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Compare and Contrast the sociological organizations of a cult, church and sect. Show how a cult can develop into a church.

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Compare and Contrast the sociological organizations of a cult, church and sect. Show how a cult can develop into a church. Cults, Sects, and Churches are all different groups. Within these different groups are housed different beliefs. Firstly it is important to get a little information about each of them. A cult is small, individual, mystical, pragmatic, informal and oftentimes short-lived. They are thought to have been derived when human society was organized on the basis on family and kin. Cults are not a very highly discussed topic in sociology. However, in many discussions about religion a cult is viewed in a negative light and presented to society as a problem. In sociology what the popular population refers to would really be referred to as a sect. A sociologist's definition is that of a small movement requiring total commitment and total separation from the wider society. One example is the Branch-Davidian movement who has it's main sector in Waco, Texas USA. It is thought that people often join the organizations referred to as cults for individual and often pragmatic reasons usually to achieve some practical end. ...read more.


It must be small as it relies largely upon the closeness of the members and their oppositional standing against the wider society. Membership to these sects is also very exclusive and they have to fully commit themselves to count as members. This provides the sect with their major way of dealing with the larger society. And that is the belief that they know the truth and non-members do not. Sects are much more likely to reject the ideas of the wider society and be hostile towards it. An example is The Amish who formed small communities in the US and reject modern technology. Members of sects are sometimes asked to give total commitment, which may even include giving up income. Usually sects are started as a protest group or as the cause of a disturbance or dissatisfaction. The following descriptors mainly characterize a church, large membership, they are inclusive, bureaucratic, they have a professional clergy, an acceptance of a wider society, and a monopoly of the truth. ...read more.


However, what started with a small group of people in the form of what we would today name as a cult has eventually led into a very large group of followers which became so large that some of it's followers developed their own renditions of the original Protestantism and formed cults that turned into denominations such as Baptist, Lutheran, and Methodist. These all still hold to the basic elements of a church therefore cannot be called sects. Because of their total difference to a the church and the difference in even the most basic of elements you can see why it would not work for a sect to develop into a church as it would suit a cult. As you can see while all considered forms of religion these three organizations are very different. They are all compromised of different people with different beliefs, which make them unique. However over the years we can see how the cult and the church are inexplicably linked together from example such as the formation of the Protestant faith and even Christianity as Jesus and his disciples could even have been considered a cult at the beginning. ...read more.

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