Over the last few years we have been going over the works of Walter Martin, author of the famous work ‘Kingdom of the Cults’.
What’s emerged from this concept is a tool we have coined the recognito.
SO WHAT IS A RECOGNITO?
A recognito is a tool that helps people recognise MDCs. Every single one of the above identified MDCs have their own gospel, Jesus, “Holy Spirit”, “Faith” and so on. To tamper with any of these foundational Christian doctrines is to tamper with the Gospel, which leads one to “fail the test”, be deceived by Satan and eventually be eternally anathematized/damned by God Himself.
Thus the recognito helps people recognised if an MDC believes something contrary to these four essential Christian doctrines (GJSF):
1. Different Gospel (Gal 1:7-8, 2Cor 11:3-5).
2. Different Jesus (2Cor 11:3-5).
3. Different Spirit (2Cor 11:3-5).
4. Different Faith (1 Cor 13:5).
Some MDCs try to hide their controversial doctrines. To help further identify a MDC, this secondary categories of the recognito can help further pinpoint people’s discernment (EACH).
1. Different Ecclesia.
2. Different Authority.
3. Different Commission.
4. Different Hermeneutic.
We tend to think eight categories for the recognito is enough. However, we have also included in some cases the following categories (GEN):
1. Different Glory.
2. Different Eschaton.
3. Different Nuts.
The first category (GJSF), automatically makes the church an MDC since the foundational Christian doctrines have been removed or tampered with to lead people to hell or to abuse people. We call this the Recognito Prime.
The second category (EACH), are signs that can prove that the church is an abusive MDC. For example, the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) cults have a very unique ecclesia, commission, hermeneutic and authority. So to do Health and Wealth (HAW), Purpose Driven Life (PDL) and Word of Faith (PDL) cults. However, some orthodox Christian churches are ignorant of the importance of these biblical categories. So do not be hasty to lump churches as MDCs in the EACH category. Nevertheless, we have found this addition to be very helpful in identifying MDCs. We call this extended version the Recognito Scope.
The third category (GEN), are often result-driven outcomes. What does this church or MDC produce? Do they emphasise something other than Christ and his Cross? (Glory.) Do people come out believing strange end-time ideas or conspiracies? (Eschaton.) Does this church or MDC produce fruits… or nuts? (Nuts.) For example, the HAW cults will insist they focus on Jesus and preach the gospel. However, they cannot help but emphasise or glorify success, money and influence (glory). While some claim to hold a biblical world view, do they emphasise “biblical” end-time economics or/and end-times transferral of wealth to the church (eschaton)? When you talk to members, are they teaching unbiblical principles to gain wealth (nuts)? As this recognito is an extension to include more minute details to discern if a church is an MDC, we have called it the recognito extension.
The examples in the second and third categories highlight that someone has identified an MDC, even though its leaders claim orthodoxy.
In the future, we will attempt to layout generally what the MDCs believe. In the mean time, we thought we’d give you a challenge. Below we have produced a recognito that covers some popular MDCs. Print it off and see how you go filling out the recognito.