So, this has been on my heart since the start of this blog, but I wasn't quite comfortable with opening up about this. But now, I feel a need to help someone who may not realize they need to remove themselves from certain situations.
Let's chat about cultish behaviors. The definition of a cult is a religion or religious sect considered to be extremist or false with the followers living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader. When people think of cults, certain people come to mind, like David Koresh, Jim Jones and the like. But these people didn't start out as big as they ended. They start with a small group of followers that they are able to brainwash because they are weak-minded individuals. I've read that some of them even started out with the right intentions, but somewhere along the way, something happened to change their perspective. At the church I got my Christian foundation in, the Pastor always told us that "people will mess you up" when you are in a position of leadership and authority and now that I am older, I completely understand that saying.
I know people who belong to churches or organizations where every decision they make has to be approved by their leader, down to being able to miss a service. The leader actually wanted them to call and ask "permission" to not be in service. This was done under the guise of being "accountable". Being accountable doesn't mean that I, as a grown woman, need to call and ASK if I can miss service because I'm sick, or the weather is bad, or I want to go out of town with my family. That's called CONTROL. Said leader wants to control their household and the household of every member in their organization. If the members fall into this control, this in a sense feeds into the ego of the leader, and could cause them to look for other ways to maintain this control. Said leader may even appear to be a giver, or a nurturer all with the intent of maintaining control. The leader can not be everything to everybody, and if you find that a leader is trying to do that, you may be experiencing cultish behavior. I can recall vividly when I was in a discussion regarding my son playing football and was told that if my son had a game on a Sunday and I went instead of coming to church, I would be putting football ahead of my commitment to God. That did NOT sit well with me. Thankfully, my son never had a game on a Sunday, because I can promise you, my family would have gone to his game, and God would have been with me.
I'm not saying this to make anybody leave where they are, but I do want to encourage you in this manner....don't give your power to any man or woman who may be in a leadership position over you. There is no way that anyone who lives outside of your house should have a say in every aspect of your life and the minute you make a decision without their input, you are called disrespectful of authority or rebellious. This speaks volumes about their character and their self-esteem issues. Why be bound, when you can be free? Don't feed into their egotistical behavior and "mess them up".