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Old 07-19-2020, 08:51 PM   #1
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Default Church Kid Here. FTT Alumni.

Church kid here.
FTT alumni.

Six years of leaving the meetings after opening my eyes.
I have my entire life for them without anything in return.

My family is still ALL-IN, which makes it very hard.

This cult is everything I know.
How can I re-connect with the Lord without them?
Have you guys found another place or community?

I want to believe in Him. Iím just scared
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Old 07-19-2020, 11:21 PM   #2
Trapped
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Default Re: Church Kid Here. FTT Alumni.

Also a church kid. Glad you are here.

Regarding reconnecting with the Lord, my advice is start reading.

Read "The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse" by David Johnsen and Jeff VanVonderen. Read "Toxic Faith" by Stephen Arterburn. Read "Healing Spiritual Abuse" by Ken Blue. There are other books, but these seem to be the top three about spiritually abusive groups. The last one even has a mention of Watchman Nee (and how he erred).

There are two interviews of the authors of The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, here, if you prefer watching to reading:

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGL_Wl7BAfE
Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MelXy5Gj7Jc

The benefit of those books is that they, particularly the first and third, show what Jesus had to say about leaders like those in the LC and groups like the LC. He got angry. He went after them. He didn't pull any punches. He called them vipers, snakes, hypocrites, whitewashed tombs with dead mens bones inside, and told them they were making their converts "twice as much a child of hell as they are" and asked them "how will you escape being condemned to hell?!". This is serious stuff Jesus is saying to the people in the Bible who were doing the same things the leaders in the Lord's recovery do. Whatever you've been through at the hands of the local church isn't anything God messes around with. You are a child of God, made in the image of God, and He has a lot of wrath stored up toward people who oppress His children. And that's what the local church does - oppresses people.

Those books helped me see what God's heart really is towards me, and made Him someone I actually wanted to turn to, rather than someone who was out to get me, as had been subtly implied for so long.

I have found another place, but it took time. Time. Feeling out of sorts. Loneliness. Feeling completely unmoored and like you don't belong anywhere. Feeling, and knowing, like you've lost everything you know. You have to put in the effort to go visit places, but put it in God's hands and ask Him to show you where He wants you to go. The coronavirus situation will make an already very difficult thing seem almost impossible. You can at least check out the online sermons of different places to start.

Many church kids, even who go through the FTT, come out without a real belief in the God of the Bible. My best advice here would be to look for apologetics videos on YouTube. Ravi Zacharias, Frank Turek, John Lennox, and many others. Watch presentation after presentation. Q&As. Debates. They hit upon many of the foundational questions about Christianity, God, God's existence, suffering, why things happen, and many things we were just not allowed to openly wrestle with about God in the local church.

Ask God to restore the years the locusts have eaten. Remind Him that He works all things for good to those who love Him. Put your fears, your situation, your worries, your next steps right into His hands. Tell Him that. Do it repeatedly. God takes what the enemy meant for evil, and He turns it for good. But it will probably be hard, painful process, a struggle, and will take time. Groups like the local church churn out wounded people, and there may be a period of feeling like you are walking through a parched desert. This is normal. Don't give up. God is working, even when we don't see it.

God is not the local church. He is something completely different from what is represented there.

Listen to Christian music. The local churches steal that from their members by looking down on Christianity. It has helped me through my desperate days more times than I can count. Recently this song has helped me a lot ("I Know" by Big Daddy Weave): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j25JqWgjDF4 I can see it feeling applicable to where you are now. Stand on the foundation of God's goodness, kindness, and love towards you.

We are happy to listen or share anything else we've learned.
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Old 07-20-2020, 09:36 AM   #3
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Default Re: Church Kid Here. FTT Alumni.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Church kid here.
FTT alumni.

Six years of leaving the meetings after opening my eyes.
I have my entire life for them without anything in return.

My family is still ALL-IN, which makes it very hard.

This cult is everything I know.
How can I re-connect with the Lord without them?
Have you guys found another place or community?

I want to believe in Him. I’m just scared
Trapped shared some very good things with you! Yes, seek the Lord and know that He loves you without measure. Any other notion is nothing but a lie from the enemy meant to steal, kill and destroy you. Seek Him and cry out to Him, knowing He loves you and He is fully able to save you in your particular situation, and will do so abundantly if you lean on Him and have a little patience (and lean not on your own understanding)!

I wasn't a church kid, but was led to the LC when I was 18. It's where He wanted me back then (1974) and then He took me out of the LC for good in the late 1980s - I praise Him for both bringing me there and taking me out! Things the LCs in 74 weren't as poor and back then many crazy lovers of Jesus were there doing just that - loving Him zealously. But as time went on, the group practiced more overt centralizing authority and strong exclusivity on a man (WL) and his teachings more and more. Christianity may not be perfect (it has us people in it! ), but what the LC propagates about other groups is actually evil and fleshly, and I believe it has descended to a state of full-blown Laodecia blindness to its own wretchedness.

In my own journey, the Lord led me to some specific authors who had a fresh love for the Lord and who have been given a lot of His light - contrary to what the LC says: "There's nothing good and fresh of the Lord out there (Christianity), so don't even look for it!" This is a lie. (And the Lord is still showing me this - just a couple weeks ago a brother on here turned me on to a really good Christian author who had nothing to do with "The Recovery" as far as I can tell. His name is Major Ian Thomas and he was writing and publishing awesome books focused on the indwelling Christ, before LCs were even in the USA. FYI - Thomas died in 2007.) So good sources of edification and fellowship are out there - seek Him and ask Him to show you! "He is faithful who called you, Who also will do it!"
(1 Thes 5:24)
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Old 07-20-2020, 09:37 AM   #4
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Default Re: Church Kid Here. FTT Alumni.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
God is not the local church. He is something completely different from what is represented there.
No truer words ever written on this forum. If nothing else, it seems that our experience in the Local Church of Witness Lee has taught us that false religion can be worse than no religion at all, because it is a false representation of God himself - his very character and nature. False religion always counterfeits God's love, his mercy, his grace, his peace, his righteousness, his holiness, and above all else, it counterfeits his truth.

I have heard that the best way to spot a counterfeit bill is to familiarize yourself with the genuine thing. When you become intimately familiar with the genuine thing, you will easily be able to detect the counterfeit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
Ask God to restore the years the locusts have eaten. Remind Him that He works all things for good to those who love Him.Don't give up. God is working, even when we don't see it.
Again, very good advise here. Don't be afraid to talk to the Lord, even if you don't feel that he is listening. He is listening. Cast your cares on him. Just remember the fear, frustration and loneliness is not from God. His perfect love will eventually cast out all fear, but it will take time. Be still and know that he is God. In the Local Church we were taught to always be busy - busy calling on the Lord. Busy pray-reading. Busy going to meetings. Busy "getting into the ministry". I would suggest dropping these practices as much as possible. You can return to them later. If these practices are truly of God, then they will be waiting for you when you when you become stronger, healthier and develop a sense of proper discernment.

Finally, and of the utmost importance, seek out other Christians for fellowship, advise, comfort and community. Of course this will take some time, especially these days. But God will honor your heart, your seeking and your patience. He always has and he always will.

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Old 07-20-2020, 12:50 PM   #5
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Hi there!
Welcome aboard!
Get to know Jesus as your friend. Tell Him just what you told us..that the LSM is all you know but you want to re-connect with Him. You want a fresh start.

Tell Jesus to get rid of all the religious demons that have oppressed you. "Invite" Him into your life. By that I mean, include Him in everything you do, everywhere you go. When you watch TV, invite Him to sit with you. On your way to work or school talk to Him. Say "Good morning Jesus. How is it going today? Btw, will you help me get through the day? Will You give me some guidance, some direction?" Thank Him ALOT.. For every little thing.

You know He supplies all of your needs don't you? That includes, financial, physical, EMOTIONAL and spiritual. Thank Him for that. Thank Him for your parents even if you feel disconnected from them. Pray for them. Ask the Lord to supply their needs, to draw them near and dear to HIM, to open the eyes of their understanding, to shower them with His Love, to have Mercy on them as He has had Mercy on you.

He promises us that all things have passed away and He is making all things new. He assures us of this promise in 2 Corinthians 5:17 and In Revelation 21:5. Take a look at them and they will sink in. Thank Him that He is making all things new in your life. May I suggest if you haven't already, to read a bible from a different translation than the recovery version. It helps getting the LSM out of your system. That's my opinion. The New Living Translation is a good one if you're interested in something new.

Remember too. Jesus will never leave you, desert you or forsake you. You can read this in Hebrews 13:5. Thank Him and Praise Him for His Promise to you.

Through the Holy Spirit, He began a most excellent work in you and He is going to complete it! Until the day of Jesus Christ..that is until He returns. The scripture (Philippians 1:6) says that Jesus began a "Good work". But I say His work in you and me and in us is MORE than Good.. It is EXCELLENT. How EXCELLENT is His Name in all the earth.

Remind yourself what Psalm 18:2 says:
The Lord is my Rock and my Fortress and my Deliverer, My God, my Rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my Stronghold.

Remember too, Jesus gave you a spirit of LOVE, A spirit of Power, and a spirit of a SOUND mind. (2 Timothy 1:7) The spirit of fear and confusion is not from God. Keep that in mind.

Be strong in the Lord and Stay encouraged..

Btw, I was in the LC from 1975-1978/79. But I was "all in". I don't go to 'church' although I have made my rounds, from conservative Baptist to Pentecostal to Charismatic to 'feel good' denominations. I have a few good friends and I watch a lot of you tube teachings and talk and pray a lot to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, addressing them individually as my spirit leads.
May God shower you with Blessings of Peace, Joy and Love.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Church kid here.
FTT alumni.

Six years of leaving the meetings after opening my eyes.
I have my entire life for them without anything in return.

My family is still ALL-IN, which makes it very hard.

This cult is everything I know.
How can I re-connect with the Lord without them?
Have you guys found another place or community?

I want to believe in Him. Iím just scared
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Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
(Luke 21:36)
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Old 07-20-2020, 05:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: Church Kid Here. FTT Alumni.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
Those books helped me see what God's heart really is towards me, and made Him someone I actually wanted to turn to, rather than someone who was out to get me, as had been subtly implied for so long.

I have found another place, but it took time. Time. Feeling out of sorts. Loneliness. Feeling completely unmoored and like you don't belong anywhere. Feeling, and knowing, like you've lost everything you know. You have to put in the effort to go visit places, but put it in God's hands and ask Him to show you where He wants you to go. The coronavirus situation will make an already very difficult thing seem almost impossible. You can at least check out the online sermons of different places to start.

Ask God to restore the years the locusts have eaten. Remind Him that He works all things for good to those who love Him. Put your fears, your situation, your worries, your next steps right into His hands. Tell Him that. Do it repeatedly. God takes what the enemy meant for evil, and He turns it for good. But it will probably be hard, painful process, a struggle, and will take time. Groups like the local church churn out wounded people, and there may be a period of feeling like you are walking through a parched desert. This is normal. Don't give up. God is working, even when we don't see it.

God is not the local church. He is something completely different from what is represented there.

We are happy to listen or share anything else we've learned.
Great post and great points.

Trapped, you really need to change your name. You are completely different from when you first came here a couple years ago. What you have learned, by "overcoming" the degraded Recovery, makes you a blessing to others.
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Old 07-20-2020, 07:57 PM   #7
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Great post and great points.

Trapped, you really need to change your name. You are completely different from when you first came here a couple years ago. What you have learned, by "overcoming" the degraded Recovery, makes you a blessing to others.
Agreed. Great post, poster-formerly-known-as-Trapped! Well written.

Nell
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Old 07-21-2020, 02:30 AM   #8
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Default Re: Church Kid Here. FTT Alumni.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Church kid here.
FTT alumni.

Six years of leaving the meetings after opening my eyes.
I have my entire life for them without anything in return.

My family is still ALL-IN, which makes it very hard.

This cult is everything I know.
How can I re-connect with the Lord without them?
Have you guys found another place or community?

I want to believe in Him. Iím just scared
You do believe in him. How to reconnect? Just talk to him...like heís a real person. Read the Bible...like itís a book. Tell him everything you told us. Tell him youíre scared. He is your place...go there first.

Welcome to the forum! Weíre glad youíre here.

Nell
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Old 07-21-2020, 09:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: Church Kid Here. FTT Alumni.

Thanks, Ohio and Nell and StG and Unto. I would rather not have gone through what I had to in order to be able to give those kind of recommendations, but if anything I can say provides any level of help, comfort, reassurance to anyone, it's worth it. I have a special place in my heart for church kids. What a bewildering experience it is for them (us)......truly. You're either left holding crushed shards of a previous life in your hands wondering how you can build something new with what you can't even keep from falling through your fingertips, or you abandon it all but can never escape feeling condemned for it. Life-long beliefs all become fair game for total reconsideration. Every sense of familiarity and belonging vanishes and you suddenly become the odd one tripping over every phrase because you unexpectedly find out that, for example, what you call "the Lord shining on you" is met with strange looks while they gently explain that they would call it "the conviction of the Holy Spirit" and now you doubt every concept you thought was totally solid. The visceral internal shattering that goes on in the shift from "the center of God's move" to "abusive group" is almost unable to be described.

I've thought about switching Trapped around to become Deppart (i.e. "depart") but just haven't pulled the trigger yet. A few remaining chains need to come off before I can step into that.

Hopefully unregistered will return at some point and let us know how they are doing.
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Old 07-22-2020, 09:50 AM   #10
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Default Re: Church Kid Here. FTT Alumni.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Church kid here.
FTT alumni.

Six years of leaving the meetings after opening my eyes.
I have my entire life for them without anything in return.

My family is still ALL-IN, which makes it very hard.

This cult is everything I know.
How can I re-connect with the Lord without them?
Have you guys found another place or community?

I want to believe in Him. Iím just scared
Hey Church Kid,
Itís not easy walking away from something that probably occupied most of you and your familyís whole life. What was the catalyst that got you to walk away?
I would say that the most important thing in leaving the LSM cult is to maintain a very healthy, consistent reading of the Bible. The scripture is profitable for equipping us to live the Christian life we have been called to. It also separates, cleans out the old, and enlivens us with the new. I would strongly urge you to throw out, or at least pack away all LSM material, including the ď recovery versionĒ. Get a good foundation in scripture before even considering looking back at that LSM stuff, or the cleaning out of the cult mentality will take a lot longer.
Make sure you maintain a good healthy relation with family, as family is a God given thing that is most important in our human life. But it will probably be a strained relation in the start, but family is family, so as much as is possible on your part, maintain peace, but realize that the cult is still their whole basis for living, and you are creating a dilemma for them, they also feel that you are walking away from God, because that thing is how they connect to ďGodĒ. Which is why it is so important for you to keep in the scripture! Your parents are in the cult for a reason, and part of that reason is that they care for God and the truth; itís just that they got totally caught up in a wrong path and canít see a way out either and are probably too scared to admit they took the wrong turn-off from the way.
Get a video of that play Fiddler on the Roof and watch it a couple of times- great insight into family, tradition, and suffering.

Be strong in the Faith
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Old 07-22-2020, 11:54 AM   #11
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Very well said Boxjobox! Very well said! I am going to emphasize your suggestions as they are very important points you are making:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxjobox View Post
The most important thing in leaving the LSM cult is to maintain a very healthy, consistent reading of the Bible. The scripture is profitable for equipping us to live the Christian life we have been called to. It also separates, cleans out the old, and enlivens us with the new.
Quote:
I would strongly urge you to throw out, or at least pack away all LSM material, including the ď recovery versionĒ. or the cleaning out of the cult mentality will take a lot longer.
Quote:
Make sure you maintain a good healthy relation with family, as family is a God given thing that is most important in our human life.
Family is family, so as much as is possible on your part, maintain peace,
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Old 07-22-2020, 02:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxjobox View Post
Hey Church Kid,...

Get a video of that play Fiddler on the Roof and watch it a couple of times- great insight into family, tradition, and suffering.

Be strong in the Faith
Interesting...!

I just started watching Fidler for the first time in a long time and was thinking about saying something about it. You’ll laugh and you’ll cry. It’s great music, and you’ll get a new perspective on talking to God.

My favorite prayer: Lord I know we’re your chosen people, but sometimes, couldn’t you choose someone else?

Nell

(It’s on Netflix now.)

Last edited by Nell; 07-22-2020 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 07-22-2020, 09:35 PM   #13
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Church kid here too! Despite the messages we heard growing up, warning against leaving "the church" and wandering into "degraded Christianity," you MOST DEFINITELY can find the Lord outside of the local churches. I finally stopped attending meetings (it took a LONG time to overcome the shame associated with stepping away) when I realized I left every Sunday meeting with a heavy heart and my stomach in knots. My spiritual life was marked by dejection, heaviness, guilt, and condemnation, even though the Bible speaks of a God of joy, peace, hope, and love. It was ultimately my utter lack of joy, not just in church but in the rest of my life also, that made me realize I needed a spiritual reset. So I held onto the Lord and let go of all the concepts and teachings that I felt had led me to a place of such unhappiness. I went back to the basics and started simply by praying and reading my bible (I got a new ESV journal bible, but there are a lot of other great versions too). I trusted that as long as I brought the Lord with me, He would help me discern truth and rebuild the foundation of my faith, so I didn't have to be scared of being led astray by "other teachings." Cautiously and in constant partnership with the Lord, I joined a friend's bible study, started reading books by other Christian authors, and attended worship services at other churches. There have been some times he has confirmed beliefs from my upbringing, but He has also revealed some outright unbiblical concepts I have held to be true for most of my life, and being able to reject these unhealthy teachings has brought about a lot of healing and growth. This whole experience made me feel scared and vulnerable at first, but the Lord has been faithful in helping me discern healthy and unhealthy teachings, and I have ultimately found a Christian community that is so God-centered, life-giving, and sweet. I also started seeing a Christian therapist, which has been extremely helpful in providing God-focused guidance through some spiritual and emotional issues that have come to my awareness through this process.

Anyway, I want to encourage you to continue to seek after God, as he can and WILL restore the joy of your salvation. It may take a long time to slowly dismantle and reassemble the foundation of your faith, but the Lord with be faithful in any venture that involves you earnestly seeking after Him. We've been led to believe that the Lord is only carrying out his greatest works and revealing His high peak truths through one venue alone, but, at least for me, it has been freeing and encouraging to see how God is working in so many unique and amazing ways through ALL the members of the body and in ALL the churches on earth.
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:57 PM   #14
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Default Re: Church Kid Here. FTT Alumni.

Hello.

I wanted to reply to your post as I feel your pain. I was also a church kid. It took me 10 years of knowing something wasn't right and agonizing questioning to leave. Leaving cost me everything. I lost my identity, my community, my faith, my direction. It took me 10 more years to want to explore other groups and find another place to meet. It was just too painful and I was too scared to try. I was afraid of making another mistake and of trusting the wrong people. I was also afraid to trust God again. Reading the posts on this forum helped (I have never posted before but a shout out to all of you who faithfully do. You have helped me tremendously). Giving myself time and figuring out who I was outside of the Lord's Recovery helped. If you are scared, just tell Him that. You don't have to figure it all out right away. Give yourself time and grieve. It is incredibly painful to loose faith in something that you once believed in with your whole being.
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Old 10-23-2020, 10:38 PM   #15
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Church kid here.
FTT alumni.

Six years of leaving the meetings after opening my eyes.
I have my entire life for them without anything in return.

My family is still ALL-IN, which makes it very hard.

This cult is everything I know.
How can I re-connect with the Lord without them?
Have you guys found another place or community?

I want to believe in Him. Iím just scared
Iím so sorry. So many of us can relate. The best advice Iíve heard after leaving is to learn how to be a normal human. Get your foundation right before moving to spiritual levels. Itís very normal to have extreme identity issues, CPTSD, or other mental health concerns. The second best advice would be to read Steve Hassanís ďCombatting Cult Mind Control.Ē

You CAN heal. You just have to learn who you are without your church identity and learn to trust that person. You got this. You can do it.
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Old 11-08-2020, 03:21 PM   #16
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Hey! I won’t say that all branches of this church or just alike, but the branch my parents were in that I grew up in didn’t preach or really speak about how to deal with sin. . Most of the members weren’t forthcoming about their sins in their sharing on Sundays. I get it. It’s not something people like talking about. They also did not really encourage Bible reading of “works”. Well, that made me just kind of sit around like a lukewarm blob and backslide continuously in everything. That’s why I think it’s imperative that people have either a preacher, or someone experienced to come along side them when they are a new believer, to disciple them. You need to hear about dealing with sin in your life, and perseverance. I never did, and just genetically assumed I was covered, and kept living my life in depravity. All the church kids of our branch are in the same boat of thinking what we feel is right and wrong determines how we ought to live, but we weren’t seeking God’s right and wrong.

My best advice is to ask God to make Himself real to you and begin to read His word. Personally I read the New Testamwnt first, then the Old. Once I was more drawn in it was easier to read genealogies etc. I can tell you, reading the Bible made my faith come alive. I read it with a notebook, so I could jot down verses I liked, or ones i needed to hear again, ans any questions I wanted to look up later. I never understood my beliefs before. I can actually say I didn’t believe till I knew what and why and who God is, something I didn’t get from LC.

I gave up drinking alcohol after I saw some verses that made me more clear about alcoholism. I was an alcoholic. I didn’t do it for a relationship or for myself, I did it for the Lord. When I made that step, He increased His presence in my life beyond my expectations. My father was a closet drinker growing up, and he always told me God forgave him. Yet the saints didn’t know. The word of God told me drunkards don’t enter the kingdom of heaven.
So to sum it up, open your heart and ask God to show you who He is, read your word (make it a habit, commit to it), pray that He helps you find a new church home and do some church shopping, and if there’s a sin in your life you know you need to get rid of, pray and give it to the Lord. We all sin, but you’ll know the one that comes to mind when you think about what yours are. And just let the peace that comes from God sooth you.
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Old Yesterday, 08:11 AM   #17
ExChurchKid
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Default Re: Church Kid Here. FTT Alumni.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Church kid here.
FTT alumni.

Six years of leaving the meetings after opening my eyes.
I have my entire life for them without anything in return.

My family is still ALL-IN, which makes it very hard.

This cult is everything I know.
How can I re-connect with the Lord without them?
Have you guys found another place or community?

I want to believe in Him. Iím just scared

Hey, a lot of other posters have given you a lot of what seems like good advice on the spiritual side of things. I just wanted to add: it's okay if you have a rocky relationship with God or your family for a while (or indefinitely). I was a church kid, and did one of those like 3-day trials for high-schoolers to check out the FTT, and it was miserable. I have no idea how you made it all the way through, it must have been horrible. Anyways, I guess the point is, the Recovery dehumanizes you. Now that you've left, you can be who you are. You're supposed to come before God as who you are right (I think, I'm not very up-to-date on God stuff lately after leaving the LCs)? So be who you are first, in a way the Recovery didn't allow you to. If it makes you feel any better, my parents (their entire identity is the LC) and I are not on speaking terms (emotional abuse as well), and I'm not even sure if God and I are on speaking terms (on my side, not necessarily his). This isn't to try to push you away from your family or from trying to seek God outside of the Recovery, just to hopefully add some validation to your feelings.
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