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Pastor Warns Christians Against Heresies, Cults, Urging Churches to Raise Congregations' Awareness

Pastor Warns Christians Against Heresies, Cults, Urging Churches to Raise Congregations' Awareness

A cross stands beside a road. A cross stands beside a road.
ByElsie Hu August 19, 2021
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A pastor from East China reminded believers of the damage to orthodox churches caused by heretical cults after the outbreak of COVID-19.

Heavily impacted by the pandemic and unable to hold in-person services, many churches in China held online gatherings, which brought convenience to believers but also gave opportunities to heretics and cults.

As a double-edged sword, the internet can be used by heresy organizations to send the wrong information to Christians with a shallow understanding of the truth. Pretending to be pastors and church staff to care for them, heretics induce believers to leave their churches and enter their organizations in the name of Christians.

Pastor D from East China said that in the first half of 2020, there were three heretical cults who were very active near his church, including Discipleship Homeland (or Menxun Home), the hyper-grace gospel, and Eastern Lightning.

Kan Xiaoyong, the leader of Discipleship Homeland, calling himself Yong Brother or Yong Dad, touts himself as a warrior wearing a military uniform to hack and slay the dragon. Under the guise of healing and releasing, he confuses ignorant believers through visions and dreams. He wants to bring people to himself, not to Christ, by destroying normal churches and building an aerial church.  

When talking about their recruitment strategy, Pastor D said, “The Discipleship Homeland mainly attracts people on the Internet; the people from the hyper-grace gospel often use cars to lure believers to their gathering site; the members of Eastern Lightning hook people on the street with flyers and brochures."

Established on the internet, Discipleship Homeland led believers to persons instead of Christ by spreading false claims online. Pastor D also said that a staff worker was "successfully" lured after coming into contact with this heresy. In addition, several Sunday school teachers from a church were also seduced by them. A female believer from his own church, who was a leader of a group, was enticed to listen to sermons on their online platform but was noticeably changed from the experience after managing to break free.

He explained that the usual routine of Discipleship Homeland was to cast a wide net online, like Satan looking for and devouring lambs who were alone.

Using a very straightforward method, the adherents of that hyper-grace gospel that advocates there is no need to deal with sins that have been forgiven and automatically washed away usually rented a small hotel temporarily for two to three days of study. Later, they set up a group and arranged the compliant members into small groups with a dozen people, holding gatherings in families. Misunderstanding Paul's "righteousness through faith", the believers hold that there are no longer diseases, poverty, and tribulations if they have the correct faith. They also encourage people to boldly declare something with confidence, saying this would become a reality.  

"Eastern Lightning is more secretive." The pastor said, "When our services are over, they gather with around five or six persons, no more than ten people. Not all the members are local, as some are from outside."

Eastern Lightning, also called the Church of Almighty God, was classified as a cult by the government in 1995. Based on Christianity, they proclaim to believe in "the word of Almighty God", which is included in the book The Word Appears in the Flesh as their main missionary book, according to Wikipedia.

He continued, “In May, when the pandemic became not that serious, members from Eastern Lightning distributed pamphlets all over the street, in groups of two or three in an attempt to seduce Christians. Although there were no in-person gatherings in churches, they brought some fruit and snacks to visit the Christians, chatting and listening to their complaints."

"As Christians are very enthusiastic, members of Eastern Lightning say they also have faith and are very ‘enthusiastic’. Becoming familiar with them after a few chats, Christians are taken to their places to meet. "

He shared, "As a pastor, the most distressing thing is to see church members being lured by heretics. However, lacking the teaching of how heretics seduce believers, many churches only dissect the false theology of heretical cults. In order to better protect their members, churches need to think more about how to help believers be aware of heresy."

In recent years, many grassroots churches have issued announcements to remind believers to be vigilant of them, as these three heresies rampantly attack orthodox churches in various places.

-Translated by Abigail Wu

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