What Is The Difference Between A Religion And A Cult?

Posted by on Feb 3rd, 2009 and filed under Asides, Notes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry from your site | Viewed 90739 times.

light_hopeThere is a fine line between a religion and a cult, but truly, a religion is typically founded on moral grounds and the greater good it offers humanity. The basis of such teachings involves God being greater than man, and leading man through his weaknesses into salvation and redemption, assisting his fellow men.

A cult is usually founded based on the self-interest of its creators. Cults most often center on the worship of the leaders of the cult rather than a higher power. A higher power is often used to mask the fact the cult is being brainwashed by their leaders. It often leads to isolation, hatred and violence by the members of the cult towards others. Cults also often lead to the death and suffering of the cult’s followers at their own hands.

Another distinction is that while both religions and cults recruit followers and offer strong reasons why one should be a follower,  cults quite often preach isolation from all outsiders and, in some instances, the destruction of outsiders.  A religion, on the other hand, while preaching redemption or a better existence both now and in the afterlife, typically does not preach the destruction of others and freely accepts others into its womb, even if they are not members of that religion.

Based on these distinctions, the Muslim religion appears to correlate much more closely with a cult than a religion. It is the only “religion” that calls for the death of those of conflicting beliefs. It is the only “religion” that promises vast rewards in the afterlife for blindly murdering those not members of its ranks. And it is the only “religion” that would condemn you to death for even depicting one of its leaders on your etch-a-sketch or for wishing to convert to any other religion. Could it be that a cult based on the self interests of one man of questionable moral values that lived centuries ago led to the “religion” that is the center of terrorism in the 21st Century?

This video says it all.

Original link if video won’t play.

There is also a fine line between Politics and Religion in this regard. Was this the ultimate political lie in recorded history?

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7 Responses for “What Is The Difference Between A Religion And A Cult?”

  1. […] you cannot see the video in your browser, click here to watch it in a new […]

     
  2. Huey Newton says:

    It is the only “religion” that calls for the death of those of conflicting beliefs? Hahaha. So what exactly were the Inquisitions, Salem Witch trials, Crusades? Don’t slander one religion because they are all destroying mankind and without the destuction of some of these beliefs and reminder these books are simply good stories not historical absolute fact, there will never be peace.

  3. zuha says:

    The muslim religion doesn’t encourage the death of others. Islam itself means peace. Do your research before publishing stuff like this. What you spoke of are the beliefs of extremists, but there are extremists in every religion.

  4. Hi,
    Quite a clear post! I have another question to you though. What is a religion defining other religions as beeing a “cult” (bad) or a “religion” (good). I am not a Muslim and I don`t follow any religions but I think you are right. I even would go that far and say – don`t even judge or categorize others by their actions. Some actions produce unwanted results and some produce wanted results. If a network of people produces desired results (happiness) they simply do something that produces what they really want. Others might not have the ability doing that. I think categorizing another sytem might not produce the desired results maybe. I am not sure. What do you think?
    Best regards
    TObi

  5. Nursing Recruiting Business says:

    Nice Topic. I just subscribe to your blog for future update.

    Can i link this post to my blog and copy a snippet?

    God bless and good luck!

  6. DrFinkster says:

    I can sum up the difference between a cult and a religion in one word: longevity. Most people accept the Mormons (or more precisely the C.L.D.S) as a religion today, but it certainly was dismissed as a cult 125 years ago. Perhaps it was, and perhaps it was designed to enrich or empower Joseph Smith or Brigham Young. Today many people consider Scientology a cult, and L. Ron Hubbard was indeed a pretty strange guy who profited immensely from his pet religion. But in 100 or 150 years, if Scientology makes it that long, it will probably be accepted as a religion. And when Saul of Tarsus was preaching about and claiming to speak for Jesus of Nazareth

  7. Janet Freeman says:

    Thank you for posting that very powerful video, and for your great article comparing religion and cults!

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