Some religious movements require members to shun anyone who has left (apostates) or has been expelled (‘excommunicated‘ or ‘disfellowshipped’ from) the movement, church, or group. Various destructive cults, such as Jehovah's Witnesses and Scientology, practice such extreme forms of ostracism that scholars use terms such as “psychologically devastating” to describe the impact.
Lying leaders inevitably hurt other Christians, bring reproach upon the Gospel, and bring both temporal and eternal harm to themselves. David Kowalski shares three major lessons he has learned from his exposure to lying leaders.
Ravi Zacharias International Ministries is a Christian ministry founded and headed by Ravi Zacharias. It focuses on evangelism, apologetics, spiritual disciplines and training. Zacharias is currently facing allegations that reflect on his credibility. Apologetics Index has always had a policy of linking to a wide variety of perspectives and resources. We have now updated this entry to include links to information dealing with these allegations, as well as responses by Zacharias and his ministry.
Theologically Iglesia ni Cristo is a cult of Christianity because it denies essential doctrines of the Christian faith. Sociologically the movement has cult-like elements as well. And then there's a recent investigative documentary that takes a look at INC church members accused of kidnapping and murder in the Philippines. We provide research resources for those who are confronted by this fast-growing religious movement.
These five apologetic methodologies do not constitute an exhaustive list of approaches to Christian apologetic. They do represent, however, the most well-known and popular argumentative strategies in the scholarly apologetics community.
Four interlocking dimensions make up the framework of a cult’s social system and dynamics. You can use this framework to examine your own cult experience.
It is helpful for Christians to know the signs of possible problems when assessing a minister or ministry.
Is there a certain type of person who is more likely to join a cult? No. Individual vulnerability factors matter much more than personality type when it comes to joining or staying in a cult or abusive relationship.
While most people interested in vampires firmly place vampirism (or vampyrism) in the realm of fantasy, a vampire subculture has developed as well. Some take their interest even further, turning fantasy into real-life practices.
Benjamin Zablocki is a professor of sociology at Rutgers University where he teaches sociology of religion and social psychology. He has published widely on the subject of charismatic religious movements, cults, and brainwashing.