A cult, by definition, is any social group whose practices are considered by the surrounding population to be outside the mainstream. A common feature of cults is their tendency towards exploitation and control over their members. Some cults exert so much control that they can convince their members to commit suicide. This information is specific to Christianity's view of a cult: * In the Christian faith churches are where Christ is worshipped, but if The Bible is in some way changed or a book is added it's called sacrilegous or occult. The bible is not open to interpretation. * A cult is any organization that denies in some way that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the second member of the Trinity, and Saviour who died to free men from sin. This canbe through deceptive use of language where the cult uses words that sound right to others but actually teach something different. * Denies the Trinity.
There are quite a number of Baptist organizations today. The main governing distinctive of these churches is that they hold to the autonomy (independent rule) of the local church. Therefore some of the groups have organized because of location. Others have developed over controversy, as had happened in other groups considered as denominations: Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, etc. For a further picture of much of the Baptists groups & churches, see the Related Link below: "What is the difference between Southern Baptists and other Baptists churches?" On that site also is resource below to a number of Related Links that reveal more about Baptist churches.
Christianity began as a non-denominational group after the ascension of Christ. Since then, there have always been groups that have not been aligned to any of the formal denominations. Non-denominational churches have increased in the post war period as many become disillusioned with the mainstream denominations.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the "Mormon" church) banned the practice of polygamy in 1890. Those who disagreed with this ban branched off and created their own churches (such as the Fundamentalist LDS, the Apostolic United Brethren, and others). These polygamist groups are in no way a part of the mainstream Mormon Church and have their own leadership. They believe that the mainstream Mormon Church has apostatized from the truth, but share similar beliefs about such things as the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, eternal families, and modern revelation.
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