By using the terms â€œcult,â€ â€œoccult,â€ and â€œNew Age,â€ christians are in no way implying that the followers or leaders are necessarily evil or immoral people. It simply means that such groups seem to promote doctrine or practices which may be considered outside the realm of historic Christianity.
By its primary dictionary definition, the term cult just means a system of religious beliefs or rituals. cult comes from the French cultes, and is rooted in the Latin cultus, which means “care” and “adoration.” That idea comes from on a farming term – the past participle of colere, which means “to cultivate.”The word was used in the sense of “to worship or give reference to a deity.”
You may also have heard of, for example, cult films, cult bands, or cult hits. Here the term ‘cult’ refers to a relatively small but devoted following.
. Sociologists and anthropologists sometimes use the term cult to describe religious structure or belief patterns with meanings (usually non-pejorative) unique to their disciplines. In modern usage, the term cult is often used by the general public to describe any religious group they view as strange or dangerous. Thus, cult can describe religious leaders or organizations that employ abusive, manipulative, or illegal control over their followersâ€™ lives. In addition to these usages, Christians generally have a doctrinal component to their use of the word. Cult in this sense, is a counterfeit or serious deviation from the doctrines of classical Christianity. Christians usually uses the term cult with a theological or doctrinal definition in mind. In most cases the group claims to be Christian, but because of their aberrant beliefs on central doctrines of the faith (God, Jesus-Christ,Bible and salvation), the organization is not considered to be part of historical,orthodox, biblical Christianity. Research material and Profile are available herehttp://csj.org/