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Living Stream Ministry and the so-called 'local churches' -- a confusing name rooted in the cult's faulty theology -- has issued a damage-control statement that shows the movement remains defiantly convinced of the merits of its unbiblical lawsuit against Harvest House Publishers and authors John Ankerberg and John Weldon.
The movement, which theologically is a cult of Christianity, on June 18, 2007, lost its final appeal against the dismissal of its lawsuit against Harvest House Publishers and the authors of the Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions. [See: Why the Local Church was included in the Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions]
In its statement [Originally at http://www.ecpa.org/rush/pr14.html but now cached here] -- a press release published via the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA), which foolishly has welcomed the cult into its stable -- Living Stream Ministry is trying to spin the Supreme Court's denial of its appeal.
Living Stream Ministry also points out that Fuller Theological Seminary, Christian Research Institute, Answers in Action, and The Institute for the Study of American Religion, are amongst "many qualified Christian researchers and theologians" who "have expressed their belief in both our Christian orthodoxy and practice."
Indeed they have.
Of course, there are also many qualified Christian researchers and theologians who have, upon careful examination of the Living Stream / Local Churches theology and practises declared the movement to be outside the boundaries of orthodox Christianiy. Among them are the 60+ signers of a recent Open Letter addressed to the movement.
Too, it should be noted that many Christian researchers and theologians are concerned about many of the directions taken over the years by Fuller Theological Seminary.
The recent capitulation of the Christian Research Institute, in tandem with Answers in Action and supported by John Morehead -- who has specifically turned his back on the countercult movement -- has bewildered Christian apologists, countercult professionals, theologians and other researchers.
Some see in this turnabout the influence of J. Gordon Melton, a researcher who has deservedly been called the "Father of cult apologists," due to his ongoing, enthousiastic support of all manner of cults.
J. Gordon Melton is the director of the Institute of the Study of American Religion. He sealed his reputation as a cult apologist when he aided the Local Church in one of its lawsuits against Christians and Christian Ministries. The cult has been using his foolish statements ever since in trying to gain acceptance amongst Christians.
In the end, the lawsuit filed by Living Stream Ministry and its 'local churches' has backfired. Its claims were without merit. The cult tortured the plain english text of the Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions to come up with something the text did not say. That is the same approach the movement takes to Scripture as well as to its own writings, which -- instead of denouncing, it tries to explain away.
While this cult of Christianity cries wolf about allegedly dangerous precedents, its legal loss means that the cult has been prevented from misusing the courts to try and silence its critics.
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