Letter to The Guardian – Cults on campus – The Bible is your guide

Letter to The Guardian – Cults on campus – The Bible is your guide

The Guardian, Wright State University, March 6, 2002.
By Jake Stanley

As a person who became involved in, then broke from cult membership in my freshman year of college, I appreciate the importance of the identification of campus cults and the empowerment of students to avoid them.

As a current member of an organization implicated in Mr. Stanley’s article, “Students easy targets for cult groups,” I am concerned that the article’s description of my organization differs dramatically from my own experience with them.

As such, I am doubly invested in further empowering Wright State students to be able to avoid victimization and rightly pursue God.

Because the article implied that its arguments were exclusive to Christian groups and cults, I will confine my comments to the same scope.

Despite the several useful recommendations made by the article, I am shocked that neither Stanley nor his source, Rev. Chris Rohmiller, recommended the use of the Bible as the definitive standard for investigating any “Christian” group.

It follows logically that any student who wishes to pursue a belief in Christianity should know in what they are espousing a belief.

The Bible itself recommends this (Acts 17:11). Asking someone to help you to study the Bible (Acts 8:30-31), prior to or concurrent with joining a campus group is likely the most effective way to avoid cult membership.

In that way, one can avoid groups of which Jesus might ask, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?” (Matthew 15:3).

A final suggestion is to not trust appearances. Just because a campus organization is large or well-established, does not mean they are not a cult.

God, through his Word, defines what a cult is. People do not. Be wary of any Christian organization that would suggest otherwise.

I maintain that students do not have to be “easy targets for cult groups” if they hold themselves and others accountable to the Bible.

“Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Timothy 4:16).

Greg VanArsdall,
Graduate Student,
School of Professional Psychology


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