Danger for Christians and Creationists

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen 

Creationists expect to be ridiculed, lied to (and lied about) by atheists and anti-creationists. That goes with the territory. But what happens when someone wants to gain information about creation science and theology but may not realize that the site or social media location has a more insidious goal?

Recent experiences prompted me to seek counsel from Christian friends, and this article is the result. It is going to be different from most of the material here; I want to caution people who are looking for good creation science and theological material. That sounds strange, but stay with me on this as it can be very important for your spiritual well-being.

I choose from a variety of sources for the featured articles and to include in the Creation Links section. Sometimes the individual article is acceptable, but I do not want to risk sending someone to a site that may lure them into with a group that does not have a high view of Scripture, teaches aberrant theology, or tie them down with a false religion altogether. One site looked worthwhile (and was almost identical to a legitimate creationist site) but was rejected because it taught Islamic doctrines.

Credit: morgueFile / mettem
Recent Events
I learned that someone claims to be a creationist but has cult beliefs. While putting forward material from legitimate creationist organizations, he also claimed affiliation with one. This was not true. Also, the link to his cult was almost hidden but someone else pointed it out to me. When the owner was confronted, the cult link was suddenly removed and the "affiliation" link was modified — it redirects to America Online!

More Cult Suspicions
The acquaintance that spotted the cult material did more checking, and so did I. This "creationist" uses words like "YAHUWSHUWAH", "YAHSHUA", "YAHUWAH" and so on, usually all in capitals like so. There's no such name — these are spurious words usuallyassociated with the "Sacred Name" cult.

Cults, Aberrant Theology and Creationism
While most people will disagree on some theological matters, we can still have Christian fellowship. Cults are a far different matter. One major characteristic is that they claim to be the only ones who follow God's will, and you should convert to their group. Many (like the Jehovah's Witnesses and Sacred Name) will emphasize God's name, that they use it correctly.

Someone was formerly involved in a cult and noticed that the Page owner acted in a similar way to the old Worldwide Church of God, and suggested that I write this article. Some groups will use the creation-evolution debate as a means to hook people. The Jehovah's Witnesses teach a false form of creation science. Armstrongism (the former Worldwide Church of God/Radio Church of God, and some of its surviving offshoots) used the issue and opposed evolution but have gone into theistic evolution. Biologos, other theistic evolutionists as well as Hugh Ross will compromise on the Scriptures. If you talk to Old Earth Creationists, they elevate atheistic interpretations of science as authoritative above the Bible (yet they claim to believe the Bible). I suggest reading my articles "Are Old Earth Creationists Heretics"? Part 1 and Part 2. Some of us suspect that many OECs and theistic evolutionists are actually Deists, rejecting the Bible.

What's a Christian to Do?
Many Christians want to learn about theology, end-times prophesy, creation science versus evolution, social issues and more. There are some things that they can do so they do not get tied up with false teachings.

  • Be grounded in the Word. Most converts to cults started out as orthodox Christians and thought that they were given something more complete from these religions. If more Christians had knowledge of what the Bible says and how to search the Scriptures, they would be far less susceptible to false teachings. Compare what someone teaches with the Scriptures. This is what the Bereans did.

  • Get solid teachings. Some side issues can be interesting, but we can have a knowledge ghetto where we get truth out of balance and forget other important matters. Get into the essentials in addition to learning the Word.

    Definitions and Avoidance. Many times, a Christian can have a conversation with a member of an aberrant religion and think that everyone is in agreement, but in reality, they understand our basic terminology differently. Watch for vagueness, generalities and dodging the questions. The cultist mentioned above pointedly ignored people asking him about the deity of Jesus and the Trinity. A Mormon may say he believes in Jesus, but is unlikely to mention that they believe Jesus is Lucifer's spirit brother. Jehovah's Witnesses may say that they believe in the Resurrection of Jesus, but their official view is that he did not die on the cross (it was a "torture stake") and did not bodily rise from the dead.

  • Be wary of "new revelations" and exclusivism. Joseph Smith started Mormonism with a story that he had the only truth, and that God told him everyone else was apostate. This is typical of cults; their new revelations are what make them the One True Church. Jehovah's Witnesses, the Sacred Name, Oneness Pentecostals and others will insist on certain doctrines and practices that set them apart from Christians. You have to convert to their interpretations of Scripture (sometimes using their own sacred texts) or you are not really a Christian.

  • Know your sources. I scanned the sources for the links above for oddities, and even rejected some reference material. But I know CARM.org and GotQuestions.org are reliable (even though I disagree with them on certain nonessentials of theology; thinking Christians do that), so I used their material. When checking sources, look for the warning signs mentioned above (and others) about cult characteristics. I strongly recommend against getting information or reference material from cults and non-Christian sources so that you are not deceived, and that you will not help lead someone else into deception. One simple thing to do is to check an organization's statement of faith (these are unlikely on social media, however). If it is vague, it may be so liberal in theology that is not much use to anyone, and warrants further investigation, asking the owner or simply moving on.

  • Check with knowledgeable Christians. You may have skilled friends, church members, pastor, elders and so forth that can help you out.
Test claims. Not all who claim to be creationists or even Christians are valid.
That caption's not even funny, Cowboy Bob!

What about Creationists, Specifically? 
The above items apply to caution creationists as well. Our first duty is obedience to Jesus and upholding the authority of God's Word. Being a creationist is secondary. Despite what some misotheists will say, most biblical creationist ministries do not claim that belief in a literal six-day recent creation is essential to salvation. Rejection of that does raise suspicion about someone's theology and commitment, so that is where you must use discernment.

You can see that just because someone claims to be a Christian (or a creationist), this may not be the case. EDIT: I put a link to the Sacred Name cult under discussion here, but removed it because that Page is now gone. There are "creationist" Pages on Facebook that are run by cultists. Ask people what they believe, especially about the Trinity. (One guy asked about the Holy Spirit, and said, "The Holy Spirit means different things to different people." Not hardly!) 

These days, we must be on guard at all times. God gives us our minds and expects us to use them in reasoning from the Scriptures, learning about creation through science, and daily living as well. The information here should give you a good start, and you can develop your skills from there as you grow in the grace and knowledge our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3.18). Trust God and his Word.