One website listed 67 Christian cults in the United States. There is probably double that amount throughout the world. I put this as a theme, because the major organizations have clear policies when dealing with cults. These policies are dealt with through the preeminent structure that effectively shuts them out.
However, this same structure also shuts out all the other denominations that do not agree with their theology. The Baptists shut out Methodist, Lutherans, Anglicans, Pentecostals, etc. And all the others do the same. To maintain this divisiveness requires strict guidelines for those in preeminence, who monopolize the platform so only their particular brand of theology is espoused.
This effectively places the assembly into a state of ignorance where they are fed the milk of the God’s word and end up lacking the ability to confront the world around them. Few Lutherans know the difference between a Methodist and a Presbyterian and it is the same the other way around. Most never give it a thought and if they do, they probably conjure up notions that are like the boogeyman in the closet.
Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. I Corinthians 14:29
10A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; 11Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself. Titus 3:10-11
When Jesus is in full control, the dynamics for dealing with cults becomes a powerful asset. Every believer should know how to confront falsehood, and it starts with being a part of the exhortations and admonitions that address all the damaging situations that could arise.
Jesus knows every falsehood in detail and knows how to dismantle each one. In each fellowship, he will raise up those who know how to confront the issues. And with everyone a participant in the exchanges that take place, it is the perfect learning environment for everyone to hone their apologetic skills.
No individual is free from Biblical error. That is why we must not only be able to give exhortation, but to receive it. Each of us might be headed down a path that could lead to heresy. When we have a platform to share these things, Jesus can direct others to help us see where we could be in error. And what a blessing to have this correction occur within a fellowship where love abounds.
When Jesus is in control, we should never fear heresy. He will protect and guide his sheep, quickly dismantling false teachings. However, if we put our trust in the preeminent elite, they cannot possibly know all our thinking, because they by nature are anti-dialogical.
Through the years, my wife and I have been a part of extremely liberal churches and extremely conservative. We always tried to get to know people at a deeper level. It is shocking sometimes to find out what some people actually believe and from our experience, the strangest ones have more often been on the conservative end. Because of the lack of truly knowing one another within the preeminent framework, it becomes a breeding ground for heresy. Those in elite positions, who claim to know their flock, are virtually clueless.
As a true fellowship gels into close, trusting, and loving relationships, the big or little errors will be shared and gently corrected as Jesus guides everyone to the truth. Then we no longer need to beware of the cults, rather for the cults to beware of us.