I knew it was bound to happen eventually–I mean, there are enough made-for-TV movies out there talking about them that I knew it was basically inevitable that I’d run into one, I just never thought I’d find one in Daytona Beach. Maybe in say, backwoods Louisiana, but not in suburban Florida. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I had my first dealing with a bona fide cult tonight.
What exactly is a cult, you ask? Hmm, well let’s see.
Best ways to tell if you’re at a cult:
- They tell you that you have to be a member…and even better that you have to go to membership classes
- They expect you to put into the offering…whether you really want to or not
- They stretch odd points in scripture to mean things completely outside of their context
- Their pastor is more the main figure than Jesus
- If it’s a Christian church, you don’t see any crosses
- And the number one…they’re in a really nice, big building and there are less than 20 people at the service
Now I’m not necessarily saying that any of those individually means that you’ve found yourself a cult, but when you find them all…within five minutes…it’s a pretty safe bet.
The main issue I took with this particular church was that they said it was an absolute necessity—a you’re-not-saved-til-you’ve-done-this type of necessity—that you speak in tongues. Don’t get me wrong. I know it’s in the Bible that people speak in tongues—it’s a spiritual gift—but making it a necessity for believers to be considered true believers to speak in tongues takes things to an entirely new level of scary.
But ultimately, it got me thinking. Who am I to judge what other people believe? This church might have beliefs that differ wildly from my own, but there are apparently people there that agree. What does it truly mean to be Christian in America? So, I’m going to start a blog about all of the different ways people worship in America—the good, and the bad, and all the ways we are more alike than different.