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Featured What is the Draw of Cults?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by thatbrian, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    Those looking at cults from a distance can see the deception and control going on so easily, but those on the inside simply can't.

    What is the draw? Why are people attracted to the heavily controlled environments in which cults thrive? I can't understand why someone would want to live that way. Dietary restrictions, special days. . . Why would someone submit to that?
     
  2. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    I feel people submit to the authority of cults because there are usually measurable means to evaluate my own "righteousness" in a cult. My attendance, doing certain rituals, giving a certain amount, etc. Are all ways to determine if I'm doing enough to earn favor with "God". Not to mention, it inflates my ego knowing I'm the correct group and everyone else has it wrong. And because what they usually teach is not purely the Truth of God's Word, I feel comfortable attaining knowledge without any really transformation. Just some thoughts.
     
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  3. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member
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    Could pinpoint what you consider a cult is? In addition to religious... could it be clubs, could it be political?
     
  4. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    I think you are right. That has to be at least part of it. There are two ways to distance yourself from God. You can do it overtly or covertly. You can, like the Prodigal, spend your life on wine women and song. Or, like the Elder Brother, you can perform religious activities to keep Him at bay.

    Most Christians don't understand the Sin of the elder brother. When they think of sin they think of the prodigal. They think of "sins". That's why they can't see the damnable Sin in the smiling Mormon, or the idolatrous SDA member. They see apparent law-keepers, as in the elder brother, but they can see that their outward "righteousness" is designed and practiced to keep themselves from God.

    False religion (which can even be practiced within the walls of Evangelical churches) is a way in which the rebel keeps control of his own life by law-keeping. Like the Pharisee before him, the self-righteous ticks all of the boxes as he imagines himself worthy by doing so.

    The gospel is the only cure for Sin, but cults have no gospel. They have special diets; special underwear, special days of the week. . . but they have no gospel.
     
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  5. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    Webster’s Dictionary by Random House: cult n. 1. a particular system of religious worship, especially. with reference to its rites and ceremonies. 2. a. a group that devotes itself to or venerates a person, ideal, fad, etc.

    Yes, I think that there are secular cults, but they are not the subject of this thread.
     
  6. Rob_BW

    Rob_BW Well-Known Member
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    A hint of gnosticism. The desire to attain secret knowledge, that only the cult allegedly knows.
     
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  7. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    I guess so, but people are willing to trade their freedom for that???
     
  8. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    They are just going from one slave owner to another.
     
  9. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    Wonder how many 'fill the bill' as described below? Wandering, lost sheep with no place to go?:

    2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, even to the shepherds, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Woe unto the shepherds [Matthew 23] of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the sheep?
    3 Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill the fatlings; but ye feed not the sheep.
    4 The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought back that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with rigor have ye ruled over them.
    5 And they were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and they became food to all the beasts of the field, and were scattered.
    6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my sheep were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and there was none that did search or seek after them.
    7 Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of Jehovah:
    8 As I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, surely forasmuch as my sheep became a prey, and my sheep became food to all the beasts of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my sheep, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my sheep; Ezek 34

    Wonder who the Lord's going to judge? The sheep that were driven away or those that drove them away?
     
  10. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    Some are deceived, but some have their eyes wide open, and yet do the unthinkable following after cult leaders.
     
  11. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    You make an interesting point.

    James 3 speaks to this and most people stop at "Be not many masters..." James then speaks of the tongue and if we are not careful, we miss the fact he speaks on the realities of the tongue "Leading people astray."

    Our Lord Jesus speaks to this as well (In several places) and one of my favorite passages is Matthew 9:
    36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

    Now, the passage you quote has significance in its original context: Babylonian Captivity. The Question is, do we want to spiritualize this passage and depart from the historical-grammatical hermeneutic and apply it to cult members and their leaders?
     
  12. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    Bingo. Different subjects. Look at what the NT says about false teachers and those who enable and create them. It's the sheep who seek out false teachers to tickle their ears.
     
  13. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    True Brian and as you well know they may have a "gospel" which they are able to bring into a close concordance to the everlasting gospel.
    The give away is at least one requirement above and beyond the gospel always dictated by a departed human being which of course nullifies the true gospel.


    HankD
     
  14. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    Yes. The gospel is not the gospel if it is not the pure gospel. Cults, such as the SDA, distort it just enough to make it unable to save, but not enough for the undiscerning to see counterfeit for what it is.

    Examining any group for orthodoxy is a simple examining its gospel. Where this task becomes tricky is that cults often have practices which negate their faith-statements. In other words, they may soun very close to orthodox on an official document but the experience of the person in the pew is another story all together.
     
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  15. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    I agree. I got my oil changed a while back and i asked the service tech if he were to die today, would he go to heaven or hell. And he said, "I hope heaven." And i asked, "What are you basing your hope on?" And he said, "I keep the Ten commandments and try to do good." I asked if he went to church anywhere and he proudly said, "I am a Seventh Day Adventist." I felt the spiritual warfare and tension immediately.
     
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  16. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    Thanks! That sums it up. His answer reveals the "gospel" of the SDA.

    This also demonstrates that official statements of doctrine from the SDA are meaningless in determining the "functional" doctrines of the SDA. Dis the guy at the oil change place get his ideas from the official doctrinal statement of the SDA, or from his pastor, week after week?

    The SDA proclaims a "gospel" of works; therefore, it is not to be numbered with Christian denominations. It is to be avoided.
     
  17. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Adonia

    Adonia Well-Known Member
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    Ah, the Grand Inquisitor strikes again! But anyway, here are some major cult leaders. Pick one and follow, there are plenty out there - all under the umbrella of one major cult.


    Martin Luther

    John Wycliffe

    John Hus

    Huldrych Zwigli

    William Tyndale

    John Calvin

    John Smyth

    All are part of the cult of Protestantism. Yes indeed, why are people drawn to this major cult?
     
    #18 Adonia, Feb 14, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
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  19. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    Which one of those gentlemen that you have mentioned had extra-biblical revelation?
     
  20. Adonia

    Adonia Well-Known Member
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    Oh they used the Bible all right, they just came up with their own interpretation of it, even differing from one another right from the get go from Luther,s initial pronouncements.
     
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