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    23 Jul '06 03:061 edit
    Well?

    After respoding to the LDS thread I got to thinking, some people refer to LDS as a cult and some do not. I am in no way singling out LDS but would merely like to explore the term cult in reference to religion.
    What does it mean to you?
  2. Standard membertelerion
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    23 Jul '06 03:241 edit
    Originally posted by whodey
    Well?

    After respoding to the LDS thread I got to thinking, some people refer to LDS as a cult and some do not. I am in no way singling out LDS but would merely like to explore the term cult in reference to religion.
    What does it mean to you?
    If you call LDS a cult, then I think you have to call all of xianity a cult. When other xians call LDS a cult, what they essentially end up saying is "They have different beliefs about Christ than I do. They have added more to our Bible."

    Oddly, those Jehovah Witnesses who do not put faith in the Old Testament could say the same thing about Assembly of God types and Baptist types.

    Almost every denomination in xianity today began by being called a 'cult' or a 'fallen away' group. In this way, most every belief could be called a cult as they are all offshoots of some former creed.

    For me, if there is going to be any useful definition of 'cult' for me, it would have to include groups that through some use their religious program to seperate a person from their family and all non-faith friends and then making the person dependent upon the faith group. These groups have a way of sucking members in and then cutting them off from the outside world.

    Edit: I wouldn't call LDS a cult under this definition.
  3. Joined
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    23 Jul '06 04:12
    Originally posted by telerion
    If you call LDS a cult, then I think you have to call all of xianity a cult. When other xians call LDS a cult, what they essentially end up saying is "They have different beliefs about Christ than I do. They have added more to our Bible."

    Oddly, those Jehovah Witnesses who do not put faith in the Old Testament could say the same thing about Assembly of ...[text shortened]... off from the outside world.

    Edit: I wouldn't call LDS a cult under this definition.
    Fair enough. From my Christian perspective, however, I have a different take on the situation. For me what I consider to be cults have certain attributes. I would say that cults as a rule place their focus on the organization instead of God. This can also include Christian denominations, however. The organization is very controlling and descent is not tolerated. Therefore you often do not see denominations develope from these organizations as a rule. For me different denominations show that a perfect message has been handed down to an imperfect people. Differnet denominations within Christiandom are often amiable so long as the general tenants of Christ's diety and salvation through grace are not tampered with. JW's and Mormons come to mind in such instances. They all seem to point to the Bible in some way as well. Then they step back and say that the Bible has been tampered with in some way and then write another Bible to help correct the supposide intended meanings of the Bible. From JW's that I have talked to they tell me that they are not even encouraged to even read the Bible. Instead they are given pamphlets handed to them to read every week with scriptures in them so that they can be spoon fed scripture via the church's interpretation alone. Personal interpretation is prohibited.

    You could argue that Christianity wrote their own Bible and added it on to the Old Testament, however, Christ continuously refered to Old Testament prophesies and teachings. In fact, there are a myraid of prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah written about in the Old Testament. The most definitive, in my opinion, is Daniel 9:24 which dates the coming of the Messiah at the exact time Jesus walks the earth. In fact, after the Jews had rejected their Messiah hundreds of years later, Rabbi's wrote that they were dissappointed that the Messiah had not come at his aloted time which was during the time of Christ. They later blamed his apparent non-return on the sinfulness of Israel.

    Before anyone writes that Christ did not fulfill all the prophecies concerning his arrival let me say one thing. The New Testament says he is coming back a second time. No where in the Old Testament does it say that the Messiah will come only once.
  4. Standard membertelerion
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    23 Jul '06 05:04
    Originally posted by whodey
    Fair enough. From my Christian perspective, however, I have a different take on the situation. For me what I consider to be cults have certain attributes. I would say that cults as a rule place their focus on the organization instead of God. This can also include Christian denominations, however. The organization is very controlling and descent is not to ...[text shortened]... cond time. No where in the Old Testament does it say that the Messiah will come only once.
    So xian religions that believe that the Bible needs more or less material are cults, but religions that outright deny that the Bible has any legitimacy spiritually may not be cults (e.g., Hinduism)?
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    23 Jul '06 06:00
    1 : formal religious veneration : WORSHIP
    2 : a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also : its body of adherents
    3 : a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents
    4 : a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator
    5 a : great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book); especially : such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad b : the object of such devotion c : a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion
  6. Standard memberUmbrageOfSnow
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    23 Jul '06 06:20
    I like telerion's definition much better. I think it captures the common use of the word quite well. I was going to say that a size limitation should be included, but I think this should be very large, Scientology, for example, should still count as a cult in my opinion.
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    23 Jul '06 06:38
    that was websters online dictionary lol
  8. Standard memberDavid C
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    23 Jul '06 11:43
    Originally posted by whodey
    Well??
    Thread 32410

    I'm only here to help...
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    23 Jul '06 11:522 edits
    Originally posted by whodey
    Well?

    After respoding to the LDS thread I got to thinking, some people refer to LDS as a cult and some do not. I am in no way singling out LDS but would merely like to explore the term cult in reference to religion.
    What does it mean to you?
    All religions are cults. Or at the very least started out as a cult. I guess once a religion becomes mainstream it is no longer consider as such. But certainly the mainstream pagan Romans must have consider early Christianity a cult.
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    23 Jul '06 12:58
    Originally posted by whodey
    Well?

    After respoding to the LDS thread I got to thinking, some people refer to LDS as a cult and some do not. I am in no way singling out LDS but would merely like to explore the term cult in reference to religion.
    What does it mean to you?
    I would say a cult is any religion that names the name of Christ, but denies that He is God come in the flesh, that He rose bodily from the dead, or that there is salvation in any other name. Also, cults tie salvation to works and not grace. Thus, I would not consider Judaism a cult, but a separate religion because they do not believe in Jesus. On the other hand, Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons acknowledge Jesus but do not accept the Biblical account of Him. In addition, they have books that take precedence over Scriptures.
  11. Donationrwingett
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    23 Jul '06 14:49
    Originally posted by whodey
    Well?

    After respoding to the LDS thread I got to thinking, some people refer to LDS as a cult and some do not. I am in no way singling out LDS but would merely like to explore the term cult in reference to religion.
    What does it mean to you?
    A cult is somebody else's religion.
  12. Standard membertelerion
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    23 Jul '06 15:22
    Originally posted by masscat
    I would say a cult is any religion that names the name of Christ, but denies that He is God come in the flesh, that He rose bodily from the dead, or that there is salvation in any other name. Also, cults tie salvation to works and not grace. Thus, I would not consider Judaism a cult, but a separate religion because they do not believe in Jesus. On the oth ...[text shortened]... the Biblical account of Him. In addition, they have books that take precedence over Scriptures.
    So Scientology is not a cult?
  13. The sky
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    23 Jul '06 16:32
    Originally posted by masscat
    I would say a cult is any religion that names the name of Christ, but denies that He is God come in the flesh, that He rose bodily from the dead, or that there is salvation in any other name. Also, cults tie salvation to works and not grace. Thus, I would not consider Judaism a cult, but a separate religion because they do not believe in Jesus. On the oth ...[text shortened]... the Biblical account of Him. In addition, they have books that take precedence over Scriptures.
    So a cult is a religion which is somewhat close to your own religion, but not too close? Do Islam and the Baha'i Faith qualify as cults in your view (they both acknowledge Jesus, but don't believe he was the son of God)?
  14. Subscribersonhouse
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    23 Jul '06 16:48
    Originally posted by Nordlys
    So a cult is a religion which is somewhat close to your own religion, but not too close? Do Islam and the Baha'i Faith qualify as cults in your view (they both acknowledge Jesus, but don't believe he was the son of God)?
    I think of a true cult as a small group with a charismatic but domineering leader maybe with a prediliciton to young women, for instance, David Koresh would certainly fill the bill. However suppose Koresh was to increase his following, assuming he had survived Waco and twenty years later has 1 billion followers. I think you will find the world would not view whatever you call his religion as a cult. Of course all religions started out as a cult, a leader with at first only one or two followers and then built up a larger following. Since Jesus did not start christianity, Paul did that, it should by rights be called Paulism and that was certainly a cult at the start. People now worship Jesus and even Mother Mary and that is the hallmark of a cult.
  15. Joined
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    23 Jul '06 17:131 edit
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I think of a true cult as a small group with a charismatic but domineering leader maybe with a prediliciton to young women, for instance, David Koresh would certainly fill the bill. However suppose Koresh was to increase his following, assuming he had survived Waco and twenty years later has 1 billion followers. I think you will find the world would not vie ...[text shortened]... at the start. People now worship Jesus and even Mother Mary and that is the hallmark of a cult.
    You bring up an interesting question. If Paul started Christianity as you claim, what benefit did he have in doing so? My view of cults are those organizations that focus on an organization or an individual such as David Koresh or Jim Jones who have something to benefit from for their efforts. These men had a mass of people to use and abuse any way they saw fit. Why would Paul, who was more or less persecuted and then killed for his beliefs point to another man to be followed?

    However, if Christ started the Christian faith, as I believe, then what did he gain by it? Did he use and abuse people as Koresh and Jones? Did he seek political office or some religious position that was well sought after? In essense, what made these men tick? Are they cut from the same cloth as everyone else seems to be which is namely, self centerness and wanting others to serve them? In fact, both Paul and Christ led a life of serving others. As Christ rightly said, if you want to have a position of authority you must first serve. It seems backwards but we see that how it works today. Now there are billions of people across the globe who want to serve him.
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