A system of religious veneration and
devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.
A relatively small group of people having
religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.
But what is a cult? With all this talk in political circles about what politician is in a cult and what one is not ...here is what to know what a cult is and is not.
Here are some identifying features of a cult:
1. It has a dominant leader
2. It follows "holy" teachings in addition to the Bible.
3. It isolates members from society.
A cult is a group that tends to stray from traditional teachings on Christianity.
People are attracted to cults because they tend to offer easy answers to modern problems, provide an atmosphere of love and acceptance ...and people who are tired of traditional "Religion" tend to be attracted to them.
Most of the important questions you should ask :
1. what does this group believe about Jesus?
2. Who started this group and what is their history?
3. What kind of people follow this teaching?
4. Does group allow me to think for myself?
5. Do these beliefs make any sense to other Christians I know and respect?
If someone claims that only their leader knows the Bible and to believe what they say.
Here is a Guide to Recognizing Cults:
1. A leader who claims to have unique authority.
2. Claims that some truth can be found in a book or some other text not in the Bible.
3. Isolation of its members.
4. Group members not allowed to question their leader or group's teachings.
5. Difference from Christianity concerning key doctrine
The Kingdom of the Cults - Walter Martin.
The above adapted from Beliefs to Beware of: Paul Borthwick and Randy Petersen. Cook Communications. 2003.
They have a lot of reproducible sheets and lessons for students from the Curriculum "Can I know what to believe?"
Handbook of denominations in the United States. Frank S. Meade. Revised by Samuel S. Hill. Adingdon Press.