Cults

Two filmstrip offerings that every church should acquire are produced by Personal Freedom Outreach (Box 26062, St. Louis, Mo. 63136). They mark an impressive new approach to dealing with cults.

Mormonism: The Christian View is a carefully researched, engrossing presentation of Mormonism’s history, doctrines, claims to authority, failed prophecies, evolution, and missionary methods. The major contradictions within these categories are made more glaring with photographs of primary documents. A concluding segment outlines how to witness to Mormons.

The filmstrip is greatly strengthened by use of photographs of Mormon places and parchments, and the doubtful history of Joseph Smith and later leaders.

The gently persuasive narrative rings with knowledgeable conviction, and reminds the viewer that redemption resides in Christ. The producer might well have avoided opening with unnecessarily sinister music, and closing with cheerfully triumphant music.

Of course, it is impossible to include everything in such an ambitious program. The section on failed prophecies emphasizes that the temple to be built at “Zion” in Independence, Missouri, in the first generation of Mormons, overlooks the fact that the land on which this temple is to be built is now owned by splinter groups—vitiating to some extent the reason.

This fascinating production is well done, and tasteful; Wesley P. Walters, researcher and narrator, is to be commended. The absence of adequate script and additional program notes reduces the total usefulness, however.

A similar format surveys the Jehovah’s Witnesses: The Christian View, but the cult as a target is not so thoroughly shot down. Though the history of Jehovah’s Witnesses reveals a number of inconsistencies, their ...

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