Cults That Kill
"And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to
kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both
soul and body in hell." (Matt 10:24)
Christian concern over the cult movement in America has been
historically focused mostly on the afterlife... and rightly so. With all the destructive aspects of cultic religions, the real
tragedy is the untold millions of souls which are led to an
While the secular media has turned its attention to the
physically destructive aspects of cults, Christians have been
most vocal about the spiritual dangers.
The secular press has turned its spotlight on the shocking and
gruesome cult related deaths such as the 913 killed in the
Jonestown massacre a decade ago, or the more recent occult
related murders in Matamoros, Mexico.
Christians, while deeply concerned about the loss of physical
life, have realized that for every one which dies in the highly
publicized cultic murders, there are thousands more who lose
"both soul and body" in those cults which have gained
acceptance in the eyes of the media and the public.
But the physically destructive nature of the cults should not be
ignored by concerned Christians. While not minimizing the
spiritual dangers, this month's Expositor highlights the
hazards to physical life and health posed by the cults.
In surveying the history of cult related deaths and murders, it
becomes quickly apparent that bloodshed and the loss of innocent
lives are not restricted to the likes of Jim Jones, Charles
Manson, and the "Son of Sam." "Cults that Kill" include those cults that have gained
the acceptance and respect of the general public and media such
as Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Science, and
Often cults kill by denying their followers valid lifesaving
medical treatment. By proclaiming simple medical treatment as forbidden by God,
untold hundreds of lives have been sacrificed on the altar of
Other cults kill through teachings such as Brigham Young's
"Blood Atonement" doctrine which has been linked to
murders from the Mountain Meadows Massacre of over one hundred
years ago down to the recent murders by Mormon polygamous
splinter groups in Texas.
This month's survey of "Cults that Kill" can only offer
a brief sample of the kinds of cultic teachings that have cost
the lives of men, women, and children. But it should serve as a reminder that the subject of the cults
is a matter of life and death -- both now and for eternity.