Friday, June 09, 2006

Christian countercult movement

The Christian countercult movement, also known as discernment ministries is the collective designation for many mostly unrelated ministries and individual Christians who oppose non-mainstream Christian and non-Christian religious groups, which they often call cults. Motivation for this movement is usually based in doctrinal and theological reasons, and it often with a missionary or apologetic purpose. Protagonists often come from an Evangelical or fundamentalist background, although some are former members of non-mainstream groups. While a considerable proportion of those who identify with the Christian countercult are Protestant Evangelicals, there are also Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Ancient Oriental Orthodox groups critical of cults.

The Christian countercult movement with its emphases on apologetics and evangelism does not constitute the totality of concerns which many Christians have about cult practices. Some Christians share similar concerns to those of the secular anti-cult movement.

Historically, one of the most important protagonists of the movement was Walter Martin (1928-89), whose numerous books include the 1955 The Rise of the Cults: An Introductory Guide to the Non-Christian Cults.


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