Rosicrusians..... A Cult?

I read your article on Rosicrusianism as i wanted to find out if it was a cult or a legitimate society that had a handle on being a true christian.

I have looked online and all i could find were christian web sites saying rosicrusians were not christians and in some cases were born from satan etc. I asked my self if this was because rosicrusians offered the individual a way to reach their spiritual self with out the need of attending church or listing to a priest, vicar, padre what ever… there by denying one person power over others.

Or because of the claims from the rosicrusians that they could trace their history to the 1600’s and usec occultism with christianity to achieve spiritulism and answer to qutions they were asking.

I am a little confused as both side of the argument don’t seem to offer an answer to my question.

I believe in the power of people but I don’t need some one to tell me that or say that belief only works if you join this church or organisation.

Link to the column in question.

Christianity offers the individual a way to reach God. (But I would be remiss not to add that time spent with Rosicrucianism has been a step on the way for some Christians.) But since you have already, Pilate-like, concluded that there is no such thing as truth, why do you bother to look for it?

What? I think you have totally misunderstood alidean41.

His question was “why do many christians discount Rosicrucians as being from Satan?”

He then offered two possible reasons: 1) because Rosicrucianism was about individual spiritual attainment rather than relying on the priesthood and church authority; 2) because Rosicrucians appear to use occultism with their christianity.

Reason 1 is about power and control over spirituality, reason 2 is about concerns that the methods and practices are tainted.

Nowhere does alidean41 say anything against God. You seem to be projecting.

alidean41, I don’t have any answers for you.

Actually, seeing that I didn’t say that he said anything against God, I think someone else here may be doing the projecting.

What I said was that, whether it is he or the Rosicrucians who are looking for “a way to reach [one’s] spiritual self”, Christianity is not the place to look for that. Christianity is about something else. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

I then went on to observe that if, as he seems to be saying, his objection to Christianity is that it involves actually, y’know, learning from other people, he’s not going to get very far with any philosophy.

Well, I guess I misunderstood what you were saying, what with your reference to Pilate and all that.

I now see that you are differentiating seeking one’s spiritual self from seeking God.

But I don’t think he’s dismissing learning from other people. What he is dismissing is being told the only way to spiritual enlightenment or God or whatever is through one specific organization.

In certain Christian circles, often anything that deviates from the accepted practices and has a significant following is labeled a cult. I’ve know Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and even Catholicism to be labeled as a cult.

You would have to give your definition of a cult for anyone to answer your question. “New Religious movement” is a less-charged word used in religious studies.

Cult is used pretty much to mean a religion I don’t like in this day and age, there did used to be some defining characteristics such as cutting off the followers’ contact from family and non members, etc. But in the modern era the word is stretched so far as to be meaningless.

Grandma: Billy, what are you doing under the window there?

Billy: I dropped a penny.

Grandma: You dropped a penny under the window?

Billy: No, I dropped it under the desk, but the light’s better over here.

Actually, even your “defining characteristics” is a popular corruption of the original sociological meaning of the word. A religion is something you were raised in, a cult is something you convert to as an adult.

And even that isn’t the original meaning, which is, more or less, a particular worship within a religion, e.g., the cult of the Virgin Mary within Roman Catholicism. They have had a temple in California for quite awhile. There must be some financial support.

It’s a really interesting place to visit–go if you’re in San Jose. They’re pretty much weird but harmless, AFAICT.

Tsk. The definition of a cult is “a group too small to be a minority”!

An atheist friend of mine states that to her all religions are equally weird.

I see her point, but for me, I still find that in general, the more doctrine a sect/church/group has the weirder it seems. I also find it odd that at least in the Christian ‘world’, that a strict literal, inerrant view of the Bible is actually quite rare amongst all the divisions.

Not sure those 2 views of mine are entirely consistent, but there you are . . .

A definition of “cult” or “antisocial cult” I have heard includes elements such as:

  1. There is a single charismatic leader.
  2. A considerable amount of social control is exerted over the lives of the followers.
  3. Followers are encouraged or required to cut ties with family members or friends who are non-members.
  4. People are coerced into remaining members of the group.

Since 1, 2 and 4 are universally true of Christianity and Islam generally, and Roman Catholicism particularly, they seem rather useless criteria. Unless you believe that Roman Catholicism is a cult.

So really we have only a single criterion: Followers are encouraged or required to cut ties with family members or friends who are non-members. By which standard Scientology and the Manson Family are not cults, while various Catholic orders are cults, making it a rather dubious criterion.

Neither Christianity nor Islam have “a single charismatic leader”. Roman Catholicism has a single leader, but being charismatic doesn’t seem to be a significant qualification for the job.

While certain Christian and Moslem societies may exert a “considerable amount of social control over the lives of the followers”, I cannot see how you could say this was something that was universally true of either religion. For instance, if you join the Church of England you are not told to distance yourself from existing family members and/or friends, you’re not told what job you should be doing, you’re not told who you can marry, you’re not told or “advised” where you should live, you’re not told whether you can or can’t have children (or how many), and you’re not told what school your children should go to; and so on.

As for coercion into remaining a member of the group… well, this is clearly not “universally true” for Christianity, at the very least. It’s not even universally true in England, where we have a state Church!

On a side note - I highly recommend The Rosicrucian Enlightenment by Frances A. Yates (cited in the SD article). A fascinating story.

The nub of the matter is that Rosicrucianism was invented in the 16th century, essentially as a bit of utopian fiction - but the idea was so interesting, and so frightening, that pretty soon no end of folks begain to basically invent secret Rosicrucian-style lodges (on the one hand) or accuse others of being Rosicrucians (on the other).

Thus, the idea had considerable influence - even though no-one had any real idea as to what “Rosicrucians” actually were or what they actually believed (invention supplied this deficit). And so it has been, to modern times.

So neither Jesus nor Mohammed were charismatic? Interesting viewpoint, but one that I doubt any Christians or Moslems, or associated religious scholars, share.

I can’t see how you could not.

Yes, this is the sole point on the list which doe snot apply to Christianity. I already addressed this. I’m not sure why you feel the need to bring it up again.

So a member of the Church of England cold be a bank robber, contract killer, satanist priest or whore with absolutely no censure from the church?

By this standard almost no group in the entire world is a cult, and that includes the Manson Family, the stereotypical religious cult. So all you have done is made the list even useful.

And of course if you are a Roman Catholic you lose all control over your reproductivity. You are told how to raise your children in any Christian church, you are told how to spend your money and so forth. You are told when you will attend church and with whom.

Which highlights the other problem: who gets to decide what constitutes “considerable amount of social control over the lives of the followers”? If telling someone what birth control they may and may not use, telling them when they may divorce and when they may marry, and telling them how to raise their children even when that conflicts with the wishes of their spouse is not a “considerable amount of social control over the lives of the followers” then I have no idea what is.

Really? So the official position of the Church of England is that if you leave the church there is no penalty at all? That you receive absolutely no benefits of any kind in this life or any future lives from being a member of the church? Because to me, telling someone that they are doomed to hell if they leave the church clearly is coercion and is pretty much universally true of Christianity. It certainly was universal within the past generation.