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Adi Da Samraj:
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Deeply Problematic"

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FIRM: The Foundation against Intolerance of Religious Minorities

Anti-"Minority Religion" Groups with "Big Religion" Ties

 


Anti-"Minority Religion" Groups with "Big Religion" Ties

  
 

Despite all the elegant rhetoric about the Pilgrim fathers...America has not set an exemplary record in the area of religious freedom. The English Calvinists who settled in Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay did not come to found a society where spiritual liberty would reign supreme. They came to found a theocracy, as the four Quakers...who were hanged on Boston Common between 1659 and 1661 soon found out. Unpopular and unconventional religious beliefs and practices were not only unwelcome, they were not tolerated. Roger Williams, a Baptist, was hounded into the frozen wilderness. When Henry Dunster, the president of Harvard College, decided not to have his fourth infant baptized because he had come to accept adult baptism, he was forced to retire. Later on, in other parts of the country, Mormons, Jews, Masons, Jesuits, and ordinary Roman Catholics felt the hard edge of harassment and discrimination because of their religious convictions. A couple of generations ago, Jehovah's Witnesses were the main target of prejudice. Now we have the 'cults.' It seems Americans are never really happy unless there is some unfamiliar religious group to abuse. The spirit of theocracy lingers on.

Harvey Cox
Thomas Professor of Divinity, Harvard University

As in Jesus' time, when the primary forces working to destroy Him were the fundamentalists of the established religion (e.g, the Pharisees), so too in our time, the "anti-cult movement" against new minority religions is to a significant extent funded and driven by the fundamentalist sects of the large, established Western religions. It is not unlike the way in which the corporate powers associated with traditional sources of energy (such as coal and oil) have often worked to impede the development of newer, alternative energy sources, for the sake of maintaining power and profit.

We include just a few examples below, so you can get a visceral sense of what we are talking about. The degree of uninspected righteousness and intolerance is breathtaking in our "modern" era.

Because the movement against minority religious movements is so well-organized and widespread, and targets not only Adidam but tens of thousands of new religious movements, some of us have felt the need to create a counter-force in the form of FIRM (The Foundation against Intolerance of Religious Minorities), much as the civil rights movement was created to counter widespread and systemic prejudice against people of color.

  • Jesus Christ Saves Ministries — "This list of religions, cults, sects and movements is not conclusive, but the links will teach you about what they believe, among other things. . . . If you are in one of these religions, cults, sects or movements, Jesus hasn't condemned you to hell yet. There will be hope for you until the day you die. There is one truth and one way. God offers salvation to everyone. If you need help leaving a certain group, please email me or get some help. God wants the best for you and so do I."

  • Haven Ministries — "Haven Ministries seeks to directly evangelize and disciple the lost, particularly those trapped and deceived in non-Christian religions, the New Age Movement, cults and the occult. We seek out the lost, going to their events, bookstores and seminars, sharing the Gospel and challenging the errors of the evil one."

  • Spiritual Counterfeits Project — "Welcome to the SCP (Spiritual Counterfeits Project) web site. Since 1973, the SCP has been a frontline ministry confronting the occult, the cults, and the New Age movement and explaining why they are making an impact on our society." SCP members adhere to a conservative Christian faith today and seek to uncover the "deceptions" of new religions that fail to adhere to conservative Christian ideas.

  • Spirit Watch — "False doctrine is very difficult to discern due to the ability of cult leaders to mingle enough sound doctrine with it to make it appear orthodox and inspiring. The dangerous aberrancy of skewed 'knowledge' is very cleverly combined alongside brilliant and sometimes even profound insights into a subject that the cultic teaching's truth claim presents. It wouldn't BE deceptive if it was served up to the masses any other way! The doctrinal and practical claims of cultic organizations that clearly set it apart as unorthodox and questionable are also very well hidden beneath engaging deliveries by appealing, charismatic figures that introduce a purely personal and subjective factor into the mix that makes detecting them even more difficult."

  • The Apologetics Resource Center — "The Apologetics Resource Center will be about the process of understanding the times and the alien philosophies opposed to Godís truth, as well as understanding and effecting the antidote of both knowing Godís truth and being the truth in our home, neighborhood, and culture."

  • True Light Educational Ministry — "TLEM is a ministry of evangelism directed at one of the largest, but least evangelized mission fields in America, the cults. Our goal is to educate and lead Christians in learning how to witness to those involved with the cults and occult. . . . We are Christian non-professionals who have responded to the call of God to carry the Gospel to people held in spiritual bondage."

  • Stand To Reason — "Can a system which teaches good things actually be evil? How we judge between religious world views. . . here: "Therefore, those with bad beliefs (that is, unsound beliefs) are not merely different, they are wrong; and we should not be squeamish about that kind of language."

  • The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry — "CARM is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose purpose is to equip Christians and refute error. It is well documented. Come here and learn about false teachings such as Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Islam, the New Age, etc., as well as provide counter arguments for evolution, atheism, relativism, abortion...and much more."

  • Religion News Blog — "In short: RNB is a service that alerts Christian apologetics- and counter-cult professionals - as well as other academic and professional communities - to relevant religion-, apologetics-, human rights-, and ethics news from around the world."

  • Apologetics Index (CounterCult.com) — "An annotated guide to apologetics and counter cult research resources."

  • The Watchman Fellowship — "Watchman Fellowship is an independent Christian research and apologetics ministry focusing on new religious movements, cults, the occult and New Age spirituality. . . . Watchman Fellowship endorses a biblically based, conservative, evangelical position, proclaiming that all must turn from sin to trust the death, burial, and resurrection of the second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ, as the only remedy for sin and the sole foundation for true religion."

  • Christian Research Institute — "It is not that there is nothing sinister or dangerous about the New Age movement, but we must resist the temptation to try to locate the evil in simplistic, black-or-white categories, for in so doing we will fail to see New Agers for who they really are. This will only reinforce their own misconceptions about us, and our gospel." Founded by Walter Martin, the most successful author of the counter-cultists. Martin's book, The Kingdom of the Cults, is a guiding tome for a substantial subset of the counter-cult movement.

  • Cults on Campuses — "Find information on the topic of cults and high-pressure groups on a campus near you."

  • FreeNDeed Ministries — "FreeNDeed Ministries is a Christian non-profit organization serving the personal, spiritual, and educational needs of individuals, families, and organizations affected by destructive sects and relationships."

  • The New England Institute of Religious Research — "The New England Institute of Religious Research was founded in 1991 as a mission outreach to provide churches, secular organizations and concerned individuals with up-to-date research on cultic structures. The Institute also provides training for people who work with those caught up by such destructive groups. We personally meet with the members of various groups to discuss Behavioral/Biblical/Theological issues with them."

  • Evangelical Ministries to New Religions — "We are a professional membership association for individuals and ministries addressing 'cults' of Christianity, new religious movements, and world religions."

  • Bible Discernment Ministries — "We believe the Scriptures — both the Old and New Testaments — to be the verbally inspired Word of God, written by men in God's control, inerrant and infallible, in the whole and in the part, in all areas (including creation, science, geography, chronology, history, and in all other matters in which it speaks), in the original manuscripts, and the complete and final authority in faith and life." This extensive counter-cult site run by Rick Meisel is bent on exposing "false teachers and their teachings." The notebook section of the site offers information about groups and specific group leaders. It is divided into Exposes, Cults, and New Age Groups.

  • Apologia — "Apologia's areas of specialization include: Non-Christian religions, sects, and cults. . . . Apologia's goal is to give Christians who are leaders in the church, education, and missions access to information that will keep them up to date on developments related to the areas above in order to enhance their ability to influence their world for Christ."

  • Dialog Center — "The purpose of the Dialog Center is to communicate the Christian faith to people of other beliefs and convictions in a dialog. In relation to the neo-religiosity, our intention is to realize a dialog in confrontation."

  • Cult Awareness and Information Centre — "After 15 years wandering through the world of the cults, including time in both Mormonism and Jehovah's Witnesses, I finally realized that I was being controlled rather than controlling my own life. . . . World religions such as Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism etc are NOT cults!"

  • Eternal Ministries — "Eternal Ministries receives support from those who believe that the truth of Godís Word needs to be proclaimed loudly and strongly to those who are blinded by the darkness of this world, even when doing so is not popular. During any given day, Eternal Ministries will receive requests from people who want help to witness to a friend or family member who are ensnared in their thinking with a non-Christian worldview. This ministry is grateful that God in His sovereign grace allows us the opportunity to help in this capacity."

  • Christian Answers for the New Age — "Christian Answers for the New Age is a ministry responding to alternative religions: to inform and educate others about New Age and occult beliefs; to respond to those involved in New Age/occult/Eastern belief systems with the love and truth of Christ . . . Salvation of lost and sinful man is by grace alone through faith in Christ, at which time the believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Regeneration by the Holy Spirit is essential."

  • Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc. — "A Christian Counter-Cult and Apologetics Ministry."

  • Resource Center for Theological Research — "Around the same time of my conversion, I was introduced to Countercult apologetics and apologetics in general. This has been my area of interest throughout my Christian walk. I have experience teaching apologetics, cults and general theology which I have done for the Evening Institute program of Lancaster Bible College and Church related events. The first edition of the Countercult Apologetics Journal will be launched at the end of January 2006."

  • Answers In Action — "Answers In Action is a dynamic non-profit, evangelical, Christian organization based in Costa Mesa, California, which trains individuals to think logically and reasonably about all things. . . . Answers In Action is co-directed by Bob and Gretchen Passantino. . . .They have authored several books, including Answers to the Cultist at Your Door, Witch Hunt, When the Devil Dares Your Kids, Satanism, and The New Cults (Walter Martin, General Editor)."

  • Probe Ministries — "The New Age offers man the same deal the serpent offered Eve in the garden. If you eat of this fruit (in this case the idea that you are divine), you will become like God--knowing good from evil."

  • Personal Freedom Outreach — "Personal Freedom Outreach is a non-profit, non-denominational group with three goals: to educate Christians about the dangers and heretical doctrines of religious cults, to use the Gospel of Jesus Christ to reach members of those cults and to warn Christians of unbiblical teachings within the church itself."

  • Naming The Grace — "Defining World Views and Religious Movements In The Light Of God's Grace In Jesus Christ. . . . It is my prayer that unbelievers will find faith in Christ and believers will find comfort. . . . teach classes on religious movements and new religions, including the New Age Movement and paganism, from an orthodox Christian position."

  • Institute for Religious Research: Resources for Investigating Today's Competing Religious Claims — "The Institute for Religious Research is a non-denominational, non-profit Christian foundation devoted to the study of religious claims in light of history and the Bible. We desire to promote ó in a thoughtful and gracious manner ó the exclusive claims of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, as revealed in the Bible."

  • Ankerberg Theological Research Institute — "The Bible states that in the last days people will depart from the faith ó apostasize ó giving heed to seducing spirits. This series documents that many leading doctors, entertainers, and government leaders are openly espousing spirit guides. These four programs show Christians how to refute false doctrines and counter the powers of apostasy."

  

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