To give new readers a little background, I left an abusive, controlling church 3 months ago. I had been in that church for over 20 years and now I can't figure out what in the world I was thinking for all those years! I am not placing the blame on anyone but myself, because I made the decision to stay as long as I did, however there was a lot of manipulation and control going on.
When I made the decision to leave, I went through some of the most emotional days of my entire life. I had given so much of my life, time, and money to this church for many years, only to find out that 2 days after I left, I was now being called "evil." Wow, how did I go from someone they trusted to head up ministries in the church for years, to an "evil, demonic, listening to poison, crazy, goat?" (These were their words about me, not mine.) I am trying my best to move past these things and people say, "just get over it," but I figure that I can't forget about something in one day or even 3 months that took over 20 years to build. My family and I have found a new church that is awesome and I am happier than I have ever been. We are experiencing the love of God and the freedom that Jesus provided for us like never before. BUT I just have these moments when I hear something ridiculous that was said at my former church and I just want to blog away!
Anyone who has ever been in an abusive church knows that the minute you leave, you will be talked about in horrible ways, and of course, you are the one who is wrong. It is never anything that the leaders did that made you leave, it is always because you are "offended" or "hanging around and listening to the wrong people." It is because "the devil is out to steal the Word." It is never because the leaders mistreat people or do unmentionable acts. No, it's because you "let the Word leak out of you" or "you quit honoring your man of God." (Understand that I am presenting this in a totally sarcastic way.)
Something awful happened in our former church, that I will not go into, but it caused hundreds of people to leave the church. It is amazing to me that the people who left were respectable people - successful business men and women, nurses, ministers, policemen, ushers in the church, and even board members, and yet (in the mind of the leaders) it was still all of these people who were wrong and it wasn't anything the church leaders had done. The most recent words (just this week) to be spoken about the group who left (my family included) is - we are crazy! Wow, I wonder what God thinks about His children being called crazy? Anyway, it is being said that there were a couple of hundred youth who were on fire for God, (actually it was less than a hundred, I was there) and in their words, "people went crazy, acted nutty, drug their kids away from the life of God, and stomped out a move of God among the young people." Once again, the leader's spin - it was the parents fault and it wasn't the immorality that had gone on or what the leaders had done. It is always this way in controlling churches, it's always what someone else did, and it's never the fault of the leaders. They won't take responsibility for their actions and they will never admit they were wrong, even when hundreds of people know it's wrong.
In this case it had nothing to do with parents just pulling their kids away from God when they left the church. I know these people and they love their children and would never do anything to intentionally hurt the relationship their children have with God. Leaving had everything to do with following God and doing what was right! It had everything to do with people standing up and saying, "I won't take the abuse any more!"
So they can call me crazy for.......
*Leaving a place that abuses and mistreats people
*Leaving a place where the leaders place the blame on every one around and will never take responsibility for their own actions
*Leaving a place where people are called "idiots" on such a regular basis, that you begin to think that God Himself thinks everyone on the face of the earth is an idiot
*Leaving a place where no one is truly loved for who they are
*Leaving a place where no one ever feels like they can measure up in the eyes of the leaders
*Leaving a place where you are talked down to and never appreciated for all that you give
*Leaving a place where the main focus is money
*Leaving a place where rules are more important than people
*Leaving a place that doesn't reach out to the community and meet the needs of hurting people
*Leaving a place that will turn on you in a second and call you crazy when you haven't even done anything wrong
And they can call me crazy for......
*Wanting to walk in freedom
*Wanting to go to a place where me and my children will experience the love of God in our lives
*Wanting to go to a church that loves and helps people
*Wanting to go to a place where kindness is the norm, instead of the exception
*Wanting to go to a church where people care more about you than your money
*Wanting to go to a church where people don't use you, but they respect you and appreciate you for who you are
*Wanting to make my own decisions
*Wanting to regain my self-esteem that had been jerked out of me for years
*Wanting to be happy and wanting my children to be happy
*Wanting my children to be cared about and treated in a nice way
*Wanting to have fellowship with other Christians
*Wanting to go to a church that is community minded and world minded, instead of a church that is "me" minded
*Wanting to go to a church that will never call me crazy
They can call me crazy if they want to, but I call it being smart. I call it having enough self-respect not to allow myself to be controlled or hurt anymore. I call it following after the heart of God.