Posted by: Damon Whitsell | April 20, 2009

Is Your Church Free from Cultic Tendencies? A checklist for Responsible Christians

Is Your Church Free from Cultic Tendencies? A 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 scene today.

  • 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 church?
  • 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 humble?
  • 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 avoid secrecy?
  • 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 one?
  • Is your church truly friendly?
  • 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 service?
  • Are you encouraged in your own calling?
  • Are pleas for money rare and unemotional?
  • Are your children happy to attend church?
  • Are you happy to bring unsaved friends to your church?
  • Is there a diversity of classes, races, dress styles, ages, and occupations in your church?
  • 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 your church?
  • 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 for sinners?
  • 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)?

http://www.batteredsheep.com/checklist.html

 

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