The all-in-one Christian Web Site Community - Praize.com
Skip to Content

WHY CATHOLICISM IS NOT A CULT

Quote Reply
WHY CATHOLICISM IS NOT A CULT
What is a Cult?

Carol Giambalvo's Cult Information and Recovery

http://members.aol.com/_h[...]ult.htm



Rick Ross Institute for the Study of Destructive Cults and Movements

http://www.rickross.com/



Sources of Cult Characteristics.....Total # of Characteristics



American Family Foundation....................14

University of California at Berkeley..........19

Cult Information Centre.......................31

Carol Giambalvo (cult expert).................13

Rick Ross (cult expert).......................20

Steven Hassan (cult expert)

(taken from the BITE analysis)................26

John Hochman, MD (psychiatrist)................7



A description of each characteristic according to these experts can be found here:

http://www.sspx-cult.com/[...]ics.htm



DIFFERENCES between the Catholic Church and Cults



Catholic Church

The Catholic Church has sources of authority other than the leader

(the Pope), such as the Bible, Church Law,and writings by other Catholic authorities.




Cults

The leader is the sole source of authority for the group.



Catholic Church

A new member clearly knows what the organization is that he (she) is joining,is warned in advance about what is expected, and what he (she) can and cannot do, often has to wait for several months to a year before joining the Church to make sure that the obligations of being a Catholic are understood.




Cults

A new member is deliberately deceived about the obligations of belonging to the group. Cult recruits often attend a cult activity, are lured into "staying for a while," and soon find that they have joined the cult for life, or as one group requires, members sign up for a "billion year contract...." , is not warned in advance about what is expected, and what he (she) can and cannot do, is often duped into joining a cult during the course of a weekend, which was supposed to be a fun weekend with some new friends, or it could even have been advertised as a weekend seminar to quit smoking or lose weight.



A member of the Catholic Church retains freedom of politics, friends, family association, selection of spouse, and information access to television, radio, reading material, telephone, and mail.



Cults restrict the access that members have to outside sources of information, and tell cult members that their families and former friends are "evil" or "sinners" because they don't belong to the cult.



A member of the Catholic Church is told to remain in the Church, but is never physically forced to remain.



Members of a religious cult are physically forced, if necessary, to remain in the group. Sometimes group members who try to leave are kidnapped and brought back to the group. Members the cult group in Jonestown Guyana who tried to resist the order from Jim Jones to commit suicide were gunned down by other cult members.



Medical and dental care are available, encouraged, and permitted for members of the Catholic Church. History shows that the Catholic Church was the first one to build hospitals, and provided free medical care to those who could not afford it.



Many cults discourage and sometimes forbid medical care.

Catholic ChurchTraining and education received in Catholic schools are usable later in life. History shows that the Catholic Church was the one building schools and universities when no-one else was during the so-called "Dark Ages." Cults do not necessarily train a person in anything that has any value in the greater society.



In the Catholic Church, public records are kept. Members have access to their own records.



Cult records, if they exist, are confidential, hidden from members, and not shared.



A system of Church Law is provided within the Catholic Church. A Church member can also utilize legal and law enforcement agencies and other representatives of the civil law if needed. In cults, there is only the closed, internal system of justice, with no appeal or recourse to outside support.



Families of Church members talk and deal directly with Catholic schools. Children may attend Catholic or non-Catholic schools.




In cults, children, child rearing, and education are often under the absolute control of the cult leader.



Catholicism respects the laws of the land. The Catholic Church negotiates a concordat with the government of every nation, in which the Church and the state agree upon any exemptions from the civil law that are available to Church members.



Cults consider themselves above the law, and are a law unto themselves, and cult leaders are accountable to no one, not even their members.



A Church member gets to keep his (her) money, property, gifts and inheritances. Pope Leo XIII wrote defending private property in his encyclical "Rerum Novarum," May 15, 1891.



In many cults, members are expected to turn over to the cult all money and worldly possessions.



Rational behavior is valued in the Catholic Church. Elsewhere we have proven that the Catholic Church has condemned those who discourage the use of reason and rational thinking. Cults discourage members from thinking independently, and their normal thought processes are stifled and broken.



The right for members of the Catholic Church to make suggestions and offer criticism to Church leaders is protected by Church Law.




The cult leader is always right, and the members who disagree, as well as all outsiders, are always wrong. Members who criticize the leader are ridiculed and often treated violently, or may simply be expelled from the group.



vChurch members cannot be used for medical and psychological experiments without their informed consent.



Cults essentially perform psychological experiments on their members through implementing so-called thought-reform processes without members' knowledge or consent.



Reading, education, and knowledge are encouraged by the Catholic Church. It was the Catholic Church that preserved books and learning, and which founded the first universities, and which brings education wherever Catholic missionary effort goes.



If cults do any education, it is only in their own teachings. Members come to know less and less about the outside world; contact with or information about life outside the cult is sometimes openly frowned upon, if not forbidden.



The Catholic Church looks for new members among all races and classes of people. The Church does not concentrate their search for new members among the lonely and the vulnerable and the wealthy.



Cults do not look for new members with equal effort among all races and classes of people. Cult concentrate their recruiting efforts among certain groups: Cults target the lonely and the vulnerable.

Cults target rich individuals.



In the Catholic Church, physical fitness is never discouraged. In some monastic orders, like the Dominicans, physical fitness exercises are mandatory.



Cults rarely encourage fitness or good health, except perhaps for members who serve as security guards or thugs.



Adequate and properly balanced nourishment is never discouraged by the Catholic Church. Catholic religious orders make balanced meals at regularly scheduled times mandatory for all members.



Many cults encourage or require unhealthy and bizarre diets. Typically, because of intense work schedules, lack of funds, and other cult demands, cult members are not able to maintain healthy eating habits.



In the Catholic Church, many methods of instruction and education are used, but brainwashing, or thought-reform, is not used.



Cults influence members by means of a coordinated program of psychological and social influence techniques, or brainwashing.

--adapted from: "Cults in Our Midst: The Hidden Menace in Our Everyday Lives," by Margaret Singer and Janja Lalich, Jossey-Bass publishers, 1995. and found at http://www.sspx-cult.com/[...]ult.htm

Quote Reply
Re: WHY CATHOLICISM IS NOT A CULT In reply to
Thank you for your thorough explanation! I don't believe it will go far with those who just hate the Catholic Church and like to condemn it, though! There is no reasoning in the hearts of those who hate the Church.



But thanks very much for your great post!!!!!



God Bless!
Quote Reply
Re: WHY CATHOLICISM IS NOT A CULT In reply to
what about the pope can he be wrong
Quote Reply
Re: WHY CATHOLICISM IS NOT A CULT In reply to
I dont hate the people of the Catholic church I love them but I certainly hate the Anti-Scriptural beliefs that they practice.

If members of the catholic churches would rely on thier bibles instead of thier priests they would be doing what Christ wants instead of some man made belief.



Praying to dead human beings instead of JESUS CHRIST. Jesus is the ONLY MEDIATOR between man and GOD. I dont think it is necessary to give scripture for this if so let me know I would be glad to get it.





Acts 2:38

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.



Acts 8:16

for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.



Acts 10:48

And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.

HE COMMANDED, HE DIDN’T SAY GO GET BAPTIZED WHATEVER WAY YOU WANT.

Acts 19:4

And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.”Acts 19:5

On hearing this, they were baptized in[1] the name of the Lord Jesus.

[1]Or into

PAUL CORRECTED THEM BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST. SOME PEOPLE WILL TRY TO SAY: THAT DOESN’T MATTER ITS SO TRIVIAL.NONSENSE, IF IT WAS IMPORTANT TO PAUL THEN IT WAS IMPORTANT TO JESUS CHRIST OUR GOD AND SAVIOR. EVERY WORD OF THE BIBLE WAS INSPIRED BY GOD, NOT SO WE COULD TAKE WHAT WE WANT AND THROW THE REST AWAY. THAT IS ANTI-CHRIST, TAKING AWAY FROM GODS WORD IS ANTI-CHRIST.



Matthew 28:19 (Show me Matthew 28)

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[1] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

[1]Or into

I WENT AHEAD AND PUT IT IN HERE TO SAVE US ALL TIME. USE PROPER ENGLISH WHEN READING THIS SCRIPTURE. IT SAYS IN THE NAME NOT NAMES, WELL IN THE NAME OF WHAT, OF THE FATHER, OK HIS NAME IS JESUS. AND OF THE SON, HIS NAME IS JESUS AS WELL. AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, WHOS SPIRIT IS THE HOLY SPIRIT JESUS CHRIST. SO WE HAVE ESTABLISHED THAT JESUS CHRIST TELLS US TO BAPTIZE IN ONE SINGULAR NAME THAT OF THE FATHER THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT. THAT ONE NAME IS JESUS CHRIST.

LOOK AT IT THIS WAY, I AM A FATHER I AM A SON, AND I HAVE A SPIRIT. I HAVE ONE NAME THAT COVERS ALL THREE OF THE OFFICES FATHER,SON, HOLY SPIRIT.

IT IS SIMPLE AND IF YOU DON’T WANT TO ACCEPT IT THINK ABOUT IT THIS WAY, ITS ONE OR THE OTHER AND THE BIBLE CANNOT CONTRADICT ITSELF SO THIS WIDELY KNOW FACT OUTSIDE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS THE ONLY EXPLANATION. THE BIBLE CANNOT CONTRADICT ITSELF OTHERWISE WE WOULD HAVE TO THROW IT ALL OUT.

HERE IS THE SCARY PART, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH POSSIBLY BEFORE ADOPTING THE MAN MADE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY USED TO BAPTIZE IN THE NAME OF JESUS. WHAT HAPPENED WORLD CULTURAL VIEWS HAPPENED.



From the Magazine | Religion

The Oldtime Religion

SUBSCRIBE TO TIME PRINT E-MAIL MORE BY AUTHOR

Posted Monday, Dec. 5, 1955

(See Cover) The deacon raised his hand, and Publius Decius stepped through the baptistry door. Standing waist-deep in the pool was Marcus Vasca the wood-seller. He was smiling as Publius waded into the pool beside him. "Credis . . . ?" he asked.

"Credo," responded Publius. "I believe that my salvation comes from Jesus the Christ, Who was crucified under Pontius Pilate. With Him I die that with Him I may have Eternal Life." Then he felt strong arms supporting him as he let himself fall backward into the pool, and heard Marcus' voice in his ear—"I baptize you in the Name of the Lord Jesus"—as the cold water closed over him.

Gasping for breath, Thomas Dewey Davis, Jr., 25, of 6757 Dartmouth Avenue, Richmond, came up into the light and air again. He stood waist-deep in the electrically heated water of the tiled, floodlit baptismal pool. Above him was a stained-glass window showing Christ and John the Baptist. Next to him in the pool stood a friendly-looking, greying man—the Rev. Theodore Floyd Adams of Richmond's First Baptist Church. There was organ music, and then both the pastor and the new Christian went to change into dry clothes.

Between these two baptisms—in Rome, A.D. 100, and in the U.S. last week—stretch nearly 20 centuries of Christian history. Through holy wars and heresies, corruptions and reforms, the triumphs of saints and the victories of skeptics, the little company of faithful has spread across the world. Christians have given themselves strange names and have worshiped the Father, Son and Holy Ghost with commissions and omissions that would have shocked Rome's primitive Christians. The big brick church on Richmond's statue-stippled Monument Avenue, where Thomas Davis was baptized last week, would not look to Publius like a church at all. But the ceremony was the same, and the first-century Christian, generally unaware of baptism by sprinkling or pouring, would likely feel at home at the immersion ceremony of the Baptists.

For Baptists try hard to carry on the faith and practice of primitive Christianity. To them, adult baptism is not merely a quaint traditional rite; it sharply points to their conviction that the Christian faith can be accepted only by one who can think and speak for himself.* Similarly, insistence on baptism by immersion, as it is presented in the Bible, fulfills the twin symbolism of washing from sin and of death and rebirth, as well as pointing to the Baptists' conviction that Scripture is the complete and sufficient basis of the Christian faith. Orthodox Christian tradition regards the church as the institution established on earth by Christ to receive continuous revelation, but to Baptists the church is merely a fellowship of individual believers, no one of whom has any spiritual authority over another. Each individual is essentially free to interpret Scripture for himself.

Thus the Baptists mark probably the sharpest dividing line in Christendom.





I hope this is not taken as an attack, im just trying to give you an idea of why so many people hate the catholic church (not catholics, the CHURCH). I didnt mention the fact that they have admitted to killing 68 million people, Admitted.



God Bless and Please follow the WORD not the pope (a man like you and me)



AND OF COURSE HE CAN BE WRONG, HE IS JUST A MAN, ONLY JESUS CHRIST WAS PERFECT, NO ONE BEFORE OR AFTER CAN SAY THEY ARE NEVER WRONG.



Quote Reply
Re: WHY CATHOLICISM IS NOT A CULT In reply to
DIFFERENCES between the Catholic Church and Cults



Catholic Church

The Catholic Church has sources of authority other than the leader

(the Pope), such as the Bible, Church Law,and writings by other Catholic authorities.
## OTOH, in practice, the Pope is their interpreter; so although they are present, it can be argued that the place given to him in the Church nullifies them. ##



Cults

The leader is the sole source of authority for the group.



Catholic Church

A new member clearly knows what the organization is that he (she) is joining,is warned in advance about what is expected, and what he (she) can and cannot do, often has to wait for several months to a year before joining the Church to make sure that the obligations of being a Catholic are understood.
## This is true on the whole - it's weakened in practice by the fact that we have to accept whatever is defined in the future as being Divinely revealed. So our assent to the CC on joining it is not to a complete & finished body of doctrine, but to one capable of constant extension. So the reply true is in principle - but not entirely true in detail, ISTM ##



Cults

A new member is deliberately deceived about the obligations of belonging to the group. Cult recruits often attend a cult activity, are lured into "staying for a while," and soon find that they have joined the cult for life, or as one group requires, members sign up for a "billion year contract...." , is not warned in advance about what is expected, and what he (she) can and cannot do, is often duped into joining a cult during the course of a weekend, which was supposed to be a fun weekend with some new friends, or it could even have been advertised as a weekend seminar to quit smoking or lose weight.



A member of the Catholic Church retains freedom of politics, friends, family association, selection of spouse, and information access to television, radio, reading material, telephone, and mail.
## This is truer that it was - not so long ago, it was an excommunicable offence to marry a non-Catholic . There can still be plenty of moral pressure on people to avoid voting for candidates deemed undesirable, sometimes by the clergy, but even more often by (self-selected) groups among the laity. An obvious example is the Kerry affair - to hear some people, one could be forgiven for thinking that all virtue was concentrated in the Republican Party, & that only a devil-worshipper or atheists could possibly vote for the Democrats.



I think this sort of informal pressure is probably more common in the USA than in (say) the UK. ##



Cults restrict the access that members have to outside sources of information, and tell cult members that their families and former friends are "evil" or "sinners" because they don't belong to the cult.



A member of the Catholic Church is told to remain in the Church, but is never physically forced to remain.



Members of a religious cult are physically forced, if necessary, to remain in the group. Sometimes group members who try to leave are kidnapped and brought back to the group. Members the cult group in Jonestown Guyana who tried to resist the order from Jim Jones to commit suicide were gunned down by other cult members.
## OTOH, it seems to be common for USA Christians (Prot & Cath) to regard "the other side" as unreliable - which is often true. It is equally often not true.



And both sets of Christians are quick to consign each other to eternal damnation. Even though the official doctrine of the CC is friendly to other Christians, many Catholics still consider all non-Catholics as damned unless they join the CC.



As for physical force - the CC was once very free with it in matters of religion. This has ceased to be the case only relatively recently, partly because the CC was no longer in a position to resort to its accustomed m.o. ##



Medical and dental care are available, encouraged, and permitted for members of the Catholic Church. History shows that the Catholic Church was the first one to build hospitals, and provided free medical care to those who could not afford it.



Many cults discourage and sometimes forbid medical care.

Catholic ChurchTraining and education received in Catholic schools are usable later in life. History shows that the Catholic Church was the one building schools and universities when no-one else was during the so-called "Dark Ages."
## Which is not too surprising, as there was no other body capable of doing so for Europe as a whole - though there was in due course a number of universities not founded by the Papacy: such as that at Prague, founded by the Emperor Charles IV in the mid-14th century. The Muslims got off the mark much earlier: for a university education, Muslim Cordova was the place to go, until the foundation of Bologna University in 1187 (IIRC). ##



Cults do not necessarily train a person in anything that has any value in the greater society.



In the Catholic Church, public records are kept. Members have access to their own records.



Cult records, if they exist, are confidential, hidden from members, and not shared.



A system of Church Law is provided within the Catholic Church. A Church member can also utilize legal and law enforcement agencies and other representatives of the civil law if needed.
## OTOH, the clergy used to be amenable to Church courts alone, and the laity had almost no legal rights within the CC. The 1983 Code is in the latter respect a great improvement on that of 1917.



One major problem is that the Pope is above the law - he cannot be sued or sanctioned; in that respect, he is unique. Not even an Ecumenical Council has authority over a Pope - they depend on the Pope for their legality. This absolute immunity is not what one would expect of a Christian body, but it does suit a cult



The CC can be very cultish, as can any Church; knowing this can happen, is a help to being protected against it. ##



In cults, there is only the closed, internal system of justice, with no appeal or recourse to outside support.
## This is also the case in the CC - up to a point. It's not completely closed, but it is certainly not slow to insist on its own autonomy ##



Families of Church members talk and deal directly with Catholic schools.
## Agreed ##



Children may attend Catholic or non-Catholic schools.



In cults, children, child rearing, and education are often under the absolute control of the cult leader.
## As with intermarriage, this is true, but it is also a recent, & historically untypical, development. (Though IMHO a very welcome one ) ##
Catholicism respects the laws of the land. The Catholic Church negotiates a concordat with the government of every nation, in which the Church and the state agree upon any exemptions from the civil law that are available to Church members.



Cults consider themselves above the law, and are a law unto themselves, and cult leaders are accountable to no one, not even their members.
## Again, the accountability of the clergy is recent, & is also limited (see above). If a bishop does wrong, he is certainly not accountable to us laity - not even those of his diocese, but only to the Pope.



And the behaviour of the U.S. bishops in 2002 was not exactly as open & above board as one might hope. ##
A Church member gets to keep his (her) money, property, gifts and inheritances. Pope Leo XIII wrote defending private property in his encyclical "Rerum Novarum," May 15, 1891.



In many cults, members are expected to turn over to the cult all money and worldly possessions.



Rational behavior is valued in the Catholic Church. Elsewhere we have proven that the Catholic Church has condemned those who discourage the use of reason and rational thinking. Cults discourage members from thinking independently, and their normal thought processes are stifled and broken.
## Again, this reply is weakened by ignoring inconvenient details So it is true only up to a point.



The other side of the picture is the tendency to a herd mentality. Because the CC is a body, it is organised - and organisation can easily become conformism. Even in matters in which there is, in principle, great liberty. So what happens in actuality is, that matters which are in principle freely debatable, are assimilated to those which are not. And that results in a needless, & very unhealthy, tendency to cry "Heresy !" at every turn - even when no heresy is involved. This is stultifying, and very harmful to the unity of Catholics, & to the mission of the Church ##
The right for members of the Catholic Church to make suggestions and offer criticism to Church leaders is protected by Church Law.
## As of 1983, yes - which is all to the good. But no such provision existed in the 1917 Code. ##
The cult leader is always right, and the members who disagree, as well as all outsiders, are always wrong. Members who criticize the leader are ridiculed and often treated violently, or may simply be expelled from the group.
## This does not quite describe the CC - but it is very close to the truth. There are certainly tendencies to accord the Pope a personality cult - & on a slightly different, but related, topic, there are strong similarities between the CC, & some of the totalitarian dictatorships.



Partly because Catholicism is a total world-view, which seeks to include all things - it's all-encompassing. Partly because both Communism & Fascism are versions of the Kingdom of God. Partly because the social structure of the Church resembles both of them in various ways. Partly because Catholicism is liable to become a self-justifying ideology. Partly because Catholicism is not very good at taking criticism - it is apt to be morbidly sensitive. Partly, because it & they have the same roots; in the OT period. ##



Church members cannot be used for medical and psychological experiments without their informed consent.



Cults essentially perform psychological experiments on their members through implementing so-called thought-reform processes without members' knowledge or consent.



Reading, education, and knowledge are encouraged by the Catholic Church. It was the Catholic Church that preserved books and learning,
## It did some of that - but it certainly wasn't alone in this: most Greek MSS. are not of Western origin.



Conversely, there was a great deal of destruction in the 4th and following centuries. The Serapeum in 391, the works of many Christians deemed to be heretical, many copies of the Talmud, the works of Sappho: all ahave been destroyed at one time or another. The burning of Talmuds is not over-publicised; nor is the destruction of many of the works of Origen; nor is much said about the Christian vandalism of the 4th & later centuries.



These are as much part of the historical record as the translation of the Koran into Latin, or the copying of the works of Virgil - and an honest apologetic will not fight shy of mentioning them.



One-sided Catholic propaganda (there is a great deal of it around) that skates around these less attractive things is self-condemned, as short-sighted (for people always find out what has been thought fit to ignore); as fearful (a Christian should never be afraid that the Church can collapse because of the ugliness in its past); as dishonest, and as deceitful.



It is better for the CC to collapse, than to be defended by suppressions of the truth, however horrible that truth may on occasion be. God does not need our lies - to be untruthful about the Church, is to call in the devil ("the father of lies") as a helper to God.



Not only is untruthfulness about the Church morally objectionable - it is a symptom of lack of faith. *If* we really believe God, we will believe that He will not allow *His* Church to founder; no matter how unChristlike she is. To whitewash the Church is to imply that the truth is too much for the Church to survive:that it can only get by if we avoid such facts as are uncomfortable to it. This implies that we think it is not God's doing, but ours - our handiwork, our project, which we must not expose to reality in case it shatters. But it is God's - not ours at all So no action of ours can possibly destroy it ##
and which founded the first universities, and which brings education wherever Catholic missionary effort goes.



If cults do any education, it is only in their own teachings. Members come to know less and less about the outside world; contact with or information about life outside the cult is sometimes openly frowned upon, if not forbidden.
## The second paragraph is not far from being true of the CC - again, the improvement is recent. Plenty of Catholics are very poorly informed about other Christians, yet they still criticise their doctrines severely. All too often, it is abundantly clear that they have little understanding of what they criticise.



And how often are Catholics encouraged to learn about all sides of an issue ? Books like Crocker's are not a good example of Catholic historical writing - for that, one sometimes has to go to the past. Not to one-sided propaganda such as "The Triumph of the Catholic Church".



The Catholic Church looks for new members among all races and classes of people. The Church does not concentrate their search for new members among the lonely and the vulnerable and the wealthy.



Cults do not look for new members with equal effort among all races and classes of people. Cult concentrate their recruiting efforts among certain groups: Cults target the lonely and the vulnerable.

Cults target rich individuals.
## I don't think this is quite fair to the cults ##

In the Catholic Church, physical fitness is never discouraged. In some monastic orders, like the Dominicans, physical fitness exercises are mandatory.



Cults rarely encourage fitness or good health, except perhaps for members who serve as security guards or thugs.



Adequate and properly balanced nourishment is never discouraged by the Catholic Church. Catholic religious orders make balanced meals at regularly scheduled times mandatory for all members.



Many cults encourage or require unhealthy and bizarre diets. Typically, because of intense work schedules, lack of funds, and other cult demands, cult members are not able to maintain healthy eating habits.
## This is partly a matter of definition. Most people in the West have historically had a very poor diet, because of their economic & social status. And many have been Catholic. Whether the one is associated with the other, is another matter - and the same goes for comparisons between the cults & the CC.



The conditions of the French peasantry in the 18th century were appalling - starvation was widespread.



The trouble with arguments using historical data is their impermanent character - history studies what changes: so today's empire, is tomorrow's impoverished state. The same goes for the "argument from prosperity" - yesterday, the USA was a success because it was prosperous, because it was Protestant; unlike negligible & impoverished (because "Romanist") Eire. That was then - now, by contrast, social changes in both countries have made that argument much less convincing.



And the same goes for that very argument when made by Catholics - it's very dangerous, because prosperity, like all earthly things, is impermanent; if a religion is valid, changeable things like that can't show it. If prosperity proved validity, it could be used for 1930s Hitlerism - Nazis in 1936 would have found it most persuasive. We cannot build our personal discipleship of Christ on such shifting sands, but only on Christ Who does not change.



There is a paradox here - if the CC were as blameless as some Catholics say, it would be much easier to believe that she is what she is said to be, the Holy Church of Christ. But - it would also be much easier to be dazzled by her into looking not to Christ, but only to her. So her very deformity is a protection against turning her into an idol. Conversely, a truly perfect Church is a temptation to idolatry - that is, to stopping at the gift, instead of going to the Giver.



##
In the Catholic Church, many methods of instruction and education are used, but brainwashing, or thought-reform, is not used.



Cults influence members by means of a coordinated program of psychological and social influence techniques, or brainwashing.

--adapted from: "Cults in Our Midst: The Hidden Menace in Our Everyday Lives," by Margaret Singer and Janja Lalich, Jossey-Bass publishers, 1995. and found at http://www.sspx-cult.com/
## "social influence techniques" ? I think we too have them. ##



Quote Reply
Re: WHY CATHOLICISM IS NOT A CULT In reply to
When I had questions about catholicism I was referred to this site;

http://www.reachingcatholics.org/
Quote Reply
Re: WHY CATHOLICISM IS NOT A CULT In reply to
gstaggs,

You asked why love is so important to God. I honestly do not know; but without His love to us, His Son would have not been born. Without the Son being born, we would not have a way for our spirits to get to heaven when we physically die. God loved us this much. He sent His Son to die for us, for our sins. Can you think of a human who would have done this? Went through the agony of the cross? Watching a part of you die?
Quote Reply
Re: WHY CATHOLICISM IS NOT A CULT In reply to
I made a comparison with cults and the Catholic Church, proving why she is not a cult. It's unfortunate that Isaiha6 wished to re-invent Catholicism based on the opinions of outsiders and revised history.



Infallible teaching has NOTHING to do with sinful leaders, and no, Catholics have no need to whitewhash history and very few have.
Quote Reply
Re: WHY CATHOLICISM IS NOT A CULT In reply to
@kepha31:



"I made a comparison with cults and the Catholic Church, proving why she is not a cult. It's unfortunate that Isaiha6 wished to re-invent Catholicism based on the opinions of outsiders and revised history.



Infallible teaching has NOTHING to do with sinful leaders, and no, Catholics have no need to whitewhash history and very few have."



## I don't recall saying anything about infallibility. Perhaps you could say what I've "re-invented" or "revised".



The CC does have some very cultish tendencies - recognising & admitting them is a protection against being ensnared by them. A Church that insists on its faultlessness deprives itself of the ability to see the faults that are all too clear to others. Which is not exactly healthy for it. The JWs are not the only body in the world to think of themselves as the only true religion. Catholic apologetic makes the same claim - "Dominus Iesus" re-asserted this claim less than 20 years ago.