The last few months have brought some amazing contemporary case studies into the public realm of online scrutiny and also “digital dissent” with online push-back by survivors of spiritually abusive ministries and movements. This includes both Mars Hill Church and what I’ve been calling the Emergent movement that arose from the embers of what used to be Emergent Village. I’ve written far above my usual output because of how these two real-world examples illustrate the final material I’ve been writing for a forthcoming volume in my imprint on Do Good Plus Do No Harm. It’s a book for people associated with missional/social transformation endeavors, church plants, and non-profits.
The following are from a series of comments on a post at The Wartburg Watch, Did Southern Seminary Give ‘Baptist’ Tuition Breaks and Academic Perks to SGM Pastors? My comments were in response to what others were saying about music, culture, and worship. This article gives more the theoretical side of arts, beauty, creativity – and healing. Continue reading
Some people label certain theologies, or authoritarian churches or ministry movements as “cultish.” But what does that mean? Is it only about having right or wrong theology, or can it be about other things?
Some researchers distinguish between a sociological cult (an organization based on control behaviors) and a religious cult (an organization based on particular religious or doctrinal beliefs). A religious cult might also be a sociological cult, depending on whether it exerts influence over the lives of its members, to the point of extensive control and damage to the person, families, and other social relationships. Continue reading