Guidelines for Witnessing to the Cultist

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Guidelines for Witnessing to the Cultist
by Grady L. Davis, MDiv, PhD
and Rickard (Ari) Levitt-Sawyer, ThM, ThD, DMin  [SOURCE]

Note: This document was originally prepared as a handout for courses that were taught either in a Christian seminary or in Christian churches. The vocabulary is therefore primarily geared toward that specific audience. Since Messianic Judaism as a group has no formal, detailed doctrinal position, it is difficult to speak about cults from a purely “Messianic Jewish” perspective.

“… but treat the Messiah as holy, as Lord in your hearts, while remaining always ready to give a reasoned answer to anyone who asks you to explain the hope you have in you - yet with humility and fear” (1Pet. 3:15, CJB)

Pray

Before you are ready to effectively witness to cult members, be sure that you have spent much time in prayer. Become a man or woman of prayer, so that you may be praying effectively all the while you are witnessing. Pray for the guidance and direction of Ruach HaKodesh [the Holy Spirit]; pray for Him to open the ears and heart of the person to whom you are witnessing. You can not, of your own, witness to a cult member; Ruach HaKodesh will have to do it through you.

Pray for your protection from the Enemy. HaSatan does not want you to tell his children the Truth, and will actively come against you. Be sure that you are continually clothed In the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:10-18).

Be able to tell the cultist of the wonderful privilege and practice you have of being able to immediately enter into conversation and fellowship with God at any time and in any place.

Study Your Bible

Before you attempt to witness specifically to a cult member, be thoroughly familiar with the essentials of historic Biblical doctrine, and be able to use your Bible effectively to prove each point by showing chapter and verse. As an absolute minimum, you need to be able to effectively use your Bible to describe and support the Bible doctrines of:[1]

 • The attributes of God: one God in three Persons, invisible, infinite, eternal, unchangeable, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, perfect, etc.

 • The Person and work of Yeshua HaMashiach [“Jesus Christ”]: eternal and perfect deity (possessing all the attributes of God from eternity past through eternity future), perfect humanity, virgin birth, sinless life, vicarious death, bodily resurrection, bodily ascension and glorification, imminent bodily return, present work, future reign, etc.

 • The nature of man: created (not evolved) in the image God to be perfect, fell from that state through willful disobedience to God, now sinful in his very nature, totally depraved (unable to contribute anything at to his own salvation), and destined for damnation and eternal conscious punishment, etc.

 • The requirements of atonement: God Himself became the Man Yeshua, offering Himself as a sacrifice for payment in full of the debt man owes to God for his sinfulness; He offers salvation as a free gift from God; no one can earn it or contribute to it in any way — it must be accepted as a free gift; it is received by faith, and by faith alone; etc.

 • The source of revelation: God is the final authority for all Bible-believing life. The sixty-six books of the so-called “Protestant Canon” contain all of the information that God intends man to know about Himself and His plan, therefore, no other religious writings or supposed revelations (whether they are received through prophecy, angelic visitation, or any other means) are to be accepted as divinely inspired or authoritative.

NEVER, never, never be guilty of trying to witness to a cult member by saying, “Well ... somewhere in the Bible it says [for example] ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son ...’” If you’re going to witness to a cult member,

 • Open your Bible and turn to John 3:16;

 • Turn your Bible around so the person can read the page;

 • Point to John 3:16;

  • Say “Right here it says, ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.’”

If you don’t have your Bible with you, and you try to use it as your “sword” (as Rav Sha'ul [Paul] calls it in Ephesians 6:17), then you leave yourself wide open for all sorts of rebuttal and arguments, because the cultist can then always say, “Well, where in the Bible does it say that?”

You can always respond, “In John 3:16,” but you have not necessarily demonstrated adequately to the cultist that you are not wrong, or worse yet, simply making it up.

The cultists who are in the door-to-door witnessing business, like the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, are trained to witness from a carefully-planned script. They are not trained to know their Bibles (obviously, or they wouldn’t be cultists), nor are they trained to enter into any discussion that deviates from that prepared script. If you ask any questions or interrupt, they become confused and have to start all over.

By knowing your Bible and using it effectively, you will gain the respect of the cultist by demonstrating that you know more about your “religion”[2] than he knows about his. He will be at least subconsciously comparing your ability to discuss your “religion” with the ability of his teacher, and if you compare favorably, then you will have immediately gained a certain measure of credibility.

Listen

Listen attentively to the cultist; listen to everything he or she has to say. Listen appreciatively; don't just listen to be nice. Listen with an appreciative ear, even though you’re not going to believe what they tell you. If you listen to them, then you have left the door open for them to listen to you.

Never Argue

There are some who will want you to argue with them, because no matter what you say, you’re wrong. And they know what to tell you to prove that you’re wrong, and they know where to find it in the Bible or in their own religious writings.

An argument never settled anything positively for the Lord.

Since you have listened attentively to their position without argument, they owe you the same courtesy, and they have been trained to know it.

Love the Person

The cult member is one of God’s creatures. He or she is a human being for whom Messiah died, and is therefore of the utmost value to the Lord. This is a potential disciple of the Lord; confused at the moment, but capable of reaching out and accepting the free gift of salvation, just like you did.

Hate what he says, but love the person as one of God’s created beings, and a potential brother or sister in the Lord.

Share the Love of God

Even though you may not have had a turn to talk, or even if you have had a turn to talk and share, share the love that you have in God through Messiah, and the personal experience that you have through Messiah in prayer … daily … at any time.

You can tell them, “I can drop on my knees right now and talk with my heavenly Father.”

The cults can’t do this. Most of the cults think that God created the universe, wound it up, and is sitting over on a cloud watching it go … is not interested in us at all. Their God is an impersonal God who is unreachable and unknowable, while the true God is personal, both reachable and knowable.

Share with them the joy you have in Messiah. If you are not ready to share your joy in Messiah, it is far better that you say nothing at all!

If you are depressed, and cannot share the joy that you have in Messiah, simply be quite. If you display depression, they will come at you with arms open, to welcome you into their fellowship — because, after all, they have the answer!

Leave the Door Open

If you have done all these things, and find that you are out of time, be sure to set up the opportunity to continue the “dialog” (cultists love to “dialog”) at a later time and place. Be sure to end the conversation with a comment like, “Paul, let’s talk again.”

Perhaps the next time you meet, you will be able to effectively share your faith and lead him or her into a saving knowledge of Yeshua HaMashiach.

_______________

   1. This brief outline of doctrine is not intended in any way to be conclusive. Each believer must be knowledgeable in the area of historical Christian doctrine, and should be thoroughly familiar with the doctrinal statement of his or her own assembly. [RETURN]]

   2. True Biblical Faith is unique among all the “religions” of the world, in that it is not a religion ” it is a relationship. [RETURN]

Page last updated on Monday, 30 November 2015 11:34 AM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes after May 3, 2015 are identified as "Revisions”)