Cult or Cult-like?

Cult or Cult-like?

On a number of occasions we have referred to the Hebrew-Christian or "Messianic Jewish" movement as a cult or cult like. Some have protested that we are stretching it a bit when we classify these groups in the same category as some of the real cults. Are these cults cult or cult-like? Let's find out.

One can well understand the widespread reluctance to refer to the Hebrew-Christians as a cult. After all, these groups are bankrolled by well-known Christian denominations and churches, and their theology is basically fundamentalist Christianity. Nevertheless, if we look at the definition of a destructive cult as set forth in virtually every study of cultism, it becomes clear that these groups fit the bill.

For example: Deception in recruitment - Few Hebrew-Christians tell you up front that that their belief is identical to that of the Baptist Church. The use of the term "Messianic Jew" for example is nothing more than "Newspeak" and an attempt to make their beliefs appear Jewish. Even fewer will tell you that they believe Jesus is G-d and not just Messiah.

They encourage rigid submission to an elite leadership as opposed to encouraging individual choice, thought and initiative. The leaders of this movement, for example have forbidden their followers from talking to people from Jews for Judaism. They claim that they are shepherd trying to protect their flock. However, these are the same people who would complain bitterly if someone in the Jewish community told Jews not to talk to them.

They also demonstrate a hostility to the outside world. It's "us versus them", "believers versus unbelievers", the  saved versus the damned". The dualities are nearly suffocating. Sometimes Satan - defined as anyone who doesn't support the movement - seems more real than G-d to these people; and indeed, he is spoken of more frequently.

The uncomfortable fact is that increasingly this movement has become cult-like. And, just like all cults, their target is YOU!