Signs of a Cult
A cult is a group that deviates doctrinally from a parent or host religion. Cults would include Mormonism, JW’s, Christian Scientists, et al. A cult doesn’t necessarily have to comply with each example to be a cult.
1 – Group members give many superficial answers to direct questions.
2 – Group doesn’t divulge monetary history or constitution of beliefs. The average member usually isn’t privy to this information.
3 – No sign of the cross – 1 Cor. 1:18.
4 – They take secret oaths or there is a “swearing in” at induction ceremonies. Oaths are taken to swear allegiance to the organization. Hosea 10:4.
Example: Masons call Jesus the Great Architect of the Universe. But how great can He be if only the lodge, through the Worshipful Master, can take you from darkness to light?
5 – Person shuns family or close friends for no apparent reason.
6 – Group stands on one or two verses as the basis for their entire belief. – 1 Cor. 15:29 is a classic example of this in Mormonism; it’s their justification for baptizing dead people.
7 – “Outsiders wouldn’t understand” what they’re saying.
8 – They’re usually argumentative. They’ve been trained to provoke the anger in you to take away their guilt. This gives them a reason to verbally attack. (Dr. Walter Martin – Kingdom of the Cults)
9 – They’ve been trained to believe they’re being persecuted and/or superior.
10 – Only their organization can interpret scriptures safely and does so for the group. However, scriptures are not subject to private interpretation. God has never given this authority to anyone, including their prophet and/or leader. – 2 Peter 1:20-21.
11 – Their group or religion has evolved since its inception.
12 – Works based salvation is necessary. Jesus’ blood atonement wasn’t enough for you to achieve salvation.
13 – Salvation has a completely different meaning from what the Bible states. There are different stages to salvation; location of heaven and/or “Zion” differs from the Bible and there will be secret names to be learned in order to obtain “true salvation”.
14 – They’ll have written works they consider scripture in addition to the Bible – Gal. 1:6-9.
15 – They are the “only true church”.
16 – There are marked changes in dietary and clothing routines. Members follow dietary and clothing laws and believe these rules are part of a salvation plan.
17 – Major doctrinal changes in belief system are not protested or questioned by members.
18 – God speaks to their leader exclusively, who in turn will give message from God to the members.