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Sunday, October 02, 2022
church & ministry
Case Study: Pastor Shares How to Help Family Victimized by The Church of Almight God Cult
A picture shows one hand ready to hold the other.A picture shows one hand ready to hold the other.

The influence of heretical cults on the church is increasing year by year. At present, various hereies and cults are getting rampant. The repeated epidemics and a variety of "Doomsday Theories" have exacerbated this situation. Resisting heresies is the mission of Christians. Meanwhile, the church should also give timely help and care to the families victimized and persecuted by heresies.

Pastor H (pseudonym) based in South China once experienced a case. A female believer was brainwashed by members of The Church of Almighty God also known as Eastern Lightning who had been undercover in the church after attending meetings for some time. She believed in Eastern Lightning's teachings and doctrines so deeply that she left the original church, and was even arrested by the police and imprisoned for half a year in the end.

Her unbelieving husband contacted H, hoping that by abiding by legal procedures, H could have a video with his wife who was brainwashed by the cult. It turned out that the communication effect was not satisfactory, because this female Christian’s heart was completely filled with false teachings, for which she would not listen to any advice.

At this time, her husband and two children were in deep pain. The non-Christian husband needed to work normally, whilst the children who went to primary school needed daily diet care. When H learned that the two children often ate takeaways ordered by their father and the situation at home was not very good, he led church members to help them at home on a regular basis.

H said: "What could I do when I saw that the whole family was about to fall apart because of this obsessive believer? I kept in touch with her husband, not to convert him right away, but to help him so that he could feel God’s love. Perhaps he couldn’t carry on since he had to take care of the children after work, while his wife was in prison. As a pastor, I should care about the husband of this family. We couldn’t do anything to help this female believer, for she didn’t listen at all. All we had to do was comforting her husband, giving him strength and support, and persuading him to learn to accept her after she was released. When she is released from prison, we hope he can still accept his wife. We are worried that the husband will not accept her after she’s released in six months. Then if she runs away from home, the family will be completely broken. I don’t want them to get divorced. For the children and the integrity of the family, what the church can do is to give the husband more grace and practical help."

In terms of preventing the church from the influence of heretical cults, H said: "In our church, once spotting the existence of heretical cults, we will immediately speak openly about the errors of heresies, reminding the congregation to boycott. The effect is good so far. Some believers were unfortunately converted by heresies, such as the  Shincheonji Church which sends members into the church every week to approach our churchgoers, especially those who are young, literate, and knowledgeable. The larger the church is, the greater the risk of heresies’ infiltration is. When believers without individual care put trust in other members with no caution, they can be easily influenced by heretical cults. All we can do is preach from the pulpit not to go with those who are unusually friendly to you to their churches. However, when the pastor talks about it too often, believers find it annoying. Yet if I don’t talk about it at all, the cult members masquerading as Christians will try to covert our members.”

"One of the cults’ specialties is to make you feel at home, eating and singing together, and staying there. The believers who have a weak foundation and don't know how to distinguish may develop feelings for them after hanging out together for a while. Then, they stop attending church. The pastor needs to make clear about the false doctrines and dangers of heretical cults.”

"A person converted by heresies and cults has two basic characteristics. First, those believers who lack intellect, rationality, and critical thinking are easily kidnapped by heresy cults. Second, those who are too naïve and would accept everything unconditionally, can be brainwashed without effort."

- Translated by Shuya Wang

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