There have been numerous off shoots of Christianity that have turned out to be heretical cults. Because of the lack of biblical discernment, many people fall prey to them.
One of the most popular of the cults that have many of the following characteristics is Watchtower – better known as the “Jehovah’s Witnesses.” Many would also include aberrant religious groups like Scientology, (founded by L. Ron Hubbard) as well as so many other religious entities that it would be too numerous to mention here.
Most recently a new, young, attendee of our church has fallen prey to a cultish off shoot of Christianity called “Church of Christ”.
This group she affiliates with has all of the earmarks of a religious cult:
The objective I have for this article is to help parents, families, and friends identify the signs and or characteristics of religious cults.
Truly, any group that is truly Christian and biblical would not have to revert to these extreme tactics to recruit and maintain followers (the Holy Spirit and true churches do not engage in the following coercive manipulative practices).
The following are 10 characteristics:
1. They prey on vulnerable youth
Often, cults have mobile outreach strategies on college and university campuses so they can target scared, insecure, youth who are searching for an identity and a community of friends for emotional stability.
The outreach strategy is mobile or transient because college officials are often alerted to their cultish tactics that do not comport to the traditional campus (religious) clubs
(they have to be on the move so they don’t get caught and shut down!).
2. Love bombing
Love bombing is a term used to describe the effort cults initially make with potential converts by making a strong emotional connection with them. This includes constantly showing them attention, affection, bestowing upon them affirming words and throwing around the word community and love.
The goal, of course, is to get their potential convert to adopt this new group as their primary family identity – hence replacing their biological and any spiritual family or church they are affiliated with.
3. Social isolation
After the new initiate converts into their religious community they are loaded down with numerous activities and religious meetings to ensure they will not have time for any other activities or affiliations.
They are also assigned a mentor or spiritual leader that will discourage them from any outside involvement with a goal of total isolation from all other relationships outside of their new community.
4. Mind control and programing
Between all the long meetings, incessant activities, micro managing of their social life/social exclusionary tactics and constant indoctrination the result is a form of mind control and social programing.
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