What Is A Cult?


#1

*There are certain people on this site that feel that Islam is a cult. They have stated that: *

*It’s a faith apart from Christ ( = cult ). *

With this reasoning would it be safe to assume then that Islam ,Judiasm and all other major religions are cults? None follow Christ as the son of God , most say he is a prophet of God but not God.
*So what are your views, comments on this?? *

CULT:**religion: **a system of religious or spiritual beliefs, especially an informal and transient belief system regarded by others as misguided, unorthodox, extremist, or false, and directed by a charismatic, authoritarian leader
**religious group: **a group of people who share religious or spiritual beliefs, especially beliefs regarded by others as misguided, unorthodox, extremist, or false


#2

As you will probably see in the responses you get to this post, if you ask 10 different people what a cult is, you’re going to get 10 different answers. I don’t use the word. In it’s broadest sense, it can just mean “a religion”. It’s when you narrow it down that the definitions begin to vary.

If you ask 10 non-cult members what a cult is and get 10 different answers, what kind of an answer will you get from a cult member? If you use the word “cult” with someone who is truly in a cult, what do you think they hear in their mind? Most likely they are thinking something like “There they go, bashing us again. That just proves that we have the one, true religion.”

I guess part of the choice of words depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. If you are really trying to reach out and help someone, it is far better, I think, to learn to accurately describe in normal terms what you’re talking about. No need to biggie-size it and use words like , “abominable”, “heinious”, “despicable”,etc. Just describe the thing you are talking about in ordinary terms. If you think that a certain group uses mind control techniques, for example, take the time to learn what those techniques are so you will be able to describe them in terms that the person you are trying to help will understand. That, IMO, is how they are going to be helped.


#3

I said “a faith apart from Christ = cult”

I don’t think that is acurate on second thought, a faith apart from Christ is a “false religion” like Islam, Judaism etc.

The word cult means “hidden” a cult has hidden doctrines, hidden meetings etc.

Cults: Jehova’s Witness, LDS, Branch Dividians (and all the other easy to spot wackos who teach a false Christ)


#4

[quote=ChristFollower]I said “a faith apart from Christ = cult”

I don’t think that is acurate on second thought, a faith apart from Christ is a “false religion” like Islam, Judaism etc.

The word cult means “hidden” a cult has hidden doctrines, hidden meetings etc.

Cults: Jehova’s Witness, LDS, Branch Dividians (and all the other easy to spot wackos who teach a false Christ)
[/quote]

So anything outside of the Roman Catholic Church is a cult is what you are saying?
Did not JPII state something along the lines that Islam worshipped the same God as R.C.'s?


#5

This article from This Rock magazine may be helpful. Though it is dealing primarily with alleged cult-like movements within the Church, it examines some definitions and characteristics that apply to cults as a whole.

catholic.com/thisrock/2003/0301fea2.asp


#6

I mean if you look at the definitionof the word CULT the R.C. fits the bill to a “T”. I am not saying it is though just that people could clasify if that way.


#7

A cult is not honest with its beliefs. It holds back its core or more odd doctrine until the person is too deep into the cult to turn back. There is nothing hidden about the Catholic church. Our beliefs are written in a book entitled the Catachism, which is available for everyone-believers and non believers alike.

I don’t believe that either Judiasm or Islam is a cult either.


#8

[quote=Karin]I mean if you look at the definitionof the word CULT the R.C. fits the bill to a “T”. I am not saying it is though just that people could clasify if that way.
[/quote]

Could you explain this statement in further detail?


#9

[quote=deb1]Could you explain this statement in further detail?
[/quote]

Sure…just as there are people who feel Islam is a cult there are people who think Catholism is a cult. They perhaps feel that the teachings etc. are perhaps misguided or false.
And as I stated I am not one of those people.


#10

I feel that ANY religion can be classified as a cult. It depends on the followers and their belief system.

I know Catholics who joined the ICOC. They tried to recruit me and I went to a few of their gatherings… Based on what I saw and heard, I viewed them as being part of a cult. They became scary fanatics.

On the other hand, I have seen some of the same fanatical behavior among Catholics who consider themselves “devout”. Because of this I try not to automatically brand other religions as cults. To some, being Catholic is a cult.


#11

Islam is a cult because it denies the Deity of Christ. The definition of a cult is a religious organization that denies the Deity of Christ.


#12

[quote=Louis Mazar]Islam is a cult because it denies the Deity of Christ. The definition of a cult is a religious organization that denies the Deity of Christ.
[/quote]

Then with that thinking Judiasm is a cult also. I think you should look up the definition of the word…

CULT:**religion: **a system of religious or spiritual beliefs, especially an informal and transient belief system regarded by others as misguided, unorthodox, extremist, or false, and directed by a charismatic, authoritarian leader
**religious group: **a group of people who share religious or spiritual beliefs, especially beliefs regarded by others as misguided, unorthodox, extremist, or false
Definitions gotten from Encarta online.
Says nothing about Christ in there…


#13

The word has more than one meaning: usually today when we see the word “cult” we think of an unusual or “strange” group however, the word also refers to those who follow a specific devotion or shared group of prayers and rituals - such as the cult of Mary refers to Marianists or those who have strong devotion to the BVM and follow her cult. The cult of the Angels the same, applies to those who have devotions and special prayers they say to the angels for their intercession and protection.


#14

I wouldn’t call Islam a cult. But I follow the thinking of the great Bishop Fulton Sheen, that what Islam really is, is a heresy.


#15

[quote=Zooey]I wouldn’t call Islam a cult. But I follow the thinking of the great Bishop Fulton Sheen, that what Islam really is, is a heresy.
[/quote]

All religions are a heresy if you are comparing them to the Catholic Church since all of them reject the orthodox tenets of the Catholic Church.


#16

In ordinary parlance the word cult, what it signifies, the way it is used offers a variety of perspectives:

  1. A religious movement, apart from the mainstream religion in society, i.e. the early days of Christianity in Rome when the pantheon of gods and deified emperors prevailed. The early movement in Christianity was considered a ‘cult’. Likewise today where Christianity is looked upon as an orthodox establishment in some way or another, other ‘religious’ movements warrant the status of ‘cults’ – the ‘Moonies’, ‘Scientology’ etc. What is mainstream and what is not combine with numbers respectively adhering to whatso’er.

  2. It can be used pejoratively, a word of condemnation so that its claims and status are belittled by its adversaries. This is a well-understood and much used technique. The Santeria, eclectic and syncretic, in S. America (I am not an authority here) seems to straddle a divide between that which is acceptable and that which is not.

  3. Within a well-established orthodoxy ‘cult’ in an acceptable sense stands out as a movement which adheres to the tenets of orthodoxy but may have a raison-d’être over and above the ‘minimum’ requirements of essential belief. For example, belief in what the Church teaches as essential for salvation does not embrace any imperative embodied in a ‘cult’ of saints, or in cults surrounding the Blessed Virgin; neither is the ‘Charismatic’ experience taught as an absolute imperative or essential in the Catholic Church. In this sense there is a distinction between the High Culture of a religion, its literacy and ritual practices and its folk ‘variants’ or accretions. Many find soul and meaning in the diversity of these ritual accretions and practices. A broad church, by definition, will accommodate these ‘variants’, will accommodate a variety of practices and rituals outside its main defining ritual practice (say, of the Mass) whereas a narrow church will not. The narrow church will not only clamp down on the breadth and width of beliefs (dissidents) but will also wish to snuff out ritual practices and ritual accretions which go beyond the strict establishment of orthodox rituals.

David E. Mahony


#17

[quote=Karin]All religions are a heresy if you are comparing them to the Catholic Church since all of them reject the orthodox tenets of the Catholic Church.
[/quote]

Not really…I do realize that this is a position that could be argued, but my point is that Islam has picked up in the train of the early heretical groups that denied the deity of Jesus Christ.
And then, it has added its own “inspired” scripture–the Koran, which they put on a whole other level from the Bible. Again, this was a trend of early heretical groups, who gave to their own ideas, a higher place than either scripture or tradition.
There is a definite qualitative difference between being (like me) a non Catholic Christian, & being a Muslim. I accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe He was true God & true Man. I look to Him for my salvation. We could talk all night about whether that makes me heretical or whatever, but I am using the term as Bishop Sheen used it: to describe Islam as an heretical offshoot of Christianity & Judaism.
I use that term to distinguish it from revealed religion (Judaism, & Christianity), but also from pagan religion–as, for example, Hinduism or Buddhism.
I don’t deny that, as a Methodist, I could find things in the Catholic church to disagree with, but the central tenets of both are contained in the life, teachings, death, & resurrection of Jesus Christ. To a Muslim, all this is simply a mistake on all our parts, because they believe that Muhammed got it right & the rest of us are wrong. There is a difference…
God bless.


#18

Islam is a very dangerous, evil and false religion. And if anyone denies that statement then they are thinking very illogically.


#19

[quote=Louis Mazar]Islam is a very dangerous, evil and false religion. And if anyone denies that statement then they are thinking very illogically.
[/quote]

Louis-
I am deeply :frowning: by your comment. Looking at your profile I see that you are Catholic. It would seem by your comment then that you view Judiasm also as a cult…I say this because your reasoning for claiming Islam is a cult (because they dont belive Christ is the son of God) also applies to the Jewish faith (please see your earlier post).


#20

Karin,

It is correct that I view Judaism as a cult because they deny the Deity of Christ. I got the definition of a cult that I have from D. James Kennedy who is a Presbyterian Minister from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and years ago on a audio tape Kennedy stated that a cult is a religious organization that denies the Deity of Christ. If you are a Christian then why are you sticking up for Judaism instead of agreeing that Judaism is a cult?


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