How To Be a Good Cult Member

While it is very important to recognize abusive behavior in leaders/ministries, it is no less important to recognize and avoid enabling behavior. They are two sides of the same coin. There is (and I quote a friend) the danger of those who are driven by the compulsion to dominate and manipulate, and there is the danger of those who desire order to such an extent that they will allow themselves to be dominated and manipulated.

In his article, “Someone Like Me: Anatomy of a Cult Member,” Steve Smith talks about what made him an excellent cult member for 25 years. Being a blind follower. Being a rule-abider/legalist. Seeking belonging. Having low self-esteem. A lack of critical thinking. Being performance oriented.

This is the kind of behavior that gives abusive people their power, but unfortunately many Christians are taught that being blindly obedient and submissive is virtuous and godly, and that critical thinking is rebellious and dangerous. We need to break away from these false notions and work on developing genuine Christian character, which would include sagacity, strength and nobility.

Steve gives us a lot to think about. Here’s the link to his article:

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Leadership 101

I try to keep away from these Black Hole discussions that start with “Can Christians drink alcohol?” or “Does the church need female leadership?”, I try, but sometimes when I’m scrolling down the newsfeed my eye gets snagged. 

“Many women,” (I read), “possess the moral and spiritual qualities of leadership, but because they are women they lack the biological quality for leading.”

Take your time unpacking that one, you’ll need it. 

Farther down someone had written: “Even men aren’t authoritarian enough to be good leaders”. Ah, and there’s the problem right there. The idea that leadership in the kingdom of God is about being in charge.

You would think that our Lord had made it clear enough that it wasn’t, by a far cry. He did tell the disciples pretty plainly that amongst his followers, leadership was not to be as it was among the worldlings – an exercise of authority. It was to be an exercise of service and giving. 

And that’s an exercise that ALL members of the Body of Christ are called to.