Is Pentecostalism a CULT?

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by Kenneth 

~ Having been raised in an Evangelical Christian environment, I was exposed to many different brands (or denominations) such as Lutheranism, Presbyterianism, Roman Catholicism, Methodism, and Baptists to name a few. At the forefront of my greatest troubles related to Christianity and Evangelical culture is the brand called Pentecostalism.

Birthed from holiness teaching churches (like the Methodists) in the 19th century, Pentecostalism is generally agreed to have come into existence on January 1st, 1901 in the little town of Topeka, Kansas when 31 year old Agnes Ozman asked bible teacher Charles Fox Parham to lay hands on her in prayer, so that she could receive “the gift of the holy spirit”.

Ozman than began babbling unintelligible words and sounds and it was deemed by the observers that she had been “filled with the holy spirit”. News of Ozman spread throughout North America to places like Azuza Street in Los Angeles, where other people began speaking unintelligible words and phrases.

More than a hundred years later Pentecostalism has become a mainstream religion throughout the world and was a primary influence of the Charismatic movement of the 1970’s and still influences many non-denominational churches around the world.

Over the past thirty years holy spirit pentecostal movements have involved churches that;

—-) Teach their parishioners to crawl around on the floor and bark like dogs on Sunday morning because that is what the holy spirit wants to do ‘through’ them

—-) Teach their parishioners to laugh uncontrollably for hours on end

—-) Teach their parishioners to be ‘slain in the spirit’ which involves falling down on the floor after the preacher touches your forehead

—-) Teach their parishioners that god can directly talk to you, both audibly and inaudibly and instruct you on mystical knowledge

—-) Teach their parishioners that they have demons in them that need to be cast out by exorcists

Normally, if any common sense thinking person were to suggest these kind of things in public, they would be deemed “nuts” and referred to a psychiatrist, but because Pentecostals do these things behind the four walls of their buildings on Sunday morning, they are given a sense of legitimacy.

Pentecostalism has been one of my greatest difficulties throughout my Christian life, because so many of my friends and relatives are either full fledged Pentecostals, or they ascribe to some of the beliefs. These beliefs have led those friends and relatives of mine to some of the craziest behaviors, choices, and attitudes, and has often left me the recipient of some rather foul behavior on their part.

At the age of fourteen I read a book that shed a LOT of light on the subject of all these nutty religious beliefs and it helped propel me away from a life of thinking God could audibly talk to me and other such rubbish. Unfortunately, because so many of my friends and relatives hold to many of the crazy Pentecostal beliefs, it created a massive chasm between us when it became apparent that I believed they were a few tacos short of a fiesta platter.

My Uncle Bob always told me, “People are either on your side, or they are waiting in a dark alley to hit you with everything they got”. While people might not be as extreme as my Uncle Bob suggested, Pentecostals are indeed of the extreme sort.

After more than a hundred years of preaching their B.S. to generations of humans, Pentecostals are still brandishing their craziness and brainwashing unsuspecting victims to their ideology, and it all leads to a very simple question; Is Pentecostalism a cult?

By definition a cult is,

1) a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.

2) a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.

3) a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing

We definitely see elements of veneration and misplaced admiration when it came to crazy people like David Koresh, and while not every Pentecostal church may have one particular pastor who leads the people to drinking suicide Kool-Aid, we do see the elements of point number two in just about every Pentecostal and Charismatic church that exists; “A relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister”.

Of course, unlike suicide Kool-Aid, my thoughts on this subject might be very difficult to swallow if the person reading my article identifies themselves as a Pentecostal; so where does that leave us?

I’m always open to hearing people disagree, but sadly, most Pentecostals I’ve encountered are less interested in positive dialogue and are usually more adept at accusing me of having demons or needing to get right with god.

One Pentecostal believing person told me, “I know your heart Kenneth!” to which I asked,

Really? Has god given you the mysterious gift of knowing my heart? Of knowing what I’m thinking? Of knowing my intentions?”

But of course, my retort only made the Pentecostal dude more upset as it confronted him with the reality that he believes some pretty nutty things.

So is Pentecostalism a cult? That is the subject of tonights Culture Monk LIVE streaming show, as Kylie and I explore the topic. Kylie has some firsthand experience with the subject since she herself was swayed momentarily by the Pentecostals, but thank God she got out before things got really bad.

just a few thoughts as I sipped my coffee,

Kenenth



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52 replies

  1. It is kind of an interesting subject.
    As you mentioned, every cult is build on top of A religion. But who does make the religion become a cult. The one preaching or the one believing. It is proven it only takes a nutter with charisma to make people believe. Are we arguing all of a sudden, religion is only existing because people believe.
    Extreme believers are everywhere and then by having some altered rules or meanings of a written word it becomes a cult. Or that is the name we have given it. But what we believe is because of how we have read and think we understand.
    But if all religion once was created from one and the same source would not every religion have potential to become a cult?

    Now those are just questions of a person who questions every religion. And one day hope to understand the motivation
    It is not a quick answer to the questions. Neither will we ever understand fully what drives us.
    Do I think they are nuts barking, yeah. But who am I to judge. And at the same time who are they to judge us. It is just that they believe they can. It happens in all religions.

    • A cult is a “religion”! Religion is a belief system that deviates from the main beliefs of the group that the “religious cult” is claiming to be a part. Now there are the main religious beliefs, Christian/Judeo and Islam, although Buddhism, Hinduism are also widely practiced. Now comes the important part, Which is true or are they all false? .I am a Christian (Follower of Jesus) so my remarks come from this perspective, although I have studied the other faiths as well. I strongly advise anyone looking for the truth of God revealed, to examine all claims as much as possible and ask the questions 1. Is this system livable? meaning does it make sense to practice it in real world applications. 2. The source of the writings and the circumstances of how it came to be. 3. Do the writings bear a divine nature transcending human intellect or reason. You may think that all of them would pass such scrutiny but I assure you they do not! For example, I reject Buddhism as truth because 1. It is not livable in its teachings-It doesn’t make sense of itself! Buddhism holds that there is no good or evil in the world and all we see is illusion! Everything is the same ONENESS the same SUBSTANCE and we are not “ENLIGHTENED” enough to distinguish that there is no difference! My question to this belief is (If this is true then why do good?) its all the same and further if I do good to someone who is suffering for doing bad in their past life then I would actually be hurting them (If hurting actually existed) by keeping them from paying their debt for their past life sins. (Confusing right? Not Livable!)
      2. The source of the writings: The Buddhist writings do not claim to be from God! They are self proclaimed wisdom of an enlightened MAN! 3. The writings hold great truisms and great wisdom but it is obviously not transcending the wisdom of mankind. So, 3 F’s for Buddhism! There is a book called “The Universe Next Door” you can find it online for about $7-$12 There is so much more I want to share but I don’t want to overwhelm you or possibly come of as a rant so I will stop here until I see your response. Thanks for posting.

    • Well as a Christian I’m raised to not go to church for man you go to serve Jesus only cause man can desve you or lie to you .

    • But was he not but a man himself. Still I do know one thing. If one would serve Him one does not do so by going to church.

      This is however not the place to start debating or arguing. For that I am sorry Kenneth

  2. If religion can’t get crazy, what’s the point?

  3. Pentecostalism being born out of Topeka, KS is an interest. I lived in the area during college and beyond. Not once did I attend a church that had any sort of gibberish…I was robbed of true entertainment for six years. You have to be open to shuffling through the garbage of any religion and exactly the reason why we must educate ourselves by reading the bible for ourselves. I’m of the belief that we find everything we need there and when we have questions we should be smart enough to know where to direct them. It shouldn’t be at the guy willing to look a right fool mess. Ya gotta know how to pick out the fool in every situation. Being a Follower of Jesus Christ puts me in a direct conversation with Him. Praying…that’s where finding answers starts. Listening to our heart, as God speaks to us there.

    As far as a cult…if you can’t consider another’s belief as a possibility nor be open to discussing, yeah could be. I think a lot of religious groups could be borderline cultish in their stubborness. All comes down to incorrect interpretation. We will finish our lives trying to understand faith. Deciding who’s right, well ends up being our choice, and I feel good about my trusting Jesus. Sad thing is…Pentecostals believe their journey. Constant spin, huh? Better question is how to reach them with Good News…different views, when one is so ridged and fearful of a discussion in the end making sense?

    Just look at Fred Phelps he came out of Topeka, KS, as well. Maybe that’s why I never heard gibberish, Fred was stealing center cult stage…

    Now I’ve rambled and sound rather preachy when I’m not trying to be…

    • Being a Follower of Jesus Christ puts me in a direct conversation with Him. Praying…that’s where finding answers starts. Listening to our heart, as God speaks to us there.

      Is this true and how do you know?

      Consider:

      Being a Follower of Buddha puts me in a direct conversation with Him. Praying…that’s where finding answers starts. Listening to our heart, as Buddha speaks to us there.

      Being a Follower of Elvis puts me in a direct conversation with Him. Praying…that’s where finding answers starts. Listening to our heart, as Elvis speaks to us there.

      Being a Follower of deceased Crazy Betty Who Always Wore a Tinfoil Hat puts me in a direct conversation with Her. Praying…that’s where finding answers starts. Listening to our heart, as her Alien Overlord speaks to us there.

      We know praying is not efficacious. There are no ‘answers’ extracted from this process unavailable to typical review. We know this kind of ‘conversation’ produces no new knowledge or special insight into reality and how it operates or effects it in any way. We know this assurance about unseen and supernatural agencies causing real effect in real life it duplicates the assurance people diagnosed as delusional often use to justify their beliefs they impose on reality but which reality fails to support with compelling evidence any reasonable person would find convincing.

      Is this claim of yours true? Are you really in contact with a long deceased man? I sincerely doubt it and I don’t think you have any means to differentiate between this kind of imposed belief on reality and any other run-of-the-mill delusion… other than assumption that if the belief is pious (particularly if the pious object is of Christian origin) it is somehow exempt from requiring reality’s arbitration of it.

    • I know because I find peace with my decisions. And I find myself wise enough to know a spiritual conversarion with Elvis or a woman with tin foiled hair wouldn’t bring me any closer to my faith in God, as they are both human and highly orverrated. How dare you assume I don’t have the spirit needed to believe in Jesus and trust his love for me. That, my friend, is rude. You don’t even know me. Take a look at yourself. Your goal today was to try to make me look like a fool. You did it. Thank you.

    • You’re making an astounding claim and assuming you should receive respect for it… because it comes from you and we should respect you. But the claim you make is NOT worthy of respect if we respect reality! If the claim you make is true, it smashes any and all understanding we may have about chemistry, physics, and biology. All of it’s junk. Yet you have absolutely no concern about any of this… as long as your claim receives gentle treatment in the name of respecting you as a person.

      Sorry. The two are not related. You put forth a really poor idea. I’m going to criticize it because it’s a bad idea and these kinds of bad ideas tend to be pernicious and cause harm.

      Rather than complain about my rudeness, how about actually learning something about what’s really going on?

      Look, you have a bicameral brain just like the rest of us. That means you have two hemispheres that communicate regularly with each other. We know that praying tends to activate neurological activity in only one part… and it’s not in the areas associated with higher functioning. It is the same area activated by meditation (and chanting). This is at the seat of our emotional responses so it is of no surprise that you feel differently when you pray. But this change in feeling is not good evidence for some external agency causing this effect.

      Each hemisphere is quite different in function than the other and each tends to have its own voice. That’s not evidence of some external supernatural agency we’re in contact with just because we hear a different sounding voice in our heads than the one we’re used to – especially when we utilize methods to quiet our thinking. This change in voice is not good evidence for some external agency causing this effect.

      This voice emerges and takes predominance like clockwork for patients suffering the kinds of stroke that affects parts of our brains used for our regular thinking and considerations. In fact, the voice can be activated by targeted magnetic interference. All the evidence points very strongly to the explanatory model that when we pray or meditate or chant we are hearing ourselves that, when well done, silences the clutter from other brain transmissions. It’s not Buddha, not Elvis, not deceased Betty In the Tinfoil Hat, and not Jesus we’re hearing and feeling. It is ourselves. And we can test and duplicate these effects artificially.

      So can ‘save’ our understanding and earned respect for chemistry, physics, and biology and still account for your experiences versus taking your claim at face value, throwing out most human knowledge, and going along with it in the name of politeness. Of course, if you had engaged critical thinking a little bit earlier, you would never have dreamed of making such an outlandish claim and then assuming it would receive no pointed criticism. There’s even a good chance that you would have inquired into these experiences not by turning to religion and its supernatural modeling of reality – as if it knows anything at all about anything to do with reality and the acquisition of knowledge about its operations when it has produced not one jot or tittle of applicable knowledge ever about anything (this should be a clue…) – but to neuroscience to see what it’s been figuring out lately.

      Religion’s modeling of our shared reality produces pseudo-explanations based on us first accepting a supernatural component to reality for which there is zero evidence. This willingness to be credulous and gullible is necessary for superstitious beliefs to take hold. And this is what you’re expecting everyone to go along with in order to make room for your counter-factual claims to be treated as if reasonable and rational rather than what they are: superstitious nonsense that should have no place in the 21st Century. And if that message is rude, then more of us should be willing to be rude if that’s what it takes to get others to start respecting reality and learning about it more than respecting our superstitious beliefs that far too many are all too willing to impose on it… especially in the name of their privileged object of piety.

    • High five dude! Loving your work!

    • I will say this Tildeb that they are not apples to apples. Christ claimed Godhood. Those you mentioned have no such claim. If you do not hold the Bible as true then you are showing that you are biased against those who believe. It is a wide held belief in all Christendom that our prayers are heard and answered by God. It is hard to hold a conversation regarding Christian belief with someone who denies the possibility of it being true. That being said logically if Jesus is who He claimed to be then it would be true but if He was a loon then yes those of us who pray are wasting our breath.

    • If you do not hold the Bible as true then you are showing that you are biased against those who believe.

      I would be biased if I assumed the bible wasn’t ‘true’ a priori. This is not the case. I have concluded that because the bible contains contradictions and inaccuracies typical of the times in which many of the various books were written (and some with multiple authors), as well as knowing that the best primary source materials we have are copies of copies of copies translated and transcribed that add contradictions and inaccuracies (and even forgeries) just from this process, I have concluded that the bible is hardly a ‘perfect’ word of anyone. When one considers what is missing from the bible that could have had profound impact on human well-being (say, hand washing) or indicate knowledge far beyond what someone might know from those times (say, genes) then I think is is quite reasonable to conclude that the book e call the bible is a work of people no different than any other and just as legitimate to criticize as any other for its lack of supporting anthropological and historical data. That conclusion is not bias; that’s legitimate biblical scholarship.

      It is a wide held belief in all Christendom that our prayers are heard and answered by God.

      Yes, that is a widely held belief.

      It is hard to hold a conversation regarding Christian belief with someone who denies the possibility of it being true.

      I don’t deny it that it could be true; I deny that it is reasonable or likely or plausible that the basic tenets of the Christian faith are true.

      Look, I always ask myself when presented with any claim about anything, “Is it true and how can we know?” This is a good blueprint to follow because it is a way to find out stuff independent of one’s beliefs. And this the danger… when someone is willing to allow beliefs to dictate to reality how it must be, then one is refusing to allow reality any say in the matter. This is a guaranteed way to fool one’s self and set up ideal conditions to be self-deluded. This is the method used by people diagnosed with delusional thinking; an inability to differentiate what is believed to be true (those darn alien overlords) from what reality tells us is true about it.

      So I ask myself if your religious beliefs about the basic tenets of Christianity are true and then turn to figuring out some way to know anything about this.

      So.

      Let’s take prayer. The claim is that many people believe prayer is efficacious… that it causes real effect in real life. Is this true and how can we know?

      Well, we can set up testing and then try it. Guess what we find? Reality informs us that prayer is not efficacious. It is not demonstrated to be the causal factor for the effects claimed in its name. now, it could be true, but it isn’t. Reality doesn’t demonstrate that when one prays to, say, Jesus, some effect can be related to this undertaking. Reality does not provide us with evidence to this effect.

      That’s not my bias producing no causal effect. That’s not my beliefs producing no causal effect. That’s reality failing to reveal the claimed causal link. Put another way, if reality produced compelling evidence that prayer was a causal factor for linked effects, then I would be quite willing to believe that it was an indication of truth value to the original claim. I have no problem with respecting reality’s arbitration of claims made about it. Why do you?

    • a priori it is not. I understand that is your stance but that is the stance of someone who has not studied the literary sciences then. a posteriori is more the case. If you wish a philosophical debate then I am game. I am not sure if you want to Biblical Literature is my wheelhouse and this includes of course literary criticism, historical criticism and textual criticism. I do find this a fun discussion though. I do not have space here to go over your judgements piece by piece but I will hit a few for now.

      You claim contradictions and inaccuracies but you give no example. That is assumptive. Your argument for claiming this is that other books and literature of the period have contradictions and inaccuracies. That is poor argument. Do you know of the Dead Sea Scrolls? They were found in the 40’s and were over 1000 years older than any other manuscripts we had up to that point. We found from that the transcriptions were 95% accurate and the errors were mainly variations of spellings and slips of pens and such. Here is an example of the accuracy of those who transcribed. Up to the time of the discovery of the dead sea scrolls we had manuscripts dating about 10th century CE this was 1700 years after the time of Isaiah. Most everyone assumed many errors and such because of the vast amount of time. Once the Dead Sea Scrolls were found this closed that 1700 year gap to about a 500 year gap. We found that the Isaiah scroll (actually two scrolls) that was found was 95% accurate to the modern version of the Old Testament today. This is just one example there are many more. I think this covers the inaccuracies of those who copied the materials. As to the contradictions I would you need to point those out. I would also like to see actual scholarship on forgeries in the Canon not the deuterocanon. This covers much of the textual criticism parts you brought up.

      Now for the historical criticism I could point you to many Archeological digs, studies and such that have proven the historicity of the Bible. I agree that not everything is supported yet but for years the detractors of the Bible have said that it is historically inaccurate and time and time again new discoveries have shown it to be accurate and there are as of yet none that show it false. Could you please give an example of the historical inaccuracies in the Bible?

      I will say this that the only evidence that one can put forward to support prayer is effective would be anecdotal. Thusly I agree that with our current technology it is not scientifically possible to prove but this does not mean it is not true. There are many mysteries that are not answered yet and may or may not be.

      Now you ended with two logical fallacies the first was burden of proof and the other is you used a loaded question. Admittedly I did not use the latin here nor did I explain them. I am sure you already know. If you ever want a serious conversation let me know. I am sure it will be fun we just have to be careful that such broad statements without proper set up. If you are into reading books that you will not agree with try reading CS Lewis’s book The Abolition of Man. I found this book to be the best worded and thought out argument I have read. It speaks directly to what we are speaking about. For your information I am not against reading books that I disagree with either in fact I have Candide (Voltaire) on my reading list after I finish the book I am on now.

  4. I think all of Christianity would qualify as a cult. It certainly fits the description in all of your 3 points (except that it is no longer ‘small’- tho remember it DID start out very small and I don’t see how it could NOT have been considered a cult when it started). So, what changed to where it is not considered a cult anymore? Just the fact that more people believe in it? It’s still pretty crazy.

  5. Perhaps the most bizarre of all Pentecostals are the snake handlers. There used to be a church just over the West Virginia border in which the congregation passed around deadly snakes. All routed in some obscure Bible passage, although I cannot recall which one. Faith? I think not. The ignorant being easily led? maybe. Mentally disturbed? more likely.

    Good post Ken. I don’t know if Pentecostals are ‘officially’ a cult because (as you point out) there does not seem to be a particularly charismatic leader. Instead leadership seems fairly fragmented. They are to me, like Jehovah Witnesses – people I would avoid discussing religion with at all costs.

    • Pentecostals are not a cult. There are cultish denominations who associate with it. That being said I am not sure what qualifies as small. There are well over 200 million Pentecostals in the world it is well past the start up phase and most of the crazies are out now. Pentecostals have solid theology now and great scholars who have solidified the beliefs.

  6. I’m with Jill, Pentecostalism, Buddhism (my brand), Bob-ism, are all former or current cults. They gain or lose legitimacy based on the behavior of their leaders and followers. If they slide into criminal or taboo behavior, they get prosecuted, run out of town, crucified, etc. If they challenge the people in power the same happens. If the cult grows and proves particularly resilient in the face of oppression, then it crosses an imaginary line called legitimacy. This is probably supported by an idea or two at the core of the teachings that offer comfort in the face of the hardships of life.

    I think Pentecostals are on a fringe when it comes to their beliefs, but I don’t have much to say about what they do inside their four walls. I think they cross into criminal behavior with the snake handling. Like the kool-aid example, when they leave a trail of bodies, someone needs to step in.

    Of course I wish that humanity could rise above the irrational, but that’s a bit too tall an order.

  7. I think that there are Pentecostal leaders and churches that are cultish if not full-fledged cults. I think a lot depends on the area. In America Pentecostalism tends to be pretty wacky. But in other places like Canada it’s more like our contemporary praise-and-worship services. My wife’s family attended a Pentecostal/Charismatic church in Canada and it looked pretty tame compared to the services I’ve seen stateside.

    All that said, I think that there are Pentecostal leaders that fall into the cult leader description, and that Pentecostal churches can more easily slip into the cult mold because they tend to be very autonomous and isolated. But I’ve seen Evangelical churches and leaders fill that mold as well.

    Hank Handegraff is a Christian apologist who is extremely critical of Pentecostalism and things like the Toronto Revival, slaying in the spirit and so on. He’d be an interesting resource for your conversation. But I think that Pentecostalism is too broad and disconnected a “denomination” to say that all Pentecostal churches are cults.

    • Friends of mine attended this revival a few month before their scheduled marriage. As Best Man, I was audience to the creation and practicing of the groom’s vows. After the event, the vows changed and introduced commitment unto death or the Second Coming of Christ. Neither the groom nor bride were particularly amused when, during a rather heated spat they decided to have in my car (to which I was an unfortunate and trapped audience), Growing weary of the endless bickering, I announced that I was, in fact, the twice reanimated Jesus Christ and I had returned a second time… specifically to activate that portion of their vows.

      Nothing reunites combatant believers faster than when a non believer dares to question some bizarre article of faith.

  8. I so agree with you Kenneth. I was about the same age when I visited a church liie that. I thought they were all crazy. Praying out loud, speaking in tongues, running around, falling on the floor, etc. I knew they were fake and then some man put his hands on my head, shaking my head and speaking in tongues and shaking my head telling everyone that I had the Holy Spirit and I was coming thur, whatever that means. Fake.

  9. I don’t agree with the definition of “cult” that you gave. Too broad. I think it is more helpful to define the idea like we define ideas like “living organism”. We give characteristics that living organism share, but that just helps us focus. We know what it is when we see it. The characteristics I would suggest for recognizing a cult is: 1. there is strong central control of the private lives of the individuals involved, usual by one person or by a small inner circle; 2. there are defensive barriers to protect the individuals from exposure to outside influences that may reveal distortions in the cults teaching; 3. the individuals are taught to feel afraid of the outside world, many times stocking up food and weapons in case of attack; 4. the individuals are taught to interpret every opposition as persecution and to believe in shadowy conspiracies against their particular group; 5. the individuals are taught that questioning the beliefs of the group is a sin and heresy; 6. individuals are kept isolated socially from non-believers; 7. there is usually a “Noah mentality” that they alone are to be spared in some coming cataclysm; 8. frequently the inner circles of leaders are allowed a certain moral license that the individuals are not; 9. frequently there is tight control of financial resources that tend to accrue to the leadership as well.
    A cult will not necessarily exhibit all of these characteristics but the more it does the more reasonable it seems to classify it as a cult. I think there are a goodly number of “legitimate” churchs that might be classified as cults. This is not the most tightly organized summary of characteristics but it may help. Perhaps someone can improve on it.

  10. I have been visiting and serving in different churches with different denominations. My friend does so. Through my 13 years of experiences, I realised some churches emphasize more on different parts of the Bible. Thus cause many conflict. Each churches have their own positiveness and negativeness. Why can’t churches embrace each others’ giftings and to unite to bring God’s love into the world?

  11. We as Christ’s followers shouldn’t take the Word of God out of the context. Many do so.

  12. Some Pentecostal churches (leaders) have transitioned from the mainstream beliefs of Pentecostalism, and become cults. However, I don’t believe that all Pentecostal churches are cults. They simply live and teach by the way that they interpret the bible. I think we should be careful in being too judgmental of others’ beliefs, because what *if* they are of God? If they are, then *we* will be judged for judging His people. Instead of taking it upon us to judge them, why don’t we just let God handle that? That’s His job, and if they’re *not* of God, then He’ll certainly show them one day.

  13. Good points but to be fair not all Pentecostal churches are cults like not all Muslims are terrorists.

  14. Fascinating. It’s interesting to me that intelligent people such as tildeb and Carroll Boswell seem to assume that the kind of “cultish” thinking they describe is limited to “religious” people. But you can find it anywhere that group-think and strongly held beliefs hold sway. Especially in academic circles. Arrogance, irrationality, and susceptibility to peer pressure simply seem to be part of the human condition, across the board.
    Two real time examples:

    1) Materialist-evolutionists pretty much have to believe in abiogenesis, (the belief that life spontaneously arose from dead matter,) even though, scientifically, we know that it can’t. A recent example of someone questioning an evolutionary article of faith came in 2005 when Mary Schweitzer accidentally discovered unfossilized, “soft, elastic” tissue in a T-Rex femur that was supposedly 65 million years old. The evolutionary science community “knew” this was impossible, so Schwietzer’s careful research was criticized. She had a difficult time getting her work published in scientific journals. “I had one reviewer tell me that he didn’t care what the data said, he knew that what I was finding wasn’t possible,’ says Schweitzer. ‘I wrote back and said, “Well, what data would convince you?” And he said, “None.”’ Scientists and really smart people are just like everyone else. Just sayin’.

    2) The current “debate” over “marriage equality” is another shining example of sheep-like, “cultish” thinking. It’s nearly impossible to have a rational discussion about this now. Pretty much across the board in the news and entertainment media, if one does not favor State recognition of gay marriage, one is assumed to hateful, bigoted, and anti-gay. Media routinely now refers to opponents of “marriage equality” as “anti-gay.” Of course this is ridiculous and judgmental. One can oppose State recognition of gay marriage for a number of reasonable and compassionate reasons. Please read this example: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2015/02/14370/

    Many secular examples abound. In my opinion, we must fight to maintain freedom and pluralism in a free marketplace of ideas. Then ideas can be tested. If Pentecostals annoy you, you are free to not go to their churches. What concerns me is those, (such as the 2 above examples,) who would attempt to use the force of government to silence those who may disagree with them, because then we move from cultish (however you want to define to define it,) to totalitarian-ish.

    • ” Materialist-evolutionists…”

      Right there you give your creationist game away: the correct and accurate term is ‘those who respect the method of science…”

      Now, seriously, what’s the point of continuing the testing of ideas – which is what you are trying to hide behind in your creationist advocacy – if every results remains contrary to what you want to believe? At what point does your ‘free marketplace of ideas’ actually get down to the buying and selling – the accepting and rejecting of ideas – that is central to the analogy you are trying to use to pretend ‘secularists’ – ie those not convinced by the paucity of evidence for creationism – are somehow willing members of a cult – ie. those who actually respect and use rational and critical thinking?

    • Yes, let’s look at this supposed ‘article of faith’ versus Mary Schweitzer and see how the ‘cult’ of science really fixed her wagon

      It’s this kind of sloppy and intentional misrepresentation used by creationists like art and life notes to try to elevate their own anti-scientific beliefs to be magically equivalent and, of course, much more fair and open-minded (so open-minded that their brains seem to fall out when faced by real evidence) even if contrary to what’s true in reality.

      And as for marriage equality, those who support equality rights in law must be misrepresented in order to fit the “shining example of sheep-like, “cultish” thinking” versus the ever so “reasonable and compassionate reasons” why we should deny such equality on the basis of sexual preference.

      I always find it interesting just how often those who engage and believe in more fundamental religious claims that have little if any support from reality also tend to be very much against other enlightenment values like equality in law and dignity of personhood… all in the name of piety, of course. Just as an aside, pro-lifers (more accurately defined as ‘forced birthers’), for example, have the highest rate of support for the death penalty as well as those least in favour of more social support for single moms.

      Coincidence?

      There is also a very strong correlation between fundamental belief in special creationism for humans and non belief in both evolution (for obvious religious reasons) and human caused climate change.

      Yes, it must be coincidence that the negative correlate is based on increased respect for religion and decreased respect for science.

  15. In my church experiences, the odd behaviors are the “norm”. I didn’t buy into the speaking in tongues, running back and forth, spinning in circles etc as a child….and I don’t now. Since I became a believer in 2012, I have been told that I need to speak in tongues by Pentecostal church members. Well, I guess that they have never read 1 Corinthians Ch 14. That says it all right there 🙂 In fact, I published a blog post about speaking in tongues a few days ago and shared it on Facebook and the backlash started. It isn’t my fault that they refuse to read the bible for themselves and learn the truth but would rather rely on the doctrines and practices of man.

  16. The kudeo-christian theology teaches that man was created as the greatest, to take dominion over the world (in a heartistic and true manner, a thing that hasn’t really been presented yet, the man who tried was crucified by his own folks after 2 years 8 months service).
    Also, the angels, despite were created earlier than humans, are “servants”, so, God obviously loves them, too, however, it is only due to the Fall, that man believes angels are so high. Well, it was a gigantic fall…

    So, with a humble heart I would ask, what the heck these preachers/people are reading?
    Do they really immerse themselves in meditation, prayers and logical thinking, creative debates to get closer to God?
    If not, then they are not religious organization, since they are not returning or reconnecting but letting themselves to be iccupied with this fallen status quo…

    Of course, there are always good people around…

  17. It’s an interesting thought & subject. What is a cult, what is religion? What is crazy, what is ok? How do we define these things? By the worlds values or by higher principles? If religion decides who gets to choose which is the right one?

    Heck if I know, if I think about it I only get more questions. I certainly don’t know enough about Pentecostalism to make a legitimate comment either way.

    Regardless I’m enjoying the return of The Monk 🙂

  18. I have a great many things I could say about Pentecostals, having grown up attending both Churches of God and Assemblies of God. I’ve only found out recently that some members of the first churches I attended as a child were snake handlers. My memories of these early churches are mostly blank with an occasional flash of peculiarity. The Pentecostalism of Appalachian TN is a “special breed.” I’ve written -a little- about this on my blog as a precursor to the mental health struggles I’ve experienced throughout my adult life (See: My Story — Parts 1 & 2, if interested). I’ve often compared the indoctrination of Pentecostalism to that of the brainwashing that results in Stockholm Syndrome. I’m happy to say that I “escaped” Pentecostalism around the age of 18; but it has taken another 24 years (and still counting) to completely “deprogram.”

    Yes, I do believe that Pentecostalism is a cult.

    • It’s interesting that you mention mental health, on our show this evening, Kylie who attended a Pentecostal church for a short time made the same association.

    • I popped over and watched the video right after I posted my first comment. I -somewhat- agree with Kylie’s association of mental illness with Pentecostalism. Pentecostalism tends to be an extreme mindset, meaning “all or nothing,” very “black and white.” Their services are incredibly emotional — just look up the psychology of glossolalia, i.e. speaking in tongues. For someone who already possesses the genetic predisposition of a mental illness (not just Bipolar, but any mental illness) or maybe even a heightened emotional sensitivity, I honestly think this type of “extreme mindset” (any extreme mindset, not just Pentecostalism) can feed the mental illness, either sparking its onset or worsening symptoms.

      I originally wrote the following comment in regard to a Facebook post about marriage equality; but I’m including it here with slight changes because I think it relates well to this discussion: It would be interesting to see psychological studies of how religious belief correlates to emotional maturity/emotional intelligence. It’s been my experience that the more religious an individual is, the more common cognitive distortions (irrational, unbalanced thinking) and logical fallacies (errors in reasoning) are. This isn’t a judgment. It’s an observation, something I’ve witnessed over and over again (especially within the Pentecostal/Evangelical community).

      When it comes to belief, whether it’s political, religious, or otherwise, it is imperative that some semblance of balance be taken into consideration with particular emphasis placed on recognizing the grey areas of life. Throughout my entire 18 years of involvement with Pentecostalism, across 4 different churches, I failed to see this type of balance among its believers.

  19. I want to say first for the sake of being upfront I am Pentecostal. That being said I feel I need to say clearly that as in any movement (especially early on) there are those who go well beyond what the movement stands for. Also in any movement at any time there are groups of people who claim to be a part of that movement who represent it poorly (very poorly). I apologize to you for those who claim to be Pentecostal but have not acted according to scripture. I know that not only in the Pentecostal movement but in most any church movement many folks have been hurt by those who are a part of it. As I read your article your hurt as well as your disdain shows forth readily. I do hope that I can bridge that gap with a proper explanation of Pentecostals then what you have seen. I have read you now for a while and I found that I have agreed with you on many of the big concepts in life but I may disagree with you how to go about fixing things or implementing concepts. I do find you to be a refreshing point of view that I can disagree with but still keep a good relationship.

    Now that I hope I get off on the correct foot I do want to address a few things you say or do not say in your article. I need to clear something up about Pentecostalism as a whole. I notice in many of the comments below people think it is a denomination it is not. It is a movement much like Protestant was a movement. In the Protestant movement you have Lutherans, Methodist, Baptist and so on. Pentecostalism is a sub movement in the whole. There are many denominations that are a part of it not all are kosher Biblically and they tend to be the ones that grab the light. Even those who are Kosher Biblically often have individuals or individual church’s that are not and they have to be disciplined or delisted. In most Pentecostal Denominations church’s are independent not owned by the denomination. In fact most Pentecostal Denominations are not actually denominations but Fellowships. Such as the Assembly of God being a Fellowship of church’s not a denomination. This is a much looser institution but they still have standards to hold up to and they must live by those or be delisted. I do hope that clears that up a bit. There are hundreds of Pentecostal denominations out there most have gone defunct and the solid ones have matured over time much like what has happened with the Baptist.

    Theologically speaking in tongues is in the Bible in both testaments multiple times. I agree for someone who does not believe it can seem odd. That being said there is nothing in Scripture about barking like dogs, falling down, rolling around or the like. I have not doubt that some good well intentioned individual thought up some of those such as the laughing. Remember laughter is the best medicine. (does not mean miracle healings though). Scripture teaches that when we pray we pray directly to the Father. Remember when Christ died on the Cross the veil was torn and the entrance to the Holy of Holies was open for us to enter. The writer of Hebrews makes this clear. If you read standard doctrine of most established Pentecostal denominations you will find they are following most first century teachings. There are many denominations that are not Pentecostal that do not deny the signs and wonders but do not practice them. I think I have written enough I think this could be a good discussion but it would take a bit more than the comment section here.

  20. Response to tildeb:

    Slow down there, cowboy.
    I asserted that all human beings, both religious and non-religious, are prone to cultish and irrational thinking, providing you with specific examples. You respond with a litany of irrational and false comments. Your response is similar in principle to Muslims rioting because someone accuses Islam of being a violent religion.

    Thank you for demonstrating my point.

    Let’s look at your very first sentence, with its accompanying accusation:

    You wrote, “’Materialist-evolutionists…’
    Right there you give your creationist game away: the correct and accurate term is ‘those who respect the method of science…”

    1) This is first a tacit assertion that I’m hiding something, based on what you mistakenly think are buzzwords.
    2) Then you proceed to “correct” me as to “the accurate term,” and yet your correction is incorrect: The truth is there are materialist evolutionists, and there are theistic evolutionists (those who believe that god used evolution to create.) In order to make my point, I needed to specify materialist evolutionists because a theistic evolutionist doesn’t need to believe in the magic of abiogenesis. “Materialist evolutionist” isn’t even a disparaging term, and yet you are all up in arms.
    3) Then you give the “accurate term,” the point of which is to set up a false dichotomy: materialist scientists “respect the method of science” but creationist scientists do not.
    4) And finally, you fail to address my actual point about materialist evolutionism’s unscientific belief in abiogenesis, despite the fact that you abhor this kind of unscientific thinking in “religious” people.

    And this is just your first sentence.

    This beautifully illustrates why we must all insist on freedom and pluralism in a free marketplace of ideas. Because the enlightened “New” Atheist, the enlightened Muslim, the enlightened Christian, etc., are all convinced they are right! God forbid (whoopsie) that the State should take sides and go beyond ensuring basic freedoms and civil rights.

    In your next couple of sentences you wildly misrepresent my point, which was simply that we “can find [‘cultish’ thinking] anywhere that group-think and strongly held beliefs hold sway. Especially in academic circles.” You accuse me of pretending that secularists are members of a cult. (I do not believe this.) Then you congratulate yourself by defining yourself as one of “those who actually respect and use rational and critical thinking.” And yet you have not yet written a sentence that is free a logical fallacy or falsehood.

    I end with your next sentence. Here you again attribute your own phrase, (‘“cult” of science,”) to me, and inexplicably link an article that supports my point and confirms the exciting work of Dr. Schweitzer. (Again, I thank you.) Finally, you accuse me of “sloppy and intentional misrepresentation,” being “anti-science,” and you throw in an insult to boot. But you’ve yet to demonstrate that anything I’ve actually said is untrue. And yes, the belief that dinosaurs are 65 million years old is an evolutionary “article of faith” that must not be questioned, despite evidence to the contrary. (As my example shows.)

    Dude, I truly hope you’re happy as an atheist. I don’t bear you any ill will. I’m simply saying that you are susceptible to being blinded by your own biases the same as everyone else, as you have so abundantly demonstrated. It’s not an insult – it’s just the truth. You are not a machine.

    • Your examples do not do what you think they do. Schweitzer’s findings were not dismissed as you suggest but heavily investigated spawning more research and more papers. This is science in action and not an example of ‘cultish’ thinking whatsoever. This representation you make right off the bat is that the good doctor discovered soft tissue… as if that was against the cult’s rules about ancient remains must be fossilized. That’s hardly an accurate description. she found protected proteins in bones that reacted to antibodies and this did cause quite a stir because it’s a first, which is always met in science with a very high degree of skepticism and methodological criticism. It’s hard to do good science and it must pass the rigors of skepticism and criticism. Every working scientist knows this, so your example is not unusual at all. Such criticism is not evidence of ‘cultish’ behaviour but standard procedure. Now let’s be very clear here about Schweitzer’s position: “”The data thus far seem to support the theory that these structures can be preserved over time,” Schweitzer says. “Hopefully these findings will give us greater insight into the processes of evolutionary change.” Her work in no way undermines or finds any weakness in the explanatory model we call evolution. Your example here does not do what you think it does.

      Yes, I correct your terminology because there’s no such thing as ‘theistic’ evolution. This is simply a term we grant to describe those who are confused about what evolution is, namely, the process by which life changes over time by unguided, natural mechanisms. The inclusion of some god is contrary to and in conflict with the scientific theory. As soon as any trie sot include some aspect of guidance or design or intervention, we’re not longer talking about evolution. It’s just that simple.

      So starting your description with a misrepresentation demonstrates an intention to do so for reasons other than accuracy. To then make shit up about abiogenesis – something many scientists speculate about – as if this was in any way part and parcel of evolutionary theory is a gross distortion so often corrected that to continue using it as if it were reflective of reality demonstrates either a willingness to lie with a straight face or an astounding level of ignorance about the topic. You may choose the least offensive of these, but it still reveals an intention by you to mislead. And that annoys me because it is duplicitous. It is anti-scientific because you intentionally misrepresent it and those who do good science fro reasons and motives other than being accurate and concerned about what’s true. You care more about promoting what you believe than you do the reputations and the hard and exacting work done by those who do c are about what’s true. You deserve harsh criticism for the kind of peddling of snake oil you’re attempting to do here.

  21. BTW, have you ever looked at Isaac Bonewits’ Cult Evaluation Frame? http://www.neopagan.net/ABCDEF.html

  22. If like me, you’re an atheist, then all religion is nuts! I look at some people and think “why would you do that just to impress your imaginary friend??”

  23. Yo tildeb,

    ‘Sorry bro, but I’m not going to allow you to put words in my mouth. (Or in Mary Schweitzer’s mouth for that matter.) I understand what science is, and so of course I agree with your point about research needing to pass the rigors of skepticism and criticism. I never said the scientific method is cultish behaviour – that’s you twisting my words again. What is “cultish/religious” thinking is exactly the example I gave:
    “I don’t care what the data says, I know that what you’re finding isn’t possible.”
    “Well, what data would convince you?
    “None.”
    This, in the words of Dawkins and Harris, is “belief despite the evidence.” Again, everyone with strongly held beliefs is prone to doing this, including you and me.

    You say my representation that Schweitzer discovered soft tissue in a T-rex bone is an inaccurate description. No, it isn’t. In early interviews she doesn’t claim to know exactly what the tissue is, but she certainly confirms that it was “soft” and “elastic.” You can watch her speak for herself here:

    The example perfectly makes my point. The fact is that neither you, I, nor anybody else knows how old the
    freaking dinosaur bone is. If you now want to believe that soft tissue can last for 65 million years, knock yourself out. Yours is a faith position until science can come up with an explanation of how this is possible. I happen to think that a more reasonable explanation is that the bones may be thousands, rather than millions of years old. My position doesn’t require faith – it simply requires a willingness to question evolutionary dogma.

    No such thing as “theistic” evolution? You may be surprised that I agree with your point here. Nonetheless, my point still stands because there certainly ARE theistic evolutionists.

    Regarding abiogenesis, and me supposedly “misrepresenting, making shit up, lying/being ignorant, being duplicitous, anti-scientific, and peddling snake oil” :
    All I said was, “Materialist-evolutionists pretty much have to believe in abiogenesis,.. even though, scientifically, we know that it can’t [happen].”
    So rather than slandering my motives, why don’t you simply correct me?: Do you believe life naturally arose from dead matter, or not?

  24. I am sorry but when a religion dictates how you dress, cut your hair , and how your are suppose to act as a human being. That is clearly brain washing. I met a man who’s father was higher up in the Pentecostal church. This man told me how (dictating his father was.) As we talked he also told me about his brother and how his brother killed his two children and was going to kill his wife. Had she not fled. He said that his brother went to prison, and that when he went to visit his brother. That all his brother did was mumble.
    So as I got to know this man. He told me that he didn’t believe in a lot of what his father stood for. That he was the out cast in the family, and that he wanted his family back, and to do the things he used to do with his family. I asked him what would it take for you to be excepted again into you family. He said probably going back to his fathers church. I said well that seems harmless. He said you don’t know my father.
    I finally talked him into going to his fathers church, and that I would go with him. We attended the mass, and the whole time that we were there my friend was crying.
    When we were leaving the church, his father pulled me aside and said “You don’t belong here”.
    I have left a lot of things that happened out and shortened up this story. But I can say with all honesty that if there is a hell, that is where his father will end up. His father was so dictating, that he caused his oldest son to kill his own children. And as for my friend he stated to me that he felt he was being brain washed. I witnessed it. My friend said what do I do. I told him well you have to decide using your own brain and your own heart and feelings. and to trust in yourself. I lost contact with him after that and I know why and who was the cause of it. That poor excuse of a man hiding behind a religion. The very man that killed his own grand children through his oldest sons hands.

  25. —-) Teach their parishioners to crawl around on the floor and bark like dogs on Sunday morning because that is what the holy spirit wants to do ‘through’ them

    —-) Teach their parishioners to laugh uncontrollably for hours on end

    —-) Teach their parishioners to be ‘slain in the spirit’ which involves falling down on the floor after the preacher touches your forehead

    —-) Teach their parishioners that god can directly talk to you, both audibly and inaudibly and instruct you on mystical knowledge

    —-) Teach their parishioners that they have demons in them that need to be cast out by exorcists

    … This is Charismatic, not Pentecostal. You are not going to conflate Classical Pentecostalism with something it is diametrically opposed to. Sorry. Nice try.

  26. Hello, Ken! …To me, P being a cult or not is not important. And as for difficulties, I have plenty of them with my own catholicism.

    Frankly, am disappointed with practically ALL churches, on the whole. Individual instances excepted. For one thing, most are concerned about money. At least in India.

    The Rev. David Wilkerson and his book ‘The Cross and the Switch blade’ brought me to read the Bible, not very effectively insisted upon by our church in those times.

    Never heard of one asking their congregation to go around barking like dogs. That’s a new one! All else sounds familiar.

    Have found a few Good priest/pastors/leaders of all ilk in my time. A FEW! Is all. Say, maybe ten.

    Here’s wishing and praying that the Lord Jesus would be Known, and His Teachings followed. Particularly His Command to Love.

    Regards.

  27. I thought all religions were a cult?? Some more popular/successful than others.

  28. —-) Teach their parishioners to crawl around on the floor and bark like dogs on Sunday morning because that is what the holy spirit wants to do ‘through’ them

    —-) Teach their parishioners to laugh uncontrollably for hours on end

    —-) Teach their parishioners to be ‘slain in the spirit’ which involves falling down on the floor after the preacher touches your forehead

    —-) Teach their parishioners that god can directly talk to you, both audibly and inaudibly and instruct you on mystical knowledge

    —-) Teach their parishioners that they have demons in them that need to be cast out by exorcists

    I am a Oneness Apostolic Pentecostal and I can say that they don’t teach us any of this. I know some of it can happen. I’ve never heard of anyone hearing God audibly like a person. Not everyone has demons inside of them. Demons were recorded in the Bible just FYI. Please do research before throwing stuff up like this. Also, do not base opinions of a whole group based upon a few person’s actions. Yes there are a lot of terrible Pentecostals but look in this world there are also a lot of them there too. This would be hate literature if you were talking about Islam or something of the sort but since it’s Pentecostal’s it is somewhat ok. You don’t base things on fact or our doctrine but just stories and opinion.

    “One Pentecostal believing person told me, “I know your heart Kenneth!” to which I asked,

    “Really? Has god given you the mysterious gift of knowing my heart? Of knowing what I’m thinking? Of knowing my intentions?””

    You also said this^. In case you didn’t realize the Bible also talks about a Gift of the Spirit called Discernment it also talked about the Gift of Knowledge. So yes God can give that person the knowing of your heart or know your intentions. He is God after all, and He dwells in the people who have received His Spirit. All of what I just said is in the Bible, I didn’t put in the references cause I thought maybe you should take time and do some Biblical Research

    Oh by the way the meaning of cult in the Greek is hidden or unseen. So something done in secret.
    As for your definition doesn’t that make any belief a cult. If you believe in Baptist doctrine, some think that is ridiculous and therefore that is a cult. People believe in evolution and is “regarded by others as strange or sinister”. I understand this a blog and it’s about your opinion. However, get your facts and quit the unreasonable, unexplained hate. Hate makes the world a lesser place.

    You probably won’t read this but it was fun posting anyway- Neptune

  29. I will pray for you my brother in Christ. Revival is happening and it never looks like what the logical mind thinks it should be like. Do not limit God or put him in a box like the Pharisees. God loves you very much but making fun of the manifestations of the Holy Spirit is a very dangerous thing to teach. There are 4 types of tongues outlined in the new testimate, prophecy, healing, words of knowledge( yes from God) which I have all experienced. Yes I have gotten words of knowledge from God which have resulted in people getting healed and talk with him daily!

    God will speak to you about the topic, if you ask in faith: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.” Of course he wants to talk with you and have a personal relationship. After all how close can you get to someone without ever talking with them… Definitely limits it.
    ‭‭James‬ ‭1:5-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬
    Also remember: 1corinthians 1:25
    25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

    Holy Spirit (God) will actually come upon people as manifestations as uncontrollable laughing, shaking..ect I am not a Pentecostal (raised baptist). God sais that we must become like children to enter the kingdom, one of the meanings is not becoming “to intellectual or smart for the gospel and the way God works” I agree it does look and seem ridiculous but would little children think so?

    I write you not to condem you for your ideas on the topic, but to encourage you in your Christian walk. After all in heaven there is not going to be any denominations, no Catholics, Baptists, Pentecostals… Ect. Jesus will return for a spotless blameless bride. He said these signs will follow those who BELEIVE… Heal the sick, cast out demons, new tongues..ect yet as far as I have seen the majority of the healings, tongues, prophecy and other supernatural acts come from the Pentecostal church.
    Who are we as believers to limit or judge the way Holy Spirit works and Manifests?
    Love you man,

    Daniel

  30. Hi. My name is Aaron McCrury. I am a 5th generation Apostolic Pentecostal. My great grandfather, my grandfather, and my father are all ministers. What a lot of “outsiders” who weren’t raised the in “Pentecostalism” should not presume what we are taught. Your article had some very good points of view, however, it is very misleading. The Bible teaches that we are to go into all the world teaching and preaching the gospel. What you call gibberish, we call speaking with other tongues, as the spirit gives the utterance. (See Acts 2:1-40) I’m not saying the we as Pentecostals are perfect or even have all the answers, but we debunk the trinity, have faith that He can and will be with us through every situation in our lives.

    I, also, would like to address you being slain in the spirit, crawling on floor ‘barking like dogs’, and a relatively small group of people who do strange or sinister things.

    1) As stated in the book of Acts people were accusing the Apostles and 120 other people gathered that day, that they were drunk. Several times I have gotten into a realm of prayer so deep, that I couldn’t stand on my on and sometimes all you can do is just lay there letting the Holy Ghost saturate you with blessings.

    2) We do not teach nor have ever taught people to crawl on the floor barking like dogs. Nor do we think handling snakes are a safe practice to show the miraculous works of God.

    3) The United Pentecostal Church is not small by any means. There are thousands of churches all have the world. And thousands who receive the Holy Ghost everyday. We missionaries in nearly every country in the world. So to say that they are a cult is very miss leading.

    I, personally would to have a detailed conversation with anyone with any questions. You can contact me via e-mail @ aaron_mccrury@yahoo.com

  31. After my family becoming proselytes of Pentecostalism, I have suffered a lot. I understand what you have been going through. The presence of God in the Semantics of language is an absence. Deconstruction has undone many myths surrounding the LOGOS. Anand Bose from Kerala.

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