Have you ever listened to a cult member being interviewed by a news reporter? In the spotlight of the press, how many cult members will admit that they are members of a cult?
Answer: None! They all state that their church is just your typical, traditional Christian church, with a few new interpretations of the Bible. That’s all…folks!
So how can you find out if they really are members of a cult. Here’s how: Don’t listen to what they say under the spotlight, listen to what they say when they don’t think that the world is listening. In today’s internet age, you don’t need a hidden microphone to find this information out. Just go onto the blog of the “Church” in question and see what the pastors and followers of that church say in the comment sections of their denomination’s blogs and websites. The “posts” may be squeaky clean, but you see the true character of the pastors, followers, and Church in the comments.
So what would you think about a “Church” that claims to be a mainstream Christian denomination, but its pastors lurk on the internet using fake names? Wouldn’t you want to know why they were using fake names? Are they hiding something? Are they saying something in private anonymity, that they wouldn’t dare say in public?
So why are LCMS pastors lurking on the internet, engaging in juvenile food fights over the silliest of issues, but worse, engaging in the most vile hate speech against gay and lesbian Americans? Here are two LCMS pastors engaged in this activity: Eric Ash of Beaver Falls, Pa, lurking as “Pastor Eric” and most shocking of all—Paul T. McCain, a top official of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, lurking as “Amsdorf”???
Can you imagine the Apostle Paul and Apostle Peter lurking on the internet using false identities to hide their true beliefs???
Jesus must be rolling over in his grave!
25 thoughts on “I am an ex-Cult member…of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod. And I intend to expose this judgmental, hateful Cult.”
I am an ex-LCMS cult member, too … raised as a child in the leadership, now atheist and not communicating with anyone still in it. I am writing a book which describes childhood and young adulthood here (not the main focus of the book), creative non-fiction. My favorite quote from my parents is, “you don’t get between me and my religion or you’ll lose every time.” And they taught parenting classes!!!
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That’s why I grew up referring to this stupid, thick-headed, cultlike “religion” as the “misery-synod”. I hate that religion so bad! I really do. I tell people I believe it is cultlike. Women are second class. Men are ignorant and always throw out the stupid term: steadfast. I honestly believe that word “steadfast’ is code for :. I don’t question anything I just toe the Lutheran dogma line from St. Louis Missouri. Steadfast Lutheran’s don’t change. They are stuck in 1950. Also, when I got away from that thick-headed religion, I found other religious backgrounds apparently talk about how the Missouri synod is:. That church that argues and fights among themselves! I have been told that by numerous folks. Catholics, various Protestants. It is true. Lcms isn’t much different from wels. I believe in Jesus as my Lord and savior. I read my Bible. But I hate the misery-synod
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I was shunned by two Missouri Lutheran Churches because I had expressed to the pastors that I felt the leadership of the church was unfriendly! In each church, none of the elders, and/or church officers ever introduced themselves or did anything to make me and my wife feel welcome. When I expressed this to the Pastors, they literally encouraged me to leave the church and shunned me.
The LCMS is dying. These unfriendly church leaders are only hastening the demise.
Your experience is, I think from my experience with LCMS congregations in CA and WA, not typical. Even if your experience is not unique it does not place LCMS in the category of a cult. Judging a religious organization as a cult has to do with the doctrine taught by it. You must demonstrate that the doctrine is such, ie. that the group asserts that salvation is not possible outside of it.
Doesn’t conservative Christianity (I hope we can agree that the LCMS considers itself to be a conservative form of Christianity) teach that salvation is not possible outside of it?
Yes, that is true, but salvation is not limited to members of any particular group. When that limitation is expressed that is when a group becomes a cult. Don’t apply that term to the LCMS. It isn’t applicable.
But you do admit that conservative Christianity teaches that eternal salvation can only occur by converting to the Christian faith, correct? You are not a liberal Christian (universalist), are you; a Christian who believes that humans can attain eternal salvation apart from Jesus Christ?
Therefore, conservative Christianity meets your definition of a cult. The LCMS is part of conservative Christianity. So would you be satisfied if I restate my original statement: The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod is a subset of the larger cult, conservative Christianity.
(Which still makes the LCMS a cult.)
If it makes you feel better, I also consider the Southern Baptist Convention to be a cult (or a subset of the larger cult of conservative Christianity).
Yea, right, no other church body argues amongst its selves. Where have you been? Like any church body, it depends on which congregation you go to on how strict they are theologically.
I think if you’re labelling Missouri Synod as a cult, you have a very loose definition of the term, cult. No one will dis-fellowship you if you have differing views. You may not want to continue going to that church, but it’s nothing like a cult.
From the website of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS):
QUESTION: In our Bible study today, we discussed if there are degrees or levels in heaven and hell. It was also suggested that hell is not eternal. Are there scriptural references to support these points?
ANSWER: In its report on The End Times: A Study of Eschatology and Millennialism, the Synod’s Commission on Theology and Church Relations says regarding hell:
“In both “body and soul” unbelievers will suffer eternal separation and condemnation in hell (Matt. 18:8 and 25:46; Mark 9:43; John 3:36; 2 Thess. 1:9; Jude 13; Rev. 14:11). Indescribable torment will be experienced consciously, the degree determined by the nature of the sins to be punished (Matt. 11:20-24 and 23:15; Luke 12:47-48).”
Gary: Any organization that tells you that you will suffer “indescribable” eternal torment, possibly by fire, if you abandon their teachings is a cult. The LCMS and all fundamentalist Christian denominations who teach children and adults that unbelievers will suffer in Hell are a cult.
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You don’t know what you are talking about. A cult looks at itself as the only vehicle for salvation. This is not and has never been the position of the LCMS or any other conservative, orthodox or traditional Christian denominations. The LCMS and other more conservative Lutheran groups are not “fundamentalist.” No Lutheran, conservative or not, can be “fundamentalist.”
If you believe that others must believe like you or they will face eternal physical and/or mental torture for their unbelief, then you are a member of a cult. Period.
Conservative Lutheranism is simply a subset of the larger cult of conservative Christianity, a cult which teaches that those who reject Jesus of Nazareth, a delusional first century peasant, as their Lord and Master, are doomed to an eternity of some form of unpleasant punishment.
Thought crimes! How disgusting.
Conservative Lutherans are fundamentalist in the sense that they believe that they possess the ultimate truth; they believe that non-conservative Lutherans are not only wrong but sinful and in need of repentance (and divine punishment).
I remember attending an LCMS service in which several former Presbyterians were made to undergo a ceremony in front of my LCMS congregation in which they were instructed to publicly repent of their heretical Reformed beliefs. In addition, teenagers undergoing confirmation in my LCMS church were required to pledge their loyalty to the Lutheran Church even under the threat of death.
That is a cult!
Inspired by a link I found on your site, Gary, nothing says Reformation Day like Gun Nutz for Luther, eh? https://wordsofsocraticgadfly.blogspot.com/2019/10/gun-nuts-in-name-of-luther-happy.html
Yes, the LCMS is a fundamentalist group of wing-nuts.
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I too am a survivor of this cult. Very validating to find others who feel the same.
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Thanks for the comment!
I know this is an old post, but I just realize what a great website this is! I am not alone.
My story with a Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, LCMS in New York (2015-2017) was very painful, heart-breaking, and hurtful. In short I tried to committed suicide twice due to this church and pastor and developed an eating disorder which to this day I still struggle with. Since this is an old blog I want go into the details.
The overall there are cold-hearted ultra-conservative cult. This cult follows their charismatic leader (the pastor) who has a narcissistic personality disorder which he uses members for his desires. Once done by having you uplifted his echo he then treats you like garbage.
The other members will also treat you like garbage because you (me) cause the pastor to be upset.
The world can be coming to an end politically all they take about are the Gospels and 10 Commandments
For once I feel like I am not along. I wish another people who are out their and want to find a place to worship would know the ANY Lutheran Church, LCMS is the most dangerous place to go
It’s not a cult!!! Get your definition right.
Specific factors in cult behaviour are said to include manipulative and authoritarian mind control over members, communal and totalistic organization, aggressive proselytizing, systematic programs of indoctrination, and perpetuation in middle-class communities.
Sounds like fundamentalist/conservative Protestant Christianity to me.
Your definition sounds much more like the Moonies, Jim Jones, Scientology and the LDS than conservative Protestantism.
I’m an agnostic now, happy to be freed from a cult. They are all about hell, hell, hell and heaven, They are scary and creepy, since I was a child I’m always scared about going to hell, it gave me sleepless nights. It was torture for me. I’m from the Philippines, I hope new generations will be waking up from these cults. These abrahamic relgions.
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Thanks for the comment!
There are many who hope the same thing, John! This is a big reason why Gary has this blog. He’s doing his best to shake people from their slumber!
How convenient for you, that you can invent your own definition of what a cult is, and declare the LCMS to be one. For you to try to turn people away from the LCMS based on your experience only, really says more about you and your attitude than it does about the denomination.