The following is not a revelation but contains inspired instruction of such an important nature that it has been included in the covenants and commandments of the Church. Identifying cultism in modern religion [Oppsal, Oslo, Norway].
1. John J. May, a former Jehovah's Witness, has identified 12 symptoms of bondage and slavery in religious and secular organisations which we as New Covenant Christians endorse as being a true exposition (v.6-18).
2. Different combinations of these symptoms obtain in different groups and churches, and to different degrees, but the presence of even one symptom is evidence that freedom is under attack or has already been lost, and therefore a meaningful relationship with the Lord has, or is being, been lost too.
3. Let the honest-in-heart examine each of these to determine if they are truly free in the church, religious or secular organisation to which they belong.
4. And if they per chance discover they are in bondage and slavery because of a man-made or satan-inspired fellowship, let them break free and hand their lives over to Christ who will under no circumstances disappoint them if they follow the Jesus of the Bible.
5. A cult is a system of religious worship, devotion, or homage to a person or thing apart from the true God as revealed through His Son Jesus Christ.
Symptoms of Cultism
6. Some of the easily recognisable symptoms of man-made cults are as follows:
7. Total dependence (reliance, trust, confidence) on the leader (e.g. pastor, prophet, church president, evangelist) or leaders of the sect (cult, church, organisation, group);
8. Blind obedience (and since compliance with every instruction is taught as maturity, many find themselves doing and saying things they would never have done before joining the organisation);
9. Constant repetition which eventually and inevitably creates the artificial atmosphere of unity where pretentions replace reality and nobody dares volunteer a different opinion because of unadulterated fear of what the group may think;
10. The idea that all in the "family" (sect, cult, church) are "good" and all outside are "bad"; therefore tiny infractions of rules are obviously magnified and necessarily punished;
11. Fear to displease the leadership and their sycophantic officials becomes the fuel that fires the mind which dulls the heart, and so consequently injustice finds the climate to breed in;
12. Everyone ends up watching each other to report perceived infractions or to measure their "purity" (worthiness) against those less zealous;
13. Rewards and chastisements are constantly placed before the unfortunates to spur them on to more and more work;
14. Intolerance of other peoples' view- points which is intensified through misrepresentation and ridicule at official level (yet always predictably denied);
15. Definite feelings of superiority over all other people in various faiths regardless of their sincerity. This is particularly sad when one realises the rampant abysmal ignorance most of thesepeople have regarding other religious beliefs;
16. Constant feelings of uselessness;
17. Suppression of true feelings along with the consequent guilt;
18. Pathetic and hysterical demands for unity by habitual portrayals of any who question as apostates. (It is inter- esting that most hard-line groups use this historical "whipping boy" to terrorise all into submission to their cruel dictates).
Coming out of Cultism
19. Jesus said: "Come unto Me all you who are toiling and burdened and I will refresh you." Or in otherwords, "I will make you truly free" (Jn.7:37; 8:32,36)
20. The truth stands on its own and does not need anyone to force a person to accept a particular belief-structure.
21. If a person is truly surrendered to Jesus Christ, the truth will be taught him inwardly by the Holy Spirit so that when it is taught him outwardly by God's servants he will instantly recognise it as divine.
22. God requires no man to support another by spiritual crutches by forcing him to lean on another's testimony (called the "arm of flesh" in scripture) but calls all to personally develop a relationship with Jesus Christ and obtain their spiritual nourishment directly from the heavens.
23. The man who cannot stand alone with Christ will eventually fall for he will find himself built on a sandy foundation.
24. Every man's testimony must stand independent of everyone else's for no two men walk the same spiritual course.
25. To trust in another's testimony is idolatry if he has not already received this inward testimony directly from Christ.
26. When a man comes to be judged at the last day he will stand alone before his Maker and cannot excuse himself of hissins by saying he believed in the testimony of another who claimed to be of God.
27. Man must find out all truth for himself and constructively, humbly and lovingly criticise and search until he is satisfied in his own mind and heart as to what the truth is;
28. And even then he must be willing to accept that what he believes in or "knows" is only an approximation of absolute truth based on certain assump- tions which may be challenged later.
29. One of the greatest qualities of a New Covenant Christian is honesty; and the greatest enemy of honesty is dogmatism and inflexibility.
30. Though there are certain self-evident truths that we ought not to compromise until a higher truth comes along which takes our understanding to a level or awareness whose fruits are a closer union with Christ, greater freedom, peace and happiness, we must always be ready to challenge every assumption upon which we base our faith-structure.
31. For the honest man and woman will admit that everything we do and believe is based somewhere on certain assumptions which need not necessarily be correct.
32. The man or woman seeking for greater Light is constantly challenging these assumptions1 in a positive way, taking nothing for granted, and being satisfied with nothing in the final sense until he has crossed that veil which divides him from the presence of God andthe heavenly Church of the Firstborn. Amen.
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This page was first created on 25 December 1997
Last updated on 20 March 1998
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