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Do you belong to a cult? Chances are, you don’t. But you might get sucked into one without even realizing it. Six things to consider when analyzing the groups you belong to.
Do You Belong to a Cult?
I remember picking up a book on sects and cults as a teenager and the shock I felt when I discovered the author classified the denomination I belonged to as a cult. I knew I didn’t belong to a cult (only stupid people got suckered into cults, right?). No one stood up front and harangued me to give more money or move into a communal farm in the middle of nowhere. No one shaved their heads, wore orange robes, or passed laws against wearing clothes in the park. Nope. I didn’t belong to a cult.
But the word cult has a broader meaning than most of us imagine. According to Stephen Hassan, cults fall on a spectrum. Many groups have cultish tendencies (Swifties and Pelaton owners come to mind). But not all cult leaders turn into Jim Jones or Adolf Hitler.
No one wakes up one day and says, “Hey, I need to join a cult.” But it would behoove each of us to examine our group memberships periodically to ensure we don’t get sucked into a destructive cult without realizing it (not all cults require communal living).
News is No Longer Impartial Facts
When I think of some of the cult-like behavior I see today in the United States, I’m shocked by how the media (both social and so-called news) seems to support cults. I haven’t watched the news regularly for a quarter of a century, but I recently stayed with a sweet family that religiously watched the evening ‘news.’ The commentators and newscasters seemed intent on polarizing the country with one of the classic cult objectives (instill an ‘Us versus Them’ attitude in followers). What I saw on the evening ‘news’ made me fear for my country, my neighbors, and my freedom.
I challenge you to listen to today’s podcast and spend some time analyzing the groups you belong to. Maybe you belong to a cult and didn’t even know it!
These books might interest you.
Come Back Next Week
Next week we’ll tackle how to fit self-care into our busy lives.
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Thought provoking post Anita!
Tea With Jennifer recently posted…What makes a blog post popular?
Great insights for walking in healthy relationships vs destructive ones, Anita.
Lisa Blair recently posted…10 Bible Verses for Healing a Broken Heart
This is important to consider. I have definitely been part of a couple of Christian groups that had cultish tendencies. I wouldn’t say they were full-on cults but there were definitely some unhealthy dynamics.
As a high school grad, I once joined a denomination based on my emotions. Later when I realized what their true beliefs were, I had to leave. It took me about 6 months to understand their doctrine.
I’m looking forward to your podcast next week because HOW do I find time for self-care? It hasn’t been happening!
Jerralea Winn Miller recently posted…I REALIZE I AM POWERLESS WITHOUT HIM
It’s so important to understand both what we believe, especially about Jesus, and what the group/church/organization we’re a part of believes. Seeing how these align (or not) can help us make wise choices about whether or not to continue with them.
I’m looking forward to next week’s podcast. Coming into a busy season and not having much time for rest and self-care, I need some refreshers!
Jeanne Takenaka recently posted…Good Perspectives for Our Questions About Prayer
This is such a critical topic for us to be aware of, now more than ever. There are so many cultish-type organizations (churches included) that are more than happy to influence us in unhealthy ways if we’re not aware. I read Cultish myself last year and found it very eye-opening. I’m clicking now on Freedom of Mind to check into that one too. Thanks, Anita!
Lisa notes recently posted…Ask Yourself This One Question