Me: "Yeah, I am. Heard of us?"
Someone: "Yeah, you guys are a cult."
I've never known what to say to that. To me it's a mark that any more conversation is futile, but I always want to prove that we're not a cult. It never works. Much like wrestling with a pig, arguing with a fool only makes you dirty and the fool happy. No matter how much I say I won't argue, I always end up saying something. I always want that last word. And, as you would expect, I say something stupid and hot-headed. I end up dirty. Despite my stupid behavior, I maintain that my Church isn't a cult.
Now obviously, the definition of a cult can vary. According to Merriam-Websters dictionary:
Etymology: French & Latin; French culte, from Latin cultus care, adoration, from colere to cultivate
1 : formal religious veneration : WORSHIP
2 : a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also : its body of adherents
3 : a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents
4 : a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator (health cults)
5 a : great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book); especially : such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad b : a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion
More than one of those apply to my Church, so we're a cult. I guess I should stop being mad at people who rightfully say that I belong to a body of people who comprise a formal religious veneration system of beliefs and ritual. As far as being orthodox is concerned, I think that really just depends on which side of the coin you're on.
I suppose I can console myself with the fact that I'm a Freemason. At least they're not a fringe group that is often mis-understood and mis-labeled like the Mormons are.