Witnessing to the Cults
We are besieged with mail and phone calls from heartsick Christians around the world who have lost a loved one, a child, a parent, a spouse or a friend to one of the many cults that abound in the land. Of course, we get just as many inquiries from Christians who have made the acquaintance of a Mormon or Freemason or Muslim and want to know the best way to share The Good News of Jesus with them.
There are as many variations to the questions and needs as there are groups out there. The New Age, for example, has about as many definitions as it has followers. But there are significant base parallels to every cultic group.
In every case, every attempt is made to humanize God,deify man, minimize sin, and separate you from the authority of Holy Scripture. The last is often done by adding to the Bible, that group's own created scripture of higher authority, usually given by mystical means to that group's spiritual leader. They will also make every effort to convince you that salvation is only available through that group and its special plan for your step into eternity.
This tells you then, that in order to witness to someone in any of the cultic groups, it will be necessary for you to deify and glorify God, reveal mankind as lost to God through sin, demonstrate the validity of the Bible and point the way to the cross as the only way of salvation for mankind.
Simple! No, not at all. Well, if someone shows up that you know is head over heels into some cultic theology, and you know absolutely nothing about it and you don't have time to run to a library, then you can always start from the above premise and you will never go wrong. Trust me, the newly arrived cult member will quickly set you straight on his/her doctrine in any of the above areas.
But, assuming you do have some time to prepare, I strongly suggest that you learn the simple basics that separate that specific group from orthodox Christianity. Then you are ready to proceed. Almost.
With an acknowledgement and thanks to JEWS FOR JESUS for an old tract I carried around until it was unreadable, here it is rewritten with some of my own pointers on witnessing that I consider vital to your success on being a really effective witness :
1. Be a Real Friend. There are a zillion spiritual scalp hunters out there who want to win a lost soul for Jesus, but are completely unaware of the person who is attached to that soul. Try to have an honest and well rounded relationship with your friend before you attempt to witness.
Pray about your own motives and make the association a real one. It is the intensive person to person witness through which most cultists are being won to Christ. It's really true that what you are usually speaks louder than what you say.
Be ready to love that person just exactly as they are and where they are, even if they never leave that cult. I am convinced that the vast majority of these people are where they are because they really want to serve God with all their hearts. These people are not God's enemies nor are they ours. They are victims of false teachers. The Scriptures say "For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed." (Isa. 9:16 )
2. Encourage Discussion on Life issues to get some insight on how your friend perceives and understand things. Listen to where his(her) heart really is. Get him to talk about the things which concern him and lead him into a discussion about what his group means to him. People are in cults for many different reasons.
In no way let him come to the understanding that you only care for him as long as you might convert him. Love that person right now!
3. In Some Way Give Your Own Testimony. A good place to begin is to tell specifically how God has answered prayer in your life. Avoid testimonies that talk about the peace and joy you have in the Lord.
Remember, those who follow Eastern religions and any number of the new cults will give just as fervent a testimony. Like the Mormons who use their burning in the bosom as a test of truth, each group has its own subjective method of instilling a counterfeit sense of security.
4. Answer all questions and objections from Scripture. But remember, you don't have to answer every question when it's asked. In fact, your friend will feel a whole lot more comfortable with you if you can't. You can say, "I don't know the answer to that, but I'll find out", or "Let me think about it a little more and I'll give you an answer the next time I see you." Then, find the answer, be sure you understand it and bring it back!
5. Get your friend to study the Bible with you. Don't concentrate only on their theological problem areas. There is power in all the Scripture. A good beginning point is the first chapter of The Book Of John.
6. Offer to pray for your friend's needs. While an apologetics kind of ministry is not always welcomed, few people will decline prayer and God seems to be particularly pleased to honor prayers as evidence of His love and concern in these cases.
7. Try to bring your friend into the communication sphere of other Christians who are former members of that cultic group. Such a meeting might be painful at first, but it does bring persons to the place where they can see that there really can be a God centered life after the cult.
8. Emphasize that Christ is the sin bearer for you and your friend alike. Remember that your friend has been programmed to think that he has to carry his own sin until it can be released only through his cult group leadership. It's up to you to show him that is not true!
9. Ask for a decision. As a general rule, it's not good to continually press for a decision, but you will prayerfully know when the timing is right in the matter.
10. Remember the areas that the cult cannot deal with and bring your friend to an understanding of these important matters; the power of the shed blood of Jesus, the Cross and the nature of salvation by grace. Be able to give a good, clear definition of the doctrine of the Trinity, an area of confusion with every cult.
11. Always pray before your visits. Going into this sphere of spiritual contact without the Holy Spirit is dangerous for both you and your friend. The Scriptures promise us the power of the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us at times such as this.
Realize that your friend is under spiritual bondage which can only be broken through intercessory prayer. It is vital that if you have a burden for this person that you be involved in persistent, aggressive prayer directed against the principalities of powers of darkness over him. Pray according to the Bible that the strongman be bound so that his captive can be set free. Pull down those strongholds and cast down vain imaginations and "every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God..." (2 Cor 10:4,5)
Ask for the intervention of the Holy Spirit to draw this friend to the Cross of Jesus for salvation
. Also, solicit the assistance of the prayer group at your church and/or among other believing friends and family.
This bondage can be broken through prayer in the name of Jesus. Many have been set free through the love,. intercession and fellowship of committed friends and relatives/
12. If you need help, write or call us and we will be glad to help!
copyright, Ed Decker 1999
Ed Decker and Saints Alive Ministries at www.saintsalive.com
Take A Stand! Ministries - POB 1485 - Rowlett, TX 75030