Is It A Church Or A Cult?(written by Judena Klebs)
There are many traits of cults, but we have recently encountered three of them :
1) Not wanting people in their group to read anything but their own literature to interpret the Bible
Recently we were told that we should not even read books from the library. The leader who mentioned this seems to believe that pastors can read whatever they want to read.
Do you suppose that there are opinions or information that they don’t want us to know?
2) Ostracizing those who leave the group
One of the common traits of a cult is when they tell their people to have nothing to do with those who have left their organization. The people are ordered to exclude them in every way, not to be friendly to them in any way, and are usually encouraged to persecute them or punish them in some way for leaving the group.
3) Dominating leadership
A prominent sign of a cult is leadership that claims to have special access to God that no one else has, that they are the source of truth, and that others must obey everything they say, having complete loyalty to their control.
I have heard some leaders say that their congregation answers only to them and that the leader himself answers only to God, Without any say from other humans. They believe that only they know what God approves or disapproves and that they alone are God’s representative. They supposedly have rights and privileges that others cannot enjoy.
Jesus said that the one who wants to be great must be the servant of all. The Bible also warns the shepherds of their congregation not to “lord it over” the flock.
When we run into people who think that they are the “boss” and consider it their job to dictate every detail of people’s lives, we know that we are seeing evidence of a cult. If leaders say that they answer to no other human authority but instead answer only to God without being questioned and if they refuse to listen to anyone else’s input, they should not be followed. Too bad that there are so many “churches” that are really cults.