Cults: Double Standards and Hypocrisy is a post about how cults have double standards, but the true work of God does not.
The entire mindset of a cult is to construct an organization which serves the cult leadership. A biblical local church is an organization built to serve God and His purposes, to do the work of God. This difference is very abundantly clear when one has been hurt by a cult organization.
The privileges of “leadership”
The Bible presents us with a very different kind of organization when it teaches us about the local church than what a cult is as we can easily examine existing cults around us. Cults are pyramids, whereby the leaders “stand on top of” others to gain their position. In a cult, your value to the group is measured by how much you can give or do (work and activity) for the group and its leadership. Within a biblical church, the values are turned around from this. Biblical churches are not about “using people”, but about “serving people”. The central priority and heartbeat of a good, biblical church is how much it can do for the people that it serves.
We consider the leadership of Christ and the disciples, and Christ took the lowest servant position, and washed the others feet. He did this to emphasize the importance of helping, servicing, and being of aid to others. Instead of others serving him, he served his disciples.
In a cult, everything is about the ego-maniac at the top. People are replaceable, and disposable, so the leaders use them until they are burnt out, and then replace them “throwing the members away” (disenfranchising them from the group so that they leave or become marginal).
While the Bible does clearly state that members are to honor and respect their leaders, and a church should pay a salary to their principle ministers (the pastor), the Bible nowhere says that the “house” of the church belongs to the pastor, and he can pilfer whatever he so desires from the house of the Lord.
Biblical Church: Leaders and ministers serve the common man.
In a biblical church, everything focus on the individual members of the church. They are fellow servants of Christ, and the pastor or shepherd and his leadership staff all serve these people as the principle ministry they have. They imitate Christ in this.
It is important to get this focus and keep it always. When people are your servants as a leader in the church, then you need to repent and leave the ministry.
One of the principles that we cannot violate is that we are personal individual examples of Christ. When a leader begins to think that the standards of Christ that he holds forth is not necessary for him, you are beginning a cult right there. We must personally live what we are preaching and teaching.
A Cult: Leaders and principals want others to serve them.
We need to understand what motivates cults and the people who create them. A cult can be formed anywhere, even within a good church. A bad pastor can rapidly transform a good church into a cult without you really noticing it unless you are always looking out for this.
Service is part of what a community of the redeemed is all about. But instead of a leader giving orders for others to do this or do that, he should personally lead by being the image of Christ right there, and personally doing service for other members. That humble service is a mark of a real man of God.
False service going along with false humility is the mark of a cult. Many people will put out some tremendous act of service that they do, but publicly so everybody knows what they are doing, and this provides them with the cover of being proper for a good while. God sees through this. Christ said, don’t let your right hand know what your left hand is doing in connection with charity works. Some things need to be done without blaring it to every body.
Hypocrisy and the Cult
Cults typically are places where hypocrisy run rampant. The pastor wants everybody to sacrifice wildly and excessively for some regular month project he has. But he is making a lot of money. Why doesn’t he just reduce his own salary down to what they pay a janitor and put all that into his pet project? That kind of self sacrifice never seems to dawn on a cult leader.
If he would ever do it, it would be a very public event. Usually always with the leader getting that money through some other means other than salary.
More Posts on the Marks of a Cult
- Mark of a Cult: Deception
- How to tell if you are in cult #7
- How to tell if you are in cult #6
- How to tell if you are in cult #5
- How to tell if you are in cult #4
- How to tell if you are in cult #3
- How to tell if you are in cult #2
- See Being an Example