It’s easy to spot signs of a cult – okay, let’s look at this from a bigger point of view: are not “christians” characterised by claiming that they, and they alone, have the truth about “god”, and dismissing other religions as wrong or misguided? and what about “god” giving their founders a new revelation that “corrects” the “errors” of others”? what about the differences between eastern and western orthodox catholics and methodists, or presbyterians and jehovah’s witnesses? what about the war over whether to perform the sign of the cross with two or three fingers? do they not add other authorities (like billy graham) to whatever canon they work under and secretly substitute their own teachings for things with which they disagree? what is it, if not in the message that “the only way… is through faith and trust in Christ” that makes “christianity anything different than the “cults” that he is warning against?
the fact that i can easily find “christianity” in this article that is supposed to be about “cults” should be warning to any “christian” who might be reading this, that even in such notable and presumably “christian” personalities as billy graham there is enough hypocrisy and lust for money that we should all be extremely careful about what we take as “The Gospel Truth” when it comes to making a personal decision like what one’s spiritual path should be.
if you’re really concerned about whether or not a group may be a “cult”, i would recommend evaluating it with the Advanced Bonewits Cult Danger Evaluation Frame.
It’s easy to spot signs of a cult
Jul. 22, 2009
DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: How can I know whether a certain religious group is Christian or if it’s a cult? The members are very friendly, and they’re certainly very committed to their beliefs, but a friend of mine says the group is a cult. — Mrs. D.W.W.
DEAR MRS. D.W.W.: One test is to find out how this group views other Christians. Cults often claim that they, and they alone, have the truth about God, and they often dismiss other churches as wrong or misguided. They also may claim that God gave their founder a new revelation that “corrects” the “errors” of others.
Claims like this should be like an alarm bell to your soul. The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ was God in human flesh, and because of that, he was God’s final word to the human race.
Nothing needs to be added to Christ, the Bible says, because God’s work of salvation is complete in him. As the Bible says, in Christ “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). This is what Christians have held for 2,000 years, and it is central to our faith.
However, cults usually deny that Jesus was the unique son of God, sent from heaven to save us from our sins. They also may add other books to the Bible or substitute their own teachings for the Bible’s truth. They also deny that our greatest need is to be cleansed of our sins and that the only way this can happen is through faith and trust in Christ.
Don’t be misled by this group’s friendliness. Instead, turn to Christ and put your faith and hope in him alone. Then ask God to guide you to a church that faithfully teaches the Bible, so you can grow in your relationship to Christ.