Archive for the ‘Scientology’ Category

So-called Jehovah’s Witnesses Cult Suppressed in Russia

December 9, 2009

This is something that would have happened in Geneva under a Reformed view of the two kingdoms, but would not happen under a Lutheran view of the two kingdoms (link to story).

Of course, calling the radical view of two kingdoms theology promoted by Darryl Hart and others “Lutheran,” is perhaps unfair to modern Lutherans. After all, Germany recently (two years ago) declared Scientology not to be a religion, which opened the possibility of banning it in Germany (link).

Finally, let’s not forget modern-day Geneva, or at any rate, Switzerland, where the people and the cantons voted to prohibit further construction of minarets (link to story).

None of these actions, of course, is a substitute for gospel preaching. And none of these actions will be of ultimate good to the people of Switzerland, Germany, and Russia, if the gospel is not preached, heard, and followed in those lands. Nevertheless, we would be wise to consider Jesus’ remarks on hearing that there were those who cast out demons in his name, but did not follow Jesus with the disciples:

Mark 9:38-42
And John answered him, saying, “Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.”

But Jesus said, “Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part. For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, ‘he shall not lose his reward.’ And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.”

-TurretinFan

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Responding to Scientology

January 6, 2009

Tommy Davis from Scientology International stated:

In Scientology, we believe that you have lived before and that you will live again. The spirit, which is you, is immortal and you are not your body. You as an individual are an immortal spiritual being and simply put, you have lived before and will live again, lifetime after lifetime. In Scientology, these past existences are simply referred to as past lives.

(as reported at MSN News)

I respond:

Christianity rejects Scientology, and these doctrines of man. The Bible is the Christian’s source of authority when it comes to the nature of man.

1. Reincarnation is False

The Christian doctrine of man is that man lives once, dies once, and will be raised on the day of judgment.

Scripture teaches that man has one life on earth, and after that the judgment:

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Scripture teaches also that the resurrection is general:

Acts 24:15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.

Although the resurrection is general, there will be a division – some will be raised to life, other will be raised to the second death: hell.

John 5:29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

2. Our Body is a Part of Us

As noted above, we await a bodily resurrection. Although we will have the same body, it will be changed. The mortal body we have now will be changed into an immortal body.

I Corinthians 15:35-44
35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? 36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: 37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: 38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. 39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. 40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

We can also see that our bodies are a part of us from other places in Scripture, such as the following:

1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thus, God told Adam:

Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

3. Our Spirits are Immortal in a Limited Sense, but are not eternal.

Men come into being. They are not eternal beings. Thus, Jesus said he was before Abraham.

John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

Furthermore, although our souls will never cease to exist, if we do not now repent and trust in Christ, there will come a time when both our body and soul will perish (eternally) in hell.

Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Conclusion

We reject the errors of Scientology, because they are contrary to the revealed word of God, our Creator and Redeemer. If one follows Scientology, one will eventually discover its errors. Man does not have an infinite number of lives to “get it right” – this life is it.

Psalm 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

-TurretinFan

A Different Apologetic Approach – ANON vs. Scientology

January 26, 2008

As many of you may already be aware, a hacker group known as “ANON” (as in “Anonymous”) has recently declared war on Scientology. (open letter by video here) They are a very capable and elite group of hackers. Their stated goal is eradication of Scientology from the Internet. This not their first mission, and they have been generally successful in their past missions, from what we know.

Scientology is evil, and it is good news that it is being opposed. On the other hand, while ANON is taking a stand against an evil organization, we must not therefore fully endorse ANON’s methods or mentality, for both are contrary to a Christian worldview.

1. Christians must have a respect for the civil government.

Many of ANON’s techniques are illegal. There is no denying this, and ANON would certainly agree. ANON may seek to justify the illegality of its actions by appealling to the end (goal) of the actions. The ends, however, do not justify the means.

2. Christians must forgive

We have been forgiven much. A proper understanding of the sinfulness of our own sin should make any Christian willing to forgive others. ANON’s anthem is “We do not forgive, we do not forget …” but this is not Christianity’s message.

3. Christians must seek the glory of God

ANON’s message is that they have chosen to take down Scientology for a variety of reasons, but one of the top reasons is for their own amusement. I believe that this stated reason is sincere on their part. Scientology represents a very challenging target: it is far more litigious, technologically savvy and resourceful than virtually any other body. To defeat Scientology on the Internet would represent an enormous feather in their collective hat. Furthermore, Scientology represents much that hacker world hates most: censorship.

Christian apologetics, however, must be motivated by the glory of God. We share with ANON the goal of eradicating Scientology, but we have radically different reasons. We oppose Scientology because it is a false gospel.

Conclusion

It is difficult to predict the ultimate outcome of ANON’s attempts to destroy Scientology. I cannot think that it will be entirely successful (Scientology is very well connected politically and very wealthy), but I would be happy to be wrong. Nevertheless, unless those burdened with Scientology are brought to Christ, it will all be in vain. There is little value in removing someone from a false gospel, if they are not brought to the truth.

-Turretinfan


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