I had watched the first season of “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” last Winter and Spring, which I found to be a fascinating examination of that religious cult, so I also followed the second season this Fall. I’ll soon be catching the final two episodes, which were televised this past Sunday and yesterday, via on-demand.
Actress, Leah Remini, was a member of Scientology for 35 years. In this documentary series, she and co-host, Mike Rinder, a former top executive of the “church,” examine some of the teachings of Scientology and interview several former members who were abused.
This series is “must see” television. Scientology’s manipulation and abuse of its membership is sad and terrifying. Remini is on an uncompromising mission to lead people out of the church and to warn others who may be considering it.
Remini’s passion resonates with me on a certain level because I also warn people of the dangers of another cultish religious organization; the Roman Catholic church. Some of you are dismayed. You protest, “Roman Catholicism, a cult?” Yes, Catholicism with its one-billion members might differ from the general understanding of cults being small groups started by a single individual who claims divine guidance and extra-biblical revelation…
Cult: a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.
…but a cult can also be defined as “an unorthodox sect whose members distort the original doctrines of the religion” and Roman Catholicism certainly qualifies.
As the early church became increasingly institutionalized, simple faith in Jesus Christ as Savior devolved into an increasingly complicated system of legalities, rituals, and ceremonies. The church patterned itself after the authoritarian Roman imperial model. The acquisition of wealth and political power became the driving force within church leadership. Doctrines not found in Scripture, and even opposed to Scripture, were regularly introduced. Nonconformity was not tolerated. Violence was routinely brought to bear upon dissenters.
Today, Catholicism has lost much of its temporal might and can no longer persecute and abuse people at it did in much of its past. The extreme disciplines once imposed on its clergy, especially nuns and monastic monks, would rival and surpass any mistreatment currently dished out by Scientology leader, David Miscavige. But these days, the Catholic clergy can’t persuade the majority of members to attend obligatory mass on Sunday let alone become a priest or nun. Catholicism is a cult that has lost many of its claws and fangs. Despite that, it’s still a toxic belief system that teaches a false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit.
Leah Remini states that she has returned to the Roman Catholicism of her infant baptism. I admire her for leading people out of Scientology, but she offers them no good alternative. Ultimately, one false gospel is the same as the next. None lead to salvation. There is only one genuine Gospel and that is salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.
It’s quite ironic that my cultural Catholic family thought I had joined a cult after I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. They assumed no one but a cultist would mention Jesus outside of church.
Below is an interesting article written by Dave Hunt on the cultish church of Rome.
A cult is a cult
By evangelical apologist, Dave Hunt