Brother Ron Barnes
Founder and Pastor

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

When Does Religion Become a Cult?

 

Dear Brother Ron

 

When does a people practicing freedom of religion become a cult? I am thinking of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) whose compound in Texas was raided in April and 416 children were taken into custody for their protection from practices of the church. In the court cases that will result from this, the FLDS members will claim that they are protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that guarantees the freedom of religion to practice in their own way. What do you think? Where do we draw the line? If this is a cult, where did they cross this line?

 

Osusanna

 

Dear Osusanna

 

One of the titles commonly used by ministers is “Pastor”. This is the Latin word for shepherd. The implication is that the minister looks after the well-being of his flock. A minister is also one who helps people to grow in their love of God. Any person who claims to be a servant of God and does things which harm others or cause people to turn away from God is running a cult, not a church.

 

I believe the people in question crossed the line when they violated the laws against polygamy and child abuse. Freedom of religion does not allow you to break the law. I can show you passages in the Bible allowing a man to kill his wife if she is not a virgin and approving of slavery. The state would probably see fit to intervene if I acted on those beliefs and rightfully so.

Freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Constitution. The right to have sex with juveniles and physically abuse them is not.

Best always
Brother Ron