The similarities are concerning. We have addressed a few marks of a cult based on Seth’s response to cult criticism in another post, we have written other posts addressing pagan and mystical influence and also Seth’s thoughts on families and his “fatherly” role to begin to answer a few of the concerns mentioned in this post.
Let’s start with this blog post titled, “Is the World Race a Cult?!? by a former racer asking and answering this question.
To this Racer, please consider what we have written. It is for you and your fellow Racers that we have spent the time writing about our concerns. We understand how subtle error can be and this fact should propel us to do our homework, carefully studying Scripture and comparing it with what is being taught.
Here is this Racer’s answer to the question posed in the title of his blog post.
“I SHOULD HAVE given more thought to the possibility of joining a potential cult, but the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension kind of took my mind off of it after a little bit of anxious prayer (Phil 4:6-7). And when praying about something like this for such a short time led me to drop the issue, I am pretty satisfied…It seems the cult hysteria comes down to 2 main issues: 1) “Abandoning” your family and 2) Mixing Eastern religion with the Gospel…
Following Jesus will make enemies within your own family. (Matt 10:34-36). If you are going on the World Race to obey the Great Commission and make disciples, then the cult hysteria is just a scheme of Satan to keep you back…”
While prayer is always advised, it is concerning that this Racer does not mention searching the scriptures before making a decision.
Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. He is brilliant and cunning, seeking to deceive the undiscerning. Dismissing concerns as “cult hysteria” without careful evaluation is unwise.
He continues, “Eastern Religion… This issue was a little more troubling for me, but I have reached a satisfactory answer for myself, but it might not satisfy all of you. I haven’t done much research into Eastern Religion, nor have I deeply researched all the criticisms about contemplative prayer that are levied against AIM, nor have I deeply researched the resources that AIM recommends on the subject. But here is my understanding of the contemplative prayer issue: if the answer conforms to the Word of God, why are you worried about it? …”
And if God “speaks” and it contradicts His Word, it’s OBVIOUSLY WRONG.”
That is honestly as far as I have delved into this issue…
Again, the lack of research is troubling. Contemplative prayer is a mystical practice, not a Biblical one. To affirm it as long as it doesn’t contradict scripture sounds correct, but without enough knowledge about where this practice has come from (Eastern religions) and a true understanding of how we are to pray based on Christ’s model we can be easily led into demonic practices and open to demonic voices disguising themselves as truth.
Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”
Here is a Biblical example of the demonic powers speaking truth and rebuked for it.
Acts 16:16-18 “As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.
We cannot always assume that the truth spoken is from God, if the method is not from God, such as mystical practices, we are to shun them as from the enemy.
God commanded Israel to tear down the high places and destroy every practice that had anything to do with false worship. He did not say we should redeem it for His name, He said to shun and destroy it, then to worship the way He commanded. He will not have His Holy Name associated with pagans. Deut 12:4 “You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way.”
The Racer continues, “If in the ridiculously unlikely chance that AIM is a cult that doesn’t preach the true gospel, then I’m still going to preach the true gospel! “
Noble, if misguided. Unfortunately, this Racer does not actually address the issues of a cult. He provides scripture verses but they are not addressing the actual concerns. The discussion is continued here.