I received an email that asked me to look at the Christian Family Fellowship group out of Tipp City, Ohio. I did. The Christian Family Fellowship is another non-Christian cult spreading in the already cult-saturated landscape of America. Their website can be found at www.cffm.org. Unfortunately, the group is growing with fellowships in other states. I do not know how large the membership is, but it appears to be in the thousands. This group appears to be an offshoot of The Way International, a decidedly non-Christian cult since it denies the deity of Jesus.
The Christian Family Fellowship Ministry describes itself as a "studying, teaching, and fellowship ministry." It says, "Our purpose is to study and search the scriptures to understand their accuracy regarding Jesus Christ, who is 'the way, the truth, and the life.'" This sounds good on the surface. But, when you dig into the site, you discover some serious problems.
The Christian Family Fellowship denies the doctrine of the Trinity. On their website is an article written by a Rev. Jeff Rath (August 1998) titled, "The Historical background of the Trinity."1 In it Rev. Rath states, "The trinity originated with Babylon." He then goes on to attack the doctrine as an unbiblical teaching. He also states, "This polytheistic (believing in more than one god) trinitarianism was intertwined with Greek religion and philosophy." This is a misrepresentation of the doctrine of the Trinity which is decidedly not polytheistic; it is monotheistic.
Nevertheless, this does not stop Rev. Rath from trying to build a case in support of his false presupposition. Rev. Rath proceeds to quote early Christian creeds out of their context and sets them against each other in an attempt to make his case against Trinitarianism. Additionally, Mr. Rath even quotes Arius of Alexander, a false teacher of the early church, and Victor Paul Weirwille, founder of the cult, The Way International, who also denied the Trinity and deity of Christ. He cites numerous "scholars" and various works but none of his quotes contain any page numbers so they can be verified. He concludes his paper by stating, "In our day and time the doctrine of the Trinity is a cornerstone of idolatry."
Elsewhere, in the same paper, Rev. Rath quotes an Anthony Buzzard who says, ". . . we shall find not a hint that Jesus believed himself to be an uncreated being who had existed from eternity. Matthew and Luke trace the origin of Jesus to a special act of creation by God when the Messiah's conception took place in the womb of Mary." Rev. Rath then says, "Arius and his followers believed that Jesus Christ was created, that he was not in the beginning with God. They believed that he had a beginning, whereas God has no beginning. This makes Jesus Christ substantially different from God, which means he cannot be of one substance with God as the Trinitarians believe."
Without a doubt, the Christian Family Fellowship ministry denies the deity of Christ. This fact alone makes this group a non-Christian cult.
Also, I concluded from reading through the site that the CFFM considers the Holy Spirit to be a force like radar or electricity, and not a person. This would be consistent with their denial of the Trinity and the deity of Christ. Of course, in so doing they err by not affirming that the Holy Spirit speaks (Acts 13:2), has a will (1 Cor. 12:11), loves (Rom. 15:30), and can be grieved (Eph. 4:30). Certainly, a force cannot speak, have a will, love, or be grieved. For more information on this issue, please go to the Holy Spirit on CARM.
A summarized list of doctrines held by the Christian Family Fellowship, extracted from its site and other sites it promotes, are:
- The Trinity is false.
- Jesus is a created being.
- Jesus will return.
- Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary.
- The Holy Spirit is a force.
- The dead are not conscious.
- Speaking in tongues is a manifestation of being a "believer."
- The devil is real.
- Hell is merely the grave.
Defense of the Trinity
The Trinity is indeed a biblical teaching. If you'd like more information on this please go to Trinity and What is the Trinity to learn more. But, for a few verses here, please consider the following:
|FATHER||SON||THE HOLY SPIRIT|
|Called God||Phil. 1:2||John 1:1,14; Col. 2:9||Acts 5:3-4|
|Creator||Is 64:8;44:24||John 1:3;
|Job 33:4; 26:13|
|Indwells||2 Cor. 6:16||Col. 1:27||John 14:17|
|All knowing||1 John 3:20||John 16:30; 21:17||1 Cor. 2:10-11|
|A Will||Luke 22:42||Luke 22:42||1 Cor. 12:11|
|Speaks||Matt. 3:17||Luke 5:20; 7:48||Acts 8:29; 13:2|
|Love||John 3:16||Eph. 5:25||Rom. 15:30|
If Jesus is not God, then explain:
- How was it possible for Jesus to know all things, (John 21:17)?
- How can Jesus know all men (John 16:30)?
- How can Jesus, the Christ, dwell in you (Col. 1:27)?
- How can Jesus be the exact representation of the Nature of God (Heb. 1:3)?
- How can He be our only Lord and Master (Jude 4)?
- How can Jesus be called the Mighty God (Isaiah 9:6) if there is only one God in existence (Isaiah 44:6-8; 45:5)?
- How was Jesus able to raise Himself from the dead (John 2:19-21)?
- How can Jesus create all things (Col. 1:16-17), yet it is God who created all things by Himself (Isaiah 44:24)?
- Why was Jesus worshiped (Matt. 2:2; 14:33; 28:9; John 9:35-38; Heb. 1:6). when He says to worship God only (Matt. 4:10)? (same Greek word for worship is used in each place.)
- Then why did Jesus claim the divine name, "I AM" for Himself in John 8:58? (see Exodus 3:14.)
Jesus said, "Unless you believe that I AM, you will die in your sins," (John 8:24).2 The Christian Family Fellowship Ministry denies the true Christ and thus has a false faith in a created being. Faith is only as good as who you put it in.
Though this paper is brief, it should serve as a proclamation that the Christian Family Fellowship is not Christian at all. It is a non-Christian cult.
Follow-up note, 7/14/01: since the release of this paper, I have received numerous emails from members of the Christian Family Fellowship. Each of them was very condemning of my paper. No problem. I expect that. However, several of them told me that the Trinity was a doctrine of three separate gods and then proceeded to refute the three-god idea. This tells me that leaders who are teaching them are teaching the wrong thing about what the Trinity really is. Often, in cults, the teachers misrepresent the truth in order to make their own teachings sound better. Incidentally, not one respondent answered any of the questions about Jesus being God in this paper.
- 1. www.cffm.org/teachings/trinity.shtml
- 2. The word "He" is not in the Greek Manuscripts. Furthermore, only 24 verses later, Jesus said, "Before Abraham was, I AM," (John 8:58). If you look at Exodus 3:14 where God says to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you,' then you can easily see that Jesus claimed to be God in flesh.