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Are there "Cult-like" groups of Baptists still alive and well out there?

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Don't get me wrong, I AM a saved, active follower of Jesus Christ FIRST AND FOREMOST, and a BAPTIST second, so please, don't take this question out of context. I just remember the days where there were some problems within the Baptist community that affected many of us. I also know that many of those who were the "leaders" of these groups have either passed on, retired, or are now in prison. But, I believe we are witnessing a rise in the number of "leaders" who are left UNCHECKED in power inside the group that calls themselves "Baptist." Remember, the Baptists hold a wide range of views, don't always agree on doctrine, ethics, leadership and many other things. In our own area I know . Baptists today? Please, do NOT name names. Let the Lord God be their judge. This information is simply for my file, and I AM asking it on several other sites. I did so many years back and will be comparing how people feel and believe pre and post pandemic. Thank you in advance for NOT HIJACKING this thread and your cooperation. 

BT

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1 hour ago, BrotherTony said:

Don't get me wrong, I AM a saved, active follower of Jesus Christ FIRST AND FOREMOST, and a BAPTIST second, so please, don't take this question out of context. I just remember the days where there were some problems within the Baptist community that affected many of us. I also know that many of those who were the "leaders" of these groups have either passed on, retired, or are now in prison. But, I believe we are witnessing a rise in the number of "leaders" who are left UNCHECKED in power inside the group that calls themselves "Baptist." Remember, the Baptists hold a wide range of views, don't always agree on doctrine, ethics, leadership and many other things. In our own area I know . Baptists today? Please, do NOT name names. Let the Lord God be their judge. This information is simply for my file, and I AM asking it on several other sites. I did so many years back and will be comparing how people feel and believe pre and post pandemic. Thank you in advance for NOT HIJACKING this thread and your cooperation. 

BT

What's your definition of a "cult"? The word is thrown around by Christians like the word "legalism".

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30 minutes ago, SureWord said:

What's your definition of a "cult"? The word is thrown around by Christians like the word "legalism".

Yes, we need your definition of 'cult' so we know what ballpark we are in. I will appreciating your giving us a definition.

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Tony, I do believe that there are still "Baptist" cults out there, however.. cults exists in all denominations. I also agree that the term cult can mean different things to different people so it would be beneficial to know what you are defining as a cult. Example, some would say that I'm in a cult for just teaching the Bible. 

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For the purposes of this discussion, a cult would be a following that would not question what a pastor/elder/leader of a congregation or "fellowship" (consisting of several churches without being a separate denomination) would teach about the Bible, morality, church spending, etc.,....basically allowing the pastor to act without being accountable to anyone. I could give an example of one easily, but I'm trying NOT to be offensive or accepting here of the behaviors listed. I do realize that there are, as @PastorMatt has stated, cultish behaviors inside of all denominations. I do thank you all for bringing up this question, because I had not even thought about a definition since 2000. But, with the continued rise of several pastors across the country, not only IFB but within the SBC, General Baptists, etc., it has brought me back to the study of the rise of these certain men, how and why people follow them rejected certain principles taught in the Word of God. I hope this makes the parameters a bit clearer.  

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Posted (edited)

It seems to me that the trend is in the opposite direction with pastors who display no authority at all in the church other than when it comes to correcting the bible. Really, this has been the trend in every institution especially among men. Weak men who do not lead.

I was part of a church that had a pastor who was one of these "I am the man of God...do my prophet no harm" mentality but I wouldn't say he was a cult leader but perhaps a step away. He did wins souls and helped a lot of people but got proud and God eventually humbled him and he ended up out of the ministry. It was sad but you could see it coming.

There are plenty of celebrity pastors like Joel Osteen whom people want to hitch their wagon to but the preacher who believes in strong pastoral authority is becoming less and less, IMO.

PS: I will like to add that some Christians, especially young men, may like preachers who may be excessive with the pastoral authority. They view him as a strong man to emulate especially if they had a deadbeat or MIA father growing up.

Edited by SureWord
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3 hours ago, BrotherTony said:

For the purposes of this discussion, a cult would be a following that would not question what a pastor/elder/leader of a congregation or "fellowship" (consisting of several churches without being a separate denomination) would teach about the Bible, morality, church spending, etc.,....basically allowing the pastor to act without being accountable to anyone. 

Yes, that still exists today, and that's one reason why I'm an Independent Baptist. Obviously I'm accountable to God first and foremost, but I am also accountable by our members. As a church we vote on the budget, where money gets spent, who the pastor is and other things that's outlined in our bylaws.

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52 minutes ago, PastorMatt said:

Our members come from all different backgrounds. Some come and want a say in everything, while others are surprised they get to have a say in decisions in the church.

In the church where I was raised, a large portion of the people were inter-related, and that made it somewhat difficult to get a vote passed in some instances. I came from a very large family, and we were friends with many other large families that were members of the church. But, at times we didn't come down on their side, and that made things hard on us. When we became a "mega-church" for several years, it was easier to get things passed, and to have changes in the church, at least to some degree. You probably know many of the same IFB preachers I know. I'd actually be interested in knowing just how many you DO know! LOL It might be interesting! 🙂 But, that would be for another thread/discussion. 

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I don't have a knowledge of other local churches and how they conduct their worship activities. Therefore I'm probably naive about them. However, in much of my reading both in scripture and Christian authors, it would seem to depend on how they position Jesus Christ in their worship as to whether they are a cult. I know of an 'SBC' church which in a very short time went from Baptist to "Church" including having the name 'Baptist' dropped from their sign out front. Now they're quote, "VIBE
Casual, Creative, Spirit-filled, Friendly, Young families, Lots of kids"

This is one of their shows or what they call services.

Rock n Roll.jpg

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Interestingly, the word "cult" comes from the same root word we get the words culture, cultivate, colony and husbandry. 

I always liked this definition:

"An organized group of people, religious or not, with whom you disagree."

Seems the word as we commonly use it today began to be used around the 1820s this would be around the time of the Christian Restoration Movement (i.e. the Second Great Awakening) and the rise of Mormonism. Before that time the word was not considered a negative word.

 

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Within the IFB, I have known churches who have the 'cult" like mentality, where the pastor is not questioned, to have a disagreement is tantamount to  making a person attack on the pastor, and they often have a strong group of leaders who will circle the wagons to 'protect' the pastor at all times against any questioning or accusations of wrong-doing. One of them even has a statue built of him and his wife at the church he pastored, after his death, which personally, if I went to heaven and found my former church had built me a statue, I would be pretty embarrassed. And I have known men who came out from his school, who act in the same "touch not the Lord's anointed" attitude. 

I believe in the authority of the local church, and the authority a pastor ought to have over a local church, but at the same time, the pastor is still just one of the sheep who has been given a responsibility to care for the other sheep of their local flock, and he ought not think himself unquestionable, but always willing to discuss issues of disagreement, properly  with Bible in hand. I have been known to be wrong, and no one has it all figured out yet.

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27 minutes ago, Ukulelemike said:

no one has it all figured out yet.

I think this fella (below) used to be on this forum many years ago.   Sometime in the last year I saw one or more references to him or posts by him.

"no one" has made it as clear as he has. (he may have passed away recently too)

on a John Baptist Henry blogspot baptist history

showing Baptists (in practice, the 'name' came later, like after, during or before the name: anabaptist)

since the first century clearly shown through the centuries.

I'm not sure but I think he departed this forum because of cult-like differences.

(from 'old' memories ,  reading months ago)

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4 hours ago, jeff_student_of_Jesus said:

  

I think this fella (below) used to be on this forum many years ago.   Sometime in the last year I saw one or more references to him or posts by him.

"no one" has made it as clear as he has. (he may have passed away recently too)

on a John Baptist Henry blogspot baptist history

showing Baptists (in practice, the 'name' came later, like after, during or before the name: anabaptist)

since the first century clearly shown through the centuries.

I'm not sure but I think he departed this forum because of cult-like differences.

(from 'old' memories ,  reading months ago)

I apologize if I am being a bit dull today, (I've had my face buried in technical manuals all day so I'm a tad loopy), but I'm not sure what you're trying to say here.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ukulelemike said:

I apologize if I am being a bit dull today, (I've had my face buried in technical manuals all day so I'm a tad loopy), but I'm not sure what you're trying to say here.

I think that you mentioned in post that no one has it figured out yet, or something like that.

I disagree,  and used that fella ,  John Baptist Henry as someone who does have (or did have, if he has passed away) it not only figured out,

but was able to state it clearly in his (or collaborated with others) blog(s).

The info in his blog(s) was an amazing and delightful surprise to find,  that I expected to see somewhere, somehow, for decades and did not see until it was in his blog (or a link from his blog/ related) .

Things that seem hard to understand are quite clear when seen correctly, and simple,  without twisting words and without stretching ideas - just plainforward straight and pure and true honesty,  in harmony perfectly and completely with all Scripture.

Edited by jeff_student_of_Jesus
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37 minutes ago, jeff_student_of_Jesus said:

I think that you mentioned in post that no one has it figured out yet, or something like that.

I disagree,  and used that fella ,  John Baptist Henry as someone who does have (or did have, if he has passed away) it not only figured out,

but was able to state it clearly in his (or collaborated with others) blog(s).

The info in his blog(s) was an amazing and delightful surprise to find,  that I expected to see somewhere, somehow, for decades and did not see until it was in his blog (or a link from his blog/ related) .

Things that seem hard to understand are quite clear when seen correctly, and simple,  without twisting words and without stretching ideas - just plainforward straight and pure and true honesty,  in harmony perfectly and completely with all Scripture.

What I meant was, in context of sometimes being wrong in spiritual matters, that none of us have it all figured out yet. Like, there are biblical truths and things we can still learn, and none of us are above correction or challenging.

 

And if JB Henry did, indeed have it ALL figured out, well, I guess at some point he no longer needed to study his Bible. 

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Posted (edited)

Definitely. Talking from Eastern Europe. We have tons of cults. Actually the main 'belief system' is Orthodoxy and everything else is considered 'cult'

However, it's extremely upsetting to say this, but MOST Baptist congregations in my country trust in their baptism rather than the finished atonement of our Redeemer. 

All people who are Baptist insist baptism is a necessary means for salvation.

They are basically the same as Orthodox but they think they 'have the right way'. One thing that always felt present in Orthodoxy while I was growing up was Christ appearing very weak. Even saints seemed more important, they would grant wishes if we were to request them. Orthodox people are obsessed with Mary, again Christ appearing so much weak and powerless.

But with these 'Baptists' in my country, Christ is also weak. You perform a ritual and only then you will be accepted. They say it's 'half-half'. Basically baptism + belief. Only with American Baptist I saw Christ as a King and powerful Being, the one that has the entire Glory but other belief system want man to have some glory as if any man would be worthy. 

Edited by Corinne
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6 minutes ago, Corinne said:

Definitely. Talking from Eastern Europe. We have tons of cults. Actually the main 'belief system' is Orthodoxy and everything else is considered 'cult'

However, it's extremely upsetting to say this, but MOST Baptist congregations in my country trust in their baptism rather than the finished atonement of our Redeemer. 

All people who are Baptist insist baptism is a necessary means for salvation.

They are basically the same as Orthodox but they think they 'have the right way'. One thing that always felt present in Orthodoxy while I was growing up was Christ appearing very weak. Even saints seemed more important, they would grant wishes if we were to request them. Orthodox people are obsessed with Mary, again Christ appearing so much weak and powerless.

But with these 'Baptists' in my country, Christ is also weak. You perform a ritual and only then you will be accepted. They say it's 'half-half'. Basically baptism + belief. Only with American Baptist I saw Christ as the King and powerful Being, the one that has the entire Glory but other belief system want man to have some glory as if any man would be worthy. 

They aren't Baptists if they teach that baptism is necessary for salvation. Not even Freewill Baptist teach that.

Are you sure they don't mean that if you were really saved you would be baptized and if you don't get baptized then that means you are not saved?

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, SureWord said:

They aren't Baptists if they teach that baptism is necessary for salvation. Not even Freewill Baptist teach that.

 

They've explained that being baptized is the only way to be accepted. 

I have relatives in many regions so I visit places and I've attended assemblies. All told me that it's always baptism + belief that saves. 

One assembly is affiliated with at least 15 other assemblies. I've attended a Baptist conference where people from various Baptist places came and gave speeches. Not one of them presented any plan of salvation during or after the meeting. Obviously, if you were to ask any attendees what does it mean to be saved, they would say 'baptism' or 'just be good' as replies.

The message got corrupted in my country. Pentecostals [which are more prevalent] have the same thinking: baptism + belief.

Only when I visited the UK, I've realized that there are Baptists who believe Christ is sufficient. American/Western Baptists are different in beliefs.

 

 

 

Edited by Corinne
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