It is an unorthodox false religion devoted to a person, idea or thing. It can be worldwide like the Watchtower Society and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or as small and intimate as a “family” group.
Cult members follow only their own unique leadership and all their organizational teachings are mandatory for everybody. They engage in psychological and sociological manipulation and control. The Biblically illiterate are prime candidates for accepting the deceptive teachings of cults.
What Does a High-demand, Authoritarian Religious Group Look Like?
- Highly structured life style, clone-like in nature.
- Isolated from outsiders and often cut off from family and friends.
- Intense proselytizers who give an appearance of being angels of light.
- Opposing views are not tolerated. Doubting or questioning organizational “truth” is considered evil, demonic and prideful.
- Organizational works and absolute obedience is exhausting and never totally attainable. Members never feel they have done enough.
- Members demonstrate a false or temporary joy underplayed with fear that is not easily detected by outsiders.
- Their truth is truth, the only truth! Never question it! Their unity is a sick, extreme uniformity.
- Their teachings are extreme, their burdens are heavy, their rules are unending and they have no real joy, peace nor assurance.
- They give new members a false sense of community and love. There is no dignified way to leave a cult. Their love is conditional upon a member’s obedience.
Why Should Christians Pay Attention to These Groups?
Because Jesus told us to watch out for false prophets! (Matthew 7:15-23)
Because Paul warned us that some would come and try to deceive us preaching a different Jesus, a different spirit, and a different gospel. (2 Corinthians 11:3, 4)
Because Paul also warned that a time would come when men would not put up with sound doctrine. (2 Timothy 4:2-5)
Because Peter told us to always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have. (1 Peter 3:15)
Because Jesus’ last words were “Be witnesses of Me.”(Acts 1:8)