A new or potential member is told by the WMSCOG something to this effect:
"When you tell your family and friends about your new church they are going to get upset and tell you that the World Mission Society is a cult. They won't understand because they have not received the truth of the WMSCOG. They will accuse the WMSCOG of being a cult and try everything they can do to take you away from the truth you have found."
What happens then? When the new or potential member talks to their family about this new church, sure enough, their loved ones get extremely concerned that they have joined a cult. It happens just as the WMSCOG told them it would. It happened that way with my sister. It happened that way with many others I have talked to.
Unfortunately, this often reinforces the WMSCOG claim to have the 'truth' since, after all, what they said would happen did come about. So calling this group a 'cult' supposedly proves to them that it is not a cult? How does that sound to you? The WMSCOG likes to use persecution and unbelief as proof that they are the true church.
WMSCOG members will then go on to say that if the World Mission Society Church of God is a cult, then Christianity itself is a cult, like this website here (be forewarned, it is a pro-WMSCOG website). This is not a new thought. I've heard atheists (and others) say that all religions are cults. But there are various definitions of "cult," as you can see in this online dictionary. We need to make a distinction between the definition of "a specific system of religious worship" and the definition of a group "using devious psychological techniques to gain and control adherents."
This article, "When Does a Religion Become a Cult?" from the Wall Street Journal puts it very well. The author, Mitch Horowitz, writes:
"Yet every coercive religious group harbors one telltale trait: untoward secrecy. As opposed to a cult, a religious culture ought to be as simple to enter or exit, for members or observers, as any free nation. Members should experience no impediment to relationships, ideas or travel, and the group's finances should be reasonably transparent. Its doctrine need not be conventional—but it should be knowable to outsiders."When I read that, I ask myself about the WMSCOG:
- Is it "as simple to enter or exit, for members or observers, as any free nation"?
- Do members "experience no impediment to relationships, ideas or travel"?
- Are the church's finances "reasonably transparent"?
- Do they want their doctrine "knowable to outsiders"?
When I ask myself the same questions regarding all the Christian churches I'm familiar with, the answers are each YES.
The WMSCOG's assertion that "If the WMSCOG is a cult, then Christianity itself is a cult" is FALSE.
One more thing for today about the workings of a cult. Please check out this article, "How the WMSCOG Indoctrinates and Changes a Person's Life." It was written by an ex-member of the WMSCOG who shares how their personal experiences match up to the "Twenty Steps of Indoctrination in Destructive Cults" (from Douglas Rushkoff's book Coercion: Why We Listen to What "They" Say). I hope you'll read through the entire article.