Articles in this Issue
The editor's point of view...
Lambert writes: “China has been experiencing a major revival of religious faith…at the same time there has been an upsurge in cults, many of them quite bizarre.” He traces a brief history of China’s cults and then deals with how a cult is defined in China. He goes on to look at the difficulties that emerge when applying unclear and subjective definitions of what constitutes a cult and concludes with an overview of Eastern Lightning.
The author takes an in-depth look at Almighty God Church (formerly Eastern Lightning) and its impact on China’s house churches. He looks at early house church responses to this cult as it began infiltrating congregations as well as later responses as it became a greater problem. Yu shares with us a portion of the biblical Christology he developed to refute the erroneous teachings of this group.
How can a cult be identified? This article alerts the reader to characteristics that can serve as warnings for the possible need to make a further examination of a church or group. It discusses specific issues related to authority and exclusivity, control and submission, secrecy and darkness, and abnormal changes in goals and conduct.
View From the Wall
The authors did a field study of The Church of Almighty God over several years. In their report they include excerpts from the writings of the “female Christ” found in The Scroll That the Lamb Opened. There are also quotes from several individuals they interviewed who had dealt directly with the cult. They conclude with comments regarding churches adopting either an “open or closed” policy.
Peoples of China
The author provides a brief overview of ten cults active in today’s China. First, he gives the cult’s name and any additional names it is known by. Next, he identifies the founder and any leaders giving a brief summary of their backgrounds. Finally, he discusses areas of concern including major points at which the cult’s teachings diverge from those of orthodox Christianity.
Geisler and Rhodes provide a valuable reference tool for anyone looking for help in refuting various false teachings. After discussing the definition of a cult, they give an overview of the doctrinal, sociological, and moral characteristics of cults. To untwist a Scriptural interpretation, they supply a Scripture reference that raises an important question, an explanation of the common misinterpretation of the passage, and an explanation of the correct interpretation.
Church of the Almighty God (Eastern Lightning)
A Mandarin Language PowerPoint Course
Image Credit: ShanghaiDaily
Brent Fulton is the founder of ChinaSource. Dr. Fulton served as the first president of ChinaSource until 2019. Prior to his service with ChinaSource, he served from 1995 to 2000 as the managing director of the Institute for Chinese Studies at Wheaton College. From 1987 to 1995 he served as founding …View Full Bio