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In die Skriflig

On-line version ISSN 2305-0853
Print version ISSN 1018-6441


FLEISCHMANN, Elfrieda; FERREIRA, Ignatius W.  and  MULLER, Francois. A two-tier protestant evaluative framework for cults applied to KwaSizabantu Mission. In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2021, vol.55, n.1, pp.1-9. ISSN 2305-0853.

The vague use of the term 'cult' in popular media to describe religious groups has in the past unjustly exposed various committed Christian communities to libel and dehumanisation. However, celebrity-based cults masquerading as Christians are damaging the trust in Christ. The objective of this research study was to provide a viable two-tier Protestant evaluative framework (2TPEF) in order to identify cultic characteristics in a religious group. The proposed framework was applied to South Africa's KwaSizabantu Mission as a case study. A theoretical framework was synthesised from a variety of sources. For the case study, information was collected from multiple sources, including interviews, documents, sermons, newsletters, observations and research reports. Applying the 2TPEF in the case study demonstrates how it operates as a workable tool. In this case, it explains why the KwaSizabantu Mission cannot be viewed as a cult. In addition, the 2TPEF may serve for comparative purposes or be used by religious groups themselves to demonstrate their position relative to Protestant Christianity. CONTRIBUTION: This study not only focuses on Reformed Theology exclusively but provides insights in critically applying the 2TPEF within Protestant religious circles using a current case study within an African context.

Keywords : church; cult; evaluation; KwaSizabantu Mission; protestant; two-tier protestant evaluational framework; 2TPEF.

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