A Cult or a False Church?

Is the Coptic Orthodox Church a cult?

This is a Reformed Blog and so obviously, you will find a Reformed position outlined here. In Evangelical and Reformed circles historically, the word “cult” has denoted groups, organizations and churches that deny the catholic (or universal) creeds of the church concerning the full humanity and deity of Jesus Christ and the Holy Trinity – there is one God, eternally existent in three Divine Persons who are co-equal and co-eternal; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The Protestant Reformers would not use the word “cult” to refer to the Roman Catholic Church because unlike the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and groups like them, the RCC does indeed affirm orthodox doctrine on the essentials mentioned above.

However, it must be said that no true Christianity can exist without the Gospel. The entire New Testament book of Galatians affirms this. Therefore, despite their orthodoxy on the doctrine of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Reformers would declare Rome to be a “false church” because of its strong denial and pronouncement of an anathema (eternal curse) on anyone who believes sola fide (justification by faith alone), which is of course, the very heart of the gospel of grace – justification being “the article upon which the church stands or falls” (Luther).

Let me therefore answer your question with a question – what is the official position of the Coptic Orthodox Church concerning the doctrines of the full humanity and full deity of Christ, the Trinity and justification by faith alone? Answer this clearly from their official documents, affirmations and declarations and you will have your answer. More than that, what is true concerning the Coptic Orthodox Church is true for any group or Church?