Topic: Don't You Believe It! II - Cults
Series: Chip N' Dale Rescue Rangers
Episode: "The Case Of The Cola Cult"
Lesson PDF link: 3b.pdf
I use the Chip N' Dale episode "The Case Of The Cola Cult". We compare Baal worship to this surprisingly more adult Chip N' Dale episode. In my opinion however (and God's) everyone needs to see this who is open to it. This means maybe the kids who are willing to give it a shot.
Scriptures used include I Kings 18: 16-40 and John 3: 1-21.
What in your opinion is a cult? Why?
According to www.wikipedia.com, under the word 'cult' there are numerous definitions to this word.
The Random House Unabridged Dictionary definitions are:
1. A particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies;
2. An instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers;
3. The object of such devotion;
4. A group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc;
5. Group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols;
6. A religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader;
7. The members of such a religion or sect;
8. Any system for treating human sickness that originated by a person usually claiming to have sole insight into the nature of disease, and that employs methods regarded as unorthodox or unscientific.
The Christian's Take On This Subject:
As one can see, there are numerous dictionary definitions of the word; however, we are focusing on definitions #6, #7, and #8 (We are looking at #8 because we are assuming that sole knowledge of cures like this are unfounded, except for the case of the One True Triune God) for this lesson, because we are studying falsehoods in bad doctrines and their teachers.
We are looking at #'s 2 and 3 because we are looking at the Christian's side of this sticky issue. Because of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we as Christians can easily be mistaken for a false cult. We as Christians know and believe that we don't worship a person, rather we worship God in three forms: Father, Son, And Holy Spirit.
Now, addressing the religions, people, and gods that we are talking about; in the Christian perspective, why do you think that some people might believe in the people and religions that these definitions would apply to?
Cartoon Show: I will now show a surprisingly serious Chip N' Dale episode called "The Case Of The Cola Cult".
Bible Study I: I Kings 18: 16-40
Now, before we get into this Bible passage, we all need to understand that there is a major, severe drought in this land (lasting now for 3 years) because King Ahab and Queen Jezebel have ordered the worship of Baal. Read The Passage. Linking to the cartoon, why are both the cartoon scenario (worship of a cola commercial and Baal worship) bad things? How are they related? Why would someone want to be in a group that worships Baal or the cola commercial?
According to www.wikipedia.com, there are some interesting reasons why people may worship Baal or a cola commercial.
We are going to see an interesting term that needs definition. An 'NRM' is an abbreviation for 'New Religious Movement'.
Theories about the reasons for joining a cult:
Michael Langone gives three different models regarding joining a cult:
"The definitional ambiguity surrounding the term cult has fueled much controversy regarding why people join cults and other unorthodox groups. Three apparently conflicting models attempt to account for conversion to unorthodox groups. The deliberative model, favored by most sociologists and religious scholars, says that people join because of what they think about the group. The psychodynamic model, favored by many mental health professionals with little direct experience with cultists, says that people join because of what the group does for them - namely, fulfill unconscious psychological needs. The thought reform model, favored by many mental health professionals who have worked with large numbers of cultists, says that people join because of what the group does to them - that is, because of a systematic program of psychological manipulation that exploits, rather than fulfills, needs." [Both explanations are often thought to hold relevance and work in tandem.]
According to Gallanter, typical reasons why people join cults include a search for community and a spiritual quest.
Jeffrey Hadden summarizes a lecture entitled "Why Do People Join NRMs?" (a lecture in a series related to the sociology of new religious movements) as follows:
1. Belonging to groups is a natural human activity;
2. People belong to religious groups for essentially the same reasons they belong to other groups;
3. Conversion is generally understood as an emotionally charged experience that leads to a dramatic reorganization of the convert's life;
4. Conversion varies enormously in terms of the intensity of the experience and the degree to which it actually alters the life of the convert;
5. Conversion is one, but not the only reason people join religious groups;
6. Social scientists have offered a number of theories to explain why people join religious groups;
7. Most of these explanations could apply equally well to explain why people join lots of other kinds of groups;
8. No one theory can explain all joinings or conversions;
9. What all of these theories have in common (deprivation theory excluded) is the view that joining or converting is a natural process.
Stark and Bainbridge have questioned the utility of the concept of conversion. They suggest, instead, that the concept of affiliation is a more useful concept for understanding how people join religious groups.
Why did Gadget try to convert to this cult? What would you do if you were in her shoes? Why do you think the prophets of Baal were the prophets of Baal? Do you think that they felt that they needed belonging too or is it something else? Why do you think all of these 'prophets' were slain? For their work in this very false cult, King Ahab and Queen Jezebel were eventually killed. Although we didn't cover the Bible passages here, why do you think they were killed? Do you think that this was just? I know that they both were killed because the 'prophets' wouldn't have declared the True God without seeing. Furthermore they may not have really turned their backs on their god that was proved false. They had to be punished for being the false prophets that they were because of the law of God that they were under. Ahab and Jezebel still didn't really believe and were put to death for their sins as well.
Ever since Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave, we have been and forever will be under God's grace laws and His new covenant. No matter what you have done, you can have God's grace and not his judgment. There is of course grace in the accounts of the Old Testament even here because Israel truly turned back to God and their nation was healed (the rain came and the drought was ended). This is what God's Grace Laws and new covenant states:
Bible Study II: John 3: 1-21
Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, 'Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.' In reply Jesus declared, 'I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.' 'How can a man be born when he is old?' Nicodemus asked. 'Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!' Jesus answered, 'I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.' 'How can this be?' Nicodemus asked. 'You are Israel's teacher,' said Jesus,'and do you not understand these things? I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven, the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.'
God desires our hearts to turn to Him. Why do you think that there is a difference between God's Mosaic Law and God's Grace Laws? Aren't you glad that there is mercy for things that are false in our lives if we only believe in God's one and only begotten Son?
The Mosaic Law of God's wrath or judgment still exists for those who do not believe who Jesus is and in what He did on the cross. God's judgment is coming to false prophets and teachers. So in other words, when a false prophet or teacher comes and teaches in their doctrine, DON'T YOU BELIEVE IT!!!
Final Analysis And Parting Questions:
When we as humans act like Gadget and go after something false, we are selling ourselves out to a possible, if not definite 'Baal' in our own lives. We however as Christians, are not under God's Mosaic Law of judgment. We are under the Laws of His Grace. How can you tell people about Jesus, so all peoples will hear the truth about all the 'Baals' of the world? How can you avoid the false doctrines of this world and have the fullness of Christ in your lives?
I like Gadget's final quote at the end of the cartoon. I will leave you with this:
'Golly, you don't need the Cola Cult as an excuse to get together. As long as you know where you belong, that's what's important!!'
Pray to use this quote for your Christian walk. I know it helps me a lot!! Jesus is TRUE. I belong to Him! That's my testimony! Make it yours!!