Alan Gomes writes: "A cult of Christianity is a group of people, which claiming to be Christian, embraces a particular doctrine system taught by an individual leader, group of leaders, or organization, which (system) denies (either explicitly or implicitly) one or more of the central doctrines of the Christian Faith as taught in the sixty-six books of the Bible."
"A cult is a group or movement exhibiting a great or excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea, or thing and employing unethically manipulative techniques of persuasion and control (e.g., isolation from former friends and family, debilitation, use of special methods to heighten suggestibility and subservience, powerful group pressures, information management, suspension of individuality or critical judgment, promotion of total dependency on the group and fear of leaving it, etc.) designed to advance the goals of the group's leaders to the actual or possible detriment of members, their families, or the community." (West & Langone, 1986)
Resources: Christian Research Institute and Larson's New book of Cults by Bob Larson
See: Spiritual Abuse Profile at Watchman Fellowship
Read about the Weigh Down Workshop Controversy, and When a Leader Disappoints You.
See the Christian Research Institute and Midwest Christian Outreach for more information on cults.
*If you feel that you have been in a cult or organization which has used some of the characteristics above and that you are experiencing some of the symptoms above, please get some help. You can call Rapha's hotline for a referral to a Christian counselor in your area at: 1-800-383-4673.