Post details: I hate to admit, I've been in heaps of cults


Permalink 10:30:57 am, Categories: GraceHead teaching, By Trent, 636 words   English (US)

I hate to admit, I've been in heaps of cults

I have belonged to alot of cults. What can I say ... I guess I am a sucker for them. They are alluring to me. And, though I hate to admit it, I have been a part of heaps of cults.

I bet you did not know that. However it is true, but what am I calling a cult?

Cults are not defined by their system of beliefs. A cult is a cult because of their attitude. The cultish attitude is this: "You have to do things the way that I do it, and you cannot go outside the boundaries that I set up. I strip your freedom from you, and you have to do it the way that I say that you have to do it. God has to work in your life the way that He worked in mine."

Did you know that Jesus Christ was into something completely different? Christianity is about freedom, and those that abide in Christ will find out that as they abide in Christ they are agents of freedom. They will say, that "God will work in your life different then He worked in mine, and I won't strip your freedom from you to make you like me." Instead they celebrate uniqueness, and want God to work within your uniqueness in a special way.

As soon as I fashion a mold for others and try to press them in it so that they become as moldy as me, then I am operating a cult, and am not functioning within Christian freedom.

I can be released from all of the cults that I have found myself a part of, because of freedom. How? By adopting a new attitude: "Thy will be done."

So, I don't want to have plans for you, and how you can wind up like me. I am not particularly concerned about all of that, because I don't know. I don't need a plan, because my plan is to welcome God's will. So going left or going right is not the question for me. My question is to abide or to not abide, and what difference does it make if while abiding I go right or I go left? The point is that I am abiding, so it will go great if I go either way. How can I take a bad step when my steps are wrought in God? How can I think that you can take a bad step if your steps are wrought in God? So I don't want you to follow my steps! I want you to abide in Him and let Him direct your path. I would hope that you find freedom, but I won't twist your arm to make you take it, and neither will God.

Some will say that a life like that won't work, but my answer is "Fine! Alright, but don't drag me into your unbelief." Maybe that is true for you, and the God that you have wouldn't let that work, but I don't want your God.

With plans and goals come all kinds of manipulation, because we have to see that our plan is brought about. But, without a plan, I am free from a cult's mindset. As I remain restfully available, I don't need to fix the world around me, and fix the problems that come against me. Rather I can let problems fix me, and the problems drive me into God's presence.

I am through using the force of my will to manipulate those around me to conform to some notion of fulfillment that I made for them. ... but I might need to remind myself of that tomorrow. ... the cults are calling me.

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Comment from: herobill [Visitor] ·

I like your definition of "cult".  There are some groups in which a strong leader holds them to a uniform standard, and then there are groups where natural social pressures just cause such feelings to develop.

I think the tension between unity and diversity (in a spiritual, chrisitan body) is significant.  (We have all "underestimated the fall".)  Anyway, one of the challenges in my life is to be part of a close-knit group that pursues him together (unity) while retaining our individuality.  It's quite the challenge!

In our natural selves, the one feels like it comes at the expense of the other... but in God, and maybe in time...  can we develop and sustain both?

Christ in us is hope for this glory, too.

Permalink 10/23/05 @ 10:55
Comment from: Trent [Member] ·
Amen, bro. We can sustain unity and diversity in charity and love. Not our love, but God's love, that unifies with us, and preserves our uniqueness at the same time.

More then a challenge ... this is an impossbility apart from ... as you say: "Christ in us."

Ripening for the harvest,
Permalink 10/24/05 @ 15:34
Comment from: joyinexpressible [Visitor]
Hey Trent,

I've been going about with the remark  that oh well, I am oooolddd and do we end up on the same track so much? Are we a cult without meaning to be? Do we ever mean to be or do we just get lonely in freedom so we form a cult? I think so.

Midlife, I'm finding, is the pits. I've never felt so disconnected from family and friends in my life. Maybe it is because I'm beginning to feel really fragile and am doing things like preparing my Will and thinking about cremation rather than burial, my dad is dying, and I've made my whole family angry with me with my demands for honesty and true relationships rather than ones of pretense. I think this is midlife crisis. Or maybe I'm just alone in my freedom and I'm looking for a cult called midlife full of people of 'like mindedness' who will agree with my craziness. Oh well, I'd better go to bed and practice being old another day.

In my new cult, everyone wears red hats!


Permalink 10/25/05 @ 01:12
Comment from: Trent [Member] ·


As good as you are in reminding me to give up my plans that every LawHead come to know grace ... ( I think that you put it like this: Making a law out of grace.) ... I could only assume that your ability to identitify it in me, is because of your ability to identify it in yourself.

I don't know why we end up like this, but something happens and then we get into our natural herd instinct, and it is quite vexing to have such plans for everyone else. 

Lets keep encouraging each other ... "Thy will be done, Thy will be done."  Cuz that sure sets me free, and makes me enjoy this beautiful mess a bit more.

Ripening for the harvest,


Permalink 10/25/05 @ 08:52
Comment from: Danielle [Visitor] ·
Thanks for your comments on my blog. Not all my tears were tears of sadness. Some were for pain, some in relief. A strange week. But, Christ is my life, and he expresses himself through me. Very cool.
Permalink 10/25/05 @ 13:11
Comment from: Timothy [Member] ·

Even Jesus said:

Lu 22:42 -
"Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done."

...even as we submit to His will, since...

Col 1:18 -
...He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

1Co 11:3 -
But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

Yet we being in Christ and do seek to please Him and be like Him, a peculiar people, are persecuted by those of the world, because we will not conform...
Therefore, I submit that those who are in Christ are free and those in the world are held captive... for the world itself displays all characteristics of a cult, lashing out at all those who are free in Christ going their/His way, which shines a light on their captivity and the darkness of their hearts...
And so they feel judged because of their guilt of which they have convicted themselves.

also see: Woe to the Captives of This World...The Prison House Is Opened, Yet You Remain Therein Holding Onto Your Sin, Abiding In Your Transgression
Permalink 05/08/08 @ 15:01
Comment from: Timothy [Member] ·
The diversity chapter concerning Christ's Body:

1 Cor. 12:

1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: 2 You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free--and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many. 15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be? 20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.
Permalink 05/08/08 @ 15:28

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