What Is a ‘”Bible-Based Cult”?

God Discussion posted the article "Sponsored by Alleged Bible-Based Cult, Armstrong Auditorium Opens in Oklahoma".   To be fair, the article itself reads objectively enough, but the title made me bristle.  Just what is a “Bible-based cult”, anyhow?  If it is truly based upon the Bible, then can it really be a cult?  If it is a cult, then can it truly be based upon the Bible?  Some important questions to think about, no?

One of the comments from the admin reads:

The fact that they are touting a $20 million cultural center while members who are footing the bill are living in poverty is deplorable.

Well, we are certainly in agreement there!  In fact, I wrote much the same thing in articles like “Swans In Flight”.

There seems to be a new blog now: Stephen Flurry.  PCG continues to expand upon their Internet presence in various (and sometimes shady) ways.  This appears to be part of its initiative.  In “Ending the war on poverty”, Stephen Flurry writes:

Five weeks ago, after posting an article about the grand opening of Armstrong Auditorium, which included a number of beautiful photographs of the building and its surroundings, we received an outpouring of positive response—mostly from members and co-workers who helped fund the project.

There was also a handful of negative response, which is not unusual. But the interesting thing about all of those critics is that they essentially said the same thing: That the money used to build Armstrong Auditorium would have been much better spent if it had been given to poor people.

So, what does he do next?  Does he ask, “What would Jesus do?”  Does he compare his organization with Jesus?  No, as per usual, he compares their work with other men.

As I point out in my book Raising the Ruins, Herbert W. Armstrong …  Yet, that did not stop his successors from badmouthing the way he went about building God’s work.

“We neither have nor promote an extravagant lifestyle,” Joseph Tkach Jr. smugly said in his book Transformed by Truth. “We have divested ourselves, and continue to, of those things that are opulent and do not befit a church.”

And yet, … the Tkaches were collecting hundreds of millions of dollars in income. The Worldwide Church of God income hit its peak in 1989 at $212 million. In 1990, it was $211 million, followed by $197 million in 1991.

OK, so what?  All of that is nice to know but completely irrelevant.

 12For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. (2 Corinthians 10:12, King James Version)

Then, of course, he throws in the example of Judas:

Judas said this, John 12:6 relates, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief. He didn’t care about poor people. He cared about himself. And in the end, he betrayed Jesus Christ for 30 pieces of silver.

That’s right, Flurry.  Judas was a thief who stole for his own welfare, just like you and your father steal 3rd tithe for self-aggrandizement.  You are hypocrites who preach “God is a family”, all the while causing division within families.

 12 What are worthless and wicked people like?
      They are constant liars,
 13 signaling their deceit with a wink of the eye,
      a nudge of the foot, or the wiggle of fingers.
 14 Their perverted hearts plot evil,
      and they constantly stir up trouble [soweth discord, KJV].
 15 But they will be destroyed suddenly,
      broken in an instant beyond all hope of healing.

 16 There are six things the Lord hates—
      no, seven things he detests:
 17 haughty eyes,
      a lying tongue,
      hands that kill the innocent,
 18 a heart that plots evil,
      feet that race to do wrong,
 19 a false witness who pours out lies,
      a person who sows discord in a family.

~Pr 6:12-19 (NLT)

Beware, Flurry!  Just as God judged the sins of WCG, so He will judge you!  And, as to your so-called “House of God”, read what God has to say about such things:

 4Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these.

 5For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour;

 6If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt:

 7Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.

 8Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit.

 9Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not;

 10And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?

 11Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD.

 12But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel.

 13And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the LORD, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not;

 14Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh.

 15And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim.

 16Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee. (Jeremiah 7:4-16, King James Version)

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