The HOME for Christian writers! The Home for Christian Writers!

Book Review Archives

Title: Out of the Cults and Into the Church
Author: Janis Hutchinson
Publisher: Kregel Resources
Copyright: 1994
ISBN: 0-8254-2885-8
Genre: Counseling/Cults
Reviewer: Deborah Porter

Available Through: Amazon

When a person makes the difficult and often very painful decision to leave a cult, we all applaud their decision. When they step into a Christian church, we joyfully embrace them into the fold, believing that everything will now be all right. With the cult behind them, the truth of God's Word as their guide, and a loving Christian family around them, they will surely grow in leaps and bounds….

…or will they?

Unfortunately, as author Janis Hutchinson very clearly illustrates in her excellent book Out of the Cults and Into the Church, this is rarely the case. Ex-cult members are often torn between faiths, as they struggle to make the full transition to biblical truth. Although they may know that their previous beliefs are false, this understanding is not necessarily automatically reflected in their hearts. It is a battle for freedom that may continue on for years. In some instances, where understanding Christian guidance and support is not provided, they may eventually return back to the cult in an effort to stop the emotional battle raging within-leaving the church to wonder why.

It is for this reason that Ms. Hutchinson has written Out of the Cults and Into the Church. Instead of focusing on the cults and pseudo-Christian organizations themselves, the author draws our attention to the largely ignored realm of life after the cults. With a very readable fictional story as the basis, she has used an amalgamation of her own experiences, together with those of the many people she has counseled over the years, to create a quite unique handbook for anyone who wants to understand and support those who have taken, or are attempting to take, their first steps out of a cult.

Although this book has been written with former members of cults and pseudo-Christian organizations in mind, it would also be very relevant when it comes to helping those Christians who have left an abusive or controlling church situation. Many of the emotional struggles experienced by the characters in this book will be very familiar to those who have escaped from an overly legalistic Christian church environment.

Out of the Cults and Into the Church is, in this reviewer's opinion, a book that is a must for every church library, and should be read by every pastoral care or new Christian team member. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I believe it is the responsibility of every church to ensure that they are well prepared for the day when an ex-cult member arrives in their sanctuary. This book is highly recommended, without reservation.