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.


TH in SoC said...

You have touched on a few things I also experienced. When I left my old abusive church, it was in the process of self-destructing. Some of its leaders had treated me quite badly and refused to apologize even as our church was coming apart, and I was angry with them for several months. Even now I would not let any of them into my house if they were at the front door.

There were also corrupt deputy leaders who had been sent out by our head honcho to start church plants, who continued to lead these churches after our head honcho was outed for adultery. I used to fume about some of these leaders as well. But over the five years since I left that church, other things have mercifully intervened to take my mind off of these men. And now with the economic crisis, being the leader of a religious empire (especially a tiny one) is not such a secure source of income after all. God may be forcing them to get a real job.

NoJoke said...

A real job - indeed vindication for you TH! I feel for you, since our first pastor at our first church ended up in audultery and it's quite the shocker dealing with the fallout.

A real job for our latest former pastor and his entire family--hmmmm I can't even imagine that! but that WOULD be rich for us to see since one of our main complaints back then is that they never showed respect for anyone else's schedule, scheduling a host of meetings throughout the year for us all to rearrange our schedules for. Those in the working world can't drop everything for a week of planning and strategy meetings, to be followed by renewal meetings to be followed by the latest greatest charisma celeb coming to town. They were SO into meetings, I don't think I can ever suffer through a meeting of that nature ever again because of them, but I guess that's a good thing all in all! They LIVED for those meetings and they were great for them since it was building THEIR dream, but the rest of us had other obligations like family and work which involved our own host of meetings etc and maybe needed a little R and R in the evenings and on the weekends instead! Ya, let them get a taste of THE real world.

Let the whole house of cards fall. Last time I checked, a wise man builds his house on the rock, according to Jesus!

John Edwards said...

I have truly enjoyed your blog!

The Cult Next Door said...

This is one of the hardest parts of journeying out of spiritual abuse- knowing that the abusers are fat and flourishing in their abuse.

The Cult Next Door said...

This post says everything I have been thinking about for the last week- I am going to post it (with full credit to you and links back to your site, of course) so my family can read it.
If you feel uncomfortable with this- just let me know and I will remove it.

Kelly said...

I can really relate to this. Recently I was walking w/my daughter at a Bible camp and we came upon 2 couples from our old, abusive church, one man who became the pastor after bullying the real pastor out and another studying to enter the ministry. I felt sick. Like I had been kicked in the stomach. Then came the smiles and greetings and even...egad...hugs. It was awful. There has never been any acknowledgment of the abuse and trauma that we went through. I was confused about how I am supposed to act in these situations. In the service afterward, in prayer, I realized that I needed to be real, and if real meant traumatized, then so be it.

I think another thing that has been so painful is knowing that others in the church, who know about the abuse and who the abusers are, and who claim to be close friends, embrace the abusers and even vote them repeatedly into leadership roles in order to keep peace in the church. Maybe they think they can handle the sin and abuse of the leaders. So, the pastor loves to gossip. We just won't tell him anything. Problem solved, right? Wrong, because by putting him into a place of leadership, they are giving the impression to the rest of the church, the new believers, wounded souls, etc, that he can be trusted with their deepest secrets. They put a banner over the doorthat says "Our church can be your home" on it, and then place someone who cannot be trusted with the people in leadership. I've had people who have been hurt by this man say to me, but how could he? He's a pastor? Yup. I don't get it either.

I am praying for healing, and I know God has a plan, not just for me but for the church. Learning to be honest about the pain is a step in the journey. Thank you, God, and thanks for a great blog entry!

NoJoke said...

Kelly, I always find it amazing how abusive people can act like everything is fine - apparently they think it is!

Honesty is the healthy way and don't you think it's a process coming to terms with the dilusion we were in and then staying honest so we don't return to it?

We still have contact, though very limited, with a few couples who are still in the old church. We can't figure out why they still enable the acute dysfunction there. But they don't see it as enabling. The Lord will have to reveal it to them and probably the only way will be through an avenue of pain. After all pain is what opened all of our eyes.

Ya, Pain will knock the dillusional thinking right out of you! Ha! It was no fun, but I'm thankful now. I can at last sit at the feet of Jesus in my right mind.