Original Research

A two-tier protestant evaluative framework for cults applied to KwaSizabantu Mission

Elfrieda Fleischmann, Ignatius W. Ferreira, Francois Muller
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 55, No 1 | a2686 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v55i1.2686 | © 2021 Elfrieda Fleischmann, Ignatius W. Ferreira, Francois Muller | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 October 2020 | Published: 29 March 2021

About the author(s)

Elfrieda Fleischmann, Department of Missiology, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa; and Department of Social Studies, Faculty of Education, Cedar International Academy, Kranskop, South Africa
Ignatius W. Ferreira, Department of Missiology, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Francois Muller, Department of Ecumenical Perspectives, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


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Abstract

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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Crossref Citations

1. Protestant Revivals (Awakenings) and Transformational Impact: A Comparative Evaluation Framework Applied on the Revival among the Zulus (South Africa)
Elfrieda Fleischmann, Ignatius W Ferreira, Francois Muller
Transformation: An International Journal of Holistic Mission Studies  first page: 026537882110272  year: 2021  
doi: 10.1177/02653788211027269