We've talked many times about how ALL religions start out as a "cult movement" and eventually gain enough support to be considered a religion. But my question is this, at what point is something a religion rather than a cult? Is there really a difference if the teachings are harmful? Can a religious movement with a minimal amount of followers be considered a religion if it has a positive outlook and belief system, or is it still a cult simply because it has so few believers? And what about religious movements which do gain a large number of followers? Are they automatically religions because of numbers? What if they are teaching a negative message?
Simply asked, is it the overall teachings or the number of followers which earns a label of Cult or Religion?
I ask this because I noticed a number of you used the word "cult" when answering my questions about last nights 20/20 & the abuses taking place in SOME IFB Churches. And at face value, I would agree, their teachings and treatment of their members screams CULT in my mind. But here's the scary part, I pulled up a church list for this group and it is MUCH bigger (I stopped counting at 200 in my state alone and I was only in the Ns) than I would have thought. 20/20 said thousands of congregations, but I didn't buy it, so I looked it up, and even here in my area there are quite a few (although thankfully none in my town). So what are we really basing the title on? Teachings/Behavior or Member count??
Answer by corbysmom531 at 4:56 PM on Apr. 9, 2011
Answer by corbysmom531 at 4:58 PM on Apr. 9, 2011
Answer by pam19 at 5:12 PM on Apr. 9, 2011
Answer by witchqueen at 12:03 PM on Apr. 10, 2011