Alpha “has a cult element article” – Does she have a point?

Posted: January 16, 2010 in Church, News
Tags: , ,

Ruth Gledhill has highlighted an article written by a 16 year old, who was kinda worried by Alpha coming into the school.

Its worth giving the whole article a read, but the section thats attracting most comment from Christians is the following:

The cost of advertising alone must run into millions. Besides the posters we see around school, there are banners on the sides of buses, big displays in the underground, and many billboards, some quite enormous ones like the one on the Hammersmith flyover in London! So one can only conclude that this is not about a simple “discussion” group.

Then the best tactic comes around week 7 or 8 of the 10 week course : the weekend away, I assume the trip to Iona at Easter is this part of the course. Take a bunch of people away for a weekend where they will be trapped, a totally captive audience, with little to do other than what you organise for them.

There is also a cult element in the course, as at some point, participants are urged to allow the holy spirit to fill them up by speaking in tongues (glossolalia) and one woman claimed to have “dropped to the ground making grunting animal noises

Now. I’m not saying for a moment that Alpha is anything like a cult, bu part of me wonders where she is coming from, and if in a way she may have a point. People that feature in advertising are always good looking…  always smiling. While who really goes away for a a weekend of religious discussion?

In regards to the “cult element” comment, I still find a room filled with people speaking in tongues a tad unsettling.

No I dont think its a cult, but maybe Alpha (and any Christian outreach) needs to think about the image it presents itself with.


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