In December of 1970 I officially joined a “cult”. I was an active part of that group, a leader within that group and a promoter of that group for more than 15 years. Never once did I feel intimidated or “brainwashed”. I got involved, stayed involved and gave my life to that ministry because I believed they knew the truth.
Over time, the humans who ran the ministry quit listening to God and in so doing ran the group into the ground. By 1986 it was time for me to go and I did. No one stopped me and no one threatened me or my family.
Because I was a part of a so called “cult”, I am overly sensitive to criticism of groups or ministries that are slapped with that ugly title. Of course there are insidious cults out there which do brainwash their members and promote devilish things. These groups should be shut down for legal reasons and the people freed from manipulative mind control practices.
But, just because a group, ministry or denomination believes things that do not agree with your theology, that does not make them an evil organization which must be destroyed and blasphemed. We must always remember that according to the Jews, the church of the First Century was indeed a “sect” or cult. Because of this, Paul and the apostles were harassed and persecuted constantly by the Jews most places they went.
Countless well known denominations within Christianity were started by one person who felt they received special revelation from God regarding a subject or branch of theology. In time, the groups these people started either withered away, died when the founder died, became strong ministries or became a cult.
Because I spent so many years in a so called "cult", I am very sensitive when a group or ministry is attacked just because they don’t believe what others within Christianity believe is the truth. With each passing year of my life, I grow less and less bitter about the fifteen years I spent in that ministry. I would never go back, but with time I see they did know a lot of truth.
When I was young, I went with a friend to his church where the preacher spent the whole service blasting the Roman Catholics as being terrible people due to their religion. For centuries Protestants and Catholics have looked at each other as being as evil cults. I happen to know that there are multitudes of saved Protestants and Catholics, just as there are multitudes of Protestants and Catholics who are not saved.
It truly saddens my heart that we have focused so much of our energy on attacking each other instead of reaching out to the unsaved of the world. Our mission is to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every person on earth. Our mission is NOT to belittle, tear down or spend all of our time condemning fellow Christians for not believing as we do.