As I continue to unpack Eric Ludy’s excellent sermon from 9/2/2012, I find the sermon to be a bit of psychological healing.
1. The Need to Belong.
The dire hunger for community and belonging, causes them to overlook strange characteristics of a group or leader.
2. Disgust with their own Personal Weakness.
The lack of discipline and moral muscle leads to a desire to want to follow someone who is strong, rather than being strong themselves.
3. Eager to Prove Righteous.
Due to a subtle twist in their understanding of righteousness, they try and achieve righteousness in their own strength. Their dedication and loyalty unto a church or ministry (though that church or ministry be a bit bizarre) is their means of being right in God’s eyes.
A good Christian fellowship may be influenced by one manipulative leader who carries the momentum forward, not depending on Jesus but on him or her. As time passes, a person gets caught in the network of the group. It becomes too difficult or problematic to leave due to finances, marriage or other personal entrapments.