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Old 02-12-2017, 06:14 AM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
9,583 posts, read 20,456,271 times
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I was raised in a type of Christian denomination that I consider a mainstream cult. It's not the Branch Davidians or anything but church leaders are very controlling and anyone who leaves even over a minor dispute is shunned. I'm thinking Church of Christ (non denominational), Jehovah's Witness, and Seventh Day Adventists fit the bill. Was anyone raised in such groups and left? Or anyone on here still a member of one?


Here's my experience: there are several categories of Church of Christ, I was raised in the second strictest, they are known for opposing orphanages with church money. The strictest are One Cuppers who have to only have one cup for communion (since the Bible says cup not cups) and are against Bible classes for children.


The group I was raised in believe that all people who aren't members of an accepted Church of Christ go to hell and that members of liberal Churches of Christ are 50/50 on going to hell. I was even taught that in the timeframe from when the New Testament Church became doctrinally unsound in the 300s until Alexander Campbell in the 1800s every single person born on the Earth went to hell because there were no sound churches. They teach that if someone of age ask to be baptized and then dies on the way to being baptized they burn in hell.


If you are a member of their church and you leave for a church they believe is unsound or just stop going to church you are shunned and members will flood you with calls, letters, social media messages etc urging you to repent. At a church I attended a Filipino Catholic who joined then left for the Catholic Church had a letter sent to her saying the elders had delivered her soul to Satan. When she didn't return their messages several deacons took off from work and camped by her apartment door all day so they could confront her. When I left members would confront me anytime they saw me in public. It's a significant reason I had to move to a larger metro area.
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Old 02-12-2017, 07:32 AM
 
779 posts, read 295,449 times
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The Bible never says that church membership is a ticket to forgiveness and a free ride to heaven. The Second Death cannot be avoided by social activity. Only the blood of Christ saves.

A church membership card is not fire proof. Associations with human social groups do not save. Only belief and personal acceptance of Jesus Christ into one's heart will save. A church is an assembly of people who have accepted Christ. But the church has corrupted itself, it's pastors have denied Christ and make their members twice as fit for hell as they are themselves.

NO ONE HAS A LICENSE TO SIN.

Church membership does not give a person the right to sexually violate children, beat women (or for women to beat their husbands), steal without punishment, or justify the invasion of foreign nations for the purpose of stealing resources and murdering their citizens. Yet every single Christian church in America justifies one or more of these sins one way or another.

God will not bless a church or a nation that condones sin among its people.

"Thus says the Lord my God: 'Pasture the flock doomed to slaughter.' Those who buy them slay them and go unpunished, and each of those who sell them says, Blessed be the Lord, for I have become rich! And their own shepherds have no pity on them." - Zechariah 11:4-5

The shepherds, the pastors, of our churches have betrayed us and milk us for our money and devotion. Each man stands or falls on his own before God. Each man is accountable for accepting the blood of Christ into his own life and each man is accountable for how he keeps or denies the Law of God in his heart. No church can save him because nearly all the shepherds have corrupted themselves.

Repent. The hour is late and the opportunity for salvation will not last forever.

and that's me, hollering from the choir loft....

Last edited by mensaguy; 02-12-2017 at 08:17 AM.. Reason: Do not post using red text.
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Old 02-12-2017, 07:46 AM
 
Location: minnesota
5,249 posts, read 1,673,401 times
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I was raised a Jehovah's Witness.
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Old 02-12-2017, 09:29 AM
 
9,162 posts, read 2,773,481 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by censusdata View Post
I was raised in a type of Christian denomination that I consider a mainstream cult. It's not the Branch Davidians or anything but church leaders are very controlling and anyone who leaves even over a minor dispute is shunned. I'm thinking Church of Christ (non denominational), Jehovah's Witness, and Seventh Day Adventists fit the bill. Was anyone raised in such groups and left? Or anyone on here still a member of one?


Here's my experience: there are several categories of Church of Christ, I was raised in the second strictest, they are known for opposing orphanages with church money. The strictest are One Cuppers who have to only have one cup for communion (since the Bible says cup not cups) and are against Bible classes for children.


The group I was raised in believe that all people who aren't members of an accepted Church of Christ go to hell and that members of liberal Churches of Christ are 50/50 on going to hell. I was even taught that in the timeframe from when the New Testament Church became doctrinally unsound in the 300s until Alexander Campbell in the 1800s every single person born on the Earth went to hell because there were no sound churches. They teach that if someone of age ask to be baptized and then dies on the way to being baptized they burn in hell.


If you are a member of their church and you leave for a church they believe is unsound or just stop going to church you are shunned and members will flood you with calls, letters, social media messages etc urging you to repent. At a church I attended a Filipino Catholic who joined then left for the Catholic Church had a letter sent to her saying the elders had delivered her soul to Satan. When she didn't return their messages several deacons took off from work and camped by her apartment door all day so they could confront her. When I left members would confront me anytime they saw me in public. It's a significant reason I had to move to a larger metro area.

Thank G-d you got out of it. Peace
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Old 02-12-2017, 09:44 AM
 
14,987 posts, read 7,526,891 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by censusdata View Post
The group I was raised in believe that all people who aren't members of an accepted Church of Christ go to hell and that members of liberal Churches of Christ are 50/50 on going to hell. I was even taught that in the timeframe from when the New Testament Church became doctrinally unsound in the 300s until Alexander Campbell in the 1800s every single person born on the Earth went to hell because there were no sound churches. They teach that if someone of age ask to be baptized and then dies on the way to being baptized they burn in hell.
In a sense, I would say that any Christian denomination, or any religion at all, that teaches there are dire eternal consequences (hell or annihilation) for not being in their religion, is cult-ish. They attempt to essentially scare people into belonging, and into never leaving. Sadly, there are many Christian denominations that fit that bill.
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Old 02-12-2017, 10:12 AM
 
17,658 posts, read 8,860,686 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pleroo View Post
In a sense, I would say that any Christian denomination, or any religion at all, that teaches there are dire eternal consequences (hell or annihilation) for not being in their religion, is cult-ish. They attempt to essentially scare people into belonging, and into never leaving. Sadly, there are many Christian denominations that fit that bill.
I am glad that yours eyes are open to the truth, for many remain in ignorance.
They have a veil over their minds which continues to blind them to this day.
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Old 02-12-2017, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
15,540 posts, read 6,992,023 times
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I was raised in the Church of Christ, but not quite as reactionary as yours. Missionary societies were anathema and church funds for orphanages were questionable, but we did have the chorus from one such orphanage present a program. I rejected that system for their emphasis on what they conceived of as rules to obey and for the intrigues over the "power structure" of the local churches. Also I was at Pepperdine during the "Jesus Movement" and saw a whole different perspective starting with the Inglewood CofC and Pat Boone. Attended Sun Valley CofC (very similar) for awhile, but not enough to halt my change to atheism.
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Old 02-12-2017, 11:10 AM
 
Location: minnesota
5,249 posts, read 1,673,401 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pleroo View Post
In a sense, I would say that any Christian denomination, or any religion at all, that teaches there are dire eternal consequences (hell or annihilation) for not being in their religion, is cult-ish. They attempt to essentially scare people into belonging, and into never leaving. Sadly, there are many Christian denominations that fit that bill.
Cultish groups also like to foster dependency on the group. Outsiders are "worldly" or some other term that denotes ignorance or wickedness. In a cult setting it is us vs them. So members are encouraged to spend time with the us and stay away from them as much as possible. It's much like when an abuser seeks to isolate his or her victim. That abuser can then feed the victim information and control their perception. That's another reason cults use shunning. They don't want in members finding out what people who have left know. Also, they group claims some special uniqueness so that a person can't leave and attain salvation or life any where else. For example, the Watchtower society claims to be Jehovah's sole channel on earth to survive the coming destruction. The Watchtower has set itself up as God. To question the watchtower and Tract Society of Pennsylvania is to question the Almighty himself. Sure that seems silly to an outsider but who is it you are not allowed to question?


Lastly, if you leave one of these high control groups that means there is something wrong with you. In members cannot allow themselves to believe that anything might be wrong with the teaching they have. ANY and ALL reasonable person apprised of the information must choose obedience to the group. Their minds can't handle any other reality.
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Old 02-12-2017, 11:51 AM
 
17,658 posts, read 8,860,686 times
Reputation: 1485
Quote:
Originally Posted by L8Gr8Apost8 View Post
Cultish groups also like to foster dependency on the group. Outsiders are "worldly" or some other term that denotes ignorance or wickedness. In a cult setting it is us vs them. So members are encouraged to spend time with the us and stay away from them as much as possible. It's much like when an abuser seeks to isolate his or her victim. That abuser can then feed the victim information and control their perception. That's another reason cults use shunning. They don't want in members finding out what people who have left know. Also, they group claims some special uniqueness so that a person can't leave and attain salvation or life any where else. For example, the Watchtower society claims to be Jehovah's sole channel on earth to survive the coming destruction. The Watchtower has set itself up as God. To question the watchtower and Tract Society of Pennsylvania is to question the Almighty himself. Sure that seems silly to an outsider but who is it you are not allowed to question?


Lastly, if you leave one of these high control groups that means there is something wrong with you. In members cannot allow themselves to believe that anything might be wrong with the teaching they have. ANY and ALL reasonable person apprised of the information must choose obedience to the group. Their minds can't handle any other reality.
I am dealing with this firsthand, as my niece's husband is JW.
He said that the children can work to provide for their mother.

While he rents a house for himself, and his JW mother.
Some never cut the umbilical cord that feeds them.
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Old 02-12-2017, 01:17 PM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
9,583 posts, read 20,456,271 times
Reputation: 9077
Quote:
Originally Posted by L8Gr8Apost8 View Post
Cultish groups also like to foster dependency on the group. Outsiders are "worldly" or some other term that denotes ignorance or wickedness. In a cult setting it is us vs them. So members are encouraged to spend time with the us and stay away from them as much as possible. It's much like when an abuser seeks to isolate his or her victim. That abuser can then feed the victim information and control their perception. That's another reason cults use shunning. They don't want in members finding out what people who have left know. Also, they group claims some special uniqueness so that a person can't leave and attain salvation or life any where else. For example, the Watchtower society claims to be Jehovah's sole channel on earth to survive the coming destruction. The Watchtower has set itself up as God. To question the watchtower and Tract Society of Pennsylvania is to question the Almighty himself. Sure that seems silly to an outsider but who is it you are not allowed to question?


Lastly, if you leave one of these high control groups that means there is something wrong with you. In members cannot allow themselves to believe that anything might be wrong with the teaching they have. ANY and ALL reasonable person apprised of the information must choose obedience to the group. Their minds can't handle any other reality.
I was also taught that 'Christian apostates' know they are wrong but enjoy shaking their fist at God. If they had a good heart God would have already sent an honest Church of Christ person to convert them to the truth. So it's OK when they are thrown in hell. You wouldn't believe the things people have been disfellowshipped for. I know of someone who went on a camping trip with another group of Christians from a more liberal Church of Christ and her elders assumed the trip was 'illegally funded' with church treasury money. When she refused their inquiry she was shunned.


Honestly I think my experience in the Church of Christ turned me into an agnostic. The God was I taught about throws people into hell for just about anything, I figured I was going to hell anyway so why bother.
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