January 9, 1980
Pastor W.C. Hunter, of the Words of Life Ministry and author of “How to Save Your Loved Ones from the Cults” said Tuesday that leaders of groups such as the Vine Christian Community Church “use the Scriptures to scare their followers to death.”
“They twist the Scriptures, exalt themselves, and really get them on earthly goods,” Hunter said. “They twist the Scripture so that they can get the earthly goods for themselves.”
He said one of the Scriptures often used is Acts 2:44-46: “And all that believed were together, and had all things common: and sold their possessions and goods and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking of bread from house to house, did eat their meal with gladness and singleness of heart.”
“Notice,” Hunter says in his anti-cult pamphlet, “that these early believers sold their possessions willingly. The possessions that they sold were of their bounty so that others who had nothing could have something. They all had houses in which to live. Notice that they still broke bread from house to house. The cults, on the other hand, use force and brainwashing to force their followers to give up their possessions.
Hunter said no one can convince him that “you must give away your possessions to get to Heaven. And you don’t have to be poor to go to Heaven.”
Citing Scripture to support his claim, Hunter said there is nothing wrong with a person’s having material goods as long as those goods don’t “fill the heart of the person so that there is no room for God.”
He also takes issue with those who use the Scriptures to support arguments for abandoning family members in order to serve God. “The Bible,” he said, “says to honor thy father and thy mother and how can the Bible be contradictory?”
Hunter said he is convinced that most of the followers of cults or unorthodox church groups are sincere and believe in what they are doing, but that most of them are unable to really think for themselves.
“The cult leaders see to it that their members have a very low protein diet. You keep a person away from sufficient protein and deny him adequate rest and sleep and he won’t be able to do much thinking.”
Hunter’s publication covers a number of subjects involving cult movements. It also contains some advice to parents on how to prevent their children from winding up with such movements.
“Whatever yo do, be patient, and be zealous in fulfilling your promise to be a more pleasant or considerate human being toward them.”
Hunter’s pamphlets and his latest book, “The Ingredients of a Happy Marriage,” are both available in this area.
The pamphlet, which Hunter said he would be happy to provide at no cost to public schools, may be obtained by writing “Words of Life Publication Inc. P.O. Box 11005, Chattanooga.
His book on marriage is available in local book stores, he said.