The Bible constantly declares that all humanity is imprisoned not only under the penalty for sin-death-but also under the power of sin-enslavement. We suffer both the penalty and the power. That is, we human beings are unable to extradite ourselves from sin. Sin has power over us. Our imprisonment is effective because it leaves us with only one alternative: If we want to be forgiven and freed from the penalty and the power of sin, we must accept God's mercy.
The grace of God is essentially the gift of righteousness -- right standing before God -- and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Not only are these gifts, but they are also unmerited gifts.
Justification, as it applies to what God has done for us in Christ, is simply this: an act of God whereby the believer in Jesus Christ is declared absolutely righteous and acceptable before God through the shed blood of Jesus.
There is so much teaching out there that either asserts or implies that if you are not sanctified you cannot continue to be justified! The Bible teaches the exact opposite -- that without justification you can never be sanctified.
The Bible teaches that Christians are to apply scriptural principles of discernment regarding beliefs, teachings and actions. Discernment is the act or process of exhibiting keen insight and good judgment. In other words, discernment is the ability to judge well. Yet many Christians are confused when it comes to the Bible’s teachings regarding judging.
Faith healing refers to healing that occurs supernaturally, as the result of prayer rather than the use of medicines or the involvement of physicians or other conventional medical care. But some churches and movements twist the Bible's teachings regarding faith healing -- often with deadly results.
In 1981 Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh spent $5.75 million on a remote piece of property in Oregon and invested millions more to build Rajneeshpuram as a spiritual retreat for thousands of his red-frocked followers. A few years later some of his followers were convicted of infecting salad bars with Salmonella, as well as other crimes: arson, wiretapping, immigration fraud, election fraud and attempted murder.
Deprogramming refers to a process that reverses alleged brainwashing.
"I used to be a deluded, ignorant, and hateful Christian like you until I learned to be better than you!" This is the essence of personal testimonies (variously called “deconversion stories,” “ex-timonies,” or “anti-testimonies”) given by people who claim to have de-converted in some way from orthodox, Evangelical Christianity.
J. Gordon Melton is an American religious scholar who is known for his defense of various cults. While there is no doubt that Melton is an expert at gathering and organizing research data, many cult experts believe he does a poor job at interpreting that data.