Monday, November 20, 2006

Monday's hot topics - Cult avoidance

While few of us will likely get caught in cults that would drink poison Kool-aid, many of us could fall victim to cult-like tactics if we're not careful. Aussie forum member Johno recently raised the issue in his Cult avoidance topic on the discussion forum:
it is important that we are constantly aware of the possibility that any group can go crazy and become cult-like...
Three features in common:

1) Pyramidal structure: In a cult, one person or group of people has total and unquestioning authority over all members.

On the surface, Brethren assemblies should be unlikely to fall prey to this one; we're precious about plural leadership. But if we dig deeper, would we find in some assemblies that there are people who have more authority than they should, and a reluctance to lose this power?
Click here to find out what the other 2 are. If you were at the Toronto Easter Bible Conference this year, you may remember that Mike Attwood said something similar. On the conference DVD he states:

"There should be no CEO among the elders - no Chief Elder Operating"

Later on he states this leadership issue is a problem he sees as he travels and ministers throughout the assemblies in North America:
"You know one of the biggest problems in assemblies today? The bible is very clear. Proverbs 13:10 says 'Only by pride cometh contention'. It's pride. It's the kind of attitude that says "if it's not my way, it's the highway". That's the kind of attitude destroying assemblies. We have too many Diotropheses'."
Many assemblies I've been in preach against a one-man-ministry, but how has your assembly ensured it won't spiral into cult-tactics? How do we gaurd against this individually and corporately? For that matter, has anyone ever been in a real cult before? Share your experiences on the forum - here

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