Out of the frying pan…
I recently listened to four individuals on YouTube sharing their stories publicly in front of an audience.
Two shared their unrelated stories about being in – and leaving – a cult
The other two shared about addiction. One guy was addicted to pornography. The other girl suffered from bulimia, alcoholism and drug abuse.
One common denominator characterised the four, they each confessed/related how they had left…
Left the cult or the habitual dependence.
One thing I noticed was that they did not spend time telling us what they had found to replace what they had left.
Just the very fact of leaving behind their situation or lifestyle, seemed to be enough to celebrate.
If someone has worn handcuffs for months – there is bound to be a great sense of relief and freedom when those handcuffs are removed. There is nothing to take the place of the handcuffs – except the freedom of release. And surely it is enough.
What they do with their free hands is now the anticipated ongoing story.
Two of these victims of cult abuse, found freedom from what they unfortunately referred to as Evangelical fundamentalist Christianity.
Why unfortunately you might ask? Well because the label blackens the true meanings of the words.
How quickly we can throw the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to labels.
To hear their stories produces empathetic responses from any right minded ‘common sense’ endued public – listening to such stories.
They elicited readily a similar response from me.
But there was no mention of the ‘real thing’ – true biblical Christianity.
Cults can rise from all religions, where misrepresentation of said religions can run rampant.
Anyone adhering to what is commonly referred to as a ‘religion’, will usually be very slow to doubt their ‘fundamental’ beliefs – all ‘religions’ have these foundational doctrines.
So any word can either be heard for what it really refers to or can be heard through the biased sieve of those to whom that word means something else.
The something else being certain behaviour that they associate immediately with that word, without giving the word a second thought, and accepting that it may in fact mean something else in a different context.
Thus out goes the baby with the bathwater, and everyone is tarred with the same brush, the brush that ‘they’ associate with a given word.
I’m thinking of such words as ‘evangelical’, ‘fundamentalist’, ‘christianity’, which happen to be the words used by those who were telling of their escape from a particular cult.
The immediate impression given (without them trying to present an alternative) is that all of Christianity is a cult, or that ‘evangelical’ is synonymous with manipulation cruelty and control. The things that they experienced in the cult.
Whereas nothing could be further from the truth in real Christianity. In fact true evangelicals are the first in line to empathise with what these folks experienced in the cult that gives Christianity a bad name.
Truth is – these cults were Christianity without Christ.
Without Christ, because they were ‘religious’ in the Pharisaical bad sense of the word. They corrupted the word of God – by making it whatever served their selfish ends.
The result is Christianity without Christ Jesus, and the Bible without God in it.
Rules made-up by man adding to the Word of God. Adding to it in order to corrupt it. And imposing their perverted rules in order to dominate the ‘flock’ – i.e. members of the cult.
The following Scripture must be taken in context, but I simply quote it, to emphasise that man can/does corrupt the bible, especially it is the case – in these abhorrent cults.
18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Often in these cults – The application of the bible to try to control people’s behaviour or allegiances, is done so without proper understanding of the great balance of truth found in scripture (to say the least).
Cults operate under the influence of a demonic spirit – but all in the name of Christianity.
What’s the result? Many turn-off from even considering the real thing, by virtue of it’s mis-representation by those who lead cults and have no right to call themselves Christian.
These cult leaders misrepresent Christ Jesus manifest by the fruit of their living.
People – bound by the manipulation and control of these pseudo shepherds with their own private, invented, perverted Christianity, – when they get ‘free’ – can allow (if unwise) their pendulum to swing in the opposite direction, understandably I hasten to add. But caution should be exercised that they don’t come out of the frying pan into the fire. Do not shed one set of shackles for another kind.
Don’t celebrate your freedom with a mouthful of swear words because you are now free to say what you like.
Swearing is an interesting subject. It is censored on television until a certain time of the day, yet is freely indulged in afterwards.
So it’s not right for our children to hear – but it’s ok for us to use. (Sounds like hypocrisy to me).
Swearing some will tell us is just ‘words’. But normally someone out to put down, victimise, belittle, reject, dump their anger and threats upon others, look for words suitably appropriate to describe their disgust for their fellow-man, and therefore seek the assistance of expletives. But then tell us they are just words?
Anyway – getting off the subject I realise.
My encouragement to all is to soberly consider the claims of Christ by searching the scriptures for yourself.
Realise there is the false and true in every sphere of life. Don’t settle for anything that falls short of 100% authenticity.
It may take time I know. But seek and you will find!