G lobal Y outh M inistry N etwork Equipping Youth Leaders Internationally
Session 5 G l o b a l Y o u t h M i n i s t r y N e t w o r k Cults/Occult Need to Combat with Community Teens/youth are looking for purpose, direction, acceptance, belonging and someone who “knows” answers to life. In many ways our best defense to protect our young people from cults and other groups is a good offense . As we provide teens/youth the love, acceptance and purpose they need they will not want to search elsewhere, typically (realizing that there is no full proof method and that teens/youth are naturally curious). As we build a strong community in our own teen/youth groups. The need to search elsewhere is diminished.
G l o b a l Y o u t h M i n i s t r y N e t w o r k Session 5 Overview of Cults 12 But what I am doing, I will continue to do, that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds. 2 Corinthians 11:12-15, NASB
G l o b a l Y o u t h M i n i s t r y N e t w o r k Session 5 A cult is a group of people who gather around someone’s interpretation of the Bible and is characterized by major deviations from orthodox Christianity relative to the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith, particularly the fact that God became man in Jesus Christ. (Walter Martin, The Rise of the Cults , p.12). Definition:
G l o b a l Y o u t h M i n i s t r y N e t w o r k Session 5 Characteristics of a Cult 1. Authoritarian in structure. 5. New interpretations of Scripture (exclusive abilities) 4. Deny the world. (Us versus them mentality) 3. Exclusive knowledge proclaimed. (Only members have the knowledge for means to salvation) 2. Regimentation of followers. 6. Non-Biblical source of authority, adding books to scripture as authoritative. 9. Salvation by works , versus salvation by faith alone. 8. Incorrect view of the Trinity. 7. Another Jesus. Though they may claim to believe in Jesus, their definition of Him is different in reality.
G l o b a l Y o u t h M i n i s t r y N e t w o r k Session 5 The Characteristics of Possible Cult Involvement <ul><li>Personality changes. </li></ul>5. Change of habits, clothing and dress. 4. Breaking family and friendship ties. 3. Unusual handling of money and resources. 2. Goal changes. <ul><li>Most cult members are previous members of churches . People who have a spiritual hunger that was not fulfilled in the church. Their need for personal acceptance, purpose, direction was left undealt with. </li></ul>
G l o b a l Y o u t h M i n i s t r y N e t w o r k Session 5 <ul><li>Build a strong community in your teen/youth group through personal relationships. </li></ul>Steps to Prevention 4. Watch for signs of cult/occult involvement. 3. Teach about the error of other groups and how to distinguish truth from lies. (This occurs through teaching teens/youth how to think and analyze on their own .) 2. Personally know the errors of other groups.