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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Pelichowski

October 2023 (Kingdom of the Cults)

Updated: Jul 4

FBC Gallatin,

One of the less talked about, but very important responsibilities of a pastor is that he must protect the flock from danger. We can understand that this is a big part of the job for an actual shepherd of sheep because we know that wolves can come in to harm the sheep under the shepherd’s care. You can clearly see the physical depiction of a shepherd watching out for the sheep and keeping them safe from harm and wandering and all kinds of danger.

However, the problem we face is that for some reason, when we think of church, we don’t oftentimes think of danger like this. And when we think of our situation in life, we never quite picture the real and present danger all around us, so it is good that the Bible gives us this illustration for ministry and church life. Jesus himself preached this very thing in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:15 which says: 15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” And the apostle Paul bakes it in to the pastors’ job description in Titus 1:9; He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.”

So why are we doing a discipleship table talks semester on the “Kingdom of the Cults?” I hope we can see from Jesus and Paul above, that there is clear danger by way of false prophets and false gospels that we must be aware of and protected from.  Last Thursday night we had the privilege of kicking off our Fall 2023 Table Talks semester with a testimony of Michele Jorgenson who was rescued by God and snatched out of a cult! If you haven’t watched it yet on our YouTube channel, I highly encourage you to catch up with that very enlightening ministry we were blessed to experience at FBC. I followed up that table talks meeting Thursday with a Sunday evening sermon on Titus 1:9 mentioned above to further explain and make a case that not only is it my job as a pastor to protect the flock from error, but that there have been many specific examples of cult influence on our specific congregation. This is really is close to home, because there has been confusion on this topic from members at our church. 

Therefore, it is my intention to help intentionally disciple us all on this confusing and for some, touchy subject. For we need to be warned about the differences between what cults say and believe about the Bible, and what historic protestant evangelical Christians believe about the Bible. Mixing these things up confuses the gospel and leaves people vulnerable to being snatched up by wolves with their false teaching. James Walker defines a cult as “a group who presents an inauthentic form of Christianity which seriously deviates from essential doctrines of classical Christianity. In most cases, the group in question claims to be Christian or compatible with Christianity but the organization’s aberrant beliefs concerning central doctrines of the faith result in the group being classified as unorthodox, or cultic.”

Now, we will all have friends of people who are in a cult, which is another reason why we are doing this table talk topic, because we want to be able to reach our unbelieving friends with the gospel. As I mentioned in the opening table talk Q&A with Michele, our friends in a cult think we are wrong and are trying to evangelize us, and we of course also think they are wrong and are trying to evangelize and convince them. This is the reality and we must draw the lines to avoid the confusion to thinking that cults are just another Christian denomination because they are not and cannot be defined that way because they deny cardinal Christian doctrines placing themselves outside of protestant Christianity. We did not make up those doctrines, their so-called prophets did that and we must know the difference and think and speak clearly about them not only amongst ourselves, but with our friends as we seek to share the good news of the Gospel with them! If we think we are all on the same team, then no one is going to be evangelized and our friends will remain in grave error and deception and void of the good news of the Gospel that of course they desperately need! My prayer is that this semester will lead us to better be able to engage with our friends in cults and share the good news gospel that can free them from the grip of the false teaching of the cults, to embrace the good and healthy and life giving Gospel of Jesus Christ that alone can save any of us!

If you have any questions about this, I am more than willing and eager to talk with you about it and hopefully be able to answer any questions you might have.


Pastor Daniel Pelichowski

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