What is a cult?

Money wise, I agree there is probably not much of a difference in Catholicism and Mormonism. Doctrine wise, there is a world of difference.

I agree. There are doctrinal differences. I was merely responding to cult issue and the 4 points listed that defined cults according to the poster.

I know. I was not getting defensive :slight_smile:

As Catholics, we are not required to give any money, nor is it seen as a sign of worthiness. It’s why it’s called a donation, and a sacrifice. Nor are we ever asked about how much we have given. And it can be done anonymously. No one ever need know.

I live in a parish were a second collection is not common.

Perhaps you need to read a lot of your old posts regarding Mormonism and what they put you through. You are a lost soul in need of finding. May God guide you back.

If I recall TK’s previous Mormon experience, his children were actually kidnapped by Mormons to keep them from him.

One would have to do a search on his old posts, though. It’s been a long time since he shared that part of his Mormon experience so my recollection on what he accused Mormons of doing to his children back than may be off.

I never said the Catholic Church required it. God does that.

I just said they pass the plate a lot

I know my past. I know what I posted. I was wrong.

I am not lost. I was.

:slight_smile:

Back to the topic

I think you missed one. :slight_smile:

Who gets to determine what the criteria of a cult is?

A “cult” such as this within the Church and the modern notion of a “cult” are two entirely different things. They are both technical terms describing different things. Unfortunately, the same “word” is used for each.

Are there cults in other religions too?

A “cult” means different things dependence on the context. Theologically or religiously, there isn’t any definition: a “cult” is simply a buzzword with a negative connotation used to portray other religions negatively.

Academically, “cult” has two meanings: the first might be understood as a synthesis between devotion and ritual. For example, when analyzing global Catholics, we might look at the “cult of Mary.” This isn’t to imply anything evil or morally wrong with devotion to Mary – or even to pass judgement or theological statements about it – but rather to imply a sort of system-within-a-system.

The second is the one you find in sociological papers. “Cult” becomes a type of movement, alongside “sect,” “denomination,” and “religion.” Religion is the broad category; a denomination is a smaller category; a sect is a schismatic category, and sometimes used interchangeably with “new religious movement.”

A “cult” here has six qualities, which a previous poster succinctly reduced to four.

For example:
I’m a Baha’i. So I don’t recognize any other Baha’i groups exist, theologically/religiously/personally. So any group claiming to be Baha’i I’d probably think of as a “cult.”

But as an academic this is more complicated. A pair of sociologists spent some time with a 40-member group in Colorado (the full PDF is available on JSTOR for anyone with access to a university library) who were “Baha’i,” but believed the end of the world was imminent. These persons surrounded a central, authoritarian leader and devoted much of their wealth to build a type of stronghold. When the end-of-the-world prophecy failed, most of these people left their group, I think becoming Christians and atheists. Sociologically, this movement was a “cult.” Additionally, there is a group calling itself the “Orthodox Baha’i Faith” that follows a different leadership. It’s relatively small, but open. They like to purchase followers on social media to give the impression that they are much larger than they are; a sort of advertising. Sociologically speaking, this group would be a “sect” or “schismatic,” but not a cult.

Would you say the JW’s or Mormon’s do that?

I usually refrain from calling other belief systems cults due to the negative connotation of the word, and I’d rather not insult anyone.
I don’t really know enough about JW to call them a cult or not. I don’t consider Mormonism to be a cult. The only belief system that I do believe to be a cult is Scientology, since they seem to hit upon all of the above criteria.

I think what’s important to note is that simply meeting a single criteria does not in and of itself make something a cult.

If you study the lds beliefs and practices you can see where one would call them a cult. They meet all the criteria posted but hey…

I agree with you. Having been part of both Mormonism and Scientology (though the latter only briefly mostly out of curiosity), I personally don’t consider Mormonism to be a “cult”, but Scientology most definitely is.

Like others have pointed out, many words have multiple definitions, and often some of them being perfectly mundane and others being insulting.

Female dog for instance.

What makes things even more confusing with the word “cult” is that in at least two of the definitions with very different connotations, the term religions often proceeds it…at least in the English language.

Yes, other religions have various cults within them as well…similar to having particular devotions in Catholicism.

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