Christian Destiny Christian Destiny
The Marks of a Cult

by Dr. Dave Breese

6. Denunciation of Others

When one announces himself as the true messiah, all others, of course, are false and must be put down. Some of the most bitter imprecations in print are the scathing calumny of cultic messiahs upon all who do not believe their views and join their organization. One sometimes suspects that these leaders are infected with a horrible inferiority complex, pushing them to a neurotic defensiveness. They are for the most part unwilling to appear in public debate or answer questions from perceptive Christian scholars concerning the nature of their faith. Responding to their persecution complex, they denounce all alternative views as being Satanic and corrupt.

The contrast of true Christianity is very marked. The Bible teaches that there is one Savior, Jesus Christ, and one way of salvation, faith in his finished work on the cross. Within that wonderful circle of faith once delivered to the saints, however, the Scripture allows for a great diversity of views. Each individual Christian is a believer-priest and he is related to God as a person.

The Apostle Paul, in writing to the Philippians on the subject of Christian unity, said, “Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you” (Philippians 3:15). In writing to Timothy, he suggested that his views be considered against the final light of divine understanding. He sharply disagreed with John Mark on one of his missionary journeys (Acts 15:38,39), but this same John Mark was later used of the Holy Spirit to write the Gospel of Mark. He argued with the Corinthians that there are diversities of gifts (1 Corinthians 12:4). Peter claimed that some of Paul’s writings were “hard to understand” (2 Peter 3:16), but recognized Paul as a beloved brother who was writing according to the wisdom that was given unto him.

Christ prayed for the very people crucifying Him, saying, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Paul recognized that some rejected him, but he prayed that it would not be laid to their account. “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all man forsook me: I pray God that it may not be late to their charge” (2 Timothy 4:16).

True Christians are forbidden to judge one another (Romans 14:13) and are given the liberty to be persuaded in their own minds as to how to live unto the Lord (Romans 14:5); they are even told to “judge nothing before the time” (1 Corinthians 4:5).


1. Extra-Biblical Revelation — False doctrine from outside the Bible

2. Salvation by works — Denial of salvation by faith alone

3. Uncertain Hope — Cultistis are never sure of heaven

4. Presumptuous Messianic Leadership — Arrogant religious rulers command others

5. Doctrinal ambiguity

6. Denunciation of Others — All others are infidels, reprobates

7. Claim of “Special Discoveries”

8. Defective Christology — Denial of the Deity or humanity of Christ

9. Segmented Biblical Attention — Ignoring the whole counsel of God

10. Entangling Organizational Structure — Membership equals salvation

11. Financial Exploitation — Money is the object


This 1981 booklet is an early version of what later became the full-length book, The Marks of a Cult: The Warning Signs of False Teachings, published by Harvest House.
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The Marks of a Cult