During my years in evangelistic work, I have encountered many cultists and false prophets, at first I tried to show them the way of salvation. But I soon learned to heed Jesus words of leaving them alone, and letting the blind lead the blind, so that they both fall into a ditch.
Nevertheless I thought it wise to warn you of the arguments and tactics used by them. This is done as a precautionary measure, so that you will not be taken in by their trickery and deceit. It is not meant as an endorsement of their tactics. Some cultists have years of experience and can expertly use these techniques and variations on them.
Here is a small list I have gathered, from the encounters I had; I am sure there are more.
The favorite of cultists everywhere is this.
If you believe the Bible then, you should believe my interpretation of it.
Example: "If you disagree with this, then you really don't believe the Bible."
Explanation: He is wrongly equating his beliefs with biblical truth, and expects that to in order to prove that you believe the Bible, then you have to agree with him.
Answer: Throw the ball back at him. "Your interpretation is what I don't believe, for it contradicts what the Bible actually says."
Some cultists will emphasize how their beliefs are held by a majority of the religious world.
Example: "All major denominations believe in X doctrine, why don't you?"
Explanation: He is trying to persuade you by using group pressure
Answer: "We do not go with the majority; the majority can and has been wrong in the past."
Some Cultists emphasize how their beliefs were preached by great men of the past.
Example: "The great preacher X and also Y taught his doctrine."
Explanation: He is trying to persuade you using the fame of great men.
Answer: "Those men were just men and not God; they could be mistaken just like any other men."
Some cultists will try to insinuate that you are deluded
Example: "If you don't believe what I tell you, it is because Satan has blinded your mind."
Explanation: This is an old trick trying to turn the tables on you, that salvation can come only by believing them.
Answer: Turn the tables back on him. "Maybe Satan has blinded you, and you don't know it."
Some cultists will try to insinuate that you are not spiritual enough to accept their doctrines.
Example: "If you don't believe my doctrine it is because you are not yet ready."
Explanation: This is an old trick used on children to dare them to do a grown up thing.
Answer: "I am always ready to believe the Bible, but never will I be ready to accept a lie."
Some cultists will try to intimidate you through fear
Example: "If you don't believe what I tell you, some awful thing may happen to you."
Explanation: This is an old fear trick, often used by insurance salesman.
Answer: "We do not walk in fear but in confidence in Jesus Christ."
Some cultists will give you false choices, making you choose between A or B or even C.
Example: "You have to believe that Jesus was only a man, an Angel or just a prophet."
Explanation: Do not fall for these selective choices, he is trying to steer you toward either his beliefs or to a dead end.
Answer: "I refuse to accept your choices, I believe X"
Some cultists will pretend that your beliefs are silly and ridiculous.
Example: "Come on you are just nitpicking over some minor issue."
Explanation: He is just trying to weaken your resolve to defend your doctrine.
Answer: "You may think this belief is not important, but if it is in the Bible then it is important"
Some cultists will build a straw man of your beliefs, and then proceed to tear it down.
Example: "Your doctrine of X is ridiculous for this reason."
Explanation: He doesn't really know what you believe; he only knows what he is been taught about your beliefs.
Answer: "The way you explain it, indeed it does look ridiculous, but that is not what I believe"
Some cultists will wrongly exaggerate the consequences of following your beliefs.
Example: "If we need to follow the Ten Commandments, then pretty soon we will have start sacrificing goats and rams."
Explanation: He is trying to imply that your beliefs will lead back to the ceremonial Law.
Answer: "That is as silly as saying that believing in the cross will make us request crucifixion for ourselves." Explain that A does not cause B to happen.
Some cultists will sometimes appeal to your nobility, by emphasizing how they are sacrificing their time to bring you this truth.
Example: "I spend all day witnessing, because I love you, and I am willing to sacrifice my time for you."
Explanation: He is trying to make you feel sympathy for him, which makes you more willing to accept his lies.
Answer: "The fact that some are willing to make great sacrifices for their religion does not automatically confers truth.", " People sacrificed their children to pagan gods, yet their sacrifice did not make their religion any less false"
Some cultists will say many things, which you have to agree with. After you both agree with many beliefs, the cultists know it will be harder for you to disagree.
Example: "All men should seek God. People should read the Bible, God has a church, we are the church, you need to join our church"
Explanation: He is leading you to a trap; by feeding you bread crumbs of truth.
Answer: Refuse to play his game, and instead ask "Ok, so there are certain things we can agree to, that does not mean I have to agree with you in everything. And why should I have to agree with you, instead of you with me?"
Some cultists will resort to associating your beliefs, with extremists, or known false teachers.
Example: "Since you believe in miracles healing, then "False Prophet X " must be one of your leaders."
Explanation: He is trying to throw you off balance, by trying to entangle your beliefs with someone else's
Answer: "I do not answer for X person, Let us not worry about him, but lets us go back to our original discussion."
A cultist will tell you that since you believe A, then you also must believe B.
Example: "Since you believe the Old Testament is true, then you should obey the Old Testament ordinances."
Explanation: He is trying to connect your doctrine to some absurd doctrine.
Answer: "I believe the Old Testament is true in regard to content, but not as a covenant to keep" Just because you believe A, it does not follow that you have to believe B
Some cultists, who don't even know you, will attack your character.
Example: "God cannot bless you with this revelation because you are hiding sin in your heart, or are stubborn and un-teachable."
Explanation: The cultist resorts to attacking you, so that in order to prove your character you must agree with him.
Answer: "Whether I have sin in my heart that is for God to decide, we are not discussing me but this doctrine" Ignore his attacks, do not try to defend your character, and instead concentrate on the discussion.
Some older cultists will make mention of their time serving the Lord.
Example: "I have served the Lord for X years"
Explanation: He is using his seniority to try to intimidate you, by making you feel inferior to him.
Answer: "A person can grow old believing a lie", " A false belief is false, regardless of how many years it is believed". Just remember and maybe quote this scripture, Psalm 119:100 " I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts"
Some cultists will claim to have superior knowledge
Example: "I have gone to X theological school"
Explanation: He is trying to make you feel ignorant, and him superior, if you don't have an inferiority complex, you won't fall for this one.
Answer: The Pharisees were masters of the law, yet were ignorant of salvation.
Some cultists will claim to belong to a special group of God's anointed
Example: "Our group loves one another, we have true unity"
Explanation: He is trying to entice you to join a special elite team
Answer: "I am sure your group has unity or is special, but that does not mean you have the truth."
Some cultists will claim to have some sort of secret knowledge, which only their group has access to.
Example: "After you obey our commandments, then we will teach more great things."
Explanation: He is trying to appeal to your curiosity.
Answer: "Jesus never taught anything in secret, if it is not in the Bible, then I am not interested."
Sometimes cultists will abruptly change subjects.
Example: "Well, what about doctrine Z"
Explanation: He could be throwing you off balance, or He is against a corner, so instead of admitting defeat or answering your question he will change the subject. You can either go for the kill by hammering on the original subject, or you can end this discussion here.
Answer: "Come on let us not deviate from the original discussion", or “Since you have run out of arguments let us end the discussion here."