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Is your pastor leading a cult? Watch out for these 4 signs

Is your pastor a shepherd or a cult leader? Here are 4 signs to out watch for according to Pastor T Mwangi, the senior pastor at Life Church International Limuru.

Pastor T Mwangi

Cults have been around for centuries and continue to lure unsuspecting people into their fold. It is often difficult to tell when an organisation has crossed the line from a spiritual movement to a cult.

However, there are some tell-tale signs that can be used to identify a cult. Anthony Kahura Mwangi largely known as Pastor T, has identified four key ways to recognize a cult.

According to Pastor T, the first sign of a cult is authoritarianism.

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This is where one person is elevated to the level of a deity, and their words are considered final.

Members are not allowed to question their leader's actions or teachings. This kind of behavior is dangerous because it can lead to abuse and exploitation of vulnerable individuals.

Pastor T says that when a leader is considered above reproach, they can easily manipulate and control their followers.

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"This is where you have one spiritual leader almost in the level of being deityfied. He is treated as a dammygod. His words are final and no one can question his words or deeds.

"The person could be operating under some charismatic gifts hence the endorsement. Some recruit their members through extreme teaching of the doctrine of honor," Pastor T's post on Instagram reads.

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The second sign of a cult according to pastor T is isolation. Cult leaders often create a "us vs them" mentality that fosters an environment of isolation from the rest of the world.

They criticise other churches and pastors, saying that they are not true believers. This creates a sense of superiority among cult members, who believe that they are the only ones who have access to the truth.

"The first phase of Isolation is to criticise every church, every pastor and every minister hence creating an image of the church being the only true church.

"Second level is secularisation of everything, school, media, family, society. This is the recipe of brainwashing and manipulation. Many cults thrive on this concept," he wrote.

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The third sign of a cult is strange spiritual encounters. Cult leaders often claim to have had supernatural experiences that are not supported by the Bible.

They may claim to have seen visions or heard the voice of God. They may also claim to have special powers or abilities that are not supported by scripture. These strange spiritual encounters are often used to justify the leader's teachings, even when they are not in line with the Bible.

"Some will claim to have encountered Jesus, Angels or patriarchs of old. They end up giving extra biblical citations and teach what cannot be verified scripturally. This is a strange area and many end up teaching strange doctrines.

"The rule of faith can be summarised under solar scriptura which means if it's not written its not of God," he wrote.

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The fourth sign of a cult is the selling of fear. Cult leaders often use apocalyptic books and eschatology to instill fear in their followers.

They may claim that the end times are near and that only they have the truth. They may also claim that the only way to avoid suffering is to follow their teachings.

"Part of cultic teachings are centered on Apocalyptic books and eschatology which is the study of the end times.

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"Two approaches are used. News paper eschatology which entails assembling of latest news and using scriptures to justify end time realities and escapism eschatology theology, the concept of we are going to a better place where there is no suffering hence we will escape this world of pain," he wrote.

Reverend T Mwangi makes this clarification at a time when church leaders have been put under pressure to give their statement about the deaths of members of Pastor Paul Mackenzie's church in Kilifi County.

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