Cults are tools of Satan to trick unsuspecting people that they are joining a Christian or a healthy group but are really just joining him instead (Colossians 2:8). They deny Jesus is God (I John 4:2-3), equate a man to the highest status near Jesus (I Corinthians 1:12), teach others that they alone have the truth without miraculous proof (John 14:11), assume they can’t be wrong (I Corinthians 13:12), require full-time devotion (Hebrews 10:24-25), and hide their worst doctrines (Matthew 7:7). Ultimately, you can tell a person is not of God if their character is bad (Matthew 7:18).
The majority of Christians believe there are many other groups that say they are Christian but shouldn’t be classified as such.
Cults deny Jesus’ divinity.
The ultimate sign that a group is working for the devil, masquerading as a Christian church (II Corinthians 11:12,13,14-15), is that they deny Jesus’ divinity, for this is the ultimate goal of the Antichrist: to get you to believe Jesus was just a good teacher (I John 4:2-3). The phrase “come in the flesh” means that Jesus was once not in the flesh but existed (John 1:1-3,14), but cults believe Jesus was created only in the flesh. Cults will always says they believe in “God,” but their god is really Satan.
Cults deify a man.
The majority of Christians believe in the infallibility of Scripture, yet even this is not to be quarreled over (Titus 3:9). Cults, on the other hand, add to the 66 agreed upon authoritative books of the Bible with contradicting “scripture” passages (I Timothy 6:20-21). When they don’t add to the Bible, they said one man’s interpretations of Scripture is perfect and must be obeyed perfectly.
Cults brainwash without miracles.
It’s ok to believe in objective truth, for Christians believe that is Jesus alone (John 14:6), but the primary reason we believe this is because of His miracles (Matthew 11:3-5; John 14:11). Many denominations in Christianity try to say that they alone have the truth, and others who believe that Jesus is God are damned false teachers, but this only proves their arrogance (I Corinthians 8:2), and it shows they don’t care about Paul’s command to not to judge each other over opinions (Romans 14:1,4). The reason why 21st-century people should believe in Jesus is because of 21st-century miracles.
Cults dissuade dialogue.
Instead of orderly working with the local church (Titus 1:5), they steal members from existing churches (Titus 1:10). They don’t believe in unifying with disagreers (I Corinthians 1:10). Cult teachers tell their students to not engage in logical discussions, yet being open to reason is a sign of humility (James 3:17). Because they believe they can’t be wrong, they only wish to express their own opinions (Proverbs 18:2) and will not take the advice of those outside their group (Proverbs 12:15).
Cults require excess time.
Cults want you to dedicate the majority of your time to their cause because they can only grow through manipulation, not reason. They misuse healthy fellowship (Hebrews 10:24-25) to mean that if you don’t dedicate 8+ hrs/day to their church, then God isn’t pleased. Although Jesus requires full dedication as well (Mark 8:34), He requires His church leaders to devote their lives to their people’s needs (I Corinthians 9:16-19; I John 3:17-18).
Cults centralize money.
Although God requires a tithe, cults tend to pressure followers to give all they have (II Corinthians 9:7), and they centralize this power to a few who are “closer to God.” The early Christians also shared money, but the power was decentralized so that everyone had a say in where the money went (Acts 2:44-45). No one or two apostles controlled everyone else’s money; instead, they spiritually had one heart and soul (Acts 4:32,34-35). Everyone had the option of if they wanted to give or not, and they would still be allowed to call themselves Christians (Acts 5:3-4).
Cults hide divisive doctrine.
Just like with the early Gnostics (I Timothy 6:20-21), Satan is trying to teach his ways to the world, but they obviously are evil. So, his method is to say all the nice things first and save the weirdest and worst things for the end (John 8:44). Jesus, on the other hand, will tell you anything you want immediately (Matthew 7:7; James 1:5), so long as you are genuinely curious about righteousness instead of selfishness (Matthew 13:11-12).
Cults have bad character.
The members of cults have bad character because they are unknowingly following Satan (Matthew 7:15-20).
Cults are disproportionally female.
Healthy Christian organizations tend to be 50/50 male/female, but cults have many more women. Christians tend to convert unsaved men so that their household can be saved (Acts 11:12-13,14), while cults want to convert women without telling their families (II Timothy 3:6). This is because women were created to submit as a helper to their husbands (Genesis 2:18), causing them to be more susceptible to emotions and deception over truth (I Timothy 2:14; 75% of MLM sellers are women).
The following are examples of cults, that say they are Christian, and usually mean well, but have false theology and extreme, unhealthy views, especially that Jesus isn’t God (I John 4:2-3). Although we don’t normally link to other teachings, we do when we must judge another group (Proverbs 12:17).
Have 3 stages of lessons
Isolation & Full Devotion
Hiding of Tough Doctrine
Some Fundamentalists (Lutherans)
Listening to Catholics is discouraged
No explanation for James 2:24
Finance-based Business Cults
The most common type of business cult is the multi-level marketing (MLM) scam, also known as a pyramid or Ponzi scheme. The primary way to make money is to recruit more followers to buy products. Although seemingly innocent, the people at the bottom of the “pyramid” generally will never see a return on their investment, just the people on top. A great example of this is Amway. One of their managers said that marketers should “turn off their brain” to fully understand their beliefs. They train their employees to not get close with people outside of their organization.
There are many bosses who subconsciously fire people who don’t agree with them because it seems easier than addressing the root problems. Companies either healthily diversify their thoughts and work through conflict respectfully, or they only hire people of a similar demographic and promote the people who think less and follow the CEO more.
Quite obvious to most Americans is how cult-like the extreme left or extreme right has become. A pro-life Democrat asked if she was welcome in their party, and a presidential candidate avoided 2 clear questions on it. There are some extremely racist parts of America where having a BLM sign will get you death threats. Humans are naturally tribalistic, but many countries use voting as a shortcut to healthy discussions.
In North Korea, you will be murdered for trying to leave. Only the Chinese Communist Party is allowed to speak against itself. In Russia, you’ll likey get poisoned for just running against the main leader.