New Apostolic Church

In the early 1830’s something unusual began to occur among a group of Presbyterians in London, England.  The pastor of Caledonian Chapel, Edward Irving, had long been interested in the charismatic gifts of the New Testament.  After studying and praying about these matters for a number of years, Irving began to see these very gifts manifest themselves among the members of his congregation.  Eventually this proto-Pentecostal movement would organize as the Catholic Apostolic Church in 1832, with John Bate Cardale chosen as First Apostle.  Along with the charismatic gifts, the Catholic Apostolic Church stressed the necessity for New Testament government in the church, including apostles and prophets.  While Irving and his followers remained mostly orthodox in doctrine, the Catholic Apostolic Church itself was eventually responsible for spawning several cults—including the Liberal Catholic Church, associated with the Theosophical Society.  Another such group is the New Apostolic Church (NAC).  Continue reading

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Why Is There Prayer, Anyway?

“You do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:2).

Ever ask yourself this question:  Why prayer?  If God is sovereign, totally in charge, and He knows all things and can do anything, then why require prayer of us?  Well, there are many answers to this question.  And we do not have time to go into an extensive study of prayer.  Suffice it to say that prayer is His plan.  God has ordained that prayer is the means by which He chooses to work on this earth. Continue reading

Eastern Lightning

Names:   The Church of Almighty God, Eastern Lightning (EL), Lightning from the East,    Church of the True God, Church of the Everlasting Fountain, Real God, The Congregation, Seven Spirits Sect, New Power Lord’s Church, True Light Sect, or True Way Sect

Founders: Yang Xiangbin, Zhao Weishan

Date of Founding:  1991

Country of Origin:  China

Scripture or Authoritative SourceThe Word in the Flesh, teachings of Yang Xiangbin

Influences:  Christianity, Christian Dispensationalism

Membership:  Estimates vary from 100,000 to over 1 million Continue reading

Cults and Modern Technology

In the 1920’s and 30’s the cutting edge of technology was wireless telegraphy, better known today as radio.  Herbert W. Armstrong, an Adventist evangelist, saw the potential of this medium and used it to his advantage.  He began broadcasting his unique views of the Bible in 1933.  His abilities as a speaker won the minds and hearts of thousands of listeners.  Thus was born the Radio Church of God, a religious organization that initially consisted almost completely of a radio audience.  Eventually Armstrong’s following grew to become the Worldwide Church of God.[i]

The progression from a small radio broadcast to an on-air “church” to an organized religious body demonstrates the power of electronic media to effectively propagate a message and develop a committed group of adherents.   Thus, Armstrongism serves as a prime example of how cults can, and often do, effectively use technology and media to spread their own versions of the gospel. Continue reading

The Media is Plusdoublethinkful

I have just recently finished reading George Orwell’s classic novel 1984.  For me, this was required reading in high school.  I am sure most of you had to read it at some time in your educational career.  I remembered a lot of things from the story.  But I had forgotten how insightful Orwell could be.  In many ways he sheds great light on human nature, and the ability of fallen man’s ability to oppress and control his fellow man. Continue reading