The Danger of Religious Cults

We live in a world where when people think of Religion, they think of the main stream examples such as Christian, Hindu, Islam and Buddhism. These form the vast majority of faiths on this planet, but there is another world out there, believe me, that is the World of Religious Cults. These tend to be a bit more underground in their activities, or they may be in the public eye, but they keep a low profile in publicity terms. This article is not about exposing such cults, but more raising awareness about them and the danger that they can present to the unsuspecting and how they operate. It will look quickly at cults from the past and in the present day and will focus primarily on Christian cults which maybe class themselves as a denomination but to all intents and purposes they are a "Cult". This article merely skims the surface.

So what exactly is a Cult?

The concept of a cult may be that of a sharply or diffusely bounded social group whose members are almost entirely controlled by, dominated by, or held together through shared commitment to a single individual (the charismatic leader or organization) the movement promotes a transcendental ideology, which may be expressed through effective, socially established and ordered forms or in concrete external actions performed within the congregation or community. Via Wikipedia

An interesting video that compares the Old or Original True Church to the Modern Day Denominations with some being cult like in belief sheds further light.

Many cults have existed throughout history but are made up normally of the following groups

1 New religious movements NRMs, of which some but not all have been labelled as cults, number in the tens of thousands worldwide, most of which originated in Asia or Africa
2 Doomsday cults used to describe groups who believe in Apocalypticism and Millenarianism, and can refer both to groups that prophesy catastrophe and destruction,
3 Political cults primary interest in political action and ideology which mostly advocate far-left or far-right agendas. Examples would include The LaRouche Movement and Gino Parente's National Labor Federation (NATLFED) and Marlene Dixon's Democratic Workers Party (no longer in existence)
4 Destructive cults generally referred to groups whose members have, through deliberate action, physically injured or killed other members of their own group or other people also defined as a highly manipulative group which exploits and sometimes physically and/or psychologically damages members and recruits. An example would be The Peoples Temple
5 Racist cults one of the most famous in this category the Ku Klux Klan, which arose in the American South after the Civil War as an heretical Christian cult. Secret Aryan cults in Germany and Austria had a strong influence on the rise of Hitler and Nazism and can be included in this category.
6 Polygamist cults These are Cults that teach and practice polygamy, marriage between more than two people. An example would be The Church of Jesus Christ Restored which is a small sect in the Latter Day Saint movement based in Canada. The news media called this a polygamous cult and it has been the subject of criminal investigation by local authorities
7 Terrorist cults: Needs no explanation and famous examples would be Al Quaida and The Tamil Tigers. They all share this in common: they indoctrinate their members; it forms a closed, totalitarian society; it has a self-appointed, messianic and charismatic leader; and it believes that the ends justify the means."

After reading this you could say The Twelve Gates fits category No2 but it is not a closed totalitarian society, you can come and go as you please. Not sure I´m a messianic charismatic leader either?





The Ten Most Dangerous Religious Cults
This article from The Richest goes into highlighting who the most dangerous religious cults of all time have been both past and present. Names on this list include well knowns such as the Ku Klux Klan, Children of God and Branch Davidians, The Peoples Temple and Heavens Gate. The most recent on this list is Scientology also known as the Church of Scientology. They all have one thing in common and that is disturbing activities within their cult but the Waco incident is one that sticks in the mind. More at The Richest



Cults within Christianity
Christianity is made up of many denominations including, Catholic and Protestant which further sub divides into Lutherans, Baptists, Methodists, C of E and many many more. The Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary estimated 34,000 denominations in 2000, rising to an estimated 43,000 in 2012. Within the Christian faith there are a number of what can be loosely called Cults of the milder variety which on the surface look harmless enough but delve a bit deeper and you will find many questions will be raised. We will take a look at three of the most well known which include The Jehovah´s Witnesses, The Mormons and The Seventh Day Adventists.

The Jehovah´s Witnesses
The beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses are based on the Bible teachings of Charles Taze Russell. Commonly known these days in their more disguised name of JW.org and the infamous Blue Square and also part of the Watchtower Society, these are commonly seen on street corners with a news stand or magazine display with a magazine in each hand standing motionless, saying nothing and waiting to be approached by somebody usually asking what is that all about? This is the famous branch of the Christian faith that knocks on peoples front doors and persistently at that, and do not take no for an answer. If they see a glimmer of hope of a conversion, even a slammed door and harsh words mean they will be back.

They differ from Christians in a fundamental way as follows.
1. They do not believe or allow blood transfusions. Period.
2. They do not believe in the Trinity. There is just one God.
3. They see their mission as primarily evangelical, to warn as many people as possible in the remaining time before Armageddon
4. All members of the religion are expected to take an active part in preaching
5. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that God uses an organization both in heaven and on earth, and that Jehovah's Witnesses, under the direction of their Governing Body, are the only visible channel by which God communicates with humanity.
6. Witnesses must demonstrate loyalty to the organization without dissent, even at the cost of family ties
7. They identify Jesus as one of the four horseman of the apocalypse as in the "rider of the white horse" at Revelation 6 and 19.
8. Jesus wasn´t crucified on a cross, it was merely a wooden stake.
9. Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe that Satan lives in Hell or that he has been given responsibility to punish the wicked
10. Witnesses regard the soul as mortal, based on the statement at Ezekiel 18:4 that "the soul that sins, it shall die" and thus believe the soul does not continue to live after one dies
11. They do not believe in the Standard KJV Bible, they have their own version.

I have had personal dealings within the family with these people and recently after being Saved with two Jehovah´s Witnesses who tried to hand me a leaflet in Hyde Park . I just looked them straight in the eye, never touched the leaflet, told them that "I´m already a Christian thanks" which was followed by a sharp intake of breath by her and a Okayyyyyyyy and a hasty exit that would make the start of a Formula 1 race look positively pedestrian. Never saw them again!



The Mormons
The Mormons are also known as the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints. The founder of the church was Joseph Smith. He claimed to have been shown some gold plates on which a new revelation was inscribed in no known language. He then qualified as the sole translator of this language. The rest as they say is history?

They deny essential Biblical teachings and add new false doctrines. The teachings of the Mormons are right out there and quite far removed from Christianity but the same names are used. Here´s some examples of Mormon views:
1. God used to be a man on another planet.
2. God lives near a star called Kolob.
3. If you are a good Mormon you could become a God.
4. There isn´t just one God who is male, there is a Mother God (female) as well.
5. The view of the Trinity as Three separate Gods and not one.
6. Apparently as is common with all such groups, this church can be harder to leave than it was to join.
7. They did practice plural marriage but this practice was finished over a century ago. BUT that is the mainstream Church of Latter Day Saints. There are off shoots of Mormonism however called Fundamentalist Mormons who do still practice Polygamy.
8. Mormonism teaches that marriage can be eternal. Any marriage that takes place in the Mormon temple is said to be a "celestial" marriage for eternity...that is, a marriage that will continue after death in the Celestial Kingdom?
9. Mormon´s do believe in the Bible and use the King James Version but their version differs from the normal KJV with additional footnotes for cross referencing and is called the LDS version or Latter Day Saints.


The Seventh Day Adventists

The Seventh Day Adventists have the following teachings
1. That the Sabbath day is on a Saturday and if you do not keep this day as the Sabbath you cannot be Saved.
2. If you do not go to a SDA Church there is no Salvation and other churches teach lies from the Devil.
3. Prayers spoken in other churches are only answered by the Devil. See the Bible Ephesians 2:8-9.
4. They believe that worshipping on Sunday will be the mark of the beast and only those who worship on Saturday will be Saved. See the Bible Revelation 14:9.
5. They believe Jesus is God but also believe Jesus is Michael the Archangel.
6. They believe you can become sinless whilst you are on this earth in your physical body. This is another man made doctrine.
7. The second coming of Christ was predicted to be 1842-1844 by early Adventists. It never happened.
8. They demand vegetarianism. There is no mention of this in the Bible.
9. The founder Ellen G White is revered having the spirit of prophecy and is considered a modern day prophet, but they do not ordain women as ministers?
10. They use either the KJV, NKJV or NIV versions of the Bible



Summary:

There are thousands of cults and sects out there today and many famous people belong to many of them. Some come and go, some seem to last some time, some get bad press and reinvent themselves (JW.org) but they all share one common quality. They are easy to join and absolute hell to leave and they will take over your life and mess up your head.

I personally see a few in my small town in Hertfordshire every Saturday by the train station, they are there relentlessly every week and to be perfectly honest I find them quite creepy. Their latest magazine cover states "Did Jesus really exist". That is as good a warning sign as you can get and enough to send any normal person running in the opposite direction. I go past their hut where they meet every Sunday and once the door was left open and a service was on. The building could probably hold 40 or 50 people, there were 20 in there at best. Looked a couple of months later..........still about 20 or so........so no new recruits! What does that tell you?

An Uncle of mine joined one of these cults and we never saw him again for 20 years (only recently has he returned). This article is just a warning of what is out there and the dangers of Cults and how they can invade your life, brainwash you, take your life over and can lead to huge problems if you decide to "evacuate". Anything that turns round and says that the Bible is incorrect and they change God´s word to what they think it should be, must raise question marks in any Christians or Non Believers minds. I have come across a few on my travels on the web and on certain video sites.

As with everything if you are in the faith "test the spirit" and "test against the word". If you are a Non Believer my advice is just stay away otherwise if you strike up a conversation you will get sucked in by the Dyson effect. I think these organisations pray on Non Believers and the Biblically illiterate just the same as False Preachers do, and they display the same qualities as in being extremely "charismatic".Religion is supposed to enrich your life.............not ruin it! If you are a True Born Again Christian, just look them in the eye when approached, be polite but firm and say "I´m already a Christian thanks" and watch the response. I guarantee it will be the best entertainment you have had in years.

Bible Quotes:
James 2:19 - Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Hebrews 4:12 - For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

2 John 1:7-11
7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into [your] house, neither bid him God speed:
11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
The Danger of Religious Cults The Danger of Religious Cults Reviewed by Frank John on November 02, 2016 Rating: 5
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