Christian who came out of the cults (especially out of the door knocking variety, like JWs and Mormons)...?
1. Your former zeal was "without knowledge”?
2. The works-based gospel of your former cult was a paltry effort to establish your own righteousness instead of submitting to God's righteousness?
3. That Paul makes the point that those who do this are not saved, but are still in bondage because they cannot become righteous apart from God’s plan of salvation?
4. How filled with gratitude are you that Calvary saved you from the bondage of the works-based Gospel, allowing you to experience the true Grace of God?
Members are taught that the cult is the sole beacon of truth and salvation and that they will lose their salvation if they leave it.
Christianized terminology is redefined in order to promote confusion and deception.
High doses of man-made, non-Biblical teachings are promoted as Gospel truths.
Doctrinal changes and extra-Biblical teachings may be labeled as direct revelation from God and regarded as on par with--or even superior to Biblical revelation.
Works-based systems of theology are touted as the means to “earn” salvation.
Jesus is perceived as a "way-shower" but not THE WAY.
Christ’s Deity is completely denied.
The last three points are of the utmost concern, for the Bible warns of accepting “another gospel” and “another Jesus” than those revealed in Scripture (2 Corinthians 11:3, 4)
Cults and other spiritually abusive groups employ the same power and control techniques that abusive individuals use.
The following list contains many of the most commonly employed tactics.
Control members through rigid sets of rules and standards (legalism).
Require complete and unquestioning adherence to the demands of the leadership.
Use threats and fear of punishment to control and maintain the membership, (i.e. disciplinary hearings, expulsion, shunning).
Use shame and guilt to control members (i.e. public humiliation, questioning loyalty).
Restrict access to outside information or interpersonal relationships (encouraging total dependency on the group).
Prohibit independent thinking or study.
Heavily indoctrinate members. (Cultists tend to give automatically conditioned responses when questioned by outsiders).
Sweep errors and even unlawful/abusive behaviors of the leadership under the rug.
Thrive on secrecy, often having their own vocabulary, hand signals, or symbols.
Persecute those they perceive as a threat, especially those who have defected.
Expect or demand large financial contributions/relinquishing of possessions.
Facilitate an elitist mind-set (i.e. believe they are the only “chosen ones”).
NOTE: Due to the extreme mental and emotional duress caused by such methods, it is not uncommon for psychosomatic, emotional, or mental illnesses to result.
Thanks for asking, F.B! Now, any Mental health professional who is familiar with the cult agenda, will back me up on this, so this is not MY definition!
Thanks to all of the true Christians who responded with wonderful stories of how Jesus Christ rescued you from bondage. Remember that Paul said that where the Spirit of the Lord truly is, there is LIBERTY--not bondage. If anyone is lacking joy in their worship, trying to procure salavation thru a works-based gospel, and failing to feel that they have a close personal relationship with their creator, based on gratitude and grace, please think about these things and pray that God's Spirit of truth will lead you into all truth, just as Christ promised he would. Don't take man's word for it--take God'sWord ALONE.