A while a ago, there was a discussion on the use of ‘cult’ as applied to various religious groups and communities. This is a product of that discussion meant to engender future discussion. The following is a solicited article. The thoughts and opinions expressed may not necessarily be the thoughts and opinions of this blogger.
Update: Pete Hise has resigned after his “emotional” affair with the music minister, Sharon Clements.
Honestly, I don’t know and as far as I know, I’ve never said that it was; however, it seems to be a hot topic bringing people to the blog today. A fellow blogger, twitterer, etc… Heidi actually posted on this today. Since she is a member, go read her take on it. Or, you can head on over to the Lead Pastor’s blog, Pete Hise, and ask him.
I’ll tell you right now, it’s not my kind of worshiping community, but a cult?
Brian Tamaki’s self-proclaimed elevation to the rank of Bishop, or even King, is disturbing – not because of any judgment as to whether his form of religion is more “right” than anybody else’s, but because the doctrine and rulebook being espoused by the Destiny Church so totally discourage independent thought.
Well, maybe not 95 of them, but another Hollywood actor has left the cult – here, I’ll use the word pretty strongly, leaving this very public letter. So, what do you do when you resign from the Scientologist cult? He only focuses on two issues, really, the support by a local group of Prop 8 and the use of disconnection, in which members are forced to disconnected from family and friends who might stand against Scientology. If you care to click the tag at the bottom, there are a whole host of others issues which surround Scientology. Maybe, regardless of the reason for defection, some of these issues will be confirmed.
The word ‘cult’ gets tossed around freely these days, like ‘Nazi’, or Christian, but what is going on at IHOP is troublesome to say the very least:
I have good news to share with those of you out there that have been affected by Pastor Star R. Scott – he’s being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service.
So he answered and said to me:
“This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel:
“Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’
Says the LORD of hosts. (Zechariah 4:6 NKJV)
One of the flash words used among those in Charismatic circles, as well as those of Joel’s Army/Dominionism types, is ‘covering’. Fresh Fire Ministries says that it has provided a covering for Todd Bentley – but what does that mean? (It is used by the Vineyard Association of Churches, and Radiant Life Church of Sacramento and Katy, Tx among countless others, mainly Charismatics) I used to think that the Todd B’s of the world have no theology, or at the very least underformed, but the more that one researches it, the more intense – and worrisome – their theology becomes. It is not merely about collecting money and performing fake miracles, fooling people – but it is about coalescing power around a central group or figure head. It about destroying the traditional idea of what the bible is – and thus what is generally derived from it – biblical authority, church order, morality.
I believe that a centralized – less than democratic form – of Church government is the preferred New Testament model; however, their authority is limited to those things biblical, although church leaders may offer counseling, etc… If they violate their authority – in that they ‘sin’ out – then they have no more power and must be removed. Sometimes it is God who moves them – sometimes God removes them through the congregation. The Covering Movement would have us surrender our lives, our families, our congregations to a centralized figure, or group of figure. Like most things of the adversary, the truth is used to cover and hide the great lie. It is fine to have a centralized church – but not to exceed the biblical authority – to not exceed the power of the Church. The Shepherding Movement goes beyond that and provides people the seduction of abandonment.
This seduction is enjoyed by those who submit and those who are submitted to. But I will not go into the psychology of that.
I have used this post as a method of resourcing – as I have in the past – posting so that I may point to it later.