DEAR DR. GRAHAM: We used to hear a lot about cults, but it seems like we don’t hear much about them anymore. Have they lost their appeal and aren’t much of a problem now? — Mrs. A.U.
DEAR MRS. A.U.: Some cults do seem to have lost their appeal, perhaps because of bad publicity or because their leader died. (Cults often depend on the personality of a strong leader to hold them together, and once that leader dies his followers often drift away.)
But other cults are just as active as ever, and new ones are being formed all the time. Why is this? Down inside, we all have an empty place in our souls that only God can fill. But when we ignore Him, we try to fill that empty place in other ways — and one of the ways some people try to fill it is with false religion. As our society grows more secular, we may find more and more people turning toward cults — because materialism and secularism leave our souls empty.
Don’t be led astray by those who claim to know the truth, but in reality have turned their backs on the truth God has given us in Jesus Christ. Instead, make sure of your commitment to Him, and build your life on His Word, the Bible. The Bible warns of a time when “evildoers and imposters will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13).
In addition, pray for those in our society who do not know Christ, and are vulnerable to the appeal of cults. God has given us the truth; may we do everything we can to share it with others. Jesus’ words are true: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
DEAR DR. GRAHAM: Our daughter’s husband walked out on her and it’s really been hard, especially since she has two small children and has to work. We’d like to help somehow, but we’ve not had the best of relationships with our daughter (especially since we urged her not to marry this man), and we don’t know what to do. Any suggestions? — Mrs. K.W.W.
DEAR MRS. K.W.W.: Almost nothing is harder than being a single parent, and my heart goes out to your daughter and to all who find themselves in this situation. I hope churches will do more to reach out and welcome those who are single parents (both men and women).
It’s not only hard physically and financially for your daughter, but emotionally, also, as she faces the trauma of divorce. All too often today we think divorce is a quick and easy solution to a difficult marriage, but it seldom is. The feelings of hurt, rejection and bitterness that often accompany divorce create wounds that may take years to heal — if ever. No wonder God has said, “‘The man who hates and divorces his wife ... does violence to the one he should protect.’ ... So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful” (Malachi 2:16). What can you do? Frankly, it may be difficult to bridge the gap between you and your daughter because of what you once did; perhaps others will learn from your experience. Do all you can, however, to let your daughter know you love her and want to help her. Don’t bring up the past; you can’t change it, and dredging up what you see as your daughter’s mistakes will only cause more hurt. In addition, suggest some practical ways you might help her — keeping the children occasionally, doing her laundry, taking her a meal, etc. Pray for her, also, that she will turn to Christ and learn to give her burdens and cares to Him.
Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or go to www.billygraham.org.