And for those Roman Catholics who are reading this post, I believe I should detail more.
You may also be wondering why I am talking about the Roman Catholic belief system when this series is going to be on Cults.
So let me first define a cult. A cult, the way I am going to use it, is any group that says it is Christian but isn't. By Christian I will be using the plumbline of Orthodox Christianity. Out there are groups that don't adhere to the Historic Christian Faith. The Historical Christian faith leaves no room for there being many roads to God. Jesus Himself said he was the only way to God. He was The Way, The Truth, and The Life. All religions do not lead to God.
Now "Orthodox Christianity" means the beliefs held by a majority of Christians since the Church began in the first century. They can be found in the Bible alone, not in church councils or traditions.
Historically there have been many movements that provided challenges to the Orthodox doctrines set down in the Scriptures. Such movements as the Gnostics in the second century to the "God is Dead' movement to the present day Eastern philosophies.
The plumpline I will use is found in two verses of Scripture. First Corinthians 15:3,4. "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; He was buried and He rose again on the Third day, according to the Scriptures."
I have been taught to define terms. Plumbline is one of them. Amos 7:8 has God saying, "Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people..." For those of you who are not aware a plumbline is still used today. Masons use it to make sure they lay up a brick wall straight and true. So I will be using as my plumbline the Bible, God's Word, to define what is "orthodox" and what is not. God measures men and their devotion to Him by His Standards-by His Word- not by man's.
First Corinthians 15:3, 4 details for us three key points which I will use .
- The person and work of Christ ( who He is and what He did for man)
- The nature of man (A sinner in rebellion against God and in need of a Savior)
- The truth and reliability of the Bible (inspiration of Scripture)
The sin question is basically the same for both Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians. Man is a sinner. Sin is a flaw in man It came about in the fall of the first man. of his own choice Adam sinned (disobeyed God) and thus all mankind was plunged into sin. (this is known as original sin) Genesis 3 tells us about that incident.
The Orthodox Christian says that the only solution for the sin problem is faith in Jesus Christ and His atoming death on the cross. Roman Catholics add the works done after Baptism. That is not found in the Bible.
Both Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians hold to the Bible as Scripture. Other systems have other sacred writings. More about that as the postings go on.
So why pick on the Roman Catholic as being different from Orthodox Christians? That will take a few more postings to iron out. Please stay tuned.
Please feel free to comment and dialogue. I will answer and will explain where needed.