Church Free from Cultic Tendencies?
checklist for Responsible Christians
The following checklist of
cultic tendencies by Charles Lesser was published in the October,
1991 Spiritual Counterfeits Project Newsletter. They are typical
of a number of aberrational cultic groups and churches on the
- Is your pastor fully
accountable to a board of elders, presbyters, etc?
- Is loyalty to Jesus and to
one's own calling placed before loyalty to pastor and
- Does your pastor encourage
questions and suggestions? Is he approachable?
- Does your pastor give equal
attention to all kinds of people in his congregation?
- Does your pastor readily
admit his errors?
- Does your pastor avoid
boasting or hinting at a "special anointing"?
- Is your pastor truly
- Are the sermons based on
clear Biblical truths, not on "original
revelations" or ax-grinding?
- Does your church interact
with other churches?
- Does your church staff
- Is power shared in your
church (rather than preempted by a hierarchy)?
- Does your church see itself
as just one organ of the Body of Christ, and not the main
- Is your church truly
- Does your church emphasize
ministry to people rather than church programs?
- Are especially needy people
cared for lovingly in your church?
- Are church members
encouraged and loved even when they leave?
- Are relationships with
former members encouraged or allowed?
- Do the pastor and
congregation avoid attacking and using as object lessons,
former members or those who disagree?
- Are families encouraged to
stay together and spend time together?
- Does your family worship
Sunday service include children, at least for part of the
- Are you encouraged in your
- Are pleas for money rare
- Are your children happy to
- Are you happy to bring
unsaved friends to your church?
- Is there a diversity of
classes, races, dress styles, ages, and occupations in
- Are people encouraged to
hear from God for themselves?
- Is there a single behavior
standard for all people in the church?
- Are all types of people
considered welcome at your church?
- Is the joy of the Lord
present in your church?
- Are you free from fear in
- Do you think more about God
and Jesus than you do about your pastor and church?
- Does your pastor include
himself in any calls for repentance and forgiveness?
- Are you clear that the
pastors and elders never exaggerate or lie to make
themselves look good?
- Is your group encouraging
of each other and free from gossip and rumoring?
- Is there a humility of
doctrine that points to the grace of God and His mercy
- Are you encouraged to serve
in ministries or missions outside the local body?
- Is there ever any pressure
put upon members to give or lend money to leaders for
their personal or business use (exclusive of church
business or projects)?
Spiritual Counterfeits Project
is a California-based cult/occult/New Age research ministry.
This article originally appeared on the Cult Awareness & Information Centre out of Australia, which was run by the late Jan Groenveld. The article is reproduced as it was seen on Jan's site with some formatting changes.
August 23, 1997
Page added November 5, 2004
© 1997-2012 by Lois E. Gibson
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