One questions that puzzles many people is, “why are the Cults so attractive”. What they mean is that after all the Cults distort the truth and lead people into bondage. Thus why should man, who is a lover of freedom, be attracted to these groups. Further, once the cult-members experience the slavery there why don’t more of them come out and join Bible-believing churches.
The question assumes that man has a love for divine truth and freedom. While outwardly almost everyone pays lip service to these concepts, ultimately man loves neither God’s truth nor divinely provided freedom. The human history is an adequate testimony to it. Much more authoritative that this testimony is the Bible, which also confirms that deep inside the heart humans are drawn more to error than to truth: “The light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehendeth it not” John 1:5.
Since False Cults are the expression of some sort or other of human rebellion against God, they are able to cater to all kinds of the needs of the rebellious mankind. This is the primary reason why the False Cults are so attractive in spite of their false doctrines and oppressive governments. Thus some of the reasons that make the Cults so attractive to people can be said to be the following:
1-Man’s Rebellion Against God: Right from the moment of his fall, man has been characterized by rebellion. The murder of Abel, the unequal marriages of Genesis 6, the building of the tower, repeated murmuring of the Israelites, the eventual rejection of theocracy by Israel, the appetite and frequent relapse of Jews into idolatry, murder of prophets, and finally the outright rejection and murder of the Messiah Himself are a testimony to man’s rebellion against God.
2-Man’s Love For Darkness: Though humans talk a lot about light and also about their need to embrace light over darkness, most of it is only philosophical eyewash. The basic human inclination is towards darkness, and all the philosophical speculation about light is actually a cover for their ultimate love for darkness.
3-Ignorance Of What Is Significant: Man’s perception of truth has been so much affected by his sin nature that his entire approach to right and wrong, truth and error, are imbalanced. Thus what he often considers important might be trivial things while what he considers as insignificant might be most important. The Cults know this human tendency, and thus they exaggerate what the humans consider as important.
4-Satisfaction Of Baser Instincts: Right from Eden, the baser instincts of mankind have become very powerful and dominant. While growing believers learn to control these base passions with the help of the Holy Spirit, most people do not even realize that there is anything wrong with these instincts. Nor are they conscious that these passions are controlling them. Thus deep in their hearts they keep looking for a group that caters to their hidden passions, and promptly join the group that seems to offer it.
Conclusion: Instead of being exhaustive, we have only hinted at some of the reasons that make False Cults attractive to people. The basic reason is human depravity and rebellion against God, which motivate people to accept anything except the truth. This attitude of rebellion is seen in many ways in the human hearts, and with full awareness of these things, the Cults have devised ways to offer to each one what he needs to remain away from God. Thus their attractiveness even to people who know that they are false.
How Are Cults Growing So Fast
Many sincere Christians are surprised and even shocked at the high rate at which False Cults are proliferating and growing everywhere. These believers feel that it is Bible-believing Churches that should grow so fast seeing that it is these Churches that teach and preach the Scriptures faithfully. However, numerical growth does not result automatically.
People are not automatically attracted to the group or movement that teaches truth. Rather, Evangelical Christians ought to go out and draw people’s attention to divine truths. Unfortunately most of us are very lax in this matter while most of the Cults consider this as the area that needs the greatest attention. Thus while most of the custodians and stewards of Truth continue in a state of coldness, the peddlers of error keep trapping people through their strategies. Many of these Cult strategies are unethical and unacceptable to Bible-believing people and we cannot use them. At the same time, plenty of acceptable strategies are still left.
1-They Exploit Spiritual Vacuum: Every Church passes consecutively through periods of revival and lethargy. During the latter stage the Church is not in a position to serve hope and joy to the struggling masses.
2-They Offer Friendship And Fellowship: People struggling for answers need help not only orally but also practically. The Cults know this very well and they offer a good deal of personal attention to prospective members and also to the new converts. By the time these converts mature, they would change from care-receivers to care-givers, maintaining a continuity of personal relationship. Almost all False Cults exhibit this close-knit family relationship, making them very attractive.
3- They Are Sensitive To Needs: Every person has needs, and more so when he is passing through the “struggle” stage of life. Further, the range and intensity of such needs have become great today because of the changing society and breaking families. Cults are quite sensitive to these needs of people and offer many kinds of helps.
4-Every Member Is A Missionary: Almost all Bible-believing Churches stress the need for believers to share the gospel with others. This motivates many new believers to win others for Christ, but eventually most believers drop out of such practices. However, Cults ensure that all their members remain missionaries till the end of their lives.
5-Sacrificial Giving Is Mandatory: While almost all Bible-believing groups encourage giving, very few of them have made it mandatory. Even in those Evangelical groups where systematic collection of gifts takes place, most of the moneys thus collected are spent only for the needs of the collecting local Church. Thus no central pool with large resources is built up. Cults have just the opposite practice.
6-They Have A Massive Literature Ministry: We all talk much about literature as an important component of Christian ministry, but it is the Cults who exploit this tool to maximum benefit.
7-The Strategic Correspondence Courses: As mentioned in a previous point, to control a person it is necessary to control his mind first. Books, magazines and other publications are very effective for mind-control, but correspondence-courses have many advantages over them.
8-They Effectively Use Mass Media: Though Mass Media can never take the place of personal contact, it can create a vast pool of faithful listeners: This in turn provides a very large number of people ready for personal contact and eventual absorption into the Cult. Thus almost all False Cults exploit Mass Media to the maximum.
9-They Have Numerous Institutions: Academic and social service institutions offer great opportunities for Cults to grow and multiply. Both of the above types of establishments can help them to brainwash people, and also to offer jobs to converts.