Christian cults have been built around figures that claim to speak for God. At first sight a cult leader may appear similar to an apostle. The latter speak on behalf of Jesus as representatives of the Living and written word. A genuine apostle is who he/she is not because of position but because they are sons of God and therefore fathers in the church. The difference between an apostle and a cult leader is that the former represents the gospel of the Kingdom and the apostles teaching. Cult figures promote another gospel that usually negates the new covenant, undoes the authority and centrality of Jesus and adds or subtracts from the simplicity of the new creation, which is Christ our life.
In addition a cult leader will often assume the prerogatives of Christ, ether Interposing themselves as a mediator between the people and God, becoming the lens through which scripture is interpreted and the mouthpiece of deviant teaching based on revelation peculiar to the ‘prophet.’
Some, such as Ellen White produce an entire theology/cosmology into which their followers become socialized. Acculturated to such an extent the teachings become the epistemological framework through which all Things God and the Believer are interpreted. One of the most pernicious effects of this phenomenon is the illusion that scripture supports the deviant teachings of the cult leader. The evil that is perpetrated is diabolical in that Believers think adherence to this “faith” is loyalty to God. Sadly they have forsaken the truth of God for a lie.
But the lie is called “present truth” and hawked around the land as an improvement on classical Christianity when it is actually a cunningly devised fable that robs people of security in Christ, promotes fear, makes a phobia of the second coming, robs the Believer of fellowship with Jesus at death, while proposing an alternative marinated in fear and a scriptures wrested from their context and proper meaning. It is significant that this gospel of fear and dread is obsessed with the hazard of “being deceived.” This both frightens the Believer out of questioning the dogmas and reveals the source of the supposed revelation – the doctrine of demons.
The manipulation of scripture is so perverse that the pleasures that are normal for others in the Body are denied to followers and their religion of the head. A law centric gospel products Believers dull in spirit and mental acuity. I ask readers not to deny these fact out of support for fellow promoters of the Christian Industry. You have a loyalty greater than this and a responsibility to co-labour with Jesus to set captives free,
I have friends who have come into the Spirit and who experience some of the gifts. But their growth is stultified by fear and false doctrine that disfigures their Christ and cripples themselves. The Kingdom of God cannot take root in this teaching.
While not strictly a cult there is enough that is cultish about the denomination that is the cultural expression of Ellen White to alert followers of Jesus that this is not a gospel of Jesus grace and truth. Adherents are commonly filled with the dread of being deceived whenever confronted with the simple truths of the gospel of Kingdom. The power of Christ our life is often deemed too good to be true. The love of Father and His essence of love is can be seen as not strict or mean enough – because the essence of God is deemed to be the Chief Law monger of the universe. Ellen White made a good job of deifying the law, imagining a Jesus who is inferior to the law and the means of obedience to it. But Jesus lived from His Father and lives so that we can live from Him. Jesus is our life forensically and holistically. He is all and in all. All of us need to embrace the new covenant reality of Christ our life and abandon the lesser gospels of religiosity, performance orientation and try harderism. The. Essence of our gospel is Christ come in our flesh.
The gospel of the kingdom is not law with a grace touch. Such grace is more than a bandaid over Moses. The grace is Christ Himself. Christ as a man joining us to Father. Christ our righteousness and our life. Jesus multiplied as His people.