My Goal is not to declare "I'm right" or that I have
everything perfectly. The goal is to set out a standard that must be
followed as part of the agreed upon rules by those who wish to play
in the same sandbox. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure
out that people disagree. For instance people disagree on how to
baptize people, sprinkling or emersion, how do we come to a
consensus or can we agree to disagree with out dividing. People
obviously demand they divide because it goes against "their
conscience", yet the truth is the form of baptism is a secondary
issue, How a person is baptized does not determine if they are saved
or not and should not be a point of division, yet those who do
create division, the very idea of what God hates in the Body of
Christ, or church.
At what point do we divide?
In the Early church the Fathers battled it out with the "heretics " about what is the true gospel and what one must believe in order to be saved and to be called a true Christian. The made a formal statment called the Nicene Creed which establishes the essentials of what one must believe to be a Christian:
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made. Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end. And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets. And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.
Every cult and false church deviates from this basic established truths. Many cults are defined as cults and not true Christian church because they believe Jesus was created and not divine. The Nicene creed establishes that Christ is equal in nature to God and is divine, fully God.
Among those who agree on these essential still have disagreements about the fine points. Such as the Idea there is only one true church and that is the Catholic church. Yet catholic which means, universal, conveys the idea that all Christians are a part of one body of Christ, one church. While Catholics have held to the dea you have to be in the Catholic church to be in the true church. All other churches are not true Christian churches. BUT this stance has been fading away now that the Catholic church has recognized that other churches are also a part of the Body of Christ and can not be denied.
So how do we prove when someone is really right or really wrong?
When we approach the Bible to understand it there are two standard basic presuppositions that people take. (1) It is the word of God, infallible in the sense that it was inspired by the Holy Spirit through men, who did not make mistakes as they were led to write by the Holy Spirit. (2) It is to be understood primarily as literal in nature and not "spiritual", which implies you must look past the words and find the true meaning from a spiritual sense. The rules of Hermeneutics is what guide our interpretation of the Bible. When a person violates these rules of communication they create contradictions and problems.