Cults, heretical groups, schismatics and even those types of groups that may be loyal to the Pope but have erroneous theological views have been around for centuries. Like a shiny spinner attracts a fresh water trout, they tend to be irresistible to many poor souls who become ensnared by such devilish doctrines often without any effort. I often find the people attracted to them have personalities like my own which is to say they’re artistic, intellectual and eccentric.
Having all these personable qualities can be a blessing, but without Gods Grace in the case of those who fall into extremities of the cult life, an absolute curse. We all have gifts but without the Grace of God it’s like handing an Airplane to someone who doesn’t know how to fly it. You have the plane and that’s a great start, but without the knowledge on how to fly it you’re sure to plummet into the Abyss.
The danger we all face, is that we either use our singing voice and dress like a prostitute for the pleasure of the world, or we dress modestly and use our voice for Gods glory. The gift of singing is present, but the Grace of God is not and so a person like that is basically like a soldier who climbs out of the trench into no mans land. That’s what it’s like when the Grace of God is absent, you’re in no mans land and are simply the target of the devil and the ignorant human world where confusion reigns supreme.
The lure of cults and heretical groups for centuries all hold one thing in common. They claim to have a sort of secret knowledge that the Church or the rest of society don’t have. This is very attractive to many especially a sort of academic intellectual type of mind. Take a look at the early Church father Tertullian as an example, such a great mind that ended in him joining the montanist sect. It can swing the other way too.
I find many militant atheists come from an affluent background of financial comfort. They go to all the best schools and have become self styled philosophers. These types of kids exist in Catholicism and while poor people are victim to one tactic by the Devil he uses quite the other on these wealthy academic types. He wrestles them into Hell by using the intellect. When he sees you’re interested in Catholicism, he does all he can to get you into a particular group by using your tastes.
Just as Saint Paul and Jesus himself used the cultural tastes of his disciples to preach to them, so too the devil uses whatever it is his human prey is interested in to drag them to Hell. He is a higher power who can sense what kind of person you are and your personality. Using this he drags you ever so slowly into Hell by drawing you away from the narrow path.
I recently got contacted by a Sedevacantist on my social media inviting me to the dark side. The Sedevacantists are a breakaway group from another hard line trad group the SSPX. The SSPX although not schismatic in any official sense, in my opinion they are. The reason for this is because for as long as they reject Vatican II or any part of the documents themselves they place themselves in opposition to the Authority of the Pope and reject it. Many who entertain them usually have severe mental problems and spiritual issues.
Then, as is usual with Schismatic groups borne of disobedience, they splinter into more groups. It doesn’t stop there as they split into even more groups and it seems to be never ending. The Sedevacantists broke away from the SSPX and they claim that every Pope after Pius XII are all Anti-Popes and that the seat of the Chair of Peter is officially vacant with no true Pope.
The guy who contacted me told me that he’s part of a group of sedevacantists who are more sedevacantist than the actual sedevacantists. You see? They can’t stop splintering and moving around because they need to keep the thrill of the cult life going. Always moving from one cult to another after several years and not being able to settle in the one place because the enjoy the thrill of it all.
He gave me a long message, not asking questions but stating that this and that was the truth and the Church is wrong. I told him I’m not interested in debating him, because I can tell his mind is already made up. I know all the arguments against the claims he made and it’s widely available from many Catholic sources on the internet so could easily just give him a link.
I’ve debated people for years in the Church both the right and left wing on their extremities. Over the years I’ve benefited much from that experience having got to know the human mind a bit better. But I have to weigh up the pros and cons of engaging with someone coming to confront me.
I can usually tell a stubborn soul when I see one. I know they can never be reasoned with and so I decide that what they need is the Grace of God and plenty of prayer. That’s my diagnosis and prescription, and no matter how much they beg for their drug of having their lust for a good intellectual debate satisfied, I won’t give in.
He behaved like a spoiled child that begs its father to buy him the toy. When the father refuses to give in the child resorts to manipulation. “What will the neighbours think? They see you acting like a bad father not getting me a toy what will they say?”
That’s exactly what happened to him. He said what would my followers think that if I don’t entertain the debate? They will be persuaded to follow Sedevacantism. I’ll be held to account for the loss of their souls for refusing to engage was basically the gist of it. Ha! You see how clever the devil is? He appeals to my ego and tries to convince me that logical debate is greater than the Grace of God and prayer.
11 years ago I entered studies for a B.A in theology. You know how long I lasted? Two whole weeks and lost my 200 euro deposit by leaving. To you a trifle, but to me on welfare at the time a great deal. In the classroom the lecturer and the head of the entire program were teaching heresies. The head himself even believed women could be priests and he was the head of education and friends of the Bishops and Primate of all Ireland at the time.
I was surprised to see how many students could smell a rat. These were not your average academic types at all. Mostly they were working class blue collars looking to learn more about their faith and be a service to the community. It proved to me that faith and the Grace of God is above logical discussion and debate.
They could not be persuaded because the Holy Ghost was with them, it ran through and shielded them from such garbage. Anyway, I was called an extremist right winger by the lecturer and then indirectly thrown out after a one to one with the fool steering this ship of heresy into the abyss.
I was later called a heretic to my face by the priest who recommended me to the program and decided to sponsor me. He went crazy at me and I later heard that he was moved from the Parish for 10 years and then came back just recently. Maybe he was punished? This is what they did with the sexual abuse but they’re doing it with spiritual abusers now. Move them from one parish to another for a decade until the entire thing dies down. That’s the strategy.
I’ve digressed but I wanted to use this story to show you how the Grace of God and prayer is sometimes a better recourse than the debate. In this post I think we’ve all learned a few things. First we’ve learned just how dangerous the lure of a cult is, but also our personality that can be a major contributing factor not to mention loss of Grace. We have to be aware of our imperfections. The perfect man is always aware of his imperfections said St.Augustine.
We must ask for the Grace of Gods love, but I say a great second to this is the gift of discerning the Spirits. These are, off the top of my head, and without having recourse to the saints on this subject, the greatest two gifts we can have. Love, and discernment of spirits. All the great religions talk about love and knowing thyself. You know why? Because it’s common knowledge for any transformation.
If you’re not a seeker you’ll never be a finder. And many people who join these cults and have settled in their ways are usually not seekers therefore I don’t entertain debate with them. Arguing is only ever beneficial if it’s fruitful. The rich man who went to Hell, when he asked to be able to warn his brothers, was refused because Abraham knew that not even if the dead were to rise from their graves would his relatives believe.
You can plant seeds if you want with a member of a cult and entertain discussion if you sense no stubborn incredulity present. But when they’re so dedicated in their initial pitch to you, it’s best to have recourse to prayer for them because nothing you ever say will penetrate their hearts. It’s hard for me because I love a good argument. If I were to entertain these people I’d be doing it only to have the satisfaction of having a debate satisfied and so it would be wrong. I would be doing it for my glory and not Gods.
Stay away from cults and those claiming to know better than the Church. Don’t even eat meals with them or invite them into your home. Be always conscious of your own weaknesses and stick to what you’ve taught and know to be true. Always love and obey the Holy Father. Never attack him even if he falls a million times over, has kids to a mistress or loves nothing more than good fine art and couldn’t care less for the poor. Always stand with the Church no matter what comes because there is no other place you’ll find the truth.