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What Are Signs Of A Cult

What are the signs that a religion is really a cult and what are the implications for those involved? Should we shake the faith of cult members?

Join Our Christian Dating and Take The Cults Bible Quiz
 ---Andrea on 8/27/07
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Francis: You are right on! There are many flavors of error, but only one truth. Sadly, most Christians are not interested in God's truth, but rather that they find others who confirm their pre-existing beliefs.
Jerry6593.

Thank you Francis and Jerry.

Eloy has also hit the nail on the head, however to the question.... the errant translation by a certain denomination does not make the denomination (e.g. Baptist, Assemblies of God) a cult.
For the glue that both identifies and holds a cult together is bondage (e.g. Scientology, LDS, Watchtower).
---larry on 7/8/10


Remember God does not use the word " cult." God uses the phrase false teachers.
The easiest place to start to examine for false teachers is the ten commandments.

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
1. Do not worship other gods.
2. Do not worship idols.
3. Do not misuse God's name.
4. Keep the Sabbath holy.
5. Honor your father & mother.
6. Do not murder.
7. Do not commit adultery.
8. Do not steal.
9. Do not lie.
10. Do not covet.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Hebrews 13:9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines

Any other doctrine is a strange and diverse one, and thus FALSE
---francis on 7/8/10


It is a good point that many widly variant groups can be considered Christian.

The word Cult has three meanings. First the Classical in which a group is cenetered around a person. All true Christians fit this definition.

Second a group that establishes itself on a single person cutting themselves off from society, and loved ones. Jim Jones for example.

Lastly those who deny the diety of JESUS, the final authority of the bible and that JESUS was flesh and resurrected from the dead. See 2 John.
---Samuel on 7/8/10


The sign of a cult is that you're not reading the bible. We live in a world where people are absolving themselves of responsibility/ accountability. So they put their faith in their pastor and hope he's on the right track, oblivious that he has fallen under the same judgement as the devil [1 Tim 3:6, 1 Tim 6:3-4]. A pastor who has determined to do it his way [2 John 9] with pre-eminence [3 John 9]. There's so much in the bible on false teachers that it's impossible to plead ignorant on the subject. In these days of permissibility in the church, pastors who fall way below the biblically noble criteria are inundating the pulpits for the lucre. But you are accountable cult-goer, because the instruction is clear: Col 2:8.
---John_II on 7/8/10


Cults Preach A-n-o-t-h-e-r Gospel and changed the original Christian text by adding and taking away key words. They deny the Deity of Christ as Savior & Lord!
---DM on 7/8/10




francis, Of your list, the Christian denominations are:

Baptist
Pentecosts
Methodists
Lutherans
Episcopalian

And the rest of your list are not denominated on Christ.
---Eloy on 7/7/10

First of all who and whom determined that these were christian and the rest were not. (on my list)

Now consider this:
If two denomination such as baptist and pentecostal each teach different sets of doctrines, they both cannot be right.
Both may be wrong/ false teachers/ cults.
One may be right and the other wrong/ cult.
But both canot be right.
So which of the above mentioned teaches the correct set of doctrines?
---francis on 7/8/10


francis, Of your list, the Christian denominations are:

Baptist
Pentecosts
Methodists
Lutherans
Episcopalian

And the rest of your list are not denominated on Christ.
---Eloy on 7/7/10


Axey: "By that measure, a large number of people on these blogs would be considered cultists"

Yup!
---jerry6593 on 7/7/10


What I really want to know is what denominations are these people who dare call others cults.
Cannot be Baptiste
Cannot be RCC
Cannot be Pentecosts
Cannot be Methodists
Cannot be Lutherans
Cannot be Episcapalian
Cannot be none denominationals
Cannot be interdenominations
Cannot be JW
Cannot be Mormans

Just who are these people and what denomninations do they belong too who call others cults?

I bet it is those who speack about essencial doctrine. "In essesials unity, in none essencials liberty." that is a key saying of cults

God's people say ALL SCRIPTURE is given for doctrine and see no none essencial doctrine.
---francis on 7/6/10


a good site or two for cults: cultdefinition(period)com and cultexperts(period)org
---aka.joseph on 7/6/10




jerry6593:

By that measure, a large number of people on these blogs would be considered cultists (and note that I'm not disagreeing with you here).
---StrongAxe on 7/6/10


The first sign of a cult is the development of an "us vs. them" superior mentality. You can always tell a cultist by his desire to call his fellow Christians "cultists"!
---jerry6593 on 7/4/10


francis, don't imply that your denomination is perfect.
micha9344 on 6/30/10

People may not be perfect, but doctrine must be perfect ( sound)
I gave the simplest test:
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

If your church / denomination canot pass the 10 commandments test, rethink your entire theology
---francis on 7/3/10


Cults appeal to people who don't have a clear idea of their place in the world, or of what they ougth to be doing. For such, it's very appealing to have someone who can confidently tell you who you are and what you should do without ambiguity. Even being told the wrong thing can feel better than being uncertain.

Look at a simlar issue in terms of interpersonal relationships, for example, battered women. In many cases, women are in relationships with men who abuse them. If they ever get out of such relationships, many of them get into new relationships ALSO with men who abuse them. Why? Because they feel that being abused is preferable to being alone. And with cultists, it's the same way.
---StrongAxe on 7/2/10


Andrea, Like social clubs, cults are growing at a rapid rate today. Instead of following the clear teachings of the New Testament, people heap up to themselves teachers whom speak sweet flattering words rather than the truth which God demands. I pray for people whom get caught up into false cults, because it is such bondage and brain-washing and delusion which delusions can also reach over into the persons lives outside of their cult gathering and detrimentally spoil their personal relationships with family and friends and co-workers.
---Eloy on 7/2/10


Eloy:

Several dictionaries describe "dis":
woman, (Scandinavian) female fertility goddess
*Informal/Slang (African American Vernacular ) "show disrepect for, affront, disparage, belittle, insult, criticise" (also "diss")
(captalized) "God of the Underworld", Disney Channel, Walt Disney Corporation trademark
Abbreviation: "distance", "distant", "distribute"
(prefix) "apart", or variant of "di-" ("two") before "s"

Definitions marked * are what you are mean. Do you have any dictionary that does NOT call it slang/informal speech, and if so, which one, so I can go look it up to see you're right and I'm wrong?
---StrongAxe on 7/2/10


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scott, fellowship always is.
---Eloy on 7/2/10


"Formal settings with high-minded individuals."

Sounds like a lovely evening.
---scott on 7/1/10


strangax, dis is not slang, and I commonly speak this word in formal settings with high-minded individuals whom have no acceptance of slang, and they know full well of the meaning of the word without my having to elaborate, as unlike which I frequently do for your trite questionings...perhaps you have another dis-connect and dis-honest and dis-genuine question to pose to me?
---Eloy on 7/1/10


strongax, Read cluny's postings. And then after seeing the evident sins which are not witnessed by one or two witnesses as you wrongly say, but are instead publicly manifested to all whom are able to read cluny's postings on this site, repent. Or will you choose to stay in your sins beside cluny?
---Eloy on 7/1/10


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Francis: You are right on! There are many flavors of error, but only one truth. Sadly, most Christians are not interested in God's truth, but rather that they find others who confirm their pre-existing beliefs. We should all be like Martin Luther and follow our consciences, being willing to be convinced of our errors from the Bible alone.
---jerry6593 on 7/1/10


francis, don't imply that your denomination is perfect.
Christ wrote to seven churches and corrected 5 of them over 1900 years ago.
Don't think that some doctrinal errors have not crept in to your sect, even if it is small ones.
1Cor 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
---micha9344 on 6/30/10


Eloy:

I know what "dis" means. It is slang for "disrespect" or "disparage". But it IS slang, doesn't appear in the Bible as such.

I have read most (if not all) of Cluny's postings, and haven't seen any instances of disobedience. Can you recall anything specific? Who or what did he allegedly disobey?

Remember - with accusations, they require 1 or 2 witnesses (and specific evidence), not just one person saying "go look for yourself".
---StrongAxe on 6/30/10


strongax, cluny's own postings manifests these rotten fruits. And if you are ignorant to the definition of what it means to dis someone, then I suggest you look it up.
---Eloy on 6/30/10


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Eloy:

Your last post accused Cluny of at least a dozen different sins. What evidence do you have of most of these (In particular, disobedience)? Also, you mention "dissing" as a bad fruit (odd, since I have never seen the Bible mention that one...)


Cluny:

Some time back, I found one of Eloy's comments genuinely useful, so I tried to vote for him, but the system ignored the vote - so perhaps he has zero votes because of a technical issue with the system.
---StrongAxe on 6/29/10


Cluny, I am not participating in the voting system, and therefore I do not think that it is possible for anyone to vote for me. But I do have one vote from him which calls me by name, and he has written my name in heaven, his name is Jesus.
---Eloy on 6/29/10


The bible does not use the word cult.
If we use the same word which the bible uses ( FALSE TEACHERS, FALSE PROPHETS) we can clear this up much easier.

If two denominations have two different sets of doctrine on any given subject. One may be wrong, both may be wrong, but both cannot be right.

So if the baptist church teaches the truth, all penticostal churches are thus false teachers


If the catholic hurch teaches thetruth, al baptist are false teachers and so on.

Think is, we have to find the ONE TRUE church that does teach the truth.

Start with THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
which ever church does not teach all ten is a false teacher
---francis on 6/29/10


Cluny, your manifested fruits are sin, unrighteousness, disobedience, unlearnedness, unholy, unthankful, dissing, desecrating words, blasphemies, mocking, lies, bearing false witness, and so on.
---Eloy on 6/29/10


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The Christian Martyr William Tyndale who translated the scriptures directly from the original greek, accurately translated the greek word "thriskos" and "thriskeia" as "devout" and "devotion" in James 1:26,27, and not religion.
---Eloy on 6/29/10


\\Cluny, My life is proven to be saved and born-again, and your fruits manifest that you are not saved.
---Eloy on 6/29/10\\

Tell me my fruits, Eloy.

Tell me all the things you actually know about my life.

Not what you THINK you know.

Would you even know me were you to see me on the street?

BTW--I have over 40 votes that people find my posts helpful. You have ZERO.
---Cluny on 6/29/10


Cluny, My life is proven to be saved and born-again, and your fruits manifest that you are not saved.
---Eloy on 6/29/10


As a matter of fact, Eloy, Greek, which I speak and you clearly do not, "thriskeia" means "religion."

Maybe if you got saved, it would give you a sound mind and you wouldn't just make up stuff like you post here about what other languages say.
---Cluny on 6/29/10


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strongax, "cult" is not related to the word "cultivate" nor "worship", which you have wrongly misapplied to the word "cult". For "cult" is a derivative of the word "occult", which I have already defined. The word "cult" is a negative connotation, whereas "cultivate" holds a positive connotation. When you keep a word in it's context of use, the context itself will define the word, but if you remove the word from it's context in which it is used and misapply an incorrect etymology or root, then you will appropriate a wrong definition. Many words have more than one etymological source, and depending on how the word is used reveals its right etymological root.
---Eloy on 6/29/10


Andrea, Cults are any religious movements that are nonChristian, these are all false religions. "Beliefs" are, so to speak, "a dime a dozen." There are multitudes of beliefs and diverse religions around the world, but there is only one right way, and only one Jesus Christ Almighty.
---Eloy on 6/29/10


Eloy:

"occult" is from "occulere" = "hide from view, cover up". "cult" is from "colere" = "inhabit, till, worship". The two are NOT related, despite similar English spellings.

(I once erroneously thought "sect" was from "secare" = "cut", but it is from "sequor" = "follow".)

Christianity fits the dictionary definition of religion. It has regulations.
John 14:15, 14:21, 15:10, 1 John 5:2, 2 John 1:6: "If ye love me, keep my commandments."
Acts 15:20, 15:29, 21:25: abstain from idols, fornication, things strangled, and blood.
---StrongAxe on 6/28/10


They have added & changed key wording, which we're commanded not to.

Do Not have the Authorized Bible Version

Re-written words & taken out essential wording.

Deny the bodily Resurrection of Christ.

Deny the Deity of Jesus as Lord & Savior

Forbid speaking with ex-members.

Teach against Salvation/justification by faith in the payment Jesus made on the Cross.

They add works and self-effort.
---SZ on 6/28/10


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larry, The english word "religion" is not in the original Scriptures. The Greek word is "qrhskeia", meaning "devotion", not religion. And this comes from the Greek "qrhskos", meaning "devout", which both are found in James 1:26.

lit.Gk: "If anyone tells to be devout among you, not bridling the tongue of him, but deceiving his own heart, this one's devotion rather vain. Pure devotion and undefiled in the sight of God, even to the Father, stands this: to visit orphans and widows in the affliction of them, to keep one's self unspotted from the world." James 1:26,27.
---Eloy on 6/28/10


Many cults use the name of Christ and have Christ in their religion. NonChristian religions that defraud Christ and misappropriate his name for themselves is a false cult. They commonly put someone or something in the place of Jesus, they will put some other person or thing on Jesus' throne, an idol, where only He sits the Most High God over all.
---Eloy on 6/28/10


Every religion is a cult. A religion is rules and regulations established by sinners to ease their sinful conscience, and to purposely mislead others down into perdition. The implications are evident: Every real Christian bears witness to the truth, and should already be shaking those abiding on the wrong path.
---Eloy on 6/26/10
WOW this is a powerful statement.
How very different is "mainstream" christianity from biblical christianity?
They have their own laws about diet which are contrary to what is n the bible.
They have thier own laws about the sabbath which is contrary to the bible.
They have their own feasts like easter and christmas which are contrary to the bible.
---francis on 6/28/10


jerry6593, Christianity is not a religion, but the complete opposite of dead religion. There is no superstition, no candle burning, no repititious words or chantings, no performing ceremonious rituals, no talismans, no charms, no idols: Christ is God, and the Christian serves Christ the God every day with our born-again life from Christ Jesus.
---Eloy on 6/27/10


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jerry6593, Christianity is not a religion, but the complete opposite of dead religion. There is no superstition, no candle burning, no repititious words or chantings, no performing ceremonious rituals, no talismans, no charms, no idols: Christ is God, and the Christian serves Christ the God every day with our born-again life from Christ Jesus.
---Eloy on 6/28/10


Every group that (1) denies Jesus Christ is God in flesh (2) that accepts Jesus as Lord but claims HE is "small-God" (3) forbids the name of Jesus to be mentioned in their gathering (4) strive to have only its members occupying the top govt posts in a country (5) strive to exempt their members from justice when they run foul of the law (6) that do secret sacrifices (7) claims to have books and documents proving their tenets that cannot be accessible to non-members (8) FORCES members to marry only within their group(9) do initiation sacrifices, mix and drink bloods, make incisions on their bodies etc belongs to ungodly cults.
---Adetunji on 6/28/10


yes Jerry6593, its a bit of an overstatement but I understand what Eloy is trying to say.
The difference between Christianity and every other belief is relationship not religion.

Having said that Paul refers to true religion in James as he is urging the care of widows and orphans and even that is out of a relationship FIRST with the Father which goes to your point.
---larry on 6/27/10


Eloy: "Every religion is a cult. A religion is rules and regulations established by sinners to ease their sinful conscience, and to purposely mislead others down into perdition."

What does that say about Jesus and His disciples? Did they start Christianity to "purposely mislead others down into perdition?"
---jerry6593 on 6/27/10


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#1/2
Some people believe that the SDA church is a cult, THE RCC thinks otherwise

THE CATHOLIC EXTENSION MAGAZINE
180 Wabash Avenue, Chicago, Illinois

(1) That Protestants, who accept the Bible as the only rule of faith and religion, should by all means go back to the observance of the Sabbath. The fact that they do not, but on the contrary observe the Sunday, stultifies them in the eyes of every thinking man.

(2) ...Peter R. Tramer. Editor
---Francis on 6/26/10


Andrea, "cult" is a derivative of the word "occult", which means, "sight covered, eclipse, a dark way". Thus, a cult is every religion, rather than following Christ the Light.
---Eloy on 6/26/10


"LDS believe when they die they will see Joseph Smith and they are correct."
---Andrea on 8/30/07

Yes LBS believers will see Joseph Smith their leader, however is the location where the meeting takes place that is so terrible.
---mima on 6/26/10


Every religion is a cult. A religion is rules and regulations established by sinners to ease their sinful conscience, and to purposely mislead others down into perdition. The implications are evident: when the blind lead the blind, then both fall into the ditch. Every real Christian bears witness to the truth, and should already be shaking those abiding on the wrong path.
---Eloy on 6/26/10


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Not sure,
But it would seem a cult would excluded you if you don't accept the doctrine.
The truth comes from the Holy Spirit confirming the Word-somehow that couldn't be a complete option. Other materials to read would need to be supplied to beguile from truth.

I did find Andreas' reply interesting.
---char on 6/26/10


One thing they make up answers for questions as they go along.

How many earths are there? ...they are continually coming into existence, and undergoing changes and passing through the same experience that we are passing through... Sin is upon every earth that ever was created. ...consequently every earth has its redeemer, and every earth has its tempter...
LDS Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 1870, Vol. 14, p 71

One God made the Universe - not many gods and many earths
---Andrea on 9/13/07


If you google cults and BITE :signs of cults in Christian and non-christian orgs.br>It describes mormons as cult and says how they manage to control them.

I was interested in the way cult control people bc it is not so different then what the military uses and many organizations that want to help people overcome addictions etc.
Even families may inadvertently use mind control techniques.
Knowing what is unhealthy is sometimes a way of staying healthy.
Be advised BITE is not Christian.
---Andrea on 9/2/07


if the principals that are being taught dont line up with biblical teachings and are pulled out here a line there a little putting it the way that some want it to be instead of praying for Gods leading ..
---kay on 8/30/07


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LDS believe when they die they will see Joseph Smith and they are correct.
---Andrea on 8/30/07


Catholics are not cult members.
---Lisa on 8/30/07


Joseph Smith lied - decieved his family his friends and countless others.
The more I learn about LDS the more disgusting it becomes. Not just three gods - before earth there were thousands of little gods and you are trying to become a god - thats what the devil told Eve.
married his followers wives and then kept it secret lied about it and then developed polygamy to fulfill his own perversions - this is your prophet - it is LDS history and now the DNA evidence is in and guess what JOSEPH LIED!
---Andrea on 8/29/07


I BIBLE-BASED DECEPTIVE, EXPLOITIVE CULTS Response,

1. Where in Protestantism is the claim to the apostolic authority as in the primitive Church. (Jews await "Elijah return they are cult to? "Apostle -One with the authority as given to the NT apostles, same as Messenger, or Prophet. So then is the first century Church a cult?

In todays Protestantism its everybody their own church.-a form of Gnosticism.
---MikeM on 8/29/07


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2) God's Kingdom or a (New World?) is coming soon. Since Rev Darby in the 1800s fundamentalist have been awaiting the end-of the world, they make lots of movies, and left behind books

"New world"-I think of new Age-?

3)The "elect" was a term first used by Calvin. Half of protestantism is Calvinist, or Calvin influenced, they all cult to?
---MikeM on 8/29/07


4) Proclaim that their "church" is the only one that has the "truth" First the RCC claimed to be the universial church. Protestants slaughtered each other in reformation times, each claiming 'truth.' Again, the fruits, are they Christlike? Bible speaks of an apostacy, and a restoration.
---MikeM on 8/29/07


cnt-
5) "Use much fear, guilt, threats and phobia indoctrination to keep the members obeying and to keep them from leaving" I only saw that in a Shepherding Church as a teen, and never since.
---MikeM on 8/29/07


6) Have "black and white-"a "blessing" or a "curse"- Well there are real dichotomies and there are plenty of false dichotomies. We are individuals and as such have the ability to discern good, evil without an ecclesial body.
---MikeM on 8/29/07


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7) Believe that they are being "persecuted" if someone criticizes their group-I never feel persecuted when criticized, more what I experience is amusement. The groups I criticize are too insecure to ask probing questions.

8) Often states that "the end is near" (I. e. the Tribulation) with a focus on end time prophecies. Answering 8, I ask, what religious persuasion publishes a plethora of books on such subjects? What religious persuasion makes endless films on the subject?
---MikeM on 8/29/07


I found this on "how to find the one true church"
ALL BIBLE-BASED DECEPTIVE, EXPLOITIVE CULTS:

1) Say the leader is the "Elijah," "Apostle," "God's Messenger," "That Prophet," etc.

2) Preach that God's Kingdom or a New World is coming soon

3) Tell their members that they are the special "elect"

4) Proclaim that their "church" is the only one that has the "truth
---Andrea on 8/29/07


cnt-
5) Use much fear, guilt, threats and phobia indoctrination to keep the members obeying and to keep them from leaving

6) Have "black and white" thinking and see situations as all good or all bad, a "blessing" or a "curse"

7) Believe that they are being "persecuted" if someone criticizes their group

8)Often states that "the end is near" (i. e. the Tribulation) with a focus on end time prophecies
---Andrea on 8/29/07


I disagree with Jack,

Extra-bible revelation? What became the Bible was based on politics in the first place- basic history, to believe the heavens were forever closed after the Apostles is limiting God.

New Doctrines? - Were not protestant doctrines new in the 1500s? new doctrines within Protestantism have been poppin' up ever since.

Defective Christology. As defined by what ecclesial body?

Radical sectarian? Conceivably, weren't the first century Christians very sectarian?
---MikeM on 8/28/07


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One of the BIG clues that an organization is a cult or that a false prophet is preaching is when that preacher says that he/she has a NEW revelation from God. They then go on to declare that no one else has ever seen or heard the revelation.
---Susie on 8/27/07


"... The SDA Church follows "Sola Scriptura"...which means the bible and the Bible Only.

Few other Churches today can make that claim and back every doctrine with multiple scriptures like the SDA's do."

Good post SeventhSeal!
---djconklin on 8/27/07


I know it when I see it but I can't always put my finger on it.
That was good Jack.

its something about their defensiveness - your attacking me - we prots and pents argue but I don't feel persecuted.
(we really go round about OSAS/tongues/baptism)

Its like this agenda - wooing you into the web. Hidden meanings and "only we" have the truth.
---Andrea on 8/27/07


greetings.Jack.Was not the 4 marks of cultistic behavior you suggest the beginnings of christianity?1.the new testament-extra biblical.2.Denominational doctrines-novel doctrines.3.Soverignty confusion-defective christology.4.Wars and persecution based on religious convictions-radical sectarianism.Traditional religions will continue to persecute up to exterminate any and all christ like new comers.
---earl on 8/27/07


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The number one sign that a religion is a cult is if the religion was founded by MAN.
---Cynthia on 8/27/07


"One of the signs of a cult is a denomination that was started by an individual. Such a SDA or Jehovah witness or Mormons."
You have been misinformed about the SDA's they were not formed or started by an individual.
---djconklin on 8/27/07


There are 4 marks of a cult:

1. New authoritative extra-biblical revelation.
2. Novel doctrines.
3. Defective Christology.
4. Radical sectarianism.
---Jack on 8/27/07


After the latest JW visit followed by a LDS visit followed by a wierd, found them on the web, group, I've come to believe that anyone that knocks on my door is a cult. Check it out. The Holy Spirit leads us to a church, or group, cults have to go trick people into joining? what do you think?
---tony on 8/27/07


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Mima: The Sign of a Cult is any Group that Worships a Man or follows his traditions. The Catholic Church does that by bowing to the Pope. Many Protestants do this by submitting themselves to the Pope's day of worship rather than Keeping the Sabbath Commandment. The SDA Church follows "Sola Scriptura"...which means the bible and the Bible Only.

Few other Churches today can make that claim and back every doctrine with multiple scriptures like the SDA's do.
---SeventhSeal on 8/27/07


One of the signs of a cult is a denomination that was started by an individual. Such a SDA or Jehovah witness or Mormons. Now that is not the only sign. Man-made sacraments also can identify
cults such as the RCC. Always a cult teaches that they are the only way to heaven. They teach membership in their denomination is the key to heaven.
---Mima on 8/27/07


The exact definition of a Cult will vary from author to author. But extreme cults practice Isolate of their members and use Mind Control techniques.
---notlaw99 on 8/27/07


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