Opinion,

Is your church real or a cult: how to identify Christian cults: Part 1

Salvation Press News (SPN), HARARE. – Jim Jones will be recorded in the history of religion as one of the most prevalent cult leaders who fervently built a prominent sect in America.

In 1978, about 900 people perished in Guyana, South America after being administered a deadly grape drink at a cultic festival he had planned. Followers were guaranteed that they would ‘march to heaven’ after ingesting the deadly poison.

Lifeless bodies were later recovered dotted at the event site. The Christian world was mortified. Many were left asking: how could adults be indoctrinated to such an extent and later on, collectively and secretively commit to end their own lives in such a careless and callous fashion.

Religious cults are still in control, even as you read. However, current religious cults operate differently. They no longer apply the Jones system, rather they are more deceiving and innovative in luring unsuspecting believers into their fold.
Prophet E. Makandiwa
Unfortunately, you could be part of a cult and never know it. And those in the know, are often proud to admit it, or they have been brainwashed and will dismiss every effort to correct their ways as they religious follow an established cult’s wayward doctrine.

How to identify a religious cults?

Unlike in 1978, when Jim Jones unleashed his recorded cruelty, identifying a cult today is equally challenging. Herein lies the difficulty. Inside the bible there is nowhere where the word 'cult' is ever mentioned. The word cult is represented by the Greek term ‘hairesis’, referring to sects. This word derives from the root meaning, to choose. In other words, the word suggests or hints of a self-willed opinion that rejects the authority of truth, leads to division, and causes the formation of a sect.
Prophet W. Magaya,
In this informative series (How to identify religious cults), Salvation Press News will provide proof that show you how cultic movements get started. It will also reveal how cultic leaders gain total control over devotees, cults and their respective cultures. If any of the below signs are identified with your ‘church’, beware, you might be absorbed in a cult without a clear understanding. Zimbabwe, like many other countries has been saddled with the cultic spirit. Some sects have been in existence for years, and today they attract a huge following, while members are in denial of their lost cause. Efforts to abolish some of these cults have been often respond to with unyielding opposition.

Main features of cults:

1. There is often unquestionable commitment to a domineering leader in the religious setup

2. Questioning, doubt and reasoning are often discouraged. Those who disagree with the establishment are made to feel that they are stupid, inferior or inept (people are being brainwashed)

3. Cultic members lavish their leaders in luxurious livelihood. The leader is preoccupied with raising money. There is always a need to increase finances

4. Separation of members is often rife. The cultic leader regularly generates a polarised mentality within his followers. He convinces members that the cult is the only one that will lead them to heaven, and that all the others are wrong. So, the members believe they are the only ones going to heaven

5. There is often an alteration of personality. Cult members assume a new personality different from the one they had before. For example pride, antagonism, rejection of relatives and family members in preference of sect members

6. Their most common teachings are that Jesus was not God and that salvation is not by faith alone. A denial of the deity of Christ results in Jesus’ death not being a sufficient payment for our sins. – Salvation Press News (SPN).
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