Do Not Be Deceived – The Difference Between Cults and Churches

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The difference between cults and healthy churches

There are many cults out there masquerading as churches.

The term “cult” is defined in the dictionary as a small religious group that operates independently from larger, more widely accepted religions, often holding beliefs considered extreme or dangerous by many. 

These groups have caused considerable harm to individuals, leading them away from God, family and friends to ungodly practices.

As individuals, it is our responsibility to ensure that our leaders adhere to biblically sound teachings.

If they deviate from this, we should not blindly follow them. 

Instead, we should follow our leaders as they follow the example set by Christ.

This principle brings to mind the historical figure John Huss, a reformer who urged the church to prioritize Holy Scriptures as the ultimate guide and authority for doctrine and practice.

Here are 8 signs  that indicate you might be involved in a cult:

1. The leader is the ultimate authority:

Cults are characterized by rigid hierarchies with the leader at the top, enforced through intimidation and coercion.

Questioning the leader is met with retribution. 

Criticism of the leader is forbidden, and constructive feedback is discouraged.

2. The group suppresses skepticism: 

They often limit members to studying their organization through approved sources, restricting access to alternative viewpoints.

3. The focus is on the leader, not God:

They often emphasize the leader’s importance over God, and their teachings tend to revolve around themselves.

4. Exiting is difficult and met with threats: 

The leaders use various means, including emotional, spiritual, financial, and even physical threats, to prevent members from leaving.

5. Thought Control

They manipulate members by discouraging critical thinking and promoting a narrow worldview. 

6. Isolation from Friends and Family: 

They encourage members to cut ties with external influences to increase control.

7. Exploitation: 

Members are often required to make substantial financial contributions or hand over assets to the group.

8. Forcing Commitment: 

They demand strict commitment to group activities and punish those who do not comply.

In contrast, 

Here are 8 signs that indicate you are in a healthy church:

1. Healthy churches prioritize sound doctrine and are devoted to the scriptures.

2. The Members are committed to building strong, supportive relationships.

3. They observe sacraments like the Lord’s Supper as a central part of worship.

4. They place a strong emphasis on prayer.

5. God’s power is evident in preaching, healing, deliverance, and miracles.

6. They promote generous giving amongst the members.

7. They offer reverent and spirit-filled worship.

8. They are focused on spreading the message of hope to the world.

Video by Derek Prince – Do this to guard yourself against deception in the church.


There are some church leaders today who may not be aware that they are involved in cult-like practices. 

However, they must repent and seek God’s guidance in leading His sheep. 

Then, there are those who deliberately lead God’s people into cult-like practices for their own personal gain. God will deal with them in His time.

In 2 Peter 2:1 it says “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.”

It’s vital that spiritual leaders spend quality time in God’s presence, seeking His guidance from the Holy Spirit on how to effectively run the ministry God has called them to. 

It’s also significant that the congregants spend time in prayer for their leaders, praying that God will grant them the wisdom to lead, manage, and be loving shepherds of His sheep. 

We must also support them in ministry so that leading would not be a hard task for them but a joy

My friends be discerning and vigilant in these times… 

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