They don’t use the Scripture as their absolute authority.
Whereas almost every single cult out there will say either that they have the truth, that they believe and teach “only the Bible”, or that they are the only ones who have God’s truth in correct interpretation and perspective, these lines should be revealed as propaganda, not reality.
What reveals a cult for what it is, is not it’s total refusal of Scripture, but its handling of Scripture. Simply put, they “use” Scripture as propaganda to defend their own doctrines, views, and practices.
As a true Christian, child of God, it should be very important and clear that we highly depend on God and on His Word (guidance, direction, and ultimately, the means whereby we know and understand His will and salvation of our lives).
The key in this is to study the Scripture to find what is God’s will, not prove what you have already decided you want to believe.
65+ Works on Trusting the BibleAlso included are works on Higher Criticism Read online - David Cox (bibleresourcelibrary)'s 60+ PDF/html works on Higher Criticism and Trusting the Bible (an index page) 5 Books on Higher Criticism, 8 Books on the Bible is Trustworthy (DeHaan, Copeland, Stott, Moody Sermons, etc.). Articles by J. Vernon McGee, Carm.org, RaptureReady.com, Krejcir (Apologetics author), Charlie Campbell (very good, a lot), Norma Geisler, J.C. Ryle "Was the Bible inspired by God and if so to what extent?", MacArthur, Chuck Colson, John Piper, etc.
It is very important to begin “with a clean slate” in the sense that you study Scripture without the purpose in your heart to defend or “find” your pet concepts. God will not reveal truth to those who are already hell-bent on rejecting it.
Cults twist Scripture out of its true meaning.
If anyone who seeks for truth with a pure heart, God is obliged to reveal truth to that person.
This maxium of Christianity is often refuted, but none-the-less it is true. The problem is that so many never find the truth of God, and they either blame God or strongly assert that what they did end up with “is truth”. This is sad.
Usually everybody believes that their position is truth, but unfortunately, very few people actually have truth.
John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
What Jesus proclaims is that his doctrine is the truth of God (being a reference to the truth coming from God the Father). Christ conditions knowing or recognizing truth as only being possible if the individual submits himself to God’s will. This points illumines us greatly on the matter of truth. Just anyone cannot understand or recognize truth just by their own mental and intellectual abilities.