When I was in grade school, I watched a movie I probably shouldn’t have been watching called The Ninth Gate. The movie is about a man who is looking for a rare book that supposedly can instruct him to open “the ninth gate” which leads to hell or summons the devil or something like that. There are only three copies of the book and the main character is tasked with determining which is the authentic copy. Spoiler alert—the whole point of this post requires be to spoil it, so fair warning. It turns out that authentic pages are scattered throughout the three copies and the “magic” requires all three copies.
I know, you’re wondering
- Why would I watch such a movie?
- Why am I bringing it up?
- What does it have to do with this blog?
I think denominations are like the books the main character inspects. No denomination has it 100% right and even some of the more “out there” denominations have some truth that other denominations may not have.
This topic really could be expanded to all the denominations but when it hit me, I really started thinking of the more controversial groups. People are quick to dismiss any and everything to do with these groups and often they are looked at as cults. However if you study their doctrine (without becoming affiliated with the group), you’ll find that there are some unique doctrines for these groups that are actually Biblical. As such, the groups listed here are a bit of a hot-topic. In the table below I’m only listing one example and when I do in-depth discussion on each group we’ll get deeper in to these topics. This is just an overview.
Note, some of these groups might consider themselves Christian while members of other denominations may reject labeling them as Christians. Some of these groups may reject the label of Christian on their own. But I include them because they use the Bible as the foundation for their doctrine.
✅ Something They Get Right
❌ Something They Get Wrong
Black Hebrew Israelites
Torah based/focused; the Jews very well could have fled into Egypt/Africa after the siege on the Temple and members of the African diaspora in the Americas could be their descendants
They think only blood descendants can be saved
Church of Latter Day Saints
Though not ideal, polygamy is accepted in the Bible
The Book of Mormon
They don’t celebrate Christmas because it’s pagan
They think only 144,000 people will be saved, total
Seventh Day Adventists
Sabbath; the dietary law is still in effect
Focus on EGW’s writings
References & Footnotes
- I am aware that both the LDS and the SDAs would argue that they do not hold any writings higher than the Bible. Having interacted with and attended SDA churches, I would argue there is a bit of cognitive dissonance and indoctrination in that claim.