I’ve been accused of being a cult leader many times over the years, and it just happened again today, so I thought I’d write this post quickly because I know I’m not the only one who gets handed this accusation.
Apparently, simply by virtue of writing articles or books about what we believe — or even creating YouTube or TikTok videos on these topics — we must be cult leaders (even though this would mean we must have dozens of cult leaders in our “cult,” which is interesting considering the amount of disagreement over doctrine there is within our church, outside of the most important doctrine, of course: Paul’s Gospel).
Now, to be fair, as I discussed in my Comparing the Christian religion vs the body of Christ to the BITE model article, any group of people dedicated to any particular topic can, by definition, be called a cult, so every single church and fandom out there technically is a cult. But, of course, most people are referring to the authoritarian cults that people tend to think of when accusing us of leading (or even simply being in) a cult. However, if you’ve read that article about the BITE model that I just linked to there, you already know that no human other than Jesus has any authority over anyone else in our church, so we certainly can’t be an authoritarian cult. We do have teachers, but none of our teachers can tell anyone else in the body of Christ what to do or believe, or mete out punishments if someone doesn’t obey them, and many of our teachers publicly disagree with each other on many theological topics, so when someone accuses me of being a cult leader, I just roll my eyes and send them that link, and so far none of them have been able to come back at me to explain how we actually are an authoritarian cult in a way that lines up with the BITE model after reading it. So if anyone accuses you of the same (being in, or leading, a cult), feel free to share that link with them as well, and I can pretty much guarantee that they won’t be able to come back at you with anything from the article demonstrating you to be an authoritarian cult leader (or even just cult follower) either.