The ULMA is certainly not a cult or a sect, since it does not stand for doctrines of its own, nor does it follow anyone but Christ, but simply confesses and teaches what the Lutheran Church has always done. Our focus is starting/supporting traditional Lutheran congregations in line with that historic foundation, standing firmly on the Holy Scriptures and Lutheran Confessions.
* Hubert F. Beck in his booklet How to Respond to . . . The Cults says on page 6, “A cult, then, cannot be considered merely a peripheral statement of an original faith pattern compared to a sect which at least marginally participates in the basic faith within which it has its roots. A cult takes its point of departure from the religious thought of a major religion, but twists and warps that pattern of faith until it has something essentially new and different from what it was originally.”
** Francis Pieper is more exacting when he defines the Lutheran Church, giving mention to the definition of a sect. In Christian Dogmatics, Vol. I, p. 32, he says the following (emphasis added): “By ‘Lutheran Church’ we do not mean all church bodies that call themselves Lutheran, but only those that actually teach and confess the Lutheran doctrine as it is taught and confessed in the Confessions of the Lutheran Church. And by ‘sects’ we mean church bodies which have established themselves as separate organizations on the basis of unscriptural doctrines. The terms being thus understood, the Lutheran Church is certainly not a sect, since it does not stand for doctrines of its own, but simply confesses and teaches that which according to God’s will and order all Christians should confess and teach.”