by Rayola Kelley
Recently it came to our attention at GSM that a Christian couple, who had been in ministry and helped us with one of our projects, ended their marriage in an unpleasant divorce. Apparently they got involved with a small “Christian” cult. This cult eventually tore this couple apart as well as split up the children as they chose sides.The rise of these cults within the church is a good indication that we are in the last days. A study of these cults reveals that they have the same mode of operation. Cults present something that is lacking in the church as the ‘missing piece” while at the same time adding the ingredient of how to radically apply this “missing piece” to a person’s life.
These counterfeit groups may present popular concepts such as holiness, repentance and self-denial but they add a slant that makes the presentation seem radically new or different. They do this by adding rigid standards (in the extremes) of works, religious practices or obedience to such things as the Law or one of Jesus’ many teachings.
Sadly, I have watched Christians who I thought were secure in the Immovable Rock of the ages become victims to these cults. What makes a person susceptible to the erroneous lies of a counterfeit?
The common ingredient I have discovered among many of those who fall prey to wolves in sheep’s clothing is that these people have become disillusioned or discontent with the church system. They have been turned off to dead religion and its practices that seem to be besetting many churches. They are tired of the endless church programs, building projects and the drudgery of playing ridiculous church games every Sunday and Wednesday. They are basically burned out because nothing changes.
They are looking for something, but they can’t figure out what. After all, they pray, read the Bible, do good works, tithe and have Christian fellowship but none of it seems satisfying. They silently feel a dull longing– an ache that needles them when they meditate on the purpose and significance of their lives. It is this longing that makes these people prime candidates to come under the seductive powers of a cult leader.
It is while in this vulnerable state that Satan sends in a counterfeit. There are many counterfeits available today who Satan can use to do his biding. These self-proclaimed leaders have a couple of things in common. They are looking for a loyal following who can financially support their lie and lifestyle and will feed their fragile, insatiable egos.
These people, who started out in a sincere search for spiritual meaning, end up exchanging their insignificant lives for a sinister trap. Granted, their lifestyles radically change but their hearts becomes cold and their attitudes unteachable. They find themselves becoming distinct from others but not because of separation from the world unto God but because of isolation from people who dare disagree with the radical revelations or teachings of the cult leader.
They exchange the simple Gospel of the cross for doctrines of demons that promote experiences over godly virtues and the fruit of the Spirit. Instead of making sacrifices for the sake of Christ, they offer up morbid sacrifices on behalf of their newfound belief or leader. Rigid standards and legalistic lifestyles take the place of godly self-denial, application of the cross and godly temperance. Zeal and passion replace godly righteousness as people submit their wills to a man instead of to the Spirit of the Living God.
This type of scenario is not new. Man has always been ready to submit his will to a charismatic leader who upholds radical concepts. Consider the likes of Adoph Hilter. Men like him have been able to capture the hearts and minds of past generations. Each leader subtly led their generation down a nightmarish road of delusion and destruction.
Tragically, each generation fails to learn the lessons of the past. As a result, each new generation is being set up to accept the ultimate leader of this present world, the antichrist.
The question is why do these Christians prefer these erroneous doctrines and cults? Why do they accept poison over the banquet table of Jesus? The answer is simple, people do not really know or love God.
It is easy to leave Jesus Christ behind in all of our religious activities and substitutions. If a Christian is experiencing a leanness of the soul it is because they have made their life with Jesus a matter of duty rather than of the heart and a form of religion instead of a growing relationship. Jesus is able to satisfy the longing soul, nourish the hungry soul, refresh the thirsty soul and revive the discontented soul. But He is only able to do this when He is a person’s ultimate focus, prize and goal.
The real problem with Christians is that they fail to look to Jesus when they find themselves in spiritual crises. They assume that since they possess Him, the solution lies elsewhere. Granted, they may possess Him, but the real crux of the matter rests with whether or not He possesses them. Christians who fail to allow Christ to possess them will find themselves struggling with what seems like missing pieces in their spiritual lives. They do not realize that if something is missing in the midst of their religion, they will not find it by adding more religion, pious rules and radical practices to their lives. They will only find it when they allow Jesus Christ to become their all in all.
It is easy to point fingers as to why too many Christians and their families have fallen prey to delusion. In fact, back in the 1970’s one statistic maintained that 80% of the kingdom of the cults were made up of those who used to attend Protestant churches. I shudder to think what the percentage would be now. Not only do we have to contend with the cults outside of Christendom but also with those within the church.
We can blame churches for the apostasy because they have failed to disciple Christians. We can talk about how Christians lack love, causing people to seek elsewhere for love and acceptance. We can rank on pastors who either failed to preach the uncompromised Word of God or can’t entertain their congregations enough to keep them committed to their pews. I do not disagree that these factors have played a role in this problem. But the real problem rests with the individual. How many of these people own a Bible?
The Bible has everything a person needs to keep him or her on the narrow path to heaven. It can radically change a person’s life, satisfy the soul and give purpose to the disillusioned.
Are you looking for something radical? Go no further than Jesus and His Word. Submit to the Lordship of Jesus in a life of obedience and commitment by denying self, picking up your cross and following Him. By following Jesus you will enter into the most radical life you could imagine. It is in Him and Him alone that you will discover the secrets and eternal gifts that will bring complete satisfaction to the longing soul. You will never be disappointed or ashamed.
We at GSM want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and thank each of you for your support and kindness. You are precious blessings from heaven and we thank God for you. We trust God will honor your kindness to us.