Skip to main content

From "Under Authority" to Owning Myself Again

By Muse77 ~

In 2005, I was a deaconess in a small full gospel church, my husband was head deacon and together we did bible studies for couples and I was part of the music team. That year, my husband fell in love with his secretary and left me and our three kids, then 14, 7 and 18 months. As you can imagine, this was a very painful time in my life, but the worst was yet to come. My pastors talked to my husband and came to me, convinced his wandering ways were my fault for being a rebellious 'Jezebel' and that I should immediately submit to counselling and prayer ministry (read that, deliverance ministry). At that time I was desperate to save my marriage and I did submit, for a while. When the humiliation grew to be too much, I started bucking the system, only to be told I was in rebellion and that I needed to be 'under their authority' if I had any hope of being 'spiritually well' and saving my marriage. My husband had refused counselling, seeing through their motives and he left the church for good. Between the heartbreak over a broken marriage and the emotional beating I was taking at the pastors' hands, death seemed a better option. But I had three kids to look out for, so I summoned all the courage I could and left the church and the all the friends I loved in that church, behind.

The pastors warned the congregation not to associate with me because of my so called 'rebellion' so I didn't hear from them. At all. My dearest friends abandoned me because they were afraid to go against the pastors' wishes. It was indeed an especially lonely time in my life. I did, after some time, join another church where my children and I found some healing. I was even coaxed into music ministry and found some satisfaction in that for several years. What was the turning point for me? Pastors who still wanted to manipulate and control for one. Inconsistencies in what the church claimed to believe and what they lived out day by day. And then, meeting a man who was not a Christian but who is the sweetest, kindest and funniest person I have ever met. He respected my faith, but when we had discussions about Christianity, he would ask me questions that I could not answer. I mean, I could give out pat answers as I'd been coached to in church, but those answers sounded totally non credible as I tried to explain them. He encouraged me to think more deeply, to think for myself. I think every Christian has had their share of doubts and questions that their religion does not answer satisfactorily. And I began to question, why doesn't the church have solid answers......?

The lack of logical answers and the plethora of ministers who crave recognition or who are greedy or power hungry are the main reasons I left mainline Christianity and the church. That and the criticism and judgmentalism that goes with it. The 'we are better than you because we have Jesus' club. Who needs it? The hypocrisy is untenable for me any more.

So where am I in my faith? I am not sure. I'm slowly piecing together a new life on a daily basis. I'm happier not living on a steady diet of guilt and condemnation. I like owning myself again. Though it's been hard, I've tried to come to a place of forgiveness towards the Christian community. If they knew better, they would do better.....at least, I hope that is true. It's been a blessing to come across the testimonials here. It is comforting to know, I'm not the only one.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

An Update Since My First Post

By Aspieguy ~

It occurred to me that it has been nearly two years since I wrote my first post to this site. Much has happened to me during the past two years. The christians would call this a "praise report". That isn't a phrase I ever used. A "I'm pissed at god again report" would have been far more amusing.

Two years ago I was struggling with my recent Aspergers diagnosis, leaving christianity and becoming an authentic person. I am pleased to say that I have made a lot of progress.

After much searching I found a therapist who was willing to treat an Aspie adult. She treated children but never an adult. I was far and away beyond her experience. However, she helped me to realize that my behavior wasn't abnormal and that other people viewed life not in such stark terms as I do. She was concerned about my anxiety, which we came to realize was a result of religious indoctrination. I never attended any church as a child. Imposing religion on me was like tr…

The Righteousness and the Woke - Why Evangelicals and Social Justice Warriors Trigger Me in the Same Way

By Valerie Tarico ~

I was Born Again until nearly the end of graduate school, a sincere Evangelical who went to church on Sunday and Wednesday with my family and to Thursday Bible study on my own. I dialed for converts during the “I Found It” evangelism campaign, served as a counselor at Camp Good News, and graduated from Wheaton College, Billy Graham’s alma mater. I know what it is to be an earnest believer among believers.

I also know what it is to experience those same dynamics from the outside. Since my fall from grace, I’ve written a book, Trusting Doubt, and several hundred articles exposing harms from Evangelicalism—not just the content of beliefs but also how they spread and shape the psychology of individuals and behavior of communities, doing damage in particular to women, children, and religious minorities.

It occurred to me recently that my time in Evangelicalism and subsequent journey out have a lot to do with why I find myself reactive to the spread of Woke culture among…

"Gifts of the Spirit" include PTSD

By Robyn W ~

I'm a 58-year-old successful business woman who has suffered horribly my entire life from religious abuse. My parents are/were zealot Christians with my dad being a HUGE hypocrite. I was raised in the Assembly of God Church in a small town in the middle of Iowa. The pastor was a cult leader to the core and that poor congregation went through incredible heartaches and financial loss because of that man. My dad was a deacon and my mom was the piano player. We were at that church every Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night and most Friday nights were prayer meetings.

It was hellfire and brimstone, speaking in tongues, slain in the spirit, holy-roller baptism by fire kind of church and my entire life has been completely fucked up by it. I NEVER learned about the love of God/Jesus. It was ALWAYS fear and realizing you are never going to be good enough no matter what and that you're going to hell. My father STILL to this day tells me I'm going to h…