Apologetics Index: Information about religious cults, sects, movements, doctrines, apologetics and counter-cult ministry.  Also: daily religion news, articles on Christian life and ministry, editorials, daily cartoon.
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Apologetics Index - P

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Pace, Charlie

Heads a small faction of Branch Davidians. Expanded on Lois Roden's teaching that the Holy Spirit is feminine, by claiming that the Trinity consists of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Daughter. Pace is anti-Koresh.

- Sites -
Profess to be Christian but are outside orthodox Christianity PaceOff-site Link
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Paganism

This entry has moved over here.
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Palmer, Susan J.

 referral See this page
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Panwave Laboratory

 referral See this page
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Panchen Lama

The second most important lama in Tibetan Buddhism.

- See Also -
» Dalai lama
» Karmapa Lama
» Reting Lama
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Panentheism

A world view. (pan = "all", en = "in", theos = "god"). Pantheism is the belief that "God is All, All is God." Panentheism adds to this that God is more or larger than All.

The view that the world is contained in and is a manifestation of the divine. Although the divine is immanent in and to the world, it still transcends the universe to some degree. As the human body is to the soul or mind, so the universe is to the divine.
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Pantheism

A world view. The belief that only the spiritual dimension exists. Pantheists refer to the perception of a material reality as maya, which means illusion.

Some pantheistic religions are: Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism. Pantheism also forms the basis for Transcendental Meditation and some aspects of New Age mysticism.
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Paramahansa Yogananda

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Robert Pardon

 referral See this page
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Paranormal

Supernatural; not scientifically explainable.
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Parliament of the World's Religions

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Parsley, Rod

 referral See this page
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Partners in Harvest

Organization set up by Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship after the Association of Vineyard Churches asked the church to disengage itself from the Vineyard movement (December 5, 1995) due to the Vineyard's concern over the "Toronto Blessing." Partners in Harvest is a network of like-minded churches, pastors and leaders.

Board members: John Arnott, Fred Wright, Steve Witt, Marc Dupont

Email: partners@tacf.org
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Passantino, Bob and Gretchen

Founders of Christian discernment ministry, Answers in Action. Closely associated with Hank Hanegraaff, president of the Christian Research Institute.

The Passantinos have been outspoken opponents of theories regarding cult mind-control.

Bob Passantino passed awayOff-site Link on Nov. 17, 2003.

In Aug. 2006, Gretchen Passantino joined Hank Hanegraaff in his support of the Local Church, which theologically is a cult of Christianity.

- Books -        Click On Titles To Order At Discount           » More Books
Christian SatanismOff-site Link Bob and Gretchen Passantino show how, in the midst of prevailing attitudes of skepticism and disbelief, Satanism has made unprecedented inroads into our society
Christian Witch HuntOff-site Link On the ease with which some Christians unfairly criticize each other.
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Patriot Movement

 referral See this page
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Pavesi, Ermanno

Right-hand man to Massimo Introvigne
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Peck, M. Scott

 referral See this page
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Pement, Eric

Until mid-2000, Pement was Senior Editor of Cornerstone Magazine. He is a veteran online apologist; cult expert; author (see articles in Cornerstone Magazine). He is no longer affiliated with Jesus People USA.

- Publications by -
Christian "Contend For the Faith: Collected Papers of the Rockford Conference on Discernment and Evangelism," edited by Eric Pement. (Chicago: Evangelical Ministries to New Religions, 1992). 312 pp. Available from http://www.emnr.org/booklist.htmOff-site Link
Christian "The 1996 Directory of Cult Research Organizations," by Keith Edward Tolbert and Eric Pement (Trenton, Mich.: American Religions Center, 1996). 76 pp. Available by special request from Cornerstone Press ChicagoOff-site Link
Christian "The Manual of Ethical and Doctrinal Standards for Evangelical Ministries to New Religions," by the Committee on Ethics, EMNR [Craig Branch and Eric Pement]. Birmingham, Alabama: Evangelical Ministries to New Religions, 1997. 45 pp. Available in paperOff-site Link or in electronic formatOff-site Link
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Peniel Pentecostal Church

 referral See this page
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Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or Unorthodox Pensacola Outpouring

Controversial revival movement. Also known as the Brownsville Revival. Named after the Brownsville, Pensacola Assemblies of God church (Florida) where "revival" services have taken place since Father's Day, 1995.

See Controversial Renewal and Revival Movements

- Articles -
Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or Unorthodox Revival in PensacolaOff-site Link A member of the Brownsville AOG explains how the revival started.
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Pentecostal

Persons, churches, movements, etc., affirming the belief that speaking in tongues is the primary or exclusive initial evidence of the spiritual blessing known as the baptism in the Holy Spirit; or, those in historical continuity with and general agreement with the twentieth-century movement characterized by this initial-evidence doctrine. These persons, churches, and movements are generally part of institutions and denominations that originated out of the original Pentecostal movement in the early 1900s.
Definition from: "A Biblical Guide To Orthodoxy And Heresy Part One: The Case For Doctrinal Discernment" (an article from the Christian Research Journal, Summer 1990, page 28) by Robert M. Bowman.

- Articles -
Secular Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic MovementsOff-site Link by Stanley M. Burgess (Editor), Gary B. McGee (Editor), Patrick H. Alexander. Avoids apologetics and polemical approaches, and focuses mostly on North America.

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Pentagram

Religious symbol used by Satanists and Wiccans. However, both groups use the symbol in different ways, and assign different meanings to it.

Those differences are explained in a FAQ provided by Witches Voice, the most prominent Wicca site on the net:

Q: So why do you use that "Satanic" symbol?
A: The pentagram, or five pointed star, is not Satanic. Pythagoras used it as a symbol of health and his followers wore them in order to recognize one another. In Medieval times, some Christian knights used the pentagram as their symbol. To modern Wiccans the pentagram means many things; The five points correspond to the elements Air, Earth, Fire and Water with the top point corresponding to "Spirit". The pentagram in a circle may also represent a human with their legs and arms outstretched, surrounded by universal wisdom or the "Goddess" - humankind at one with the environment. Many Witches and other pagan practitioners do not wear the pentacle at all, but have other symbols of special meaning to them.

Satanists turn the symbol upside-down, which puts the elements of Fire and Earth at the top (Fire symbolizes willpower and passion and Earth, prosperity and earthly goods) and Spirit, spirituality, at the bottom. Satanists also turn the cross upside-down. This, in itself, does not make the cross or pentagram a Satanic symbol. In some Wiccan traditions, the reversed pentagram is a symbol of "second degree" status - one who has been elevated from "initiate". To members of these traditions, the reversed pentagram is considered highly positive and has no connection to Satanism. A symbol is simply an image or mark in itself. It is the mind and the beliefs of the beholder which attribute to it a particular meaning.
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Peoples Temple

 referral See this page
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Christian Personal Freedom Outreach (PFO)Off-site Link

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Christian Pfarramt für Sekten- und WeltanschauungsfragenOff-site Link

German language only. "Pastoral ministry for Sects and World Views." Countercult ministry of the Evangelical Church in Berlin-Brandenburg, Germany. Headed by Thomas Gandow. In cooperation with Dialog Center International.
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Pfeffer, Leo

1998 American Humanist Association's Humanist of the Year. Cult apologists often quote Pfeffer's inaccurate statement:

If you believe in it, it is a religion or perhaps the religion;
and if you do not care one way or another about it, it is a sect;
but if you fear and hate it, it is a cult.

Of course, a religion does not stand or fall with whether or not people believe in it. A sect is not identified by whether or not people care or don't care about it. The vast majority of apologists and counter-cult ministers neither fear nor hate cults.
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Phelps, Fred

Pastor of Westboro Baptist Church, a hate group masquerading as a Christian church. For details, see this page.
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Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or Unorthodox Philadelphia Church of God

Splintergroup of the Worldwide Church of God. Adheres to Armstrongism
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Phillips, Randy

President, Promise Keepers
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Philosophy

- Sites -
Christian Evangelical Philosophical SocietyOff-site Link
"The Evangelical Philosophical Society is an organization of professional scholars and laymen devoted to pursuing philosophical excellence for Christ in both the church and the academy. As a part of this pursuit, we seek to offer scholarly, evangelical perspectives on issues relating to the philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, ethics, and issues of general philosophy."
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Pierce, Dr. William

Former American Nazi Party officer. Headed the National Alliance, a hate group. Author of The Turner Diaries, written under the pseudonym Andrew Macdonald. Pierce died on July 23, 2002.
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Ayah Pin

 referral See this page
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AcademicPluralistic The Pluralism ProjectOff-site Link

The Pluralism Project was developed by Diana L. Eck at Harvard University to study and document the growing religious diversity of the United States, with a special view to its new immigrant religious communities.
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Pluralism, Religious

 referral See this page
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Plymouth Brethren

 referral See this page
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Poehlmann, Roger

Member of the San Francisco (International) Church or Christ. Theologically, the ICC is a cult of Christianity. Sociologically, it has many cult characteristics as well. Poehlmann is a lay cult-apologist who has been active in a number of public Usenet groups. Nevertheless, he now claimsOff-site Link not to be a public figure.

See: N-Files Presents: The Poehlmann PageOff-site Link
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Poll, Rich

President of Apologia Report.

- Articles -
Christian Interview with Rich PollOff-site Link Glen Davies, of the Beacom Christian Network, "spoke with Rich Poll about the Apologia Report Website and Issues surrounding apologetics in general. "
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Non-Christian Polygamy

 referral See this page
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Polytheism

A world view. The believe that there are many different deities, both co-equal or in hierarchy.
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Pop Apologetics

Sensationalism and speculation masquerading as apologetics.
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Pop Spirituality

 referral See this page
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Popoff, Peter

The updated entry on Peter Popoff have been moved.
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Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or Unorthodox Positive Confession

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Posse Comitatus

 referral See this page
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Postmodernism

The new way of thinking (as opposed to modernism: the old way of thinking).

Extended Entry See Extended Entry
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Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or Unorthodox Potter's House

Cultic church aka as Victory Chapel, The Door, and Christian Fellowship Churches.

- Articles -
Christian Potter's House: Church or Cult?Off-site Link (CONTRA) An ex-member shares his experiences and conclusion.

- Sites -
Non-Christian Christian Fellowship ChurchesOff-site Link (CONTRA) Rick Ross' extensive collection of articles on this group
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Potter, Harry

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Power Evangelism

Popularized by Francis McNutt, John Wimber, Charles Kraft, etc. Proponents teach that Jesus and the apostles met the needs of people by healing, casting out demons, and even raising the dead, thus interesting people in the Good News. Teaching that the gifts of the SpiritOff-site Link have not ceased (as some claim), they say today's church can be more effective by approaching evangelism the same way Jesus and the apostles did.

Opponents include those who say the gifts have ceased. Others warn that in some movements the emphasis on spiritual gifts - even for the purpose of evangelism - has lead to and attitude of experience over Scripture.

- Books -        Click On Titles To Order At Discount           » More Books
Christian Christianity With PowerOff-site Link Subtitled "Your Worldview and Your Experience of the Supernatural." By Charles H. Kraft
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Christian "Power for Living"

[See updated entry for Power For Living]

In the USA, the Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation regularly spends millions of dollars on TV and magazine ads, offering their free book, "Power for Living." No contributions are solicited or accepted, names of those requesting the book are not added to mailing lists, nothing is being offered for sale, and aside from sending the book no one is contacted. The organization does not grant interviews. This approach has puzzled many, with some wondering whether the book promotes a cult. It doesn't.
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Prabhupada, A.C. Bhaktivedanta

A guru.

Prabhupada was the founder of ISKCON, the International Society of Krishna Consciousness, whose followers are more popularly known as "Hare Krishnas," who can be frequently seen in public, dancing, chanting and begging for money. ISKCON is a Vishnuite sect that makes the Hindu god Krishna the supreme diety.
John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Encyclopedia of New Age BeliefsOff-site Link Harvest House Publishers, Oregon, 1996.
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Prana

Sanskrit for "breath" or "life-force."

Prana is believed to be universal divine energy residing behind the material world (akasa). Prana is said to have five forms, and all energy is thought to be a manifestation of it. Swami Nikhilananada describes it in his Vivekananda - The Yogas and Other Works as "the infinite, omnipresent manifesting power of this universe" (979:592). Perfect control of prana makes one God. One can have "infinite knowledge, infinite power, now"
John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Encyclopedia of New Age BeliefsOff-site Link, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon. 1996. pp 601

The concept of prana is further described as part of this description of the eight limbs of Yoga.
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Prayer Cloth

An item sometimes mailed out by televangelists - primarily those associated with the Word-Faith Movement. They claim that God may provide healing through the prayed-over cloths. They base the practice on this Bible passage:

God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.

Evangelist and Faith Healer Oral Roberts used to mail these cloths imprinted with the following message:

"I prayed over this cloth for God to deliver you--use as a point of contact (Acts 19:11-12). Oral Roberts, Tulsa 2, Okla. It is not necessary to wear the cloth unless you feel you should. It can be used more than once or for more than one person. If you wish to request more, I will be glad to send them to you. The important thing is to use the cloth as a point of contact for the body ... I have prayed over this cloth in the name of Jesus of Nazareth and asked Him to heal you when you apply it to your body."

This practice is often abused by money-hungry "evangelists." For example, in 1992, Marilyn Hickey mailed out prayer cloths that, according to the letter, would only work if returned to her along with a seed-faith offer... According to Hickey, "Receiving follows giving."
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Prayer of Jabez, The

 referral See this page
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Pregnancy

In certain movements, notably those associated with today's renewal and revival movements, "pregnancy" is part of the terminology indicating that - they claim - God is birthing something spiritual in or through them (or a movement, church, denomination, etcetera).

More at birthing
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ChristianAcademic PremiseOff-site Link

Online journal published by Christian Think Tank CAPO Click for more information on this entry
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Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or Unorthodox Price, Frederick

Prominent Word-Faith teacher
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Private Spirituality

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Probe MinistriesOff-site Link

Probe Ministries is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to reclaim the primacy of Christian thought and values in Western culture through media, education, and literature. In seeking to accomplish this mission, Probe provides perspective on the integration of the academic disciplines and historic Christianity.

In addition, Probe acts as a clearing house, communicating the results of its research to the church and society at large."

Probe Ministries
1900 Firman Drive, Suite 100
Richardson, TX 75081
Tel: (972) 480-0240
FAX(972) 644-9664
Email: probe@compuserve.com
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Procter&Gamble

Commercial company falsely accused of supporting the Satanic Church.

NOTE: Recently, a new version of the rumor mentioned has surfaced. This time it is claimed that an unnamed P&G executive appeared on the Sally Jessy Raphael television talk show in March 1998, embracing Satanism. The rumor is false. It is debunked on the home page of the Sally Jessy Raphael ShowOff-site Link (Accessed August 10, 1999), as well as in the site's FAQ section:

Sally listens:
Rumor has it that the president of Proctor and Gamble said that he was associated with the Church of Satan. This show supposedly aired on March 1, 1998. I would appreciate more information if you have any, perhaps a tape of the show if available. If this is a hoax, please let me know.

Sally Sez:
The rumor going around that the president of Procter and Gamble appeared on The Sally Show and announced he was a member of the church of Satan is not true. This a hoax that's been going around in one form or another for the past 20 years...only originally, it concerned the Phil Donahue Show...then evolved to the Jenny Jones Show...and now it's evolved to The Sally Show. The president of Procter and Gamble has NEVER appeared on The Sally Show...NEVER. Nor has any other person in authority at P&G. Any president of a multi-national corporation (including the head of P&G or Liz Claiborne) would be immediately fired by the board of directors if he or she did such a thing. Also, profits from any such corporation go to the stockholders...not a church designated by the president. Do not send money in to get a transcript. We do not provide transcripts or video tapes of our shows to the public. Frankly, this thing has gotten out of hand. If we had this man on our show, and he had said what it's alleged he said, we would have scored a broadcasting scoop and would have trumpeted it to all the newspapers. It would have been to the show's advantage. But there was no scoop, and there were no headlines.
Sally: Frequently Asked QuestionsOff-site Link (Accessed August 10, 1999)

In a letter reprinted on the P&G site, the executive producer of the Sally Jessy Raphael show writes:

There is no truth to the rumor that the CEO of Procter & Gamble appeared on the Sally® Show and embraced satanism. Nothing about this rumor is true. Please do not send any money to the Sally® Show or request a videotape, as this is a complete hoax.

- Articles -
Secular The Facts About Procter & Gamble's TrademarkOff-site Link Procter&Gamble has dedicated an entire page to the rumor. Includes information about the logo, a letter from Phil Donahue, and letters from various religious leaders.

- News Articles Database -
» Database of archived news items
(Includes items added between Oct. 25, 1999 and Jan. 31, 2002. See about this database)

Older items:
(May 16, 1999) Judge Tosses P&G's Lawsuit
(May 12, 1999) Amway Stood To Gain From Rumor
(May 3, 1999) Amway sells Satan rumors, Procter & Gamble claims in court
(May 3, 1999) Federal Trial Opens Against Amway
(Mar. 30, 1999) P&G lawsuit against Amway thrown out
(Mar. 30, 1999) Amway Suit Tossed by Federal Judge

- See Also -
» Amway
» Conspiracy Theories
» Hoaxes
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Project Megiddo

Read the full report here.
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Christian Promise, (Stichting)Off-site Link

Countercult ministry in the Netherlands. (Dutch-language only)

Email: StichtingPromise@compuserve.com
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Pluralistic Promise Keepers

The Promise Keepers entry has been moved.
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Prophecy

 referral See this page
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Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or UnorthodoxGrey Zone, Unsure, or Offkey Prophecy Club, The

A for-profit "ministry" that specializes in conspiracy theories, pop-apologetics, and presumptious prophecy.

The organization's statement of purpose:

The Mission of The Prophecy Club®: To inform Christians of current events that confirm Bible Prophecy, and the evil devices of Satan; To warn Christians that judgment is coming to America; To challenge Christians to stop sinning and turn to Jesus with all their heart; To provide a platform for Christian speakers to be heard.

The Prophecy Club's site states "The Lord started The Prophecy Club® because 'in general' churches will not sound the warning." Describing the benefits of membership, it promises: "As a partaker in the ministry, you become a partaker of the anointing, blessing, and protection that is upon The Prophecy Club®."

People associated with this movement call each other apostles and prophets. They have started to establish so-called city-churches under the guidance of Peter Martinez and Stan Johnson.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) includes The Prophecy Club in its report, "Y2K Paranoia: Extremists Confront the Millennium"Off-site Link:

Members are selling books that warn of a government plan to establish an evil dictatorship and imprison "true believers" in concentration camps.

- See Also -
» Peter Martinez
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Prophet, Elizabeth Clare

Leader, Church Universal and Triumphant. (Retired).

- News Database -   » About this News Archive
(Jan. 2, 1999) New Age Church Leader To Retire
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Prophets

 referral See this page
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Proselytism

Proselytism is the act of encouraging people to convert from one religion, belief or party to another. Also: to make proselytes. In some countries, notably in the Middle East, evangelizing with the aim of getting people to change religions (esp. from, say, Islam or Judaism to Christianity), is discouraged or illegal. Some faiths consider any evangelism by other faiths to be disrespectful. And in today's post-modern society, some people see evangelism as intolerance or even a hate crime.

Sometimes referred to as "sheep stealing"
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Prosperity Teaching

 referral See this page
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Prozac

A drug prescribed by psychiatrist, and maligned (and misrepresented) by the Church of Scientology. See: PROZAC - New directions, Boston Globe, June 11, 2000.
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Pseudo-Christian

Beliefs, practices or movements claimed to be "Christian," but which are actually outside of orthodox Christianity.

See also: Cult - a theologicial definition (Cult of Christianity)
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Psychiatry

Branch of medicine that deals with mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders. Unlike psychologists, psychiatrist can prescribe medicines.

One of the Church of Scientology's favorite targets.

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Psychic

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Psychology

The study of mind and behavior. Unlike psychiatrists, psychologists can not prescribe medicines. Considered by some to be incompatible with Christianity - specifically Christian counseling.

- Sites -
ChristianAcademic Christian Association for Psychologial Studies (CAPS)Off-site Link CAPS is a professional association of Christians who serve as psychologists, marriage & family therapists, professional counselors, pastoral counselors, psychiatrists, professors, researchers, etcetera.
Grey Zone, Unsure, or Offkey Psychoheresy Awareness MinistriesOff-site Link (CONTRA) "Exposing psychoheresy and its increasing stranglehold on the Church."
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PluralisticAcademic Psychology of ReligionOff-site Link

A resource for people interested in psychological aspects of religious belief and behavior.
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