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Christian “Phishing” Scams

You’ve heard of phishing, in which you receive a legitimate appearing email from a company claiming that your account has been compromised, or that you’ve won something.  For verification, they ask you to supply your account number, password, or other personal information.  If you do, you’re committing financial “suicide,” because you’ve just been scammed.

In the same way, there are “Christian” phishing scams.  The bait seems legitimate, but once you start to nibble, you’re committing spiritual “suicide.”  One of these “Christian” phishing scams is that of Ronald Dart and his “Born to Win” radio program, which “can be heard on over one hundred radio stations across the nation.”

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Part of the phishing bait is packaged in the form of comments such as this one on the "Born to Win" website: “People around the world have come to appreciate Ron’s easy style, his non-combative approach to explaining the Bible, and the personal, almost one-on-one method of explaining what’s going on in the world in the light of the Bible. People say they get hooked on Ron’s depth of insight into the Bible and appreciate the unique gift for clarity and simplicity that enable him to hold an audience.”

What he has to say is indeed easy to read and often contains truth. It really is easy to get “hooked.”  But hidden in that truth are the barbs of falsehood.  If you weren’t paying close attention, or didn’t know your Bible very well, this statement by Mr. Dart might not stand out: “...besides all that, the Holy Spirit is not something other than God.  It is the power of God, the breath of God.  The mind of the spirit is the mind of God.  When the Holy Spirit acts, it is God who is acting.”  If you dig deeper, you will read statements such as these:

He [God] dwells in us by His Spirit.  This is not to say that the Holy Spirit is a third person, a third mind.  The Holy Spirit is the spiritual presence, activity, power, and influence of God in the natural world.

The New Testament scriptures that tell us that there are two who are called God.

...you wonder how anyone could have imagined God as a Trinity.
At this point, you’ve hopefully recognized the scam and won’t take the bait - this guy is an anti-Trinitarian!  But many people don’t recognize it, and instead are ensnared. Unless you’re looking for it, Mr. Dart’s anti-Trinitarian doctrine is often difficult to pick out, disguised in more insidious quotes like the first one above, rather than the more obvious last three quotes.  Plus there is no statement of faith on either Mr. Dart’s personal website, or on the "Born to Win" website, which should alert the reader that something may be amiss.

The Christian Church has battled Ron Dart’s type of heresy, and other similar heresies, from the beginning of the Church.  The Church has responded to these heresies through creeds, such as the Athanasian Creed, in which the true biblical doctrine of the Trinity is proclaimed, and those who reject it are condemned.

Mr. Dart was originally a disciple of Herbert W. Armstrong and the cult he created, the Worldwide Church of God. While the Worldwide Church of God has subsequently repented of it’s heretical views and become an orthodox Christian denomination, the same can not be said for Mr. Dart, and by extension his ministry, Christian Educational Ministries, and the "Born to Win" radio program.

Mr. Dart rejects the Trinity, instead believing god is a family composed of a Father and a Son.  The Father will have more sons (believers) who will also be like him.  To quote Mr. Dart, “...it is possible for man to become God.”  He also denies the bodily resurrection of Christ, and believes Jesus rose in a spirit body.  He believes that no one goes to heaven immediately after death because he rejects the eternality of the soul, he denies the existence of hell, and contends that unbelievers will be given a  chance to repent at the resurrection.  There are few Christian fundamentals that he leaves untouched.

The "Born to Win" radio program airs on several Christian radio networks, though it is not Christian.  Many people “let their guard down” when they’re listening to “Christian” broadcasting, which could be a fatal mistake.  Mr. Dart, and those like him, “...are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.  It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness.  Their end will be what their actions deserve” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).  “The devil is in the details” is an apt phrase here, literally.

If "Born to Win" airs on a Christian radio network near you, drop them a line requesting they remove "Born to Win" from their programming, so that no one else will be deceived.  And as always, stay alert!


Written by Scott Diekmann

www.soundwitness.org

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For further reading:

Ronald L. Dart’s Anti-Trinitarian Teaching
http://www.soundwitness.org/evangel/ronald_dart_anti-trinitarian.htm

James Kieferdorf’s description of Ronald Dart’s theology:
http://www.cephas-library.com/worldwidechurchofgod/wwchurchofgod_A Detailed Description of Ronald Darts Born To Win Theology.html

Articles written by Ronald L. Dart describing his “family of god”:
“Knowing God: Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit”
http://www.abcog.org/lesson4.htm

“Does God our Father beget us as god-level beings?”
http://www.abcog.org/family.htm

http://www.borntowin.net/newsite/
http://www.rondart.com/