Over the past couple of decades, the media has viewed such groups as the David Koresh’s Branch Davidians, Marshall Applewhite’s “Heaven’s Gate UFO group, Jim Jones’ People’s Temple and Rev. Moon’s Unification Church as cults, but they do not consider such groups such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the United Pentecostal Church, the International Church of Christ, the Worldwide Church of God (“Armstrongism”a.k.a. The Church of God) or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons).
Psychologists define a cult as a group which deviates from cultural norms. The dictionary defines a cult in several ways ranging from “a group of followers” (implying to the devotion of one central figure or a particular principle), “a system of religious worship”, or “a sect.” Indeed all of these ideas are important when Christians use the word cult.
For the Christian, the late Dr. Walter R. Martin (author of the classic work, The Kingdom of the Cults) defines a cult as follows,
“A cult, then, is a group of people polarized around someone’s interpretation of the Bible and is characterized by major deviations from orthodox Christianity relative to the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith, particularly the fact that God became man in Jesus Christ.” (The Kingdom of the Cults, page 12).
So a cult is a group of people that are polarized or gathered around a major deviation or set of deviations from biblical Christianity. How can we recognize those deviations?
This page will provide you with information that we and others have written over the years in the area of the cults and the new religious movements. The purpose of this page is to provide you with resources, links and videos that respond to the false ideologies and theologies presented by cult groups.
More to come. . . . .