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When does a religion become a cult?

(7 Posts)
MrsMicawber Sun 11-May-14 23:01:48

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MrsMicawber Sun 11-May-14 23:05:38

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Helpys Sun 11-May-14 23:07:34

It's the one person aspect that would worry me most. I've known very well balanced happy Moonies and Mormons living fulfilling and mainstream lives though, so I probably have quite a high cult tolerance!

MrsMicawber Sun 11-May-14 23:12:14

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lougle Sun 11-May-14 23:14:37

I'm a Christian, so I'll answer from that perspective, but I'm sure there will be lots of different ones.

As a Christian I believe that the Bible is the word of God and the Bible is our guide to life. Church leaders are there to help us and give guidance from the Bible, but they are not themselves an authority in that they cannot command us to behave a certain way. Each individual must make their own decisions.

I suppose it depends on what help you asked for as to whether there would be a religious justification for denying the help. Help to move some furniture -no. Lending money to fund a strip club.... possibly. Extreme examples, but you get my gist.

lougle Sun 11-May-14 23:17:49

As to when it becomes a cult? I think when the main leader becomes such an authority that their word supercedes that of the religion they claim to follow; when no other person can dare to disagree or act contrary to the will of that leader; when to belong involves restrictive covenants and total loyalty to the group, etc.

Helpys Sun 11-May-14 23:37:23

I would encourage your sister to 'broaden her spiritualist horizons'. Don't criticise her current church but perhaps point her in the direction of an 'add on' so that she might realise that all her eggs are in one basket.
'The 7 habits of highly effective people' has a lot about balancing spiritual life- not over investing in church or family or work.

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