not His decree. Man’s will is the determining factor.
The latter verse read in its context, deals not with the
reception of eternal life, but with physical resurrection.
The part played by man’s will is seen in Luke 13:3;
John 5:40. Such Scriptures as II Thessalonians 1:7-9;
Matthew 25:41-46; Revelation 20:15; 21:8 clearly show that
all men will not be finally saved.
To deal effectively with Jews, the worker must have a
good working knowledge of the Old Testament, and of the
place of the Jews in God’s plan.
1. Show how Christ fulfilled the Old Testament
prophecies concerning the Messiah. A Jew (Gen. 28:13,14).
Of tribe of Judah (Mic. 5:2). Of the family of David (Isa.
11:1-10; Jer. 23:5,6). Born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14). In
Bethlehem (Mic.5:2). Rejected and crucified (Ps.22). Before
the destruction of the Temple (Dan. 9:26). His coming to
be in humility (Isa. 53), and in glory (Zech. 2:5).
2. Show that the Old Testament sacrifices were done
away in Christ and that salvation is found only in His shed
blood (Heb. 8:10; cf. Lev. 17:11 with John 1:29). Show
also that Moses spoke of Christ (John 5:45-47).
3. Warn of the punishment meted out to those who
reject Christ (Heb. 10:26-29).
If a Jew objects that “God did not marry a woman to
give birth to Christ,” answer that God is a miracle-working
God (cf. Gen. 18:14 with Luke 1:37. Also Luke 1:26-32;
Matt. 1:18-25). If he contends that the worship of Jesus
is worshiping a man, use Genesis 18:1,2 (where one of the
men was Jehovah), and Joshua 5:13-15. The objection that
the doctrine of the Trinity teaches three Gods instead of
one, may be answered by Genesis 1:1, where “God,” Elohim,
is plural. See also Gen 1:26 (“us,” “our,”). If he
objects that Isaiah 53 refers not to Christ but to
suffering Israel, show that this is impossible, since the
One who suffers is suffering, not for His own sins, but for
those of another (Isa. 53:4,5,8), and that other is
One who would work among Jews should be especially
familiar with the Epistle to the Hebrews.
VI. Russellism or Millenial Dawn, or JEHOVAH’S
This chameleon-like cult is flourishing greatly today.
It was founded by Pastor C. T. Russell, and is perpetuated
today in word and writing by Judge Rutherford. In addition
to the three aliases given above, this cult masquerades as
“The International Bible Students’ Association,”
“Metropolitan Pulpit,” “Zion’s Watch-tower,” etc.
DOCTRINES. It denies the deity and humanity of
Christ, He being the highest order of created being.
Scriptures to answer this have already been given. Christ,
they say, at death became extinct, body and soul, and His
body was not raised (cf. Luke 24:39). He is now a
disembodied spirit, for His body passed off in gases in the
tomb. He returned to the world in 1874, and the Millenium
began in 1914 (cf. Acts 1:11; I Tim. 3:16). The Holy
Spirit is merely an influence (cf. John 16:13,14).
A second probation after death is promised, a promise which
is distinctly countermanded by Luke 16:19-31 (cf.
Rev.22:11; II Cor. 6:2; John 5:28,29). Those who die
become extinct, but are raised again (a difficult process
surely!) in the next age. (See Matt.10:28; Phil. 1:23;
II Cor. 5:8)
The Scriptures given under “Christian Science” will
answer several of the above errors.
That disembodied spirits can communicate with the
living is clear from Scripture (I Sam. 28:11-20), but the
curse of God rests on the devotees of Spiritism. The
existence of Satan and angels is denied. The worker should
not commence by making the sweeping assertion that the
whole thing is of the Devil, true though that is, or he
will lose his point of contact with his “prospect.”
The first thing to do is to show what the Bible
teaches concerning God’s attitude to Spiritism (I Chron.
10:13,14; Isa.8:19,20; I John 4:1-3; II Thess 2:9-12).
Next show from Luke 16 that Spiritism is not the work
of spirits of the dead, for there it is made clear that the
spirits of departed ones have no communication with earth,
that being absolutely forbidden by the Scriptures (Deut.
18:9-12). Spiritism is a repudiation of God’s revelation
in His Word (Isa.8:19,20). More credence is given to the
supposed words of departed spirits than to the Word of God
To test the origin of these spirit impersonations, use
I John 4:1-3. The Christian can expect these special
manifestations of evil spirits in these last days (I Tim
The main errors involved in Spiritism are: Denial of
the personality of GOD, the deity of CHRIST, in making Him
only a medium; dishonoring the HOLY SPIRIT; denial of the
ATONEMENT, future JUDGMENT or punishment of sin; and the
SECOND ADVENT of Christ.
Dr. Riley tells of Charles Dickens attending a number
of seances and being almost convinced and ready to become a
Spiritist, when at a certain one he asked the medium to
speak with Lindley Murray. A spook appeared, and Dickens
said: “Are you Lindley Murray?” The spook replied: “I
are!” “Excuse me,” said Dickens, “Lindley may have his
faults, but he is a good grammarian,” and so he departed,
to have no more to do with Spiritism.
As in the case of other cults, there is much that is
false in this esoteric philosophy. The BIBLE is only one
of many other Bibles of equal authority. Their idea of God
is pantheistic. CHRIST is ONE of the manifestations of the
Logos. MAN has one spirit, three souls, a life principle,
and two bodies, and is subject to reincarnation. SALVATION
is by works, the Theosophist trying all the time to “make
good Karma” or to pile up merit.
The basic error is the place given to the Scriptures,
and the worker must first show the preeminence of God’s
Word as previously shown. (Use II Tim. 3:16; Heb. 4:12;
Matt. 5:18.) As to the personality of God, see Genesis
17:1; Psalm 103:13. The deity and uniqueness of Christ may
be shown from John 1:1; Hebrews 1:3. Instead of being a
compound personality, as taught by Theosophists, man is a
being created in the image of God, fallen, but subject to
redemption and resurrection, not to reincarnation. Man
cannot obtain salvation on the ground of his own merit
(Rom.3:20; Titus 3:5; Eph.2:8,9). Instead of man’s goal
and destiny being the nebulous nirvana, it is a prepared
place in the Father’s house (John 14:2).
IX. SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISM
This is one of the most subtle of the cults, because
it has more semblance of a spiritual basis. As the name
suggests, its key teaching is the observance of the old
Jewish Sabbath, instead of the first day of the week–an
indispensable condition of salvation. The mark of the
Beast is the nonobservance of the Sabbath. Dr. Evans
suggests the following method of attack:
1. Know their favorite passages and show how they
wrongly interpret them, e.g., I John 2:4. Show from I John
3:23 that the commandment referred to is love and faith,
not Sabbath-keeping. “Commandments” in Revelation 22:14 is
made to refer to the Ten Commandments, but these words are
omitted entirely from the American Standard Version.
2. Show, then, that the law (including the Sabbath) is
done away (2 Cor. 3:7-11). These verses teach that one is
either under the old covenant with its curse or under the
new covenant with its blessing. If one keeps the Sabbath,
it is an acknowledgment of being under the former, and thus
excluded from the benefits of the latter.
3. Show that by the death of Christ Christians have
become dead to the law (Rom.7:1-4; cf. 10:3-9).
4. Stress the fact that every one of the Ten
Commandments, except the fourth, is reaffirmed in the New
Testament. Nowhere is the Church of Christ commanded to
keep the Sabbath.
5. Show that the Sabbath is a purely Jewish
institution, never meant to be binding on a Christian
(Deut. 5:12-15). It was a sign between Israel and God
6. Show that there is no scriptural warrant for their
theory that the soul sleeps between death and the
resurrection. (See 2 Cor. 5:1-8; Phil 1:20-23.) Some of
the Scriptures they use in this connection are Acts 2:34.
But verses 29 and 31 have clear reference to the body, not
the soul of David (Eccles.9:5-10). “The dead know
nothing”–but the context limits this to “under the sun”.
The same words are used in 1 Samuel 20:39; 1 Timothy 6:4,
but do not bear the meaning Adventists put on them. Daniel
12:2, with John 11:11,14,39. Note that of Lazarus it was
said, “He now stinketh.” Did this refer to his soul or his
body? By taking their proof texts in their context and
with parallel passages, it will be easily proved that their
contentions are unscriptural.
7. Show that the Scriptures teach that the spirit or
soul does not die with the body (Eccles. 12:7; 3:21; 1 Cor.
5:5; Luke 23:43-46; Acts 7:59; Matt. 10:28).
It is well to know that the observance of the first
day is of neither Romish nor heathen origin, as they
contend. They lay this change of day at the door of the
pope of Rome. The early Church Fathers, writing in the
first and second centuries–Ignatius, Justin Martyr,
Clement, and many others–all testify to the fact that the
observance of the first day of the week was general.
Again, it is physically impossible for Adventists the
world over to observe the Jewish Sabbath from sunset to
sunset. In the far north the sun does not set for weeks.
In going round the world westward, a day is lost, and in
going the opposite way, a day is gained. It is perfectly
obvious that the commandment was a purely local one.
In dealing with Adventists, the worker will find that
they are very bigoted and will try to monopolize the
conversation. Stipulate that you will answer questions in
turn, or they will evade the issue when faced with
convincing and unanswerable Scriptures.
Oh, matchless honor, all unsought,
High privilege, surpassing thought,
That Thou shouldest call me, Lord to be
Linked in such work, O God, with Thee!
To carry out Thy wondrous plan,
To bear Thy message unto man;
In trust with Christ’s own Word of grace
To each soul of the human race.
[end of chapter 9, end of 7th file]
[Transcriber’s note: By 1990, the time this work is
entered into electronic media, the Jehovah’s Witnesses and
Seventh Day Adventists have changed somewhat, though the
strictly theological points probably still apply.
I think it unfortunate that Judaism is lumped in with
“cults”, since it is a world religion rather than a cult.
At the time of the writing of this work, Islam had not
made significant inroads into the life of Western culture.
For dealing with Muslims, I recommend Dr. Samuel Zwemer’s
book, ISLAM, A CHALLENGE TO FAITH (c)1908, at this point
out of print, but “on the list” to be issued in electronic
media as soon as possible. Dr. Zwemer’s work has never
been improved upon, but his frank statements of the
incompatibility of Islam and Christianity would be
offensive to some. I suspect that is why the work remains
out of print at this date. –CCP]