SHARE Mgr Michael Buckley's concern about the growth of the cults in this country and the threat which they present to parents, and their children who have become involved.
A book was published this year and favourably reviewed in the Catholic press a few weeks ago. "The Challenge of the Cults" by Canon Dr Maurice Burrell has produced a most readable study of seven major cults. including the Moonies and the Divine Light Mission.
According to Moon's teaching Jesus was afailure because he died on the Cross. Another messiah was therefore needed to complete his work, and he is called 'The Lord of the Second Advent' with his base in Korea! Quite clearly the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity is rejected and likewise the atoning sacrifice of Calvary.
Dr Burrell is consistent throughout in his approach, his standard of cornparison being belief in a personal God. the witness of the New Testament, and the Incarnation and Trinity.
This is a book which should be in the hands of parish priests, RE teachers and interested parents alike.
Significantly there were no blurring of distinctions when the early Church wrestled with cultic challenges. not least from the gnostics. The result of such encounters led to the formation of the New Testament Canon and the historic creeds which enshrine the truths of our redemption.
Likewise there can be no diminution of truth in the face of those groups which confront us today.
Dr Burrell has given us a fair and objective study, and also challenges us to look closely at our own beliefs so that we may more easily distinguish them from those groups who use elements of Christian terminology, yet mean something quite different.
The book is published by the InterVarsity Press, and can be obtained direct from 38 De Montfort Street, Leicester at £1.60.
What are we doing in our schools to help young people towards a proper understanding of the cults? There should surely be a place in the RE syllabus for this.
Peter Hart (Former Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies, Kingston Polytechnic) Kent