...And, according to the world's view, the commands of Jesus get "even worse" and more "cult-like"! In Matthew 19:21, after a rich man seeking God told how he had always obeyed the Commandments of God and asked "What do I still lack?", Jesus commanded: "If thou wilt be PERFECT, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me." In Mark 10:21, that command was worded: "One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me." In another situation altogether, Luke 12:33-34 shows Jesus reiterating this point and adding the reason thereof: "Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax NOT old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth NOT, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." This point even caused initial concern among the followers in Jesus' day. When they asked Jesus, "Who then can be saved?", He replied, in Matthew 19:26: "With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." Beyond dispute, the world would say that this command to so loyally follow after Jesus was/is the very definition of a so-called "cult". This says, then, that Jesus indeed required His followers to belong to His would-be so-called "cult" of CHRIST.
...And, yes, the would-be so-called "cult-like control" commands of Jesus get "even worse" (as the world would say)! Not only did He command them to give up all their earthly treasure, but He commanded even more than that! In Matthew 10:37-38, Jesus commanded: "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me." In Luke 14:26-27, our Lord defined TRUE Christian discipleship: "If any man come to me, and hate not ((i.e., love less)) his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple." A few verses later, in Luke 14:33, Christ Jesus issued forth the final definition of His TRUE disciples: "Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple." By the world's definition of a "cult", Jesus, with this command, very clearly established TRUE Christianity (and, therefore, TRUE Christian discipleship) to be nothing but an absolute so-called "cult" as defined by the children of the world!
© June 4, 1995, The Standard Bearer
P.O. Box 765, O.O.B., ME 04064