Today's Chapter: 1 Corinthians 7
Specific Text: 1 Corinthians 7:1-17
Weird cults and religious kooks are nothing new, and they are likely to stick around until Jesus comes again. A big reason for this is that people's minds are so twisted by sin that God's Word becomes twisted and forced into meaning something that it doesn't.
One big hallmark of cults is that they almost always have some sort of sexual element to them. Some do not allow any sexual activity at all (except for the cult leader, of course), while others promote promiscuity and free love. A good rule of thumb is that if an organization is fixated on sex (either not having at all or having it all the time) you probably should stay away from it.
We know this because of how Paul wrote to the Corinthians - a group of people who were very confused by these things. They had good motivations; they recognized that their life situations - their spouse & their occupation - took up lots of their energy, so perhaps they should turn their back on everything going on in their life so they could focus on praising God.
The advice Paul gives is earth shatteringly normal. The things of life do take a ton of energy and they often do distract you from God, but the solution is not for you to walk away from your life, rather you must glorify God in the way you handle all of life's situations: your job, how you relate to your spouse (or deciding who, or even if, you should marry), and ESPECIALLY how you should conduct yourself sexually. God created all of these things, so the way we praise Him is by using the things He created the way He intended.
Cults operate by getting you to free your mind from reality, and then often separating you from your previous relationships. Biblical Christianity operates by helping you understand you've already been set free from the sin infecting creation so that you can now live in and use the creation to glorify the creator.
Prayer For The Day: Dear Father, thank you for the relationships you have put into my life. These relationships are often difficult and sometimes they distract me from You. Help me to handle each relationship according to your Word, so that my friends and family might see you through me and that we all may glorify You.
Discussion Starter: What's the weirdest cult you've ever heard of? How is it different than Christianity?