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Evangelism and the Cults

By Pat Knapp and Don Beck

Below are some basics to cult evangelism that can perhaps give some insights into this difficult endeavor:

1. Prayer:

First and foremost we need to pray for the Individual influenced by the cult. Realize that we are In a spiritual battle for their lives. Communicate to them that your praying for them, but don't tell them that your prayers are for them getting out.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds (2Cor 10:3-4).

2. Relationship/ Love:

Let them know that you are there for them. Fill them in on what is happening in your life and the world. Let them know that you love them and you will be there no matter what happens. Keep the communication lines open even if they try to pull back. When they get ready to leave, they will remember that you are there and it will make it easier to leave.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1Cor 13:4-7).

3. Knowledge:

Learn as much as you can about the group; read their books or anything else that they may put out. In order for you to understand what they are saying, you need to know what they are thinking and how they are using the words in their vocabulary. This also lowers the walls of suspicion since they will then know that you are interested in them and what they are doing.

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear (1Pet 3:15).

4. Questions:

In addition to the above steps, gently ask them questions about their belief systems. Make this as non-threatening as you can. Put it in the form of a question in which you do not understand something. This will slow them down enough to make them start to think about what they believe.

Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry (2Tim 4:2-5).

5. Testimony:

Give your testimony. Realize that you are not in a battle to have the best or most exciting testimony; but just let them know that there is spiritual life outside of the group and that God is moving in other places.

The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, "Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?" … And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, 'He told me all that I ever did" (John 4:28,29,39).

6. Conclusion:

In application of the above, there will always be exceptions to the rule and variances. However, in keeping with these basics, balance and compassion have a fighting chance. We are all in process and learning. Keep in mind, truth is the issue; not who is right, but what is right.

"God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth"
(John 4:24).

To study the subject of cults in more depth, see the books listed at:
Counter-Cult Books: Books-A-Million Recommendations.

The above article originally appeared in The Shield newsletter in 1989.
It was posted on this Web site February 1998.

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