Jim Jones' Cult vs. True Christianity

Pastor Anderson's Blog

July 6, 2016

People often accuse fundamental Baptists of being a "cult" or "like Jim Jones." Jim Jones was actually a communist liberal, not a fundamentalist Christian. Here is a video of him singing the Soviet Union national anthem.

The following excerpt from this Wikipedia article on Jim Jones shows just how politically liberal and anti-God Jim Jones was:

“According to religious studies professor Catherine Wessinger, while Jones always spoke of the social gospel's virtues, before the late 1960s Jones chose to conceal that his gospel was actually communism.[15] By the late 1960s, Jones began at least partially openly revealing the details of his "Apostolic Socialism" concept in Temple sermons.[15] Jones also taught that "those who remained drugged with the opiate of religion had to be brought to enlightenment — socialism".[39] Jones often mixed these ideas, such as preaching that, "If you're born in capitalist America, racist America, fascist America, then you're born in sin. But if you're born in socialism, you're not born in sin."[40]

By the early 1970s, Jones began deriding traditional Christianity as "fly away religion", rejecting the Bible as being a tool to oppress women and non-whites, and denouncing a "Sky God" who was no God at all.[15] Jones wrote a booklet titled "The Letter Killeth", criticizing the King James Bible.[41] Jones also began preaching that he was the reincarnation of Mahatma Gandhi, Father Divine, Jesus, Gautama Buddha and Vladimir Lenin. Former Temple member Hue Fortson, Jr. quoted Jones as saying, "What you need to believe in is what you can see ... If you see me as your friend, I'll be your friend. As you see me as your father, I'll be your father, for those of you that don't have a father ... If you see me as your savior, I'll be your savior. If you see me as your God, I'll be your God."[10]

So as you can see, it’s not like people thought they were in a Bible-believing church until they were suddenly asked to drink the Kool-Aid.

People need to realize that some practices are preferences as opposed to convictions. For example, the reason my wife chooses to do home birth and we eat an organic diet is because I believe that a natural lifestyle is beneficial, so that’s our preference for our family. We may bend those rules from time to time since doing so would not be sinful. For example, some pregnancy complications could obviously necessitate a hospital birth in the future, and we do eat at restaurants from time to time.

Don’t assume a church is a cult just because people tend to rub off on those around them. This is human nature. It’s just like at your job when a lot of the men start growing beards at once or when your wife suddenly wanted to buy a maxi skirt with a chevron print. People are influenced by trends and get ideas from whoever they hang around. If you attend a good soul-winning church, then chances are your pastor has some practical wisdom about life, and some of the members just might decide to adopt some of his preferences. If that’s you, don’t make your church seem like a cult by “majoring on the minors.” If another family chooses to do some things differently, that’s perfectly fine, and nobody should confront them about those differences.

Jim Jones hated the Bible, called himself Jesus, and admitted to being an atheist. Stop comparing independent Baptist churches to bizarre cults. Cult members blindly follow a man, but, as Baptists, the Bible is our authority for all areas of faith and practice, which is why people should bring their Bibles to church.

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:11

Here is a sermon on Convictions vs. Preferences

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