Let’s Be Honest, Many will Never Learn and they will Live their Life Going from Cult to Cult

Let’s be brutally honest. One of the lessons I have learned over the past three years is that many people will never learn. Some people drift from cult to cult and keep getting involved in bad situations repeatedly.  Its time that this be discussed and I also realize that I can’t help said individuals.

“He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.


Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”

Alexander Pope 

As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.

Proverbs 26:11 NIV 

Washington, D.C. area after a snow storm. 

A couple of years ago I went to a service at Covenant Life Church. The reason I attended is to write about something for this blog. While there I spoke with a young man in his late 20’s. In the conversation he explained to me how he was going to become a member. When I asked if he was familiar with the history and problems of this former Sovereign Grace church he just dismissed it. I walked away baffled and stunned and thought about it as I drove home. If I remember correctly he mentioned problems he had in a previous church setting.  Then there is another situation I am aware of that involved another person who got out of a questionable church.  After getting out of a difficult situation this person relocated and proceeded to move to Greenville, South Carolina and enroll in the flagship school of the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Church. When I heard of this I was baffled and wondered to myself why? Why would a person do that? To this day I am still confused over this situation. Then there is another situation that I heard about out in Seattle and from the former Mars Hill crowd.  As you recall Joanna Petry wrote that if Mark Driscoll could murder her husband Paul and had the power to burn him at the stake he would have. This was disturbing for some of the people and yet I heard that some turned around and embraced someone who boasted that he can stand on 5th Avenue of New York and shoot someone and he would still be supported. To be honest its not that far to go from supporting Mark Driscoll to Donald Trump. Why is the perceived threat of violence in one situation okay and yet in another situation is problematic? That troubled me deeply but as time has moved on I walked away from that crowd baffled. In all of the above situations I realized that there are many people who are lost. The cold hard fact of the matter is that they will always be lost. They will never learn from their mistakes and will live out their lives going from cult to cult. This has been on my mind for some time and this is an issue that needs to be written about. 


Many Evangelicals and “Survivors” Will Not Learn 

There is a saying that holds especially true in this discussion that I want to mention. That saying is the following. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make the horse drink it. What that saying discusses is that you can bring a horse to water and it still has a will of its own and will not drink the water. Another way of looking at this is the following. You can take someone who exited a difficult church situation and give them the information they need to prevent getting into another difficult situation. But the reality is that many people still have not learned and for some reason they can’t or won’t. I would think that one or even two difficult situations would have given them pause especially if there is something dark that happened to them. But some people for some reason or more just will not learn. 


When People Who Do Not Learn Continue to Get into Bad Church Situations 

In writing this post I want to be crystal clear that I am not addressing people who found themselves in one bad situation, exited and then found themselves in another. That is understandable and that will happen. You should not have to be that vigilant and that intense. Instead what I am discussing in this post are the people who get into bad church situations repeatedly over and over again. They are involved in one situation, and then go to another, followed by another, and then are in another. They just seem to cycle through a number of questionable, cult like or bad places even when the warning signs are there. For some reason they can’t or will not see them. Its a question that baffles me and I keep running into this as I research and write about these kinds of problems.  


It’s a Waste of Time to Engage People Who Will Not Learn 

I came to the conclusion over the past year or so that there are many people who will never learn. There are people in the Sovereign Grace crowd, Mars Hill crowd, Acts 29 crowd and more that will just live out their life going from one bad situation to another. They will go from one cult to another. They can’t process what happened to them and nor will they learn. Some of these people are also programmed just to blindly follow people and not think for themselves. If they are programmed for anything its to follow a personality cult. That is just how it is with some of these individuals. 

So why write for them? That is a question I have asked myself quite a bit over the past year. Why indeed write for people who can not learn and will not think about some of these issues? Not only that but they are adults and if some people get involved in these situations repeatedly they are free to. If they want to choose to go back to questionable  groups or follow a personality that is fine. Here is another factor, life is short, and to write for some of these individuals is really a waste of time. For those who have learned or are learning they are in a different category. They are not what this post is about. Another reason to write is for those who are outside either category which can include the following. The person who moves to a new area, the college kid thinking of trying a place out. Those who lives can be spared pain, harm, and the trauma of a cult-like organization. That alone makes posts that are regularly cranked out well worth it. I know this post may make some people uncomfortable but for me its important to address an issue so that people can be aware of it. 

2 thoughts on “Let’s Be Honest, Many will Never Learn and they will Live their Life Going from Cult to Cult

  1. Ahhhhhhh, now you are getting it. Like those who go from Catholicism to Calvinism, or from Jehovah’s Witness to Mormon. All of which require a pastor who is a self described authoritarian and dictator. We used to have a saying, that to go to church was to pay to pray. But in these church’s…pay to be in bondage.


  2. Eagle, this is an excellent observation, and I’ve seen it play out a few times. A know a number of people who left a highly abusive church to go to the one my family left a few years ago. I know that some of them remain there not only because their friends & social life is there, but because to leave a church yet again would be both a repeat of a painful event, and an admission that they got it wrong not once, but twice. The fear of being labeled or perceived as being a “church-hopper” overrides other considerations. So they put up with the nonsense and nepotism, and just willfully ignore it, hoping that “normal” will return. In retrospect, “normal” rarely does ever return. So like boiling frogs in ever-increasingly hot water, they remain, because it’s more comfortable than jumping out would temporarily be. It’s sad, but it’s their choice, and nobody else can make it for them. Pray for them.

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