The church of Jesus Christ always intended to be a safe haven where believers came together to celebrate Jesus, learn of His teachings, and to find ways to tackle sin and faith struggles. Conversation and discussion in a fellowship is a very positive thing that helps members grow in their faith .
How about if you feel you’re growing and the truth of scripture is opened up to you but you’re afraid to speak out? Are there members in your assuming leadership and then discouraging discussion of certain topics, shutting down new revelation, or subtly shunning who does not share the same beliefs as them? If so, the Church or fellowship you are attending could be in serious trouble. These are indications that the fellowship has been infiltrated by “another gospel” like the Judaising members in the book of Galatians and those behind it are brainwashing the members into a rigid groupthink cult. When Christ walked the earth and started His ministry, the only group he marked out as deceivers were the Jewish leaders who preached the old law of Moses. When Apostle Paul warned of “Another Gospel”, he was referring to attempts to reassert Judaism and the other gospel was the Torah of Judaism.
God compels us to question all doctrine, ask questions and when we are confused, take the time to fully understand what the scriptures should tell us and why. The great journey of faith is never supposed to be simple and by the very nature of the earth, deception will find believers and attempt to subvert us from the good news of Christ or to misuse it and create cults. Here are the signs that your fellowship has been infiltrated by and is using brainwashing techniques to avoid detection and create a Crypto-Judaism cult or other such distorted misuses of Christianity.
1. Discouragement of Debate
Discouragement of debate is the most obvious sign that your fellowship is creating a cult by keeping opinions to an absolute minimum and all learning on a railroaded course that avoids certain truths. If you are in a conversation with believers and someone starts a discussion with an alternative view, there should be a civil, intelligent look into scriptures to see not WHO is right but what SCRIPTURE says. However, if discussion is immediately shut down on certain areas of scriptures then there is a chance that the someone is seeking to create a culture of groupthink which is part of the cult process.
Conformity should not be the priority of any fellowship or its culture which is why True Christians do not participate in this cult-like behviour. Enjoying the depth and perfection of scripture is one of the greatest things within a True Christian fellowship so discouraging going deep into the Truth is a massive worry.
2. Backlash of New Ideas
Gaining a rigid plan that allows for deceptive doctrines to fit around the reading of only some scriptures is a process that works in stages. When disagreeing members have been subtly shunned every left is in agreement, any look outside of the carefully laid framework of Judaising is met with confusion, backlash and sometimes aggression. The ideal must be protected and this will be painted as “Righteous Indignation” which galvanises the views. Because a doctrine of “exclusive enlightenment” has been sown, it is then perceived that “new ideas” or even looking at certain scripture is an attempt to subvert the truth.
If the responses to ideas that might improve the fellowship or study of scriptures outside of the framework are consistently met with an onslaught of negativity, this is a problem and cult behaviour is already emerging. Church leaders are there to be an example to the fellowship and true leadership in a Biblical sense is servitude to the fellowship. Shutting down members ideas or assuming authority to subvert any discussion is part of the process of subversion to other doctrines and brainwashing of those already in the process.
3. Negative Stereotyping of Outsiders
Do you routinely hear derogatory and judgmental opinions about outsiders of the fellowship or larger Christian denominations? Do those who have different philosophies hold a place of almost villainy in the voices of authority in your fellowship? You can tell if a fellowship is safe by the way they talk about other ministries and those with differing doctrines. If they are grouping everyone outside the fellowship into generic typecasts with labels like “deceived,” “heretics,” and other such descriptions then they are sending a clear message that those who do not agree with Judaistic or other positions within the fellowships are to be avoided.
Subtly shunning those who disagree inside the fellowship in the first stages and then later building a wall against outsiders is all part of the process. Not only that, this constant exclusivity creates an environment that makes questioning the rigid framework scary.
What’s most unGodly about this practice is that it happens within families. One of the topics Jesus spoke most on was marriage and the family so any attempts to cause dischord within a family is contrary to Biblical teaching. Because no confession of this will be made by family members and the abusive treatment will be subtle, Church cult members will label it paranoia which then makes those questioning the doctrines questions themselves.
4. Unanimity is Assumed
One very important point: do not assume that because we have Jesus in common that it’s Christians we are fellowshipping with. If we are to take Judaised Evangelical Fellowships, they will almost always use “Jehovah”, and “LORD” in their prayers and discussions but seldom “God” or “Jesus”. However, you will hear them just enough to assume that despite being fixated with the Israel, a country not even 100 years old and using mostly the Old Testament for study that they are Christian and not Crypto-Judaism.
Everyone has heard the phrase, “we’re all Christians here, right?” There are many incorrect ways to interpret the Bible and sadly different denominations in Christianity often are split on matters of error. This is where Crypto-Judaism finds its opening and nestles as a vague “Non-Denomination”. The subtle trick of “Non-Denominational” Christianity is that it is indeed a denomination but instead of being defined by a clear set of positions it instead exists with what isn’t agreed with in others internally. Positions are held only by the utterances of members aligning against a view. Disagreement with something like Calvanism or Catholicism doesn’t explicitly make you any denomination but the reality would be that your denomination is “Anti-Calvanist”. Because we don’t think about denominations in this way the “Non-Denominational” position slips by the radar.
Always remember, it is unrealistic to assume that every member in your fellowship agrees on all things. Unanimity shouldn’t be forced and you’re potentially witnessing cult behaviour when it is.
5. Fear of Speaking Out
If as a believer you second guess yourself when you go to say something within your fellowship or you have been broken down to question who you even are then you’re likely inside a cult process? If you find yourself making the choice to keep your views to yourself out of fear, you’re easily shaken by the very thought of disagreement then this is something that has been instilled in you. We cover the stages of brainwashing in another article and these are a very common thing within Judaized Evangelical Fellowships because a defence system is needed to keep up the lie.
Christianity is not about being broken down and fearful of systems. Such systems are setup to subvert truth, raise up men or to slipstream in other doctrines like Crypto-Judaism. If you’re feeling scared to even go outside of guidelines that shouldn’t be there or you feel that your very identity is slipping away then you’re potentially inside of a cult.
6. Family members turning against you
One of the very saddest but most effective methods of cult control is control of family both in and outside of the Christian cult.
It’s often the case that biological family members may not agree with your new fellowship but they are happy for you to attend. Because they hold sway over you, the Christian Fellowship that you’re in will often try to get you to disconnect from them by causing issues and speaking of them in a negativity way. This can manifest as a partner inside the cult reporting back things said about you by family members or taking offence at something said by a member of your family. Slowly this creates an environment where you feel animosity towards your family and take on the psuedo-christian cult as your family.
Equally, if you begin to question any doctrine within the group then you might find that your own family will be turned against you. If you’re questioning the central beliefs of the cult system then watch out for holidays or trips away with cult members where you’re not in attendance. This is an occasion for members of the church to tell family members to be mean and vicious to you in order that you return. Because they are under the misapprehension that it’s Gods will for you to be returned to the fold this way, they will stick to their guns and mistreat you believing it as “being cruel to be kind”
Threats of accusations by family members in the most aggressive cults has been reported whereby a family member is given the horrible choice of returning to incorrect doctrine in the cult or fight defamation.