There have been individuals who called themselves “cult experts” and try to label World Mission Society Church of God as a cult. Their activities have had serious and negative impacts on the church, instilling fear on people who are just introduced to the church. Some members encounter serious conflicts in their families due to the religious intolerance created by these self proclaimed experts. I don’t know about other countries but at least in America, everyone has a right to practice their own religious beliefs as long as they do not harm others. This right is protected by the very first amendment. In this post, I want to go over these cult experts’ claims and prove why the World Mission Society Church of God is not a cult.
The Cult Experts’ methods are reliable or accurate
First of all, is there a degree or certificate for becoming a cult expert? No. All these cult experts are self proclaimed experts. Basically one day they just decided to introduce themselves as experts in determining cults and use their own methodologies to support their claims. For this reason, their methods are not scientific at all and rather very subjective. Steven Hassan uses a method called BITE Model to label an organization as a cult. Let me introduce this BITE model briefly here. If you would like to see what the BITE model is in detail and why it is unreliable, please watch the video below.
BITE stands for 4 types of controls that so called cults use to influence people.
B- Behavior Control
- Where, how and with whom the member lives and associates with.
- What clothes, colors, and hairstyles the person wears.
I- Information Control
- Deliberately holding back information
T- Thought Control
- need to internalize the group’s doctrine as truth
- good vs evil
E- Emotional Control
- Excessive use of guilt and fear
As the video explains, Jesus and Apostle’s teachings clearly fall into these four categories. I mean which religious group does not believe their doctrines and teachings are the truth? Also there are so many religions such as Buddism and Muslim that have the regulation on clothing and hair. If you examine all these religions based on BITE model, how many religions will be free from being labeled as a cult? Probably none.
The Bible is the standard of our faith
Buddhists follow Buddha’s teachings and Muslims follow Mohammad’s teachings. What about Christians? Should we follow cult experts’ teachings instead of Christ? Not at all! Christians should follow Christ’s teachings which are written in the Bible. Then how can we determine if a church is a cult or not? It should not be determined by cult experts but by the Bible. Since the Bible uses the word ‘heresy’ to mean a cult, let me use this word from now on. If a church’s teachings are in agreement with the Bible, that church is a true church. On the other hand, Even if a church has many members and properties, if its teachings are not based on the Bible but on men’s ideas, that church is a heresy according to the Bible.
2 Pet 2:1-3 (NIV) But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
The Bible teaches that a characteristic of a false prophet or a heresy is to exploit people with stories they have made up. It is exactly what cult experts like Hassan are doing because nowhere in the Bible is found BITE model or the way to recognize a heresy that way. Then you might wonder why they are doing what they are doing. Let’s see the same verses in NLT version.
2 Pet 2:1-3 (NLT) But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed.
What is the cult experts’ strongest motivation to label an organization as a cult? It is money obviously. The more organizations they label as cults, the more people will need their service. As you can see in the video, Hassan constantly advertises his books and lectures during interviews and educational seminars. Even though he does not disclose his fee to public, it is known that he gets paid higher than lawyers and doctors. Basically people like him are using people’s fear of being in a cult as means to get rich. This is totally wrong!
The World Mission Society Church of God is not a cult
The standard of our faith should only be the Bible. If a church follows the Bible, it can never be a cult even if hundreds or thousands of cult experts say it is a cult. If you think they really care about your souls and know the correct way, ask yourself. Do they really believe in God correctly? Do they really follow the teachings of Jesus written in the Bible? Steven Hassan said the New Testament is an invention, which implies it is made by men. Do you think a person who does not believe in the Bible can teach you how to go to heaven? The World Mission Society Church of God only follows the Bible. If you want to know about the church or wonder why some of your friends and family members go to this church, please visit us and see for yourself instead of relying on the cult experts’ teachings. You will be surprised by sincerity of the members and amazing teachings of the Bible.
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