Though this may be surprising to many Christians, Burnham explains that a simple analysis of the standard evangelical definition of a cult readily shows that Christ and his followers were cultists. For example:
--Early Christians honored and respected a man, Jesus Christ. Extreme devotion was given to him and his sayings.And the list goes on. The leaders of S.A.T.A.N. point out that while most of the New Testament must now be rejected for its cult-like teachings and for being "new scripture," Ephesians 2:8 remains in force, as do several other verses from Paul, but even Paul appears to have taught unsound cultist doctrines and to have been guilty of many doctrinal errors contrary to the accepted norms of historical Christianity (i.e., Christianity since the time of Martin Luther).
--Early Christians introduced new books of scripture. Though the analysis is not yet complete, most of the books of the New Testament that S.A.T.A.N. has examined so far appear to have been introduced as new scripture.
--Early Christians did not accept the standard doctrine of the Trinity, but believed that Christ had a body (see the end of Luke 24) or that God and Christ could were separate beings (e.g., Acts 7:55,56).
--Early Christians did not believe in salvation through faith alone. In fact, the only place in the New Testament that mentions "faith alone" or "faith only" is a verse that explicitly denies the accepted Protestant doctrine of salvation by faith alone (James 2:24).
--Christ and his followers taught that men must "keep the commandments" to be saved (e.g., Matthew 19:17).
--Followers of Christ were asked to make substantial financial sacrifices for the "cause."
--Accepted religious leaders of the day condemned the movement as being a fringe group outside normative religion.
--Its leaders were convicted of serious crimes and often executed for these by the authorized legal powers of the day.
--Early Christians claimed to have apostles and prophets among them with special power from God.
"Having to condemn Christ and his earliest followers as non-Christian cultists was certainly a surprise, but it was the only intellectual honest thing to do in our spirit-breathed battle against cults like the Mormons," said the somewhat chagrined Daemon Guy.