Every dangerous teaching or group comes with it's own unique set of red flags. Recently I wrote about some non-specific (to any particular movement) warning signs that some who specialize in the study of cults and spiritual abuse have come up with. In this post, I'd like to deal with some that are specific to the patriarchal/quiverfull/dominionist/fundamentalist groups that I write about. While this exercise is similar to something I wrote here, I'd like to make it a bit more targeted.
Keep in mind that this exercise I'm presenting is just that - an exercise. Answering "yes" to these questions doesn't make you a bad person, a bad parent, a bad spouse. What it should do, though, is perhaps serve as a wake-up call that helps you determine whether you're a follower of a man or movement and it's culture/lifestyle, or whether you're genuinely following Christ alone.
I think this is of paramount importance, particularly given some of the other movements I've studied in recent weeks. The Jim Jones People's Temple, for instance. People who were so enraptured by the culture of the movement (and the man at the forefront) that they remained steadfast in allegiance to the movement through the transition from Christianity to Communism to Atheism, ultimately to "revolutionary suicide". Jesus left the building...and they never noticed, because He wasn't necessary for their culture. This is, and has been, the case for the majority of cultic movements that have started under the banner of Christianity. A culture takes over.
Again, this is such an important distinction. Christ...or culture.
Simple, unqualified "yes" or "no" answers are all that's needed.
There are doubtless more that could be asked (please feel free to chime in with your own that might apply).
These questions, if answered honestly, should provide a glimpse into the heart of whatever faith you're actually practicing - whether truly following Christ, or truly following a culture and way of life that uses Christ as something of a mask. The things listed above, the things on which the questions are based, aren't things that were taught or lived by Christ, not taught or lived by any of his disciples or apostles. They ARE, however, a large part of the foundation of a modern Christian sub-culture. Big, big, big difference.
Like I said earlier, "yes" answers to these questions don't make you a bad person. "Yes" answers, particularly multiples, would signal, however, a person walking in dangerous spiritual territory in a culture where Jesus is no longer really even necessary.