Some people don’t believe in the Bible because they think that people use it to justify bad things that they do. Let’s look at one of the more famous cults, Jim Jones and The People’s Temple. My source is Wikipedia.
909 members of The People’s Temple committed suicide in Jonestown, Guyana (South America) in 1978. Their leader, Jim Jones was a charismatic leader who advocated social change. He helped to racially integrate churches and other institutions and businesses, and gained political support in Indianapolis and San Francisco.
Jones embraced Communism early in his life, and built Jonestown in the 1970s as a ‘socialist paradise’. In the early 1970s, Jones began deriding traditional Christianity, rejecting the Bible, and claiming that he was the reincarnation of Jesus, Mahatma Gandhi, Buddha and Lenin.
In November 1978, U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan led a mission to Jonestown to investigate allegations of human rights abuses. Ryan and some members of his party were killed by Jones’ guards. Jones preached to his followers that intelligence organizations were conspiring against them.
Later that same day 909 inhabitants of Jonestown, 303 of them children, died of apparent cyanide poisoning by drinking laced juice drink. It’s hard to understand why so many people could be influenced into committing suicide in such a way, but they were influenced over time by a charismatic, paranoid leader in an isolated environment.
Many followers and political leaders thought of Jones as a good person who did many good things in his lifetime, but he grew increasingly paranoid and his message grew increasingly contradictory to the Bible.
If you research about cults, their leaders usually twist the Bible to serve their own purposes. The truth of the Bible should not be judged according to the actions or teaching of such people.
If anyone makes a claim about the Bible that doesn’t sound right, you should check it out, with the guidance of knowledgeable resources, including pastors, churches, articles, books, commentaries, radio programs, etc. But the best way I can think of to determine the truth of the Bible is to read it for yourself.
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