Cults!



Cults are everywhere. Some are mainstream and widely accepted. Others are isolationist and hide from examination at great expense. They are growing and flourishing. Some cause great suffering while others appear very helpful and beneficial. Which ever group it is, the ultimate end is their destruction when the Lord returns to claim His own.

1. What is a cult?

A. Generally, it is a group that is unorthodox, esoteric, and has a devotion to a person, object, or set of new ideas.

1. New Teaching- has a new theology and doctrine.
2. Only True Teaching- often considers traditional religious systems to be apostate and it alone possess the complete truth.
3. Strong Leadership- often an individual or small but powerful leadership group holds control of the group's teachings and practices.
4. Asset Acquirement- often requires tithing and/or property transfer to the religious system.
5. Isolationist- to facilitate control over the members physically, intellectually, financially, and emotionally.
6.Controlling- exercises control over the members. Sometimes this is through fear, threatening lose of salvation if you leave the group. Sometimes through indoctrination.
7.Indoctrination- possesses methods to reinforce the cult's beliefs and standards where opposing views are ridiculed and often misrepresented.
8.Apocalyptic- to give members a future focus and philosophical purpose in avoiding the apocalypse or being delivered through it.
9.Experience- various practices including meditation, repetition of words and/or phrases, and "spiritual" enlightenment with God are used as confirmation of their truth.
i.Depravation- sleep and food deprivation which weakens the will of the subject.
2. This is uncommon, though practiced by more severe cults.
10.Persecution- predictions of being persecuted and often combined with claiming any opposing views demonstrated against them as a form of persecution.

2. Many have a non-verifiable belief system.
For example, they would teach something that cannot be verified.
A space ship behind Hale-Bop Comet.
Or, that God, an alien, or angel appeared to the leader and gave him a revelation
The members are seeded angels from another world, etc.
Often, the philosophy makes sense only if you adobt the full set of values and definitions that it teaches.
With this kind of belief, truth becomes unverifiable, internalized, and easily manipulated through the philosophical systems of its inventor.

3. The Leader of a Cult

1.Often charismatic who is considered very special for varying reasons.
2. The leader has received special revelation from God.
3. The leader claims to be the incarnation of a diety, angel, or special messenger.
4. The leader claims to have special abilities.
5. The leader is often above reproach and is not to be denied or contradicted.

Cult Ethos

1. Usually seek to do good works, otherwise no one would join them.
2. They are usually moral and possess a good standard of ethical teaching.
3. Many times the Bible is used or additional "scriptures" are penned.
4. The Bible, when used, is always distorted with private interpretations.
5. Many cults recruit Jesus as one of their own and redefine Him accordingly.

Cult groups vary greatly.
1. From the aesthetic to the promiscuous.
2. From the esoteric knowledge to very simple teachings.
3. From the rich and powerful to the poor and weak.

Who is vulnerable to joining a cult?

Everyone is vulnerable!

Rich, poor, educated, non-educated, old, young, previously religious, atheistic, etc.

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