The Legacy of the Worldwide Church of God

What it was like growing up in a cult and its impact on my life and others like me.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Red Flag warnings you are involved in a cult.

Red flag, Red flag!

While I was growing up in The Worldwide Church of God cult there were several things that I knew were a little fishy and still other things I should have seen as red warning flags but didnt. There are many anti-cult sites on the web. The Rick Ross Institute for instance is a popular one. But I try to keep this blog on my own personal experience and so just wanted to mention a couple of the red flags I should have taken heed of.

Red flag warning #1.

A good religious organization does not continually guilt its members into contributions nor require them to tithe to secure salvation.

The leadership of my church continually preached that it was our duty to be long suffering and steadfast in our devotion to the church in supporting it financially. There were repeated appeals for monetary support in order to preach the gospel. Obeying the authority of the church was paramount and many sermons were given to us on submitting to the authority of the church in order for the work to go forward so that we all could usher in the kingdom of God and rule with Jesus Christ. My church told us it was our duty. We were told we would not suffer more than we could take if we truly followed the churches laws. We were told God didnt call many so we had better be steadfast and do everything we could to assure ourselves a place in Gods kingdom.

Red flag warning #2

A good religious organization works for the common good of its members and its community.

My church disassociated itself with the rest of the world. My church preached that members, being merely human, were detestable in the eyes of God. My church put everyone outside its church community into the controls of Satan. There fore considering anyone not baptised pagan, evil, and unclean. Although my church collected a third tithe for widows and orphans, I am unaware of any that benifitted from it. There was not a lot of giving back to the congregation. I remember one family that filed for bankruptcy and was reprimanded by the church for not working hard enough. We were required to support the church first, our families second, and disassociate from our communities.

Red flag warning #3

A good religious organization does not control your personal space as terms of salvation nor degrade and humiliate you.

My church told women they must wear dresses and men suits. Women should have long hair and men very short hair. Women could not perm or dye their hair nor wear make up. Disobeying meant being shamed, guilted, or being put out of the church. My church continually preached that being human meant we were depraved. Cast out from the prescence of God and lowly. That we were lucky to be in the church to have a chance of salvation but that salvation depended on adhereing to the strict old testament laws of the church and obeying the church leadership.

My whole blog was designed to help others recognize the red flags about their organizations so they dont get hurt the way I did. I will continue to post about my experience in The Worldwide Church of God because there are many splitoffs of that organization still out there, as well as other destructive groups. Religion is a freedom given to us in this country . But it is also a safe haven for con-men who can bilk members of money easily and not face prosecution for their crimes. I dont trust that any other man can assure me of my salvation. Do you?


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