My family thinks I belong to a cult

Krista Ortiz

You never anticipated your decision to go to church would be met with such controversy.

At best, you were hoping your family would be happy you were involved in a church. At worst, you figured they’d be indifferent. 

Instead, they’re hurling accusations that you are a part of a cult, leaving you offended, misunderstood, and just plain defeated.

You’re Not Alone

If your family thinks you’re crazy, you’re in good company. Jesus’ family thought He was a little crazy, too. In Mark 3:21, large crowds were following Jesus and, “when his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, ‘He is out of his mind…’”

But Jesus didn’t let it get to Him — not because He didn’t want His family’s support, but because He wanted God’s approval more.   

People Think We’re Weird Because We Are

Jesus sat with the ignored and the disregarded. (Weird.) He made it His mission to love those the world considered unlovable and to forgive those deemed unforgivable. (Again, weird.)

So if Jesus is to be our example one thing is certain: People will think we are weird because, compared to the rest of the world, we are!

How To Handle “Crazy” Accusations

1. Invite Questions

It’s easy to become combative when standing up for something you care about, but ask yourself: Am I being defensive when my family asks questions? If so, why? Am I afraid I won’t have the right answers?

Never feel ashamed if you don’t have the ‘right’ answer. Just simply respond, “That’s a great question. In fact, I want to know the answer too, so let me find out and get back to you…” Then ask someone you trust to help direct you to the right answer, and then bring back your findings to your family.

Also, never underestimate the answer you do have!

1 Peter 3:15 says, “…always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who ask you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

Each question is an opportunity to provide an answer for the hope that we have found in Jesus, so invite people’s questions with gentleness and respect. After all, that’s how Jesus always invites ours.

2. Get The Facts

It’s easy to just roll your eyes or chalk up your family’s comments to ignorance instead of trying to understand their concern, and even more, why it’s not true.

But with a little research, you can feel confident in knowing what a cult really is, and be better prepared to explain the difference between radically following Jesus and joining a cult.

God will always equip us to meet our biggest critics and their greatest accusations with gentleness and respect.

Following Jesus is not about being weighed down by rigid rules like that of a cult, but about being invited into a relationship. Our relationship with Jesus is not earned by submitting to the authority of any one leader or organization. Our relationship with Jesus is an intimate relationship pursued by the God who knows our greatest failings, and who loves us immensely, even still.

God will always equip us to meet our biggest critics and their greatest accusations with gentleness and respect. With His help, we can take the most pointed questions aimed at us, and point them back to the love and power we find in Jesus.

Learn more about Jesus and NewSpring by visiting 

Related Content

to Discover More


Shaping A Child's Heart

family church relationships parenting

Taking our kids to KidSpring and Fuse is just one part of encouraging their faith in Jesus. While the church ... read more

Read Article


How to find your family's Christmas traditions

family church christmas traditions

By the time Christmas arrives each year, I've already been counting down for weeks. The lights, the sound... read more

Read Article


The best way to honor Dr. King and the King is to pursue unity

church racism culture

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "We must face the sad fact that at eleven o’clock on Sunday morn... read more

Read Article


Four ways the church is like a big family

family community church relationships

My dad’s side of the family is pretty close. We eat a big family meal at Thanksgiving and take a vacati... read more

Read Article


Ephesians: A 10-Day Devotional

family marriage church spiritual gifts

Church looks different all around the world, and all around our state. Some churches meet in buildings, while... read more

Read Study


1 Corinthians: A 35-Day Devotional

church spiritual gifts culture 1 corinthians

The apostle Paul wrote 1 Corinthians to a church divided over all kinds of issues. He answers questions about... read more

Read Study


After The Movies

church jesus culture

For five weeks at NewSpring, we're talking about some of our favorite movies and what they teach us about... read more

Read Study


Chasing Purpose: A 27-Day Devotional

church serving bible purpose

Why I am here? What’s my purpose? The Westminster Shorter Catechism sums up the Bible’s answer: “Man

Read Study


No Ordinary Unity

From No Ordinary Family

family community church

God's family is marked by unity amid great diversity. In this unique message, Lee McDerment leads members... read more

Watch Sermon


Gauntlet 2012 - Session 2

From Gauntlet 2012

church culture gauntlet

We are all filled with DNA that determines how we look and act. Join us as Brad Cooper talks about the DNA of... read more

Watch Sermon


Attila Uregen's Story

family church legalism God's will

Attila Uregen discusses how Jesus revealed that a relationship with Him was more than his moral efforts to do... read more

Read Story


Gauntlet Session 8

From Gauntlet 2019

family leadership discipleship

Success in the kingdom of God is defined by succession. In this message, Brad Cooper challenges us to be inte... read more

Watch Sermon

What's happening at NewSpring Church?

  • Need to Know: Weekly email to keep you informed about what's happening at NewSpring
  • Fuse News: Email for Fuse parents sent on the first Monday of the month
  • KidSpring Scoop: Email sent at the beginning of each series to give you the scoop on what's happening in KidSpring
  • Read My Bible: Daily devotional sent via text from 6-7am