In this blog I want to deal specifically with Christian cults that are under the direction of one charismatic leader. Usually this type of leader has absolute authority and is not subject to any board members, trustees or directors. These charismatic leaders give the notion that they are God’s chosen one to bring God’s people into the ultimate truth. Their organization is formed around some type of doctrine that is different from orthodox Christianity and they present this truth as the God given revelation where all other truth is formed. Much of what they present is based upon biblical truth but the control around this type of teaching is what defines this type of organization as a cult because it takes away your power to choose in hearing God for yourself.
Life is full of challenges and life proves things that are true and things that are not. Ironically the proving is sometimes detrimental to us in a negative way. When you question the leaders of the cult they either demonize you or they will excommunicate you for not conforming to their established doctrine as having a spirit of rebellion.
Most people are sincere in their Christian relationship and sometimes find themselves hungry for a little more in Christ. These are the types of people that sometime get involved in cults. They want more out of their relationship and are fascinated by the mysteries of what cults appear to offer and are drawn away in their religious relationship. This leads them into a toxic relationship that is dependent upon a person or persons rather than the creator as being first in their life. This also makes one vulnerable for cult conditioning. Therefore, most people within cults are sincere for what they stand for but don’t know that their leaders live another life from what their followers are required to live, be and do. Cults separate their members from all outside media or new sources to keep you blinded to society as a whole because the world is so sinful. People are kept in bondage to their inward infirmities and never liberated in Christ grace.
The word cult is defined as a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader. The leaders of cults usually start sincere but stray away from established Christian standards for whatever reason. Either they are hungry for power, privilege, money or control.
Cults set themselves apart from all other organizations and set themselves up as being superior in some way. The charismatic leaders of cults usually set themselves up as having an ability that no one else has and does things that no one else can do. They appear to be sincere but inside they are raving wolves. Only the inner circle of followers know or are aware of this type of behavior and they usually do everything they can to cover it up. I say again the followers are usually sincere because they have been conditioned to respect this charismatic leader in a tremendous way even to the point of worship. The followers will start to lift them up into the place of God like. I say again these people are usually sincere with their endeavors but the outcome is detrimental to all involved.
Cults recruit new members by presenting things the hearer is not aware of or haven’t heard before. The greatest indication of a cult is the control they institute over a person’s life both private and public. These groups will do everything they can to separate you from society in every way. They want you to dress a certain way, look a certain way and act a certain way. This is the essence of their control. The grace and the goodness of God is secondary to their laws of so called modesty. The sincere Christian will usually comply because they are sincere and want to be the best person they can be for the cause of Christ. Many times it takes years before the follower begins to question some of these things and then only a few see things for what they really are.
Scripture lets us know that there is nothing new under the sun. We must know and be aware of the control of others over our life. We don’t need other people to get permission or direction for us to follow Christ because he is omnipresent and he will speak to your heart as well as theirs. Be aware of conditioning to be a servant to a person who is supposed to have a greater relationship with God and present themselves to be super humble in their operation. We are all sinners saved by grace and we are all the same in God’s eyes. There is no big “I” or little “You”. God is no respecter of persons. Seek to do God’s will with a sincere heart and he will guide you with his eye.
Books for reference: The Kingdom of the Cults by Walter Marten
The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse by David Johnson
YouTube Video: 5 videos