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This Week’s Fast Facts

Fast Facts on How to Recognize that You’re Probably in a Cult

  • You follow an individual or organization that claims to be the modern day prophet of God or voice of God on earth.
  • You claim to believe the Bible, but you have additional, newer revelations that take precedence over the Bible.
  • You believe the Bible has been corrupted, cannot be trusted, or can only be properly translated and interpreted by your prophet or organization.
  • You deny that the one true God exists eternally as three independent persons.
  • You believe in more than one God.
  • You deny that Jesus Christ is the eternal God who came to earth both fully God and fully man.
  • You deny that total and complete salvation is found in Jesus Christ’s atoning death on the cross and is offered freely to all as a gift of grace.
  • You believe that salvation requires more than faith in Jesus, but must be earned by doing good works or by proving your worthiness to God.
  • You deny the existence of conscious, eternal punishment in favor of annihilation, reincarnation, or universal salvation.
  • You believe that you can personally experience divinity, by becoming one with the divine, or by ultimately becoming a god yourself.

For more information on recognizing and responding to the cults, please check out Dr. Carlson’s book, Fast Facts On False Teachings, available in our online store.

Follow CMI on Twitter at @jasoncarlsoncmi.

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This Week’s Fast Facts

Fast Facts on Advent Apologetics – December 25th as the Date of Christmas

  • There is no historical evidence that Jesus was born on December 25th. However, while this date is improbable it is not impossible. A springtime date, though, better fits the gospel accounts of the birth of Christ. So, where does the December 25th date for Christmas come from?
  • Historical evidence shows Christians observing December 25th as the date of Christ’s birth as early as the 200’s A.D. However, the first official Christmas celebration occurred on December 25, 336 A.D. after Roman Emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity.
  • The most likely reason the early Church chose December 25th as the date to celebrate Christ’s birth was simply because of the metaphorical significance of the winter solstice to the arrival of the Messiah (i.e. the idea of light, new life, etc.).
  • It is also possible the Church chose December 25th as a rival to certain pagan religious practices in the Roman Empire that were centered on the winter solstice and the “birth” of their sun gods (Saturnalia, Mithra, Sol Invictus, etc.).
  • Some Christians become concerned when considering the possibility that our December 25th celebration of Christmas might have any association with pagan religious practices, even if as a rival.
  • However, while it is right to be concerned as Christians about syncretism with non-Christian religious practices, we must also remember that the Church has historically viewed the reshaping of culture as a positive endeavor.
  • When it comes to our celebration of Christmas on December 25th, like Augustine of Hippo (354-430 A.D.), we can affirm that, “We hold this day holy, not like the pagans because of the birth of the sun, but because of Him who made it.”

Give the gift of apologetics this Christmas! We’ve got some great resources, like the book, Apologetics For A New Generation, available in our online store.

Follow CMI on Twitter at @jasoncarlsoncmi.

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