I just got finished reading a book that was titled “Are Cults a Serious Threat?” It was written by Katherine Swarts. This book did not specifically reference the General Assembly and Church of the Firstborn, it mostly referenced cults where large amounts of people were killed all at once.
I have talked before about the church I grew up in being a cult, you can find that in the following link: A Cult?!?.
What exactly is a cult? In this book there are many definitions of what a cult is according to different people such as sociologists, psychologists… One of the definitions I found was, “A cult of Christianity, then, is a group that claims to be Christian but in fact is not Christian because it explicitly or implicitly denies one or more of [the 5] central doctrines of the historic Christian faith.” The five central doctrines listed were:
- Jesus Christ
- Sin and Salvation
There were descriptions that went along with these, but the one that stood out to me was the sin and salvation. (Salvation is saving the soul from sin and consequences.)
At the General Assembly and Church of the Firstborn that I went to (in Oklahoma) I always felt like I would never be good enough to receive salvation; the way it seemed to me was as though you had to show God that you were good enough to receive salvation. How would one even begin? I later learned that’s not the case though. I didn’t want to be baptized at this church to wash away my sins because I knew I would sin again, not intentionally but it’s simply human nature. We will never be able to compare to God’s son, Jesus. We are imperfect and that’s why God sent His son to die on the cross for us.
Just writing this irritates me thinking that these people think this way. I didn’t feel like I could live up to those standards, I mean nobody can, we are sinners, end of story. Growing up I felt like I was going to burn in Hell because I wasn’t perfect because naturally I’m a sinner. I really don’t understand how these people live. Do they think that they aren’t sinners after they get baptized? Sure, you can strive for perfection but it’s not going to happen. It was almost like strikes, but no one knows how many you get before you are simply doomed for Hell. That’s a heavy weight to have to carry. How could anyone feel like they even have a chance to go to Heaven? I remember my dad telling me that there is no way of knowing if you’re going to Heaven…
It’s like this is the only option for people too. I also remember my dad telling me that that church is the only church where people were getting to Heaven, like no Baptists, no protestants, etc. How can someone honestly believe that? I guess no one is going to Heaven then because the way everyone believes at that church is that you have to prove you are worthy to God and sorry, but you all aren’t perfect and that’s all God accepts… Does anyone else see how ludicrous this seems?
I did some digging and found some other ex-members as well as current members on a cult forum. It was very interesting seeing some other viewpoints about this church. I mean I was born into this, it’s not something I chose and I’m glad I was able to completely escape it.
I’m just trying to figure out if it actually is a cult, after reading some of the different definitions of a cult you can see where some people would think it is and others might not think it is.
I have more digging to do on the history of the church but where to begin?