Sat. Oct 19th, 2019

Is there a difference between religions and cults?

My favorite movie of all time is “The Princess Bride.” It’s a classic, a great action-adventure and love story. My most favorite parts in this movie are where Vezzini keeps saying the word, “inconceivable.” At one point on the top of the “Cliffs of Insanity,” Inigo stops him and says; “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” That one sentence sums up this opinion piece, but please continue to read.

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This archived article was written by: James Justice

My favorite movie of all time is “The Princess Bride.” It’s a classic, a great action-adventure and love story. My most favorite parts in this movie are where Vezzini keeps saying the word, “inconceivable.” At one point on the top of the “Cliffs of Insanity,” Inigo stops him and says; “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” That one sentence sums up this opinion piece, but please continue to read.
In article six of the U.S. Constitution it says, “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
Is a group of people showing intense devotion to a cause, person, or work, a definition of a cult or is that the definition of religion? What about, belief and trust in and loyalty to God, cult or religion? Lastly, a body of beliefs and practices regarding the supernatural and the worship of one or more deities.
In the news lately we have heard about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints being called a “Cult.” Pastor Robert Jeffress said, “The Southern Baptist convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the world, has officially labeled Mormonism as a Cult.”
Let’s see now what a cult is defined as: a group of people showing intense devotion to a cause, person, or work. A body of beliefs and practices regarding the supernatural and the worship of one or more deities. A relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.
So clearly the LDS church, by these definitions, is a cult, but then so is every other religion on this planet. The word “Cult” isn’t by definition a bad word, when it is used properly. The problem is that this word “cult” has been associated with things like, The People’s Temple, lead by Jim Jones, whom led 918 people to suicide including 303 children. The Manson cult, the family which killed eight people over two days including Sharon Tate and her unborn baby. Or, The Heaven’s Gate cult, in which 39 people committed suicide.
Let’s look at christianity as a cult by the above definition.
Christianity has about two billion members in the world. That’s a big number, but taken as a whole, it’s only about 28 percent of the total population; thus meeting the third definition of a cult.
These who believe in christianity worship Jesus Christ, they believe he’s a God and supreme creator, clearly meeting the second definition of a cult.
The first definition they meet easily; the cause is being good people, the person is Jesus Christ and the work is bringing people to Christ. Christianity by definition is a cult.
Religion is defined as: a body of beliefs and practices regarding the supernatural and the worship of one or more deities. Belief and trust in and loyalty to God.
Clearly Christianity and all churches in it fall under the title Religion; isn’t it funny how cult and religion are almost word for word defined the same? 
So, by definition, religions are cults, and cults are religions, think about that for while.
I understand that the people of the LDS church might have been offended by the words of Pastor Robert Jeffress. Now that you know the definition, you should be quite flattered. Hey, you’re not alone; you’re part of a two-billion-member Christianity cult.
Since this opinion piece has to do with people arguing over religion, calling people/religions names, etc. We need to realize how lucky we are to be in a land where freedom of expression and religion is still tolerated.

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