Seven Signs Of A Cult

June 6, 2013

1. A cult worships its leader… instead of or more than Jesus.

2. A cult quotes its leader… instead of or more than the Bible.

3. A cult only believes part of the Bible.

4. A cult uses other books for Divine truth.

5. A cult requires allegiance to the leader rather than parents.

6. A cult leader lies and makes threats.

7. A cult emphasizes money and the leader controls it.

The above is not original with me. It has been a part of my notes for years. It is pretty concise and accurate but I have decided to elaborate on this and point out in the standard preacher alliteration of seven “Ss”, which is the number of perfection for folks who are into both of those areas. The seven areas are a good summary of the major doctrinal errors of cults and they just happened to be able to addressed with seven words starting with s. I didn’t stay up nights trying to do this like some lads do. 😉 A cult’s doctrinal errors will be mainly in relation to the following seven areas though they may have many other errors.

Scripture – They will add to or take away from it and deny its ultimate authority. They will use obviously inferior texts, books by (wo)men and vain philosophies to change or deny various truths. Their teachings will usually confuse the issues that the text clearly speaks to or they will give the same text different meanings depending on the culture or the level of the people to whom they are speaking. Of course, if there are three levels of understanding of the text only the holy men be they priests or professors will be able to understand the highest level thus securing their position of authority and control over the minions. Ah, I mean members.

Sin – They will either redefine or deny biblical sin or they may make nearly everything a sin to the point where you can only breathe on days with an “s” in them or abstain from certain foods on certain days. They either deny the spirit of the text or chuck the letters away because we are under grace not law. There is no balance

Salvation – They will either have a system of works, which is often very complex, to obtain salvation or deny that man can exercise his free will to receive or reject Christ’s offer of salvation. Often the leader(s) will be able to give it and take it away using the threat of that possibility to silence opposition. Others won’t say they can take away salvation but will warn of terrible punishments and trials awaiting those who would dare “go up against God’s man or touch His anointed”. The method of control is different but the effect is the same.

Savior – Jesus will be a Savior that needs help to save sinners or they will redefine His entire character and role making Him a wonderful man or even a spirit thus denying His death and resurrection. He may become the brother of the devil or one of many masters in the universe. He can even have a lad present today to make up for His “failures” and completing His mission for Him. Sometimes they are the very people who proclaim His sovereignty because they tell Him what He can and cannot do making their theologians sovereign rather than Christ thereby in reality denying His sovereignty.

Sex – They will demand celibacy, even in marriage, or only during periods dictated by the leaders. On the other hand, they may condone religious prostitution, harems and other sexual practices that are against the teachings of the Scripture like the Ranters, Oneidas, Shakers, and similar groups today. They justify polygamy or other forms of harems by pointing to David and Solomon but they forget that both those lads broke the Law in that area. (Deut. 17:17) They will also either deny the roles of the genders or reverse them.

Shekel – The leader will want full control of the money rather than removing himself from it to avoid temptation or the appearance of evil which would be the ethical thing to do. They will seek to increase in riches while their congregations suffer or suggest that materialism and its fruit is a proof of the blessing of God.

They appear in their Armani suits, wear expensive watches and jewelry while pleading for folks to send them money to fulfill their “vision” and maintain their radio/TV show which they will leave in their luxury car to go to their several million dollar homes. Their churches will be filled with expensive accouterments even in countries where the people are dressed in rags and live in constant fear of starvation yet they are told to plant their seed faith money or pay for their prayer cloths or other items to get in touch with God.

Signs – They will emphasize miracles, wonders, and experiences over and above the Word of God. If the Word is contrary to their practices or experiences the leaders will have a new revelation from an angel or maybe even Jesus supposedly countermanding the teaching of Scripture with this new word of knowledge.

Some have gotten new revelations when the Government threatened to take away their tax-exempt status because of some of their practices. Others have changed their minds about what the Holy Spirit told them when even their peers, let alone their detractors, questioned the teaching.

Oddly, the Holy Spirit’s mission was not to speak of Himself but to bring us closer to Jesus Christ and leading us into all truth not to put on miracle shows for money at 10, 2 and 4 like some traveling medicine man, yet that is what they delight in and promote.

How do we escape this nonsense and keep others from falling prey to it? Cults, crazies and apostates basically surround us. How can we survive, let alone pray for a revival? It is impossible with the flesh but “He that is in us….

Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (KJV)

If there is anything that Gentiles are into it is a love of wisdom or philosophy though in this context Paul was speaking of rabbinical sophistry. We are basically trained from grade school that the only way to make it in life is to get the best education at the right school so that you can meet the right people. Education is fine in its place but education without regeneration is reprobation. When God was in the schools, especially in the one room school houses integrity and morality were taught with the three “Rs”. The generations were taught to interact and meet one another’s needs not depend on peer groups. Then we turned out men and women of character that made this country great. That is no longer the case.

They have denied the very foundational truths that had sustained this country from 1760 until 1960 and replaced them with the lies of evolution, situational ethics and political correctness in order to make man and his traditions both God and law. Their earthly principles bring about chaos, death and despair but they exalt themselves above God calling good evil and evil good. Professing to be wise, they became fools Paul tells us in Romans.

We are to beware of these things and not allow ourselves to be seduced by their high minded imaginations that exalt themselves against God lest we be taken in by them and become the spoil or booty of these deceitful workers of iniquity be they secular or in religious garb.

1 Tim 1:4-7
4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;
7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. (KJV)

Some of these false prophets can spin some fanciful tales. Evolution would be a laughable issue if it were not sending so many people to Hell. They build entire creatures out of a couple of bones and even fantasize about the cultural customs of the fairies they create yet promote their delusions as fact. A hippie on drugs in the ‘60s never had such good trips.

The spiritual dream weavers do just as well. It is amazing that while the contemporary culture holds the King James Version in contempt so many of the visions and exhortations are given in language and imagery more suited for the KVJ than the so-called modern versions.

They speak with great swelling words and paint pictures that few artists could transfer to campus. Then they fall out on the floor or even make hissing sounds like snakes and from what I have read in Scripture the adversary is portrayed as a snake so the Holy Spirit leading Christ’s people to hiss like the enemy doesn’t jive. I can’t imagine Paul or Peter doing belly flops across a podium or having laughing spasms. God’s prophets are in control of their own spirits and the Spirit does things decently and in order so where does all this melodrama and chaotic imagination come from then? If it is not from God there is only one other alternative.

1 Tim 6:20-21
20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen. (KJV)

If there was ever a time of strange voices speaking profane and useless babblings it is today. Between TV, radio and the Internet there are more talk shows talking about everything and nothing both secular and pseudo-spiritual that will amount to nothing in eternity. The secular is a waste of time but the pseudo-spiritual will only end in a waste of both life and eternity for souls damned feeling full and well fed in their souls from those spiritual husks.

Truth is opposed by science that is not true science. The word science here is the Greek word gnosis or knowledge. Yet much of so-called science today is based on here say and grandiose imagination. Even two false cults use science as part of their name and yet they are as opposed to the truth or true science as any humanistic pseudo-science.

Yet, because of sciences falsely so-called be they secular or spiritual many have erred or departed from the faith. Some have tried to merge evolution with creation making a manmade mongrel that cannot exist in reality. Some see God as a grand creator who wound up the universe and then took off leaving it on its own to evolve. Yet, all we see around us is devolution and death validating a fallen world in need of a Savior not an evolving universe.

In fact, the so-called science of evolution predicts its own death as one day we will run out of energy and have a dead universe. What great news that is. If that was true we might as well blow the planet up creating some energy that might keep the universe going for a few more thousand years. Why care about global warming when universal cooling is going to kill us anyway?

False science and no hope are fine if you want to believe such a dark fantasy created despite the evidence and knowledge to contrary. I’ll stick to the true science that is based upon observable facts substantiated by the Word of Truth that has stood for far longer than the dying theories of both humanistic and religious false scientists.

2 Tim 2:15-16
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. (KJV)

The problem with most who know Christ but are confused by the strange voices and babblings of pseudo-scientists and false prophets is because they know about being saved and for the most part that is the extent of their biblical knowledge. I am appalled at some of the things that come out of the mouths of Christians who should know better. They are so easily tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine and sleight of men’s hands that it is pitiful.

We are to be diligent or study to know what is truth and what is error. One day we shall receive our rewards or lose them at the Bema based upon what we know and then what we did with it. It will not be a happy day for many of us and more of us then anyone would care to think.

It is bad enough that the many groups have been taken over by tares, charlatans, and other ungodly leaders but it should never be so among Baptists. In the early years of this country everyone complained about the Baptists because they always had scripture for everything. Now, many Baptists couldn’t win a doctrinal debate if they had to win or die.

I have seen Conservative Baptists congregations call a Liberal as a pastor. Why? He looked and sounded good and the cool letters after his name. Choosing a pastor is often a beauty contest and a pride thing rather than a sacred duty to approach with fear and trembling seeking discernment from the Lord. Instead if can make the elder ladies giggle and the elder men feel wise he is in like Flynn be he disciple or devil. God forbid!

Sunday School and all the services should be packed from now until the Rapture so that we can study and learn how to defeat the lies. Instead, we sleep in on Sunday and hit the other services hit and miss with miss being in the majority. We spend almost no time in Christian service or study at home and we wonder why we are so weak. We need to bold.

Rom 16:17-18
17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them, which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine, which ye have learned; and avoid them.
18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (KJV)

I guess if we added an eight “S” it would be Splitters. Part of being bold is calling the names of the heretics/schismatic/splitter. Note the divisions to be chastised are the ones contrary to doctrine.)

Most divisions are because of contrary personalities, nitpicking and personal power or goals. If the division was not over doctrine than it is a heretical act and to be denounced. If the split was becaus of doctrine than those holding the false doctrine are the splitters because they have split from Biblical truth.

Doctrine is very important and must be defended to death, if need be. Colors of rugs and such need to be put aside in the trivial bin. No man who serves Christ is to have any other goal than what the Bible states for the Church to have. The world is going to Hell and the saints need to rise up and fight the devil not each other’s petty desires or be power hungry.

We must stand up and call names of heretics. False doctrine is to be exposed. Those in it for the money and egos need to be exposed. Paul called names and we must not be afraid to call the roll when it is needed. The enemy is to be routed and if we can we must keep people from being deceived by these silver-mouthed devils. We are not called to silent knowledge. We are called to be warriors and heralds? Are you one?

Know the signs of a cult. Know the truth. Use the truth to route the enemies of truth that you may stand approved before the Lord at the Bema seat. It is a part of your reasonable service to your Lord, the Lost and yourself. Remember, MARANATHA and it may be today!!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s