Church Group Ignites Controversy In Massachusetts
A small religious group that is gaining members across the country wants to expand in Massachusetts, but the planned expansion is not without controversy.
The group’s history is raising red flags on the South Shore as it tries to buy Â a $1.6 million mansion up for sale at 301 Adams Street in Quincy.
Ad: Vacation? City Trip? Weekend Break? Book Skip-the-line ticketsWBZ TV Report on the group
Hassan has counseled some of the group’s former members.
“They discourage contact with family and friends and the ability to make decisions for themselves,” Hassan said.
But the group’s ministers and leaders say, “We are a small religious group, with Centers of Light in 15 cities across the country. None of our neighbors in any other cities have anything but praise for us.”
According to the Center’s Web site they are mystics focusing on connection with the soul.
The Order of Christ Sophia teaches that Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary are co-redeemers of equal stature. Theologically, that teaching violates one of the essential doctrines of the Christian faith, which makes the group — theologically — a cult of Christianity.
Sociologically the group has some cult-like aspects as well.
Sociological vs. theological definitions of the term ‘cult’
James R. Lewis, who is known as a cult apologist (cult defender), has written a book about the group. “Children of Jesus and Mary” is expected to be published in October. Lewis has defended the Japanese cult AUM Shinrikyo — known for, among other crimes, its poison gas attacks on the Tokyo subway — by telling reporters the cult could not have produced the gas. His work has been referred to as a ‘travesty of research.’
Order of Christ Sophia entry at cult expert Steve Hassan’s Freedom of Mind website.
Cult FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions about Cult
Cult Experts — Guidelines for selecting a cult expert
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