5/17/2009                                                                                       View Comments

So, what is a cult?

By Carl S

In the news, a cult is generally described as an “extremist religious sect.” With that in mind, along with the dictionary definition, “obsessive devotion to a person or principle,” let’s consider if Christianity can qualify as a cult.

There are those who proudly proclaim that their New Testament is superior to the Old and supersedes it. For instance, instead of sacrificing goats, rams, and lambs to appease the Deity, the Ultimate Sacrifice is now demanded for the atonement of all of mankind’s transgressions. The Great Buyout, so to speak.

What a relief and end of story…but hold on. Just in case you missed it, the sacrifice He demands is the sacrifice of one’s self. Get this; He tells you to hate your own life, and if you want to be His FRIEND, you have to do anything and everything He tells you to do. He recommends giving away your hard-earned possessions, even to someone who has already stolen from you (double the theft). He tells you to spurn your family, to cut off your limbs if they “offend” you, suggests castration is a good idea, and, in short, tells you to give up everything that you value and love. Look it up.

Such is the price you pay to be “chosen”, richly rewarded, and redeemed. “Just trust me.” Gee, aren’t these much like - or even worse than - the conditions demanded by Jim Jones, Lenin, and all other cult leaders? (Better to have stayed with the goats, rams, etc.?)

So here you have it; a method to throw away one’s life for some “higher power” or cause. A method to make oneself servile, without pride, dissatisfied with oneself, and with no self-confidence except as measured and valued by the “values” system in place. To get your share of this “deal,” you must go to the Head man or his spokesman. They’re all out there waiting to make you a member and exploit you. They have the chutzpah to exploit anyone who’s hurting or depressed; the sick, the dying, those in prison, and even the children, the trusting and naive children. What they proclaim they value above all is “faith”, but what they mean is “complete trust.” The cults are successful just as long as people don’t question them.

Funny how so many can get used to this cult, with its diminished, narrow worldview, and just accept missing out on life within a system that makes self-doubt and self-punishment virtuous. And why teach such things to children? These “mind sets” dictate that a child's greatest strength, his curiosity, which can truly “redeem” us from ignorance, poverty, and irrational fears, is a vice! Does such a cult deserve respect?



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