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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Sabbath

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Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or Unorthodox Sabellianism

Heretical teaching denying the doctrine of the Trinity

Sabellianism was an attempt to solve the problem of how to accept the deity of Christ and also maintain the unity of God. Sabellians achieved this at the expense of a trinity of persons in the Godhead. They reduced the status of the persons to modes or manifestations of the one God. The term is frequently coupled with the word 'monarchy' to denote the primacy of God as the Father.

The Son and the Holy Spirit are thus revelatory and apparently temporal modes of God the Father's self-revelation...
Dr. Samuel Mikolaski, professor of Historical Theology and Christian Heritage at North American Baptist Seminary, "The New International Dictionary of the Christian ChurchOff-site Link" J.D. Douglas ed., pp.870-871
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Non-Christian Sahaja Yoga

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Sai Baba, Sathya

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Saints Alive in Christ

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Sacred Tribes Journal

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Salad-bar Religion

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Salafi

 referral See this page
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Saliba, John Dr.

Professor of Religious Studies, University of Detroit. Jesuit priest. Considered a "professional referral" by the Scientology-owned CAN.
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Salomon, Gershon

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Salvation

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Sam Hinn Ministries

Ministry founded and led by Benny Hinn's brother. See Sam Hinn
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Samples, Kenneth

Founder and President of Augustine Fellowship Study Center Instructor of Philosophy and Religion at Cerritos College (Cerritos, CA) and College of the Desert (CA). Director of Education at Christ Reformed Church, and also serves on the editorial and communication staff at "Reasons to Believe" (Hugh Ross).

Former researcher with the Christian Research Institute
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Sanford, John and Paula

Major proponents of the popular, but controversial, Inner Healing counseling technique. (Elijah House).
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Sanskrit

Vedic and mantric language.
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Santeria

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Satanism

 referral See this page
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Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA)

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Scheidegger, Martin

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Schlessinger, Dr. Laura

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Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or Unorthodox Schuller, Robert

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Science

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Non-Christian Science of Creative Intelligence

Euphemism for Transcendental Meditation.
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Non-Christian Scientology

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Scism

A division within a religious group, especially one which divides Christians from one another. Adj.: "schismatic."
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.
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Scismatic

See Scism
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Scott, Gene

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"Scripture Twisting Methods of the Cults"Off-site Link

Must-have book by James Sire on how false teachers misuse the Word of God.
See Scripture Twisting Methods of the Cults for an informative summary.
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Secret Sect

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Sect

Ambiguous term. More at sect.

A religious group formed as the result of schism, especially one which is fairly small and of relatively recent origin. Adj.: "sectarian."
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.

In many European countries, the term "sect" is used instead of "cult." Some media outlets also make the substitution.

In turn, sects are sometimes referred to with the more neutral term "New Religious Movements.", or "Minority Religion"

» See also Cults, Sects, Alternative Religious Movements
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Sect Commissioner

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Sect Filter

 referral See this page
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Sectarian

See Sect
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Secticide, LeOff-site Link

Extensive anticult web site, operated by French cult expert Roger Gonnet
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Seed-faith

Prosperity teaching. The Word-Faith teaching that claims to receive anything at all from God, one must first donate money, known as a seed-faith offering.
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Seeker-sensitive Churches

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Non-Christian Self Empowerment Academy

Jasmuheen's Brisbane, Australia organization. See: Breatharianism
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Non-Christian Self-Realization Fellowship

Blends pagan Hinduism and the teachings of Jesus. Founded by Paramahansa Yogananda.

- Articles -

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

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Servetus, Michael

Extended Entry See this page
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Seven Seals, The

The late David Koresh' message.
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Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or Unorthodox Seventh-Day Adventism

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Sex

- Books -        Click On Titles To Order At Discount           » More Books
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Sex Magic

The use of sex (e.g., intercourse -- actual or symbolic) within a ritual or spell-casting session to facilitate or augment the efficacy of a given magical rite. That is, sexual activities are used to accomplish the desired goal of the occultist.
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Shaktipat

"Shakti" is another word for kundalini and "pat" means to descend. Shaktipat is a method by which an individual's kundalini is awakened by the direct intervention of a guru. There are several varieties of shaktipat depending on the facility of the guru and the receptiveness of the disciple.

It is probably not useful to try to resurrect the nine or more classifications of shaktipat used in the classical literature here. Practially speaking shaktipat is known by its results: the awakening of of the student's kundalini.

There are also a variety of mechanisms for conveying shaktipat. These include: by glance, by word or mantra, by touch or simply by intention.
Siddha Mahayoga FAQOff-site Link (Dec. 9, 1999)
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Non-Christian Shakty Pat Gury Foundation

Police on Monday began an autopsy on a 66-year-old man who was found mummified last week in a hotel here, despite adamant protests to call off the examination from cultists who insist the man is still alive.
(...)

Acolytes of Shakty Pat Guru Foundation (SPGF), a philosophy seminar group connected to the self-enlightenment cult known as Life Space, have told police officials that Kobayashi was recovering from treatment performed by the group's guru, Shakty Pat, whose real name is Koji Takahashi. The followers say that conducting an autopsy on Kobayashi would result in his death.
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Shamanism

See updated entry on Shamanism
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Shamblin, Gwen

 referral See this page
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Non-Christian Share InternationalOff-site Link

Benjamin Creme's New Age organization. Teaches that Jesus has returned as Maitreya, the "World Teacher," claims he is "now living among us" and that he will soon be revealed.

Newsletter: Emergence
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Sharia

 referral See this page
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Sharp's Rule

In 1798 Granville Sharp published a book setting forth six rules governing the use of the definite article ("the") in the Greek New Testament. The first of these, known popularly as "Sharp's rule," has rightly been cited in support of understanding Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1 to be calling Jesus "God."
Robert Bowman, in the Summary to Sharp's Rule and Antitrinitarian TheologiesOff-site Link

- Articles -
Christian Sharp's Rule and Antitrinitarian TheologiesOff-site Link A Bicentennial Defense of Granville Sharp's Argument for the Deity of Christ. By Robert M. Bowman, Jr. Includes a complete critique of Greg Stafford's treatment of Sharp's rule in his book "Jehovah's Witnesses Defended".
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Sheep Stealing

Officially: proselytism. The act of trying to recruit members away from other churches, rather than gain members through conversion of the unchurched.
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Shelton, Rick

Pastor, Life Christian Center in St. Louis, MO. Frequently stands in for, and works together with, Rodney Howard-Browne. Known for his extended "pre-sermon" begging sessions, in which he twists and manipulates Bible passages like 1 Cor. 9Off-site Link and Luke 5:1-6 to badger his audience into giving more, more, more... (Example).

Uses the so-called "anointing" to make a public display of people who manifest in various ways.
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Shepherding

Usually heavy-handed discipling in which each person is "shepherded" by someone in "over him". Generally, it calls for unquestioning obedience.

Example: Floyd McClung, when he was a top leader in Youth With A Mission, told people they should obey him even if they thought or knew him to be wrong. He justified this by claiming God would reward people for obeying their leaders. Questioning was seen as a form of "rebellion".
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Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or Unorthodox Shepherd's Rod

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Shermer, Michael

Publisher, Skeptic Magazine

I used to be a born-again Christian. Now you could say I'm a born-again atheist. But they are both articles of faith, so the correct term would be to say that I'm nontheistic, because a belief that there is no God is not the same as to have no belief in God."

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Shi'a

» A branch of Islam. See Extended Entry
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Shi'ittes

Adherents of Shia, a branch of Islam.
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Shinshuren

 referral See this page
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Shouters, The

 referral See this page
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Shunning

 referral See this page
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Shupe, Anson

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Non-Christian Siddha Yoga Dham

Founded by Swami Muktananda
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Signs and Wonders

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Sikhism

 referral See this page
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Silvania

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Secular SIMPOSOff-site Link

Foundation for information on social problems and occult tendencies (Stichting Informatie over Maatschappelijke Problemen rond Occulte Stromingen). Dutch organization of skeptics. Extensive collection of links to information about cults, sects, and occult movements, with a focus on their influence on society. Info in Dutch, English, Bahasa Indonesian, and Swedish.
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Sin

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Sinason, Valerie

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Singer, Margaret Taler (1921 -- 2003)

The entry on cult expert Margaret Singer has been moved.
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Singh, Charan and Sawan

Founders and leaders of Radhoasoami Satsang Beas, a religion based on what is called Surat Shabd Yoga (the yoga of "divine sounds and light"), from which much of the American cult of Eckankar was derived.
John Ankerberg and John Weldon, Encyclopedia of New Age BeliefsOff-site Link Harvest House Publishers, Oregon, 1996.
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Singh, Kirpal

Founder, Rhuani Satsang
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Six-Six-Six

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Secular Skeptical Inquirer, TheOff-site Link

Magazine published by CSICOP (Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal)
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Secular Skeptic MagazineOff-site Link

Published by the Skeptics Society. Lots of good articles, some of which are available online.

Michael Shermer, Publisher
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Secular Skeptic's Dictionary, TheOff-site Link

Hundreds of skeptical definitions, essays and references from acupuncture to zombies.
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Secular Skeptics SocietyOff-site Link

Michael Shermer, Director

The Skeptics Society is a scientific and educational organization of scholars, scientists, historians, magicians, professors and teachers, and anyone curious about controversial ideas, extraordinary claims, revolutionary ideas and the promotion of science.

Publishes Skeptic Magazine.

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Sky Kingdom

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Slain in the Spirit

Also "resting in the Spirit" or in the vernacular of movements like the Toronto Blessing and Pensacola Outpouring "doing carpet time."

This manifestation is promoted especially (but not exclusively) by proponents of some current renewal and revival movements.

In a practice said to have been introduced by Kathryn Kuhlman, people who receive what they consider to tbe a "touch of the Holy Spirit" pass out on the floor, where they are said to "rest in the Spirit." Many people do not pass out completely, but rather "yield" - i.e., they voluntarily fall to the floor.

Churches like the Vineyard Movement, the Toronto Christian Fellowship, and preachers like Benny Hinn say they do not completely understand why people fall "under the power of the Spirit." However, they do claim God can more easily do a work of healing, renewal, and/or impartation while a person "does carpet time".

People who do not fall are sometimes referred to as "HTR" - Hard To Receive.
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Slick, Matt

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Ed Smith

Dr. Ed Smith, is a Christian therapist from Campbellsville, Kentucky, who pioneered TheoPhostic Counseling, basically inner healing in a different jacket.
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Pluralistic Smith, Huston

Author, "The World's Religions." Claims to be a Christian, but is a religious pluralist.

Asked how he maintains his unusual approach to a religious practice, Smith describes a routine that is not typical of a member of the United Methodist Church, which he is. His daily rituals include hatha yoga and reading from the Bhagavad Gita or the Tao Te Ching if not the Bible. He meditates as often as he prays.
(...)

One minute he's reminding you of his graduate student years at the rigorous University of Chicago. The next, he's confessing to a visit with Ramtha, a warrior from the lost continent of Atlantis being channeled through a former cable TV saleswoman in Yelm, Wash.
Explorer of the World's Spirituality, Los Angeles Times, July 21, 1999
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Snake Handling

The practice of handling snakes as a sign of faith, based on an interpretation of Mark 16:18Off-site Link. Practiced mainly by small, fundamentalist Pentecostal churches in Central and Southern Appalachia (USA). Not condoned by mainstream Pentecostal churches nor other denominations).

- News Database -   » About this News Archive
(Oct. 5, 1998) Snakebite kills Tenn. minister
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Non-Christian Society for the Study of Metaphysical ReligionOff-site Link

The Society is concerned with metaphysics both in its traditional philosophical meaning (the study of the basic nature of all reality) and in its popular meaning (whatever is beyond the physical). Sometimes New Thought and other groups that emphasize the power of mind and the reality of more than the physical world are called metaphysics and their practitioners metaphysicians. Any group--whether esoteric, theosophical, New Age, or Christian Science--with such emphases would come within the purview of the Society, but thus far its attention has been concentrated on the New Thought movement, and its annual meetings have been held in conjunction with the annual Expos of the International New Thought Alliance.
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AcademicPluralistic Sociology 257: New Religious MovementsOff-site Link

Course taught by Jeffrey K. Hadden at the University of Virginia. Mr. Hadden says he started the web site as a modest resource for his students, but is has grown into a significant database of information on cults and sects (from a pluralistic, sociological point of view), which are referred to as New Religious Movements. The site includes lecture outlines (some in Powerpoint slide format), and a large and growing collection of Religious Movement information pages - many provided by Mr. Hadden's students. The information provided is of varying quality, and Hadden's strong anti-anticult stance permeates the entire site.

Note: Jeffrey Hadden is listed as a "professional referral" by the Scientology-operated CAN, and is widely considered to be a cult apologist.
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Soka Gakkai International

A Buddhist organization that promotes the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin, founder of Nishiren Shoshu Buddhism - a sect of Buddhism.

Who's got the power in Japan?
Not the PM. It's New Komeito, but voters are deeply suspicious of the party's cult origins and agenda.
(...)

The deep conflict arises from New Komeito's relationship with Soka Gakkai, a giant lay Buddhist organisation dominated by its spiritual leader, Daisaku Ikeda.

Soka Gakkai (the name means Value-Creation Society) was set up by two teachers in the 1920s to further the beliefs of an influential Buddhist sect, Nichiren Shoshu. One of its founders, Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, died in prison during World War II for refusing to bow to state-enforced Shintoism.

But it is a postwar boom that has given Soka Gakkai its clout (and its notoriety). Using the massive funds generated by its 8 million members, mostly housewives and small business people, Ikeda has been able to build Soka Gakkai into a giant global organisation, aimed at ''promoting peace through culture and education''.

The expansion has not done much for its domestic image. Despite its lofty goals, some heavy-handed recruiting tactics in the 1970s and 1980s and its intolerance of criticism have left many Japanese deeply suspicious of the body and its leadership.

''To me, New Komeito is little more than a cult, like Aum [Shrinrikyo, the doomsday organisation behind the 1995 Tokyo subway gassings],'' one conservative voter in central Japan complained during the election campaign.
[...more...]
Who's got the power in Japan?, Sydney Morning Herald, July 1, 2000

- News Articles Database -
» Religion News Blog's news articles on Soka Gakkai
» Database of archived news items
(Includes items added between Oct. 25, 1999 and Jan. 31, 2002. See about this database)

Older item:
(Apr. 24, 1999) Buddhist sect, computer maker share acronym, karma
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• Sites
Secular Jiyuno TorideOff-site Link the home page of the Victims of Soka Gakkai Association.
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Solar Temple

Apologetics Index research resource The Order of the Solar Temple entry was moved over here.
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Solid Rock

 referral See this page
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Solomon's Temple

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Sons of Freedom

Radical sect of the Doukhobor faith

- Official Report -
Secular Righting the Wrong: The Confinement of the Sons of Freedom Doukhobor ChildrenOff-site Link official report by the Ombudsman of British Columbia

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Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or Unorthodox Sons of Light, The

Ronald O'Brien instructs members of his organization, Friends of the Eucharist, to form a religious army, The Sons of Light, and hunker down in northern New Hampshire to defend true Catholicism.
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Sound

Agreeing with and faithful to biblical teaching and to orthodoxy beyond a bare minimum, such that Christians may be encouraged to continue in this way. Contrasted with aberrational, which refers to orthodox teaching or practice which is only barely so. Its opposite, "unsound" may be used to express degrees of deficiency in soundness.
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.
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Southern Poverty Law CenterOff-site Link

US (Montgomery, Alabama) human rights organization that tracks hate groups and their activities.

- 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 13, 1999) Hatemongers of every kind find a ready forum on the Internet
(Feb. 24, 1999) U.S. Group Reports Sharp Rise In Web Hate Sites
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Spiritism

... refers to the practice of attempting communication with departed human or extrahuman intelligences (usually nonphysical) through the agency of a human medium, with the intent of receiving paranormal information and/or having direct experience of metaphysical realities
Channeling: Spiritistic Revelations For The New Age, Elliot Miller. Christian Research Journal, San Juan Capistrano. Vol. 10, No. 2, Fall 1987

"The Bible (...) portrays the practice of spiritism as the direct antithesis of inspired prophecy and Scripture" - Miller, ibid. (see Deuteronomy 18:9-12Off-site Link).

See also: occult
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Spirits, Territorial

A pagan concept that holds certain spirits rule over a geographic area. Promoted by, among others, adherents of Kingdom Now theology. This includes Peter Wagner), many of whose ideas on Spiritual warfare are extra-Biblical or un-Biblical

... some Christians accept the notion of 'territorial spirits' as readily as pagans, the only difference being that they believe that such 'spirits' should be confronted through authoritative prayer and commands issued 'in the Spirit'.
Territorial spiritsOff-site Link by Charles Hoole
- Articles -
Christian Do Demons Have Zip Codes?Off-site Link "The closest things to territorial spirits in the New Testament are angels, not demons." An item in Christianity Today magazine.
Christian Territorial spiritsOff-site Link by Charles Hoole

- See Also -
» Demonology
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Spiritual Abuse

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Christian Spiritual Counterfeits ProjectOff-site Link

The Spiritual Counterfeits Project entry has moved over here.
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Spiritual Gifts

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Spiritual Warfare

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Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or Unorthodox Spoken Word Publications

Publishes the books, tapes and other messages by William Branham
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Non-Christian Spriggs, Elbert Eugene

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SRA

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Non-Christian Sri Aurobindo Association

"a non-profit, tax-exempt organization whose purpose is to assist groups and individuals devoted to the realization of the spiritual vision of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother."

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Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or Unorthodox Stafford, Greg

One of Jehovah's Witnesses. Considered one of today's top Jehovah's Witness apologists (see cult apologists). [Extended entry]
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Stamm, Hugo

Swiss cult expert (anti).
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Christian Stand To ReasonOff-site Link

"Building Christian Thinkers for the Public Defense of the Faith"

Founded by Greg Koukl

P.O. Box 6568
San Pedro, CA 90734
Voice mail (800) 2-REASON
Phone (310) 539-3932
Fax (310) 539-3804
Email: info@str.org
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Statistics

- See Also -
» Trends

- Books -        Click On Titles To Order At Discount           » More Books

When it comes to thinking about statistics, there are four kinds of people: awestruck, naive, cynical, and critical. According to sociologist Joel Best, the vast majority of people are naive (yes, you too probably suffer from a mild case of innumeracy), and the result is mutant statistics, guesswork, and poor policy decisions. ''Bad statistics live on,'' writes Best in this highly accessible book, ''they take on lives of their own.'' (...) In an effort to turn people into critical thinkers, Best presents three questions to ask about all statistics and the four basic sources of bad ones. He shows how good statistics go bad; why comparing statistics from different time periods, groups, etc. is akin to mixing apples and oranges; and why surveys do little to clarify people's feelings about complex social issues.
[...more...]
Amazon.com Review

- Sites -
Secular Adherents.comOff-site Link Private, unaffiliated initiative with a wealth of statistical information:
Adherents.com is a growing collection of over 41,000 adherent statistics and religious geography citations -- references to published membership/adherent statistics and congregation statistics for over 4,000 religions, churches, denominations, religious bodies, faith groups, tribes, cultures, movements, ultimate concerns, etc.

Basically, researchers can use this site to answer such questions as "How many Episcopalians live in South Carolina?", "What are the major religions in Austria?" or "What percentage of the world is Jewish?" We present data from both primary research sources such as government census reports, statistical sampling surveys and organizational reporting, as well as citations from secondary literature which mention adherent statistics.

Adherents.com is an Internet initiative and is not affiliated with any religious, political, educational, or commercial organization.
Adherents.comOff-site Link, Last accessed Feb. 15, 2000

Christian Barna ResearchOff-site Link A marketing research company that provides information and analysis regarding cultural trends and the Christian Church.
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Christian Steve Winter FAQOff-site Link

Frequently Asked Questions about Steve Winter. Read before attempting to engage him in a discussion.
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Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or Unorthodox Stevens, John Robert (1919 - 1983)

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Steward, Don

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Story, Carl E.

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Stratford, Lauren

Pen name of Laurel Rose Willson. Her various life stories, including alleged "Satanic Ritual Abuse"; and having been a Holocaust survivor, have been exposed as hoaxes. "Binjamin Wilkimorski," who claimed to recognize her as a Holocaust survivor, was also exposed as the purveryor of a hoax.

- Articles -
Christian Lauren Stratford Redux: Off-site Link Bob & Gretchen Passantino document "Lauren Stratford'"s latest hoax. From Cornerstone, vol. 117, Oct. 13, 1999
Christian Satanís Sideshow: The True Lauren Stratford StoryOff-site Link by Bob & Gretchen Passantino and Jon Trott. The initial expose from Cornerstone Vol. 18 Iss. 90, 1990
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Strong City

 referral See this page
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Students of the Seven Seals

A splintergroup of Branch Davidians

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"Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, The"Off-site Link

By David Johnson & Jeff VanVonderen. InterVarsity Press, 1992
Christian Summary of the book.Off-site Link

The authors may be contacted at:
Damascus, Inc.
Box 22432
Minneapolis, MN 55422
(612) 537-0217

See also Abuse, Spiritual

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Suborthodox

Less than orthodox, yet not explicitly contrary to orthodoxy.
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.
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Success coaches

 referral See this page
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Success Seminars

- Articles -
Secular Altered StatesOff-site Link Humor columnist Dave Barry Takes A Success Seminar. (As the Chinese say: He who laughs, understands.)
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Sufism

Islamic mystical tradition.

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Suicide Bombers, Islamic

 referral See this page
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Summum

Apologetics Index research resource See our updated entry on Summum.

Described in April, 1999, by the Salt Lake Tribune as "a religion founded more than 20 years ago in Salt Lake City"

Members believe pyramids have the power to channel cosmic energy and support mummification to prepare bodies for the journey through the afterlife. [Source]

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

Older item:
(Apr. 2, 1999) Religious Group Will Get $56,000 From County in Monument Settlement
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Sunderland Christian Centre

Currently called Revival Now! Ministries. Church connected to the Toronto Blessing Movement. Lead by Ken and Lois Gott.
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Sunni

» A branch of Islam. See Extended Entry
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Superior Universal Alignment : Liniamient Universal Superior

 referral See this page
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Supreme Mathematics

The teachings of the Five Percent movement.
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Supreme Truth

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Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or Unorthodox Sword Distributing

Offers the Local Church's collection of books.
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Sword of the Lord

Teaching perculiar to the "Toronto Blessing." See Golden Sword
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Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or Unorthodox Sword, Golden

Frequently mentioned by supporters of certain renewal and revival movements. Most popular among adherents of the Toronto Blessing Movement. From a Jan. 20, 1997 prophecy by Carol Arnott. The prophecy includes the phrase:

In this next wave I am requiring those who take up this golden sword to be refined, to be pure, to have all the dross refined in the fire because if you take this sword and there is secret sin in your life this sword will kill you.

John and Carol Arnott teach that this sword is a new anointing called "The Sword of the Lord." At times, this is also referred to as the "Warrior Anointing." The anointing is accompanied by a manifestation: clasping the hands above the head, as if holding a sword, and then swinging the sword back and forth. Often this manifestation includes roaring and yelling "war cries."

- Articles -
Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or Unorthodox Sword of the Lord Full text of the prophecy, and an eyewitness report of some of the resulting teachings and practices
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Christian Sword of the Lord MinistriesOff-site Link

Despite the name, not related to the "Sword of the Lord" teachings of the Toronto Blessing Movement.

Site by and for ex-members of the Children of God (now known as The Family). Includes articles, message board, chat, and realaudio clips.

Email: sword@excult.org
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Syncretism

A world view. The combination of different forms of belief and/or practice. See also eclecticism, and cafeteria religion.

The combining or merging and synthesizing of religions or religious beliefs, practices, and philosophies. This results in new or hybrid religions that are composed of diverse elements of the religions from which they were derived.
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Synoptic Problem

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AcademicPluralistic Syzygy: Journal of Alternative Religion and CultureOff-site Link

Now defunct "interdisciplinary journal devoted to the study of New Religious Movements (NRMs)." Editor was cult-apologist James R. Lewis. International editor was cult apologist Massimo Introvigne. Associate editors were: Eileen Barker; David G. Bromley; Charles L. Harper; Evelyn Dorothy Oliver; J. Gordon Melton; Susan J. Palmer; Gary Shepherd. The magazine was sponsored by CESNUR and ISAR. Back issues are available.
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