It is really freaky to me when people use the word 'cult'. It sounds so ominous and scary.
It freaks me out even more because of the way my (as usual!) 'eventfulness' life ran....
I remember when I went to Singapore to study, how a kindly pastor took the time to carefully explain to me where the Catholic church and the Protestant church had parted ways and why. It struck a note with me and I immediately moved out of the Catholic church.
Later on at the end of Sec 3, I joined City Harvest Church, Singapore. Hoo boy! Did all hell break loose! My school was an Anglican school attached to an Anglican church who were very (quietly of course!) against Pst Kong. The words 'cult' were thrown more than once and I was quite puzzled... And as steadfastly loyal (and still am!) as ever.
Then rumours flew that we were not to go near a certain church in Singapore because they were known cults. I didn't ask too much. I think I was afraid to.
Off to England where I thankfully and gratefully settled into a fairly mainstream charismatic church that, as the biggest church in England, was above enough reproach.
Home ... and disaster struck. Each school holiday, I had gamely followed my friend to a church in Penang that had broken off from a big mainstream charismatic church. I didn't know which church to follow after all. Sometime in England, I heard that my friend and her parents and a big chunk of the church had moved BACK to the big mainstream church. But I was solemnly informed by senior people in the broken-off church that they were 'goats' not sheep, and God was separating His flock.
Err... if you say so. But ... erm... Why are so many of the messages in this broken-off church so filled with hatred then?
Finally I left, because I couldn't sense any presence of God in that church and I missed Him so. And at my new church, a pastor told me that the pastor of the broken-off church was '...well known ... We just tolerate him... He confuses his sheep..." WHAT?!! Well, why didn't somebody say something earlier and rescue those who were stuck inside??
Thankfully in my new church which had long been an anchor church anyway, there were no controversies.
On to Kuala Lumpur, and surprisingly, even in my lovely church in KL, there were whispers amongst more 'modern' churches because they celebrated Jewish festivals. The beautiful presence of God was there anyway, so what did I care?
I joined AW and... oohch! ouch! wow! eeks! There are quite a few nasty things said about them too! Nothing that I can see wrong, but again... 'new age' 'cult' and goodness knows what other brickbats are thrown.
And ... I don't understand. And sometimes I'm weary and tired and confused. I don't really know what's right, who's right, who's wrong anymore. Sometimes people will throw me the old refrain, "By their fruits, you will know them." But then, with a wagging sage head, they will add, "You have to look carefully... because some are wolves in sheep clothing."
I wish I knew what is right and what is wrong. And God, in the confusion, I don't get it....Who are You?