CULT OR OCCULT?
These words are sometimes confused because the expression a cult often sounds like the word occult.
Cult most commonly means a religious sect organized around a strong leader and requiring beliefs or commitments not typical of other related groups. It can also refer to a following of a particular figure or icon within an organized religion or a fanatical following of a particular entertainer, athlete, film, television show, or historical figure.
Cult is normally a noun, though it can be used as an adjective meaning “having a cult following” as in a cult film. A group of people with a religious, philosophical or cultural identity sometimes viewed as a sect, often existing on the margins of society or exploitative towards its members.
Occult literally means “hidden” and generally refers to the pursuit of some kind of magic or secret supernatural knowledge or power. It is most often used as an adjective but is sometimes used as a noun.
The verb to occult means “to hide from view,” and is used most commonly in scientific or specialized fields such as astronomy, navigation, or optics.
CULT AND OCCULT- Occult
Now, while the word “cult” is always used with reference to a particular group, the word “occult” is typically associated with esoteric and mystical practices. It deals with hidden or secretive means to attain personal power, and is characterized by a reliance on the supernatural to achieve its ends. The occult includes such practices as fortunetelling, witchcraft, or trance-channelling — the sort of thing described in Deuteronomy 18. Additionally, tarot cards, crystal balls, ouija boards, and horoscopes number among the many tools which are used by occultists. Clearly, the occult deals directly with supernatural forces.
CULT AND OCCULT- Some Cross-over
It should be clearly noted here that there is some cross-over between cults and the occult in that some cults, such as the Church of Satan and others, are also clearly involved with occultic practices. However, not all cults indulge in the occult. For example, it would be unfair to link obscure music, sports, movie or history buffs in an overt sense with the occult. Now, while a clear distinction should be drawn between the terms “cult” and “occult,” we must keep in mind that they are both connected with teachings which oppose the Word of God, when it comes to a Spiritual nature.
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