COM 1101 â€“ Composition and Rhetoric [2022 Fall 1]
October 14, 2022
Audience: Faith Believers
Religious faith can significantly influence and change one behavior. The influence of spiritual aspects and personal beliefs relevant to the relationship between religiosity and spirituality makes a person exhibit unique and strange traits. These behaviors or traits result from one’s magical ideation and paranormal beliefs rooted in a particular faith. Primarily, religious faith tends to be a universal human pursuit that determines different cultural parameters, moral concepts, and ideals to influence believers’ thinking and behavior by giving answers on meaning relating to human existence.
In cult-like faiths, members must devote a significant amount of time to its activities and practices. From the 1930s, cults (ethos) emerged as the object of sociological study from the perspective of studying religious behaviors. In the 1940s, the Christian anti-cult movement started to oppose some sects and new religious movements, terming them ‘cults’ due to their unorthodox beliefs (pathos). In the 1970s, the secular anti-cult movement resisted specific groups in reaction to acts of violence committed by group members.
While the cause of my brother’s behavior may be much deeper than the church he belongs to, this particular church exhibits cult-like tendencies because a significant time commitment is expected from its member; most of their members joined during a very vulnerable time in their lives. The church is involved in every aspect of your life, from work to your family and everything in between.
The argument about the Cult
Claim 1:Â A particular church with cult-like tendencies because of a significant time commitment is expected from members.
Appeals being used: Ideal or logic:Â Cults have a rich history associated with unorthodox beliefs. Word of Faith Fellowship and Remnant Fellowship cults help us understand how church-like cults run their activities, such as recruiting members.
Cause and effect:Â Because cults practice mind control of members via spiritual, ritual, and philosophical beliefs, cults remain exploitative, weird groups with uncommon beliefs.
Research (shared authority):Â research on religious-based cults in the United States and their founders, such as Jane Whaley.
Claim 1.2:Â Discussing the beginning of my brother’s strange behavior
Appeals being used: Noticing some devastating behaviors such as isolating himself from our family members, seeking validation from the church elders, crossing biblical boundaries of behavior, and emphasizing special doctrines outside the scripture (pathos). My brother had acquired a charismatic vocabulary of “spiritual warfare.”
The research used: logos:Â The goal of this charisma is to show people how to convert their admiration into a connection with God (Rodia p.12).
Describe consequences:Â He revealed that after this newfound perspective came into play, he could see our mother’s true nature. One that was not very kind.
Claim 2:Â Additionally, most members joined during a very vulnerable time in their lives.
Appeals Used:Â Several members joined the church during the COVID-19 crisis after losing their jobs and were desperate for money and a good life. From the general perspective, cults target youth groups (college students), mainly the unemployed and those from low-income families looking for hard-life solutions.
Research:Â The recruitment techniques tend to entice hopeless youths while preparing them to convert their religious faith (Schwartz & Kaslow p.19).
Claim 2.2: Brother’s religious beliefs and practices are strongly associated with hysteria, neurosis, and psychotic delusions.
Appeal Used:Â His strange declarations about faith in God resulting from watching religion-based episodes of his favorite TV series implies a significant ‘mass hysteria.’
Claim 3:Â Finally, this church has Cult-like tendencies because the church is involved in every aspect of your life, from work to your family and everything in between.
Appeals Used:Â My brother has a religious devotion to this church. He has gone so far as to turn his life upside down for these people and isolate himself for at least seven months for unknown reasons, but one can only assume it has something to do with the church.
Research:Â A cult church is a high-demand setting with a high level of control and influence over its members (Dubrow-Marshall & Dubrow-Marshall p.398).
Claim 3.2:Â After joining this church with cult tendencies, my brother changed his life to comply with church rules and wants.
Thus, while the cause of my brother’s behavior may be much deeper than the church he belongs to, this particular church has cult-like tendencies. The high devotion to church activities and instant shift of behaviors demonstrates how the church has controlled his life and taken over his free will.
Call to action:Â Youths need to understand and become aware of traps set by cult churches to entice them.
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