Christian countercult movement

The Christian countercult movement or the Christian anti-cult movement is a social movement among certain Protestant evangelical and fundamentalist[1] and other Christian ministries ("discernment ministries"[2]) and individual activists who oppose religious sects which they consider "cults".[3]

Overview

Christian countercult-activism mainly stems from evangelicalism or fundamentalism. The countercult movement asserts that particular Christian sects are erroneous because their beliefs are not in accordance with the teachings of the Bible. It also states that a religious sect can be considered a cult if its beliefs involve a denial of any of the essential Christian teachings (such as salvation, the Trinity,[citation needed] Jesus himself as a person, the ministry and miracles of Jesus, his crucifixion, his resurrection, the Second Coming and the Rapture).[4][5][6]

Countercult ministries often concern themselves with religious sects which consider themselves Christian but hold beliefs which are thought to contradict the teachings of the Bible. Such sects may include: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Unification Church, Christian Science, and the Jehovah's Witnesses. Anti-Catholicism has led some Protestants to classify the Catholic Church as a cult. John Highham described anti-Catholicism as "the most luxuriant, tenacious tradition of paranoiac agitation in American history".[7] Some also denounce non-Christian religions such as Islam, Wicca, Paganism, New Age groups, Buddhism, Hinduism and other religions.

Countercult literature usually expresses specific doctrinal or theological concerns and it also has a missionary or apologetic purpose.[8] It presents a rebuttal by emphasizing the teachings of the Bible against the beliefs of non-fundamental Christian sects. Christian countercult activist writers also emphasize the need for Christians to evangelize to followers of cults.[9][10][11] Some Christians also share concerns similar to those of the secular anti-cult movement.[12][13]

The movement publishes its views through a variety of media, including books, magazines, and newsletters, radio broadcasting; audio and video cassette production, direct-mail appeals, proactive evangelistic encounters, professional and avocational websites, as well as lecture series, training workshops and counter-cult conferences.[1]