Thursday, October 23, 2008

House of Cards. . .

One of the hardest parts about leaving a controlling environment is watching the entity still continue on in their quest for dominion. They continue to exist, for one thing, which is bad enough because we now know that they are Dominionists who believe that they are going to inherit the hard-earned money of those in the world who have no clue that this is why they working so hard for their money. If the organization itself no longer existed maybe they'd figure out they aren't here to take over the world any time soon and their building could be used for something else like a charter school or a post office.

If the Dominionists were only delusional and not so harmful to others, then I'd have no problem with them staying in business. But when they continue to exert their control using spiritual manipulation over the fine people that remain, then it's hard to keep quiet.

Some of those fine people we randomly run into at the store. I must say, some of them can be really nice, politely acting like nothing ever happened even though we can still feel the pity through their kindness since in their minds we are the crazy ones. There are others, however, that treat us like we are the untouchables, no longer acceptable, since we deserted their camp. You know the type, they either pretend they don’t see you (which actually works out best) or, if they deign to speak, it’s with a hint of condescension and distain. They are judgmental and patronizing, with a smile, in the most aggravating way. These are the types you would leave town because of to start a new life in a new city. It’s actually a clue to us that the worship-fest for the pastor family is still going on over there which means not much has changed.

If nothing has changed, why does God still allow it to still continue? Lucky for them, His forbearance has depths we can’t even fathom. I readily admit he’s been extremely patient with those of us who have left. He doesn't rush us to hurry and get over it, giving us time to heal, as he guides us toward more and more truth that helps us understand what we endured when we were there. So, God, not being a respecter of persons, must be holding out till he absolutely has to do something to stop the bad behavior over there.

Waiting for God to deal with former world is a bit like waiting to see if the bail outs help the American Economy. I guess only time will tell.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

AM I OVER IT YET? Detoxing at Your Own Pace

What is it about human nature that seems to require a certain time table on recovery? Why do we think we should be over something or somone in a few months or at most in a year? Do you ever find yourself asking 'Just how long is this recovery thing going to take?'

You may be sailing along feeling pretty much 'OVER IT' when something triggers a memory and there you are, smack dab in the middle of THE OLD PAIN again, seething over the fact that you had to endure such abuse in the first place.

In the last 3 years we have found that the Old Pain does resurface and at random times. There's no way to really head it off (other than choose denial which only delays a crash for later) so the best thing to do is process it as it comes and try not to feel responsible for having to deal with it again. Oh WELL, you need to say, I AM getting better and I am MUCH better off than I was before I emerged from the situation I needed recovery from.

So in other words, embrace your own pace. You are uniquely you. When you factor in every aspect of your life that makes you, you, then you can surrender to the realization you aren't on someone else's path, you are on your own journey.

Thank God the Holy Spirit is here with each of us walking us through to the next steps. The Holy Spirit is here to help us and lead us into all truth.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

If you don’t tithe, those donuts are not for you!

Check it out! The CBC blog posted about another clever blog called The Church You Know a parody on modern church life in the style of "The More You Know" PSA's on NBC.

They've figured out a way to artfully "question some of the characteristics and practices we see in the church" as it is today posting short videos on subjects such as tithing, pastors, titles, attendance, WWJD, etc.

Here's a part of the blurb under the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) video:

At its heart, it’s about the sayings, slogans, fads, and movements that come and go like Krispy Kremes at a Church potluck. What would Jesus do? What would Jabez pray? What is your ‘best life now,’ or your ‘purpose-driven church/life/tricycle?” At best, these can become cliché attempts to understand and control our life in Christ through catchy words, and at worst, they end up becoming semi-truths that allow us to justify a range of behaviors that may have nothing to do with God.

Oh ya, you can view the Tithing (Donut) Video here: Those donuts are NOT for you!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Problems With the Charismatic World

We'd like to call attention to a recent topic on one of our favorite blogs CityBusinessChurch called Problems with the Charismatic World. Check it out! Reformer has some excellent thoughts in answer to some questions I couldn't help but ask him last night. (click the red titles for links)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Another Great Blog to DeTox By

Stumbled upon another great blog to detox by if you are interested! It's called SheepleBlog. It has all the qualities we love: truth, humor, intelligence, and on a mission to inform Christians (where IS that alternative word?) of current events and how to think for themselves rather than turn over their minds to another.

Check it out you intelligent person you!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pleased As Punch

Came across THIS website the other night with really great articles on Detoxing from Church featuring this picture to the left which is so true and hilarious! The writer, Rob McAlpine catalogs the Detox Journey in a clear and concise way. He describes what we’ve been going through the last couple years to a perfect T. Highly recommended reading for anyone on a similar path. Btw, each article is short and sweet.

Here's the link in case you missed it above:

We're PLEASED AS PUNCH for two reasons:

1) All he said confirms we must be ‘hearing’ right even though lots of church people would beg to differ.
2) We don’t have to reinvent the wheel and write something already written!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Now All We Need is a New Word for Christian

All of what we endured and are now evaluating makes us wonder if there could be a new word to take the place of Christian that would better describe the type of Jesus' follower we are becoming.

The word Christian has had so much bad press over the years because of militant types with their pet agendas as well as the TV evangelists who are either philanderers or using their platform to steal money from the niave among us. To add insult to injury, now abusive pastors and their dutiful enablers are wrecking everything not already destroyed by creating confining controlling environments where people aren't free to make their own decisions like normal mature adults. It's no joke that years of publicized bad behavior has given the name Christian a really bad rap. What's worse, this is really damaging to the name of Christ who didn't represent any of the insanity these posers represent therefore diminishing the opportunity to reach the disenchanted with the joy and power of the Gospel.

I mean, can we say "I am a 'Insert New Name Here', formerly a Christian" kind of like FedEx Office is saying "FedEx/Kinkos is Now FedEx/Office" ?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Still Not Ready to Help at Church

This post mainly speaks of where we are in relation to church stuff 3 years after leaving the old one. We are finding that we are still not ready to jump in and help out at the good church yet, which is sometimes disconcerting, and we are evaluating our reasons for that.

Each one of us who have left the former church could write a book on what occurred there, and needless to say old habits needs to be redone. Our entire way of life needs to be transformed. One of the old habits is attending church just because it's expected of us as Christians, although this is an obligation common to Christians everywhere. We're now learning to listen to the Holy Spirit and only go when it's in our spirits to go which may seem weird to those who haven't endured the teaching that attending church on Sunday is tied to the depth of one's spirituality. Hopefully in re-doing this, we will establish a more healthy habit of approaching the Lord whether in prayer or in attending church. The bleak alternative is to be like robotrons reporting for duty. If we were machines it'd be different, but 'last time we checked' we are still human.

Unfortunately, we have the rhetoric memorized about why we are supposed to force ourselves to do stuff when our hearts are not in it -- how it's dying to self and becoming more like Christ out of sacrifice. Although dying to self is one of the principals of a Spirit-led life, at Cult Church it was twisted and used to subtley control us especially when we began to ignore red flags and allowed the leadership to cross our boundaries. Why did the leaders have no problem with crossing our boundaries?? Equally as important, why did we let them?

Obligation was one of the Church's greatest tools in getting people to attend all the meetings about doing all the work. Even if individuals weren't well suited for the job, we were taught to teach them to ignore their inner misgivings and call it dying to self. If that aroused feelings of frustration or anger it meant he/she wasn't dead enough yet. I guess that's one way to delegate all the work dreamed up by leaders with endless ideas.

Obligation was also a great tool for generating tithes and offerings: Teach people every week in a 15-min sermonette before the offering to give in faith especially directing it at those who have money, but also reminding the ones who had a 'widow's mite' how they should give all they have to the church, -- I mean, to the Lord. Dying to self for the greater good of the church was essential --you were decreasing and Christ was increasing--or at least, the church itself was increasing. Or was that the senior Pastor's Family Lifestyle that was increasing?? Maybe they should have just implemented mandatory tithe like the Mormons and be done with it. It'd save them alot of preachy energy expended.

The more reticent of us are not getting involved in our new church yet because of all the crap we endured at the Controlling Church and because we couldn't bear to go through it again. We've decided it's best for now to 'hide behind the pillars'! We have no desire to be seen or heard by leaders. In fact, we tend to go the other way if we see them.

Yet, we aren't waiting for perfect forgiveness to jump back in either. We do understand that God uses us even while on the mend. But, could it be that we aren't designed to be inside the church and so we shouldn't gage our health on whether we want to help out at church or not. Perhaps we will find our path of 'ministry' (or let's just call it 'helping others') outside the church walls. If we use our energy for what we aren't supposed to do, there won't be energy left to do what we are to do.

Truth to tell, there are a lot of people like us out there -- we've been reading books and blogs and there are entire communities of us with similar disorders as a result of spiritual abuse . A lot of what we are reading indicates that, for the most part, these people still love Jesus but can't stomach the church any longer (even the good ones like ours) and that's mainly because there are religious Christians lurking in churches ready to pounce, even if the pastor and staff are cool and discerning.