Protect Yourself From Counterfeit Christianity
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’" Matthew 7:21-23
For every Christian, this should be the single most frightening passage in the entire Bible for you. Not only for yourself, but for anyone in your life who professes faith in Christ.
There is a counterfeit for everything that has ever existed. Some are obvious to detect, but some are very cleverly veiled. Those are the ones that are the most dangerous, because they can operate in plain sight for quite some time before getting caught.
Christianity has had its fair share of counterfeiters since the beginning. From the Gnostics in the 2nd century to the Mormons or the thousands of New Agers that exist today, they are all nothing less than cults and are very dangerous to the truth.
The reason they're dangerous is because they lure you in to worship someone, or something other than God. Of course they'll never tell you you're worshiping a false god. Why would they tell you? What's the 1st Commandment? "You shall have no other gods before Me..." (Exodus 20:3) God gave that command for a reason. Only God provides salvation, and it's only through Christ. Anything and everything else is false, plain and simple.
So how do we identify these false groups? Well, the best way to identify counterfeits is to have thorough knowledge of the authentic. So make sure your understanding of true Christian teaching is being exercised regularly so you can discern when something doesn't line up with Scripture. In a future post, I'll make a more detailed side-by-side comparison between Christianity and some of its biggest counterfeiters. For now, here's a few "buzz words" and characteristics associated with certain large cult groups.
Latter Day Saints, Joseph Smith, Outer Darkness, the missionaries usually dress in white button-down shirts with black ties, avoids alcohol and caffeine- Mormons
Kingdom Hall, Watchtower, New World Translation bible, refers to the afterlife as "The Kingdom," obsessed with God's name being Jehovah, knocking on your door, avoids alcohol and caffeine- Jehovah's Witness
Ellen White, Ellen Harmon, Ellen Gold (all the same person) William Miller, the Sabbath, goes to church on Saturday, doesn't work from Friday night to Saturday night, vegan, soul sleep, Great Controversy- 7th Day Adventists.
If you're not sure how to draw out these key buzz words, simply use the "2minutes to live" street test. It goes as follows:
"Let's pretend that I have only 2 minutes to live. I've been a terrible person my whole life and I'm scared about what's going to happen to me after I die. What do I do?"
Keep in mind Luke 23:42-43 because no other religion or counterfeit of Christianity will be able to give you an answer beyond, "Well, sorry about your luck, maybe you'll make it into a better place..."
Now that you've identified that they're fake, now to deal with them accordingly. There are 4 approaches you can use.
1) Shock and Awe- This is when you get their attention by saying something really crazy like, &