Cults and World Religions

When encountering other religions or cults, it can be difficult to share Christ with people of religious backgrounds effectively. It is important to understand shared language and differing beliefs.
November 26, 2023

The Question: Have you had gospel conversations with people of other beliefs?  

Understanding Cults and Other Religions? 

  • Having a basic understanding of other religions is important. (1 Peter 3:15)
  • A Cult is any religious group that differs significantly in one or more respects as to belief or practice from those religious groups that are regarded as normative. 
  • It is possible for cults and other religions to say the same word but have completely different meanings. 

Key Differences in Cults and World Religions

Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society 

  • Believe Jesus is not God; he is the first and only direct creation of God. 
  • The second coming of Jesus was an invisible spiritual presence that began in 1914. 
  • The dead only exist in God’s memory. 

Christian Science

  • Jesus is not God. 
  • Scripture is not inerrant. 
  • Sin, death, and evil do not exist. 
  • There is no literal, physical existence of the material universe. 

Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints (Mormonism)

  • 3 Sacred books in addition to the Bible: The Book of Mormon, Doctrine of Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price. 
  • The earth is one of several inhabited planets ruled over by gods and goddesses, who were at one time polytheistic. 
  • The trinity is 3 gods born in different times and places. 
  • Humankind is the same species as God. 


  • Salvation is called Nirvana and is based upon following the Middle Path and 4 Noble Truths. 
  • Nirvana is a cosmic consciousness of a non personal essence called the void. 
  • Suffering comes from a focus on self. 


  • Also known as eastern religions because there is no single Hindu idea of God. 
  • Karma is the debt of one’s bad actions. 
  • Hinduism denies the Trinity, the deity of Christ, sin, and salvation by Jesus Christ. 
  • Hinduism replaces resurrection with reincarnation, and grace and faith with works. 


  • Allah is paramount: He is the true god. Mohammed is his chief prophet. 
  • Jesus was not the Son of God, just a spiritual guide. 
  • The Qur’an is the perfect word of Allah. 

Witnessing To Cults and Other Religions

  • Understand that all cultic belief systems manifest intolerance for any position but their own. 
  • Become a source of neutral, objective data. 
    • Ask Questions
  • Communicative love and sincerity to those in isolation from the Christina Gospel.
  • Remember: The goal is to share Christ, not win an argument. 
Cult Term Cult Definition Christian Definition
Mormonism God many gods one God
Jehovah’s Witnesses Jesus Christ Not god, created by Jehovah God the Son, Creator of all
Christian Science Sin Illusion, error, not real Disobedience to God
New Age Salvation Becoming one with the universe/ God Reconciliation with God by means of Christs’ atonement. 


But in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.
– 1 Peter 3:15