All Bible based cults depart in some significant way from orthodox Christian doctrine found in the confessions of faith of most Protestant denominations.
2. CTMI distort the true Christian gospel away from the finished work of Christ and replace it with a gospel of works – “Take up your cross, deny yourself and develop a pure heart”. This self crucifixion they call “this gospel of the cross”
“We have seen many people who have taken on the burden of trying to die daily. They become preoccupied with themselves, always looking to see if something needs to be denied or fixed. Verses like 1 Cor 15: 31 “I die daily” and Matthew 16:24 – “let him deny himself and take up his cross” have been misused in order to place a performance weight on people in the name of self-denial. This usually turns out to be an attempt to get followers to take up the agenda of leadership. The Christian life does not begin and continue with this kind of self denial… It is only available on the basis of the cross of Christ. If that cross is not our cross, if our own cross (behaviours and denials) is what we bear, we are in deep trouble. (“The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse” – Johnson and Van Vonderen – Pg 87)
We agree! The “deep trouble” of a false gospel!
3. CTMI undermine the authority of the bible by emphasizing experiential inner revelation. This throw back to the heresy of Gnosticism allows unverified “revelations” and “seeing in the spirit” to lead followers astray.
In a chapter entitled Abuse and Scripture the authors of “The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse” lay a foundation by observing that most abusive churches have a low view of scripture. Instead of verse by verse “expository preaching”, leaders use scripture to “power posture” for themselves – repeatedly using “proof texts” (usually out of context) to cause religious performance on the part of members which then proves that they and their theology are right. (Wow! Uncanny insight! How often does Miki use “changed lives” to prove his “apostolic anointing and revelation of this gospel”? It’s his standard defence!) “Because this is the method the leaders use, it is the method the followers learn to use. Consequently there is little if any opportunity to become capable of “rightly dividing the word of truth”. (Pg 83)
4. CTMI further undermine the authority of the bible by giving one man too much authority – “Apostolic Anointing”. The bible is clear – there were only 12 especially gifted Apostles who had to have seen the risen Christ. Even the true Apostles strongly resisted any form of “hero worship”. Yet here, a false apostle is treated with adulation amazement and awe. “The Father in the house who brings order..”; “We have what you do not have – apostolic anointing and revelation”; treated with special food at conferences and demand the main bedroom when staying with others!!
5. CTMI undermine God’s institution of the family and, like most cults, twist the scripture “I have come to bring a sword in families”
6. Regularly make sweeping allegations against “the church today”. We agree that discernment is necessary. It is true that there are many unhealthy churches out there. However, when the Apostles wrote the New Testament, they were very specific about doctrinal and behavioural error and used scripture itself to prove it. And their motive was NEVER to have one church believing they were the only ones with the truth with all the rest “fallen”, “diseased”, “having no power”, “full of heresy”, “weak” etc. Small wonder our family members smugly look down on us with spiritual pride and pity. “You may be believers BUT God has so much more for you…..”; “There may be others like us but we havent found them yet..”
We regularly listen to CTMI sermons. In almost every case there will be broad unspecific reference to how bad other churches are and to “take up your cross” self denial being the better way of CTMI. When members keep hearing this with unquestioning awe (look at the audience faces regularly featured in the video clips) at every meeting and conference – the natural outcome is the cultish attitude of “we are the only right ones”.