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Featured what makes a church/group become a Cult?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Yeshua1, Dec 11, 2020.

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  1. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Just curious as to what doctrines and teachings held would move a church/group into a Cult status?
     
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  2. Lodic

    Lodic Active Member

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    Shortly after my decision to follow Christ, I became involved with The Way International. They had me pretty well brainwashed before a discerning Brother in Christ showed me that they were a cult. Since that time, I've had a special interest in cults. I believe the following are common aspects of cults:
    1) False view of God. Denial of the Trinity. Mormons believe that God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit form a "Council of the Godhead".
    2) False view of Jesus. Mormons believe Jesus is mankind's older spiritual brother. Jehovah's Witnesses maintain that Jesus is a created being (Michael the Archangel).
    3) Works oriented Salvation. Cult members are never sure when they've earned salvation. Christian Science claims that Christ's sacrifice was not sufficient for everyone's salvation.
    4) Extra-Biblical Revelation. Cultists deny the authority of Scripture. Mormons add the Book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrine & Covenants. Jehovah's Witnesses put the Watchtower magazine equal with the Bible. Whenever the Bible contradicts the extra-Biblical source, the Bible is viewed as in error.

    Cults are polarized around someone's interpretation of the Bible and they are characterized by deviation from orthodox Christianity. My apologies for such a lengthy response, but this is obviously such a danger to those who don't know the true Gospel.
     
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  3. kathleenmariekg

    kathleenmariekg Active Member

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    One of my parents was a drug addict and got saved in a cult. This group packed up and moved out into a desert and started a commune, and my parent did not go with them, thankfully. I am slow to label a group a cult, but ... I think ... it best to call this group a cult.

    BUT, this group gave me my parent back. The transformation in the parent was so profound. This parent waffled back and forth from mainstream to fringe churches the rest of my childhood, and I can honestly say that my parent was often more stable in the fringe/cult churches than the mainstream churches. I blame the mainstream churches for leaving this parent and peers desperate enough to keep trying the fringe/cults.

    This group of prodigals and misfits are my childhood heroes. They were crippled by lack of discipleship opportunities. They would sometimes gather together and plan their next move, praying into the next morning, while we children crawled under tables and into corners to sleep where we hoped not to get stepped on. I grew up and started my own searches, altogether three times just losing faith and giving up.

    The third time was the longest time out of the church and the hardest fall. I finally fell low enough to become a prodigal myself. Now I know why they kept searching so hard and never gave up the way that I did. The journey to and back from the pigpen builds faith, and the pigpen prepares you to put up with so much more from the church.

    I have a special place in my heart for the cults. My parent was sober 30 years, before losing faith enough to return to the pigpen. The cults, not the church, gave me a parent, and relieved some of the pressure of me having to parent my siblings before I was even old enough to go to school. My parent found salvation in the cults and met others that were saved there, too.
     
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  4. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    I had my assistant Youth pastor at the University join the Way, as he would bring in tapes to have us listen to while meeting after church in lunch cafeteria. Ended up being confronted by the Youth and senior pastor, and left angry!
     
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  5. MB

    MB Well-Known Member

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    Can it really be called a cult if they led your parent to Christ?. To me a cult is with out Christ as it's head, Or a false Christ such as the Branch Dividians. JW"s reject the deity of Christ. Mormons believe they will be there own Christ or God. To me a cult is an organization that rejects God and His Son. The Catholic church is a cult because they have replaced God with a man called Pope he is there holy father.
    MB
     
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  6. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    What about a church like Church off Christ that states one must be water baptized to get saved?
     
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  7. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Legalism.
    Each and every instance is legalism. Something must be added to redemption which an unsaved person must will themselves to do in order to be redeemed.
     
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  8. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Would you see one must tithe, must be water baptized, must be separate etc as all examples of that?
     
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  9. kathleenmariekg

    kathleenmariekg Active Member

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    I think God is big, and reaches seekers in the darkest corners of the earth, no matter what their leaders are professing at the time. Some groups change over time: fringe/cults are not the most consistent groups in their teachings.
     
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  10. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Also think that some group such as Mormons do not offer salivation, but can offer "clean lives"
     
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  11. kathleenmariekg

    kathleenmariekg Active Member

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    I think there are Christians in Mormon groups that lead others to Christ. I have seen it with my own eyes.
     
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  12. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    There are saved among Sda, Mormons, Catholic, but they need to get out!
     
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  13. kathleenmariekg

    kathleenmariekg Active Member

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    God sometimes leaves people in places longer than we think He should. We are children; He is the Father. We think trapped within the small context of children; He thinks within the context of all his attributes that are uniquely His and that we do not share.
     
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  14. kathleenmariekg

    kathleenmariekg Active Member

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    Before I lost my faith, I prayed to be "useful". That is a far more dangerous prayer than for "patience". "Useful" can get you landed and trapped in a place that others think you should vacate immediately.
     
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  15. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Where would we find this thought in the Bible? I am not saying you are wrong or right, I just wonder where that idea might be expressed in the Bible.
     
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  16. MB

    MB Well-Known Member

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    I lived in mount pleasant Utah for about 6 months in a motel. At the time I was working for an oil company. The owner of the motel had three wives the youngest about 14 years old he was in his 50's is that really clean living?
    MB
     
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  17. kathleenmariekg

    kathleenmariekg Active Member

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    Maybe there is not a scripture to back up everything and maybe it is not cultish to know something anyway. I am responsible for my own walk and to answer to the Father, even when my siblings think I am wrong. Losing my faith was partly wrapped up in just that. If I did not have the skills to "prove" something to their satisfaction, then I was forbidden to do it. I walked away partly to survive. I had no faith and was dying, literally, from following rules that I no longer believed.

    Sometimes there was a scripture, and I just didn't know it yet. Sometimes I knew a scripture, but I had been taught it out of context. It is Baptist theology, that I was not taught in Baptist churches, that explained some of my "lack of scripture". When I sobbed to Baptist pastors about my struggles, they withheld that theology and did not even offer it as a possibility to explain my struggles.

    My faith is now bigger than my current ability to prove everything with scripture. Like we see the effects of the wind, we know some things, even without the facts to prove it.
     
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  18. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    How can anyone argue against feelings? If we feel a certain way it must be true.
     
  19. kathleenmariekg

    kathleenmariekg Active Member

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    Not always. I know that. I do. But ... I have been harmed in the past, unnecessarily, because I hurt myself to follow scripture that never said what I was told it said.
     
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  20. Marooncat79

    Marooncat79 Well-Known Member
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    Come on Austin

    Our feelings would never lie to us Hahaha.
     
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