You MIGHT BE in a cult ifEveryone makes mistakes. All of us are prone to imperfections, mistaken opinions, errors in judgment, belief systems, and practices. However, when isolated errors multiply, become compounded, systematized, institutionalized and defended; and conformity to these errors is demanded, a very dangerous line has been crossed.

You MIGHT BE in a cult if . . .

 

  1. honest disagreement and criticism is interpreted as being of a “Jezebelian” or “Absalom” spirit, or being disloyal, a rebel, etc.
  2. Matthew 18 is used by leadership as a mandatory speech and thought control template to stifle thoughtful criticism, dialogue, discussion, and disagreement.
  3. your group’s identity and existence is dependent on a single individual and his/her gifts and talents; celebrityism; personality idolatry.
  4. you are told you cannot make a personal decision without approval from your “covering.” There is no such concept as covering in the NT.
  5. your leaders tell you who you can date (or if you can date at all!), who you can marry, if you can have children, how many children you should have, where you can live, what job you can take, when and where you can take vacation, etc.
  6. your leaders mandate how your children are to be educated (home school or not, etc.).
  7. your leaders discourage women from getting an education.
  8. you are discouraged from getting any education, pursuing a career, saving for retirement, or buying insurance, etc., because it is the “end times” and Jesus is coming “any minute.”
  9. you are taught that only your group has the “real truth;” your group is the “remnant,” every one else is wrong, apostate; your group is in the Holy of Holies, others are “outer court.”
  10. you are threatened with dire spiritual peril should you leave the group; belonging to your group is considered being in the “ark of safety.”
  11. those who leave are “black-balled,” socially ostracized; you are forbidden from contact with those who leave.
  12. anyone who leaves your group is called a “covenant breaker.”
  13. you are told to “turn your mind off, and turn your spirit on;” that the exercise of rational faculties is somehow “not spiritual.”
  14. you are told your heart is desperately wicked, and not trustworthy, but leaders expect you to trust theirs.
  15. honor, authority, submission, loyalty, etc. are inordinately emphasized and only flow one way: up the hierarchy, a lack of a culture of mutuality-submitting one to another in the fear of the Lord (Eph. 5:21).
  16. leaders foster a culture of elitism or superiority; a fraternity of insiders: the clergy-laity divide.
  17. your time, talent, and treasure are just fuel for another person’s ambitions of greatness.
  18. you are psychically manipulated with music under the guise of “worship.”
  19. leaders can correct you, but you cannot correct leaders.
  20. leaders try to get you to do things for them for free (babysitting, lawn mowing, house repairs, etc) under the guise of teaching you “to serve.”
  21. insistence on titles of rank and position are required under the pretext of “teaching honor and respect.”
  22. devotion to the scripture replaces devotion to the Person of Jesus.
  23. devotion to the scripture does not produce character transformation.
  24. your leaders only associate with young people – they have no peer level, age-level, and maturity level equals in their social sphere.
  25. the “leadership team” is stacked with family members, cronies, and yes-men.
  26. you are not allowed to say “no” at appropriate times and in appropriate ways, to leaders.
  27. the finances of the group are managed in secrecy. Only official “leadership” is allowed to see the money, how it is spent, where it goes.
  28. loyalty to leadership is thought to be equivalent to loyalty to the Person of Jesus.
  29. emphasis on being doctrinally right is valued more than being relationally right with God and humanity.
  30. leaders live a lavish lifestyle of privilege and “perks,” while the poor, orphans, widows, etc, are ignored or thrown some scraps to ease the conscience.
  31. pursuing holiness results in isolation and insulation rather than transformation, integration, and penetration.
  32. the teaching emphasis is on obscure and esoteric topics, rather than the things that really matter; majoring on minors.
  33. flattery is used to manipulate behavior.
  34. giving/finances are used as tools for emotional extortion; giving monetary gifts to influence thought and behavior.
  35. you are made to feel inferior if you do not routinely demonstrate supernatural manifestations, gifts, miracles, etc.
  36. you are accused of being “unspiritual, judgmental, or critical” for questioning the legitimacy of bizarre supernatural manifestations.
  37. leaders with a vested self-interest, try to tell you where to give your money.
  38. Editors Note: I would like to add one more;
    Should you like this article on Facebook, send to someone or give to a Leader to read you will be added to the blacklist and your future with the organization is toast!

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