I was wondering what your thoughts are on Jesus possibly being just another cult leader? A friend of mine left the Catholic Church years ago and is under the impression that Jesus was probably just a cult leader whose radical teachings acquired much popularity. I recognize that cults can be very persuasive to certain people. Could Jesus have just been a very charismatic and persuasive cult leader who gained a multitude of devout followers?
Well, wait… first let’s count how many cult leaders have risen from the dead…
Oh yeah! None!
here are the definitions given to cult by dictionary.com
- a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies. (catholics are this)
an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult. (Catholics are this)
the object of such devotion. (Catholics are this)
a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.(Catholics are this)
Sociology . a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols. (Catholics are this)
Now some of them are better and worse definitions of Catholics than others, but it is simple the Catholic Church is a cult. So Jesus is a Cult Leader. Let me make this clear though, the word cult is now of days mostly associated with negative cults. Ask your average person what a cult is and they will probably say some crazy charismatic person convinces hundreds of people to worship him alone and one day they all kill themselves. This though is only one type of cult and a evil manifestation of a cult. I would say that everyone is a part of a cult, they follow very religiously, venerate, give devotion, to one way of life. In today’s modern world though cult is associated with evil practices.
so I would ask your friend
what do you mean by cult? (Cult is a very very broad word it can really be applied to any organization of people who have one goal)
Jesus is a cult leader but not the cults most people think about.
Cults die out after the death of the leader. They don’t expand and flourish for 2,000 years. And read the writings of the followers in this “cult”. They do not resemble the writings of those in a cult. The writings reflect lucid, coherent, stable, and sane people. They simply aren’t the writings of those in a cult.
I can’t say that I’m all that familiar with cults and their psychology techniques to gain followers but don’t cult leaders usually try to segregate their community from everyone else in order to brainwash them and to give their leader riches? Jesus sent his followers out in order to preach love and do good works for others while not collecting wealth himself to live a luxurious lifestyle. Just my opinion.
I would point you to C.S. Lewis’ popular apologetic, “Lord, Liar or Lunatic.”
Here is my own paraphrasing of the argument that I used in a longer piece on using reason to arrive at the truth of Catholicism:
*15. Reason realizes that, once having admitted the historicity of Christ and his ministry, there are only three possibilities: a) he was a deceiver, b) he was insane or c) he was speaking the truth. C.S. Lewis’ “Lord, Liar or Lunatic”.
Reason eliminates Possibility A. A deceiver acts with intent to manipulate others in order to achieve personal gain. But on the contrary, Christ’s teaching is morally perfect and selfless; the only earthly reward he obtains is ridicule and, ultimately, execution.
Reason eliminates Possibility B. Again, Christ’s teaching is morally sound and logically consistent. There is no indication of insanity.
Reason sees no alternative to accepting Possibility C. *
Another thing Worship in latin is Cultus. (along with other words)
but Cultus which is the clear connection of this english word to the latin is translated worship, splendor or reverence. None of which sound like bad things, but again modern culture has associated cult with only evil things.
I think your winding us up, what with all the Miracles Jesus performed, he was in such demand that the roof was taken off a house to lower down a sick person, this was an extreme action by people who if they got to Jesus would be healed, I don’t know of any cult leader, or any of these men that have started there own Church’s have performed any Miracles even the smallest of Miracles , they have performed zilch.
Even to this day He still performs Miracles through his Saints, take Padre Pio, who had bi-location as well as healing people performed in Jesus Name.
Why did the Apostles all die for him some of the Apostles got a horrible death.
Remember what Our Lord said to Thomas…when Jesus walked through the wall as the door was locked.
Faith is a gift, try not to loose this, do you pray, take time to sit in front of the Blessed Sacrament, the Rosary.
The Pope concluded that it makes no sense to love God but reject the Church, since salvation means turning back home with Jesus to the Church.
"When they heard this they (council) were enraged and wanted to kill them (Apostles). But a Pharisee in the council named Gama′li-el, a teacher of the law, held in honor by all the people, stood up and ordered the men to be put outside for a while. And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you do with these men. For before these days Theu′das arose, giving himself out to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him; but he was slain and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. After him Judas the Galilean arose in the days of the census and drew away some of the people after him; he also perished, and all who followed him were scattered. So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this undertaking is of men, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!”
Words which post-moderns would do well to heed.