THE CRISIS OF DISCERNMENT IN AFRICA
Cultic groups are multiplying and growing throughout Africa. Indigenous sects and extremist charismatic groups are operating almost unchecked—and doing tremendous harm. Making matters worse, a majority of pastors are severely underinformed and underequipped for the task of discernment and defending their flocks.
Most Christians in Africa don't know where to turn for help in defending their faith. Indeed, most countries have no single source or reference point on cults, aberrant Christian movements, and non-Christian religions—no credible Christian agency to provide them with reliable facts, balanced biblical assessments, or evangelistic strategies.
OUR RESPONSE TO THIS CHALLENGE
By God's grace, we've established Africa Centre for Apologetics Research to respond to the challenge of cults and aberrant Christian movements. ACFAR is providing Christians with the resources and training they need to effectively defend their faith and reach out to the lost with the gospel.
ACFAR's mission is rooted in Jesus' "Great Commission" of Matthew 28, in which He commands His followers to disciple the nations. Biblical discipleship involves bringing believers to spiritual maturity and unity, and in this we must follow the example of the apostles.
Our emphasis is threefold:
First, we are tasked with equipping God's people for discernment—that is, helping them distinguish scripturally between truth and error, good and evil, darkness and light—and, very often, in the words of Charles Spurgeon, to know the crucial difference "between right and almost right" that is so often exploited by cults and false teachers. Spiritual counterfeits thrive in the absence of "the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil" (Hebrews 5:14).
Second, we seek to train believers for the defence of the faith "once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3-4). This command requires us to "earnestly contend" for that faith in the face of opposition—not with human "weapons of mass destruction," but simply and reasonably, with sincerity and zeal, humbly speaking the truth that God has revealed by His Spirit in the Holy Scriptures. Titus 1 especially requires pastors-who are the first line of defence against error-to "hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that [they] can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it."
Third, we seek to mobilize Christians for the neglected but essential task of cult evangelism. This means compassionately helping men, women, and children entrapped in cultic groups to know Jesus Christ as the true and living God, and to grasp the hope that only He can offer them!
ACFAR engages a network of churches, likeminded ministries, and individual Christians to provide believers with the tools they need. By God's grace, we are pursuing this work through research on cultic movements, through radio ministry, and by producing and distributing innovative, practical resources to meet the widespread hunger for answers.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
We hope you will pray with us and for us, and join hands with us as we seek to fulfill the Great Commission's call to discipleship by raising up not just converts, but capable Christians who can confidently "Test everything. Hold on to the good. [and] Avoid every kind of evil" (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22).
We also encourage you to prayerfully consider becoming a financial partner of the Center's work. See our donate page for more information.
ACFAR MINISTRY BROCHURE
ACFAR coordinator Rodgers Atwebembeire teaching pastors in Kenya
The Growing Challenge of the Cults